Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Here's a Great Overview of Nova's Woes...

Is it all over for Nova? If you're interested in the downfall of a company I worked for from May 2004-December 2005, you can find it all in the Japan Times Online. The only thing they left out was the Roppongi drug bust of a Nova teacher and the murder of another, which you can read about on the Japan Probe site (with which I'm truly impressed!).

It comes down to the false advertising/contract scam, but the concurrent scandals didn't help either. While the murder wouldn't necessarily reflect badly on the company other than by association (it just tends to make customers nervous even if it's merely about the other students in their classes), more than likely the drug bust generated unease among the students. I've written about this at length- most of the Nova instructors I worked with were awesome people but there was also a significant percentage of sleaze artists and irresponsible drunks. And then in some locations, there are the bloggers who post about how stupid the students are and how horrible Japan is.

Nova's long had a reputation for hiring fly-by-nighters who sleep with all the female students, only level up those who say "yes," and then teach piss-poor lessons while hung over.

That's a deserved reputation from what I saw firsthand. In spring and summer of 2004, Toyohashi and its satellite branches were rife with completely dysfunctional fuck-ups, users, abusers, assholes and racists who made my dream of living in Japan a nightmare for the first 4 months I was here until I wised up and transferred to the more inviting climes of Hamamatsu. The nice people of Toyohashi deserved better than that, and it's all the more mystifying when you consider the RAAM's office was located there.

Or whatever the title is for an Area Manager. Like I've written, I had no intention of climbing the ladder so I didn't bother to learn the nomenclature. The first manager I worked for there was a random, sometimes arbitrary flake who frequently muttered like the animated Popeye, but the last one I worked for was an excellent manager with professional and people skills. I think I was lucky to go out under someone that nice. She even called me personally on my last day to thank me for my hard work and tell me I'd always have a job with Nova if I wanted it.

Hmm... maybe now's the time to take her up on it!

Actually looking back, some of the drunks I worked and lived with in Hamamatsu were really fun to know and were very popular with the students because their lessons were full-on entertainment... if only they could've been bothered to show up for work as scheduled; our school had more sick days than all the other schools in our area combined and most of those days were from just two instructors. However, I also saw plenty of dedicated people who were there day after day, teaching effective lessons. I saw their efforts to help students improve their English conversation skills and we all witnessed the results. Many of these teachers have since moved on, but I can think of two specifically who are still soldiering on locally and I wish them all the best. Not only are they first class teachers, they're first class people.

They definitely deserve better than this.

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