This story has already been told, in snippets, to a number of my family, friends and colleagues. Their unanimous response has been disbelief. Adjectives they have used to describe it include extraordinary, shocking, manipulative and altogether very back-street, which all, to my mind, describe the dysfunctional mess that is hidden behind the respectable veneer of The British Institute. However, I don’t ask you to take my word for this. Instead, I will share my story here, including correspondence with TBI’s HR, and let you make your mind up for yourself.
I began at TBI (The British Institute) Kuningan on 3rd October 2011. Having corresponded extensively, prior to arriving at the school, with Cammy L., who was school manager at the time, I jumped straight into bringing all of our plans for a school magazine and updated study centre to fruition.
Cameron was as fine a manager as one could ever hope for and opportunities abounded. I was lined up to do my CELTYL, edit the magazine, manage the study centre upgrade, produce a study centre news leaflet, deliver a workshop to my colleagues, attend a conference, train to deliver the GITE (General Introduction to Teaching English) course. In all my working life, I had never been happier. Then, one day, the 17th November 2011 to be precise, Cameron didn’t come into work. That day, too, the first edition of Synergy (the Study Centre news leaflet I had created) came back from the printers. Sadly, this leaflet never went into circulation. It transpired that the previous day, a customer had complained about Cameron to someone at head office.
The altercation upon which this was based was witnessed, and the complaint discredited, by no fewer than four other TBI staff members. Yet, with no effort having been made to investigate this, TBI were apparently willing to throw Cameron to the dogs if the client followed through on her threat to inform immigration that he was on the incorrect visa for his role as manager. This being the visa, and the contract, with which TBI had provided him. He was advised to resign in order to avoid deportation from Indonesia. If that were the whole story, the complete absence of responsibility shown by TBI, for their decision to employ teachers to work on illegal visas, would be scandalous in itself. The truth, however, runs even deeper and more malignant than this and points its accusing finger at none other than Luke P. At this point, before this ugly truth was revealed (see Cameron’s post, I emailed HR (see “comments” section of this post for a copy of the email) to protest against how they had treated Cameron.
Strangely, when you consider it revealed lies spoken with the TBI head office as the supposed mouthpiece, HR never replied to this email. Yet, it would be mentioned in three meetings that took place subsequently. Two of these involved me; the first was with Luke, the second an exit interview with HR. The third was between Mariam and Cameron/Sean, in which it was used by her in an attempt to discredit me. Yes, loyalty to my manager, and protest against the appalling way in which he was treated, was discounted as some kind of teenage crush. I can only assume this is due to the complete inability of Mariam et al. to conceptualize such things as loyalty, integrity and moral values. Following that meeting, I received, via Cameron, the first message from the powers that be, instructing me to stop causing trouble and accept the new order.
My morals and values did not allow me to do this. The battle was on. (End of Part one.)