Inside TBI Bekasi (Part 3) Binsar’s Family and Associates

Before I continue with the rest of my tale I would like to say something. It is now clearly known to the readers of this blog that Binsar Simorangkir is a man without morals, is very strict with money, and doesn’t consider the lives of other people to be of any importance to him. It is very easy to make such claims, but the fact of the matter is in reality things are not so black and white. Allow me to explain by illustrating some important people in his life (and who will be relevant as this tale unfolds.)

 Let’s start with his family.

Irene (his wife): Irene is a lady that met Binsar at the refugee camp sometime in the 1980s. She is from Purwokerto, and graduated from a prestigious Catholic university in central Java. Like a typical Javanese person she is reserved, has a very soft voice, smiles a lot, and just from taking a look at her, she seems to lack a malicious bone in her body. You could say at a glance that she’s the complete opposite from Binsar.

 The truth is she is pretty malicious in her own way, but like most Javanese people being ‘sombong’ or outwardly arrogant and harsh is a very strict social no-no. She is the head teacher of TBI Bekasi, and was working there before Binsar ever seized control of operations (at the time he was still working with English First, and other freelance gigs.) She keeps a very close eye on all teachers, and every night she checks the attendance lists and class itinerary. If you ever deviate or forget to list what you’ve done in class, she reports it to Binsar, and then he rails you for your ‘incompetence.’ When she is in the room people do their best not to talk about anything not related to work otherwise she could twist what you said and use that against you.

When it came to the students, however, she was well respected, and students enjoy her classes very much (not because she’s the boss’s wife.) When it comes to teachers she is very apathetic apart from a few teachers that are ‘close’ to her. Basically if you are not important to her you don’t really exist or matter much for anything at all. From what I can tell, and from what other people have told me, when Binsar and his wife are not at work they live separate lives (they live in separate houses), and only appear to having a loving relationship when they’re both forced to be together in public for events or with family.

His youngest son: Binsar’s youngest son is a very quiet kid. His English is good, and he is a big basketball fan (he plays with his dad often.) In class he often sits alone, and refuses to do group work. If you play games or do anything that’s not considered educational he will rat you out to his dad (and most likely over-exaggerate what actually happened in class.) You can tell that out of all of his children he is not the favorite child, and he does whatever he can to gain acceptance from his father.

 Binsar’s 2nd daughter: He has a second daughter who is a high school student. I only met her once, and she seemed like a normal teenage girl. Didn’t seem to receive any special treatment or neglect by her dad. 

 Binsar’s oldest daughter: Some people wonder is there anyone in the world who Binsar considers to be close to his heart. The only candidate that comes close at all would be his eldest daughter. She is a student at a university in Semarang. She is studying to be a lawyer (think about that for a minute what advantages that would bring to Mr. Simorangkir), and she absolutely loves her daddy more than life itself. She is by far Binsar’s ‘golden child’, and brings him the most pride. She taught English a few times at TBI when she was younger, and she has worked at the front desk. Any complaints that would have been directed towards her are easily brushed under the table by daddy. If you really want to destroy Binsar then going by his daughter would be the best way… or if you want a swift and merciless death. 

Now let’s look at some additional staff, and key players at TBI Bekasi.

The owner: The man who owns the building that TBI Bekasi Sun City is located at is a man of Chinese decent. He owns several businesses, and he is a dean at a university in north Jakarta. His oldest son P* used to be a student at TBI Bekasi before he went to France to study business. I only met him once, and he seemed like a nice man. Binsar though doesn’t like it when people contact him, and when the big boss comes to the office he makes sure that all teachers are working, or ‘busy’ during his visits. 

 R* front desk lady: During my time at TBI Bekasi there were three front desk women. Out of all of them R was the one he trusted the most. Which is funny, because Binsar really hates Muslims (mentioned that a few times when we drove out to company projects.) Yet R was given a lot of responsibility. Even when he left TBI for a week to attend a family funeral she was in charge of running the front desk and finances until he returned! As we all know when it comes to money Binsar is very protective of his funds, and yet he let a simple front desk woman manage them while he was out of town! When it came to personal feelings in regards to Binsar rumors state that she considers him a father like figure. 

 If I were to guess, either she has a ‘personal’ relationship with him outside of work, or she did something to gain his ‘good side and trust’. Perhaps she just could be a hard worker, and is a dependable employee. Given his nature, and testimonies from other ex TBI staff, the later choice seems highly unlikely. If neither of those things happened then I can’t think of any logical reason why she’d be so beloved by him, and yet the other office staff women were yelled at, and had an aura of fear around them.

 Y* the office boy: There were two office boys who worked at TBI during my time there. One of them was Y. On the blog it’s mentioned that he lives at the school. He lives there with his wife and daughter. He is an interesting guy, because often he would hide or be outside of the building to avoid doing photocopies or anything resembling work. A few months after I started working there Binsar cracked down, and gave both office boys a schedule and forced them to actually do their jobs. Yet Y still found ways to get out of doing work. As a person he is nice enough, but he has a habit of stealing things (due to his complete access of the building, and the time in which things were stolen/missing are often during teachers are teaching or have already left.)

 Most likely due to lack of money and a hectic life working under Binsar he rebels by acting aloof. Also he has Y track down teachers, and do rather dirty things for him. There will be more on that particular here rather soon.

 W* the other office boy: The other office boy was an old man named W. Unlike most of the office staff at TBI he was friendly, and very diligent in helping you out. Either with photocopying materials, or getting things for you. It’s a shame that he chose to work at TBI (he used to work at a factory until he retired, but for some reason he decided to work at TBI.) Since he is old, and too nice he suffered the blunt of Binsar’s rage when Y wasn’t doing his job. I saw a few times Binsar yelling and being very harsh with the man over the most trivial of things regarding paper, or leaving the photocopy room door open.

Mr. Fury*: Fury doesn’t work for TBI, but he has been a very close friend and confident to Binsar for many years. He is the head of the English department in one of the largest school franchises in Jakarta (an actual school not an English course.) When Binsar needs native teachers he comes to this man first. Fury is a very professional man who is well versed in teaching English. However he is very loyal to his friend, and if you ever criticized Binsar he would get defensive. Originally I was allowed by Binsar to work part time for Fury, but I decided not to do so in the end, since due to conflicts in my schedule and their schedule. 

One thought on “Inside TBI Bekasi (Part 3) Binsar’s Family and Associates

  1. well i see his families sometimes when i studied there, and i thought that it looks like he force his family to work or study there. how come he make a student in university work there? and i know that his son go to school far away from tbi bekasi. imagine his son must go home ASAP from school just to go to learn english there? no one want to work there and he force his family? wtf

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