Monday, January 03, 2005

Break Time!

Two weeks with no new posts? Time for an update!

I'm currently at work.

I'm a teacher.

My students are currently on break, and will be for another week.

There are no classes.

And I'm currently at work. With no students. And no classes.

The mind boggles.

This is also the difference between CHO-ALTs and KEN-ALTs. KEN-ALTs get less vacation time, but they get travel days, and can take the breaks off without using vacation days (for example: THE MONTH OF AUGUST). CHO-ALTs get more vacation time. Technically. But if we want to take the breaks off, we have to use vacation days. Even though we are OF NO USE TO OUR SCHOOLS. In reality, the KEN-ALTs get more than twice as many days off per year. Sigh.

I have nothing to do at school. No assigned tasks. Basically, I can do just about anything I want. Ideally, I'm using this time to study Japanese (and I am), but I could just as well be watching movies on my laptop. Or reading books. Or taking naps. It makes no sense.

I work at two different schools: a close one on Mon->Wed, and a far one on Thr->Fri. Well, on the last day of actual work, the far school said I didn't have to come in during the break, and I should go to my close school instead. I relayed this information to my close school (I could have kept my mouth shut, but ethically I couldn't. Stupid ethics). They said that if my regular Thr->Fri school didn't need me, I didn't have to come in, although I was welcome.

Now, since I have no money because of the tax fiasco (around $3500.00 withheld so far), I can't afford to go anywhere, so I'm spending my break studying Japanese. And since I can study at work (and there's a heater, and coffee), I would probably come in anyway. But it was nice to hear that it was optional.

Except it isn't. The next week, I was told that there was a miscommunication (really? Never!) and that if I didn't want to come in on Thr->Fri I had to take vacation days. So, I have to come in. And they lied to me. Grrr.

I mean, I would probably come in ANYWAY, if it were optional, but it's not! It doesn't make any sense.

My predecessor got around this restriction by going on cultural study trips during the breaks, and I may do that for the Summer, but mostly I just want to stay at home and study Japanese. Sure, there's no heat, and I have to make the coffee myself, but I can also study while wearing my pajamas, laying in bed, in comfort.



  1. Your situation sounds a lot like my job. If I were to have a conversation with someone higher up about the futility of my being here when I have no work to do, it might go something like this:

    Thomas: "Can I go home now?"
    Boss: "Why? Are you sick?"
    T: "No, I'm done with all my work."
    B: "Oh. You finished the tag-n-bags?"
    T: "Yes."
    B: "For the whole week?"
    T: "Yes."
    B: "Oh. What about prime tags?"
    T: "They're done too."
    B: "Oh. Well, I guess you can go home early today."
    T: "Do I have to come in at 6 a.m. tomorrow morning?"
    B: "Why wouldn't you?"
    T: "Because I'm done with my work for this week."
    B: "But it's only Wednesday."
    T: "I know. It only takes me three days."
    B: "That's fast!"
    T: "I know."
    B: "What about prime tags?"
    T: "How about I just come in at 1 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays?"
    B: "What? What time would you leave?"
    T: "3 p.m., like I always do."
    B: "So you'd only work for two hours a day?"
    T: "That's all I need to do prime tags."
    B: "I don't know. We need you here. Something might come up."
    T: "Like what? The tag-n-bags are done."
    B: "Well, why don't you start on next week's tag-n-bags?"
    T: "Why? You want to give me next week off completely?"

  2. I laughed out loud (accidentally) when I got to the end of your comment, and one of my co-workers was sending a fax (fax machine RIGHT NEXT TO my desk) and jumped from being startled. :-D