It doesn't cost much .... 5
As it is cheaper to buy a new DVD machine
than to have it repaired, it is, I suppose, little wonder that there is little pride of possession. Quantity replaces quality.
Unfortunately, this rapacious and unthinking perspective is also all-pervasive in the pompously titled human resource development departments. People are but cogs in a machine, inter-changeable and fully disposable. You don't have to accept this job; we can always get someone cheaper.
Clock in, clock out. Do your job and don't complain. You are in our employ purely at our pleasure, for our profits.How we live by time Dave Allen A watch, a clock.
We're brought up to respect the clock, to admire the clock.
We live our life to the clock.
You wake to the clock.
You go to work to the clock.
You clock in to the clock.
You clock out to the clock.
You come home to the clock.
You eat to the clock.
You drink to the clock.
You go to bed to the clock.
You go back to work to the clock.
You do that for forty years of your life.
And what do they fucking give you?
- Success is the aim of every company in the world. To make a company success, every employee in the company must have the same aim with the company.
Of course, when you don't know the aims of the company, it can be very difficult for employees to stick with the game plan. Penabur has never issued its expatriate employees a 'Vision and Mission Statement'.
- To make our company a great place to work, our approach is to make trust between managers and employees, this is the primary defining characteristic of the very best workplaces.
Trust? Oral agreements which are reneged because there are none in writing. Employment contracts which, apart from the original ones two and half years ago, cannot have been agreed, as required by law, with the Manpower Ministry as the contracts themselves do not encompass terms and conditions as specified by law?
Trust? When every working expatriate in Indonesia is aware of the consequences - potential deportation and blacklisting - of being caught with inadequate paperwork? There are few expatriates within the Penabur organisation who have not found themselves in this predicament for variable lengths of time.
- Every employee must do the job with the best potential as they can.
Agreed, but what is the job? The only job descriptions were issued in in August 2004, and none since. There is no support system for the expatriate teachers. There have been four teacher co-ordinators (in two years!) who have been unable to offer support to NETs as they had absolutely no support from management themselves.
- We are a team, we work as a team and we share the fruit of success together.
- In our commitment to communities, we don't just seek near-term results - we also want lasting impact.
Within Penabur's UPI programme there is no fixed salary scale for the teachers as, according to Pak Robert Robianto
, the Chairman of BPK Penabur, Jakarta, there are budgetary constraints and the programme is "borderline financially". Teachers are expected to negotiate their own terms, a demeaning process for those professionals who believe that education is a service to be provided rather than a product to be sold.
The lasting impact is that in the first two years, about half of the expatriate staff have left, mostly pushed rather than jumped, full of resentment at the disrespectful and , inhumane* treatment.
I am one of those, but I am not alone. In my (our) efforts to negotiate and to reach an amicable settlement, the blame for the non-payment of agreed (in writing) monies due, for the uncertainty of expatriate employment and worker status, for the perceived non-payment of income tax and for the many other irregularities, both contractural and structural, the blame game has almost reached the bottom rung of the administrative staff.
I always got on with the security guards and office boy. Perhaps they'll give me satisfaction. After all, they're not the ones facing trial in open court.
By the way, the fine words in italics are those of Pak Oki Widjaya
- CEO Galva Corporation and, I understand, chair of the UPI Board. He is one of those responsible for the predicament that BPK - Penabur now finds itself in. He is sitting on the left of the front row. Note that he says one thing about the company that gives his family financial security and another in the 'servitude' of BPK Penabur which screws its employees.
Oh, and Penabur teachers have to clock in and out of their schools.
* I was tempted to write 'inhuman' as the local, Indonesian, teachers have been called 'monkeys' - a particularly rude epithet - by the then Head of Programs. One day he told me that the project had been set up to meet the demands of parents who wanted their children to see a white face in the classroom. A performing monkey, no less.