Need desperate advice, T...P teaching post

Hello to everyone.
I really need some advice on a job prospect I am considering. After reading some horror stories about people working in saudi, I thought this would be the best place to ask.
I am from the UK. I am male. I am asian/Muslim.  I have an interview for a job in makkah with a recruitment company called Tq Pearson . They have an esol vacancy in makkah at the saudi school of excellence. Apparently it's in its development stages. Living will be in jeddah at a western Compound.
My first question is has anyone heard of them, and generally any information you may have about how they treat their workers.
I intend to bring my family with me. Will a hotel suite, big enough for two people accommodate me, my wife and two infants.
Is £30,000 a good salary for an Esol teacher working 40 hours.
What are some pitfalls I should look out for.
I am extremely nervous and would appreciate any advice.

Dont worry ,stay put.Other members would come soon and  give you some insight for you questions.Have you done any research about this company,Like visiting their UK branch or have visited their sites or any complaints related to this companies.

Hi.
Thanks for your reply. The company is relatively new. They don't have an office here in the UK as far as I am aware. I will be having a Skype Interview with them on Tuesday. They already have a school of excellence in buraydah, which began in 2013. I can't find any reviews about them on the Internet. The recruitment company I applied through assured me it was a UK based company. The company is pretty famous as it boast about being a top 100 ftse  company.
What I really want to know is how they treat their workers as I don't want to tie myself into a commitment which I will end up regretting. Another thing is they are recruiting like crazy as I believe they do not have enough teachers. And I believe they expect me to be ready to come to ksa within the next three weeks.

T...P is part of the whole movement of vocational schools in saudi. they pay well, ($50K BASIC) is great - they provide you with all living accommodations, what more ya need? I've applied to the female colleges and I was not successful. they are picky when it comes to candidates, as far as I know. I can't comment on how they treat their employees, however my friend is working for T...P in Madinah and I haven't heard any complaints.

I would very strongly advise against T...P. I've been working with T...P and I'm searching for a new employer. Having said that, I'm going to try and offer a balanced review so you can make your own choices. If you're bringing family, then you have more reason to steer clear of T...P as some teachers found out the hard way after waiting 7 months and not being able to get iqamas!? They make lots of promises they don't keep and if you question anything you will get the boot without question.  T...P is just a big name they use.  The money is marginally better within Makkah than other places within the city but the work load is alot heavier. In fact the overtime contact hours would allow you to earn more elsewhere and without the plethora of hassle that you have to go through daily at T...P. I can't think of many good things to say  unfortunately. The palm trees are dead but the surrounding mountains are lovely. Most teachers get on with each other.  However, the following are a list of additional negatives:
1) your opinion does not matter 2) bullying is not only common place, it is not addressed institutionally  3) military style dictatorship rules with managers constantly referring to their military background 4) expect a secular ethos that disallows any religious display or  discussion 5) extremely poor and incompetent HR whom you have to deal with on a daily basis and get very limited results if any 6) get used to being observed multiple times often without notice by unqualified self-proclaimed professionals 7) no opportunity for career progression or organised long term CPD 8) get used to working with extreme lack of basic resources ie. AC, water, internet connectivity, printing and photo copying facilities etc 9) if you're staying in Jeddah, be aware that a 3 hour commute each day is no easy task. If you are Muslim and given a housing allowance this may not be paid to you or if it is then it will be very very difficult to find accommodation around Haj season up until mid October. Housing in Makkah is more expensive than other cities but is extortionate/unaffordable during Haj season.  10) don't expect normal 20-24 hour contact time.  You will most likely be delivering 30+ hours p/wk and quite frequently combining two or even three classes. Plus maybe even evenings in addition to 30 hours. Plus get used to daily meetings leaving you virtually no prep time 11) you will be living in a non-conducive work environment where you feel uncomfortable on your best day, threatened on an average and humiliated on a worse day. 12) if you are terminated, no reasonable justification will be offered, it will be sudden, and you will be escorted like a criminal by security guards out of the premises. 13) without an iqama, you cannot open a bank account, purchase a car, sponsor your family etc. This is very significant if you want to function on a very basic level in Saudi. You will told we will give you a work visa in 6 weeks max. Believe it at your own peril. Many have had waited 7 months and got nothing.  14) any promises even in writing will often not be honoured; no matter who makes it or whether it is to an individual or collective. 15)no management stability which  translates to teachers too with resignations, frustrations and terminations.  We had a min of 5 different Deans during a three month period!!

Assalaamu'alykum Bro,

I would strongly advise to not work for T...P.

good points: makkah, salary.....and thats it!

bad points:
Generally its a bunch of white boys in charge, whom the power and authority has got to their head. Believe it or not but this management actually looks for mistakes (they don't care whether its an intentional mistake or not..army style...mistake is a mistake) and try to catch out teachers so they can carry on threatening. They always talked (lied) about the importance of education for students but all their focus was on showing of their powers on teachers. .. .the most recent principle (dean) who was recorded (audio) verbally abusing a teacher for expressing their opinion (all behind closed doors with other management present and agreeing to the abuse). present dean used to always boost about his porny exotic books (not sure how long he will last once saudi government find out about that)...if he goes then that would probably make it 6 or 7 principles changed in one year.

ok visa, another one of their many lies.....quite a few teachers had been called back on business visas after 3 months and that turned into another 3 months and their still waiting....
they sacked 20+ teachers with no notice, hence they're recruiting desperately.

HR - a saudi guy who was bought in as an admin guy is now the one and only hr in makkah....if you upset him then he'll make life difficult for you..the funny thing is..if you dont upset him he'll still make your life difficult. ...not trained to be hr, and lacks communication skills.

internal observations ( by someone not qualified at all...but guess what he's a white man).

in summary.... its their way or the high way....

just make sure you do /!\ I AM A STUPID SPAMMER /!\ before going for any job.

all the best..

Hello EB TEAM,

Where is your policy of "DEFAMING AN ORGANISATION"?

How come so many members tell horrible stories against a large commercial organisation?

Do you not think you must also give a  T...P representative a chance to clarify their side of the story! It will only be fair.

I do not believe a bunch of Army retired guys are bulling dozens of expat teachers for ages and no body has taken up the issue to the labour court, are we watching a 1956 western movie?

Strange how an individual casually dismisses the many horrible incidents from various individuals - both current employees and former employees - and without acknowledging the issues, automatically jumps in defense of the organisation. In effect, it could be inferred by your statements that you believe a large company can't be wrong and multiple individuals must be lying for reporting their negative experiences. Hmmm. Not very rational is it?

In answer to defamation, it can only be labelled as such if the statements are false. The answer to your question in relation to why so many 'horrible stories' is the obvious conclusion: they're accurate! And certainly these first hand reports appear to corroborate each other. Furthermore, it's called freedom of speech and this is one method for expats to obtain information that organisations would rather not disclose.  By the way some here are T...P representatives! Oh and I agree in giving other T...Prepresentatives a fair chance and would welcome their experiences whether negative or positive.

You also cite 'labour court'. How do you know that the company is not being taken to court? I can confirm indeed legal proceedings have been initiated, so thanks for inadvertently pointing that out. This is yet one more reason to distrust a company being taken to court in the first year of its inception. Why would employees resort to that is a more thought provoking question?

By the way for the benefit of the many other expats out there, what such companies do is play on your lack of knowledge of the labour law and unfamiliarity of the native tongue. They also utilise fear mongering tactics and perturbed logic of 'if you have a case you would take us to court' and 'If you're not happy then leave'. In fact one senior personnel is caught on an audio recording as saying 'you're a teacher: you have no rights!'

Hello British Expat,

I apologize for upsetting your  feelings and asure you  that was never my intention. I found the details of how this employer has continued to treat its employees very upsetting and disturbing and wish this had never happened.

I my self was a victim of a nasty employer two decades ago in Al Khobar and remember how frustrated and helpless I felt with a pregnant wife and a 2 year old daughter accompanying me.

Only years later I matured to realize that I could have minimized the damage and agony by getting out of the organisation an soon as I had smelled the problems. As a rule I found out that I can not ( in the capacity of an individual) fight with an organisation, teach them law and expect to remain a part of it thereafter.

The issue of 'defamation. is understood by the old members and it is a general rule in force EB. I hope over a period of time you will appreciate why it is being implemented.

Thank you for your understanding..

Hi people,
I have been offered a job with T.. p in buraydah and was happy to proceed with the position but after seeing this blog am somewhat unsettled at the whole prospect.
I realise that this blog is referring to the runnings of the college in Makkah and therefore would request any of those that know about the buraydah site to shed some light on it.
Is the situation the same with the changes of deans there ?
What about payment on time ?
Is there bullying by the management in this site also ?
Work hours ?
Any unexpected resignations or terminations of contracts ?
What's the positives of this placement ?
I would really appreciate if any of you can get back to me. Thanks in advance :)

AA & Hi
@ gidi19: "The company is relatively new. They don't have an office here in the UK as far as I am aware"
please use "professor google" it is very useful, check this out: tq.com/tq-history.asp - TQ History

Please don't be taken in by words like excellence or quality, most of the people - expats/ Saudi - wouldn't know what these words mean even if they smacked them square in the face.

I'm sure you are intelligent enough to ignore rareshine's post. This person didn't get the job so no first hand experience, hence "can't comment on how they treat their employees", but she has a friend who works there though and she "hasn't heard of any complaints". How do we know this? More importantly was the question ever posed to her friend? Most of the current and ex employees at TQ would disagree.

British_Expat and B_M_Expat sum up the situation perfectly and there is not much I can add without revealing identities. However just so that you know the control centre for the 3 COE's is Buraydah. The management style is ye olde English.

It is typical management versus staff when it should be 1 team helping each other. This usually happens when the person leading has no clue as to what he is doing (but believes he does) so resorts to bullying/intimidation and/or sneakily firing people. The level of management incompetence beggars belief. They know they can get away with it because it really is the wild west (wild middle east) in Saudi. Some of the people here would never get away with what they do in Saudi if they were in the UK. I related my experience to an ex manager (a real manager more qualified than any of the management at TQ, even with their phd's) and he was incredulous with disbelief and asked if I had been on candid camera.

Be prepared for no help what so ever and beware of some of the "muslims" as they have the attributes of Abdullah Ibn Ubay Ibn Salool - if you don't know he was known as the father of the munafiqoon. Expats in Saudi (Muslim/non Muslim) have many faces and some are better at disguising their true intentions better than others.

The Prophet PBUH said "speak good or keep silent". You have a family and you are Muslim so I have to help you and I know it's Makkah (that's what I thought too, which Muslim doesn't want to be there). If you are the type of person who asks no questions no matter what then go for it. But if you are the type of person who abhors lying, deceit, incompetence and goal posts constantly moving then you will be setting yourself up for unnecessary stress and heartache and you will ask yourself "what have I done" or I should have listened to the brothers' warnings.

Think carefully before you proceed as these words of warning are backed up not just by the 20 or so teachers whose jobs were terminated without warning but by many of the staff still remaining.

I almost forgot (there's so much that happened). On the day that the jobs were terminated some teachers who didn't get fired wished that they had and I also spoke to some afterwards who said that they would ask if they could get the severance package. I told these colleagues that there is no way that TQ would agree to their request as they would need some of the existing teachers to help train the new "patsies"....sorry I mean new teachers :D. What happens in the future to the teachers who were kept on is anyone's guess as the situation is always quite fluid at TQ.

Just to add to what British_Expat said about senior personnel being recorded saying inappropriate things, one dean, (in the presence of his 2 deputies, who didn't intervene or show their objection - so their inaction implicates them also) was recorded using threatening and intimidating language, e.g. "do you fancy your chances, I can ask these 2 to leave the room" - he was asking the teacher to a fight)

You now have before you what some teachers experienced at TQ Makkah. As Muslim I would never want to leave Makkah and would never do anything to jeopardize my stay there but it was not meant to be. Alhumdulillah, man plans and Allah plans and he is the best of planners.

WS

I have just signed a contract with tq in buraydah. I have previously worked in Riyadh for an ass of a manager and these posts are making me think twice. Tq have promised me that I can take my wife/family on my own expenses after 3 months and that il be in a compound. I think I want t get confirmation of getting an iqama after 3 months as if I don't. I will leave and come back to the uk as I can't leave family behind for longer than that. I know how easy it is to get sacked in Saudi as I've experienced other teachers getting sacked for almost anything.. E.g a student asked for a rubber during an exam, the teacher was being watched by an internal member of staff and told the dean that they were talking during the exam... Leading to the teacher getting sacked. That's how bad it is. I do want as much info I. CAn get on tq in buraydah as the posts I've read could mean I pull out now before it's too late. We leave our families and homes etc to earn a good living, not to go through crap. I worked I. Riyadh for a year and although I had some good times, I remember every week seeing new teachers or seeing teachers getting sacked. I saw at least 12 teachers getting sacked every term. It made me worry about my job all the time I was there. If anyone has any info on buraydah, tq, la palma compound and iqamas... Please do share

Hi to everyone.
Your answers have been most helpful. I had my interview and was offered the job. However, after reading all these comments their is definitely no chance of me accepting the job. I believe your valuable feedback has stopped me from making the biggest mistake of my life. I cannot thank you enough and hope that someday someone will also come to your help, like you have done for me. I believe we should keep this blog running and warning fellow members of the dangers of working for such a company. I thank Allah that he gave me the guidance to start this blog as I could find no I formation about the treatment of teachers at t...p. I would advise the brother who has accepted the role to think really hard about whether it is worth the stress and headache to take a gamble on such a company. If anyone needs any info on  how my interview went message me and I will reply.
Thanks again for all your advice and may everyone have a wonderful life.

lol i find it comical that this tread went dead for almost a week  and then was resurrected with people just posting one after another with the same agenda! nonetheless, all new members with 1-3 posts. NOT falling for it.

I have accepted but I think il apply with other companies who can send me initially on an iqama. Rare shine it's not about 1 to3 posts. There still is no info on tq in buraydah. The brother who stRted this blog applied for mecca tq and those who replied gave their opinions. I myself worked for a. Agency and taught in 5 different parts of Saudi and the similarities in how they operate are obvious. I still managed to complete my year and I will be going back, as the situation here in the uk is poor as far as employment or wages are involved. Gidi 19, you originally explained you'll be going with family.. Is that on an iqama initially or will you be taking them after 3 months?

It would have been after the three month probation period.

Hi   

@Bmw320d. You say - 1 - "rareshine it's not about 1 to3 posts."
2 -  "There still is no info on tq in buraydah".

For point 1, thank you for pointing that out. What is comical and insidious is that someone who got rejected by the company and has no apparent experience tries to make fun of and discredit 3 people who experienced first hand this so called professional top 100 FTSE company. 

This person "rareshine" ( I use this line of reasoning because you have to remember that on the internet no one knows you are a dog - type this sentence into Google images and you will see what I'm referring to) further comments that there is an agenda and that the topic was quiet for a week. Well, the point about the agenda could be equally applied to rareshine (who was rejected by TQ because, in her own words, "they are picky when it comes to candidates") and the fact that it took 1 week to respond (how inconsiderate and impertinent of people not to be sitting on this site to the exclusion of their life). I think the word that comes to mind is shill ( I've recently found out that there is a substantial amount of people being paid to argue against anything on the internet), I could be wrong, it is known that people can make mistakes.

For point 2 perhaps I didn't make it clear enough in my original post so here it is again "However just so that you know the CONTROL CENTER for the 3 COE's is Buraydah. The management style is ye olde English". Just think about management structure, i.e. hierarchical - top down etc. If it's good management then great but in the case of TQ ( I say TQ not just TQ Middle East because of the recorded fight incident with one of the deans in Makkah - The senior mgt of TQ know about this, if they don't then they have a very big serious problem, unless it is a case of plausible deniability), it is CR.P in which equals CR.P out ( you could change that to SH.T) either one is fine, that's what you have to remember about the authoritative dictatorial style of management. It doesn't matter who is in charge at the other 2 sites the flow of CR.P is from Buraydah. Just be prepared to sit through management meetings which don't achieve anything other than putting you into a coma from the BS "management speak", a healthy dose of BS acronyms and the false sense of empathy. Ultimately, as we found out we were listened to, it was not liked and it was the highway for approximately 20 teachers.

Best of luck whatever you decide.

I'm not here to take sides but as for the obvious. Those who have mentioned what happens at tq have witnessed it first hand. I understand what saudi is like as I've been there through both good and bad. Tq doesn't sound different to any other organisation there. My previous Dean was Greek who didn't know how to use a pencil sharpener yet he was made out like he knew more than Einstein.  I liked the other teachers as we all got along and made the most of the year there but my main issue was the visa and accommodation.  The business visa was a headache as it involved travelling at my own cost every 30 days. The accommodation was disgusting bit because I didn't have an accommodation allowance I was stuck.  Other than these 2 things I enjoyed my time there. I will be going as I've made myself clear to those who need to be told first. If I'm messed about il just come back and nothing more . The company here who have given me the job have been made aware and that's all that matters. What are the compounds like?  I've been told I could be in a hotel or the compound. I don't want to be in the hotel to be honest. They also say the contract is 30k plus 15 for other expenses... how much do you actually get paid on a monthly basis? My previous manager used to take 1 or 2 hundred pound every month for no good reason so wanted to know if this happens here at tq? And do you get paid at the start of the month?

lol, sounds like you're the one with a personal vendetta - mostly against tq clearly in all of 2 posts.

Gidi and BMW the point I'm trying to draw your attention to is - if you start researching the grid on ESL teaching in Saudi, you will find the whiners and complainers. It's all over the blogs, forums and social networks. There is no company known to man, saudi or otherwise, that doesn't have -those- employees that hate working there. To their defense, it is possible that conditions weren't what they expected, however, there are those that can never be satisfied. Wether you take a job with tq or not, both irrelevant to me, clearly, heavily relevant to "Mr. Grudge" - I just want to advise you to be careful about taking internet posts as things written in stone. After all, if it's just accommodation you fear, you can always find your own humble abode, most suitable for you.  All the best to all.

La Palma compound is a good place to live. The people that lived there were friendly and fun. You will make friends if you try.

TQ Pearson was starting up last year and was openingly recruiting from ESL teachers at La Palma. The Brit that was heading up the school was professional and really tried to shoot straight with his teachers. I liked him but some teachers found his Brit arrogances to be too much. The teachers at Pearson worked 30 hours a week and sometimes more. Some of the teachers at other schools worked less then 20 hours a week and received a higher wage.

The locals are the real troubling issue for most folks. Working in KSA is always dependent on who's your master. Buridah has the following great qualities.......money and wild cats.

Thanks for the info. How about shopping there? And can I hire a car without an iqama

What do you mean by shopping?  The compound has a store that has food and other basics. You can travel to Buridah and shop at Panda and other large retail stores. Local shops are fun to visit and you can purchase most items you can in America there other than alcohol. Always travel with two of more and tell folks where you are going. Safety is second nature to most Westerners in Qassim.

Hiring a car without an iqawa is not something I know about. I have a driver provided by the company I work for. I have had a car but driving in KSA is dangerous.  Teachers from TQ often made trips together and others at the compound will offer you a ride if they like you. If you hang around the pool area and make friends you can get a ride.

Thank you for the info.  I worked in jubail previously and know how boring it can be at times so enquired about a car as at least on the weekends I can go on road trips. I've seen a video of the la palma compound and it looks good, it's a bit normal to have both sexes around compared to my previous place there.  Are there a lot of families living there too?

Jubail is where my brother in law and sister in law work now. If Jubail was boring Buridah is Death Valley. My brother in law came to visit me during Eid last year and said the boredom could make a cockroach commit suicide. The people in Jubail, locals, were very friendly compared to Qassim.

Some families of soccer players and some teachers. I enjoy playing sports so the athletes were a plus for me. There are children and a playground for them. There are several pools so you can avoid the little ones.  I would often play soccer and basketball with the older children.

Internet is free in the Commons area but you will need to purchase it for your room.  The rooms are several steps above what my in laws have in Jubail.

Well I was in jubail and to me it was the end of the world. I was only there for a few months but it was tough. There's hardly and people and they don't have a mall. They have this small shopping centre which again has hardly any people and I lived a few miles away from the shops and high street so couldn't even get food at times. I've been to a few places but jubail was by far the worst. I think I found it so bad as I was in riyadh for 6 months before going to jubail. There's not much to do in saudi generally I think but If there's westerners and living in a compound makes life a little easier. At least there's people lol. I used to go on the hash every Friday which was something to do... do you have that in buraydah?

I believe there are malls but maybe women only. I am not a mall person. The compound is for Western folks only but many Muslims live there. There's always a Thursday evening football game at the compound. Well we had them before I moved. There's always a Brit in the common area telling everyone how smart he is. You will meet him soon enough. Well once again if he is still employed but I don't think KSA could survive without him. At least that is what he thinks. Any who,  you will have folks to talk to and be entertained by if you want.

That's ok. Do you know if the tq teachers have any pay issues,?

Teachers are complainers by nature so I ignored much of these areas of conversation. I am not an ESL teacher but I worked around them. Being paid one day later than I am suppose to isn't an issue with me. But ESL teachers that worked with me thought the world ended.

Pay issues for TQ was not something I remember being an issue. Rude management,  incepted rules,  and basic no one had a clue in Management were a common complaint of TQ teachers. These were the same for most teachers.

Where did you work in Jubail? Sounds like a language school or JIC.

One language school to avoid in the Qassim area is Hinti Academy. A Brit that worked there went crazy due to poor treatment. He walked around his villa nude until one day he was escorted to the airport.

I worked for an agency who had contracts with sabic and another 2 companies. I was teaching the workers there. The companies I went to teach at were really good... The students and other staff members were very friendly. My agency was the problem. . I was told I'd get paid and for an unknown reason I'd have 1 or 2 hundred missing every month. I had issues like rent... The accommodation wasn't paid for by the company and the landlord would cut off the electricity etc. That was in riyadh. In jubail my accommodation almost killed me. I had a bed with 2 inch foam matress.  I could only have cold showers and no locks on any doors so my weird house mate would walk in whenever he felt the need to. He had broke the ac system because he didn't like it instead of just switching it off. I don't know how I did 2 months there lol.

So I'm guessing running around nude in a compound is an issue. I went to a compound party in riyadh and it was like a swingers club... everyone just all over each other and drunk.  The women at this place were quite old so unfortunately I left with some cake and not a date.

The compound receives its pay for the room you have in advance normally one year. Single folks get one room if you are sharing, the rooms have independent ac units in each room.  You may have to share a shower but not a bathroom. All doors have two locks on them. Management at the compound would handle any problem because the local prince owns the compound from what we were told. Wild party didn't happen as far as I knew. There were numerous young female teachers and very few young male teachers. I had offers from females to cook for me but I love to cook and my wife back in the States souled have frowned on it.

Roommates...OMG. I had one in KSA that had friends that weren't real. He spoke to them as if they were. Scared me at times. He also felt the need to visit my room. I was afraid to report him since I was the new guy.

Pay was never an issue I asked a friend that was there last year and he said you get paid but the management is dodgy.

I thought it was a 1 bedroom flat. Well with the housing allowance I'd like to at least try not to share. Only because your theory of housemates is  true. I once had an alcoholic who would brew and supply but came into school smelling... before we got back our flat had been invaded and it caused issues. He also brought back philipino guys and it wasn't easy to sleep hearing that crap. It's good that there's more females than males... I was used to boyzone and it was quite distressing lol

The villas are 1 bedroom, and additional bedrooms. I had a four bedroom vila because my company had folks visiting from other locations. The one bedroom flats are nice depending on location. The compound was 1/5 filled while I lived there.

Ok. When did you leave there? Are there rooms available there? I don't want to stay at the rudi hotel. Is the gym any good?

I left in June. There were numerous villas available then. The gym was good for working out. Not sure if you can live outside of  the compound. All Westerners were required to live in the compound from what I was told. The prince could have changed his mind.

riazcdki :

Hello EB TEAM,

Where is your policy of "DEFAMING AN ORGANISATION"?

How come so many members tell horrible stories against a large commercial organisation?

Do you not think you must also give a  T...P representative a chance to clarify their side of the story! It will only be fair.

I do not believe a bunch of Army retired guys are bulling dozens of expat teachers for ages and no body has taken up the issue to the labour court, are we watching a 1956 western movie?

Riaz, such bullying is common in the ESL world, especially in the Gulf countries.  Just go to www.eslcafe.com and you will see similar accounts by many teachers regarding dozens of employers and contracting companies who hire out teachers to employers.

Also, if someone punches me and I tell the world about it, am I defaming them?

Hi all,

We believe that all has been said on this thread and the questions of the initiator answered.
Time to bring it to an end.

Thanks
Armand
Expat.com Team

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