One of the reasons I like freelancing so much is that I get to juggle and pick and choose opportunities. I get some perspective on the business I am in, and business in general, through constantly reevaluating different opportunities and how to coordinate them.
A company in which I am teaching a small group (3 students) has just asked me for a proposal for classes for the entire staff (70). Considering I am not interested in starting an English school, I said I would pass the request to the director of the school that placed me with them.
Without ulterior motive I started thinking, “Wait that school kind of sucks. I don’t really recommend it. They would be better off with one of the other ones that I work for.” As this occurred to me, I was in my class with my small group from that company. So naturally I thought it aloud, sharing my idea with the students as it dawned on me. They sort of looked at me like, “No comment.”
Nevertheless, when I got home that night I sent the Managing Director of the company an email asking if he wouldn’t mind if I passed his email address to two other schools, to give him a little more choice and to give the schools a little more price competition. Obviously he was all for it. So I sent off some emails to my other schools, inviting them to propose and sending them the Director’s email address. I also disclosed to each that they were not the only school I was putting the company in touch with.
At that point, while writing those emails, I realized the other schools would give me a commission if it turns out I win them a new client. And while my actions are not exactly favorable to any of the schools, the odds are definitely in my favor (ahem, 100% probably) that this company will choose a school that I work for. Hm.
I am not doubting that I did the right thing in this situation, may the best man win, but it looks kind of opportunistic, back-stabbing, and self-serving from certain points of view. Considering that I, and I only, definitely stand to gain. Well me and the students/clients.
Also, I am not sure this would have happened if that thought about the first school sucking hadn’t occurred to me.
I straight up asked my students if they had a problem with me going to my other schools, and they acknowledged that it makes them uncomfortable and that they probably wouldn’t have done that. Do they see something ethically questionable about what I have done? Or are they speaking from a cuate-ist perspective?
I guess it would be less questionable if there were other schools that I don’t work for involved. But that is kind of out of my hands. I’m not a matchmaker. Also, as far as I am concerned, I put them in touch with the best schools I know… oops, crap. There is one I forgot about that’s good whom I used to work for. The one that had me with Migración and Luz y Fuerza. I will send an email now.
I’m growing up. Hey, maybe soon I will finally stop throwing teen/gangsta rap slang into my code-switchig mix.