We said yesterday that Nunu had a very poor first month as manager of TBI Kelapa Gading. Two expats came and left within a single month, the schedule was a shambles, the former ACTEL distanced herself from the school, refusing to do any more classes, and students were even left without a teacher at times amid the timetable mayhem. But as bad as all this was, it was to turn much worse in April 2012, culminating in a bizarre confession in a staff meeting during that month.
By the end of March 2012, the last teacher I had hired had started to regularly email me about the state of disarray within the school. He also discussed how much sense the revelations on the blog made in terms of what he observed about Nunu and Firlana. For example, he said that he watched Firlana (the supposed Office Supervisor) one day and all he did for 30 full minutes was pick at his foot once. Firlana’s laziness was indeed a source of wonder, but the owners wanted to keep him because they used him to bribe government departments. Being forced to work with this lazy lunk and shameless liar was the worst part of the job at Kelapa Gading. This teacher also confirmed that the organization had gone to hell since Firlana replaced Puspa in the front office. Registers weren’t prepared, the class packs were all over the place and the staff took extra long lunch hours where they sat around together and did nothing but look at Blackberry catalogues all day. That this was going on while the student numbers were plummeting was a major irritant to him.
Some time during April he demanded to speak to the owners. He told Nunu to arrange a meeting with Pauwsan: he wanted to tell him that Nunu and Firlana were doing nothing but bludge and the school was shambolic and undisciplined. He requested a meeting but Nunu told him the owner was unavailable. (I’d be VERY surprised if Nunu passed on the request at all, of course, but this teacher was still more trusting than a jaded cynic like myself. Once the request for a meeting was turned down, this teacher (who is now in China and still a friend) started considering breaking his contract with TBI. He had already started a job hunt, unable to tolerate Nunu’s slapdash style.
At around this time, I passed on the complaints about Nunu to Pauwsan myself via email. I said that the teachers were complaining that he never came in before 12 noon and some days didn’t appear at all (if he had an In-House class). The teacher source told me that the following day Nunu turned up for work at 9 am for the first time and appeared to make a much stronger effort over the next week or so. This was only the first of many indications that Pauwsan read my occasional emails to him, despite the fact that he never replied.
So had Nunu turned over a new leaf? Had Ashley Platts seen something in him after all? Was Platts about to make a wise appointment for a change? Alas, Nunu’s new leaf was soon able to wither in a very dramatic fashion. After a week or so of applying himself, he then took an entire week off work, from Wednesday to Wednesday! In conjunction with the 9 days he had taken off when I managed him, that would have taken the sniffles-prone Nunu up to at least 14 sick days in his first 5 months in a job. And he did so in the middle of a personnel crisis when classes were being merged all the time or Native Speaker classes were being forced to accept Indonesian teachers. It got worse. Nunu claimed to be so sick that he couldn’t even make a schedule from home and the teachers were left guessing what to teach when they came into work on Monday. None of the class packs or registers had been done either as the other Indonesians had viewed their fearless leader’s absence as a valid excuse not to lift a finger.
When Nunu finally came back, my source demanded a meeting to air his grievances. In the meeting Nunu said that he had had a week off work due to “stress”. He said that the manager’s job was far more work than he had ever imagined and- I kid you not- that, “I am basically a lazy person who liked to take things easy.” Tell us something we didn’t know, Nunu. Nunu was also questioned whether he had a CELTA in the meeting, as he didn’t seem to have much idea about academics at all. (My source, for example, did have a CELTA and thought he knew more than the school manager). Nunu bluffed and lied that he had a CELTA despite the fact that he had told me multiple times that he didn’t. Laziness is one thing, but becoming a bare-faced liar is another, and Nunu told a lot of major lies to staff during his time as manager, undermining his reputation. My source was so dismayed by what he heard in this meeting that he decided to start looking for another job. By the end of May, he was at an international school with A***.
And where, through all this, was Ashley Platts? Hadn’t he staunchly recommended breaking TBI policies to put Nunu in charge? He had tried to knife me, the way he had RD, and KG was a peaceful place before he started lobbying to get rid of expats in exchange for a cheap local manager. You’d think that Ashley would be responsible enough to ensure his plan worked out well for Kelapa Gading, wouldn’t you? Dream on. Ashley was nowhere to be seen. This TBI vandal had given rotten advice to a franchise owner for the umpteenth time and was nowhere to be seen once the shit hit the fan. More fool the owners for trusting in him after he’d sent them Helmy, a known thief, in 2009.
To Be Continued….