Novawhiz noticed an update to the GEOS Wikipedia page that was quickly removed:
Recent economic woes have lead Geos to be late paying the Japanese staff in August and September 2009. It is further reported that foreign teachers working at the adult schools were not paid on time in October 2009. Geos is currently asking clients to pay as much as 5 months in advance for the following year's lessons in a bid to raise the necessary funds to meet payroll obligations. This financial distress has led to many Japanese staff members to resign.
The edit in question can be found here.
There may be some truth to this. A thread in a kuchikomi message board wonders the same thing: were the staff late in getting paid? In response to the question, the first post was:
Head office called me at home to say that they had no money and to wait a week until they can process wire transfers from overs schools.
They don't have any cash to pay staff????
I immediately told my boss that I wanted to quit.
Other managers I know are scrambling to quit, saying they're pregnant, have to be hospitalized, or their mother has cancer.
I wonder if we'll be paid this month?
I've heard GEOS would be next after NOVA. Looks like it's ready to go under.
It's 9/30 and I haven't been paid !!!!
This is the second time. NOVA went bust after pay was late for the 4th time.
What the hell is going on?
Getting paid late for 2 months running is not good.
Another poster says pay was late for instructors, too:
It happened to the instructors, too.
Whether it was a system error or a mistake, it's happened 2 months in a row. What's up with that?!
Another comment about a "system error:"
I haven't been paid this month. I got an email from head office saying that it was a system error, but if that's true, it's an inexcusable mistake. I'd rather hear from someone that sales are down and salaries will be late. I'm not up to doing CS [Commission sales] because of this.
Another commenter adds that they finally got paid:
September's pay was a day late but I got it!
Apparently it was a system error.
Teachers have started saying that they'll quit and I've had a tough time trying to smooth things over!!
Finally, a student chimed in to say:
I'm currently a student at GEOS. I'm thinking about renewing but am having second thoughts
＞They ask during renewals, "GEOS isn't going to go bankrupt, right?," but all I could say was," Right now everything is fine."
When I asked the same question, they told me they didn't know and tried to sell me a 6-month contract (?).
The teachers are really good people and I want to continue, but I'm scared to think that things might end up like NOVA where you pay and are then unable to take lessons.
I wonder if they'll go bankrupt by the end of the year?
*I looked up GEOS's finances on their website and found their sales were 16.4 billion yen (for the period ending Dec. '06) but couldn't find any new numbers even though sales figures for FY'08 should be up there.
These are anonymous comments and I have no way of knowing how much truth there is to what's been said. If the "system error" explanation sounds familiar, it's because NOVA used the same excuse to explain why it had not paid their staff.
Can anybody flesh this out some more? Has pay been late for the past two months? Is this just a one-off event or a sign of more serious trouble to come?
This is how the end came for NOVA. First it was the staff, and then it was the instructors not getting paid. If the rumour is true and the staff has been late in getting paid, it's time to start thinking about Plan B. You don't want to repeat the fisaco of ex-NOVA instructors getting re-hired. The moment you don't get paid, get the hell out as fast as you can. You certainly don't want to end up teaching in a park for food.
UPDATE 02/21: Comments are closed for this post. Continue the discussion here.