SCHOOLS AND RECRUITERS REVIEWS
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Josh Mint - 2018-02-07

This is not something I want to write... But I feel I should put this warning online for anyone considering working for MEC. The short version is: It's a terribly unprofessional place where teachers are quite likely to be hurt and discarded. Also worth noting, it's in a neighborhood that constantly smells like manure. I don't want anyone else to suffer by working at that ramshackle school. And Nishio is not a pretty place; you'll be much safer and happier one hour away from there, in the city of Nagoya. Here's the long version:

Mine is not an isolated case... I had the misfortune of working there and being fired quite suddenly, and without pay. But I should have expected something like this – from a couple of rumors I heard, it seemed like many people had been fired quickly and unhappily. The head teacher is someone who seems very nice, at first. This isn't a personal attack, but I have to let you know about her if I am to honestly give an objective critique of the school. I will do so dryly, without any ill will. With that in mind, she is a friendly, chatty Canadian, with a name like "Giselle," and a charmingly scatter-brained nature. But before long you come to realize that she's also highly paranoid; and this paranoia works in tandem with her vague memory to basically invent terrible things that you have supposedly done. Such examples might include: interrupting another teacher's class to correct their English; text-messaging in your own class; trespassing on the office computer; and attacking the secretary. Please keep in mind that such accusations were put together second-hand, by someone who constantly mishears conversations by talking over the top of them and getting side-tracked by her own tangents, and who speaks no Japanese at all, even after having lived in the area for twelve years.

In my case, there was no recourse to address these accusations. I was let go rather gently (although cruelly told that my host family had already been informed and advised that they need not accommodate me even one more night), and then given a letter with these accusations at the train station as I was leaving town. The letter concluded with a patronizing insult about my being a nice person, but not a proper teacher. This was incredibly hurtful for someone who has put so much care into their teaching for several years.

I will also let everyone know briefly about the irresponsibility of the Japanese owner of the school. Please don't take this as gossip, but rather as further warning. The day I met her, she arrived around noon in her luxury car, slightly inebriated with alcohol. Even though it is a small business in a rural-industrial town, she is somehow quite wealthy, and bought a sports car for her son – a boy who would record videos of himself while driving, and then take over the secretary's computer to show these videos. I recall him saying he had just quit university and was completely unworried about his future. Make of all that what you will.

All in all, I almost wish I had never found MEC on GaijinPot. Being welcomed there and then dismissed under unfair pretenses and insults was one of the most hurtful experiences of my life. I say "I almost wish," because at least I learned something of the darker sides of human nature. I also really enjoyed my time away from Nishio, when I went to Nagoya. There are some excellent places in Nagoya, and I even made friends there. So if you're looking for a job, I think you'd be safer trying somewhere in the city. Best wishes!

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