Monday, 20 October 2008

A Red Envelope Day

In China it is customary to give a red envelope with money inside as a gift on special occasions. Whether it is a birthday, Chinese New Year, or a random act of kindness, if you are giving money to somebody you are required to use one of these.

At Web, a policy came into place three months ago where each teacher would be assessed at the end of every month. Whoever received the highest marks would win a small cash bonus of 500 yuan presented in the traditional red envelope (see top left), and be known as the "Super Teacher". I didn't like the idea, the thought of competing with workmates did not motivate me in the slightest. They seemed to think this would be a great incentive for us, it wasn't. However, I was actually lucky enough to win the prize a couple of a times (I wrote about it here), which boosted confidence in my abilities greatly.

Yesterday Johann was announced as the winner for the month, and well deserved too. Then Grace -- our manager -- had some news for us. Our boss had decided that the rules of this scheme would change to make things fairer. Now, the assessment period would still be at the end of each month, but the prize will only be given each season -- once every three months. OK, no problem, I can understand that they will get a clearer picture of each teacher's performance from this. But here comes the completely ridiculous part: the cash prize will still be 500 yuan each time, not three times more which would be expected. Once again, it all comes down to money and the fact that they don't want to spend an extra penny if they don't have to. We were given a lame excuse about other branches of Web adopting this method, so it was up to them to follow suit. But I know for a fact they do not comply with many of the other branches' policies. In fact, as they are all franchises they can all do what they like up to a point. It is certainly reassuring to know that my employers have no problem clicking their fingers and changing contracted policies just like that.

An already dismal idea for staff moral has been turned into a scheme that is completely irrelevant. The only perk of the prize was the money, and 500 yuan over a period of three months is ridiculous, almost insulting.

In other news, my guitar practise is going quite well. My left hand finger tips have stopped hurting and I can string together seven or eight chords. I wish I'd taken up this instrument sooner. I hope my neighbours don't mind me practising, and if they do I can call it payback for the all the hammering that occurs at 6-7am on certain mornings.


大眼睛熊 said...

Hey,be happy my musician!! :D

Elwin said...

Haha,if WEB WenZhou is really complying the common policy as the other branches are, there would be Drama Club there, which is listed in "Course Introduction" of WEB website, and conducted quite often in some other branches like Shanghai.

I'm curious about the criterion in respect of which "Super Teacher" was chosen. I doubt if they have rigor standards and sufficient information for accessing teachers' performance. Anyway, "Super Teacher"??? OMG, this title is kinda ............ extraordinary.......

Chris said...

Wow, I had no idea there's a drama club involved, that's another policy we don't have added to the list!!

Haha, yes, the name is completely ridiculous, I remember laughing when they introduced the idea. To find the winner the manager sits in one of our classes each month. She fills in a form which has some kind of criteria on it (don't know what). Then 10 students fill in a questionnaire about the teacher and finally they check over the times we all clocked in and clocked out to see if anybody was late. Somehow this equates to a final score (apparently Gary was 0.5 points behind me last time I won it). I agree, it's no way to really assess the standard of teaching at all.