1. How long did you work for Binsar Simorangkir?
I worked for Mr. Simorangkir from August 2011 until May 2012. Technically my contract started on October 2011, but I worked part time for him before signing up for a year of my life to TBI.
2) What were the pay and conditions like? How did you receive your salary? Were Binsar’s promises always honored?
I was paid 9 million rupiah a month at the end of the month. For the first six or seven months he gave me the money in cash (asked me to make a bank niaga account, but he never transferred money to it.) Towards the end of my time with him he asked if I could make a bank Mandiri account. When it came to getting paid he was a man of his word. It was the only thing he was a man of his word about.
3) How supported did you feel as a TBI teacher by management?
I felt as if I had to fend for myself. There was no support from TBI Bekasi, nor from the head branch. Only time when they acknowledged your existence was when you did something ‘wrong’ (wrong as in not comply exactly with how Binsar wants to run things.)
4) What were resources like at the school? Were the computer and photocopy machines of a decent standard?
The resource books were all photocopied with originals locked up in the head teachers office. Only Irene aka Binsar’s wife had the keys to open that room. Computers were straight from the 1990s, loaded with spyware, and their mouse pads were simply pieces of paper. There was only one printer could use, and it often had problems with ink (lot of copies that were printed were smudged or not in optimal condition to be used as supplements for lessons.)
I cannot compliment on the photocopier, since teachers were strictly prohibited from using the machine. Only the office boy staff could use it. It did break down a few times during my time at TBI Bekasi though, and with no alternative photocopying services near the area it made preparation rather difficult.
5) Did Binsar deal with you in a respectful and professional manner?
Before I signed my contract with TBI Binsar didn’t seem like a bad boss per say. He was clear in regards to getting my kitas sorted out, and didn’t seem odd or seedy. After I signed my contract he began to be much more critical of every little thing I did, and he held my Kitas, blue police book, and other important documents without any good excuse (luckily he didn’t keep my passport, but later on he did try to more on that later.) Towards the end of my time there we butted heads on a lot of issues, and he did he utmost best to make myself a pariah in the company. So no overall he acted very unprofessionally.
6. Did you receive any assistance or supervision from Head Office?
Apart from when Jodi Shiek came to TBI in April 2012 to do a workshop / teacher assessment there was no assistance from the head office at all.
7. Would you recommend TBI Bekasi an employer? Why or why not?
I’d recommend both experienced teachers and complete newbies in the TEFL business to stay clear away from TBI Bekasi.The amount of drama, issues, and harassment from the management is not worth the paltry amount of money you will make.
I will write back again soon with my full story. Just to warn you it will be a very large letter. Thank you for your time.