Fired Because of this Blog

Posted on 23. Jun, 2011 by in colombia

Alternate Title: My 1st Professional Hit for Expat Chronicles

In April I went to the office of the English institute I worked for. Just a couple weeks prior, I’d obtained my third work visa with this company (the third consecutive visa is worth two years). So I wouldn’t have had to go back to DAS or the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores or pay millions of pesos to any government offices for two years. I was quite happy about that.

When I got to the office, Institute Pimp and I took care of whatever we had to take care of. Then he said he wanted to talk to me downstairs. The office was crowded with other teachers.

Going down, I half-expected him to tell me he’d found this site. Every time I walked into that office, the fact that they might have found it lurked in the back of my mind.

When we got downstairs, Institute Pimp said he’d found this site. He spoke for a while about what he didn’t like, especially in English Language Industry in Latin America, then said we couldn’t “work together” anymore. He didn’t say I was all wrong about anything, he says a lot of the content is true. He read several articles. His main problem was that his clients are giant multinationals. Many employees speak English and are web-savvy. If somebody found the site, then recognized my picture on the About page, then thought “Yo conozco ese gringo …” because they see me at the office regularly, then the institute may lose clients.

Colombians have told me there’s a law prohibiting the termination of employees for content published on the web. I didn’t put up a fight. I was getting more and more inconvenienced with having to teach the institute’s classes. It just got to be not worth it anymore. I was only doing it for the work visa.

This blog content’s pretty bad. Who could blame him?

Institute Pimp is a salesman. Regular readers know that I had told him I wasn’t interested in teaching English. We agreed to move towards using me to help him sell classes. He’d gain credibility having a blue-eyed gringo with him at conventions, seminars, and other sales calls. He’d also be able to have me do routine account service sales tasks, freeing up his own time. I’d get to learn how to sell in Colombia from a great Colombian salesman. Cultural differences make lots of things difficult, including sales. I’ve made sales to Colombians and Peruvians, and many principles are universal, but I still have a lot to learn. I’m nowhere near ready to write a piece called Selling in Latin America (someday!). Institute Pimp lived in North Carolina, so he’s conscious of these cultural differences and explains frankly how Colombians are. We were both eager for me to stop teaching and start selling.

I’m happy not to be teaching for the institute anymore, but I was disappointed about losing my work visa and the opportunity to sell with Institute Pimp.

I’m back on a tourist visa again, 60 days renewable twice per calendar year. When I was initially fired, I only had a week left in Bogota before returning to St. Louis for two weddings. I was worried I wouldn’t be allowed back in, but they automatically gave me a tourist visa. I have sixty days to figure something out.

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13 Responses to “Fired Because of this Blog”

  1. alex

    24. Jun, 2011

    FUCK!!! Theres a million schools out there man, WallStreet, Berlitz,Passport…whats that ritzy private school out there, Nuevo Grande or American School?

  2. Samuel

    24. Jun, 2011

    dang, man, sorry to hear about this. I used to be a major blogger and I ran into some real life ‘consequences’ because of my posts too. I felt, however, that I still want to be able to say what I want to say and fuck anyone who doesn’t like it.

    But when it comes to payin’ the bills, the boss is one of those few people whose opinions of me does matter. I hate that, but until I get rich / retired, which may be never, I have to try and co-exist.

    I wonder if this might prompt you to look at other cities as options, such as Bucaramanga or Manizales, or other smaller cities, or are you keen on staying in Bogota? My research has pointed to the idea that Manizales might be a kick-ass place to spend a year doing TEFL and living life.

  3. Daniel

    24. Jun, 2011

    Fuck it, man, you’ll make more money teaching to particulars without having the institute in the middle getting their slice from the cake.

    As for christians in colombia, they’re the biggest hypocrites I’ve seen in my entire life. I’ve met some evangelist who have refused to pay their debts but they’re every sunday in church talking about what people should do (but they don’t do it in real life) This also goes for the catholic (I’m one of them I guess?).

  4. Maria

    24. Jun, 2011

    With all due respect Samuel…..Manizales??? Bucaramanga??? yeah those are places that will spring you forward to retirement and easy living…. there are many companies that teach English… my sister works for a small one and she goes to the US embassy weekly to teach the ‘nativos’… so really I don’t think you need to move because you lost one job at one place….

    Why don’t you just ‘marry’ a colombiana, pay her some money and done…. It’s not like in the States where they will check up if you are living together etc….it’s really not that hard…. Plus I found out much later that a wedding here is invalid in the States…who knew… I was married to an American in Chia and years later when we divorced they had no record anywhere…even in the States and we filed our papers there after we returned…. (I was a US citizen before we married….) I am living in Bogota out of my own free will and I kinda like it…..

    God, I hate commenting on these ‘manly’ sites but Colin I really do love your posts…… priceless….. I always think when I read your posts that happens here???

    Just like a girl to blah, blah, blah…sorry guys but if you read this far I can’t wait for the negative comments to ensue…

    You all be good tonight ! M

  5. Samuel

    24. Jun, 2011

    lo siento, Maria, my ignorance knows no bounds. I am not qualified to speak about Colombia when it comes to hands-on knowledge such as different locales. I just know those towns have a good bit of universities between them.

    Could you please elaborate why those locations I mentioned would be good or not-so-good for teaching english?

    BTW the ‘marry a Colombiana’ bit seems like good advice… but I know that when they come to the states they have to be married for several years before they are ‘set’ in country. If a gringo were to marry a Colombiana, does it work similarly? How long would I have to be married to one, for instance, in order to remain in Colombia indefinitely?

  6. alex

    25. Jun, 2011

    @Maria, whats the name of the company your sister works for?

  7. Colin

    25. Jun, 2011

    @ samuel – I’m sure Manizales and Bucaramanga are great towns, but I’m a city boy. I’m with Maria, I’ll go to those to die. On the other hand, however, the people of smaller cities in Latin America are amazingly friendly. I lived in Arequipa, Peru for one year and it was amazing, but I needed a bigger city.

    For more on that see Paisas vs. Rolos, Medellin vs. Bogota.

    @ Maria – You inspired a blog post! <Se busca: Colombiana para casarse

  8. Maria

    25. Jun, 2011

    Alex,

    I am not sure, I will ask her tomorrow and will let you know.

  9. matthew

    27. Jun, 2011

    As daniel said you’ll make more money teaching particular classes. You could could almost run them out of your apartment if you keep it nice and clean. Try and find a few people that have the same english level and availability and you can teach them at the same time without wasting lots of time either way one on one is much better. I found an institute in AQP that didnt care i didnt have a work visa however they paid as such. Sucked so bad. was 10 soles c / hora. and not even the educational hour… so whereas other places paid more for 45 minutes of my time this shithole paid for 60 minutes. crock of shit. its too bad so many places want you to have a work visa but if you cant get a work contract you cant get the visa. or am I misinformed on that???

  10. Rodney

    31. Jul, 2011

    I just stumbled on to this site while doing research on teaching English in Colombia. I have only spent a month in Colombia but I think I want to stay awhile and teach English. I have a Masters degree in Education and an Accounting degree. I have been an educator for 16 years including two as a Principal. If any of you guy’s don’t mind, I would love to have a few new connections in the country. I would love to live in Medellin, currently I have an offer at an school in Barranquilla and they gave me until October to decide if I want to work there. I will take that job if I can’t find a good position in Medellin. Any info would be appreciated!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Chow

  11. allen craig

    02. Aug, 2011

    Sorry you lost your visa and job. It’s kinda funny though as I think the very first email I sent you over a year ago alluded to this “conflict of interest”. You’re an experienced, smart business guy, yet you have this potentially offensive presence that in some ways crosses onto your prefessional existence. I hope this problem doesn’t cause bigger problems with a future job you REALLY want…

    Good luck finding the espousa colombiana. Estoy buscando también.

  12. Rubio

    04. Aug, 2011

    Dude, SUE THEIR ASSES! I bet they’ll be quaking in their boots and settle out of court pretty quickly. What they did contravenes the Colombian Constitution, and makes them legally liable. Plus, it’ll be free publicity for you!

  13. Gsg

    28. Oct, 2012

    Glad you got the sack….running a brothel and promoting sex with the underage makes you a dirty fuck! Leicester is the place to witness the true manosphere, so pop over and let’s make you into one 🙂

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