Business Etiquettes

One thing I don’t enjoy working in this country is… everything is so slow. That doesn’t mean that I’ve worked overseas somewhere, but I did once work at a Dutch company in Surabaya where the Dutch boss directly supervised me. It was my first official job, yet it left quite a big impression to me.

To compare it with some companies I’ve worked at afterwards, I should say that CDU (the Dutch company) had a faster pace, which I found so efficient. No time was wasted and when something was done, we could concentrate to another project just as soon.

Alto Network was also slow. But in a good sense. It was hard to work too efficiently there for everybody took it easily. There were no competitions among the workers, which in one side is a good aspect of Alto. But in another case, it killed the spirit of working FOR the company, in order to make the business run well. The result was it was breaking up to pieces. However, the faults should not be wholly put upon the workers’ shoulders. There were some other more crucial things that made it fall down. Yet I was still sad and disappointing when I heard from Juz that Alto had to dismiss all the last employees but Bo and Vanie.

My new job at English First, is owned by an Indonesian. Though in most bigger cities in Indonesia EF offices are monopolized by expatriates, in Tegal it’s mostly run by Indonesian people. I find them nice people, at least the ones who work here. Misunderstandings happen sometimes between the teachers and administrative staffs but they can always fix them after some discussions.

However, I find it quite hard to communicate with the owner. Until today I haven’t signed my contract, which she promised to settle last weekend, because she hasn’t made the trip to this town yet. I don’t mind actually. But I was expecting that she could at least let me know that it was postponed or something; so I can get my assurance and can start building my life here. At this moment I don’t dare buying pans etc. for cooking for I think everything is somewhat vague right now. I know she doubted about changing the contract a little as I demanded her to do and she is now probably looking for another option if the talk is unsatisfying. I saw that Ernie got a fax message of a CV of a prospective teacher. So maybe, just MAYBE, she just wants to keep things way too profitable to EF, while not to the employees, by taking someone who is not as hard to deal as I am. Well, she can do it. I just know I don’t want to get slaved by some rich businessperson.

I emailed her three or four days ago, reminding her about this important meeting. She hasn’t answered yet. I thought, “Oh OK, it’s not a new thing. Indonesian people can never handle emails well anyway.”
So I called her. But I couldn’t get through.
The weekend passed by and I didn’t hear a word from her. I texted her today and got FINALLY a late reply saying that she might be coming next week or the week after. Which means it’s in the end of the month if the latter happens. Guess what again, she has never asked my bank account number. So much of a professionalism, huh?

Do I expect professionalism? Hell yes. They expect the same from me. Besides, for a company with EF’s caliber, I absolutely didn’t think this thing would happen. I don’t know if this is only just my feeling… but my instinct says something and it doesn’t seem to be too good.

But again, whatever happens happens. I don’t put too much pressure about it to myself, nor would I let it influence my teaching performance. Those kids pay a lot to study here, so they should get what they deserve. I’ll handle this business contract later.

I hope it goes well. If not, well be prepared that I may go home after a while.


  1. hmm..kok gitu ya indo suka nunda...
    di EF semua2 pake kontrak ya?

    good luck my friend

  2. Iya, gitu deh. Nyebeli. Rasanya perusahaan segede apapun kalo terletak di Indo jadi less pro gitu yah? Iya disini pake kontrak. Apalagi jadi guru. Kan persaingan ketat di seluruh Indonesia. To find qualified teachers here is almost the same like finding a needle in a bunch of grains. :P

  3. weks....
    apa itu sama dengan most of the teachers there are not qualified???

  4. hmm.. i don't think EF will hire someone unqualified, shier. i'm not disappointed with the abilities of the teachers here. but we'll see. yang pasti sih aku maunya kontrak yg adil, bukan yang memojokkan.

    win-win solution dong.