For six months I was an independent contractor working from the United States for an online company by the name of TutorABC or TutorGroup located in Taiwan. My services were terminated but according to my contract, I still am supposed to be working with them.
I have done nothing wrong! When I first got the position I was ecstatic because this job represented something that I am very well versed in due to my 10 year experience, teaching adult professionals in Canada, where my student's enjoyed my teaching method. They would be very open with me. I found the same thing to be true with the students I taught online at TutorABC.
They were wonderful and just wanted to learn English, and I totally loved teaching them. Unfortunately, I was not trained properly in the beginner, but because I have the experience with teaching online, I adapted and eventually learned my way around the software to properly teach the students myself.
Although I was delightfully enjoying the students and they would give me high ratings because they enjoyed my class. One of the managers, Janelle Harrington seemed to have a personal problem with me that had nothing to do with our contract or my job performance.
A daily shift usually involved myself as a tutor who would pick my class hours and communicate with the management in a separate window, if needed. I am not required to keep the separate window open, unless I need to speak to the management for emergencies or concerns, but I did
because I wanted to be present in case the management needed me to cover another tutor's shift.
When I first started I would work 5 days a week, 40 to 45 hours a week at 8.00 an hour, which was raised to 9.00 due to my performance (which is determined by the students). The management would often interrupt me in the middle of my sessions in the messenger window to ask me if I could help them with an extra emergency session.
This often happens when they suddenly have an emergency with one of the consultants and they need a substitute. I would often take on those extra hours, willingly even though I was tired, because I enjoy teaching and was a dedicated worker. I soon realized that was a mistake because I
would lack rest, which I instantly told management would affect my performance.
So I decided to take less hours, so that I could give the students the most professional learning experience. I mentioned this often to the management, but for some reason, they would often still literally beg me(and I am not exaggerating here) to help them out. However, Janelle Harrington, who is supposed to be a Sessions Manager, overlooked this.
Whenever I signed in, I would be very warm to the online management, which is who I am and who I believe you are supposed to be. Janelle Harrington only greeted me warmly in one conversation, but for some reason when I told her that I am honored to be there, and I would do anything to assist TutorABC, she became very cold, for no apparent reason.
She seemed to be threatened by my intelligence and how well I was treating the students. On one occasion during my tenure, I had one class where I hadn't gotten enough sleep and was very tired but I continued teaching.
I saw a huge difference between the way that my HR recruiter handled the situation and how Janelle did. The recruiter asked me "Do you think you should take less hours again, because the student for the one class, mentioned you looked tired." I said "Oh wow, I'm sorry about that, and I will offer to do the class for free for them, and I truly apologize for that".
Janelle Harrington, on the other hand said "After reviewing your class it would appear that there is some unprofessional behavior." All the student classes are recorded. Janelle Harrington is the Sessions Manager, who was supposed to review the classes and make sure that the
students are getting the best professional service.
I was always asking her by email if she had looked at my performance, and she never got back
to me. She only came into the picture if there was something negative, which in my case happened once, with those students in August. She chose to talk down to me, and find anything negative about my performance.
I have recorded emails from every conversation that I have had with her. It was like, no matter what I did, I was never good enough. She even had the gall to compare me to other tutors, even when the students were blatantly giving me wonderful comments after the classes.
I emailed this to Janelle, along with my average rating and she only replied, "We are not just talking about your average rating now but for the entire time that you have been with us" That totally didn't make any sense, it was so clear, that she never made the effort, as a Special Sessions manager, to look at my performance and see it with her own eyes. No matter how many times I asked her to.
This is what I would often say to the management, "I just wanted to do my absolute best with you all and I am honored to be teaching with TutorABC". My main priority is to satisfy the students and to do my absolute best to keep my performance rating up".
Every consultant has a performance rating that starts at 8.0 and has to go up to at least 8.7 to be considered average. My rating in the beginning, when I was learning everything was 8.3, then rose to 8.5 in the second and third month, then July, August and September it shot up to 8.7 for all three months consecutively. If your rating goes up, that means you are satisfying the students, because they are rating me each time they leave the class.
They also leave comments after the classes and in the beginning I had a few things to learn, during my first month, but once I taught myself the system and learned what the students needs were, I just made sure that I gave them my unprecedented attention. My teaching method included playing and joking with the students (which is what TutorABC wanted from tutors), so that they enjoyed the idea of learning English.
There were many times when I worked over 50 hours a week, simply because the schedulers were short staffed, and I enjoyed teaching and the students saw me as very valuable. I gave so much of myself to those students and they always let me know that they thought my performance was good and they learned a lot. I have never worked for a company where the clients appreciated me.
September was a very slow month for tutoring, so I decided to book many sessions. I made it my business to communicate with management as usual. One of the days I booked 12 hours and only worked one. Earlier, Janelle told me that it was due to my low average rating, but the other management told me differently. The other management heads told me that everyone was getting hours cut due to the students going back to school and work after the summer session.
Janelle lied to me each time, when I asked her why were my hours cut. Little did she know that I found out the truth from other management heads, but kept it to myself. I took on so many classes like this every week, where I would book six and maybe work 5 or 8 hours only. I kept my window open and communicated with the brass, to let them know that I would be there for them if they need me for emergencies as usual.
They would often tell me that they don't need me or I could log off for the night. My last class I booked at 3am PST in the morning. I mistakenly missed it because I logged off, thinking that it was going to be slow for the rest of the evening.
Janelle Harrington took this opportunity to send me a note, stating that my contract will be terminated indefinitely. An email that I never received that was supposingly sent earlier. She was very aloof and unsympathetic.
Petrus Malan, who was manager of lesson plans at TutorABC, had a separate contract with me to create lesson plans for the company. Not too long after speaking with Janelle, Petrus notified me saying "I was informed that your services have been terminated with the company. Thus,it means you will not be able to write lesson plans for our company anymore.
Your contract for writing is an appendix to the service agreement." There is nothing in my contract with Petrus that states that my contract for writing is an appendix to the service agreement. Grounds for termination for these lesson plans, according to my contract, was only for plagiarism,which I never did. I have every conversation, screenshot, email and all other correspondence since my first day working there. I want to make sure justice is served, and that Janelle Harrington does not do this to anyone else!