Job won't let me quit :(
ILLYRIA - Jun 21 2017 at 22:54
I'm sorry for posting here, but I suffer from social anxiety and I'm really wavering in my resolve here. I'm not really sure what elese to say other than, here is my situation. Please tell me what you think.
Firstly, I've been in Spain for the past nine months working as an English teacher. In fact, a week Saturday I'm leaving to study my Masters degree in the UK for a year before, hopefully, returning (Brexit allowing!). Needless to say, I got a job through a friend out here. This job turned out to be less than ideal. For a start, they have been giving me nonsensical contracts with no date. I was never informed of the start or end of my term - contrary to the promise of quarterly contracts. I had no paid holidays, no sick days and they have reserved the right to move my hours around when it suited them. In fact, this school somehow 'decided' that, because I'm an experienced teacher, I would therefore have to teach 'specialist' subjects - including Business English.
Now, thus far, they had been okay with me though I've seen them treat people who have left quite poorly. So, when I gave them four weeks notice and told them that I wanted the last week of June for myself to a. pack b. say goodbye to friends c. relax before I go back to yet another job, I was tentative. I was told by one of the managers that she would 'see' and she then went off on holiday for two and a half weeks. Cue the last week. I asked what was happening and was told: you can't leave we need you. My problem, my biggest mistake was not giving them written notice, as I was naive and I trusted these guys in much the same way I trusted my previous academy. Nevertheless, I was told that, despite these 4 weeks notice, I was not allowed to leave next week. Not the use of the word 'allowed'.
I'm sorry...what? Now, this annoyed me for a few reasons. 1. I gave these guys 4 weeks notice. 2. three teachers had left before me. Why hadn't they been replaced? 3. I stated my intent with four weeks notice for that last week!
Turns out they want me for fifteen hours (after reducing my hours allegedly from the 17 I already had as the season slowed down) for one single student (business English) who, I presume, they just want money from. I questioned them on this after they told me I, again, needed to go into work an hour early for a class that may or may not happen (the students aren't turning up as its the end of season!) and told them, look, you've had enough time, you've hired no one else, this isn't my problem. I don't want to end it like this, but it's very unfair what you're asking. They then accused me of lying (Why would I lie?!) and then told me they would 'see' what they can do and that I work for them and need to accept their timetable.
My gut instinct tomorrow is to go in, right out, do my final classes for this week and tell them that I quit. I don't think I'm overreacting, but my heart is hammering in my chest and I didn't want it to end like this. Basically, I feel like crap and I don't want to do this anymore. My other problem is that these guys are tax evaders (like most of Spain to be fair) so, on top of this, I have to try and get my money in cash from them.
What the hell do I here? Stick it out or right out quit? This is really messing with my head and I just want to say goodbye to the beautiful city I've loved and lived in for the better part of a year...I really don't think I was unreasonable here?
If you cannot negotiate with your employer, then you may win the battle by simply leaving but end up losing the war in regards to your pay. You need to try and negotiate with these guys and try to meet them half way..then it'll be a somewhat win/win situation for you both. Basically, they have no right to retain you against your wishes, or withhold your pay, but if you give them 30 days written notice, regardless if you had a contract or not, then it's a black and white document which they have to deal with rather than verbal notice which, going by your past, they have blithely dismissed by accusing you of lying.
If you made the decision to work for these guys knowing they were a shoddy outfit, then you should be prepared to have to deal 'under the table' because that's where they operate from. You can't expect them to treat you respectfully as you deserve to be. You're correct, it's not your responsibility to ensure that these guys have people in place to tutor others, but it's your responsibility to look out for yourself and that includes working for reputable people.
Oh, silly me! This entire thing is MY fault! Actually, I am taking responsibility here and, you know remarkably little about working in EFL in Spain. This 'shoddy outfit' is not so unusual. I have worked for academies before and, actually, yes, I can expect to be treated respectfully. If you had read my post properly, you'd realise this.I would very dearly love your self righteous self to have dealt with this. Very dearly.
Actually no, it's not all your fault. You're correct, my self righteous self knows bugger all about working in EFL in Spain but I do know that if you were treated with respect then you most likely wouldn't be here on this forum with your issue where you didn't give written notice to an employer who didn't give you a dated contract which you conveniently label as nonsensical. Unfortunately, you now find yourself in a situation where you need to leave to continue your education but your 'respectable' employer has branded you a liar and pushed you into a corner where you can't move from, basically because you probably won't get your cash if do simply walk out the door.
You question your employer's ethics and then have a go at people who bother to respond to you and who 'read between the lines' of your post and give an honest opinion which is what you asked for in the opening paragraph of your post. To be frank, it's an opinion that's hell of a lot more straight up than you have received and can expect from your current employer regardless of how your previous academy treated you. It's none of your business why teachers haven't been replaced, or how your employer runs their academy, what is your business is to look out for you and if that means following your gut instinct with your issue, then so be it.