The Worst Job I Ever Had


As I’ve mentioned many times before on my Medium, I moved to China from the United States in 2020. There were many reasons I made this move, the two most important of which were how easy it’d be to pay my student loans and see new things.

The Contract

Before leaving, we had a long process of acquiring the correct visa and permits. If you’re an ex-pat, I’m sure you know the deal. Well, multiply the difficulty of securing this paperwork by ten. With this waiting time, I had plenty of time to review the contract offered to me.

  • 15,000 RMB a month ($2152)
  • 20 teaching hours a week
  • Ten office hours a week
  • 20 days paid vacation
  • Saturday & Sunday off

Arriving in China

The wait for the visa and all paperwork is a nightmare story for another time. It was fierce and took almost an entire year due to different circumstances. Yet, we got it done, and I finally flew to China.

Expectations Met Reality

The first red flag was raised after I asked when our first weekend off was. I was met with a heart-stabbing

Fast Forward 8 Months Later

Eight months later, I worked 58–62 hours a week with 30+ teaching hours a week without overtime pay. I was denied any vacation time of the 14 listed in the contract; I took monthly pay cuts of up to 65% for “performance,” but it was never elaborated on or detailed how I could improve or what I should do differently.

The Last Two Months

The last two months of this job consisted of constant threats that the school’s leadership would hold my passport and all essential documents and that if I quit, they would have me arrested for not having a visa. Of course, I went, got a lawyer, and decided to fight with them.

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