Nunu and Firlana Plotting (Part 4 of 5)

I had been warned that Nunu and Firlana were plotting to get rid of me in January 2012. The informant was my ojek driver, a short Madurese called E***. By January 2012 Nunu (Nugraha Pratama) rarely ‘hung out’ in the teacher’s room any more. He made his home downstairs with the office staff by in large. He also went outside the school often of an evening and had a smoke with Firlana Ismayudin, the Marketing Officer. 

E*** had a wife and two small children and lived in a poor kampung on the fringe of Kelapa Gading. He took me to and from work most days. I found during my time living in Indonesia that if you use the same ojek every day, you can make a huge difference to someone’s living standard. By getting two Rp 20.000 payments per day, he was able to pay his rent and feed his family. 

E**** warned me several times that Nunu and Firlana were plotting to create problems for me in January 2012. He overheard them plotting night after night as they stood outside smoking. E*** was parked outside waiting for me to finish and go home. He said that he wanted me to stay in Indonesia because of the financial benefits for him and was scared that they were trying to stir up problems in the school.

E*** was correct. The owner confirmed to me in two meetings that Firlana had been stirring up problems. TThe office assistants Rahman and Wantori had refused to do any work on the library and had both pretended to have simultaneous ‘bad backs’ for more than a week. This all started happening around the same time as E**** was warning me that Firlana and Nunu wanted to create problems.

The owner even confided to me that he believed that Firlana had even coerced a couple of parents to make complaints against the library to stir up trouble. Pauwsan lined Firlana and the OAs up in a row one night during this period like they were on a military ground, standing at attention and instructed them in Indonesian that they had to ‘obey’ the school manager and stop plotting against me. It was openly known during this period that Firlana had stirred up trouble and he had been ordered to apologize to me and promised not to do it again. That Nunu was involved with this plotting was corroborated by E****’s testimony. Firlana was actively campaigning at this time that I should be replaced by Nunu, who was a much cheaper option. Pauwsan Sutanto, a Chinese, actually said to me a few days before I resigned: This is what Indonesians are like, Sean. They smile to your face and stab you in the back.” As he said this, he made a stabbing motion, like someone sinking a dagger into the flesh. By this point my enthusiasm for having any more to do with TBI was very, very low, and I resigned a few days later.

The puppet-master of this whole sorry period was Luke Preece. The owner also admitted to me at this point that Head Office (Luke and Mariam) had been in contact with him and telling him he should not employ Cam. He also said to me, “Mariam she absolutely hates you.” He said that she had pushing him to fire me for 2 years but he had refused to do so because he thought I was a good manager. He said, however, that he asked me as personal favor to him to tolerate Firlana despite his lies and back-stabbing. (I will explore Firlana’s links to Jaladin Japri and bribing officials in later posts).

In the end, Pauwsan accepted that Cam could become Actel and confirmed this a number of times. I said I wasn’t interested in renewing for 2012 if I didn’t have any extra help. Cam actually received the Actel salary for February 2012, our last month with TBI. I will add screen dumps of the pay sheet soon. However, he asked that we work with Firlana, despite his lies. In the end I decided I didn’t want to work with Firlana and the corrupt owners (who had been refusing to produce financial statements or employ qualified accounts to look at their books.) We quit at the end of Febraury. Nunu was appointed as the new School Manager.

Nunu has proved to be a disaster. By the end of May 2012, just three months later, three expat teachers had quit and school numbers had plunged by 35-40%. We have obtained leaked copies of the teaching schedule which confirm this. We will show how Nunu has caused TBI Kelapa Gading to collapse- again- on Friday.

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