I had one of the scariest moments of my entire life yesterday in Vietnam. I was teaching at Young Talent English Center in Dong Xoai City. I really loved my students but my bosses not so much. The school is run by a husband a wife Mr. Thanh and Ms. Hong.
Owners of Young Talent English Center Overpromise
They Overpromised here’s the agreement vs what actually happened.
The original agreement:
- 1 Million Per month housing support
- I pay for the medical exam
- A house to live in
- They pay for all legal expenses such as work permit, translation of documents into Vietnamese, photographs, etc
- A motorbike to use to get to and from work
What actually happened
- I held up my end always arriving early and prepared for class
- They refused to make the agreement in writing
- They deducted money from my salary to pay for the work permit
- Ms. Hong wanted me to pay for the photos
- They kept taking the good motorbike back
- They purchased a junk motorbike and expected me to pay for repairs
- They expected me to be on call ready and willing to teach at any moment despite only being part-time
- The housing never materialized
- They didn’t pay for the final two hours of teaching nor the pro-rated housing support
They Deducted My Salary for My Work Permit
You see we had an agreement that they would cover all my legal employment expenses (work permit, translation of documents into Vietnamese, photos, etc) except for the medical exam. They also agreed to provide housing and a motorbike to use since there is no public transportation in the countryside.
I faithfully held up my end of the bargain. I always arrived to work early and prepared for classes. However, they didn’t treat me the same way. There was always something extra. First, they told me I had to pay $30 for some extra fee because I had been in Vietnam for less than 6 months. I wasn’t happy with that breach and I expressed that to them.
However, even though they were wrong I apologized anyway and agreed to pay it just to keep the peace. What’s worse is the wife had the nerve to act salty even after I apologized even though I hadn’t done anything wrong. Then when we went to take pictures for my documents I could tell Ms. Hong wanted me to pay even though she was supposed to. There were other little things like this that kept popping up. The housing never materialized so I still didn’t have a permanent place to live. They didn’t discuss the scheduling with me.
Expected Me to Be Available 24/7 Even Though I was Part-Time
They expected me to be available 24/7 even though I was a part-time teacher. Apparently this was considered demanding because they were getting a bike. I explained to them that I thought they had purchased helmets for the other teachers as well but if that’s wasn’t the case I’d happily buy my own helmet. We laughed about it and I thought everything was okay.
Then they scheduled me for hours that I was not available and I told them this. Then Ms. Hong sends a message to the group chat berating me in front of all the staff saying I was demanding and that they didn’t need to discuss teacher schedules with anyone. While she didn’t mention me by name everyone knew who she was talking about. I was livid! It’s bad enough to berate an employee in front of everyone when they did something wrong but to do it over a misunderstanding that’s already been explained to you?!
The Last Straw-They Sold My Bike, Gave Me a Junk Bike, and Expected Me to Repair It
Then there were constant issues with the use of the motorbike. They would give it to me but then kept taking it back. Finally, they told me I could keep the motorbike until they bought another bigger one for me to use. Well, it didn’t work out that way. I got a call a few days later saying that they sold the motorbike and they were taking it away. I wasn’t happy but they assured me the ‘new’ motorbike would be here and just a few days.
The ‘new’ motorbike arrived and it was a piece of junk. The right turn signal in the back had been knocked off and was hanging by the wires, the brakes were not working properly, the tires were bald, and the key would fall out of the ignition while the motorbike was turned on. I wasn’t happy but even still I decided to hold my tongue and discuss the motorbike with them at a different time.
Then they send a message to the group chat suggesting I take the bike to the shop for repairs without offering to pay the costs. In other words, they were trying to get me to pay to repair their motorbike! I told them no and they said okay but I had enough at this point. I sent them a message making it clear I was not responsible to repair their motorbike.
Gas and oil changes I’ll take care of but I’m not going to fix a motorbike that I just got for 2 days. I also told them that they’ve been making a lot of changes to our agreement in their favor and I wasn’t going to take it anymore. If they couldn’t honor our original agreement then we should just part ways.
There was some back and forth but they said I could just pick up my money.
All Hell Broke Loose
I went to pick up my money and as Ms. Hong was about to give it to me Mr. Thahn said no to wait that we needed to talk first. I told him there was nothing to discuss, just give me my money and lets just part ways. He then leaned in and whispered ‘fuck you’ and gave me the middle finger.
I shouted ‘fuck you’ back and then he went to his home portion of the center and emerged with some sort of wooden weapon. Another teacher separated us but he kept accosting me. It was then that I decided to record the rest on my phone.
The Owner of Young Talent Attacked Me
The guy is totally nuts. I did get my money but as I was leaving he said ‘I’ll see you tomorrow!’ as in he wanted a second round. I decided to leave Dong Xoai City. the saddest part of this is that I’ll never get to see my students again. I really love teaching and I will miss them.
That should’ve been the end of it but they are now sending threats after I uploaded the video to Youtube. They’ve threated to have me thrown in jail and whatnot. They’ve also made public racial statements about me.
Of course, they had to throw in some racism.
Young Talent Has Questionable Advertising Practices
They post photos of themselves with foreign white teachers implying that those teachers work there. This is not true. When I was there the only foreign teachers were an African, a black American (me), and two Filipinos. They know that white teachers are marketable but the white teachers refuse to work there.
This Whole Thing Could’ve Been Prevented With Honesty
I love teaching. Vietnamese students have reignited my passion for teaching and I was happy to do it. If they had just been honest about what they truly could offer me it would’ve been okay. For example, if they had said ‘you know we can give you a motorbike but it’s not in great condition and you’ll probably need to do some repairs on it to get going’ it would’ve been fine. Instead, they chose to lie by trying to entice me with a nice bike, take it back, give me a piece of junk, and then ask me to repair their ‘new’ bike.
If they had just said they could pay for my work permit but I needed to pay all other fees that would’ve been okay too. Honesty is the best policy and in this case, good business as it would’ve saved them from being embarrassed online in front of the entire world.