Tuesday, July 03, 2007


I arrived to work today to find us missing a teacher. Sunny's having some kind of surgery removing some sort of growth from inside or on her breast. I was told a few times "it's NOT cancer!" which is damned good news. "How do they know? Did they do a biopsy? Is it serious?" I asked. But, no one was able to let me know any details except to say that she's going to be absent for the whole week. I hope she's alright.

So my manager asked me to "do her a favour" and teach the last class tomorrow whereas I would normally catch a break and get out an hour earlier. I just looked at her plain-faced for awhile until she turned away and thanked me for agreeing to work. Only I hadn't agreed. "I have plans," I said.

A couple months ago I asked for a scheduling favour. I asked for my last-class break, which occurs on Tuesdays, to be switched with my 4 o'clock break that occurs on Thursdays. I'd been invited to attend an event in another city that Thursday night, and had told my friend I would probably be able to swing getting off early. If I taught the last class, I wasn't going to be able to go. Seeing as I very very rarely ask for any kind of amendment to my schedule I didn't think it was going to be a problem, but ohhhhhh, it was.

In the end it was "too bad, so sad" for me, and no one was even willing to articulate why I couldn't be granted this one change. My manager said we'd talk about it "later" (see: never) and that her visit to the doctor for a headache earlier in the day had messed up her mind so that she wasn't able to use her brain. Mmmm'kay.

So, while I'm not a great fan of "tit for tat," I was reminded of that happening a couple months ago when I was asked to lend a hand tonight. I've covered for absent teachers before. Many times, actually. And I've also been happy to be a team player in the past. I wavered as I headed to class tonight, letting guilt slip in and make me think I'd relent and agree to cover before I left for home. But then I noticed my manager sitting around eating ramen with a group of kids who were straggling from the previous class. Lady, if you're busy with managerial tasks and unable to teach, I understand. But, sheesh! Oh - and I noticed she'd parked students from her last class of the day (which she was covering) in front of a scrabble board, told two teams to pick about 15 tiles each and, there! Work it out! That's your English lesson today, kids!

I've got to talk to my boss tomorrow about the possibility of vacation time. In August. When I should be teaching "special classes" on top of my regular schedule. We've also for to talk about tax and pension monies, which it seems like I might be getting. Perhaps. (Cross your fingers.) And I've got to decide that if I'm not able to get back home for some time this summer, if it's time to just call it a day here. I'm hoping things are going to turn out well, but I'm not very sure at all.

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