Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Well, it has been an interesting day. All that follows is the contents of my subjective mind. And most of it is just the verbal download to enable me to sleep soundly, without mental discord.

Clouds have been brewing a while at work. Recently, the American headquarters of my language school has been tightening the purse strings. This distressed a co-worker who suddenly found the course he was planning no longer existed anymore. Then came the staff meeting on the Tuesday which talked about the changes which didn't seem all too bad, such as a four week cycle, new textbooks to be used etc. etc. AND there was indications that their were going to be fewer teaching positions than there would be teachers, in the short term.

Following the staff meeting, some of us had individual meetings with the management, to talk about our desired future classes. Since I had taken the last two weeks with the mornings off, they asked me whether I wanted to continue that way. I said I did not and that I would like to work.

I had chosen to do without morning work (for a short time) as a way to save myself from my own commitments to the school. I had said I would simultaneously plan two courses and teach, which I found was not possible while keeping my brain together, so accepted (at what is lower pay) mornings off to 'save' the afternoon higher course, tidy up the lower course and do the things I was procrastinating.

This was also a good benefit to me, admittedly, because I had fallen off my applications to primary schools and hadn't had much time to devote to my other studies. But now the lower course has reached 12 weeks! That means it needs much less maintenance as it repeats. I don't need to work on it much longer. And the higher class is the only thing that I need to bother with for the afternoon.

Now, comes the punchline - due to the aforementioned budget restraints and limitations caused by student numbers I won't have fixed morning work for the next four weeks, perhaps indefinitely. In one way, I am rather annoyed and another way I see it as a rational decision. I took the time off in the mornings, in part, for the company. If it were not for the task of maintaining both afternoon courses, I would not have asked for the time off. I have put a lot of my own time into the school and accepted less weekly pay for it. And to be told that I won't be required full-time after that, does cause me to feel a little knocked back.

But, I can't see any other worker that deserves work less than me. One has a mortgage, I would cede work to him. The 'meek' one, formerly mentioned, has lost a lot of income in the labour shortage here already and won't be fully employed even in the new arrangement. The other teacher also has rarely had a regular supply of work, yet is bound to stay longer than me and be more useful to the company. There are lots of pragmatic aspects for the school, which I console myself with.

But at the same time, I should rightfully be the first to go, as stated, I was always there just to get me through to my first primary teaching position. The threat of my rapid departure has been there for some time, and has probably made the decision of management to choose this path much easier. One plus will be to cause me to push me harder to find a primary position - which has been my original goal. All disappointment at being denied work is because of my wrong attachment to the language school. A very important point for me to see.

Anyway, financially, this means going on a tight budget even to maintain my current cash level (making me wish I hadn't paid off the student loan in full). It will mean slashing my discretionary spending which has been high since I started work. My income works out at about $1200 less for the next four weeks.

The second curious happening today is being mildly censured for my ramblings on this blog. It ain't just airline hostesses who have this trouble it seems. The censure was on these grounds:

(1) I don't know the full details of certain events, so I shouldn't portray things as if they were fact.
(2) I used the wrong title for a person, the person I called the administrator, is actually the head teacher. I called this person the administrator as this person assumed the role of the person I formerly called, "the administrator".
(3) I made comments that could be distressing for people mentioned in my tales.
(4) If I have qualms about the head teacher's performance, I should just tell him.

I think (1) is a 'don't go there' point. EVERYONE has perceptions, just because they are written down rather than spoken or thought, it doesn't make them any less real to me. If anyone believes this is any more than my opinion and subjective perception though, please re-educate yourselves. If you believe me, you'll believe anything.

Comment number (2) could be a pertinent point - although I think it is rather semantic. The head teacher, in the time that I am referring to, was not 'teaching'. He was allocating classes, drawing up class rolls, handling testing, evaluating teachers, preparing professional development and courses. It was for these roles that I was referring to as belonging to an administrator. It doesn't really matter to the substance of my comments but simply the name of the role...

Comment (3) is a more real concern, except for the fact that I do not e-mail those people. They have no other way of getting my blog address. And if I were to send something to them, I would remove the signature to my e-mail which is the only source of my blog address. Although it is VERY pertinent that the only reason for me being censured here and now was that I forgot to remove my signature when forwarding something to the head teacher. So obviously I'm not careful enough. But I have found that the signature function is more flexible than I thought. I can now add it whenever I want. And it is not the default to add it anymore.

Comment (4) was a surprising thought. I am highly outspoken on most things. I wrote an e-mail last week directly referring to problems and criticism to the head teacher and the school. I DO say things to him. Actually I was worried that I made too many suggestions, and that it might seem patronising. I think everyone needs a mentor, and perhaps I was mistaken in believing I could give him advice or feedback.

One good thing is that I have been wanting the head teacher to be more upfront and challenge his own communication issues (what I see as issues, at least). And he came to me directly about this. So maybe it is a sign of improvement (although he didn't come to me straight away to say that I wouldn't have work - so I had to go in and ask directly - although there was eventually a meeting late in the day).

So as the smoke clears I see myself with a very different May/June to what I expected. One bad side is that soon as I heard, my motivation to work for the company has plummeted. I can only motivate myself for working for the students and myself, and not be constructive for the company. I found it hard to even think of what to supply to the reliever for tomorrow morning. I hope he manages my former students depend on it. Now, I realise, I can claim that time as preparation. I would never have noticed otherwise, it was formally a natural function of working.

Plans now, broaden job search - Primary schools are annoying the hell out of me.
Rig up language exchange - I am motivated like never before.
Get fit - I have no excuse.
Start writing again - maybe that is the gold mine future I have always underestimated.
Relinquish my responsibilities at Intrax - get mentally divorced from the job

Perhaps I should do some formal planning. Anyway, time to shut my eyes for the night.


Anonymous said...

If you believe me, you'll believe anything.

I read for the entertainment value. Do you believe you? :) --K.

Crypticity said...

Heh, naturally I believe me at the time that I wrote it.

But then again usually afterwards my perspective changes and only believe that I believed what I wrote at that time (i.e. I have a new perspective on happenings with the passing of time).

James said...

I'm not sure what your budget is for the month, but I am sure you will manage. There are lots of free entertainment options out there - pub quiz, strange nights, library books, ushering at plays to name a few.

It's funny that someone would get annoyed about what you wrote in your blog. I think it is just the idea of someone talking about you behind your back. (He found out your comments only through your accidental signature addition).

I agree with your analysis of his 4 points. Of course, how can anyone "know the true facts"? (You would need to be omniscient).

What type of fitness will you pick up? I thought your excuse would be that you have a dodgy foot... ;-)

Crypticity said...

Well, soon as my A zone pass ends, I will walk as much as possible. I will also resume swimming (although that is not the cheapest). I will re-routine myself for some stretching, dancing or calisthenic exercises etc. early in the morning.

It is not usually the entertainment that bleeds my money resources. It is the things like buying food out (and my tendency to pay for other people's food), cafes, and things like that. I also have an expensive taste in food (organics, flax-seed oil and exotic teas).

I was planning to invest in a new pair of ankle supporting shoes... but on the other hand I think the current pair can hold out a little more punishment. My CD expenditure has been low too.

Re: My thoughts being discovered.
Him and I have more or less come to an understanding. I won't give him anymore advice.

He is/was a friend of sorts, but he seems to have taken it quite personally. And at least verbally, he is not expressing much of his thoughts (not that he was). For me, apart from the annoyance at finding my thoughts went to someone I hadn't expected, things are the same.
For me it is also the feeling of being caught with my pants down. I normally have thoughts about other people - positive and negative. I still am friends with them. To know people have reservations about me, does not affect my friendship or relationship with them. Of course, it is up to each person to decide how to react with this.

It is a little disappointment to me now since I pride myself on my communication. I thought I understood communication well enough to not have such a blunder. Or maybe it was purely just a case of finding someone talking about someone behind one's back - and that is the true offending act. In our own discussions (you and I), the communicative language here can only be misinterpreted in his language: all he read was mean-hearted criticism. When all it was is my own attempt to describe my thoughts, feelings and mental dreamscape.

Either way, he is not interested in any feedback from me anymore. Even if he confuses other staff members with his poor judgement at any particular time, if I were to tell him, we would assume that it was me being mean and critical. In other words, this happening has narrowed the possibilities of honest communication, which is very sad for someone of my philosophy.

Crypticity said...

My foot survived a (paid) trip to Lazer Strike yesterday afternoon. That usually would have the potential to be brutal, although it was a little stiff later that night, it shows no sign of damage now.