Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Come to Taiwan, Be Token

Here is a story about a young man who comes to the big city of Taipei expecting big things, and finds out he is the token white guy. That never happens in he's taken them to court for $280 big ones:

In order to work in Taiwan as a foreigner, an ARC (work permit) is necessary. The best choice for Mr. McGregor and the hotel was an ‘internship visa' with a six month contract. As was mentioned by the H.R. director; after the contract, working as ‘Guest Relations Officer with management training, starting at front desk,' Mr. McGregor could be hired on full time through the hotel. Mr. McGregor asked the H.R. director how long this employment process would take, and she said, "3 weeks and then you can start work." Mr. McGregor started gathering all documents necessary and submitting them to the appropriate people. Besides all of the faxing, phone calls, emails, running around, medicals, and relocating cities...; few emails sent to the ‘Horror Day Inn, Taipei' were responded to, making the process very difficult and stressful.

After 3 months of stress and problems, doing everything Mr. McGregor could do to make this process run smooth, the first day of work was scheduled.

Very excited to start work in the position hired for, ‘Guest Relations Officer with management training, starting at front desk,' Mr. McGregor showed up early, wearing full suit, shoes shined and stellar in every detail. Mr. McGregor was sent to a room to fill out some additional paperwork, without any communication in English. Mr. McGregor was then sent down stairs for a uniform fitting. Still at this time, Mr. McGregor was eager to start in the position he was hired for, mentioned above.

A shabby, dirty, torn uniform was handed to Mr. McGregor to try on and the confusion started. Mr. McGregor didn't know why such a uniform was to be worn, but he did so with no questions. Still confused and with no English communication as of yet, Mr. McGregor was sent up stairs and stationed at the ‘Bell Service Desk.' "Ok, first you will be trained to opened doors on taxis" Mr. McGregor was told by the person in charge. Very confused at this time, Mr. McGregor asked one of the managers why he was on a full time schedule as a ‘Bell boy?' The manager continued to say "if you don't like it, don't work here!!" In disbelief of what was happening, Mr. McGregor contacted the H.R. director to find out why this was going on. When asked how this could happen, the H.R. director stated, "oh, but this is Taiwan!!" Mr. McGregor was totally shocked of what was happening, especially after what he had went through to get this far.

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