During the sorry years of 2010-2011 when Luke Preece ran amok at TBI and ensured that all the other ex-pat managers at TBI were fired (dooming the company to its present funk of stagnation and rapidly shrunken market share), he was helped by Lilies Augustin, a self-confessed former bankrupt, who he installed as Marketing Manager of the whole company, despite the lack of any experience managing more than a single school. Ms. Agustin once told the authors of this blog (after a couple of bottles of red wine) that she and Preece had been engaged in a long-running affair and that she was closer to Preece than his own wife.
Agustin, as we repeatedly told readers, was an incompetent buffoon who took months to complete even simple tasks. She sent the marketing materials for the Imlek celebrations out to schools at 4 pm on the afternoon before the holiday, making it impossible that anyone could use them. When questioned by a school manager about why they were weeks late, she blamed three of her subordinates (a typical TBI Head Office move back then) and then accused the school manager who questioned her of ‘trouble-making’ (another favored accusation against anyone who mentioned the epic failings of the TBI Mafia). Agustin was protected by Preece, so she adopted a high and superior tone and never dreamed of accepting responsibilities for her actions.
This was a woman who would literally take several months to make a decision on suggested marketing projects, yet who would manage to regularly issue grammatically garbled tweets about her drunken adventures in karaoke rooms. Here we had a woman who was the Marketing Manager of a chain of English language schools who could rarely write a sentence without getting the tense or syntax wrong, marking her out as little better than a Pre-Intermediate user of English, yet she was allowed to mismanage marketing campaigns for a chain of 18 schools. No wonder she was the subject of constant whispers about her lack of productivity, credentials and her foul temperament. Her closeness with Preece was a well-guarded secret, though he had given her her first first management job at TBI Dago too- a school where 2 billion rupiah was embezzled under his watch and he claims not to have noticed anything.
Furthermore, in 2011 Preece set up the TBI email system so that it was, very oddly, monitored by the Marketing Department. Agustin was able to snoop on the emails of everyone in the company and she even deleted emails which implicated Preece in shady wrongdoings on various occasions. The two of them were immoral and as thick as thieves in various unprofessional and dishonest schemes. Preece would use email to slander and undermine people and then Agustin would remove them so that there was no trace of any of it.
Preece had used Agustin like a puppet in his under-handed and sickening attempts to take over TBI through lies and deceit. Yet did he show her any support of loyalty when the knoves finally came out for Agustin towards the end of 2015? Not a bit. He sat back and accepted the decision of Ning and Reza to oust her and Mariam. He thew his former accomplice to the wolves. He had used her, she had served her purpose and now it was time to discard her. But there ought to be no surprises that this is how it ended. That, after all, is exactly how sociopaths always operate. Look at these quotes from Hare’s classic text on sociopaths and you will learn all you need to know about the Preece’s relationship with Agustin:
“When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.”
Agustin was promised a bright career at TBI, but she was always just an instrument. Ultimately she ended up thrown to the wolves.
“Not concerned about wrecking others’ lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.”
Then there is this passage from another expert, which also reflects the way Agustin, herself a cruel and vain person, was abused and manipulated by a much nastier piece of work, the con-man/sociopath Luke Preece.
“Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.