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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Friday, April 27, 2007

International House - A Mole Emerges!

gjA great post for you all to read written by a, clearly well- informed, mole. The info given by Barnabus, the burrower, is copied below, and is essential reading for all those readers following the International House saga. I think it proves that The Inspector did indeed touch a raw nerve at IH.

You can read the full IH thread by clicking here.
Barnabus Butterbalf said...

"I worked with IH affiliates (yes, they are affiliates not franchises) for 9 years. In total I was employed at 7 IH affiliates.
I came across a couple of good centres, a couple of mediocre ones and some utterly appalling ones.
The general feeling I got was that IH was in decline, moral and managerial decline. When I first started working at an IH affiliate there were structured points within the affiliation agreement which gave the teacher a fair deal. One such example was the minimum annual leave entitlement. However, with the now not so new director taking over (that's the affable Mr Carrier, of course), these points were either watered down or dropped all together. Thus you now have IH affiliates such as Kuala Lumpur offering only 18 days annual leave a year and making the teacher work 5 and a half days a week for a pathetic local salary which is laughed at even by local Malaysians.
The reasons for this were soon clear to anyone prepared to do the tiniest amount of research. Firstly, IH wants affiliation money. It is a business after all and a greedy one at that, so it has been encouraging expansion through taking on board centres with woefully poor and exploitative conditions. These centres were not keen on improving their conditions, especially when they had just started paying a rather sizeable affiliation fee (a huge fee for some economies), so the IH directorate gave the nod to allow them to establish whatever conditions and teaching contracts they liked.
Another important and often overlooked situation concerns the inner managerial decision makers. Who are they exactly? Well, we have the director of IH San Sebastian who just happens to preside over the most notorious IH affiliate in Spain with 6 day working weeks and low salaries for teachers living in one of the most expensive cities in Spain. Lovely chap though Mr Lcunza is, especially when he has just had dinner with his bank manager. Ah yes, there is also the director of IH Mexico City, the place where teachers are crying poverty. Yes, these and others like them are the people making all the affiliation decisions in the IH world.
So, from personal experience of certain IH centres I worked at what can I say? Of the good centres we can count in some of the affiliates in Southern Poland. These affiliates would be good places for the first time teacher to spend a year with. Their in-house training is very good indeed, although the salaries they offer, although adequate to live on, are below the market rate. So any teacher shouldn't bother with them for more than a year. Another very good IH affiliate I taught with for 2 years has now disaffiliated. It did this owing to the IH name losing credibility, the watering down of the agreement, and, more precisely because IH allowed the establishment of other new IH affiliates in the same city. These new affiliates were serious competition and offered both the teacher and the student a far inferior quality in terms of remuneration for the teacher and facilities for the student. This particular IH affiliate had worked very hard for years to build up the IH name to be well-recognised and highly thought of in its city. But with the arrival of the new affiliates the quality and reputation dropped rapidly and student numbers dropped owing to new competition and a reduced confidence, the only way forward was to disaffiliate and start again under its own name.
I won't mention the mediocre affiliates I worked at, but will merely mention the name of one which appears all over the net as being one of the worst schools in existence ( I mean anywhere, not just IH. It epitomises everything that is wrong with IH: International House Kuala Lumpur - just do a google search, and while you're at it, look out for a picture of the debonair Tan Sri Lim Kok Wing (Warning: do not do this while eating)
I could go on and give pages of details about my experience as a teacher and Director of Studies with the IH affiliates I have worked at, but I'd prefer to save them for the moment, in the belief that when I turn them into a bestseller, I'll recoup some of the cash that IH exploited me and countless others for.
So, Mr anonymous, with regards to your comments about IH, you are clearly posting some of the most nonsensical garbage I have ever seen, but I do thank you for providing an abundance of mirth and joviality to my day."

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Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Val Ferret, Switzerland

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