I worked 13 minutes short of 12 hours today. It was a split shift, which tests one's mental stability and discipline. On paper they look good. Sure, you work for five hours and then are off for three. Except that you really work for six and are off for two. Plus, once you start working you are never off. You can't just downshift. As I have a commuter pass I can go between Kyoto and Seta as many times as I want with no additional charge so I took the train back to Kyoto so I could eat at Subway for 15 minutes and turn around and head back. But trains are nice, and you can read on them, and my boss can't find me.
So, I'm finishing up my second class of the evening. I am assigning the students two sentences for homework:
My house is next to______. My house is across from_____.
Suddenly, through the large sliding door, my boss comes bounding in, panicked and angry in her odd, baseless way. "We don't teach them 'across from!'" She chides. This isn't the first time that she has interrupted my class to give me information that I have no interest in. Actually, at the moment, my boss's opinion lies somewhere on my personal scale of importance between the dump that my upstairs neighbor took yesterday-at the exact moment it was passing through the pipe next to my apartment, as that was the only moment it had any actual relevance to me-and a random wino's pre-cancerous prostate- in the sense that it would be a shame that anyone acquired cancer and wasn't aware of it when it could have been treated. That is how I feel about my boss's announcement that "we don't teach 'across from.' That's what I told you in the office." Flash back a few hours beforehand when I am wasting my lunch hour preparing for this class. The folder, in which my boss outlines what she wants the students to be taught that day, reads "Location." I ask her what she means by location, whether she means the bank, or Antarctica. "No," she responds, "Like 'next to' or 'between.'" "Oh, prepositions." I say. "Yes. I guess. Is that what they are called? Prepo....." You can see what a moron I am. Clearly my familiarity with the adposition family uniquely brands me as a substandard teacher. I had inadvertently taught my students a way to describe things that face each other.
This is every day at my work. Or, when things are going well, there is the oppressive threat of this being everyday. That is why I hate my job. My boss's English is worse than my Japanese and yet she is free to charge into my classroom at anytime and declare me incompetent. And then to glare at me as if I had just asked the students if I could rub up against them furiously while wearing tight jeans. This after I witnessed her talking to some four year-olds about their 'unvisible' cake. Fucking moron. If she had the ability to read this far into the post, I will give her this month's salary back and leave. I already told her to fire me. When you live through a year with no job, finding the cheapest place to buy potatoes and digging change from between your tatami mats, you really don't give a shit about whether you can hang on to another meaningless job. The sad part is that it could be a great job. The kids are great. The program could be pretty solid. But all the strings are pulled by an incompetent control freak whose confidence far exceeds her ability. Isn't that always the way?