Monday, May 21, 2007

Ain't no limit to greed

Did I mention that I work part-time in a 'BPO Training' center? Well, I do. Every weekday from 7am to 9am. A batch lasts 45 days. I started my first class of my first batch on the 5th April. It's the 21st May. I should have had my last class on Friday, but I didn't. 2 reasons for this - poor attendance by the students, and students joining the course late. And I mean LATE. I had 2 new students join today. THAT'S how late.

When students join is not my business; it's the manager's. Chitra, for a very obvious reason, promises new students a course of 45 days, and dumps them in my ongoing class. What am I supposed to do - start all over for the newbies, or carry on and allow the unfair treatment of being behind the others?

Chitra should think about these things. Throughout the course, I've had students join practically every week. I've somehow managed, despite it being very difficult to teach English to a very irregular batch; both in terms of attendance AND level of fluency. I have students who are alright, but don't speak out of fear or (I hope) shyness. I also have students in the same class who have NEVER studied ANYthing in English except the language itself (as a subject in school). These students have difficulty constructing a short simple sentence. I have students who don't read in English. They say they do but if you are a teacher, you will always know. I have students who think English Theory is the best way to go. Watching, listening, reading, paying attention to correct English is not going to help them, they think. I have stressed from Day 1 on the importance of reading.

The variety of levels of my students aside, Chitra dumping students in my class whenever she feels like is not helping. I told the 2 new students today that more than a month had passed, and they were surprised! Chitra told them TEN DAYS have passed. I told them it is not 10 days, but 40 days. Understandably, they were upset, and wanted to speak to Chitra right away. I agreed with them, saying that I do NOT have a problem with them sitting in my class, but I do have a problem covering all topics for all students whenever they join.

The only reason I see why Chitra does this is money. She could ask them to wait for the next batch to start, or recruit more teachers and start off immediately, but she doesn't. Why?

Telling students to wait for the next batch might make them look for other centers which would offer a course that starts immediately. Loss of customers.

Recruiting more teachers means paying more salaries. I'm cheap [salary-wise]. Right now, I don't charge any fees, because I see this batch as practice for me as well. She probably wants to squeeze as many students as she can under me.

Bottomline, money. Nothing wrong with wanting to make some, but everything wrong with trying to make some while misleading customers.

This isn't unique to this center, business, area, or city. It's everywhere. It's in Malaysia, but you come across this attitude rarely. It's in Brunei, again, rarely. Come to India, and you'll find that you rarely come across an honest businessman.

Argue away! Say that that's how business is done; and that no one is going to succeed without playing the part of a crook. Yeah right, I say. I've seen businesses thrive without your 'required' acts of dishonesty. You would stoop to any level to gain. I rather stand and gain customers' trust and confidence. And despite how you may disagree or what you think.. I win.

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