It’s 4.39am, can’t sleep .
So I’ve been back to the government offices 4 times now, each with pretty much with very limited success. I’ve given them two letters stating the facts, and stating my position regarding the contract as requested, but so far nothing else has happened.
It’s a very slow process, and you have to keep on going every day, keep on pushing them to do their job, keep on pushing them to try to help your situation.
It’s quite frustrating as they are obviously stalling and puting things off in the hope that I just give up and move on. If you actually calculate the amount of time I have dedicated to persuing this then I probably could have made the money owed by now, I am asking myself is it really worth persuing this any further?
Yesterday I went to the offices, I had arranged to meet the man there at 1.30, but when I arrive he says that he has no time today and that he will be in a meeting for the rest of the day. I say that we had a time arranged, and he says why didn’t I come at 8am to do this?
This is the thing, In my experience trying to catch people at the ‘right’ time is often the hardest thing to do. Governement workers it seems have lunch from 10.30/11-1.30-2ish then go home at 4. It’s so difficult as I don’t want to sound weak and capitulate to his ‘busy’ schedule but I also don’t want to annoy him so as he won’t help me with anything!
This time, I’ve brought some Chinese friends with me so they can help with language problems and co-oberate anything said by him. When dealing with problems like this I try not to get anybody else directly involved because it usually complicates things further and annoys the people whom I bring to help me. If I am just there myself they are more direct and simple, we get to the point (if only because my language skills are not up to complex nuances). If you take others, they ask all sorts of irrelevant questions like ‘why are you helping this person’ ‘what’s your relationship with this person’ ‘why did you come here’ etc etc etc…
So he then walks out of his office, closes the door and past us, so we follow him – my chinese friends asking him can’t we do this now, it’s important, we dont have so much time you know!
He gets agitated at this and replies saying that he has a very good relationship with Jilin University and he doesn’t want to damage this!
I didn’t believe he’d actually tell us this, I didn’t expect a truthful response – at least he’s trying to being honest . So he wont do his job because it will harm his relationship with the uni, and he doesn’t want to lose guanxi. Then I guess the only way is to go to his boss, and his boss and so on, until I can find somebody that can help!
He also said some irrelevant stuff about the fact that Jilin University gave me a letter of release and that I should not be complaining, what cheek! I thought he was supposed to be impartial!!!haha
I think that If I keep on going back, day after day, pressuring them, maybe this would eventually get somewhere. I believe It’s a question of putting the right amount of pressure and getting to the message to the right people, but unfortunately, time is not something I have much of in Changchun and I don’t want to spend my last days here fighting.
Maybe those people that initially give up fighting for the money are right, basically it boils down to the clear point that it really isn’t worth your time and effort persuing this. I feel consolled for at least trying to do things legally, there are other methods but as I said before I simply don’t have the time to pesue this further.
So I have given my information to a Chinese lawyer that I found online, he will persue this on my behalf, and maybe just maybe will get something out of it. Im not so concerned about the money involved (11k to be exact) it’s the principle and the attitude of jida that annoys me most.
For anybody who wants to do this, the offices you need to go to are on the second floor of the building on the south eastern side of the junction on renmin dajie and shanghai lu. It’s an old building dating from the Japanese time, the room number for the office is 240, but the room I’ve been going to is 227.
人民大街和上海路交汇 renmin dajie he shanghai lu jiaohui or just go to the 省政府 sheng zhengfu
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