El Fomentador

Alive and well in Mexico…

Top Ten Signs of a Patito

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Oh, I know, it may be considered kind of a cheap hook; the whole “top-ten” list thing. But a friend suggested it and I thought it might provide a little relief, while providing some clues on what to look for in las escuelas patitos de ingles in Mexico. I admit I have a list of ten, but I am going to add them over a few days. I am hoping that people will add their own ideas and we can see what people are finding out there.

The Top-Ten Signs That You May Be Attending A Patito In Mexico

Number 10. Although the school is in Mexico, it is named after a dead U.S. President. (Or a statesman, or scientist, or the Queen of England, for God’s sake!)

Number 9. They offer “certificates” in 14 different languages, including Swahili, but only have three teachers. And they only speak Spanish.

Number 8. Employee dress code includes clause requiring teachers to use deodorant, comb their hair and change their underwear everyday. (And the code needs to stipulate that doesn’t mean to just exchange your underwear with someone else.)

As promised here are the next three signs your school may be a patito. You know, I could use some help here; as you may have noticed I am not really a comedy writer. The sad thing is all of these have some truth to them. The dress code thing, for example, I wrote to the company asking if it wasn’t a little embarrassing, no response, go figure!

Number 7. No one at the school actually speaks English, including the owner.

Number 6. “Textbooks” are all photo copies of stolen material.

Number 5. Patito franchise owner defends $30 pesos per hour (with no guarantee of number of hours) as a “competitive” salary and brags about the “benefits package” that includes a 10% discount at some fly-by-night optical company. (Oh, he wishes everyone “Bueno Suerte” as he drives of in his new Mercedes.) Here is a guy that really cares about the future of education in Mexico, (as long as he can make a buck off of it.) Ok, I’m being sarcastic, does that count as humor?

Stay tuned, and add some of your own sarcastic remarks. Luego

Tres mas:

Number 4. A portion of the teachers salaries are paid off in some sort of phony script, and they don’t even give you that until a week after payday.

Number 3. The “Board of Directors” consists only of members of the owners family–his wife (who actually is in charge of things, since none of these guys are smart enough to run a business themselves), a drunken brother-in-law, two or three young children, a pet dog, an uncle that has been dead for six years, and two other names that are just made up.

Number 2. The “Director’s” only English training was while he was a sleazy used car salesman cheating Mexican migrants out of their money in southern California. ( The implication is, of course, that now he is just cheating Mexicans out of their money right here in Mexico.)

And the number one sign that you may be attending a patito…tune in tomorrow. I’m still writing this one, I’d like to actually list the names of the worst offenders, maybe some specific details on business practices, I don’t know.

Number 1. The number one sign that your school may be a patito:

The “director” prominently displays a large picture of Ricky Ricardo at the Copa Cabana. (The irony is although “I Love Lucy” is shown, and enjoyed, here, it is dubbed completely in Spanish, so Ricky’s accent is not really a part of the schtick. And Lucy speaks perfect Spanish!! All I can say is, “Somebody’s got some ‘splaining to do.)

There are many more signs, many are simply variations on the main theme–suck all of the money you can from desperate students and put as little as possible back into teacher’s salaries and no money into teacher training.

I’ll admit I kind of copped-out on the Number One sign. I had a different one all picked out but it is specific enough to point to the school that I consider to be one of the worst patitos in Mexico. I intend to use it yet but I think I will talk to my Mexican lawyer first!

Go ahead add some of your own signs to the list, my lawyer is pretty good!!! Adios amigos.

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  1. […] wontonguru wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptOh, I know, it may be considered kind of a cheap hook; the whole “top-ten” list thing. But a friend suggested it and i thought it might provide a little relief, while providing some clues on what to look for in las escuelas patitos de … […]


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