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A Massive Update

Written on: Sunday October 28th, 2007

A journal entry from: Memories of Niihama

Alright, a few people back home are aware of the circumstances of the last month while others heard bits a peices so I will start from the beginning.

Quite frankly the company I chose was in the beginning stages of disaster when I arrived. The paycheck for August was four days late and a brief appology fax followed it. However, remember that I didn`t work August so was not yet effected by this.

There was four of us, all from Canada who arrived at this time and started working the full time shifts. About two weeks into the job news from a teacher in Osaka via Rachel (co-worker) was passed around the office. Osaka offices were closing, people were not being paid, apartment rents where not being paid and an area co-ordinator had told the teachers to not show up for work. But, being far away in Niihama we were hesistant to jump to any conclusions. Then more stories from fellow instructors started to pour in but still no sign of worry from the Nova mangement who continues as usual. Brian and Wanda received the first blow... their rent had not been paid by Nova but a couple of hours later they were told things had been handled. Alright, at that point I started looking for another job but not in a rush because it would take weeks to get worse.... nope. The October deadline for the September pay check was pushed back via a fax for 5 days. Now starting to get more worried and starting to talk about if we should continue working if the next deadline was not met. The next deadline came and went with not a word from higher up (at this point the CEO had gone into hiding). So, that Saturday 5 staff members including myself went on a strike and called in sick, two were on their normal week-end day and only one, Tyson went in. He called us that night with news that word had finally come..... another apology fax pushing the deadline to Oct. 25th and news that they are going to close our office. The Japanese staff were not holding up well and generally things had started to reach the lowest points of these story. So, some of us returned to finish off the last three days not out of commitment to the company but out of concern for the staff and students.

Two days ago the company has declaired bankrupcy and we will probably never get paid for the work.

After a week of emotional ups and downs, one minute thinking I would be returning to Canada and the next pulled between two job offers...... well, today was the first day I finally felt back in control of things. Though that won`t be lasting much longer with an apartment move in the weeks ahead... but at least I should be getting a very tiny paycheck this coming month from the one week of work with my new employer Language House.
Language House is a smaller organization that is only in Shikoku (the island). Their cliental is mostly companies whose employees will be handling buisness in English. So this means I will be challanged to learn buisness and industrial English. Looking forwards to it though. Two former Nova co-workers were hired on there (Rachel and James B) and I have met the other four co-workers (Kandala, David, Lin and Allen). Overall, they are a good friendly group of people. Unlike Nova`s cookie cutter lessons, I will actually be expected to teach.

Anyway, I should know more in the following week... only had one day of training so far.


From Betty on Oct 30th, 2007

I am so glad to hear that things are woking out so much better for you - The NOVA disaster made the Toronto Star and I have saved the article for your Mom. Thank you so much for the wonderful Birthday card which arrived yesterday - just like you Mom's trick out popped all those bits of confetti!! Iam so glad that you were able to hang in there and find a different and more reliable employer -- all the best - Betty