Day 20: Race the Clock

Here’s the title of your post: “An Offer I Couldn’t Refuse.”

Set a timer for ten minutes, and write it. Go!

An offer I couldn’t refuse reminds me of an offer I should have refused. But since that is not the purpose of this insane exercise, I will leave that for another day. Anyone who has taught English abroad knows about the royal torture known as English Corner. It is basically when your employer – the private language school – farms you out to local public schools to advertise their school for them by giving a free 45 minute class to the public school kids. The idea is for the kids to have maximum fun so that they will go home and beg beg beg their parents to send them to your private language school so that they can have more maximum fun. In short, English Corners are hell. You get dozens (if you’re lucky) of elementary school kids who are already tired from a full school day but instead of expressing that exhaustion through being slow and quiet like normal people, they express it by being hyper hyperactive and treating you like a mascot.
Then there are “marketing activities”, which is pretty self explanatory. These last anywhere from half a day to several days. We the teachers are packed up and delivered to more lucky public schools and it is up to us to run a whole host of made up games whose purpose is to make English learning fun. Most of the kids we encounter don’t know diddly squat English, so trying to run language games for batch after batch of clueless little darlings, while it’s fun for them because they know they’re going to get a lot of candy and plastic things at the end of it, is more torture for yours truly.
So, when nearing the end of a one year contract – a good chunk of it spent undertaking these kinds of activities for a school that not only did not pay us for them but was also mighty creative with its accounting practices when it came to paying us for actual lessons taught – one of the managers offered to release me from my contract two weeks early, two weeks tat would have been spent entirely on English Corner and Marketing Activities, I didn’t even blink. Well, I actually told her I’d think it over and let her know the next day, even though every atom in my body was screaming YES YES YES SWEET LORD JESUS YOU DO LOVE ME! Of course, she didn’t make me this offer out of the goodness of her heart, or out of some delayed desire to rack up karma points. She only did it because I was pressuring her to let me know exactly how much I would get paid for the upcoming two weeks of torture, exactly how many hours we would work. Guess she didn’t like being cornered. What a laugh.

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