Some clips of Flight of the Conchords. "Business Time" and "Jenny" are partcularly great. Two very talented and funny Kiwis!

Flight of the Conchords

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Angloschool, Potenza, Italy

Another candidate for the blacklist - Prof. Larry Adeyanju, of Angloschool (also sometimes known as Anglomagic, magicang, magic trips, etc.) Potenza, Basilicata, Italy

I don't really know where to start with this guy. I worked at the school for two months, which in hindsight was a rather regrettable decision!! When I arrived I found that the reason the previous teacher had left was because the boss of the school had slapped her, pushed her to the ground, and grabbed hold of her when she tried to run away. This was witnessed by another teacher (who told me these details). She tried to go to the police about it but wasn't taken seriously, because another member of the Italian staff who also witnessed it contradicted her statement, as he didn't want to end up losing his job. I would just like to emphasise that the boss is a 6ft tall, 50-year-old heavily built man, and the girl he hit was 21 - and this was her first experience of working abroad.

When I arrived, having been promised 25 teaching hours a week, I found that I had been timetabled 38 hours (some of these involved 2 hours travelling time from the actual school). I objected to this immediately, threatened to leave unless it was reduced etc. So I finally got my 25 hours a week, but the boss refused to give me the standard contract, saying he was going to draw up another contract since I was so 'unaccomodating' (he is very fond of this word). This contract was ridiculous and I refused to sign it. Not that it would have been much good anyway, because it was a misspelt badly written imprecise paragraph, with just the owner's signature and the teacher's signature at the bottom. So I never got a contract, none of the teachers ever got their permesso di soggiorno, and we believed that there was no tax being paid on our behalf.

The next thing is that, unsurprisingly, we were almost never paid on time. Usually we would get half of our (measly) pay a week or two weeks late, and the rest just before our next pay day. In order to get the money we would have to ask for it repeatedly. My colleague, who had worked a lot of overtime and was continually reassured that she would be paid, left owed 1500 euros. At the end, the boss said she was lying about her hours and she could not possibly have worked that much overtime.

His personal manner is really unpleasant. He is manipulative and tries to blame his teachers for everything that goes wrong (despite the fact that it is usually due to his appalling management style and trying to suck up to important local people). He treats the students really badly, the school has no resources to speak of, except old useless textbooks, and there are never any CDs or tapes accompanying these, so the students can never do listening comprehension. He only employs young women and likes to see a picture before you arrive, to make sure you are sufficiently attractive. We found ourselves going to work dressed like nuns because if there was the slightest suggestion of cleavage, his eyes would not move from your chest! He actually gave out the phone number of another teacher to a friend of his who then sent flowers and champagne, and when this didn't work, threatening text messages. He also left threatening notes on the computer restricting our internet use to 5 minutes.

My conclusion was that this man is mentally ill. I really cannot explain his manner, his lies and his obsession with money any other way. He is like a cartoon villain, he's widely disliked in the town where the school is, and nobody we met was surprised by the things that were happening. The bottom line is DON'T WORK FOR HIM!!

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Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Val Ferret, Switzerland
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