The Kansas City Shuffle

Back home I purposely avoided signing contracts.  It’s a personal aversion to signing agreement that hinders me from doing my own thing.  And I had to sign one for this job, which isn’t a bit problem.  I may not like it, but it had to be done for me to get paid.  And while I don’t hold onto my money like an old white guy at Christmas, I would prefer to get paid so I can continue living in strange places, eating unique foods, and running from frightening people who would prefer my liver in pate form.

So I arrive at the English Language Department office and the secretary Jessica sits me down and goes through the contract, which is not what I expected.  It basically boils down to:

1) We didn’t technically hire you so we’d rather not admit that you work here unless cornered in a narrow ally

2)While you are here we’ve got some classes we’d like you to teach and so on and so forth, but there is curriculum for you to follow and honestly we don’t care how well they profit from the class

3)There is this funny piece of paper you should sign that says your contract is until 2013 but you can leave any time you want because you’re “just visiting”

I didn’t know this was monopoly, and I was getting paid on a per class basis.  Not that I have anything against it in theory.  And I gotta say, for a place that is managed by the government and overseen by security guards with heavy truncheons and pistols, things are very lax.  It’s almost as if everyone knows there is a facade and don’t care.  My contract exemplifies this because it says I’m teaching but I don’t ever have to stay and I can go home whenever I want.  But they still have to work out how much I’m getting paid since I am apparently their very first visiting lecturer.  I’m waiting for the other foot to drop, so expect a change in tone.

2 thoughts on “The Kansas City Shuffle”

  1. How come you get to have all the fun. You get paid per class and your teaching 8 classes of spoken english per week. That’s not bad. Oh by the way it’s raining here again. Went over to Victoria for my Mom’s b day and everyone was interested in your exploits. I told everyone your using your powers for good. Oh Max is wearing his hat backwards, must have lost the intructions.

  2. Graeme …great to see that you arrived safe and sound in downtown China. Sounds like you’ve retained your sense of humour, and are imbedded with the great Canadian attitude….which is really a good thing. Your place looks great with the water view that you would pay dearly for over here. The price of food really appeals and looks enticing for when our fixed pension starts to run low. It should be interesting read your log after you’ve taught your first class. Like your dad says, it’s reaining here so I went to the winery for supplies to make my Christmas specials. Well take care and enjoy yourself and say hello to any Flying Welshmen for me……lots of love……

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