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Thread: Altia and Interac

  1. #1

    Default Altia and Interac

    I am planning on applying to Altia and Interac if I do not make it on JET. I would love feedback from anyone who has experience with these two companies especially Altia as there seems to be more threads discussing Interac.

    Does anyone know if Altia recruits overseas for September placements? Going in April is too soon as I will not know my outcome yet with JET and I really do not want to wait another year.

    Which program is better Interac or Altia?

  2. #2
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Altia and Interac

    interac is possibly the worse company in the world and will delight in screwing you out of as much money as they can get away with.

    Altia? no idea but I can't imagine them being any better. Best to avoid dispatch companies all together and just get a proper job.
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  3. #3
    Senior Member reed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Altia and Interac

    Whoops. Vitriolic rant about conditions in Japan was here. Deleted now. Didn't provide any insight.
    Last edited by reed; January 5th, 2010 at 02:27.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    interac is possibly the worse company in the world and will delight in screwing you out of as much money as they can get away with.

    Altia? no idea but I can't imagine them being any better. Best to avoid dispatch companies all together and just get a proper job.
    Basically this.
    As big dispatch companies go though Interac is probably the best of a VERY bad bunch.
    Shut up Hikari / Muffles / uthinkimlost. (delete as appropriate)

    Quote Originally Posted by tenderRondo View Post
    minor rant: Waldroon mentioned Maria Ozawa in the japenese movie thread. Me being the fool I am assumed he was being serious and googled her at work.

  5. #5
    Senior Member arislan's Avatar
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    I know some people who left Interac for Altia. They seem to like it, though it just has different positives and negatives. I think with Altia holiday is harder to get, but I believe the company does subsidise national healthcare for you, which Interac won't do. So you just need to see what each company offers and see which you prefer.
    failure is just success rounded down, my friend!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Altia and Interac

    Fucking Interac.

    I will buy you a beer if you do something to hurt that company.
    Quote Originally Posted by katsudon View Post
    Principal: 'genki no nai shapenaa'
    Me: *giggle*
    Principal (turns to me, says): Very old sharpener. I am not as old as that sharpener.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Jojo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Altia and Interac

    * gets out popcorn * so tell me all about it

  8. #8
    Member privileged's Avatar
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    Signing in to add to the Interac hate.

    Before I came over, many, many years ago I used to read on sites regularly the advice "use them for a visa, then quit and find something better." I never knew if this was really good advice or not, feasible or ethical. It is all of the above. Do it!

    I thought I posted my lengthy diatribe on this site already, but I can't find it, so just in case -- here it is copied and pasted again for your masturbating pleasure:

    Working for Interac was one of the biggest mistakes of my life.

    (Names changed for no particular reason)


    Chapter 1 – THAT’S NOT MY DEPARTMENT

    “Daniel, this contract is nothing like the one you offered me! Why is the salary different? Where did my vacation go? Where is the bonus?”

    “That’s not my department.”

    “YOU are the EXACT GUY who told me you’d put them in!”

    “You’ll have to talk to recruiting.”

    Stunned. I didn’t think Interac was a good company, but I never expected the horseshit to be this blatant. Nauseous from the stench, I hung up.

    But let me back up a bit.

    I applied & interviewed early, maybe December, and was told most positions started in April. I understand, the start of the school year. No problems. My current contract had a few months left and I had decent savings too. They have you sign this “intent to work thing,” which is not a contract. A bit silly cuz you don’t know where you’ll be or when you’ll start yet but fine.

    Time goes by and I’m waiting for my placement. I occasionally ask. Nothing. Of all trainings offered I choose the latest – very late March. Late March rolls around and I still don’t know where I’ll be working. They assure me it’s no problem, I’ll know by the end of training (3 days (unpaid incidentally)).

    I go to training. One day you are to bring your own urine in a test tube for a health check, as well as submit to a chest x-ray and blood test. Freaks.

    On the last day, as promised, I do indeed sign a contract, maybe 30 minutes away from where I live, starts in around a week. I’m very happy. I go home to enjoy my final few days before the job starts.

    I get a call a couple days later. Good news! They have a placement for me EXACTLY WHERE I LIVE! Wow, I’m overjoyed. I imagine how great it will be biking to work. They’ll get me a new contract in the mail. I’m waiting.

    A couple days later I get another phone call from “Daniel.” Actually that job isn’t going to work out, but they have a “great” opportunity at a “really great” school that’s really serious about its English program! It’s “about 40 minutes away.” By the name of the area alone it sure doesn’t sound like 40 minutes away to me. I suggest it may take longer than that and that I’m not really happy about this 2nd last minute change. (I’m also thinking to myself that there’s not much I can do. I’ve been waiting for this job and I really need to start working…)

    2 things happened.

    1 – I’m told there will be 2 teachers meeting this BOE, so I have a 50/50 chance of winding up placed at this job.
    2 – Since it was further away, Daniel offered (it did not occur to me to ask) Y5000/month more and a Y100,000 completion bonus. Y5000 a month is not a lot and I’d rather have a good location and good job. And at this point sticking with the company for a year is already looking unlikely. Still it’s obviously better to have those things in the contract than not so I say ok.

    I go to the interview. Wow, surprise, it’s just me! I ask the lady about the other interviewee. She is clueless, never heard of it. Ok, I didn’t really think I was going to get out of this position but that was a weird story to have told me.

    I’m interviewed by the BOE which I shit you not included the question “Can you eat sushi” and not much more.

    I passed!

    I’ll start at the school on Monday.

    Sunday night I have a chance to sit down and look at my new contract (it had arrived Friday). Oops! No Y5000, no Y100,000, and the vacation is about 2 weeks shorter than the previous contract I’d signed.

    Infuriated I fire off an email listing these things.

    A short clear email in a literally enumerated list, 1, 2, 3.


    Now I know, this was my chance to throw a hissy fit. Whatever that might be -- don’t go to the new school, go to the other school I had signed the other contract for, go to Interac office instead, whatever -- this was the time for a stand. I know. But all that was a risk and at this point, sadly, I was desperate for a job and for money. Game time decision Monday morning. I go to work.

    And so it begins.


    It’s an hour to the station and a 20 minute more walk to the school. What a fucking screwjob.

    I get Daniel’s email back which says, simply, “Don’t worry, I’ll get you a new contract with the Y5000 in there!”

    I call Monday as soon as school is out. He’s “away from his desk.” He’ll call me back. 30-40 mins I call again. He’s “away from his desk.”

    “Look, I’m not going to work tomorrow til I talk to him.”

    Surprise! He’s at his desk!

    “Daniel, this contract is nothing like the one you offered me! Why is the salary different? Where did my vacation go? Where is the bonus?”

    “That’s not my department.”

    “YOU are the EXACT GUY who told me you’d put them in!”

    “You’ll have to talk to recruiting.”

    This was my biggest complaint at Interac. Some people get good schools, some people get bad ones. Some people get close schools, some people get far ones. Fine, all part of the game. Doesn’t mean I’m happy with my lot but I can understand that. When a guy tells you one thing, numbers, about your commute, about your contract, about your money, and then thinks he’s clever by refusing to talk about it afterwards – I was shocked, even for Interac.

    I had plenty of other shitty experiences too, before/while finding other work and quitting, and I’d be happy to detail them upon request, but it’s mostly more of the same and I’ll spare it for now…

    Chapter 2 – THE GOOD, THE BALANCE, AND THE UGLY

    THE GOOD

    I posted a question on here about giving notice before summer vacation – using my vacation as the majority/remainder of 30 days notice, not coming back to school, but getting paid for the summer break (at 60%). To my surprise I could not get a straight answer. Lots of people tried to sound like they knew what they were talking about, and a lot of them said “no,” but they were wrong and I got paid. How about that?!?! So there. I have one good thing to say about Interac: they respect your 30 days notice and treat it as such whether they’re work or vacation days. In fact, especially for how shitty everything else was, I was fairly impressed with this. I think they SHOULD pay, I just didn’t think they actually WOULD.

    The school itself was fantastic. As furious as I was about being put absurdly far away as well as blatantly lied to, I actually felt I got lucky with the school itself. The kids were amazing. I actually felt really bad leaving!

    THE BALANCE

    There were some nice people at the company. A lot of assholes. But a couple really great people. I feel very sorry for these people. I have heard the bit about 80% of a company doing 20% of the work, and 20% of a company doing 80% of the work. This is definitely the case at Interac. 80% (perhaps low) petty incompetents and a very small handful of people working their asses off to hold any semblance of functionality together by a thread.

    Then I am not cut out for ALT work anyway. Coming from eikaiwa, everything about it drove me insane. I knew getting up early would suck. Somehow I convinced myself the cushy job and long vacation would compensate for lack of air conditioning but I was insane. The long hours with nothing to do are great for studying kanji but even at that, not for me. Sitting at a desk, no computer, no internet, hot, there’s nothing to do, nowhere to go… very demoralizing. Interac sucked plenty on its own, but the fact that the job itself didn’t suit me certainly didn’t help.

    THE UGLY

    I just thought putting “the ugly” here would be a nice ending but then I remembered a story that might fit, interpret “ugly” however you like.

    Wandering around the school bored out of my mind I noticed a solitary girl in a room crying. This is insane because most of the school was empty, who knows how long she’d be in there crying by herself. The dorkiest girl you’ve ever seen. Absurdly thick glasses, terrible skin, giant braces, general air of dense confusion. It broke my heart. I didn’t want to be creepy or worse have it look bad for someone to discover ALT “sensei” and a crying student alone in a room but I couldn’t just leave her there either so I went in and tried to talk to her, even in shitty Japanese like “Doshite? Nani?” Daijoubu?” (Pathetic, I know.)

    She seemed confused about answering which is weird cuz I thought she’d at least be able to say something in Japanese.

    Nothing but she finally stopped crying so I gave her an “Ok?” And she nodded so I got out of there.

    I kept an eye on her after that and never saw anything weird and she seemed generally happy so good enough. I’d stop and chat and ask her stupid questions like “Do you like tennis” and she’d light up like a pachinko parlor.

    Anyway, still kind of disturbing to think about.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by privileged View Post
    The dorkiest girl you’ve ever seen. Absurdly thick glasses, terrible skin, giant braces, general air of dense confusion. It broke my heart.
    She will probably turn into a beautiful swan....

    She might have been bullied a lot and when she saw that someone had some thing nice to say to her (even if it was nonsense) it was enough to put a smile on her face. Good for you.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Altia and Interac

    hold on the only example of ugly you have is a teenager crying at school?

    because that seems to happen quite often at my school. it's called puberty...

  11. #11
    Member privileged's Avatar
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    That's what was freaky about the school prior to that -- no trace of teen angst whatsoever. These kids went to their un-air-conditioned school 10 - 12 hours a day and were fucking DELIGHTED to be alive.

    I had more teen angst than they did.

    Honestly, amazing. Really sweet kids and a really cushy job, minus Interac's 110% suck factor.

  12. #12
    Senior Member arislan's Avatar
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    Er - just to show Interac do have it in them to be decent - recently discovered that they made a mistake and have been underpaying me since March. But showed them my contract, very little fuss and all the money they owe me is being paid this month.
    failure is just success rounded down, my friend!

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