We have finished working with Dilko English here is Istanbul - a little earlier than we originally intended. The how and why is a story for another day.
So here is another little story that just gives a hint of what it's been like working here.
It's July now, and most of the teachers have already left or gone on holiday for the summer. Charlotte has gone back to England for a month. Dilko didn't pay her as she left what they owed for her previous month of work because "that's not how it's done" - payment is always on the 15th of the following month and she left at the end of the month. So she asked them to give her pay to her flatmate, Stephanie, on the 15th. That was ok, they said, they could do that.
However Stephanie was flying back to the States for a holiday in the early hours of the 16th ... so Charlotte gave us her bank details, and Stephanie would hand us the money and we would put it in the bank so she could access it in England.
Simple. What's so hard about that?
Well, first of all, the 15th this month happened on a Sunday. Never been a problem before - we work on Sundays, harder than any other day. We've been paid on a Sunday before. They knew well in advance that pay day was going to fall on a Sunday.
We turned up on Sunday for our pay, and were told "Yok", meaning 'there isn't any', and that we could not be paid until Monday. We graciously left (with a bit of a sigh...). Remarkably they managed to rustle up Stephanie's money, so she got paid before her early Monday morning flight. However Stephanie had no time to go to the bank - it's ok, we could bank hers at the same time as Charlotte's on Monday.
On Monday we turned up, smiling brightly, and accepted our pay for the work we had done in June ... however they told us that they couldn't pay us Charlotte's money because she had asked to have it paid to Stephanie (who was now on her way to the US and of course they had been unable to pay Charlotte's money to Stephanie before Stephanie left because it was Sunday ...)
Emails zoomed across the 'net as Charlotte sent new instructions, and we turned up again Tuesday morning, ready to get our hands on Charlotte's money. Oh, sorry! The lady who gives out the pay is not here, come back at 2pm.
Returning at 2pm. Oh, sorry! She is still at lunch. Come back later.
Returning at 3.40pm. Oh sorry! There is no money today. The owner of Dilko hasn't been to the bank yet. Try again tomorrow.
Somehow we thought that as we are now in Europe and no longer in China, we wouldn't have these problems. The second biggest language company in Istanbul with branches all over the city should be able to come up with teachers' wages on the promised date and not need to make up stupid stories. I would have thought.
Remember the Gold Rule? (The one in The Wizard of Id of course.)