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Thread: Breaking Contract

  1. #1
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    Default Breaking Contract

    Hi,

    A 2015 JET in a city placement. I'm really quite unhappy in Japan. My coworkers at school don't really want me there, not invited to Enkais etc. Left out of stuff with other ALTs as well. I'd rather just pack the whole thing in. Has anyone broke contract this early before?
    Last edited by 123; October 19th, 2015 at 21:13.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Breaking Contract

    Yes, of course. Some people bail out before they even arrive at their placements.

    Is there some other advice or information you were looking for?

  3. #3
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breaking Contract

    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Breaking Contract

    I'm assuming you're asking about repercussions?

    No flight, natch. They probably won't help you close your stuff down. The last weeks will be super awkward.

    You'll also have a few months gap in your employment history to explain away.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    But what if we reverse the polarity of the quantum string theory? According to uncertainty principle there are infinite worlds out there, so it stands to reason schrodinger's cat is alive in one of them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Apollo87;
    U da real mvp.

  5. #5
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breaking Contract

    word


    Seriously, man. Do what you gotta do. You know what would be twenty times worse? NOT breaking contract, making yourself and everyone else miserable, thinking the whole time that you're some kind of massive failure, or that everyone else is, being upset and angry about... well, any of this. Get back to a place where you feel good about sh*t and don't think twice about it.
    Quote Originally Posted by 00Bear00 View Post
    When I read your post I suddenly feel like I am so far away from being crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    It's festivals days like these on which I really try really hard to make up for not partying in college.
    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Breaking Contract

    Plus, this might mean that an alternate will be upgraded, so you'll make someone in the world happy to go and replace you!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Breaking Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by 123 View Post
    Hi,

    A 2015 JET in a city up north. I'm really quite unhappy in Japan. My coworkers at school don't really want me there, not invited to Enkais etc. Left out of stuff with other ALTs as well. I'd rather just pack the whole thing in. Has anyone broke contract this early before?
    Are you in Sapporo?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Breaking Contract

    How many other ALTs are there where you live?
    If you're in a place where there are loads, cliques can form pretty quickly - but I'd bet there are some people there that would be more than happy to spend time with you.
    Joining classes etc can also be a great way to meet new people who aren't ALTs, (or who are, but you wouldn't normally hang around with).

    I would say for school just leave it behind when you're out the door. Many ALTs don't get invited to enkais, we're seen as temporary, so some teachers don't bother.

    I would say to try and meet some different people or reach out to people you do know, and then if you're still truly unhappy - go. It's not worth it!!

  9. #9
    Fit via vi Virgil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breaking Contract

    Yeah, it's about the time for some culture shock to set in if you just came in August.
    Is it really worth going back early? How bad can it be? Is this your first real job outside of Uni? Chances are that you'll probably hate your job back home too.

    Really consider your goals, why did you come in the first place? If you have no goals, then maybe it is time to go home. If you have goals like making new friends then go out and be adventurous. Put yourself on the line, as you probably have nothing to lose. If you want to learn Japanese then go out and talk to some drunk people. I'm offering the other side of the coin for advice, because 'Pack up and do what makes you happy' certainly has it's valid points.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shincantsen View Post
    Frigga please.
    RIP Virgil of 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    Gross. I hate people and their sexy times.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Breaking Contract

    I'd like to echo the class thing. Join a local activity and make friends there. For example, I joined a local Kendo club and they invite me to compete in tournaments, eat and drink at camps, dinners. It's a great way to meet people and, usually, there will be a few people your age.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Breaking Contract

    I agree with everyone saying to branch out first. Treat it like a job at home - would you break a contract at home for the same reason or try to make the best of it? Of course, if it's seriously affecting your mental health, you have to do what's right for you, but otherwise make a solid attempt at getting grounded here before backing out. Don't rely solely on other ALTs for support/friendship - I think this is a mistake for anyone, really. Meet other people in your area - locals, other foreigners... to echo everyone else, classes and bars are a good place to start. See if there are volunteer opportunities at your community center. Make the best of your time out of school, because if you go home and sit in your apartment all night, it's gonna make you feel even worse.

  12. #12
    Senior Member ambrosse's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breaking Contract

    Unless you're a terribly unpleasant person or your predecessor was a total asshat, it might just be that it's taking a while for people to warm up to you. It's also possible that, as others have said, the ALT is temporary, so they don't bother.
    Sometimes when you feel like a failure or unwanted, it might just be preconceived. Sometimes teachers suck at including their ALTs in the classroom. Sometimes teachers/staff just don't know what to do with you.

    As for the other ALTs, I will echo what others have said about cliques forming. In my prefecture, it only really happens in the dense city areas. If you're in a city with tons of other ALTs, reach out to some more rural ALTs. They'll probably be relieved to talk to you.

    Find a restaurant or izakaya that you like and become a regular! Find a community group of some sort and show up for every meeting

    In the end, only you know your situation, but it's only been a couple months, give it one more shot. Re-contracting papers aren't due for a while.
    If trying to put in effort doesn't work, then it's time to move on.

  13. #13
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breaking Contract

    Seasonal affective disorder is very real and hits some people badly. If you are living up north and aren't enjoying yourself now then when the snow comes and you are spending the only hour of daylight you have outside of work shoveling snow then things may not improve. If you aren't happy with your job and living situation then consider quitting jet and moving elsewhere in Japan. If you aren't enjoying anything then it's probably time to leave the country.
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Breaking Contract

    Unless you like spending your free time playing Cards Against Humanity, doing self-serving charity work and rolling out inane quotes from Adventure Time you might well find yourself feeling left out of the ALT community. The alternative is far worse though.

    It does take time to build up a network if you don't fit the very narrow demographic of the standard wacky, dorky JET, but it does happen with a bit of effort.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Breaking Contract

    One thing to note is that you may be held liable for the costs of you flight to Japan and orientation/hotel/transportation to your placement. I don't know when the cutoff is for that, but contract breakers have had that deducted from their last paycheck (it's not a small amount either.)

  16. #16
    Fit via vi Virgil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breaking Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by mrcharisma View Post
    Unless you like spending your free time playing Cards Against Humanity, doing self-serving charity work and rolling out inane quotes from Adventure Time you might well find yourself feeling left out of the ALT community. The alternative is far worse though.

    It does take time to build up a network if you don't fit the very narrow demographic of the standard wacky, dorky JET, but it does happen with a bit of effort.
    This is horrifyingly true.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shincantsen View Post
    Frigga please.
    RIP Virgil of 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    Gross. I hate people and their sexy times.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Breaking Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    This is horrifyingly true.
    You beat me to it. :P

    I don't have much in the way of advice to offer, but I would like to say it's really, really nice how understanding and supportive this community is of everyone's circumstances.

    That said, maybe I do have some advice to offer, since I'm also leaving JET early, though I've kept my BOE in the loop throughout, and they've been far more understanding and sympathetic to my situation than they ever ought to be, and I'm extremely grateful. Having said that, not everyone has such kind/magnanimous BOEs. I had an unhappy combination of seasonal effective disorder/abrupt change in social situation with the ALTs/abrupt, isolating change in work environment/job dissatisfaction/forced sexual advances of a coworker, and loneliness. Not a happy cocktail. A number of things in my situation have changed since then, and in general things are a lot better now, but I do also feel that it's time to move on. It will be time eventually no matter what.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Breaking Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Larien View Post
    That said, maybe I do have some advice to offer, since I'm also leaving JET early, though I've kept my BOE in the loop throughout, and they've been far more understanding and sympathetic to my situation than they ever ought to be, and I'm extremely grateful. Having said that, not everyone has such kind/magnanimous BOEs. I had an unhappy combination of seasonal effective disorder/abrupt change in social situation with the ALTs/abrupt, isolating change in work environment/job dissatisfaction/forced sexual advances of a coworker, and loneliness. Not a happy cocktail. A number of things in my situation have changed since then, and in general things are a lot better now, but I do also feel that it's time to move on. It will be time eventually no matter what.
    If OP is where I think he is, the BOE has a notoriously bad reputation.

  19. #19
    Member Saga's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breaking Contract

    I second what the others said about joining a club or class, and trying to find meaning outside of work by making friends with either other ALTs or Japanese people. That said, I know it can be hard to find people you connect with. I'm still struggling with it myself, as I'm in an extremely rural placement far away from other ALTs, and there are very few people near my age in my town.

    In terms of not being included at work, is there any way you can ask if you can join in more? Like, literally ask "are there any enkais coming up?" "Can I come to (school event)?" And then just show up. I had one school where I wasn't being invited to anything, so I eventually had to just ask if I could come to the enkais and weekend events, town festivals, etc. They were much more welcoming after that and seemed happy that I had asked. I also started just hanging out after school and going to the different school clubs to watch them parctice, or even taking my grading and English corner prep and doing it in the art room while the art club does whatever they're up to. The students have been a lot more friendly since then, and I finally have been able to chat with coworkers (as they coach the various clubs) who don't teach English and I hadn't really been able to connect with before.

    That said, if you are really deeply unhappy or suffering from depression, I don't think there's any shame in packing it in. Your mental health is what's most important, and you need to take care of yourself.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Breaking Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    This is horrifyingly true.
    It is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frap View Post
    If OP is where I think he is, the BOE has a notoriously bad reputation.
    Would it be the same BoE that refused to pay for the facial injuries of an on-duty ALT?
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    But what if we reverse the polarity of the quantum string theory? According to uncertainty principle there are infinite worlds out there, so it stands to reason schrodinger's cat is alive in one of them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Apollo87;
    U da real mvp.

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