After a long hiatus...
I suppose I was gone for at least 3 months. Possibly a little closer to 4 based on activity. Sorry about that! Times were tough for awhile, and I'll go ahead with a brief recap and then let you all in on what I have going on currently and in the near future.
For those of you that have read my previous blogs over the years know that the job situation has always had it's fair share of ups and downs. After finding my latest job, I was really quite happy with the atmosphere and opportunities that were presented to me. I worked my way very quickly from part time into a management role and, soon after, into a senior management role putting me into a position just below our Co-CEO.
(FYI - Co-CEO was a position created as the "real" CEO was based in Tokyo and also had a lot of side business going on. Basically he wanted to step out of the Osaka area and needed to hand his duties off to someone else.)
I had my last day there a few days ago as I could no longer work for this company.
This story could become extremely long, so I will cut it down with a (kind of) brief summary of a few of my issues.
- I was given a list of initiatives upon taking the HR Senior Manager role. 32 Different things to be exact that I needed to have full responsibility of which included a lot of overhaul as the previous HR system in place was just a guy that had people sign contracts.
- By the time I quit I found that I had successfully completed 28 of the 32 tasks and the other 4 were all in some state of completion but blocked by the Co-CEO and another Senior Manager.
- The company had become exactly like my previous company. The Co-CEO was from Bangladesh - and absolutely no issues with Bangladeshi people in general - but this guy not only had a not-so-firm grasp of English, but he also certainly didn't know how teaching English works or how to properly communicate with people.
- The French Senior Manager ended up hiring his buddies behind my back although all recruiting should go through HR. The Co-CEO OK's this process and, by the time I left, we had more French people teaching English than native English speakers. We were instructed not to tell low level students that their teachers were from France.
- The schedule was becoming terrible as I was supposed to cover all HR issues, but also to cover any classes that couldn't be covered by existing teachers. Well, based on the fact that we had 8 levels of English and the average "cap" for a French teacher was 3, over half of the student base could not be taught by the majority of our teachers meaning I was always teaching or travelling to a different school to cover.
- The CEO finally came down after months of terrible Osaka performance, took a few people out to dinner separately over a few days he was in town, one of which was me, and had some talks. With me, the focus of the conversation was that, when I took this role, he had made a commitment to support the HR initiatives and to help me to champion the changes that needed to take place. He accepted that and said that he understood he had not had enough of a focus on this company, but would be stepping back into the business and made a verbal commitment to being down every single month to personally interact with everyone. He even added a blocked slot to the company schedule in which he and I would both be free the following month for another sit-down.
- Not only did he not show up for the next meeting, but he never even contacted me to say so.
- He came down nearly two months later to berate the entire management team for how terrible payroll had been processed (Apparently there was ONE time card with transportation written on it even though the instructor shouldn't have written it on as she gets a monthly train pass. Rather than simply look and know it was erroneous, the payroll manager in Tokyo simply went to the CEO and complained for an hour making a 3 second fix into a multi-day ordeal... Anyway...) and stated that if there was any type of payroll issue in the future, they would simply not pay that person for the month. I began to state that under Japanese labor laws, that that would not be an option, but as soon as I opened my mouth he must have known because he looked at me and said "I don't care if it's against labor laws or any other laws. People won't get paid and that includes their direct managers."
- Finally, just a few days after that I had a conversation with the Co-CEO that went a little something like this;
Me: Yeah. I'm spending way too much time trying to fix issues that have been created rather than actually accomplish things that need to be done.
CC: Well, the CEO and I sat down and thought it's one of two things. Number one, either you are not really working that much and just want the attention or, number two, you are working that much because you have bad time management skills.
CC: No one else has to work that much, so you must be doing something wrong.
Me: You do recall that just last month I was supposed to have 2 of the last 4 days off, but you came to me and said that suddenly we needed an entirely new high level group conversation curriculum finished from scratch before the first of the month. You are aware that I worked an extra 20 hours just on that, right?
CC: Yes, but we ended up delaying that as no one had spoken with the students yet.
Me: I was told on the 2nd that it was being pushed back 4 months - well after I had worked extra to get it done for you. Also, weren't you the one that was speaking with the students?
CC: I didn't have time to speak to any of the students, that's why it was delayed.
Me: So what you are saying is, I am lying about my schedule or I have bad time management. Those are the only two options?
Me: I see. (gets up and walks out)
That was right before the New Year holiday, so I thought things over through the break, came back and immediately gave my formal resignation which was greeted by no response for 3 days.
The CEO also was down for 13 days of my final 30, but made no attempt whatsoever to even speak with me or thank me for any of the plethora of things that were accomplished over 2+ years. As a matter of fact, once both he and the CO-CEO had to come to a school I was working in when the counselor took the key home and we could not open the school. He sent the Co-CEO up to unlock the door while he sat in the car down the block.
Sadly there were many, many more cases of complete ineptitude and disregard for the welfare of employees. But that's enough of work. I assume from all of that you can see why I couldn't continue there.
During this same period, there were some problems at home while my wife dealt with some bouts of postpartum depression and also a death in the family not to mention ridiculous levels of kid sickness including vomiting, high fevers and diarrhea from all three of them.
Basically, I haven't felt like doing much of anything but working out my time at my previous job and getting here to support my family.
So that's that!
Now, onto other things, I am looking for a part time job for stability as I currently have nothing but my website.
But, speaking of the website, I have a lot of things in the works to eventually be able to make my second big push that could allow me to work only on the site and still support us. Of course, I need your help with some of that, and that means...
- Liking and friending the newly setup Facebook page
- Following me on Twitter
- Making your own order through dv8CAG.com and recommending it to others
I think I will likely be having a lowball in the very near future as well. nothing too special, but just some odds and ends that need to go to raise a little more money for us.
When I last worked dv8CAG and lowballs as the sole source of income, it was just me, my wife and our newborn son in a very small apartment.
Now, it's 5 of us in a slightly more expensive place, so everything is much tighter than before. I do have really high hopes that I can boost dv8CAG, but as I have always said, CAG is full of great people, and when you know great people, asking for assistance is always beneficial!
I don't know how many people even get into the CAG blogs anymore, so also directing your buddies to Facebook, Twitter and dv8CAG for me would be outstanding!