Jen_KyotoPA wrote:I would say that calling ESID a "flaw" seems like a bit of a misnomer--it is so inherent to the program, it's essentially impossible to imagine another situation. I would definitely call it a "drawback" and any time I talk to someone thinking about JET I try to make that very clear.
For my money, I think changing ESID is more or less impossible, and a better use of everyone's time and effort is in not trying to standardize everything, but trying to resolve the exceptionally unfair and unreasonable situations that do appear.
vietnamazing wrote:Isn't everything in life an ESID?
I've taken a somewhat philosophical stance towards the things about being here that fall under ESID. None of us can really control that there are different circumstances, and once we accept our placements, there's nothing we can do about the fact that our S will be D from any other number of people. This goes not just for the JET Program/me, but in life in general too--only, perhaps we're not as aware of it in our non-JET lives. So to a certain extent, learning how to do JET involves a lot of learning how to deal with things you can't control.
*Insert old platitude about things you can control and wisdom and etc.*
Rather than people's situations being different, I think the flaws (to keep the terminology) are these:
1) Not enough awareness (it seems?) that the COs and not CLAIR or "The JET Programme" are Jets' employers, and that CLAIR cannot make COs do more than a few very basic things (salary, flights, etc.).
2) Too much uncertainty for shortlisted Jets between when they get their acceptance, placement notice, and actual arrival.
There are limits to how quickly acceptance and placement results can be sent out, I understand that. And for prefectural BOE Jets there's more involved since they need to be placed not just at a CO but at a specific school (or two). But I wonder how much information is included in that first round of notices, and just what can be added (mine was going on 4 years ago so I don't remember much, to be honest). What if some of those extra, essential details could be included right at the get-go? It shouldn't be impossible to do:
-COs know by early February whether they'll be needing a new Jet.
-CLAIR knows in late February which COs will need new Jets
-CLAIR decides the placements of short-listed Jets
-CLAIR has information about toridans (torimatome dantai, offices administering the JET Programme in a prefecture) and COs (points of contact, Jets, PAs)
COs and toridans fill out different forms and questionnaires for CLAIR during the year. Granted, tons of forms can be mendokusai, but when a CO is filling out its form requesting a new Jet, why not include a couple more fields that include information like living arrangements, number of holidays per year, basic info about the town, etc.? When the shortlisted Jets are notified of the placements, this gets included as well as things like contact info for the future supervisor, predecessor, and PA. The Jet gets some kind of idea on what the conditions are (not 100%, but still), and they can take a first step in contacting people to find out more if it turns out their CO or pred are less than proactive about contacting the new Jet. (How viable this is with prefectural BOE placements, though, I'm not sure; in their case it's a two-step process--decide CO, then decide the school--and that adds more time to everything.)
I'm pretty sure we all remember how stressful it was to be so uncertain before we left. There's a huge amount of preparation to do before coming over here, both practical and psychological. Meanwhile, plenty of studies have shown that the more information people have before they enter a new environment, the more they're generally able to adapt and recover from the initial shock (I'm citing one of the CSC members from a previous PA conference on this one). Obviously, it's in everyone's best interest for new Jets to be able to get up to speed as quickly as possible, and it can help ward off some of the nastier shocks that can be harder to adjust to.
On a slight tangent, it's been CLAIR's/the PCs' official stance that using "ESID" to answer a question from a soon-to-be/new Jet is a lame non-answer, so at least at Tokyo Orientation it's supposed to be a banned like so many other four-letter words. Of course, it doesn't die quite so easily; from what I hear overseas consulates and JETAA's are still ESIDing away.