Thursday, April 20, 2006

Family, and The Talk

So I finally had the chat tonight. I've been wondering for the last few weeks when it was going to happen, and on my way out the door tonight my boss asked if I could stay late tomorrow night because "she had some things to tell me."
"Tell me now," I exclaimed!
And so she did.

She said she wanted to talk to me about my contract's end, which is coming up in just a smidge over 7 weeks. It's been on my mind A LOT, and I've frankly been torturing myself thinking about it.

About three months ago or so, I was talking with my mother on the phone discussing the summer. I was trying to secure a week or so of my very own at my family's cottage. I love it there. Look at me loving it there when I was a wee'un:
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Anyhow, long story short, it figures that my family is looking to rent the place out during every week that it's not booked with the actual owners - (my mother, brother, aunt, and uncle) and their families. Too bad so sad haven't shown up in 4 years so now you hath snoozed and ye shall lose. This disappoints me, and the half-joking suggestion that I rent the place, frankly, insults me. Not too long after that picture was taken I did what I could (as an elementary school student) to help build the place. It was mostly just nail straightening make-work, but still.
Anyhow, in that conversation of cottages and cats, my mother said exasperatedly "We don't even know if you ARE coming home or not!" I assured her, "Oh,...I AM coming home."

This past weekend, I was talking with my friend Stacey, whose baby will be 2 and a half this summer. I'm anxious to see them again! We were talking about my being in Canada this summer and I surprised myself by saying, "Well, if I come home we can,...."
Huh?!? "If!?!?"
I stopped short, and said, "I can't believe I just said 'if'! I've been all about the 'when' for so long now!!"

But as the time for my departure nears, I'm freaking out a little bit. It's change, it's unsure, and it's the terrible worry about what I'm going to do with Mister Sumo, the Kamikaze Kitty. Three months ago life was different. Things have become crazily more interesting just over the past couple months. And so, I found myself not quite knowing what to do.

Things were made clearer tonight in talking with my boss. She spoke of wanting to make some changes to our contract. We didn't get TOO much into the specifics. We didn't have to. The first point was a deal breaker. She wants to cut my vacation time (10 days per year) in half. I winced, and automatically said, "I can't do that." After two years of working here, we should be negotiating UP, not DOWN. I understand this isn't a personal thing - it's not like she thinks I'm doing a crap job and should have less rewards,'s a business thing. She wants the foreigner's vacation to match the school's measly vacation of 2 days is summer, 2 in winter, and 1 when they have that silly director's meeting.
Nu-uh. Not gonna do it.
And if she's hoping to find a good teacher to replace me, I think she might have a hard time of it, because frankly, I think that anyone who accepts 5 vacation days a year is a SUCKER.

So I think I may agree to stay on for an extra month and a half or so. Seven weeks IS too soon for me, and seeing as my family doesn't seem to care so much if I come back or not* I'm going to stretch things out a little bit.

Actually, I'm reminded at this moment that I'm a shitty family member anyhow. This Saturday is my grandparent's 60th wedding anniversary party and the whole of my father's side of the family will gather for a celebration. I got word that my father even offered to pay for my flight home so I could attend. Granted, I haven't spoken to the man in over a year, so that's just innuendo or something like that. As it is, I haven't even sent a card for no other reason than I keep forgetting to. So now I'm going to call my grandparents, who I haven't talked to in,...sheeeesh, 3 years or so. (We've written, though.)

*It's not that they don't care,...but it's more that they're wrapped up in their own lives. My brother doesn't have time to send me an email or call but once a month maybe. He doesn't even have time to drop me a note to thank me for the kick ass packages I mail to my pretty niece, which drives me mad. But, I love him, so he's just about forgiven.


captain_howdy_girl said...

wow, that's crazy that you are going home but you don't sound too excited about it.
I don't know what the regulations are in Korea but I know that the 6 month quarantine on pets no longer exists when you travel to Europe. Maybe you should look into it. Also, in the case that you can travel with a pet sometimes they will allow the pet to be with you on the plane if the carrier fits under the seat.

Jelly said...

Howdy Cap'n!
I am excited! For sure, but - well, change is often a little unnerving. Whatever, all will be good.
Yes - I know about taking cats on planes. There's no way they'd let Kamikaze in the cabin - as he's too big and wouldn't fit under the seat. He's such a big suck and really doesn't travel well - so I worry all the time.
In a few weeks I'll take him to the vet and get all his shots up to date - rabies and such, and then he should not be quarantined back in Canada. He doesn't even need the shots, as he hasn't been out of the apartment since we came from Japan.

patrick said...

It doesn't sound like you want to leave but that just means it's the perfect time to go. Most people stay way too long and don't leave until they absolutely hate it here.
On the other hand, what the hell are you gonna do back home? Work!?!?!?

Also, you shouldn't take advice from me... I've been here 9 years, 8 months, and 21 days, with no end in sight.