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The Bumpy Ride of Gaba's Share Price

As far as I know, with the demise of Nova, Gaba is the only publicly traded English conversation school in Japan, and finding information on how schools are doing is close to impossible. A commenter in a recent thread mentioned that Gaba's shares have lost 75% of their value since December 1, 2006.

In December 2006, when Gaba was listed on the Mothers stock exchange, its record high share price was ¥276,000. However, on March 11, it share price sunk to ¥63,000, representing a 77% loss in value since the shares started trading.

A recent article in Eigo kyoiku news notes that in the span of a few weeks in February, Gaba's share price fluctuated between trading highs and lows. When Gaba released a revised performance forecast on February 1 that cited an increase in new students due to bullish contract renewals and a jump in demand due to students trying to take advantage to the employment training assistance program before it was changed by the government, its share price spiked to its daily trading limit.

However, when it released financial results for the period ending in December 2007 on February 12, the share price plunged so drastically that trading was halted. Although it recorded sales were ¥8.77 billion, an increase of 14.6% compared to the previous year, operating income fell 42.5% to ¥821 million, and ordinary income fell 37.8% to ¥800,008,700.

Does this represent some sort of sell off? Judging by recent transactions, hardly, but the trend for the shares is certainly on the downslope.

Business will surely be slow in the aftermath of Nova's collapse, but rather than a sign of the company's impending doom, my guess is that the performance of the stock suggests that there isn't much value in selling cut-rate English lessons in prime locations.

Original article


GABA Records its Highest and Lowest Stock Prices between Feb. 1-14, 08 (2008/02/20)



しかし12日の決算で前年比が発表されると、売上高は87億7700万円で前年比14.6%増だったものの、営業利益は8億 2100万円で42.5%減、経常利益は8億8700万円で、37.8%減だったことから、14日、ストップ安を記録した。



Business is slow in Osaka. The situation in Osaka has become pretty woeful for English teachers. Nova's home was here and when it collapsed a lot of jobs for ex-pats went with it which in the climate of Osaka's economy means that jobs were few and far between in Kansai. Today was a further blow as Osaka prefecture announced that it was considering suspending the ALT/NET program after July. So those who were waiting for the ALT hiring season now have little avenue to turn to if the want work in the Osaka/Kansai area. Not too many places to go to now...

try to get my last few paid holidays from October?

on my form where it says how much i worked in october for Nova (yes, thats right, i havent submitted the forms yet) it sez i had 3 days off...and i didnt.

i had 2.

i also have like 6 paid holidays left over.

should i even bother to ask for them? least 3 to cover those supposed days i didnt work?

or to fight this extra day they seem to think i took off?

what say you letsjapan world?

I think the saying "flogging a dead horse " comes to mind . Good luck if you decide to try and claim these days but I don't think you have a hope in hell of getting paid for them .

With your startlingly brilliant English ability you should take any money you can get and use it to take your own fucking lessons. I mean come on, typing aside, the Japanese government is going to give you money in compensation for your own stupidity and your contemplating querying an extra 100 bucks. Take it before they see sense and change their mind.

I take it I can put you down as a "dont bother".

You have a cheerful day in the sewage treatment plant you reside in.

I take it I can put you down for; "give it a shot, but dont hold your breath".

Have a cheerful day in your happy tell-it-like-it-is world.


CanadaJin, I think I like you. Not suckin your arse there, just like your attitude. There are some frikkin sheep shaggers out there aint there.

A friend of mine works for a company that sends English teachers to kindergartens. He says it's a good job and a good company to work for. He heard they had someone back out of a position in Kanagawa and need to fill it soon, as in next week. Teaching kindergarten isn't for everyone, but if you like that kind of stuff, this could be good. The website is, click the link for ESC.

Just thought I'd pass that along and try to help another one of us get free of the evil clutches of G-com.

I worked at Nova. Disliked the company. Enjoyed the job. Felt sorry for ex coworkers, staff and students when it went under.

Largely good memories. Cynical, amateurish company... but THEN I worked at GABA. What an Insidious little Fourth Reich that organisation is. Hire Non Native speakers to keep wages down (less than 1,300 per lesson after the "special tax"). The only company to be barefaced enough, that if a high level student takes a lesson, there is a decent chance that their English will be better than their teachers. All for only 70+ dollars for forty minutes. 6000 yen clear profit for GABA.

And they keep everyone happy with polished, corporate LIES. Plenty of bonehead teachers and students to believe it though - here's a couple of cracking lines, from ex Nova colleagues who now work at GABA:

1) "I don't mind only having five minutes between lessons. It makes the day go faster".

That's right, bonehead. And it also means GABA can cram as many lessons as poss into a working day. And you don't have enough planning time.

2) "We get FREE training!"

Yeah, that's right, stupid. Keep believing what they feed you. It's not FREE it's UNPAID.

Even Nova paid you for training.

I could go on, and on. A horrible. horrible experience. I hope it crashes, and all the stupid Native teachers have to leave Japan (I know the Non natives have less choice, so I won't attack them).

GABA SUCKS and that's official!

hehe....thanks, appreciate it..I try....just trying to lighten the mood..some folks in here are too serious..on the other hand..I consider myself pretty lucky, my position here was/is better than a lot of folks who got reamed by the Big N..There is so much that is awesome about Japan...And we really are all in this together..despite the trolls, its good to have a place to vent, or to think things out..throw ideas out there..we all have different experiences, and its good that we can share them in here...seriously, or with a hint of crassness..

uhm..sorry..did anybody else notice that they also got a day off in October that they werent supposed to?...I wonder now if that third day was the day they told us to go home..the 26th.

I DID take 2 sick days in October, (but neglected to ask for them as paid days..guess i hoped the Big N would pull out of the dive...) not 3..

again,...sorry for bringing this back up..(well..not really)

yeah, its only 100 bucks..but its MY hundred bucks..

if the trustess do that to everyone..theyve saved many many bucks.


Canada Jin,

Isn't there someone you can call, to find out the answer to your questions?

I'm a bit confused as to why you think this is the best place, and not

the trustees, or Kawasaki.


basically cuz im a big fraidy cat who prefers to stay inside on a sunny day instead of making human interaction with real people.


Les, have you left Gaba now?

Yes, I left, at the earliest possible opportunity. Loved working at Nova, despite not liking the company. Absolutely despised GABA: The stupid booths, the ridiculous promises that they make to students, that YOU on your 1,300 per lesson, are supposed to deliver, the arselicking, "oh Mr Salaryman you are so cool, please book another lesson with me" idiot teachers, in their business suits, that they must wear, to justify the whopping 1,300 yen per lesson that they get (if somebody deigns to book them). Well worth going through college, and coming around the world, to cringe and fawn, in order to earn a pittance, that (even for a 40 lesson week) isn't even anywhere near the legal minimum wage, wouldn't you say? But GABA get round that, because you are FREELANCE! What a JOKE!!! Screw you GABA!!! I know you are short of teachers now, and panicking. All I can say is HA HA HA!

Mind you, some of the Japanese staff are really hot, and nice too, and even the female teachers were generally nicer, and better looking than the often bitter, twisted foreign females I often had to work with at Nova.

God, I'm in a mood tonight. Sorry if I've offended anyone...


The salary has recently been increased (to come in from April), so the starting rate is 1,500 and the B1 rate is 1,700. Still not earth-shattering, but a little better than when you were there perhaps.

It sounds like you had a bad experience. I honestly don't recognise most of what you talked about, other than the pay and the "free training", but I may just have been luckier with the place that I ended up at. I think the "promises" issue is always going to be around in an industry that works more on sales than teaching. In my experience at Nova there was a lot of nonsense promised to potential and even current students that it was then our job to deliver in classrooms. Not sure what the other big Eikaiwas are like on this point, but would guess they are not much different (willing to be proven wrong though).

As for the booths, they're small, but at least they are clean. We had cockroaches running around our old Nova school, which was an absolutely disgusting place to work. Again, may just be luck of the draw in terms of where you end up, but would never want to go back to the roach-pit.

To be fair, I also found the Gaba head office and training staff to be reasonably up-front about the freelance thing. That doesn't mean I like not being paid for empty lessons but I knew what I was getting into when I started out with them. If you're a decent teacher there isn't much of a problem with getting lessons after the first couple of weeks, and I didn't lick anyone's arse to get there. I haven't really seen any teachers that do either, although again that might just be because of where I am.

The biggest thing, though, despite the pay, is that morale is fair bit better than I ever remember it at Nova. Working with people who both hated their job and the company they worked for was a massive downer, and that wasn't only near Nova's horrible end by any stretch of the imagination. I don't think anyone would profess undying love for Gaba, but there isn't the feeling of utter contempt for the job or for everyone in a different position from yourself either.

Again, though, might just have been lucky.

[Ducks for cover...]

Listen, it's your choice at the end of the day. I could walk you slowly, through the myriad, irrefutible examples of how GABA shafts it's "employees" and students, in ways that Nova never even dreamed of, thank GOD. Because it is obvious you, like most other GABA instructors have completely swallowed the company spiel. But I don't really have the time, and you know, I can only tell you that you're being shafted, but it's up to you what you do about it.
However here are just a couple of examples.

Can you think of any freelancer, in any other profession, who charges a rate that is less than what they'd earn, as a company employee? GABA calls it's instructors "FREELANCE" but pays nothing like a freelance rate. Freelance teaching rates in Japan (e.g. FINDATEACHER.NET) are, on average 3000 yen per hour.

Even Other Eikaiwas pay better rates to their employees than what GABA freelancers get (if the students actually book them).

Companies are bound by law to pay 250,000 per month, to full time employees. GABA just uses the "Freelance" crap to get round this. Even at 1500 per lesson, for a forty lesson week (160 lessons per month), you STILL won't be earning 250,000 per month.

The reason morale isn't as bad at GABA is because there is NOWHERE in the place that you can actually congregate with other instructors. How can you slag off the company to someone, when you are alone in your booth? OK so GABA schools are clean, but they are horrible, mute and sterile.

Nova schools had an atmosphere - sometimes good, sometimes bad. GABA schools (I worked at several) have no atmosphere of any description whatsoever.

Maybe I can contrast GABA with what I'm doing now. I'm not boasting. I'm lucky, but I think you need to know what you should aim for.

I do 40 hours a week at a small, private school. I get two thousand yen an hour, regardless of whether or not students come. I get a day off at the weekend, and one weekday off. I get 24 paid holidays per year. As long as people keep allowing GABA and other EIKAIWA to do do what they do, they will keep doing it.

This website:

says that the MINIMUM wage in Britain is five pounds fifty two. This is not much less than what GABA pay. You have gone through university, got into debt, come across wear a BLACK business suit (which you have to pay for, and pay to have cleaned), and you earn less than supermarket shelf stackers in Sheffield.

These mails are NOTHING about me having a bad time at GABA. GABA was a very enlightening experience, in it's own way. I'm trying to point out that you are being totally and utterly shafted, and the response I get is "Oh, I like my school, it's clean...."


Good luck, anyway.


Hi Les,

Wow! Thank you so much for offering good luck and for making me realise that you are, in fact, my guardian angel! Brilliant! I hadn't realised that all you really wanted to do, out of the goodness of your heart, was to help all us poor, misguided, developmentally challenged saps who didn't know what we were doing in taking the jobs we had done. If you had just said how magnanimous you were being from the start, I wouldn't have said "Ooooh look, my school is clean."

I was merely trying to point out that, in my experience, it wasn't quite as bad as your experiences had been. If you found your path from there then that's cool. I've got absolutely no problem with someone hating it, the job not being for them etc. And I think I agreed with you that the starting pay was not at all great. Poo in fact. But from next month I will be earning 1,700 per lesson, which works out to 2,550 per hour (which may be a more accurate comparison as getting lessons is not a problem for the present). And from the next that will be 1,800. Again, not great at all, but the potential pay increases are there if you stick it out a little. Not saying that everyone should, or that the starting pay is anything other than what it is really is - poo. And no paid holidays - crap. Your paid holidays - great, especially if you can take them anytime. No question I would be jealous of that. But, at least compared with some term-based jobs, I can take time as and when I choose to. Hate not getting paid for it, but do like the flexibility. It's a trade-off that, for the moment, I am prepared to make. May change my mind in future of course.

I can only assume you are a mind-reader or a brilliant psychologist (maybe both) as you seem to know what I have and haven't "swallowed". If only we were all to have the benefit of your wisdom, we wouldn't swallow so much! At the risk of sounding hugely patronising myself, your patronising tone doesn't really do your position many favours, despite the points that you raise. But saying that, 'if only people could talk to each other, they would hate it!' is a bit ridiculous. I talk to a lot of people in the teacher's room, and there are complaints, of course there are - I have never worked anywhere where there weren't some points to grumble at, but I was trying to say that generally I don't feel the anger and disgust that I often got out of Nova staff rooms. But then maybe they were just pissed off when I was in the room? And we are capable of talking outside of the school as well - but again morale really isn't as bad as I had experienced in several Nova schools previously.

In any event, thanks for the good wishes at the end. None of what I said was intended to be personal, and I hope I didn't take what you said too personally either.

You're obviously not looking for a scrap. So I'll back off.

Your experience of Nova was nothing I can relate to either, but you know, you thought it was crap. Fine. GABA is infinitely crapper though, even if it does have nicer carpets.
Nothing you can say changes that irrefutable fact. But good luck to you, you can choose your schedule. As long as your don't place eating on a daily basis high on your list of priorities, you can choose your own schedule.

You know as well as I do, if you don't work either really early mornings, or really late evenings, plus Saturdays and Sundays, you're really gonna struggle financially. I really feel like I'm having a conversation with a GABA commercial here. You just come out with the same stuff that GABA come out with. Flexible schedules, the possibilty to earn more (much) later on, nice, clean schools. Come on! And by the way, please stop saying I had a bad experience. I didn't - I worked there for two months (albeit morning noon and night) and earned half a million yen.

You choose to believe what GABA say. Fine. Doesn't make it true, though. I have nothing against you personally, so I apologise right now, if I offend you. However, I think you are either a GABA employee or someone whose own gullibility could give the dangerous and false impression that becoming involved with GABA is anything remotely resembling a JOB.

Hope it goes well for you.

Calculated on an hourly basis, teaching English in Japan for 1500 Yen is not too bad. I've said this to others, but I think (for the typical recent graduate or those without specialized knowledge) if you want to make the most money, you should teach English! University teachers, while paid on a salary, have it even better with their long holidays etc.

In some ways it may be better if you can be responsible for your own health insurance plan. Once you're in the Japanese/Company system, you can have about 10% of your pay deducted per month! A private plan costs about 50,000 Yen for the year. I would love to join a private health plan, but most companies don't allow it -- everybody has to be on the same plan -- foreigner or not. In addition, it's often mandatory that you join the Japanese pension system which takes another bite out of your paycheck.

Compare this to working in a salaried position. Perhaps you gross 350k, 400k, 500k per month. The various taxes, health insurance, company pension get deducted (roughly 20% based on my experience). You're then left with about 280k, 320k, 400k.
You then work Monday-Friday with a minimum of 8 hours per day.

So after tax pay based on 160 hours a month is:

280,000 --> 1750
320,000 --> 2000
400,000 --> 2500

However, how many salaried workers only work 160 hours a month?

In my previous company, people were routinely working overnight and weekends! Also, if you're involved in project-type (especially IT related) work, it's hard not to continue to think about work while you're outside the office. Even if you are on holidays in another country, you may still be expected to check emails / handle emergencies.

Anyways, let's assume a conservative average of 10 hours per day or 200 hours per month.

280,000 --> 1400
320,000 --> 1600
400,000 --> 2000

Perhaps comparable to teaching English at 1500. However, if you throw in a couple of private lessons, then you can easily average a higher hourly rate.

People in managerial positions get paid even more. However, with it comes much more stress and responsibility. These people are probably thinking about work 24x7 (not quite, but close).

We all have our own goals and reasons for working at the job that we work at.
The important thing to keep in mind is your end goal - what are you trying to achieve, and does staying at the current job bring you closer to this end result?

Thankyou, and by the way, how are things, at head office, these days?

Is your company struggling to find teachers? That's because they, like you, misguidedly think 1500 an hour is a good deal.

"If you throw in a couple of privates, you average a higher hourly rate?"

Why should private students be expected to subsidize horseshit Eikaiwa wages?

Face the reality. You and your ilk have had your day. Even the most gullible, listless, unmotivated teachers are now saying F*** this Sh**, and leaving Japan in droves. Already the big Eikaiwa are short of teachers, and it's gonna get worse and worse.

Pay the rate, or sink through the grate. You can denigrate the teaching stock all you like, but most are bright, intelligent university graduates, with enough ooomph to have come to Japan in the first place.

"However, how many salaried workers only work 160 hours a month?"

Well. My (salaried) friends in London earn between 70,000 and 250,000 pounds per year, so I think you're making an awful comparision.

And the EFL school I work at in Northern England pays me 15 pounds an hour (about 3,500 yen) plus expenses, so I think other readers might agree not with you, but with ME that 1500 per hour, for University Graduates, who've come across the world, IS JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH ANYMORE.

Anyway, enjoy your cup ramen, and have a nice day. Say hello to the boys and girls in head office.


"The important thing to keep in mind is your end goal - what are you trying to achieve, and does staying at the current job bring you closer to this end result?"

Some how, some way, I don't think the writer of that STUPID 1500 yen an hour is not bad post, is quite up there when it comes to goals.

What a god damn wanker !!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm with you Les. I'm tired of these sweeping generalisations that paint ALL eikaiwa teachers as no-nothing numpties. As far as I can see most of those have blown off to some other turd. The guys (because that's what they are by and large)I know who are still here are GOOD teachers. Maybe they don't have a qualification but they certainly have years of experience. They are, for the most part, intelligent, knowledgeable, witty and interesting. There's never a dull conversational moment when we get together.
They have been giving the people of Japan 5 star teaching while being paid McWages, given no respect or recognition. They've been babysitting the mentally and socially challenged of this country under the guise of teaching, and have gritted their teeth and borne it like professionals. More fool them some people will no doubt say, shoulda' gotten out. As I've pointed out before, prior to last year, despite the bad points, Nova was a secure job. Guaranteed salary, workplace, holidays, and a new contract unless you totally fucked up.
So now we should all tug our forelocks and accept degraded conditions willingly because that's what the market dictates? Well fuck the market! Thatcher, Reagan, Bush, Gordon Gecko, fuck them all.
What is it that business finds so repulsive about the concept of treating their employees fairly? Does the idea that a happy employee is a productive employee sound like lunacy? One of the reasons students stay at any school/eikaiwa is the teachers. It takes time for them to get to know/trust/like them. That time might be shortened if the teachers were able to be NATURALLY genki because they liked their job!
But I'm pissing into the wind aren't I. This concept is beyond the grasp of "management" generally.

Langslave -

I know. The tone of that message beggars belief. "teaching English in Japan for 1500 Yen is not too bad. I've said this to others, but I think (for the typical recent graduate or those without specialized knowledge..."

GTF! Lumping graduates together with people with no specialized knowledge. You might have a difference of perception there, with say, oh, I dunno THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT. They want Eikaiwa to recruit GRADUATES only, from abroad, for full time positions - and then the Government will issue a SPECIALIST in Humanities Visa, requiring the company to pay 3 million yen per year per teacher. So the Eikaiwa can say "oh you idiots are ten a penny", all you like, but we are not.

And now these companies are reaping what they have sown. They can't get enough teachers. So, unless they want to go the way of the bunny, they are gonna be left with two choices, over the coming months and years: downsize or die.

And I'll be here to watch, from my driving seat. You know, one of those called "idiot teachers" from Nova gave me a great piece of advice, about a year and a half ago, which I was wise enough to follow. He said:

"Save your money, and get out of Nova as fast as you can. Then, watch it implode, and pick up the pieces."


Emerson said you can't help anyone, without helping yourself. And I find it rewarding that both me and my students have helped restore one another's faith in human nature. I am a professional teacher. I never forgot it, and neither did they. And I'm still in Japan, and they are still my students, but now there's no crappy middleman to deal with. And I earn a damn sight more that 1,500 yen an hour. And I wish the same for everyone who hopes and wishes to stick it out here.


Thank you for your kind words.

I'm glad that you have found your calling in life and are living your dream.

I agree that pay rates overseas can be much higher, but this also depends on your expertise and experience. I mean for 70,000~150,000 pounds or more a year, I think we should all go back to our own home countries!

So why do people stay in Japan to work when they can be making 15~30 million yen a year back in their home countries?

Well, not everybody may qualify for those salaries (lack of experience or specific expertise) and some people may not be interested in those types of jobs. In other cases, people have other goals in mind - eg. getting overseas business experience or to travel or whatever. I don't want to generalize too much, and there are always exceptions, but in Japan, if you don't have good IT/Finance/Management experience, along with business level Japanese, it's not so easy to find a high paying job. For people without this type of experience, the jobs that I can see on various job posting boards (eg. gaijin pot, dai job) are in the 3-6 million yen range. The Japanese salarymen often have it worse.

As you know, working in Japan (and mainly Japanese companies) entails long hours with a fair bit of service overtime. The last company I worked at was open 24x7 and some of my colleagues frequently worked overnight. In these cases, if you average out the salary and number of hours worked, you'll find that the rates approach the 1500 yen mark.

I apologize if you thought that I was looking down or generalizing english teaching as a profession. I'm not. I'm just sharing the other side of the coin.

I'm happy to hear that you are getting the 3500 Yen plus expenses per hour.
Congratulations to your friends on getting the salaries that they are getting.

It really doesn't bother me if teachers leave Japan or not.
There will always be new ones to replace them -- recently, many from the Philipines it seems.

Just for the record, I don't teach, never have, and don't work at Head Office for any school.

Err...if that was a reply to me...I have no idea what you're talking about. 3500 plus expenses? I didn't even see ANYONE on this thread say that, sure as shit not me.

and i quote:

"And the EFL school I work at in Northern England pays me 15 pounds an hour (about 3,500 yen) plus expenses, so I think other readers might agree not with you, but with ME that 1500 per hour, for University Graduates, who've come across the world, IS JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH ANYMORE.

Anyway, enjoy your cup ramen, and have a nice day. Say hello to the boys and girls in head office.


Well I'm not Les anyway, your reply was under MY post so DO try to be a tad more careful in future when you reply, just so as not to cause any confusion, hmm?

shocking. clueless. lovably off kilter. the days of post-colonial overpayment for under performance and contempt for the "locals" seems to be coming to a close. this is good. Lets hope the last lingering shitbirds either evolve or go the way of the dodo.

What exactly do you mean? Do you know me? Do I know you? Do I want to know you? No!

I don't hold the locals in contempt. Firstly, my mum is one - she was born in Chiba, and secondly, I'm married to one.

And thirdly, I have teaching qualifications. Postgrad, and EFL related. You name it. How about you?

And I can prove it. If you want to call me out on this, let's meet. I'll show them to you.

And I've been teaching for a DECADE! Consistently been told by students, staff and employers that I'm an exceptionally good teacher.

So, in what way exactly am I overpaid, and how do I hold the natives in contempt.

Listen, it's not my fault you are unsuccessfully wrestling with your own personal demons, and I don't think coming online insulting strangers will get you anywhere.

Anyway, have a nice day.

Shitbird out!

evolve. evolve.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

Guy, why are you posting, verbatim, some crappy Bob Dylan song, that served as inspiration, to, ooh, dozens of arts students, forty years ago, for about ten minutes, before they returned to the capitalist gang bang? AND without any kind of context, either. Without doubt, that was the most inane post I have ever read.


context. scott. context. sure taken out of context it might confuse. read further up in the thread and you may get it. then again you may not. but your posting might just hold the key to the intended irony of using a bob dylan quote, verbatim or otherwise.

That was the SECOND most inane post I've ever read.

Are you this fella? (don't go to this link, if easily offended!)

i'm sure as heck not that fella. though i reckon my last post has now been bumped down to the third most inane post of all time. shee-it.

Shitbird? Where did you go? Your half-assed assertions and pouty defiance only more clearly define you as a shitbird. What is a shitbird? A question you might do well to ask yourself LES. A shitbird, LES, is one who chooses to wallow in what was. Wallow in what has past. Wallow in what probably never should have been. By choice mind you. Self selection. A shitbird's bondage is self imposed. The sky is out there LES. It is in motion. It is not constant, fixed, nor static. Shitbirds quote the "legal code" without accuracy or subtly. Shitbirds CHOOSE, LES, to flounder in the crapper when the sky is oh so available. Good to hear you have invested in yourself with your post-hoo haa degree in flim-flammery. Well shit son, put it to use then. Migrate! and stop winging like the town drunk in some post-industrial Northern pub about what a cunt Thatcher is, was, whatever....

I don't want to migrate.

Not until you and I have had a face to face chat, anyway.

Let's meet up. It'll be fun.





well continue to burrow then...
hunker down, dig in, wallow...

The whingeing Shitbird Northerner, with an Masters in flim-flammery, or the Total Winner, who sits alone, at his computer, ( according the the time of posting), on a lovely Friday evening, in Cherry Blossom season, slagging off a complete stranger...? (who's probably happily sitting under a cherry tree, drinking beer with friends)

Or Me?

Answers on a postcard

lets not mix terms here mickey. you may be correct in your assumptions about me typing away on a lonely friday night in March. i could be in Tokyo or Osaka or Hiroshima. half drunk. desperate. drooling. clothed only in my skivvies and "slagging of a complete stranger". or you could be completely wrong. but that kind of misses the point. IF i were half naked, zombified, alone, and typing with one hand it would be more appropriate to use words like: shithead, loser, dork, loner, burnout, dumb ass, wanker, or fool; but, not shitbird. That Mickey, is a special term reserved for a very specific breed. I may be many things, Mickey, but I am not a shitbird. Are you? I sense not. Not yet anyway. Maybe just slow.

Yeah, Mickey, naff off - I'M THE SHITBIRD around here, so go find yourself somewhere else to play.

So what, I WAS under a cherry tree - but that doesn't stop me from being a shitbird does it?

Find your own insulting nickname. Maybe Two thousand and Eight can help you with this one - he's really good at it.

I AM a shitbird. You are NOT and He is NOT. Quote:

"I may be many things, Mickey, but I am not a shitbird - shithead, loser, dork, loner, burnout, dumb ass, wanker, or fool; but, not shitbird".

And I, Mickey, may not be a "shithead, loser, dork, loner, burnout, dumb ass, wanker, or fool"

but I AM a shitbird.

I wouldn't say they make 6000 yen pure profit a lesson... You have to figure in rent and all the other stuff. The people that keep the online booking system up for the clients, the full time staff, etc... Not too mention 7000 is not the flat rate, many students pay a lot less than that.
Yeah you can make more money doing your own thing, but I remember them telling us upfront before the interview that it was one of the cheaper schools.
I could go on defending them, but there isn't really a need to and I would probably be labeled a bonehead.
I worked for Nova and was treated like a child and talked down to in a condescending matter whenever I had a concern. When I taught at Gaba and if I presented my concerns in a professional manner, they were taken care of.
Not everyone has the same experiences at each of these companies, and I'm sorry to hear you didn't have a good one at Gaba.

dear Les Dawson

you are a fraud. and perhaps one of the "wee folk". Mythological entities drilled into the brains of all inhabitants of the cursed and thrice damned islands that comprise "GREAT Britain". Jesus Christ almighty. Lets sprinkle some "British" pixie dust on economics, the market, and the local town priest for good effect. whatever snake oil crap you swallowed at your local was so bereft of context or reality or rational thought that you are left as the equivalent of a Chinese castrado in charge of the fleet. crap. shit. douche bags. and warm puppy abortions. you are the sign of EVIL. you are the word of god in code. you are like a swarm locusts in Mormon Utah. a sign. intelligible only to the guano sucking bat lice of mt. hoo haa. a rare and delicate eco-system far removed from the world of commerce and humanity. bless you. petulant and flatulent shitbird that you are. why, if we ever met, I would surely eat you soul.

Dear Twenty Oh eight.

Thankyou for remembering me. I appreciate it.

I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about, and I have no idea why you're obsessed with writing these meaningless, turgid, pseudo philosophical posts.

I don't know you, so I don't owe you, but you know, just my little contribution to your mental well being - here's a reality check.

Your posts make you sound like a fucking big faggot. You use big words, but you can't communicate. You're boring. Fuck off, or don't fuck off. Not my problem that you're a twat. Keep on making an exhibition of yourself.

Thankyou, for making me feel so good about myself, you absolute gimp.

Lots of love


like monkeys throwing shit at each other..

First of all there was the talk of having sex with the pink bunny, then there was the talk of mass suicide, then the talk of the glorious act of seppuku, and now THIS talk of monkies throwing shit at each other.

Monkies throwing shit at eachother? This is the straw that brakes the cammel's bank. I AM GOING TO KILL MYSELF !!!!!!!!!!!!

to your data inputting, Chimpy boy.

yes, i'd better get back to my work. my job actually involves quite a bit more than data input, surprisingly.
if you ever get tired of your low income, why don't you dance your way over here, maybe there is a job for you.
who knows, maybe our company would actually consider employing someone like you to dance, clown around and generally make us all appreciate more the benefits of study and hard work.

- .."who's that guy dancing and clowning around over there? why hasn't security thrown him out?"

- "oh, he's some guy our company hired, to help improve productivity or something like that..."

- "like some kind of motivational tool?"

- "yeah, i guess you could call him a 'tool'"

- "well, how is him dancing and clowning around here actually helping anyone get any work done?"

- "..not quite sure...apparently he is using his 'genkiness' skills from his previous 'career' as an english 'teacher' to keep staff motivated, well, thats what they told him i think"

- "gees, i sure am glad i studied hard at school and didn't end up like that guy, i wonder how much they are paying him?"

- "well, the company only had to offer him a few more yen than what he would earn 'teaching'"

- "but don't those 'teacher' guys earn peanuts?
and what about dignity...self respect..."

- "oh, those guys don't care about that, just throw them a few yen and a whiff of Japanese girls' knickers and they'll do anything"

- "i see.."

- "anyway, he seems happy enough. and besides, unskilled gaijin like him keep our wages high and jobs secure"

- "yeah, i guess you're right. don't need to lose any sleep worrying about all those english 'teachers' applying for qualified positions and increasing competition in the job market.."

- "...monkey in a suit..."

Back to your computer, chimp.

Sit there long enough, you might (inadvertently) write something profound. It'll take a long time, but hey, the universe is infinite. There might even be someone out there as stupid as you. Although personally, I doubt it.

Yep, you're part of an experiment.

Oh, by the way, why would I come and dasnce around your office, for peanuts. I mean that doesn't even warrant a response...

Hey, everybody,

I'm a sad loser, and I have no friends. I have just been using this site, to blow off stream.

Trouble is, my boss just caught me, on this site, when I should have been updating customer files, on the VDU. So now he says I have to work overtime tonight, which means I'll miss my appointment with my Dungeons and Dragons buddies....

What a god awful day!

... to see what kind of shitty installment was.

Alright, I'm swedish, they told me my english sounds american. (That frequently happens to me all the time here in Japan.)

First day, they give me a shitty map, try to get to the right office, but they forgot one minor detail.. Where the hell is the west-ticket gate, and when I'm there, there is a west and east exit at that gate. 50 / 50 change to get there. Their information was in other words... CRAP.

Had to reshedule the "interview", which was nothing more than an orientation.
WHAT's the F=Ucking point of going there if they are not going to interview us. INTERVIEW is ONE DAY. No, they want you to WASTE time, to FEEL the DESPERATION of getting this job, no matter if you are native-level speaker or not. (What the hell is native-level speaker anyway, either you speak it or you don't...)

Went to the next "orientation". Got my time for an interview. Wasted one more day. Go for the interview. I get there on time. The interviewer is LATE! (Now that tells me right away that this COMPANY is not very serious about hirering people.)
I had to prepare a small class to simulate the woman who was conducting the interview. Then I have to have some bogus class with the very same "pretend-to-be-stupid-office-bitch. I passed it without any problems. Time to ask questions.

I ask the questions about hours, wages, shedule etc. But the woman in front of me, or she could be younger than I am, hadn't done her HOMEWORK. She couldn't tell me out from her head, so she had to go outside the room to get into another office to get the answers. This happened 2 TIMES! She was WASTING my time. Once she went out the 2nd time my cell called. A media-client was asking me for doing some work, and when she came back I was still on the phone. Now SHE GOT VERY ANGRY. (I know not to have the cellphone on at an interview, but she was wasting my time, so NOW I'm wasting hers. HEhe.)
She told me she was getting very concerned about me if I'm talking on the phone in daytime hours. But what the HECK, she told me the work will be during either MORNINGS or EVENINGS. So I just wanted her to FUCK off. I had the job, but I decided when I got home not to attend the 3rd DAY to sign the FUCKING "CONTRACT", before I could get on with the extra 3 days of "FREE" (read, UNPAID) TRAINING. So basically they STEAL a WHOLE FUCKING WORKING WEEK from me. (Even thought I have plenty of jobs that pays more than GABA, I was just looking for a place to earn some easy cash on the side. But this BIG fucking procedure for something so obviously FAKE.

GABA pretends to be serious, but when their own personel treats you with no respect and they think they are GODS in there. I can tell you the americans/britts/canadians in the office are basically there to make the office feel like it's inhabited by a strong "work force". But I believe they are only there for show. They didn't do anything and the office is basically empty during the day.

So goodluck if you want to work for this ROTTEN Company. I could get the job, but I decided NOT to take it.

I'd understand if you signed at gaba, because Non Natives have less options. But well done, for seeing it for what it is. Good luck with your other work.

Who interviewed you? Was it that stupid Bint Miho?

Nice post, enjoyed reading it.

your english is probably better than most "natives"..i am sorry you had to go through that bullshit.

my girl went to gaba..the bullshit was so thick she could only stand a day and a half of it..unpaid..ridiculous.

after you see what you CAN get out there..theres no going back to anything remotely resembling nova or gaba..or Ecc (CUNTS) and so on...get a smaller gig..youll be much happier..or a variety of jobs..

good luck.

It is really sad that there are so many so called native speakers who are going to Japan and tricking the unsuspecting public into thinking that they are getting a good English language class. So many people in America, Canada and other so called "English speaking countries", speak such horrible English, that I am surprised the Japanese can be so gullible.

>All for only 70+ dollars for forty minutes. 6000 yen clear profit for GABA.

'clear profit'? Wait until GABA's accounting head hears that during all this time they didn't have to pay for building rent, benefits for GABA staff, fuckin' salaries, utilities, advertising, laptops, extensive IT network, etc.

It might be time to take some basic business classes before you post again. There is a reason they are losing money and it's not because of 'profits', as you say. They have e-x-p-e-n-s-e-s.

It is obvious that you are best suited to pick apart the mental capacity of others, as it took you a mere, lightning-fast EIGHT MONTHS, to come back with that cutting put down. Well done!

I don't care. They are trash. Let them die. One less bullshit eikaiwa is not going to make anyone cry. Obliterate the lot of them. The world needs to be cleansed of the revolting eikaiwa stain. I lughed my head off when Nova went belly up, and I will laugh even harder, when the next one bites the dust.

Man, I get horney, even thinking about it.


Gaba let you know the terms and conditions of employment during the application process so what's the problem?
Oh right, your time is worth more... right... right. So go and find a job elsewhere, man up and stop crying about it.

I have friends working law and medicine who have had to take a significant amount of shit and very long (try 0800 - 0100 Monday - Friday, no lunch break) to get a poor wage, and they're actually qualified to do those jobs.

In addition, we all know that Japanese salaried workers work brutally long hours.... to achieve an acceptable salary, without shedding tears. What is it about your standard English teacher that makes him think he's got something unique to offer the world? Seriously... as if?!

The world has changed, being white and an English speaker does not equal easy lifestyle (for the better, I'd say).
Bringing your ideals from a foreign country to Japan and whinging about poor treatment simply makes you sound lazy and weak. Here's an idea - man up and deal with the reality in front of you, change your job... create your own business... do whatever you want but don't be blaming other people or companies for your salary or job prospects.

Yah right. Sounds like your a staff member or someone that has been at Gaba a while. Gaba is the worst of the shitty Eikawa jobs there are out there.

GABA SUCKS!!!! Absolute disgrace, but I feel neither sorry for the sucker teachers, or the sucker students. At least we can keep all the suckers in one place.

And, for the record, don't give us the "When in japan" line. GABA was founded by foreigners.

Founded by foreigners.... in Japan.
Why would I not give the 'when in Japan...' line?
Are you even aware how much your statement defies logic?

Seems to me that English teachers are quick to complain but happen to have no idea of economic reality.
These two factors combined makes for some really lame posting on boards such as this one.

"Gaba is the worst of the shitty Eikawa jobs there are out there"

Great argument there, I see your critical analysis, your reasoning process.... you've convinced me, good job.
If you don't like it, then don't work for them. I wouldn't go to work anywhere expecting to get anything more than what they offer.

"Sounds like your a staff member or someone that has been at Gaba a while"

Nope, far from it. I just feel the need to argue with these lazy ass English teachers who for some reason think they're worth a huge salary just because they can speak English. Bottom line is... there are plenty of professions out there that require you go through years of education, that initially pay a pittance salary, that require that you're there the whole day *without paying overtime*.

There are hundreds of thousands of new graduates entering the jobs market each year, most of them deluding themselves that university education is a one way ticket to a great job with all the trimmings and a cherry on top. Maybe if we lived in the 1960s.... but we don't. This is 2009 and every other douche out there has also got a degree. So what do you have that gives you such a high value? The ability to whine like a bitch? Not really a selling point, is it?

Qualified teachers, however, are a different kettle of fish

"If you don't like it, then don't work for them. I wouldn't go to work anywhere expecting to get anything more than what they offer."

Good point. If you don’t very marketable skills or are discontent with your profession and want an escape from your responsibilities in your home country, then you can get a job at an eikaiwa. The pay sustains you, your responsibilities are extremely minimum, but you are not respected, your job is painfully tedious and you will not develop any worthwhile skills. This can be said about any eikaiwa.

Many young adventurous Westerns don’t understand how lousy the job is until they actually do it for a couple of months. Once you figure it out, bounce or accept the predicament for what it is. If you want more out life, then make a move. Don’t expect the dichotomy of eikaiwas to change for the better. If your miserable, then don’t settle because you’re afraid to go home or find something else. Believe me, you have much more access and opportunity in your own country, even during this time of economic turmoil.

I worked at GABA - there is no leeway to have fun there. You HAVE to put in serious hours, at inconvenient times. The pay is rubbish, and, of the three Eikaiwa I worked at, I liked the students the least. Whiners.

You could have a laugh at Nova. Once upon a time. GEOS was dross though, and I got out quick. The love of my life was a GEOS student though, so it wasn't all bad.

No I work for myself. Good, good pay, lots of holidays, and I'm allowed to date students.

More oppportunity in my own country? WRONG! Unless I am a citizen of cloud cuckoo land. Stop trying to put people off the Japan experience - it can be GREAT, if you do it right.

GABA recruits teachers, by implying it will employ them - but it does nothing of the kind. GABA arranges for students to book a private lesson with a teacher, and each teacher gets roughly 15-20% of the lesson fee, while GABA takes an agency fee of 80-85%. Should a teacher not get booked, GABA bears no responsibility for paying them.

So, from my perspective, I can see why GABA is so resented, but as long as people are willing to put up with being so outrageously exploited, what can you do?

Because, as a GABA teacher, I submitted a short list of students I didn't want to teach. They told me I couldn't do that. I replied that as, according to GABA I was freelance, it is a matter of my own discretion who I choose to teach. They refused to acknowledge their own hypocrisy, so I walked out.

I love when people take their narrow experience in life and apply it to the entire universe. You "Gaba" as if you have worked in every Studio, and you seem to do the same thing with the legendary "Nova."
Your experience at Nova was amazing, that's great. Your experience at Gaba was horrible, sorry to hear, but alas you moved on.
I've worked for Gaba for over a year. It's about the easiest job I've ever had so I don't really mind that I only get 1700en for 40minute lessons.
It's a beast of an conversation school and they're starting to be more strict about everything, but it really doesn't effect me. Perhaps because I'm not in Tokyo, I get laid back students who enjoy their time with me. Since I don't work for Gaba I feel no responsibility to endorse the school. Hell, as a freelancer *cough cough* I sell myself not the school. This works for both Gaba and me.
WACKY FACT: Gaba earns 100en per every lesson they booked. Stupid marketing budgets!
So generally people who bitch about their jobs will slowly find reasons anywhere to bitch about their jobs. Gaba just came faster for you.
I only know of Nova from all the ex-Nova people working at Gaba and they all like Gaba better...
But to me, they're all the same...

The fact that you complain about working at GABA means to me that you are in no way good at actually teaching English.. Gaba is well designed to keep the average person who speaks English like most of the people who have commented in this thread, out of teaching and reward those who can actually do the job well. If you don't like Gaba, then get out, you are not good enough so find a job that will take you with your poor English teaching skills. I have worked for Nova twice over a span of 6 years and there has never been any guarantee of quality for the students. As I said, if you complain, then you can't teach.. Gaba has been 10 trimes better than Nova for me, because I have skills, I have learned to teach English well and I am rewarded for that by Gaba...It is a competitive market, sink or swim....Just because you come to Japan with a job doesn't mean you are good at it.......welcome to Japan..........

The vast majority of eikaiwa employees can't teach. Some of them want to, but their conditions of work prevent meaningful development of the skill. I would put Gaba into a catagory that prevents meaningful development because how often you do or do not see students and what you do with them is dependent on their whim as opposed to what they actually need to progress.

You would only teach well those students who make sensible decisions for themselves about what and how to study or those you can persuade to stick with your program and make bookings which fit that program. Any others who wanted to be taught by you would be a waste of your talent and their money. However, you would not be at liberty working for Gabba to choose students for yourself. You have to spend time with whoever is put on your schedule. If you can teach, why put up with a situation which prevents you from making real progress a great deal of the time?

Good teachers are wasted at GABA. Oily, insincere schmoozers are the ONLY ones who belong, or could do well at that place. I know, I worked there for a few days, and took a long shower, after every shift.

Come off it you wanker. The only reason that you are doing well, if you can call it that, is that you are a suck up to the incompetent students that do not know a good teacher if they had one in GABA, which they never do. It is a shithole to work for. If you suck up to the students and entertain them or you go around sleeping with them young and old you will have work. Only those suck ups do well. People with real teaching skills stay out of all the idiotic Eikawa systems. Get a grip you have no, zero, zilch skills if you work for GABA, the bottom of the Eikawa barrel.

Since whatever is said on the Internet is both 100% valid and 100% bullcrap at the same time, my calculations show - according to the above posts - all the major eikaiwa chains are at the bottom of the barrel, and the instructors that teach there are all scum without an iota of talent, or ability.

C'mon folks! This is like every other Internet discussion out there.

is a crap company, and everybody who works there is an idiot.
got out before the crash and all those who stayed are idiots.

I LIKE these kinds of trollish discussions - but the quality here leaves much to be desired. I came looking for some geniune buckshot, instead I find the discarded BB pellets from last year.

Let's be clear - eikaiwa is not teaching, it's talking. So it follows that the vast majority of eikaiwa employees can't teach (unless they've done a teacher training course, and have some post-qualification experience).

As for it being bottom of the barrel, I'd say that the majority of eikaiwa employers treat their employees with little if any respect or decency. Most eikaiwa work on the "lowest common denominator" principle, that is, give people - staff, instructors and students alike - the bottom line, just enough to keep them just about happy, and no more.

The fact is, eikaiwa don't want "quality". They merely want someone who'll turn up on time, dress smart, smile, and spit out some sort of "English", thereby keeping students coming back for more. They're the criteria for most eikaiwa, and if you meet those, then success is awaiting.

If you don't, then you'll be getting a talking to from your superiors, and potentially putting your job on the line.

That's the way it is. I'm not saying it's good, bad or indifferent. I'll leave the judgements on that up to others.

The Ripper

I'm not sure what you came here looking for 'bottom of the barrel', but there is only so much to said about sleazy encyclopedia salesmen, except to keep reminding people how sleazy they really are, because you can be sure they will keep on pulling their sleazy cons for just as long as they can get away with it. Actually, credit where it's due: at least the encyclopedias themselves are a reasonably good quality product. If only the same could be said for eikaiwa courses.

Hi Gang,

I haven't checked this forum since I quit NOVA back in September '07. I miss the blow jobs from the female staff (J-Staff, not the bloated nasty gaijin hippies), but that's about it. Worse job ever.Things must be getting worse with the economy and all.

If you have any ambition, quit teaching English in Japan. If that means going home, so be it.


Eikaiwa are the fast food of English teaching.
You go into McDonalds, et al., and get what you pay for. The employees get paid by the hour, for the work they do. At fast foods customers swallow it down and leave. If there are not enough customers coming in, then the manager sends some employees home.
There are other restaurants, or in this case English schools. Universities and secondary schools are a bit better for both. The quality is better.
Then there are the five star places. In this case private lessons. Like a chef a private teacher caters to the student's needs and get paid much better for it.
So if you are a native speaker, with no other ability ten you can teach at an Eikaiwa. You will get the students on that level. They want to be entertained, they want you to sympathetically nod your head in agreement that "英語がたくさん難しいです.", and listen to them speak as best they can with no criticism.
If you have a degree and pass the JALT certification then you can teach at high school or university level. There understand you are an assistant to the "real" teacher. You do the grunt work: grading homework, scoring tests, and doing the lesson planning. Just do not expect to do the actual teaching. Your contact with the students will be about three hours a week acting like a clown to demonstrate the dialogues of the text books.
If you have a personality, professional skills, and are serious and sincere about client success then you can teach private lessons. In this case you either are on a sponsored visa, a spousal visa, or a permanent resident. Here your success is completely up to you. It is like running your own business. Few are successful here, and end up going to Eikaiwa. Most do not have the ability to teach a language without the guidance of a textbook, and students can tell a faker more quickly in private lessons.
So, the point is if you have the skills to be a McDonalds worker, a Denny's worker, or to be a chef. Few McDonalds customers can imagine what a five star restaurant is like. Few McDonalds workers ever become chefs.
Eikaiwa serve their place and have their workers and customers.

英語がたくさん難しい I think you mean 英語はほんとに難しい。Japanese is also difficult and which ever language and capacity you teach in, it is what you make it.
If your are going to be negative about it, dont do it. Stay at your post uni Job in your country and dont try to get any experience in another country.

Private teaching is a lot more challenging because student are forever not on time, dont come at all so it is hard to get a decent wage with out incuring losses. Make the students pay monthly. There is a system in Japan for this and the students understand how it works, it also motivates the students to study and come to lessons.

The above poster is bitter about something in Japan and is probably in their home country stewing as to why they were unsuccessful in Japan and had to return home without their pride intact.

It is what you make it!!!!!!

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