New Academic Year, New school, New life! You came to China to teach ESL, with so much hope, and thoughts of immersing yourself in the culture, learning a new language, traveling all over Asia on your vacation time, making friends from around the world, paying off some student loans, and going home a better person for it. Yet, you found the opposite, the school doesn’t give you enough time off, they NEVER pay on time, you find yourself chasing down your boss for a pay stub or wondering why your check was short this month. You feel isolated, overworked, underpaid. Everyone hates working there. Turnover is high with stories of ‘midnight runs’ abundant, and you spend your free time browsing the classified ads or travel sites for the cheapest flight home. Your social circle is made up of other disgruntled co-workers, and you spend the little free time you have complaining to each other about the job and the boss. Throw in a bench press, some orange uniforms and it could easily be a scene from a bad prison movie.