TBI (The British Insitute), an ailing language chain in Indonesia, has been reeling from the news that its former Head Office at TBI Sudirman (The Sequis Centre) has been closed due to “cash flow” problems. While they will publicly deny they are have serious financial difficulties, no intelligent person will doubt that a company which can no longer afford the rent for their own company headquarters is in serious trouble. TBI has been in the early stages of company decline and collapse for several years; this is the biggest sign yet that the cancer has spread, and they are now in the later stages of business collapse.
Anyone who was capable of objectivity could see long that they were in decline. They were already looking very old-fashioned as far back as 2008, when I first joined the company. Anyone who had visited Wall Street English would have laughed at the cheap TBI schools with their CD players and course-books ordered from a Pearson catalog. They were clearly falling behind in terms of innovation well before this blog ever saw the light of day.
There are many contributing factors to their sorry decline, not least of which was the rent-seeking nature of the entire enterprise, which allowed well-placed insiders such as Pak Reza Suriansha and Ibu Ning Anhar to pocket all the profits while re-investing nothing back into the business. This, to be frank, was a sure-fire recipe for problems down the line. However, everything they do reeks of amateurism, and their condescending and tone-deaf tweets are as good an indication as any of how clueless these people are.
Go onto their Twitter page and you will find such priceless gems as the following:
How do you distinguish the phrasal verb of “Fall ……” Tbuddies?
Or, if you prefer, you could check out their tweets for another day and see the same crap:
Tbuddies, here is 6 commonly used Business English Idioms and Phrases
Now, let’s just ask a very simple question: Who the Hell are these (grammatically challenged) tweets intended for?
The “Hey e-buddies” and “TBuddies” nonsense is so childish that it would be utterly condescending and tone-deaf it is was intended for adults. It is cheesy, fun cartoon- character talk directed straight at eight-year-olds surely? You would presume so, but are eight-year-olds online looking up hints for Business English? Are eight-year-olds looking online to ‘distinguish phrasal verbs’?
Once you think about it for a minute, the truth hits you. Wow, TBI is actually so condescending and clueless that they are talking down to Indonesian business-people by calling them “TBuddies” and “e-buddies” and other childless nonsense! You can almost imagine them thinking that 30-year-old Indonesians want to be high-fived and given gold stars like little kids. If they really want to know why their business is failing so badly, they should look at how they patronize and insult their own adult customers with such age-inappropriate twaddle. They really have no idea. But I guess this is the language school where the Head Trainer did not have a university degree for the past decade but is “working on it”.
Hey E-Buddies! Let’s hope this school gets its shit together before more branches close!