June 4, 2010


This is another one of those weeks that I’m not sad see go. So far, these past couple of weeks have been interesting, to say the least.

May 20, scooter accident. June 2, seizure. Now, I just received a phone call from my junior high school that they are not going to hire a full-time English teacher for the new school year. Apparently, not in their budget.

Quite honestly, I wasn’t really looking forward to having to turn it down anyway. It was nice being considered for the position, but I’m not sure I would have enjoyed giving up so many hours, gaining a lot more, and for less pay. I kind of like my situation as it is now.

Okay, so please, whatever entities are ruling the universe, please tell me that this is it. I’ve always believed, good or bad, that things happen in three’s. If one thing goes your way, then surely two more things will. If something goes wrong, then two more are sure to follow.

The funny thing is, the weather has been about as good as how my weeks have being going. Somewhat miserable, dreary – typical early summer weather for Taiwan.

Some of the schools I work for are already gearing up for summer. One in particular has to do some shuffling around rather quickly.

About a year ago, it had been decided they needed a second foreign teacher. I’ve been working there for over four years. In comes this other teacher. He hasn’t, according to my reshuffled schedule, been there a year yet, but that’s no never mind. For whatever reason, this other teacher has decided that in two weeks time, would be the last shift. Now comes the shuffling to see if my schedule can accommodate. An additional 3 or 4 hours into my schedule is not a problem.

The thing that ticks me off though, and if it doesn’t for that school, is the short notice. Now I’m no labour relations officer, but how I was brought up, there are just some things that you shouldn’t do, and one is to leave a business short.

They hired you to do a job. You willingly accepted this position. You stayed there, say, for a year, and decide that you want to leave. Fair enough. No one says anyone MUST stay in the same job for life. Your future is yours. What you do with it is your business. However, common courtesy dictates that after a year of service, the least you could do, unless it’s by some extenuating circumstance, is give them some notice.

It takes time to hire a new person, train them, get them into the swing of things. At the same token, the adage, ‘… what’s good for the goose, is good for the gander …” comes into play. Business should be just as accommodating to an employee. If, for some reason, the position is no longer needed, then proper notice should be given.

However, who is to say what proper notice is? Well, again, unless there are extenuating circumstances, then a month’s notice is not unreasonable. The funny thing is, I know that this person’s ‘other half’ did exactly the same thing. A little more extreme though. This person had only been in the job for less than a month, decided that it was not to their liking, and quit.

The other thing that sort of ticked me off, is that to accommodate both these people, hours were taken from my schedule. Now, the hours are being put back in. Better for me, I suppose. Foreign teachers coming to Taiwan then wonder why the various schools require you to sign at least a 1-year contract. It’s people like these two who give foreigners the bad rap. Whether they are great teachers or not, is irrelevant.

In many cases, it takes the students a while to ‘warm up’ to a new teacher. It takes the teacher a while to get used to the school and the students. Good and bad days aside, I am proud that I have been teaching at the various schools that I teach at. For many of them, I have been with them for a long time. Is that a good thing? Should I be moving around year after year?

I’ve always liked the idea of ‘stability’. I’ve always given 110% into each job I have. I’m rarely late for classes. I rarely take time off needlessly, and I believe that my employers know that. These past couple of weeks have been strange weeks. I’ve explained what’s happened, and they seem understandable.

But that’s me. I can’t expect the rest of the population to follow my lead. I do what I think is right, and not worry so much about what others are doing. I guess this explains why I have been employed for so long in Taiwan, and why I have been employed by the same employers for as long as I have.

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1 Comment

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One response to “June 4, 2010

  1. Mom Jacklin

    Sorry to hear of your misfortunes, especially the seizure.
    I would have gladly swapped a few of your less than good days for a couple of ours. My blogs will be out soon, just looking for some spare time.
    Travelling is nice but there’s the settling in again after. Dad was whipped and for good reason. Guess we’re getting a tad old for all this stuff.
    The visits were super and getting the old slides were terrific. Have a look when you get a few minutes.
    Love you.

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