Tuesday, December 21, 2010
If this teacher was running six or seven world-famous websites, and had offered to make his college "a website with gazillions of lessons for Arab and Muslim learners worldwide", would you be happy to just let him walk away?
And if this teacher had a stellar reputation and wide influence amongst his fellows in the global teaching community, would you claim indifference if he had NOTHING good to say about your college?
Well, if you work for ADWC, that answer just has to be ... YES
Goodbye, Sean, author of breakingnewsenglish.com and a handful of other famous and well-loved sites for EFL teachers and students. You are far too talented and honest to ever be able to prosper at HCT!
Monday, November 15, 2010
I'm sure I don't need to invite you all to give the fat tart the whacking she so thoroughly deserves, but . . . I'll do that anyway! You can find the old bitch here: http://www.punchinthefacebook.com/punch/adwc-abu-dhabi-uae/claw
Gosh, and it looks like King Tubby's been there already! Way to go, badboy . . . !!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Semester Two began with a flurry of resignations, both of staff and of hopes. Right off the bat, the Indian Wallah who oversaw the HD professionals put out the new ‘Observation Directive’, which was three observations over the year by supervisors. This regime of tireless scrutiny would involve one observation announced per semester and one unannounced over the year. Plus, there were to be two peer observations per year, where staff could be either the observer or observed. Obviously, the staff of ADWC were so lacking in competence they needed to have numerous ‘experts’ watching them teach!
This incredibly paranoid policy led to at least one instructor near the end of the term being observed FIVE times in a TWO WEEK period as the South Asian ‘supervisor’ was so inept at his job that he hadn’t conducted observations during the first semester, save for the new hires, as he was obliged to do in order to either pass or fail them on probation. Of course, all the new staff passed as there were students to teach. Think about it - FIVE observations in a two-week period!
When it came to the PEPs to be done, so much was put on the overworked HD staff that the ‘Supervisor’ failed to meet his own deadline in the 1st semester, and only got around to the preliminary and final discussion of the PEPs near the end of the 2nd semester, thus showing what kind of joke the PEPs really were in their minds. He so completely fell on his face!
Then there was the Ajayaluna ‘celebration’, a programmed event held every year. The HD lackey had so little foresight that he and his right-hand debutante of a “lead faculty” hurriedly assigned roles to their scant staff just two weeks before the event was to happen, sending them in every direction of the wind to run down students who had changed campuses or classes, had been eliminated, and otherwise were unidentifiable as they didn’t have the sense to write their names on their work. Of course, it HAD to be done as we were no longer professional teachers, we were event organizers. What a joke! At the Khalifa campus, incompetence was a ‘trickle-down’ event, and the poor teachers who tried to make it all work were the ones being trickled upon. In any event, the illusion held and the management were seen to be the victors.
There wasn’t to be a 2nd “Policy Council” meeting at the new campus, as a rainstorm had destroyed the meeting room - not to mention shown up the myriad other design flaws in the building. The fire marshal had determined that the building was so compromised that it wasn’t considered inhabitable. However, in true Khalifa management fashion, this applied only to the students, who were of course evacuated. Yet the staff were to be kept there for the entire day, building standing or not.
Then there was the announcement that there wouldn’t be an advance of salary for the summer, as the banking system had advanced so much that we could now draw our summer pay through the wide network of UNB ATMs around the world. Yeh, sure. Once again the management goonery had failed to do its homework, not realising that UNB debit cards do not work outside the Gulf! The unfortunate truth was that the HCT had become so cash-anaemic that they couldn’t even afford to purchase a 2nd refrigerator for the ever-expanding staff at the desert campus.
Later on it was announced that there was to be no annual raise or performance-related incentive. This was later revised, although the real reason was that the Ministry had run out of patience with the HCT in not gaining accreditation system-wide, that they had gone from a yearly/biannual budget to attaching funding to student populations. As more students saw how much of a joke the HCT had become and opted for other resources, namely ZU and private universities and colleges, the money was drying up. Also, the HCT now gets it funding on a month-to-month basis, so the purse strings are taut.
This professional alienation lasted for the entire year, only to be topped at the end of Semester 2 by the firing of a large part of the Khalifa HD staff on ‘Staff Appreciation Day’ - a mere two days before the end of the semester. Just when we thought that the upper management of the ADW campus had reached their personal peak of professional disrespect and contempt, they showed us all how low they could really go.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
The first time it rained at Khalifa we had a waterfall in the library (which by the way had NOT been budgeted for, and so was, and is, quite barren). Oh, and one in the foyer too. The third floor and most of the second floor was unusable for weeks – most of the semester in fact. There was no bandwidth to speak of for the technology (get it – HCT!) to be usable. Teachers who really wanted to teach had to develop ‘fallback’ lesson plans if there was any ‘technology’ involved in their lessons. In fact, near the beginning of the banishment, the teachers were told NOT to do too many online lessons as the new ‘management’ considered that teachers “weren’t teaching” if students were instructed to work on and complete online assignments. Actually, the students were lazy and annoyed that teachers who had assigned online worked actually walked around the room redirecting them out of chat rooms and IMs to actually perform the work.
And the clocks didn’t work. One time, just see how out of sync they were, I travelled to the classroom next door and saw a TEN MINUTE discrepancy between my classroom clock and the other. Then, the incompetent wife of another school’s supervisor was put in charge of ‘facilities’. She was so good at her job and so eager to show that she was making headway that the ‘temporary desks’ that had been assigned us to about six weeks into the semester were replaced by - get this - NEW ‘temporary desks’! And how were we informed of this? Of course, by arriving the usual 30 minutes before class began to find that HALF of the teaching staff’s stuff had been unceremoniously dumped on the floor so the NEW ‘temporary desks’ could be assembled. There then ensued another week or so of trying to sort out your stuff from other people’s. Oh, and don’t even ask about the ‘canteen’. It didn’t exist, except for the unsavoury crap that was brought in by lorry. Truly the mark of a 1st Class institution!
Eventually, the despicable CLAW and the joke of a temporary director came out to much fanfare to inform the ‘students’ of the new attendance standards which included them having to sign in by scanning their student cards, thereby giving upper management instant ass-coverage should a student be kicked out for lax attendance. At the end, the joke and the CLAW offered for any students who wanted to talk to them to come up to the table. They were overwhelmed! Students surged up to the table, whilst staff went off to their duties … only the next day to see the Stasi supervisors in the hallways noting down the teachers who were ‘late’ for class, even though some of us had reset our watches to the clocks on the walls of our classrooms to get there by class time. You see, the surge of students had complained en masse that if THEY were to be held accountable, why weren’t the teachers? The idiots! Teachers who arrived ‘late’ because the clock on the wall was off gave the lax students cover in coming in late. Their bitching had bit them in the ass and they were too stupid to realize it!
It was then that the weak excuse/parrot who ‘supervised’ the Higher Diploma called in the team members – disillusioned teaching staff - to individually inform them that he’d been instructed (i.e. programmed) to inform them that they “were not to rest on past laurels”. What a pile of shit! What is a CV if nothing more than ‘past laurels’? It didn’t much matter to him. As an Indian, he was used to following white people’s orders. It meant nothing to him at all.
The big news towards the end of the semester was that the exalted halls of the new campus were to be the venue of the ‘Policy Council’ – or rather, Tubby’s decision-endorsing committee. We were hurriedly moved into our new apparently ‘permanent’ offices to give the illusion of professional infrastructure. Of course, those ‘permanent’ offices were made temporary as staff were told to have everything back into boxes as new offices were going to be developed over the summer break. Oh, yes! Hardly a box was to be seen in the hallways (there was no other place to put our uprooted items for months other than boxes) and the desks were to be ship-shape as we all know that industrious teachers have perfectly-organized desk tops.
Then, finally, the end of semester one crept upon us. What a relief!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
The ADW was a fine place to be when the now provost of Southern Utah University was at the helm. He definitely wasn't a favourite of the British types in management (that’s to say, everyone but him) and he certainly didn't hold up to the warm hall-roaming, class teaching example of Nic Gara, the previous director, but everybody has his style. At least he kept things together. More importantly, his rather long-winded bar chart presentations demonstrated how the school was producing stellar results and the staff, on the whole, felt that the long hours that they were sometimes required to put in were appreciated and worthwhile.
But then just about everything, seemingly overnight, changed. With his departure, Tubby the Kamel, who'd obviously been chomping at the bit to bring who knows the f*c* what to the ADW, projected that vile specimen from RAK into the position of acting director to do his bidding. And from that day on, things just went from bad to BAD to much, much worse!
The first hint that things were never to be the same, and the start of the big slide into one unbelievable professional insult after another, was when the staff showed up in August as required and were confronted with a billboard detailing where their new pods would be. Obviously, it had been planned with the precision of MOSSAD. The entire campus had been torn up internally over the summer, creating office space where there had been classrooms, and classrooms where there had been offices. Different departments had been dispersed to different blocks (a laughable irony as the previous administration had, with no success, ran a campaign to rename the ‘blocks’ as ‘block’ sounded "too much like a prison term"). Ha! Irony indeed, as a prison it soon became.
The Claw set up a series of ‘sally ports’, or choke points , just like in a prison, where the population can be controlled as to their movement. When the new offices were established, choke points were placed at the entrance of all the office entrances with a supervisor's office located at each of the sally ports (erm, sorry - entrances).
However, this was for the relatively fortunate staff. The luckless others were exiled to the new facility at Khalifa A, a desert-like suburb that was a beehive of construction activity as most of it was unfinished. Let's not even discuss the meetings that took place over the past years that promised that staff would be rotated between the campuses every semester. There would be no parole for those who were sentenced to the new, unfinished monstrosity. Now, instead of a cross-town drive that took 15-20 minutes, at times, to get to work, they were forced into a 45-60 minute drive (depending on where you lived) to the new excuse of a campus, through sometimes murderous traffic, being sure to get there for the 8 a.m. start. As Khalifa A was considered “just off the island” by the management goons with a sense of humour, suggestions for compensation for fuel were actually laughed at (some joke!). For me, filling my tank every three weeks for the city driving that I engaged in has now become a weekly ritual.
Practically nothing worked from the first day at the new campus. As the classrooms were considerably larger than ones at the city campus, it was decided that more students could be put into them, resulting in as many as 30 students in each class. As the Higher Diploma supervisor had never had to mark and individually revise 29 to 30 writing practices or test, he had no idea, nor did he care, how much extra work this involved. Later, he ordered a number of teachers to perform mandatory overtime in a bid to “reduce class sizes”. In fact, this bumbling idiot had no ability to recognize the fact that the unfortunates who were chosen to do the extra classes actually saw an INCREASE in student numbers and associated work.
To Be Continued…
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Oh, look now, there she goes - cruising along one of the hallowed corridors of ADWC, her tent-like apparel billowing in the wind that her corpulent transport produces. Mind your backs! And for more than one reason too . . . . .
To slightly misquote from Wikipedia, "Miss Piggy began as a minor character at ADWC, but she gradually developed into one of the central characters of the show. She is a pig who is convinced she is destined for stardom, and nothing is going to stand in her way. She presents a public face of the essence of feminine charm, but can instantly fly into a violent rage whenever she thinks she has been insulted or thwarted."
If you don't believe me, just take a look at some of these comments, posted by past victims of Miss Piggy . . . . .
From Dave’s ESL Café . . .
Just reading this gave me flashbacks of the despicable treatment I received at the hands of the aforementioned Sesame Street character. She is the very definition of two-faced. She'll smile to your face and stab you in the back as soon as you turn around. I know. The scar in my back aches as I write this. Working for her was one of the worst experiences of my career. I pity those who are there now, especially males and especially Americans - she hates both and plays favorites.
From this blog . . .
Miss Piggy - “a loathsome old dragon”, “aged and overweight dumpling”, “finally waddled right off her cake-laden trolley” . . .
I can hardy wait for the next instalment in which we hear of the gruesome twosome, Dimbo and Miss Piggy. I have no doubt that Miss Piggy is sucking up to the new boss. She's such a two-faced brown nose.
Fruit Machine said...
Thanks for that comment, Miss P. I think you'll find there's a large consensus of opinion that would prefer phrases such as 'two-faced', 'backstabber', and 'untrustworthy' when it comes to her managing teachers. And that hairdo - Jesus Christ!!
The comment above in defense of Miss Piggy may well reflect the poster's experience, but it certainly does not reflect mine. Let me guess, you are a female and you are not American. I repeat what I said before. My treatment by Miss Piggy was absolutely disgraceful, unfair and outrageous, and all who knew of it agreed. She has her favorites, and they have nothing to fear. Lucky for you that you are clearly among them.
I must second the negative comments regarding Miss Piggy. Never in my life have I been treated in a manner so spiteful, unprofessional and cruel as I was by her. I made the mistake of crossing one of her “flying monkeys”, so when it came time for Miss Piggy to observe me, she bent over backwards to find fault with everything I did. The trivial, ridiculous and outright fictional mistakes she accused me of were utterly preposterous, laughable and obviously intended to establish a case for not renewing my contract. I have years of experience and a bulging file of glowing evaluations from students and supervisors alike, so I knew Miss Piggy’s criticisms did not reflect my ability to teach. Nevertheless, I was devastated because I knew then and there that I had no future at HCT and would be out of work in a matter of months. That’s bad enough when you are young and single, but when you are middle-aged and have a family to support, it’s terrifying.
And true to Miss Piggy’s two-faced nature, did she make these criticisms to my face? No, in our meeting to follow up the observation she was positive and upbeat. I’m no fool. What I heard from her in that meeting made me breathe a sigh of relief. It was only a few days later when I received a copy of the written evaluation she had given to Nic “The Bully” Gara that I learned what a two-faced backstabber she is. The “trivial, ridiculous and outright fictional mistakes” mentioned above appeared only in the written report. She hadn’t had the nerve to say them to my face. I was stunned. But she wasn’t through. She had to twist the knife. She ordered me to observe other teachers in order to learn from their example. Among the teachers was the “flying monkey” who was the cause of all my grief in the first place. Miss Piggy was well aware of this and clearly meant to humiliate me. I refused.
No, I’ll never forget my treatment at the hands of Miss Piggy. I warned many about her in the years that followed, and I warn anyone who works at ADWC now—be very careful of this awful women. Don’t let your guard down and watch your back.
But is she any worse than some of the other fruitcakes that have been in senior and middle management at ADWC over the years? I was screwed up by Miss Piggy, Nic Gara and Trish Cole several years back. It's a long story, but essentially I was falsely accused by a student. It was obvious to anyone with half a brain that the accusation was nonsense and all but these three and a handful of their flying monkeys believed me that it was nonsense and supported me.
However Nic Gara and Trish "The Shrew" Cole and Miss Piggy crucified and humiliated me. There was nothing to gain by supporting me, so they didn't. It was more expedient to destroy me and tell the vice chancellor that the matter had been taken care of. To say it was a nightmare is an understatement. It utterly devastated me and my family. Now I can see the same thing happening to others .... so just hang on and work your notice before seeking pastures greener.
Friday, August 13, 2010
I am, of course, referring to the number of hits that the Sackings in HCT Abu Dhabi thread on Dave's ESL Cafe has registered since June 8, the day of the multiple sackings at ADWC. That figure represents more than 200 views per day over the past two months.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Her academic achievement are few, having left school back in 1964 with unimpressive qualifications, and not gaining her first (and only) degree until 2000. The reason why the loathsome Luscombe-Shyte has attained such a high position in the HCT heirarchy owes more to her contacts - wasta - than her abilities and her qualifications. Hence the name of 'The Claw', due to her ability to claw her way up.
Another theory suggests that it relates to the harsh, clawing sound of the wind passing through her teeth as she lies through them, which is one of her habitual modes of engagement. Or probably it's something to do with that RP voice, the upper class knife-grinding machine, which probably leaves a lot of local people impressed, but leaves others feeling like they have clawed by a rake. Ouch!!
After starting her career many years ago at Dubai Women's college she moved on to RAK, where she claimed to have been Director, and a PhD holder to boot! There she proved to be as popular as dogshit, and she was later sent to ADWC, to spread her particular brand of fear and loathing in her twilight years.
Her management approach appears to be inspired by either Taylor or McGregor. Taylor atempted to reduce or remove the factor of human variability in employment, ensuring that workers were treated as machines rather than human beings with active minds. Sound familiar?
As for McGregor, wikipedia reports thus:
In this theory, which has been proven counter-effective in most modern practice, management assumes employees are inherently lazy and will avoid work if they can and that they inherently dislike work. As a result of this, management believes that workers need to be closely supervised and comprehensive systems of controls developed. A hierarchical structure is needed with narrow span of control at each and every level. According to this theory, employees will show little ambition without an enticing incentive program and will avoid responsibility whenever they can. According to Michael J. Papa, if the organizational goals are to be met, theory X managers rely heavily on threat and coercion to gain their employee's compliance. Beliefs of this theory lead to mistrust, highly restrictive supervision, and a punitive atmosphere. The Theory X manager tends to believe that everything must end in blaming someone. He or she thinks all prospective employees are only out for themselves. Usually these managers feel the sole purpose of the employee's interest in the job is money. They will blame the person first in most situations, without questioning whether it may be the system, policy, or lack of training that deserves the blame. A Theory X manager believes that his or her employees do not really want to work, that they would rather avoid responsibility and that it is the manager's job to structure the work and energize the employee.
Well, if that ain't The Claw, I'm Poodle Pelham's lapdog!
Mercifully, given the old dragon's advancing years, she will not be around these parts to inflict her particular style of mismanagement practice for much longer. But for some of us, her departure can't come soon enough!
Toodle-pip, old girl!
Coming next: a double-header - the gruesome twosome, Dimbo AND Miss Piggy!
Saturday, April 17, 2010
The fact has emerged that the Associate Dean of ADWC, Rula ('The Ruler') al Kayyali, was behind the sackings - which is no surprise at all. She was moved away from her previous post at ADMC because of her inability to work with her colleagues and her failure to perform at a suitably professional level. Now it seems that she is once again revealing her true vindictive and spiteful nature, this time at ADWC, by choosing to end the careers of well-respected and talented teachers. Hence the nickname of 'The Vulture' - she waits for her prey to expose or injure itself, and then pounces.
The pattern seems to be clear here - that clearly incompetent and unprofessional HCT senior managers are very keen to get rid of those staff who (a) they perceive as more popular than them, and (b) make a single step out of line. The fact that the supervisors of those teachers who were sacked did nothing to protect them also points out the well-known fact that, at HCT, the supine approach to management is the one that works best.
Another thing to point out is that her academic qualifications are invalid. It's common knowledge at ADWC that she paid somebody to write her Masters dissertation, and this is borne out by her weak grasp of English and her general lack of subject knowledge. In fact, it's an embarassment for ADWC to have such a talentless fraudster around, but they can't dismiss her due to her high-level contacts both inside and outside the HCT organisation. So 'The Ruler' relies on wasta to keep her afloat - what a surprise!
And so the show rumbles on . . . and on . . . and on!
Monday, April 5, 2010
The slide show refers to 'twelve everyday actions that assholes use to get their dirty work done,' and I'm sure every single one of them has been used by the ADWC management wankers at one time or another. Have a look at these wonderful ways of motivating teachers...
* personal insults
* invading one's physical space / personal territory
* verbal intimidation
* non-verbal threats
* sarcastic 'jokes'
* teasing to insult
* withering e-mail criticism
* status slaps as humiliation
* public shamimg and degradation
* rude interruptions
* dirty looks
* treating others as if they're invisible
I don't think there's a single teacher at ADWC who has NOT been treated to at least one of the above forms of asshole management techniques at some time. I can certainly recall Dimbo, Miss Biggy and The Ruler resorting to several of these at once to make their point and defend their ridiculous decisions - and to hide their own personal and professional inadequacies, of course.
Slide eight of the presentation sums up much of the negative results of asshole bosses quite clearly.....
"The effects of assholes are so devastating because they sap people of their energy and self-esteem, mostly throught the accumulated effects of small demeaning acts, not so much through large dramatic episodes."
"Tiny indignities take their toll and add up as we go along our weekdays. They have cumulative effects on our mental health, and our commitments to our bosses, peers, and the organizations we work for."
So what's the tangible result of all the above mismanagement? Well, we need only look at ADWC itself, where we can see the following ... increased absenteeism and staff turnover, a steadily decreasing commitment to the job, and of course a deteriorating performance. And much more.
And as the slide-show advises us - "A hallmark of teams and organizations led by assholes is that they are riddled with fear, loathing, and retaliation."
So, full marks to the ADWC management wankers .... sorry, assholes! You're so good at your jobs!!
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Our departments are filled with faculty who are adventurers and modern thinkers, who seek both stability and new horizons, who want to make a difference, and are able to reward themselves in the process. It is an environment that both desires and produces excellence.
The truth, of course, is the exact opposite, especially at ADWC, also known as Stalag 41012. If any new arrivals come with the idea of being an 'adventurer' or a 'modern thinker', he/she'll be brought down to Earth very swiftly and sharply by the dull hand of the current oppressive management regime. Such an environment produces no excellence at all, but excessive conformity and a tired fear of losing your job for the merest wrong step.
One of the main bastards behind current moves to stifle all individuality at ADWC is a loathsome old dragon commonly known as 'The Claw'. This aberration of a woman, who is instigating her own reign of pettiness and spite, actually glories in the antiquated and hilarious double-barrelled monicker of Christine Luscombe-Whyte, and she is proving to be as popular as the proverbial rat-sandwich.
For example, one of her ideas was this - teachers' attendance is being monitored regularly to ensure nobody is arriving a few minutes late, or slipping away at one minute before the official approved departure time. In pursuance of these noble educational aims, a large uniformed Gestapo-like presence stalks the corridors every morning, noting down every teacher who is not in his/her designated classroom at the starting time of each class. Why this should be necessary now, when it has not been for the past 20 years, has not been disclosed. But 'The Claw' knows, I'm sure!
To date, several teachers have been sent warning e-mails for not being in the right place at the right time, despite having valid reasons, such as attending to a student outside the class and such. But 'The Claw' accepts no excuses. So, despite teachers having some 15 years of experience at ADWC, these competent faculty members are now being treated like sheep who need herding. Great idea!!
Even worse, if you want to leave the college campus during working hours, your supervisor's permission is needed. The teachers can't be trusted, you see - 'The Claw' knows all their tricks, and will work devotedly and ruthlessly to impose her system of workplace tyranny!
The students have also become victims of the spiteful Claw too, now having to swipe in when they enter the college. And of course, if they swipe in late and their teacher doesn't mark them as arriving late, guess who cops it?! Teachers have also been threatened with the sack if their students are caught eating in the classrooms - an excellent way for the management to intervene in the teacher-student relationship, and one that will clearly return great educational benefits!
In short, the whole thing it's absolutely surreal - treating professional teachers like factory workers. So, is it any real wonder that a block has been put on teachers requesting transfers to other colleges? Soon there'll be nobody there at all, except the management wankers themselves, unless they can persuade a whole busload of gullible newbies to come and submit themselves to this sort of oppressive treatment.
So, if you have been offered a place at ADWC, do the sensible thing and turn it down.
Coming next: 'The Claw', in pictures and in all her glory!
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
How strange that SO many teachers would want to move from ADWC - especially from the English Department. Could it possibly be that Dimbo the Supervisor has finally managed to alienate ALL of his highly-esteemed teachers?! Or has Miss Piggy finally waddled right off her cake-laden trolley?!
So, if you were expecting to move to another college soon, forget it. You're stuck at ADWC until your wise superiors decide otherwise! And that's definitely final.
The only other option, of course, is to quit - which is EXACTLY what many faculty members have chosen to do recently, especially since the arrival of the odious specimen of management excreta known as 'The Claw'.
Well done ADWC management - you'll have the place totally empty in a year or so!!
Friday, February 26, 2010
Fancy a job at ADWC? Then you'd better read this first!
ADWC has faced several challenges in recent years regarding its ability to retain quality teaching staff. Many teachers have left after serving for just one contract (three years) or less, and at some periods, staff turnover has been more than 25% per year, even higher amongst supervisory and middle management staff.
This problem has typically been attributed to low salaries, poor senior management, and worsening college conditions. For example, several teachers have found that their contracts are not renewed after negative assessments from the students, irrespective of whether the students have passed their courses with good grades.
Moreover, the management's insistence on pandering to students' whims, and replacing education with 'edutainment', means that internal morale remains low at ADWC, despite heavy external promotion from the recently established Marketing and Public Relations Departments.
So, keep your eyes on these blog pages for further news!