4:30PM (same day)
What am I doing, diary?
I should reveal the details now. The Korean who called earlier is supposedly a project partner of my mother.
But I wasn’t aware that he was a partner. I had assumed that he was some sort of sponsor and I hadn’t wanted to rock any boats coz he was kind enough to offer his help when he learned that I just resigned from my copyediting job. I guess he thought he was doing an act of kindness when he referred me to his sister-in-law as an ESL teacher.
But the problem, diary, is that I’m no certified teacher. I have no proper teaching experience to speak of except if Vacation Bible School, where I taught one time, would be counted.
And I’m bone-tired and stressed and wanting very much to go home.
But initially, I had thought that I was doing a good deed when I decided to agree to what this guy’s sister in law wanted. Because she had a need and I felt it was in me to help her out, I guess I was thinking of some pay-it-forward scenario.
Okay. I walked into the doors of the impressive-looking building. I was awed. I checked in my ID at the information desk and headed for the bank of elevators.
I won’t tell you the exact floor that was my destination, diary. But suffice it to be known that the office where I was “interesting” to work was far, far from the office I had first imagined it to be, an office that was totally out of whack with the chrome and glass of the entire building. Incongruous would be the word.
Oh, diary! The office wasn’t dirty. It was filthy. I had thought, when the elevator dinged me to my specified floor, that I had punched the wrong button. But it was correct. But I had thought I wandered into some sort of cargo forwarding company and not some “international school”.
Yet, hoping for the best, because the signage told me that I am at the right place, I opened the door and asked,
Me: Hi, I’m Feyoh. Ms. _________ asked me to come today.
Grasshopper disguised as bespectacled girl (GDBG): Oh, do you have your resume?
Me: Err… I…
GDBG: Nevermind. Wait here for a while. (Goes to inner sanctum and comes out again with a smile on her
mandible lips) She will see you now.
I went with her to a nicely-furnished office with wall to wall carpeting, totally different from the peeling linoleumed flooring of the front office. The office was well-lit and cooler than where I came in from. Ms. _________ was at her desk and she obviously was the boss. GDBG kowtowed.
GDBG: Ms. _____________, this is Feyoh.
Ms. _______ (in her version of English): So, you want to teach, only part time?
Me: It’s okay. What exactly do I do?
Ms. ________: You teach Korean chidren English. You talk phone and then by video.
Me: Okay, that could be fine.
Ms. ________: You have crass at seven-thirty until ten-thirty pm.
Me: Okay. When can I start?
Ms. __________: You start now.
Me (eyes wide in panic): What?! You mean NOW?!! I…but…. I… I just came from a job interview in Ortigas—
Ms. __________: So you accept the job?
Me: I said they give me one week’s notice.
Ms. ________ (frowns): My brother in law told you I need teacher.
Me: Nobody said that it’s now, today. I’m sorry but I am not ready. You mean the teacher starts today?
Ms. __________: Yes. I need teacher now. I have two new students and they have teacher this evening. We need a teacher. Please.
I was about to say something and then I saw her brother in law. He was in another office and when he saw me, he gave a wave and came over.
The Brother in law (all smiles): You teach Korean children today?
Ms. ________: We need teacher now.
Diary, they both said that I can refuse. I don’t know. The day was stressful for me. I had wanted to do a tantrum in front of them with Ms. __________ repeating that she needs a teacher NOW while in the same breath saying I can refuse and her brother in law smiling like someone in a toothpaste commercial because he’s helped a soul find work in the vast unemployment umbra of the Philippines.
Sometimes this whole pakikisama thing really sucks. But I said yes. Just to help her out. I thought Ms. ____________ was so desperate for a teacher that she has to get an unqualified one to fill the spot.
I learned that the pay was by the hour. I nearly snorted when she quoted the rate. It was not enought to pay for the fare going there and coming back. Yet she needed a teacher NOW and I felt pity for the woman.
I shall write about this job i got in another entry but for now, i shall give you over to chin, the nevergirl and she could describe her own experience of how it is to work as an esl teacher.
(…to be continued)