I have spent some time the last few days reviewing all the posts on Dave’s ESL Cafe about TBI (and many about the ESL industry in Jakarta generally) which have accumulated since 2009. In this post I want to outline and overview my impressions and also to sound a warning note about issues of bias on this online forum, especially where people may have hidden agendas.
How Much Chezal and Tudor Do We Need?
The first thing to observe is that the entire debate over the past four years has been dominated by two voices: Chezal and Tudor. Tudor has posted 215 times on Dave’s ESL Cafe and he has also posted a very large number of times on the Living in Indonesia Forum. The majority of Tudor’s posts mention TBI and some offer very detailed information about different pay scales, bonuses and so on between different TBIs. He also is knowledgeable about CELTA, which is only run by TBI in all of Indonesia. Despite this he claims never to have worked for TBI and is cagey generally about where exactly he does work. He claims at one point to be a ‘teacher trainer’ but doesn’t say where. The only person who has worked for TBI who is now a teacher trainer is David Bradbury, and he was indeed always going on about Dave’s ESL Cafe and alerting management if people were saying bad things about TBI on Dave’s. While I am not going to say whether Dave is Chezal or Tudor or both, it seems certain that David Bradbury did have a Dave’s sign in because he was often talking about the site, and only Chezal and Tudor have posted extensively about TBI over the period which Dave worked the company.
Furthermore, there are striking biographical similarities between David Bradbury and Chezal. Chezal claims to have worked at TBI Medan, to have a Physics Degree and to have an Indonesian husband. “She” also endlessly defends the CELTA course at TBI, even though she claims never to have worked at TBI Jakarta (where Dave did work for years on the CELTA course). David Bradbury met his husband in Medan, worked for years in TBI Medan, has a degree in Psychics, was fluent in Indonesian and many other points of similarity with Chezal too. Draw your own conclusions.
I also observe that both Tudor and Chezal share a trait common with David Bradbury that they were intolerant of dissent and enjoyed calling other people stupid or ignorant when disagreed with. Tudor often complains that more people don’t use Dave’s ESL cafe to share their experiences, yet on a number of occasions when people did and disagreed with Tudor, he lashed out at them calling them idiots and fools and saying no one would miss them if they never posted again! This reminds me exactly of the nasty bitchy way that David Bradbury spoke about other teachers at TBI.
Surely Tudor and Chezal should realize the contradiction of wishing more people expressed their views and then attacking them for being “wrong” when they do. Fascinatingly, Tudor even issues a warning at one point to Dave’s ESL Cafe user ‘Flicka’ (who was about to start at TBI after a rough trot at a school in Lampung) that she should not post on Dave’s ESL Cafe if she has problems at TBI (which he warns is no bed of roses either). He warns that authorities at TBI often use Dave’s ESL Cafe and do not appreciate dissent. Tudor warns they will guess who Flicka is if she says anything bad about TBI and they will hold it against her.
Here we see the typical TBI machinery of repression cranking into action. They have been scaring people into submission for years. Tudor’s message is this: Let me rave about good TBI is on here, especially how much better its holidays and pay are than its larger rivals, and you stay away from here, especially if you want to contradict me. Chezal, who has posted 122 times on TBI, even though she claims to have stopped work there in 2009, is no better. She has been seen attacking this blog as recently as 2013, even though she claims not have worked for TBI since late 2008. I ask you, how motivated would you be to defend a school you left 5 years ago? TBI’s online shills should be handled with great suspicion.