I have been here for five years now and I have seen many things and met many people from all over the world. What I have noticed in the last couple of years is that the foreigners that are coming to China now are not the same as the ones that came over when I did.
I notice that the Americans that are coming to China have a bit of an attitude and their work ethic is not very good. I am not sure people are coming over here for the right reasons anymore. Those of us that have been here for a while have learned to adjust and even live like the locals. We took the time to understand not only the language but also the culture. We wanted to live like locals and fit in the best we could. We came over not only to explore the country but also to share our culture and our knowledge of English with them.
However, I have noticed that a lot of people…. not only Americans.. but I am focusing on my own people right now are coming over with an attitude, and not a good one. I have helped many people come to China to teach, or visit. I try my best to give them a heads up about the country and how to deal with the schools and what kind of things they should bring with them to make their lives a little more easy. However, some of these same people are coming over here and demanding things like they are China’s new ruling society.
They are expecting their lives to be the same as it is in America… they are demanding extra time off, they are late for work, they are traveling with out notice, they are complaining about the food, they are not happy with the living arrangements, they are just pains in the arse.
People you come to another country and no matter how kind the locals try to be and how well they try to suit you … you need to be able to be flexible and also remember why you came here.
I have so many people come to China and then say to me… “Jo I don’t know how you could stay here so long under these conditions” …. I could stay here so long because… I adjust to the country.. I didn’t try to get the country to adjust to me. I worked hard and showed that Americans are hard workers and intelligent. I broke down the barriers about Black Americans and I was kind and friendly to everyone… no matter how they treated me.
This is not the attitude that the new foreigners are bringing to China…. and I am pretty embarrassed about it.
I wanted to take this time to tell people who are thinking about coming to China to check their attitudes at the door. Just because many of the locals will take your photo and think you are handsome/beautiful or special…. you’re not. They do not owe you anything for coming here. China is a poor country… you are not going to get carpeted floors, you are not going to always have hot water, you are not going to always have heat, you are not going to always have the foods you like. Things are not going to always be as clean as you like and the people are not going to think they way you think.
If you are not willing to adjust to the culture and the thinking here I suggest you stay in America or England or Canada. I can see why so many locals don’t like it when foreigners come…. I think the worse part about the new foreigners is that they don’t want to work. They come here for a teaching job…. that means… you need to teach. Not complain that you have to work so many hours… not take off work because you went to the club and your tired…. not take of 3 days because you have a cold…. what is happening to the work ethics of people?
Okay….. sorry for the venting… but I have just had it… with some of the people who come thru here. What has really set me off… is the fact that …. some teachers have made plans to travel purchased tickets and hotels…. and THEN… informed the school that they were leaving at this time….. in my world… you need to ask for the time off first…. then you plan your trips…. this is a business… you cant just make your own time off…. I know i have been out of the states for a while.. but I don’t think you can do that in America either. Just no thought whatsoever for the school or for any other teachers that might work there.
You all know I am leaving my current school for a better position at another school in another city. Out of the kindness of my heart I gave the school 2 months notice so they can have time to replace me and get new teachers. I have even helped them in finding new teachers to replace me. But do to the work ethics of the other teachers… I have had to delay my departure time… because the school will not have any foreign teachers to teach any of the classes.
I know I don’t have to … because I was very good with my notice.. but I understand the relationships in China… and the local thinking and it is just respect after five years of employment here.
My boss was very grateful and so where the students to have a foreigner teacher to teach them…..things just are not the same as five years ago… and it is not a good thing.
until next time…
- China’s foreign residents top 600,000 in 2012 (wantchinatimes.com)
- ESL Employer Has Changed its Recruitment to Cater to Young Travelers and Teachers of English (prweb.com)
- China economy to overtake US by 2019: research (capitalfm.co.ke)
- Doing Business In China Just Got Even Tougher (chinalawblog.com)