LiBeL Column

Manic Depression

Columns from The Nation newspaper

Looking for jobs in the concrete jungle

“Stop all the clocks, cut of the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.”
W.H Auden ‘Funeral Blues’

Maybe this is a bit of a drama queen style over-reaction to the current English teaching situation in BKK. However, if some people are to be believed we might as well all pack up and gone home now as the end of the TEFL world is nigh.

At present the skeptics are in two camps:

“No jobs, no matter how hard I try to look which means that I spend 20 minutes every week day afternoon emailing or rather sending one email c.c’d to everyone in the Bangkok Post and on the Ajarn job site, no point going out to look for work because there isn’t any if there were jobs people would reply because I’m a god teacher, I know that because my students laugh at me and my resume is 4 pages long and comes complete with details of every position of responsibility I’ve held since Grade 6 and a detailed breakdown of my MCSE course grades and topics covered just in case someone wants me to teach ‘computer’ to a class of 9 year olds, waste of f&$kin’ time, nowadays schools should reply to all email how else do they expect to find teachers if they don’t reply then the only reason I can see is that there aren’t really any jobs available, it’s all a big scam, perhaps they want my email address to sell it to marketing gurus who think I’m in need of enlarging various parts of my anatomy, perhaps its some form of Nigerian scam and I’ll be sent a letter from the head honcho at ECC explaining how he’s stashed $40 million in undisclosed course fees in a Bangkok Bank Account and he needs to transfer them to the USA double quick, see never trust anyone with ginger hair, that’s my motto, never failed me yet, never trust a foreigner point blank, stick with your own, doubt everything until proven otherwise, no smartarse DoS will get one over on me, I’ll decide who I work for and if they can’t offer me my own desk then I’ll be buggered if I’m going to allow myself to be used by “the man” for one of his get rich quick at the expense of hard working, professional and yet curiously perpetually underpaid teachers, no siree Bob, if I cant get a job then I’m sure no one else can, well they probably can but that’s just cronyism again, I swear I went for one interview and the DoS being from a different country from myself gave the job to one of his fellow countrymen, f#*kin old boys network alive and well here, I’m off to Korea, 6 hours a week work for 5 times the salary so my mate says and he knows ‘cos he read it on a discussion board. ”

Versus :

” There are jobs but they don’t pay me what I consider I’m worth so I’m not going to bother applying for them, I’ll just piss and moan about the lack of jobs until I max out my ‘Authorised User ‘Visa card, head back home and hand the bill to my parents who’ll be more than happy to pay it ‘cos I’ve been 2 months in Thailand and Thailand is abroad and abroad is where all the terrorists live, with the exception of those whose remnants have settled on rooftops in the lower Manhattan area, anyway I’m just lucky to be alive, saw a guy in Nana one night who looked like he might be an Arab, steered well clear, cant be too careful suicide bombers everywhere, look at the situation in Israel, I was there for a year saw two bombings on TV, they looked real, then got out before my Kibbutz became a target, Bangkok was meant to be a place to kick back , earn some cash and get laid, it’s a vicious circle how am I expected to have a lifestyle that my parents expect me to have if I’m only offered 300 Baht an hour, poverty wages, well it could feed an Isaan family for a week but not if they were forced to eat burgers at Woodstock every Friday night, wouldn’t go far then would it, bloody double standards, locals probably pay less in McDonalds too, I cant be expected to be enthusiastic for under 30K a month, pay me what I’m worth and I’ll make an effort to jump through a few hoops, you DoSs with your fancy cars and high-so living can afford to pay more, just charge the students more, simple isn’t it, I got an MBA, not rocket science people, raise the costs to the students by 50% and you could afford to hire me and not a Russian, I’ve seen Benzes parked outside all schools in BKK, don’t tell me there’s no money and even if there was then fire a Filipino or two, Jeez, I’ve got an MBA that qualifies me to do pretty much whatever the hell job I like anywhere in the world, no poxy TEFL cert is going to stand in my way, I did voluntary work with my African American brothers in the inner cities, nothing I cant do and I can start work tomorrow so long as you pay my travelling expenses to the interview. ”

Last time I read the paper it seemed that the government was more than willing to help people who didn’t particularly like being in Thailand to leave. If things are so bad then go somewhere else. Sell your plundered second hand text book collection, kiss Nok from Soi Cowboy goodbye, pack the fake Samsonite and go back to dreary reality where you might have to really work hard.

“Inside that bitter brain
There’s gotta be a whore
If you don’t shut your mouth
You’re gonna feel the floor”

Glen Danzig ‘Attitude’

(The writer has been overworked this week . . . and it’s beginning to show.)