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  1. #26
    Member 2Prick's Avatar
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    Do a Google or Facebook search on Martin Momoda/Momo Media.

    He's very up on the educational ins and outs of Laos.

  2. #27
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    Do a Google or Facebook search on Martin Momoda/Momo Media.
    I already requested and had a good meeting with him in Luang Prabang some weeks ago.

    I'll be launching a new 'community' website for LP very soon ==> luangprabang.com

    On that web-site will be some free advert links to 'genuine' organisations that help the local community, and I've already included a link to Martin's web-site.

    Simon
    Groping women when you're old is fine - everyone thinks you're senile

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon43 View Post
    Do a Google or Facebook search on Martin Momoda/Momo Media.
    I already requested and had a good meeting with him in Luang Prabang some weeks ago.

    I'll be launching a new 'community' website for LP very soon ==> luangprabang.com

    On that web-site will be some free advert links to 'genuine' organisations that help the local community, and I've already included a link to Martin's web-site.

    Simon
    Well played that man!

    Top tip. Don't get too close to anything that involves or might piss China off.



    Wishing your project all the best.

    .

    Virtual = not real. Don't get over it. Understand it.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2Prick
    Top tip. Don't get too close to anything that involves or might piss China off.
    Sound advice

  5. #30
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    Hi Simon,
    I supply a range of projectors; interactive and standard, interactive whiteboards and touch panels and more.
    If you can't source decent products easily, happy to help out mate.
    Shipping from Oz won't be difficult or that expensive.

  6. #31
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    Unfortunately, all is not going at all well with this project, and I'm close to bailing out.

    Despite my continual and dire warnings about the rate of the project build and the wrong priorities given to the work, the project continues along the same lines as before.

    I have advised and warned the school director until I'm blue in the face, but apparently everything that I've said has been ignored. Apparently, my previous experience in building projects is irrelevant.

    Earlier today, I checked the project and found that the project manager (him in flip-flops and floppy hat), was still building in the wrong place, and that the absolute dire emergency work that I had advised to start 2 weeks ago, (electrics etc) had not yet started.

    Were I in charge, that project manager would have been sacked a long time ago.

    I am merely a figurehead here, with no authority whatsoever over the project.

    Am I pissed off? Totally and utterly pissed off and livid with rage (which is an extremely rare state for me), because I can see that there is no way now that the school can open in any fit state by the date required.

    Today, I gave the school director an ultimatum to either give me absolute authority to direct the build project, and to try to turn it around within the extremely tight timescales, or I would resign my position and return to Phuket.

    I'm sure that she will decline my offer....

    My anger is not only about the failure to control this project, but also that my school staff, students and parents have to put up with this unnecessary situation.

    It's 2.30am on Thursday morning now, and I am considering my options. Luang Prabang is a great place to live, and I have (on paper), a wonderful job. But with absolutely no authority to implement any decisions or policies, I'm finding that my role is totally without substance.

    Simon - pissed off, totally pissed off - and very angry

  7. #32
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    such is life in the lao pdr, sounds like the director should stick to running a schoolnd eave the construction to people who know about construction, sounds like you are experiencing the lao way. schedules don't really factor in here.

  8. #33
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    sounds like you are experiencing the lao way.
    No it's not the Lao way - it is the lazy and incompetent way - a trait that is common to all nationalities. There are competent and hard-working Lao people (honestly!), but they seem to be in short supply in my region.

    When I built my little hotels, I had a drop-dead deadline, and I used simple PM techniques to ensure that all works were completed on time - and I had a contingency plan if the poo hit the fan.

    It is not fcuking rocket science!

    None of that exists on this project. There is no penalty clause (AFAIK), there is no timescale planning, there is no qualified construction manager, there is no-one in attendance who has the authority to instruct the construction manager in his tasks. It is a total and utter fcuk-up that could occur in any country when you employ idiots.

    I was awake all night trying to think of a viable, last-minute solution. I'm at work now 6am. Unfortunately, I'm simply pissing into the monsoon wind and rain because no-one will heed a word that I say.

    I guess that events today will take a turn for the worse when I speak honestly to my director.

    Simon

  9. #34
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    That's a shame, how long have you been there?

  10. #35
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    That's a shame, how long have you been there?
    Only 2 months. Whilst the Headmaster job itself is generally fine, (apart from most of my decisions being overruled), those policy issues can hopefully be resolved over time. But that solution cannot apply to the state of the building work on the new school.

    As each week passed, my concerns have became more and more vocal, and my emails more and more terse. All of them have been studiously ignored by my director.

    Today it's monsoon rain, so I guess building work takes a day off...

    Simon

  11. #36
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    Why get so worked up about it ? You work for the director and have voiced your concerns, so have done your job.There's probably loads of sub plots going on involving money, politics, corruption that your blissfully unaware of. Chill.

  12. #37
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    Why get so worked up about it ..
    Simple answer. If (actually 'when') the sh*t hits the fan , then it won't be the director who is blamed. As the school 'representative' who implements her policy, it will be me who has to carry the can.

    There are various other policy decisions that she's made that go completely against my morals. I don't want people to think that I support those decisions.

    Ho hum...

  13. #38
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    Simon...they are taking the piss. You are only Headmaster in name - you have no power or say in anything. Presuming your academic year starts end Aug-early Sept, no way will the school be ready or functional to welcome the students. As head, you will be a rabbit in the headlights to parents and will take all the flack. To be honest mate you are heading for a mighty fall. Get out and head back to Phuket (don't buy anymore guesthouses though). I've been in international education long enough to see what awaits you if you continue participating in this circus.

  14. #39
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    Rupert - your comments echo my exact thoughts on this matter. I may or may not return to Phuket, but (almost) any job has got to be better than this 'fake' role.

    As this is the construction forum, we should try to get back on-topic I will pop over to see the build status today when the rains stop. I

    Simon

  15. #40
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    Good luck Simon. A few of us Laos posters are having a beer on Saturday in Vientiane so your welcome down if you need a break from the turmoil

  16. #41
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    I'm in Vientiane then as well!

  17. #42
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    Simon43,

    Your job is to make the boss look good. If you can do that they will keep you on forever!

    A sailor knows when the wind shifts or changes he has to change his sails because he cannot change his ship!

    I am sure they know what is happening. Your terse emails are obviously not what they want. The construction manager is to blame unless you wish to take on that role. You have to word your emails a bit more conciliatory.

    "It may be worth deciding to do this because (insert positive reason)"

    I know at least two teachers who have either been fired or demoted, with the hope they will leave, because they challenged the status quo or rocked the fee paying parents boat.
    Better to think inside the pub, than outside the box?
    I apologize if any offence was caused. unless it was intended.
    You people, you think I know feck nothing; I tell you: I know feck all
    Those who cannot change their mind, cannot change anything.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2Prick
    I'm in Vientiane then as well!
    Nice 1 - number PM'd

  19. #44
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    @VocalNeal

    Thanks for your comments, but perhaps you misunderstand the reasons why I took the job. It's not for the money, but for the opportunity to create a new school with high standards - academic, sporting etc. I'm old-fashioned British, and believe in honesty and substance.

    I haven't got time or the inclination to play puppet. If they want that, then they should have recruited from a toy shop.

    I have no problems if they want to kick me out, but it will be the student, staff and parents loss. (I don't suppose that's relevant though...)

  20. #45
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    Did you do enough due diligence before you started?

    Did they employ you specifically to build the school?

    Perhaps another month or two of 'seeing the lay of the land' might be in order...

  21. #46
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    Did they employ you specifically to build the school?
    No, that's not in my contract. I'm employed as Headmaster, but my boss is also aware of my building experience.

    So I'm not liable at all if the build project is late or over-budget or whatever. But there are a whole lot of students, their parents and my teaching and admin staff who will be known too happy if the project is not completed by the promised date. No-one at all is looking after the build project, so I am trying to 'hurry it along'.

    Thinking this over as I write, it would certainly seem more sensible for me to keep out of it. If there's a problem, I can say 'not my responsibility'. Perhaps I am too committed to my job - I should just keep quiet and keep drawing my salary.

    I'll wait and see what happens.

    Simon

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon43 View Post
    Did they employ you specifically to build the school?
    No, that's not in my contract. I'm employed as Headmaster, but
    No buts.

    Thinking this over as I write, it would certainly seem more sensible for me to keep out of it.
    Yep.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon43
    Perhaps I am too committed to my job - I should just keep quiet and keep drawing my salary.
    Probably a good idea Simon, its a new school, keep quiet and treat this as a learning curve............it may all work out in the end. Respect due to your commitment and professionalism BTW

  24. #49
    Thailand Expat VocalNeal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon43 View Post
    but for the opportunity to create a new school with high standards - academic, sporting etc.
    I'm old fashioned as well and a doer and usually take on responsibility well above my pay grade. This usually works out but sometimes...

    As Headmaster all you can do is things like ensure they do not build on the sports field or that the kitchen is not next to the garbage area or that there are enough toilets or...

    Ask sagely questions as Headmaster about things that matter to having a quality school. Then let the locals run the actual job.

  25. #50
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    ... like ensure they do not build on the sports field ..... or that there are enough toilets
    They have already built the kitchen where the sports field should be....

    They built a 16-classroom building for the youngest students with an en-suite toilet in 4 of those rooms, but apart from that, not a single external toilet for either students nor staff... my requests to install extra toilets was ignored.

    I'm keeping out of it from now on

    Simon

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