Yep, I quit. Yesterday. It was a Tuesday. Obviously, it was a Tuesday. And I walked out wearing my bad bitch t-shirt and holding my head high.
It was a tough decision to make, but I promised myself after my previous job, if I ever cried at work because of work again, and nothing changed in 48 hours, I would leave and never look back. I will always deserve better than that. Every human deserves better than that.
To not take someone aside, address their concerns, and take action to resolve the conflict is to invalidate their emotional response. I believe, after many years of thinking otherwise, that no one cries for no reason and everything is a response. For me, crying is the release of feeling powerless, of feeling overwhelmed and unable to do anything about it. And that is definitely how I felt while working at EF as a Teacher and Activity Leader.
I really appreciated all your comments and messages. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who has felt this way both while working at EF and at other language summer camps. However, things were never going to get better. This was a systemic problem that no emergency meeting was ever going to fix.
We, the teachers, were being paid under minimum wage working over 60 hours a week with no real breaks living in shared accommodation, and all this was written into our contract with the vague lines “flexible hours”. Legally, they could get away with this, when before agreeing to work, we had been promised evenings off and our own rooms. We obviously assumed we’d be given decent breaks and a fair and realistic amount of hours. None of this was true. We were worked like zoo animals, forced to smile and make others have fun. Emotional prostitutes. For children. At least, that’s how I felt.
But we tried to have an emergency meeting, we wrote a list of what we wanted, we contacted the manager – and then things got worse. One hour before our emergency meeting, our manager had a mental breakdown, threatened to kill one of the staff members, and we had to call the cops.
I know, my life sounds like some Netflix summer camp dramedy. But this is exactly what happened.
While some colleagues said, “They must be bipolar, this must have happened before, they are mentally sick,” I knew what had really happened.
In my previous job, I was the one who had the mental breakdown at work and I knew exactly what caused it. Our manager was not crazy, this was bad management.
They were being fucked by EF, and still are.