Monday, January 08, 2007

Eminently Ridiculous

I don't usually post vitriol on this blog, but this has had me boiling for the past two days and I NEED AN OUTLET!! Grr!!

Sunday, 4pm:
I received an sms from a tuition agency asking for payment of tuition commissions.
(NB to the uninitiated, 50% of the first month fee goes to a tuition agency for the "introduction")

Complete puzzlement. I have only ONE tuition student at the moment, and I recall that her family gave me only half the first month's fee, stating that they would pay the rest to the agency directly.

The previous student I was to take was introduced to me in November. I accepted the student but the assignment fell through BEFORE the first formal lesson was even conducted, at the request of the student. And I do remember telling the tution agency lady that the assignment was cancelled. She even commiserated with me that that family was constantly cancelling assignments after accepting them.

Sunday, 6pm:
Finished meeting, called the tuition agency. The lady I spoke to could not even specify the name, address and school of the student they claimed they introduced to me. She was apparently trying to guess.. Anyhow shoot! Student is from RJC (Wrong), ACJC (Also Wrong), is surnamed Fong (Even More Wrong), and changes gender throughout the conversation.

Snide remarks from tuition agency lady in background during lapses in conversation. Things like "Yah she is my tutor, I will settle", "Irritating, spoil my Sunday", "Not professional", "Don't behave like a teacher".

All the while, she insisted that I could not have gotten to know the student without her introduction and that the family is supposed to pay me the full sum, and I am supposed to make payment to the agency.

Still no specifications on WHO this student is supposed to be.

Sunday, 6.10pm:
I called my current student and confirmed with her mother that only half the payment had been given to me, the other half was given directly to the tuition agency and a despatch rider came to collect it. The lady promised to search for the invoice once she reached home to prove payment had been made.

Sunday, 6.15pm:
Really mad. Why do I need to inconvenience my students' parents and embarass myself asking these things? Why do I need to endure sarcasm and snide remarks on my character?

I called the agency back again in a fury. What nonsense is this?

The tuition agency lady claimed her remarks earlier were on another phone conversation (Yeah right), called me an idiot to my face, said she would blacklist me and take legal action.

And she still cannot even state the name of the client.

Too much. I kupped the phone.

Sunday, 7.30pm:
The champion of the story.

My current student's mother called back after reaching home and ransacking the house for the invoice. Not only does it prove payment was made, but (watch this) ITS NOT EVEN FROM THIS TUITION AGENCY.

And she has the documentation to prove it.

Monday, 8.30am:
Smsed the info of my current student and previous student that fell through in a detailed, 6-sms long series to our dear tuition agency lady. A waste of 30 cents if you ask me. How I regret even bothering.

"My only current student is from XXJC.(school name changed to protect privacy of student) The best part is she was NOT EVEN your client. The family has receipts and invoices to prove this. The last student I accepted from you was XX (name changed to protect privacy blahblah) from XJC NOT RJC or ACJC as you claim, and the assignment was cancelled by the student BEFORE the first formal lesson even started. By the way, neither of them are surnamed Fong as you claim your client is. I'm amazed you don't even know which client you are talking about. You are the unprofessional one to claim fees without even verifying facts. You can blacklist and insult me for YOUR ERRORS, but rest assured I will ensure all XX(my school) teachers and all my teacher friends in other schools know about how you conduct your business and I will strongly urge them to reconsider before taking any assignments from you."

Monday, 10.30am:
And the dear lady called back, asking again how I could have gotten to know my student without her and threatening her legal action story again. Madam, you do not run the only tuition agency in Singapore you know?

And (No prizes for guessing!) She STILL has no ability to tell me who the "student" is!!

Cannot be bothered. Kupped the phone again.

Whoohoo.. Blacklist me indeed.
You mean there are no other tuition agencies in Singapore that will jump at a chance to take on a teacher from the best school in the country?

And legal action indeed when you cannot even tell me which client you are referring to throughout 3 phone conversations over 2 days?
I think the lawyers will snort their lunch out through their nose if you try, they will be laughing so hard.

Do not forget I have the ability to influence the all the teachers in my school, college and secondary sections alike, as well as any other teachers I have gotten to know over the course of my career. I can spread this story around and allow them to judge for themselves who has been unprofessional. See whether they will still accept your assignments after that.

I won't go so far as to post the agency's details on this blog, but suffice to say said lady is unique enough in having an unplaceable accent, plenty of empty promises and cannot get her facts straight.

So what exactly, Ms P, is this case about??
Your shoddy administrative skills, lousy client tracking, or "excellent" people skills?

Have fun trying to get me down.
So ridiculous.

Have called back ALL the tuition students I have taken in 2006, and checked my bank statements. Here goes:

YW: Taught in June 2006-Nov 2006, NOT from Ms P, and commission is paid directly from the family to the agent.
PL: Taught in Aug 2006-Nov 2006, from Ms P, and comsission was paid by cheque; listed in my bank statements.
JF: Introduced in Nov 2006, from Ms P. Cancelled by student before first formal lesson began. Confirmed by students' parents as of today.
CF: Taught in Dec 2006-Jan 2007, NOT from Ms P, commission is paid directly from the family to the agent. And I have gotten a photocopy of the receipt to prove it.

And guess what, our dear Ms P has NOT called a single one of the families concerned to verify a thing. Woo..

Oh yes. And apparently she has started calling MY colleagues to complain to them about me. Whoa, madam, who do you think they will believe? We will try in vain to stifle our laughter.


Sorry, failed at stifling it.

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