Thursday, July 20, 2006

She Said, I Said, Dey Don' Said

I guess seeing three penises the other night made me think I was on some kind of roll, but alas, I'm not. So I'm giving up counting cats or penises. I haven't seen either in the last couple days, except for the big furry blob whose bum is in my face when I wake up. Counting him, over and over,...well that's just odd. I have seen lots of rain. Lots and lots and lots. I counted. I've seen 8 billion 3 hundred and 24 raindrops. That's A LOT, considering I have been doing other things in my waking hours besides counting rain.

As far as work days go, today sucked a whole lot of ass. It's difficult to work with women, and I'll include myself in that sentiment. I can be short tempered, and I've told you all how I really need to work on my patience. Overall, though, I'm fairly easy going. 95% of the time at work, I'm alright- and I do spend much of the day smiling and laughing. Not today, though.

I've been spending so much time this week trying to secure a golden ticket to get the hell out of Dodge. It's been frustrating because it's high season and my indecisiveness as to whether or not I was going at all now means that many of the flights are over-booked. My ability to search for flights is also impeded by language barriers, and the one English speaking agent I contacted didn't seem so interested in my business. My co-worker advised getting a ticket online, and showed me a site where they had lots of flight options ranging from about $1500Cdn upwards. I started drooling, until we realised they're all sold out. So I asked for her help to sort something out and we did find a nice direct flight on Air Canada at a reasonable rate. She reserved it in her name because- well, I don't know why. If I share all the details as to what happened after (over the last 2 and a half days) this will be a long story, but let's say it was an exercise in futility. And yes, I was getting frustrated. Not specifically with my co-worker, but maybe more so about how ineffective I am compared with how blasee she is. Sure, she's got no vested interest in my leaving, why the hell should she help me out? But she agreed to. It seemed like everytime I wasn't asking her about what was happening, the fire would die out and I'd have to re-light it. I know what I'm like, and if it was a matter of getting through to someone via e-mail or the phone, I'd be dialling and typing until it got done. But I'd come out of class while she's at the tail end of her hour long break, and ask her what was up, and she'd mumble something like "Yah, I'm is call, but dey don' peeck up." So I'D call, and dem IS peeck up, and I'd say "chokkum manyo" and hand the phone over to her and she'd get the run-around and they'd give her another number and dem is NOT peeck up. Round and round we go.

Finally, even after I apologized for seeming frustrated and explained it wasn't at her, she complained I was bogarting her time and she was spending every 10 minute break trying to help me. Kamsa hamneeda, pal. So I just gave up and said, "Awwww, man, I've been thanking you all along." (A couple of times she even told me I owe her a big present when I come back from Canada.) "So, whatever, don't bother then Judy." and I went back to class and a gust of wind (that surrounded my hand) slammed the door shut. Then she was pissed off at me, and said so. And I mumbled "Ah well, you'll get over it," because I'm mean like that. But 2 minutes later I called her out of her class and apologized and said again, I wasn't frustrated at her, just frustrated, and again, I'm sorry.

But truthfully, I am frustrated with her, and have been for quite awhile. She's unmotivated and seems uninterested. I have a hard time with her classes because there's a lack of discipline. Some students enjoy her, because it seems like "goof off" snack-party time. It'd be easier (on me) if I just followed suit and developed an "oh well," attitude- but I don't want to BE that kind of teacher. I also have a hard time with her because there's a lack of English. I, hand to heart, can't understand what she's saying most of the time. She, really never utters a gramatically correct English sentence and her accent's so mumble-jumbled I have to pick out words I can recognize and try to infer what she's getting at.

This will now segue into my other co-worker, the infamous Elizabeth. Likewise, her English is shite. To clarify, it's not bad at ALL for the average Korean person. I can usually understand what she's talking about. We have spent hours at a time together, outside of work, and it's good. One thing is, though, she tends to speak English in a sing-song voice. Everyday I'm greeted with "HEllloooo jeeennNNEEEE!" that goes as far up and down her octave range as is possible. The students get, "PLEEESE! TAAKKKEE OOOUUuuuttt yyyooouuurrr boooOOOOOKKKKSSS!" That's part of who she is, and she exhibits the same exaggerated speech patterns in Korean as well (you should hear her extension of that throaty Arabic sounding thing Koreans employ for emphasis!) A couple weeks ago on the phone she complained that I had ruined her confidence about speaking English by a comment I'd made while we were shopping MONTHS ago. I don't remember the exact details, but it was something along the lines of her asking "JEEEENNnnnyyy what do you theenk of my EEENNNnngggllleeeEESSSHHH?" I answered honestly, but as kindly as I could, similar to what I wrote above. She was much better that the average Korean, but as an English teacher she should practice more. So she stopped practicing. And we stopped communicating. Because she lacked confidence. Because of me.

I'm going to break up this post now. There's more, but this is easily a two-parter, and you deserve an intermission for a stretch and a pee, and maybe some popcorn. Evil popcorn! Go to it, now!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Best regards from NY! » » »