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The GEOS Fallout Begins

If you saw the GEOS press conference on TV this evening, one thing was very conspicuous by its absence: Kusunoki wasn't there. In his place was Kazumi Suhara giving the bad news.

According to the Jiji Press, Kusunoki didn't attend because he wasn't prepared to file for bankruptcy while some of his executives were. A GEOS lawyer at the press conference said that due to divisions within the company, bankruptcy proceedings went ahead without the consensus of the board.

Oh to have been a fly on the wall at GEOS for the past few months...

With GEOS gone, here comes the fallout. Stop me if you've heard this one before:

The fate of Geos teachers, meanwhile, is uncertain, even though G.communication says it will try to hire them.

Brian Gilliland, who works about five hours a day three to four days a week teaching corporate customers for Geos, said he hasn't received his pay for the first half of April and hasn't heard from Geos whether he will get his salary.

"Last night I got a call around 9:30 and I was told my class tomorrow will be canceled," Gilliland, who has no other source of income, said. "This month, my classes finished, and I was ready for new classes. They said there are a bunch of classes starting in April, but I only had one class in April.

"Basically you can't teach here anymore. Salary is going down and there is no work," he said, adding that he is looking for a nonteaching job as he speaks Japanese.

The Yomiuri Shimbun also got into the act noting how the end came swiftly without the knowledge of the teachers or students. The article notes that the lights at the GEOS Umeda school in Osaka were off, which came as a surprise to a 54 year-old housewife who was shocked to learn of the bankruptcy and closure of the school. The staff had told her that everything was alright. She had paid 130 thousand yen in lessons for the rest of the year.

The doors at the Namba school were also closed. An American who had worked at GEOS for the past year and a half found out about the bankruptcy when he showed up for work only to find the school closed.

A young woman who had been going to the Namba school for the past five years had just paid 250 thousand yen in lesson fees. She doesn't know if she can get a refund or she she'll be able to transfer to another school, but she does know that she wants GEOS to contact her and tell her what's going on.

At the JR Sannomiya Higashiguchi school in Kobe, the windows have been papered over so no one can see in. A teacher posts a sign saying that the school is closed Wednesday and Thursday. A Japanese staff member says she knows nothing and wants to cry.

Although G.communication is allowing students to transfer to Nova schools, the closure of so many GEOS schools is going to be a sore point with many students. Can demands for refunds and lawsuits be far behind?

Japan: 

Comments

So, at what point does the entire eikaiwa industry just fold?

Inside sources say that things are not going well at Aeon.

No more full time teachers being hired. Part timers only. Managers being spread over multiple schools. Downsizing to smaller premises. Head office staff leaving and not being replaced.

Aeon is NEXT!

Is it odd that NOVA went down and criminal investigations began almost immediately yet GEOS is lost without a hint from any Ministry/prosecutors?

I would love to see a raid on GEOS offices, it looks so dramatic on TV. Maybe an international manhunt for Kusunoki? Is he really Swiss?

Someone write a script for FujiTV! I suck at Japanese.

This is more bad news for the English schools generally. First NOVA, now GEOS. Anyone thinking of taking English lessons is going to be extremely cautious about parting with their money in this climate. And that widespread caution translates into fewer enrolments, fewer classes and less work.

I don't see how the big schools can carry on expecting people to hand over 100s of thousands of yen for lesson packages. And that's what their business has been built on.

Jar, You are a nob and a sick puppy, get a life! You are talking about people's Jobs and food on the table for all that have chosen to work here in Japan in Eikaiwa, at least have some respect for those people who are now unemployed in another country. Although from the glee that you get from the demise of others I doubt you have any respect for them let alone any self respect.
Dont need rumour mongers like you on this forum.

"An American who had worked at GEOS for the past year and a half found out about the bankruptcy when he showed up for work only to find the school closed."

Then he's an ignorant fool. Anyone who had any brains had been seriously looking for other work last August/September when staff was paid late. Even those who had their head in the sand should've been looking for work when Geos f'ed over teachers and students in Australia. For those who actually considered giving this company 4 months notice once this stuff started happening were kidding themselves. 2 weeks is all ANYONE deserves. I hope those working for Aeon, ECC, Shane, Berlitz, Gaba, or, gawd forbid, G.Comm, etc. keep that in mind. If you're reading this stuff and still working for any of these eikaiwa chains, or ANY eikaiwa/ALT company in Japan, you'd better be well into your "get out" plans now.

You were warned in the mid-90s, you were warned again in '06-'07 with NOVA and now you're being warned again. WAKE UP!

If you are in your home country and considering teaching English in Japan for a year or whatever, just... don't. Come here on holiday for a month or two and get it out of your system. If you want to teach, become a REAL teacher with qualifications and benefits at home.

To you "managers", aka. sub-teachers, DOS, ADOS, etc. who are married and have or are expecting kids, tell your J-wife that you're making plans to bring her to your home country so you can get a real career and actually be able to support your family. 99% of you don't have a future in this industry in Japan. Get started on those immigration papers for your spouse and kids NOW, or else have fun leeching of your J-wife. She'll love that!

Why does a bankruptcy bring out the worst in people, you should really think before you type. so what Geos is gone, life will go on for all those spouses and unemployed Teachers. you seem to forget the human instict to survive and we are resourceful in times of hardship so whoever you are go and trash on someone who deserves it like Kuzunoki, you shmuck!!!!!!

Jar, You are a nob and a sick puppy, get a life! You are talking about people's Jobs and food on the table for all that have chosen to work here in Japan in Eikaiwa, at least have some respect for those people who are now unemployed in another country. Although from the glee that you get from the demise of others I doubt you have any respect for them let alone any self respect.
Dont need rumour mongers like you on this forum.

Why? Do you work for Aeon or something? I'm trying to get the news out there. These are facts, not rumors. You should be grateful for the insider info.

Aeon is going down hard and fast. It's just a simple fact. Nosediving, downward spiral, whatever you want to call it. Look at the facts. They're doing a better job than Geos at covering it all up, but it can't last forever. The element of surprise is awful. It'll hit you like a ton of bricks. Anyone working for Aeon should start looking for work within the next month, because lucky number three is coming and it won't be a very long wait at all...

Here we go, disagree with the anti eikawa rants and the conclusion must be you work for said organaisation.BORING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here we go, disagree with the anti eikawa rants and the conclusion must be you work for said organaisation.BORING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Doesn't make any difference to the facts though, does it?

You guys were going nuts over Geos. Why does any mention of Aeon seem to touch a nerve?

I'm simply trying to get the inside info out there. The fact is that Aeon is also in debt and struggling. As mentioned above... no more full-time hires, new hires part time only, managers spread over multiple schools, head office staff and management who have been there for years leaving and not being replaced, relocating to smaller and cheaper premises. Don't like it, ignore it. But don't try to pretend that Aeon doesn't have its own problems.

I won't gloat about it... yet. But for those of you who chose to bury your head in the sand, I will definitely be back to say "I told you so" right around July.

So, at what point does the entire eikaiwa industry just fold?

As a holding pen for working holiday visa holders, the Japanese bureaucracy relies on Eikaiwa.

It's just now the public isn't self-taxing itself to support the people that Japan "invites" over as "guests" in exchange for sending three times as many young Japanese overseas.

What will have to happen is the government will need to start subsidizing English instruction. Or expand the number of haken ALTs, despite the Kashiwa decision recently.

This is a game of spite, where the government will simply continue to refuse to support an industry of capable foreign language teachers. They just won't do it.

They want that revolving door, and to put the feeling into all the "guests" that they are replaceable units.

They'd do that with Futenma and the American military if they could find another superpower with a nuclear umbrella (not China) to replace the U.S.

The fact is that Aeon is also in debt and struggling. As mentioned above... no more full-time hires, new hires part time only, managers spread over multiple schools, head office staff and management who have been there for years leaving and not being replaced, relocating to smaller and cheaper premises.

as a current aeon employee, i find this to be scarily accurate.

one teacher left before the new school year, and we just got in a new guy as a replacement (part time) who started at the end of march. and i had a good friend leave his management position to work with interac. at the time i thought wtf?... but this explains a lot. he hasn't been replaced, either. shit!!

is anyone safe? it's like the end of that movie casino, where all casinos are being blown up & torn down.

G_COM taking over!

HHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
Ho Ho Ho

HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAa

hHHHhhHhHhAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAa

Oh that is so funny I just shit myself!

H A HA

oh
oh

I really did shit myself

Is that the one with the TV jingle that goes,

G Co mun i CAAAAAAAAAY tion?

Fuck it. Just FUCK it JAPAN! I`m off to Korea where my hot babe of a Korean girlfriend lives anyway. Bye Bye and Sayonara Zipangu! Good Riddance!

The writing is on the wall. The ni chaneru site is buzzing with talk about the fall of GEOS and the overall state of the eikaiwa industry. The talk there is that with the economy the way it is the Japanese cannot afford to pay the exorbitant prices that Eikaiwa schools sometimes demand - even if they wanted to attend those schools. But they have no inclination to enroll in eikaiwa schools. The reason is two-fold. First, they see less expensive options like online lessons. Second, they recognize that the vast majority of "gaijin" eikaiwa teachers cannot teach. They are saying that eikaiwa is about incompetent, "gomi" teachers who can offer only "sekken banashi".

I still believe there is a future for ESL instruction in Japan. It will not, however, be in the form we see today. That is, "eikaiwa" will no longer be accepted as a substitute for teaching ESL. Standards in instruction, methodology, and curriculum development will have to be addressed and dramatically improved. And, last but certainly not least, teachers must be professional and credentialed.

'I still believe there is a future for ESL instruction in Japan. It will not, however, be in the form we see today. That is, "eikaiwa" will no longer be accepted as a substitute for teaching ESL. Standards in instruction, methodology, and curriculum development will have to be addressed and dramatically improved. And, last but certainly not least, teachers must be professional and credentialed'

Sorry, but If you seriously think that any of what you have described above willl happen, then you are sadly mistaken. It won't. You may get some improvement in the standard of teaching in Schools and Universities over time. However, as far as the private eikaiwa part of it is concerned the only survivors will be absolute bottom of the barrel types like GCom who cut costs to the bone and provide a 'dregs' level of education or smaller outfits like the British Council who endevour to keep standards up but will always be limited by their small clientelle. That's it my friend.

Fuck it. Just FUCK it JAPAN! I`m off to Korea where my hot babe of a Korean girlfriend lives anyway. Bye Bye and Sayonara Zipangu! Good Riddance!

This is a teacher? I smell a little man who could not get laid in his country.

Eikaiwa will survive, it just needs to move with the times.
1st it needs to shake the attitude that it is English instruction and just admit that it is a brand of coversational prostitution aimed at bored housewives with no one else to talk to. Then not ask customers to pay for months or years in advance.

With these 2 simple steps I am sure Eikaiwa can be a shit but successful trend for years to come.

Any word yet on GEOS North American schools? Let's just say the mood is quite somber in the school I am at right now, with no one taking a chance to talk about the situation publicly. We do, however, talk when the manager (one of those dumbasses you have all posted about) is not around.

I don't think many people want proper, ESL-style English lessons where you actually study and practice grammar, vocab, listening etc. I'd say the majority of people just want to do it as a hobby at best, a bit of socializing or entertainment. Unfortunately, with the reputation of eikaiwa now seriously tarnished, I think fewer people are going to want to sign up for even entertainment or hobby purposes. IMHO there's a small future for eikaiwa, with people signing up for the cheapest "lessons". Expect to see more and more dodgy outfits picking up the dregs and under-cutting each other, less full-time jobs, and more part-time and casualized work.

Eikaiwa was a fad, a fashion that lots of people got into for a while. Those days are now officially over.

Simply put the Eikaiwa industry isn't going to fold, there is simply too much demand for english lessons. It's just going through a transitional phase, the big schools who over reached like GEOS and NOVA folded, but the smaller ones are thriving. Coffee shop english is still going strong, and out of the ashes another school will evolve. The other schools like GABA, Berlitz and AEON are now on notice - don't over expand or you risk over saturating the market. Just so you know i am an english teacher and i teach in an Eikaiwa, elementary school and hamburger restaurant (teaching, not burger flipping) and am currently studying online to get a masters of teaching so i can get out of the Eikaiwa industry. It's a young mans game, so i'm planning my departure. But the Eikaiwa industry will continue to be strong whilst their are many willing students.

Aeon will go down this year. Sales are way down, especially for adults, and so far new April enrolments for kids have been disasterously low. There are debts. Aeon is doing extremely poorly but in typical Aeon fashion are managing to cover it well. Inside info. Aeon teachers get out before it's too late. You'll be sorry if you don't... look at the hundreds of now ex-Geos teachers who laughed it off.

Well, I'm not going to bother warning you any more. You've been given a heads up and that's all you're going to get. Now do as you wish.

Simply put the Eikaiwa industry isn't going to fold, there is simply too much demand for english lessons.

Hello, Lucas. First of all, I have to congratulate you on taking the initiative to advance your career by studying for your masters degree.

I suspect that I am even more advanced than you in age. I studied for my TESL Certificate and MA many years ago, and it was a great experience. I also taught English in Japan, albeit not at one of the
えいかいわ shops. The operant word here is "English". I do believe there is a future for English/ESL instruction in Japan. As matter of fact, judging by everything I have seen on Japanese TV and moves by the Japanese government, I am convinced of it. However, eikaiwa per se has overstayed its welcome. Do you understand what I mean bv the Japanese phrase "oshiri ga omoi"? Eikaiwa needs to evolve into a full palette of ESL courses (not just inane conversation sessions conducted by inexcusably inexperienced teachers). The evolution need not be regulated by government to occur. But someone (that is, some business entity) needs to step up and self regulate the business. When organizations demand quality, the organizations themselves will reflect quality. This needs to be done to address the overwhelming distrust that the Japanese consumer now has of the industry. It will take some major cojones to do this, but it can be done.

Any news?

I don't care that I'm outing myself, but yeah. My coworkers will recognize me. I'm one of the Umeda teachers. We showed up early and I had to tell my manager that we were bought, thanks to friends in higher places who were there for the actual announcement. She hadn't read the email yet. We turned on our V-Chat and when no one from Tokyo showed up we immediately closed the doors, grabbed our personal things and left the school.
We didn't do it happily. I of know that student and I am extremely sorry we didn't get a hold of her in time. Our Japanese teachers made a supreme effort to email all our students to let them know. Until yesterday, we did think everything was "all right".
Problem is we knew what was coming. We just hadn't expected it to slam into us before Golden Week. We thought our last gasp would likely be at the end of the year. We were all a little shocked that the bankruptcy filings had started in October, but that was when paychecks started getting wonky when we think about it.

It is not time to despair. Bankruptcy is not the end of all things; only the end of all things as we know it.

GEOS NA? Calling Uri Carnat?

Any news?

Good luck on that one. He is hiding in his little hole with Rita Chen. Both of them are big yappers, but suddenly they fell silent.

"Basically you can't teach here anymore. Salary is going down and there is no work," he said, adding that he is looking for a nonteaching job as he speaks Japanese.

Well, you'd think he would have made that change a long time ago. The best option for many people would be to return to their home countries if the industry continues to decline. On NHK last night, it had a graphic that showed some 830,000 students in Eikaiwa in 2006 which had declined to some 330,000 currently, 2010. That is a staggering reduction.

a buddy once figured that in the future there will be only 3 world wide langauges...Arabic, English, and Chinese...(possibly Spanish) ...but that the national language here will be English...cuz these racist cunts will GOD-DAMNED before they speak Chi-fucking-nese.

I saw the same NHK report here in the US. GEOS indicated that the bankruptcy filing was precipitated by the declining enrollments and the poor performance of the international schools.

It is clear that the face of eikaiwa must change and that it is indeed time for the casual teacher to pack his bags and come home and earn an honest living. The eikaiwa gravy train has pulled into the station on its last run.

and i want you to know it...if you LIKE Asian babes...its more likely youd come here to get one..as opposed to home...where they are plentiful, but not omnipresent.

so dont be a jealous meanie-pants just cuz some folks like it sideways.

Oh, Canada. A little racist are we? I lived in Canada as a youth and thought Canadians were nice people. Well, there is always an exception, aye?

all kidding aside..sorry to hear about your grim time...good luck with something new..and hopefully that right quick.

dave

how am I racist?

Jerry Seinfeld.

And No, Most Canadians will rape your mom and eat your dead eyeballs after we tie you down to watch said rape.

that "polite" shit is just to get you feeling safe to visit our stupid Niagara Falls, or eat our poisoned maple syrup.

sucker.

8:42 You really haven't been to Canada lately. Canadian USED to be nice, but that has long past. I am Canadian the reality is my fellow citizens are more obsessed with going around telling themselves and everyone "how nice they are" but it all a big act. I find Brits and Americans to be much more honest, even if they are a little direct. Canadian are like Japanese in that they will put a bug image and then turn right around and talk behind your back. A bit of inferiority complex that drives it, but that is a whole other board of discussion.

..."BIG" not "BUG" image...haha...

and we shouldnt...we are from the same country that shot SS troops dead in Normandy (who had killed our POWs)...and fought to the last man defending Hong Kong for King and Country with just the Lee-Enfileds our British masters thought we only deserved.

we tore a culture and civilization out of one of the most wretched and dangerous pieces of land on the planet.

its Liberal hippies and draft-dodging cowards like Trudeau who started this whole "lets be pussies and nice to people bullshit."

actually....most folks around the world can claim to be ass-tearing motherfuckers when you get right down to it..Aussies, Yanks, Russians, Japs, Koreans, ...so I dont feel terribly insulted by your navel-gazing and syrupy lament that we "used" to be nice.

eat shit...limp wristed faggot.

Speaking honestly, I know I'm a lucky one. Ideally, Umeda will reopen. We're a big school with a lot of students...I and my coworkers will (hopefully, knock on wood) have a job, provided we get the call this afternoon.
I am more concerned for some of my coworkers whose schools were on the block before, but now don't have a school to report to tomorrow.

Aeon will go down this year. Sales are way down, especially for adults, and so far new April enrolments for kids have been disasterously low. There are debts. Aeon is doing extremely poorly but in typical Aeon fashion are managing to cover it well. Inside info. Aeon teachers get out before it's too late. You'll be sorry if you don't... look at the hundreds of now ex-Geos teachers who laughed it off.

Well, I'm not going to bother warning you any more. You've been given a heads up and that's all you're going to get. Now do as you wish.

Well, AEON seem to have almost exactly the same business model as GEOS, in some places they are actually operating right next door to each other, and given the current economic downturn and flatlining domestic demand, especially for something as fundamentally unecessary to a lot of people as "English conversation," I can't imagine one going bankrupt while the other manages to do OK. I'm sure AEON will soon go the same way as GEOS unless they take this as a wake-up call and change what they're doing right now - if it isn't too late already.

Hey Shawn! Long time no see!

Congratulations! I know you've put in a lot of work bad-mouthing GEOS over the years, and it must be immensely satisfying to finally see them fail.

I think you've every right to be bragging about this one for years to come, and we all look forward to reading about it on your blog.

Where will you focus your efforts next? The public school system in Japan? Or the cram schools?

Anyway, we look forward to reading your vile propaganda and clicking on your dinky little google ads to put a couple of cents in your pocket.

JAPAN IS GOING DOWN!!!!

Srsly! That counry is going sink right down in the ocean!

Whole plac is f*ckd! Get out while you can!!!!!!!

Where will you focus your efforts next? The public school system in Japan? Or the cram schools?

Doesn't sound like a bad idea, they're even worse than GEOS.

Hey Shawn! Long time no see!

Congratulations! I know you've put in a lot of work bad-mouthing GEOS over the years, and it must be immensely satisfying to finally see them fail.

I think you've every right to be bragging about this one for years to come, and we all look forward to reading about it on your blog.

Where will you focus your efforts next? The public school system in Japan? Or the cram schools?

Anyway, we look forward to reading your vile propaganda and clicking on your dinky little google ads to put a couple of cents in your pocket.

Wow, you are the loser of losers. You MUST be a dirtbag GEOS manager, just the ones we are exposing on here. And you got called out for your shenanigans and do not like it now that Shawn and most others on here have been right all the time. Shawn only gave a forum to those that did not have one under the mighty dictator known as Special K.

If GEOS wasn't such a shit company with corrupt management and outdated business models then we would not have anything to talk about. GEOS has only itself to blame. You lost, as one of its GEOS a$s-kissing monkeys, so time to move on...It is over. Deal with it like a man.

Aeon is next. Seriously. It is coming by the end of this year.

d00d, settle down. And Arabic? Really? Spanish is spoken much more widely.

A reminder to ex-Geos staff....Geos medical insurance ended as of 2 days ago. Might be a good idea to invest in some private health insurance for now.

It does feel good to say I told you so. I have no mercy for anyone above teacher level because they were mostly d*cks or company stooges. All the Japanese school managers needed to grow a pair and stop working for such an abusive company anyway. As for the teachers, I'm sure in ten years they will look back and be glad they didn't get sucked into a several year stint or a long career with GEOS. The organization as a whole was bad, and I think it's better overall that it doesn't exist. No mercy, and I'm passing judgement because I can and because I feel like it.

No, I'm not a manager. Most of the managers I met were fairly sensible and wouldn't waste their time on a rubbish dump of anonymous rants like this site.

So what if GEOS sucked? So what if Shawn and his followers had their rosy college-fed world-view pricked by a company that was struggling in a tough industry and economic climate? How will the next company that comes along to fill the gap be any better?

No, I'm not a manager. Most of the managers I met were fairly sensible and wouldn't waste their time on a rubbish dump of anonymous rants like this site.

Ha, ha! Such a joke. But YOU would "waste your time." LOL

Seriously, it is so obvious what part of GEOS you come/ came from. Only managers or other "higher ups" would be so emotional in this way and make comments about all the dumb people on here, in your words. Yup, I seem to remember a certain GEOS Canada manager that use to get on here many times and called out all the "stupid teachers/ ex-teachers" who did not know hat they were talking about and were all wrong. Yup, seems THEY were vindicated.

By the way, where is that GEOS Canada manager?...VP?...Stooge? ;-)

At the end of the day...

Shawn was right (and his "buddies")...

The teachers and ex-teachers on here were right...

And anyone else who exposed the corrupt, incompetently managed, and insane dictator-run company called GEOS...

Sorry, bud...Manager...HO stooge.

So what if GEOS sucked? So what if Shawn and his followers had their rosy college-fed world-view pricked by a company that was struggling in a tough industry and economic climate? How will the next company that comes along to fill the gap be any better?

and still the STOOOOOGES keep coming!! For fucks sake man - give it a rest. It's over!! Maybe you could step up a level and clean toilets. Roll with it. Sun Tzu and shit!
Shawn has done a great job with this site.

Thank you for your refreshingly mature comments. So much that is said here has been adolescent and self-indulgent. I came here originally to learn what was happening to GEOS. What I learned is that the problems that GEOS faced were hardly limited to management.

Well, you keep posting about stupid teachers or people on here and we won't "give it a rest." Not after GEOS staff came on here a while ago and blasted everyone...Not how we have been treated as GEOS workers in the past.

If you haven't noticed, you are definitely in the minority, so if you have nothing better to do then troll on here looking to whine and cry now that your Great Mothership has finally sunk and you do not like us saying "I told you so", well, too bad...

Deal with it. Every time you start an argument, be prepared to fight it...Or just keep your GEOS HO/ manager mouth shut. You are not welcome here.

I came here originally to learn what was happening to GEOS. What I learned is that the problems that GEOS faced were hardly limited to management.

You came on here and learned that from one odd person commenting? Boy you are naive or a moron. Sorry, but you obviously know nothing about what has been happening at GEOS in the last, oh, year...Maybe read up on some of the posts on here.

More likely you are the same person who wrote the original comments that you are "replying to." Wow, keep talking to yourself and making yourself feel better GEOS manager because you have no power anymore...Life is at a dead end for you and you hate that the teachers have turned the tables on you.
]
GEOS sucks and 99% of the posting here agree that GEOS management, HO and Special K are to blame. And if it were the teachers, well, you picked and hired them. Still your problem.

By the way, just how adolescent are you? Does it really hurt that much to be called on your incompetence? Sure GEOS was the armpit of eikaiwa, but the product, that is, the teaching was pathetic. You think Iam in the minority? Read what people are saying about GEOS teachers on ni chaneru. When you are adrift with no eikaiwa life raft to save you, you will be the minority because you will be unemployed and I will be gainfully employed. LOL

The teacher discussion would have been great, oh, . I never defended the teachers outright. But I, like many others, do call out the idiotic managers (international ones in particular) and that is from experience. Of course everyone knows about criminal called Special K and his entourage.

Grow up, get over it, and move on...It is over. GEOS is dead. The last time I checked, it wasn't teachers who owed money to managers and HO. Teachers seems to be lacking pay and students are out thousands in tution...Geez, wonder who is responsible for that.

The teacher discussion would have been great, of, two years ago...but that discussion is irrelevant now.

My original post got cut off...

and still the STOOOOOGES keep coming!! For fucks sake man - give it a rest. It's over!! Maybe you could step up a level and clean toilets. Roll with it. Sun Tzu and shit!
Shawn has done a great job with this site.

You know what? I don't care if GEOS dies and is forgotten. I couldn't give a shit. I'd take your advice in this case and get over it if I had to, but it's no biggie. If Shawn wanted to destroy GEOS, then his site has probably helped in no small way.

What the Attention-Deficit generation on this site doesn't understand is that negative comments have a destructive power of their own. If GEOS sucked (which it may have) then it began to suck more when people started abusing it from the comfort of an anonymous website like this. Whatever good in it was killed by whingers that probably had never had a real job before they got burned by GEOS.

And what the f*ck was with your "cleaning toilets" comments? What the f*ck does that have to do with anything? Do you know what I do for a living?

Thanks for the heads up, buddy. The fact that you use the word "seriously" as your entire supporting argument, and post anonymously is good enough for me.

I'll start slagging off AEON too.

Amen.

Hi, I'm going to try and do something constructive here and try and give a few ideas to people who are looking for somewhere else to work but not ready to give up on being a teacher just yet.

Sadly, if you're looking at staying in Japan you're shit out of luck, can't help you there. However, I do know that despite GEOS and Meridian closing there ARE teaching jobs to be had in Australia and New Zealand, provided you're suitably qualified. I'm sorry, I know that counts out a lot of great teachers with nothing but good experience but that's just the way it is. That basically means a degree (which everybody with a humanities visa already has) + a certificate level qualification.. i.e. TESOL, CELTA, whatever. No online courses, it has to have an observed teaching component. You also have to be young enough to get a WH visa for those countries. That should only take 2 or 3 weeks to come through if you apply asap. If this counts you out you could also look at Thailand, Koreas or China, where quals are still supposedly neccesary but a lot of people turn a blind eye. I'm going to focus more on down under because that's where I know.

Bear in mind that there are one-way tickets on Jetstar leaving Osaka and Tokyo in the region of 40'000 at the moment. The weeks immediately before and after Golden Week are also incredibly cheap as nobody in Japan wants to fly then.

As far as schools go, you could try any of the following places. I'd suggest getting a resume together and a good cover email and sending it out to every school you can find. Note that the average person reading this is only going to be interested in two things; that you have the right quals and how many years experience you have with adults:

Unless they're really shonky, Australian schools are generally registered with NEAS:
http://www.neas.org.au/approvedcentres/index.php

English Australia has a lot more information on working in Oz, plus a list of centres that are currently hiring:
http://www.englishaustralia.com.au/index.cgi?E=hslink&url=Ycc9PS9pbmRleC...

These are two lists of registered schools in NZ:
http://www.englishforum.com/cgi-bin/00/schools/nz/db.pl?uid=pub&mh=30&CR...
http://www.englishforum.com/cgi-bin/00/schools/nz/db.pl?uid=pub&mh=30&FI...

These are only the tip of an iceberg though. There are many more schools than this so I'd suggest looking through the phonebook if you have to to get a list, then searching online for websites and email addresses.

Finally, there is the mighty TEFL.com jobs database:
http://www.tefl.com/jobs/search.html
This is pretty much the largest legitimate TEFL jobs site that I know of online. There aren't as many jobs in Aus and NZ on here but you might be able to find something that'll help you get back on your feet.

My advice? If at all possible think outside Japan if you can. With hundreds of teachers looking for work it's going to be an employers' market for the next few years. Start now while everybody else is pissing around and still trying to decide what to do and you might be able to find something else in another country that will get you back on your feet again without resorting to going back home.

When you say that someone needs to step up to the plate and offer a new and better package, you are talking about investment: big investment of a kind that will not come from the private sector - period.

Yes smaller schools and suchlike may (or may not) self regulate. However, a bunch of small self regulating schools some of them at borderline profitability does not amount to a go-ahead industry. ESL won't ever be a go-ahead industry in this country, because nobody will put the money into it. The people who did invest in eikaiwa first time around did it on strict conditions: a fast buck only please. They are not going to change those conditiions. They are going to invest in something else if they can't get money on their terms.

Any improvements in the overal quality of what is offered in terms of ESL will come with improvements in state sector and/or tertiary sector provision through the universities. The government and the universities are the only big players who are in it for the long term and have a serious interest in education. The question is: will they do it? That is a big 'maybe' as far as I can see. Right now there are serious cutbacks in educational expenditure at the city and governmental level, so I can't see them rushing to fix the system in the near future.

Therefore expect things to be dire in this 'industry' for the next decade at least, and if you are planning to stay in it then go work for a school, a university or a small self regulating private provider (or own it). There will be no white knights for this industry coming any time soon: however the publication and online alternatives will doubtless reap the benefits of this lack of direction.

With some of the rants on here it reminds me of the Hitler video that was posted on here, some of you sound like that when you are preaching your hate for all Eikaiwa schools. You are all probably wearing a gestapo type anti eikawa uniform sitting behind you computers, bitting your nails and spitting while having paranioed rages,
I can vision it quite easy, everyone agree?

I laugh at Shawn's critics who suggest that he has the power to move service markets! As I blogged late yesterday, Shawn is providing information to a select group of people, those who want to learn more about the goings on of Eikaiwa.

In order for anyone to take a firm down, they would have to convince all the Japanese customers to stop giving their money in. Most of this site is in English, and I'm not sure the customer base even follows it.

It's clear, if the bankruptcy papers don't show it exactly, that even before Geos' troubles started to make international news (and be translated into Japanese), the customer base got tight with their money---schools closed. Schools closing only means one thing (more money out than going in).

When the people get nervous about whether an Eikaiwa will be around, that is the end of the money, the end of the honey. As someone elsewhere on the net pointed out, it's like a early 20th century bank run. It's simply, the depositors are not reading this site, but going off what they see going on within the business.

You beat me to the punch. I just got back from dinner (gyouza dumplings). I was thinking the same thing. I envisioned a group of Hitler Youth shouting epithets like "Manager Stooge" all the while in synchronized lock step unison - marching on marching on. And if anyone dare try to challenge them, well, prepare for an enraged onslaught of jack booted young Nazis, marching on marching on.

Thanks I am glad I am not the only one.

Could not disagee more with the statement that the problems Geos had were hardly limited to management, if by that you mean that this sorry mess is the fault of the employees in the industry. The idea that you can run a big scam industry ripping off people left right and center, and that all the employees in it will remain diligent idealistic professionals as a matter of principle is ludicrous. You can take any school anywhere in the world and start running it badly and before long the good people will leave and the ones that remain will just go with the flow and fall into bad practices and bad attitudes and lose all interest in developing their abilities. If you want professionalism in any industry, you must provide the environment. That's all there is to it.

Hoofin, yes, I agree. It is a bit of a stretch to say Let's Japan had any role in taking GEOS down. That is hyperbole to say the least. the reasons by now have been well-documented and discussed. As we used to say in this country during an election campaign, "It's the economy, stupid." By the way, if the post that you are referring to was the one in which the fall of GEOS was compared to a stock market crash (and subsequent recovery period), I was the author of that one.

By the way, I do not know if your can read Japanese or not, but this is the web site that the students are going to to let off steam about GEOS.

http://www.2ch.net/

Lest I unfairly bruise anyone's feelings, let me clarify my position. The economy (enrollments in eikaiwa schools overall fell dramatically) was the biggest culprit. After all, GEOS thrived in the bubble economy. GEOS top management, and let's be specific, Mr. Kusunoki, precipitated the fall in the stagnant economy by failing to recognize the symptoms of failure or preparing to stem the tide. My favorite basketball coach is famous for saying, "Those who fail to prepare are prepared to fail." But if you look at the product (materials, curriculum, and let's be fair and honest - the teaching) those were contributing factors to the decline in enrollments. If you look at what the students are saying, you'll notice that they are not throwing all the blame on GEOS management. I did not originate this idea, but I am cognizant of it. But don't take my word for it, check out this site if you will:

http://www.2ch.net/

I saw this coming. I knew they were going to go under. A lot of the schools are gonna reopen on Friday; this much is true. G-Com is taking over as they are the only company with any kind of experience handling ekikaiwa companies going under(i.e. NOVA). G-com has had a little success doing this but they still struggle to keep NOVA on the up and up. 25% of the Geos schools G-com is taking over are being handed off to a sister company. What will be interesting to see is how G-com handles Geos schools which are in direct competition with NOVA schools. The plan right now is to offer Geos students the same deal NOVA students got. A 75% discount on lessons taken at NOVA if they cannot go a one of the reopened Geos schools. This is gonna be a real interesting situation. I look forward to see how they market everything to the students. Of course this is gonna not help the industry but it could end up being a good thing to help us survive. It might even end up creating one bigger brand under the NOVA name again split into two different types of schools; classic NOVA and Geos-NOVA.

A lot of things are still up in the air so I am keeping my ear to the ground.

@13.19

Those people on 2ch are just plain wrong if they think that the poor quality of the teaching is primarily the fault of the teachers. People who can manage to be good teachers in a vacuum are few and far between. If you want overal quality in teaching then you have to have a culture that nurtures and sustains it. Geos teachers did not provide the lousy materials and wierd schedules and did not want to have most of their job performance judged on how good they were at selling a crock of shit. They did not want to be paid liars. But that's what they had to be to work at Geos. Teachers who did not toe the line on what the company wanted were treated mercilessly: and most of them were people who had only been in teaching for 2 years or less.

If you put a 10 new teachers into an absolutely great school with great professionalism and great mentoring and all of them work very hard for a 5 year period, then most of them should become competant teachers over the 5 year period. One or two of them won't, however, and it won't necessarily be their fault. They're just not cut out for it. Of the 10 teachers probably only 2 will become truly top star teaching professionals because of their natural ability and the rest will be average to good.

How could these people on 2ch imagine for a moment that you can bring someone in as a new start and within a few months they will be great teachers, particularly if there are severe limitations placed on the way the teachers is allowed by the company to do their job: as, in 'you can't do it that way, because we say so. Do it our way or else'. Can't be done no matter how well the comapany is run. And if the company is run badly, then you can expect lousy teaching. The problems with the teaching are a product of the industry model.

The excuse-making manager stooge (must be a blood relative of Joseph Stalin) never seems to shut. Dude, stop blaming everyone but yoursef and the corrupt entity called. Get over your GEOS manager, I know everything in the world complex and admit GEOS failed because of GEOS. It didn't adapt and had the most incompetent, scheming and scamming management out there. Seriously, your "analysis"/ rants are falling on deaf ears. You were the same HO and manager stooges/ Cuban dictators who were calling everyone names on here that exposed the impending collapse. You were wrong an no amount of excuse making, uhhh "analysis", is going to change that GEOS collapsed into bankruptcy because if a corrupt, outdated, and very incompetent organization that could not adapt nor did it want to.

I guess you have a lot of time on your hands now that your Napolean chair has been taking away from you.

13:48 well said. Too bad GEOS did not have more of you and less of failed managers and system in place that lead to it's collapse.

Where is the new letter that "nothing is wrong" from URI CARNAT, GEOS VP? Where are you RITA CHEN?

Those people on the Japanese board are not all GEOS students. There are other GEOS HO staff that have trolled on there...

The Japanese will blame everyone but themselves. Get used to it. One has to wonder why those "smart" Japnese owners and managers hired so many "stupid gaijin." The overall blame still falls back to them.

GEOS managers in Canada are probably some of the dumbest bumbling idiots I have ever met. Sleazy, no business sense, backstabbers, arrogant, and a definite inferiority complex. Only the old manager at GEOS Vancouver was any decent, but she got out at a good time.

I can just imagine the swearing and cursing they ate doing tonight to their husbands and wives. Would want to be staff now. ;-)

Where exactly are they bad mouthing teachers on 2-chan? I've looked at a few threads and found no such thing. Mind you the threads are long and I haven't read all comments, though from your posts I would have expected to see at least something by now.

I agree, I was in the same situation 2 years ago almost with Nova, lucky I managed to get some ALT jobs. But it was really hard going at the time, now I work in recruitment and got in to it while I had a job and I spoke conversational Japanese.

But to be honest closing of NOVA was the best thing that happened to me, least now Im in a career and thankfully doing well.

As the guy mentioned above, I agree 100% it is going to be very tuff to find a job when 3000 people are going for the same position (experience on Gaijin Pot). Most likely only a select few will be successful. It is a good time to consider going back as you may have money to fly back. Finding a job can be expensive, i.e Rent, Food and travel money....took me over 30+ interviews to land only a part-time position at the time.

If you have commitments here i.e Wife, Kids or GF and if they can support you, try and find other teaching jobs or something else, if not maybe an idea to find a job back home.

I understand what a lot of you are going through and getting drunk every night in the apartment moaning wont get you any closer to your goal.

Good Luck!

I am an insider at Aeon.

Between the economic downturn and the faith lost in the whole industry--things aren't as good as they used to be. But, the company is sitting on a mountain of cash that is being saved for a rainy day.

More specifically, about 4 years worth or rainy days.

Not to mention that that despite the problems mentioned above...the company is managing to run in the black year after year. Leaving that rainy day fund completely untouched.

There are a lot of penny pinching strategies going one...one of which is some downsizing at schools...and that is unfortunate. A lot of previously 2-3 foreign teacher schools have had their numbers cut by 1, but in most cases the schools can function just as well as before.

Also, focusing on child teaching certification, government subsidized classes, and professionals that need English, (I'm always amazed at the number of engineers, doctors, and professors at schools I visit) most schools are doing fine. A school I was just visiting has made it's monthly target the past 11 of the past 12 months....and even the month when it didn't, it was still running in the black.

To the Aeon teachers out there, take a look at the "spirits" sheets that are always posted around the office (if you can read them) and see how many schools are operating in the black from month-to-month. That information is not kept secret.

There is nothing to worry about right now.

If so, it won't be for years.

1. You will not be paid for April.
2. You will not be be paid any bonuses or holiday pay you are owed.
3. Your May salary will be very small (23rd to 30th of April). (if you get paid)
4. Your next full salary payment will not be until the 15th of June! (if you get paid)
5. You will have to work with the managers that lied to you and your students and will continue to lie to you and your students.
6. End of July you are sacked again and have to agree to new work conditions if you want to continue working.
7. You as a teacher have zero respect and value with the new company. The new company has already guaranteed to pay rent owed to the landlords but will not pay money owed to teachers.

By returning to work all you are doing is supporting the very people have shafted you and lied to you.
Your jobs are not secure and you will be shafted and lied to again at the end of July.

Best of luck!

Oh, and I didn't even mention Amity.

(Yes, Amity is Aeon)

Amity is like an over-achieving step-child.

13:48... interesting, keep it up.
13:59.. boring. please fuck off now.

I still believe there is a future for ESL instruction in Japan. It will not, however, be in the form we see today. That is, "eikaiwa" will no longer be accepted as a substitute for teaching ESL. Standards in instruction, methodology, and curriculum development will have to be addressed and dramatically improved. And, last but certainly not least, teachers must be professional and credentialed.

An interesting theory, but what evidence do you have (if any) that suggests that such a turnaround is evident? The eikaiwa "industry" should have never been allowed to flourish anyway-what we are seeing now with GEOS, NOVA and any other eikaiwa in Japan is the result of what happens when government abrogates its responsibility towards education and turns it over to the private sector which operates it as a "for profit" business.

If there was ever a time for such a quantum shift to happen, it would have been in the aftermath of NOVA's implosion. That clearly did not happen; people in this country lined up at the nearest eikaiwa trough for more of the same slop that NOVA doled out. What you fail to understand is this: eikaiwa isn't always about learning English. When I worked at NOVA, a substantial portion of the customer base engaged in strange, aberrant, disturbed or plain ol' freakish behavior. They were people who obviously had trouble fitting in, and if you are a lonely, socially-retarded, mentally-disturbed or otherwise marginalized Japanese person eikaiwa offer the PERFECT opportunity to be noticed. To be listened to. To have someone-even a stranger from a country you may know nothing about-pay attention to you. To some people (nay, a lot of people) they'd be willing to pay any price for that. And they do. As long as eikaiwa cater to and fulfill that need, I wouldn't hold your breath about any of these radical changes you propose happening any time soon.

I've said this before, and it's worth saying again: people go to eikawa for a lot of reasons. Sometimes, learning English is one of them.

We were told that on Friday there would be a new contract to sign, those of us whose schools will remain open

I don't know what to expect on that end. I am disappointed. I feel bad for my students, we've developed a pretty amazing relationship and they have stayed loyal to me (my school has never failed to reach its target). I should say that they've been loyal despite the best efforts of the Japanese teachers at my school, whom I've had the misfortune of being stuck with; these people have continually stifled my best efforts and have gone out their way to bad mouth my lessons in an attempt to wrestle students from me. It's almost like the bell has rung to end the fight. It's just like I've lost a decision. I knew I couldn't win but, I still felt pretty good pounding away while I could. It's just time. I don't think I need to mention anything about management here, the above posters seem to have that covered.

I have worked hard, actually developing my skills, showing up everyday to give the best lesson/entertainment I could. All the while, I knew this was a possibility. I was living on borrowed time. One might say I've lived a lie. If I choose to leave now, I will have to leave behind a wonderful girlfriend. That kills me, but we both knew this was a possibility. There is just so little in Japan for someone like me. There so much competition for that English lesson dollar and I don't see myself staying for the long run. Nevertheless, the experience of living here and the great people whom I've met are all I really care about. In more ways than one this is good for me. As I am now clearly focused on my future.

Looking around at all the other poor teachers I couldn't help but feel a little sorry. In my experience, wherever workers are isolated they are easy prey for corporations. In a way I hope this is a lesson for them. This is case a prime example. However much we feel injustice there is simply nothing to be done. There is no trust between workers, no solidarity. I don't think anyone here has heard of the concept. Score one for the man on that end. Every detail of the take over was well planned. Students tuition was extracted at the maximal point. Teachers were left with just enough to survived 54 days without day. In most cases, they'll need to hang on to their positions if they wish to stay. The information sessions were perfectly laid out to separate teachers and stifle dissent. It was clearly planned so that everyone would look out for themselves, and return to their schools as if nothing had happened. Nicely played that one. Especially nice in that Golden week is here and government offices will be closed for those who wish to seek unemployment and or employment advice.

Many will cry "Uncle" and sign the new contract as they don't have any choice. There are as vast a range of complications, as there are people. Comparatively, I will escape just fine. I've activated my contingency plans and could be employed again as soon as next week. It could be just a little longer vacation now. I will take this as a valuable lesson. I suggest everyone do what they can from this point onward to see that nothing like this happens again. On that score, for those of us who've supported this shit bag of a company, we are all guilty.

So now you are not only the quintessential teacher but also a magnanimous psychiatrist for the downtrodden. lonely and disturbed?

There is an old adage about computers and user input that I believe is apropos to the GEOS experiment - garbage in, garbage out. When the hired hand that walks in the door is garbage, he leaves as garbage.

I'm having a little trouble buying that AEON is "sitting on a mountain of cash" that will (if I read correctly) be sufficient to fund its operations for 4 years if need be.

Even in Japan it would be pretty unusual for a company to just keep a huge amount of money like that in cash unproductively sitting for a rainy day. But even if they did, it isn't in itself proof that the company is stable as they may have a large amount of debts which could more than offset whatever amount they have in that account.

As for those spirits sheets, I never really trusted them as somehow, no matter how few students had seemed to sign up each month, every school somehow managed to miraculously hit their target right at the end of the month (or at least that is how it worked at my school, one of the biggest in the Kansai area). They aren't proper accounting records and I suspect their use as an indication of the company's health is pretty much non-existent.

I'm not saying I think AEON is doomed like other posters have said, I just don't find any of your evidence of AEON's health to be at all persuasive. The company is more or less a carbon copy of GEOS and has most of the same flaws in its business model - over priced lessons in high-cost locations with a customer base that is rapidly shrinking. The company might not be in immediate danger, but over the long run it is going to have to make some major changes if it is going to survive.

I am not so sure how well the GEOS dissolution was planned. It seems that there was substantial debate as to whether GEOS would file for bankruptcy. Remember how conspicuous Kusunoki's absence was at the press conference? Well, he finally turned up to face the public, and stated that he was still adamantly opposed to the bankruptcy filing. He said that the decision was that of some directors and staff. It does appear that there was a coup d'etat of some sort at GEOS.

Before former NOVA closed, there were about 800 schools. Now there are 200. G-com had promised to keep all the schools alilve, though. Also G-com kicked out lots of teachers.

This will happen to Geos as well. Many more schools will be closed than promised. Stop clinging to Geos.
I don't know how much longer Aeon and ECC will survive.

The bottom line is, it's getting harder to make a living in Japan, just teaching English.

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