Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Working in a Coalmine

Only instead of coal, our main byproduct is yellow dust. Nasty stuff, that. I'm in Day Five of "The Constant Headache" and I'm going to blame all the toxic shit in the air.

I haven't written about work for a little while, other than the thought that I need a vacation from it,...so here goes.

Three weeks ago we hired a new teacher. She's a young, pretty, recent university graduate. Her English was quite decent, which made me happy. What didn't thrill me was that she was given the desk right beside mine - which has been empty for all the years I've worked at my school. I used the space underneath it to store some of my stuff, and the drawer held contents that all the teachers used. So I had to squish more things into my space. Almost five years teaching means that I've acquired a lot of materials. I also teach double the classes of any given Korean teacher, so it stands to reason I needs me some space. The other thing that I was wondering about was why we needed a new teacher. Our student numbers don't warrant it at all, and I know my boss is in quite a financial pickle - so I'm questioning how the added salary is being justified.

Our "manager" doesn't want to teach. It appears that she needs more time to sit at her desk pretending to be busy when she's not studying her fingernails and torturing me by turning on the heater she parks right beside her.

Three days in, the new teacher got an interview for a position she really wanted at some other company, and three days after that she was packing up and saying "bye!" The advertisement my school had placed had gotten more than one response, though, so they moved down the list, got another young recent uni grad to come in for an interview and hired her right away. She started the following day so there wasn't even a gap where my manager needed to resume working teaching.

The new teacher's first question to me was, "You is name Jelly?" so I had a sense of what her English is like. Blah. She's only been working a week now so there's not too much that I know about her except that she seems to want to even further reduce the amount of space I have in the Teacher's Room by standing most of the time between me and her chair. I get to have her bum in my face quite a lot. She also does this strange jig all the time. I really don't know what that's all about. To get from the place where she's sticking her bum in my space to the photocopier, say, she does this waggly jog with her arms all askew and her shoulders shaking. It's sort of like the whiny dance that goes along with the "Opppppaaaa" protest/whine. I think maybe some ex-boyfriend told her she's super cute when she throws a playful mini-tantrum and she decided to incorporate that cuteness as her mode of general transportation. Like I said, I don't get it. My down-to-Earth other co-teacher shares my confusion. She doubled over laughing when I nodded toward the new dancing teacher and raised my eyebrows like, "What's up with that?" Tomorrow we've got a "hwe-shick" (work party) to welcome the new teacher. She doesn't drink, which is no fun but okay. More for me.

Something's going to happen soon at work and I'm not sure what it is. My boss is tapped out and can't afford to keep losing money. I hear an axe being sharpened somewhere, but I'm assured it shan't fall upon me. I don't think the end is nigh for the school, either - but I could be wrong. My pay, which has already been delayed by five days for the past few months came up short yesterday by more than half. This isn't good news, but there isn't much I'm willing to do about it right now. I trust my boss, who complimented me yesterday by saying I'm the best teacher he's ever met and he'd like to work with me forever. I can't agree to forever, but I'll keep showing up for the next thirteen weeks or so.

And then what?
I don't knooooowwwwwwwww.

5 comments:

rwellor said...

Plenty of good jobs for someone with your experience if you want to stay.

Joanne said...

"she decided to incorporate that cuteness as her mode of general transportation"

bawhahah Love it!

Jelly said...

Thanks rwlleor. Do you by any chance know where I can get a job that pays around 3 million for, like, ten hours of work per week? That's the sort of gig I want! (Or to play the guitar on the MTV)

Gwen said...

What to do next? Come work with us! We may not be able to pay you 3 million for 10 hours a week, but we'd definitely treat you like a queen! Not joking at all.

James Creegan said...

Oh but you simply have to get a video clip of this girl's weird dance.

I used to work with a woman who would laugh by going

"Hahah yeah 'cos"

and I'd always be waiting to hear, yeah cos frigging whaT?

This was before people had electrical cameras and such things though.