Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Latest

I finally got my computer back at home and she's all fixed up. That's good news! Now I can resume not commenting on my favourite blogs and not replying to e-mails from my favourite people. I'm awesome.

My co-worker Sunny had given her notice, intending to quit at the end of May. She was recently changing her mind, though - and had agreed to stay on until my boss found a teacher to replace her. It turns out that she wasn't planning on taking a course after all (I felt she was lying when she told me she was going back to school) and was instead going to look for a job that paid her more money. She told me last Friday that she was reconsidering, and was thinking about staying on at my school. I guess she changed her mind over the weekend, because she sent the boss a text message on Monday ten minutes before her first class was starting saying she was taking a week off to go travelling. If Karen still wanted her to work after she got back, she would.

Ballsy I tells ya!

Karen is finally fed up and Sunny is so fired.

I'm pretty ticked off at her as well. It's obvious she doesn't care about her students or Karen and I. She's such a chicken, and that's not a trait I enjoy in anyone. Actually I called her on Monday night and was surprised she answered the phone. She wasn't travelling anywhere either. I don't know what her deal is, but it's like every couple months she figures it's time for her to have a mini-vacation. I'm tired of covering her classes and I'm tired of her crap English anyhow. So buh-bye Sunny-pie.

I've been gathering all sorts of documents so my boss can visit immigration in a couple days and extend my visa. My contract expires on the 11th of June, but my visa always expires at the end of May. Karen's looking to submit another year-long contract, which I haven't totally committed to. We've been negotiating for the last few days and can't seem to agree on the details. We're stuck on money,...go figure, and I'm being quite rigid. I want to go home this summer and I want her to pay for the airfare and she's having trouble agreeing to that idea. It's not an insane expectation by any means. Schools almost always pay for the airfare of their foreign teachers from and to their home countries. I've been here four years, and Karen's never paid for a trip home. Granted, I've only gone home once but that was on my dime. I paid over two thousand clams at the time for my airfare, and with the way airlines have raised their fares, I'm expecting it'll cost even more. Karen's offered to let me go for two weeks of paid vacation, but that's not making me happy. She seems very stressed out by the whole airfare idea, so finally I said to her today, "Listen, this is non-negotiable. You're paying for my trip home one way or another. Either you buy me a return ticket or a one-way ticket and find a new teacher." Then I turned her upside down and shook all the loose change out of her pockets and said, "I'm taking this TOO!"

We're haggling over a thousand dollars or so worth of raise as well. When I speak to her about why I deserve it and how there's better employment deals to be had out there and how I often feel lonely and isolated in this silly little town I can hear a little voice in the back of my head yelling, "Why are you even bartering to stay here, you idiot?" I think I've got some weird version of Stockholm Syndrome.

Today I went to the hospital to get tested for the government regulations for foreigners here to make sure I don't have AIDS and I'm not high on drugs. I had to get my brother to go fetch me a Criminal Record Check from the Toronto police as well. Once I've got those in my silly hands I'm free and clear to change jobs, so we'll see what happens.

Here's a new puppy. It's Buddy's replacement apparently.
Now I'm waiting to see what the replacement for Sunny's going to be like. When we find one, that is.


Kuri said...

I greatly enjoy reading your blog. Especially with all the puppy pictures...and your cat Kamikaze is GO-geous=^^=

Kitikata-san said...

Sorry about Buddy, I liked him through the world of your blog. I hope he did not suffer. And this puppy is darn cute!

aljensen said...

Have you ever thought of coming out to China to teach? The pay isn't so good. If you've got any interest in studying Chinese while in SK you can do so online, like at or ChinesePod