Friday, August 12, 2005

Dog Days of Disillusionment

God, its just been hot, sweaty, and slow around here for a while now.

The temperature hovers around 30 C, which is in the 80's, but the humidity is 80+% everyday. That is a killer. And it means I've been spending more and more time doing next to nothing. Luckily, I can read/study/watch TV all while doing next to nothing. However, in this weather, even if I am just reading/studying/watching TV, I'm breaking a sweat. Disgusting.

I've also been a little down on teaching lately. Not so much down on teaching as a whole, because I really like teaching, but more so towards teaching what I have to teach and just how I have to teach it. I guess a lot of my problems come from administration, but as my venerable aunt Kaethe, who has been teaching every since I could remember, the teacher/administration rift is not particular to my school or China, but has existed since a time before time.

I don't want to spend much time dwelling on my disappointment, as the better story will emerge next week after our staff meeting. All of the foreign teachers have some hefty opinions on the way things are being done, and the Chinese staff themselves are all divided amongst three prevalent factions, so the time is right for a Mongol to sweep in and erect a great and new Xanadu of private English teaching.

Or everyone is going to realize that it just isnt worth giving a damn and collectively throw our hands up in the air to an excited chant of "cha bu duo!"

I do find it hysterical how many businesses fail here, not just because the "private" sector might be relatively new, but because there is a simple lack of business sense. Many schools/stores/restaurants/businesses spend a ridiculous amount of money (often more than they can afford) on an opening celebration, then they painstakingly deliver service for a few months, and then at that time the management decides they've got their customer base locked up and they cut back on everything, often to the point of making it worthless to return to that establishment, as a brand new business of the same nature probably opened up right across the street within the past week.

It is difficult to build customer loyalty here, due to the large selection of similar locales and the general lack of foresight. But I digress. That is a rant for another time.

Somebody out there send me some email about what is happening out West.


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