American Language School
by Ian Smith
I had applied to this company a few years earlier. They were quite bad at communicating. They were very unclear as to whether there would be work or not. They wanted to hang on, but weren't really pulling their share. I ended up taking another job.
After living back in Canada for a couple of years, I wanted to work in Japan again, and saw ALS advertising again, so took the bait.
We had a big phone interview and all went well. I have several years' experience teaching English in Japan, I can speak Japanese at an intermediate level, I have a good educational and employment background.
There were a couple of more interviews, then the paperwork started coming, and e-mails from different people regarding the process of getting me working for them.
Although I generally don't like teaching children, I agreed to the position they offered me, which would have been quite kid-heavy. Anyway, it was a solid job offer back in the country I love, Japan, so I was happy.
When things were getting finalized, I realized that they weren't going to provide a visa right away. They actually asked me, in writing, to lie to the immigration officers in Japan.
They asked me to say that I was just visiting friends, on a holiday.
I had previously talked to the Japanese consulate in Canada. I
was told by them that if I was going to Japan to work a specific job, that I needed a visa BEFORE entering the country.
I let ALS know this situation, but they said, no, just come, say you're on holiday, and staying with (they gave me actual names of people, an actual address, and phone number). It was a total lie. They just didn't want to bother with the essential paperwork. I would not be on holiday, I would not be staying at this family's house. I was there specifically to work.
This also ended up costing me money, although I didn't end up taking the job. I had previously bought a one-way ticket to Japan. I had to then change it to a return ticket, because Japanese immigration will not let in someone just on "holiday" with a one-way ticket. In the end I had to cancel that return ticket as well. Basically I lost a couple hundred dollars.
When I told them that I wouldn't take the job, they completely cut off communication with me. I didn't receive a single call or e-mail from anyone. No explanation for asking me to lie. No apologies for the plane ticket issues.
I'm happy I didn't end up working for them.
They can't continue to do business like this. It's going to bite them in the rear end one day.