We have long argued that TBI’s insistence on axing expats and replacing them with “low cost” Indonesians was a greedy, short-sighted policy that was placing TBI’s reputation at risk. The most spectacular example yet is TBI Kelapa Gading’s latest manager (my how TBI burns through managers, with Head Office scapegoating them for their own mind-blowing incompetence). Anita Pasaribu was a Pre-Intermediate English student when she worked at TBI Kunigan. That means she has worse English than the majority of TBI’s teenaged students, for example. Yet they have promoted her to school manager (whatever happened to TBI’s “academic ethos”?) even though she has not even a fair level of competency in the language. Every time she emails a business client or parent or student, she is an advertisement for how low TBI standards have fallen. But hey, she is cheap. We can pay her peanuts! That this “cheapie manager” policy is now TBI orthodoxy shows how little hope they have of competing with EF and Wall Street. They are literally scraping the bottom of the barrel with this appointment.
The email below is typical of TBI in important ways. It shows that TBI Kuningan had to wait months to replace a single chair. This is typical of Head Office. They are horribly bureaucratic, taking months to process simple requests for routine matters. To get any money out of them, you had to send memo after memo, email after email, and then ring them back again and again to check when it was coming. They would literally couldn’t replace a single broken chair without a whole paper trail of documents, yet they demanded instant results from school managers who were running schools starved of funds. The money is all siphoned off by the well-connected, leaving TBI students with second-rate facilities. Yet when students leave complaining of old computers and snail-paced Internet, Head Office blames the school managers. In reality, they do little besides place obstacles in the path of school managers.
The other main thing to note here however is Anita’s atrocious, embarrassing English. Yet this mistake-ridden email is judged “good enough” to represent the TBI brand as school manager in 2013. (“Let’s just pay her $400 a month and we can take all the rest of the money. Other schools might employ qualified people but not TBI! Let’s just employ amateurs who can’t write English and it’ll be fine!”) Read her email below and see how many errors you can spot! The person who finds the most errors wins a TBI doll! (Hint: “When is exactly we can have those furniture“, has several mistakes in a single sentence!)