Friday, May 28, 2004


Let the three day weekend begin!

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Tippex/Wite-Out anyone?

Books and other teaching materials are shared at our school. All of our classes have coursebooks, but it's nice to supplement them with exercise from different books to break up the monotony of the same book day after day.
A few months ago, Incompetent Colleague commandeered one from our library and started calling it his. I really didn't care about that, because all of my classes were at levels that were either too low or high for it to be of use (I had used it with my advanced classes when they were at that level). However, now I have one class that the book would suit well and want to start using it again. I saw it on IC's desk and decided to make some photocopies from it today.
You can only imagine my surprise when I opened to a page and saw the answers written in! I flipped through a few more pages and saw the same. IC had written ALL the answers in the ENTIRE book so that he didn't have to look in the teacher's book!
I asked him about it, and he said, 'I did it so I wouldn't look dumb if I didn't know an answer. It's my book. I'll do what I like.' I responded by telling him that he didn't buy it, he took it from our library to use, and that it's the school's book for all of us to use. He said, 'Well, there's not much you can do about it now.'
I'm going to buy him a big bottle of correction fluid.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Out the door in '04?

Last Friday, Incompetent Colleage told me that the school now only had two English teachers on contracts (Fun Colleague and me), as he had just talked to Bossman and went freelance because he wanted to "have more control over his money." He really has no idea what freelance means, he just he just thinks he'll earn more because freelancers are paid a little more. However, he'll have to pay his own taxes, social contributions, health care, etc. I calculated all of that about a year ago when I was considering going freelance, and it came out to be almost the same as my pay now. IC hasn't calculated any of it.
It also means that BM can cancel the freelance agreement at anytime (which he has done in the past with freelancers), something completely impossible for an employee on a contract.
Thumbs up to BM for agreeing to it.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Poll time

I've been considering evolving my blog into more than just a work related blog, and would like your opinion, dear readers, as to whether I should do that or not. I know that most of you come here to read about the latest chaos has happened to me, but would you also like to read other things? I've created a poll, with the help of Pollhost, and would like your opinion. Please only vote once.

Should I continue to post only work related things, or should I post other things also?
Continue only posting work things
Post other things also
Post other things on a page linked to this one

Free polls from


I don't want to get into politics, but I found this to be funny. GWB's hotmail account.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Public Service Announcement

If you are an 'active blogger' (whatever that means), you can sign up for a free Gmail (Google Email) account. Sign into Blogger, look on the right of the Dashboard screen (the first screen you get to) and you'll see something that says 'Want Gmail?' Click 'Yes, please' and follow the quick and easy instructions. You can get any name you want on your Gmail account, it doesn't have to be related to your blog.

Hide when the phone rings!

Bossman just called to see if I could work tomorrow morning, as Saturday Colleague is ill. In so many words, I told him I dislike working Saturdays, and there was no way in hell I would work a Saturday without being scheduled at least a week in advance.

A photo program test again, and a reminder.

The ultimate cheapness

At the beginning of April, Bossman had Young Secretary organise a night out for teachers who wanted to go on 19 May. She reserved a table for us at a nice (but not too expensive) restaurant, put up a signup sheet, etc. After confirming that we wouldn't have to pay for anything, fifteen of us signed up.


On 19 May, the cheap bastard BM said to YS, 'You don't think the teachers are expecting me to pay for this, do you?' to which YS replied, 'You invited them, so of course they think you're paying for it. Do you really think any of them would have signed up if they had known that they had to pay?' BM looked shocked.


In the end, it turned out that BM paid for dinner and two drinks for everyone. Before leaving school for the restaurant, we (the teachers) agreed that as a form of a silent protest, we wouldn't order any drinks that we had to pay for - and didn't.


Dinner was lovely.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

I am supposed to read minds?

A continuation of the events from yesterday (blogged about this morning).


I went to the office to pick up a few things when I arrived at work today, and Young Secretary asked me about the rescheduling that Old Secretary had told her she had to do. I explained the story to her. She then asked me when she should reschedule the student for, because the schedules would be changing next week. Logically thinking, I asked her for a copy of my new schedule so I could figure out when I could fit him in, and she told me that she didn't know because Bosswoman and/or Bossman, both of whom were out of town today, hadn't put them up yet (I know that the class I blogged about yesterday won't change, as it's an in-company class at a set time on a set day). I then asked her if she was asking me to figure out where to slot in a student on a schedule that neither of us knew anything about, and, unsurprisingly, her response was, 'Yes.'


I told her that predicting the future wasn't in my job description and walked away.

Schedule? What Schedule?

The early Tuesday morning in-company class I've had since October has cancelled for today due to the fact that many of the students are on holiday (it's a short week here because of Ascension Day), so last week I scheduled a single student in it's timeslot for today only. Before I got to work yesterday, the single student had called, spoken to Secretary from Hell and cancelled due to illness. No problem. People get ill.
However, SfH took it upon herself to reschedule him in the same time slot for next week, hence giving me two classes at the same time. One can only assume that she didn't even bother to look at the schedule, which was clearly marked (it's even colour-coded for the thinking impaired) with the regular class scheduled in that time slot for next week. If she did look at the schedule, then words fail me.
Unfortunately, SfH had left when I arrived at school yesterday (I had arranged to go in later than usual due to a few appointments in the morning), so Old Secretary took the brunt of my wrath. Normally I'm very polite and bite my lip to keep from saying what I really think, however things this idiotic really to get me. Here's the conversation:
MrT: Is SfH stupid?
OS: Why?
MrT: She's scheduled me to teach two classes at the same time next week.
OS: She has?
MrT: Yes.
*I explained the above to her*
OS: I'll talk to Young Secretary about it tomorrow.
*Keep in mind that OS is secretary responsible for scheduling classes - not that she's any better at it than SfH is*
MrT: Why don't you talk to SfH about it tomorrow?
OS: She'll be on holiday.
MrT: *sigh*

Monday, May 17, 2004

Tomaaato vs. Tomahto

For several months now, I've been teaching Incompetent Colleague's morning class on Fridays. I frequently find that he's explained a bit of grammar wrong and give the students the correct information. However, something floored me last Friday.


One of the girls said the word 'advertisement' with the American stress and another corrected her by saying, 'Don't forget, IC said that was wrong. You have to say it like this,' and pronounced it with the British stress. I probed a bit. It came to light that whenever they say something using the American version of it (tomaaato), IC tells them that their pronunciation is wrong, and 'corrects' them (tomahto). He does the same with spelling (advertise vs. advertize). One of the girls said that IC has said that to him, 'American English sounds dirty and low-class.'


I always tell my students the British/American differences when they pop up, and have assured them that either is acceptable, as long as they don't mix the two (according to Cambridge guidelines).

What kind of teacher would actually tell students that they were wrong, when they weren't, and take points off of their exams and essays due to his personal agenda?

Sunday, May 16, 2004

New Blogger Features?

Apparently, has new features. I've tried the 'add a photo to your website' one, but it doesn't seem to have worked. Now I'm trying the 'post by email' feature.

Saturday, May 15, 2004


I'm going to my first blogmeet today, kind of. I've known (online) one of the people I'm meeting since 1999, it just so happens that we both blog now, and the other has been blogging for almost a year now. Can anyone guess who they are?

Thursday, May 13, 2004

What about me?

Warning…whiney post. Scroll by if you don't want to read it.

Our school has a contract for six classes with a large company in my city. I teach four of them, Tall Colleague teaches one and Incompetent Colleague teaches one. My four classes are (very advanced) business exam preparation classes (BEC Higher for those of you who know the Cambridge exams), TC's is Pre-Intermediate and IC's is Elementary level. Mine involves a lot of unpaid time, preparation, as well as correcting quizzes, tests and essays and theirs don’t. They prepare their lessons, teach a bit of grammar and then do things like play games with the students, teach them how to check into hotels, order food in restaurants, etc, while I’m explaining things like mergers and acquisitions, economies of scale, etc.

Today, I found out that that company’s newsletter has just done a profile of an English teacher from our school, TC. I told him that I had heard about it and was happy for him, which I am, but then started wondering why they chose him instead of me. After all, I’m the one who does the most (paid and unpaid) work for that company.

I thought of apologising for making such a self-absorbed post, but I'm not going to. It's my blog, and I'll whine if I want to.


Time for a new template. I never really liked the old one, but it was better than the others when I first started blogging. Now, Blogger has a few better ones (thanks go out to Douglas Bowman at Stop Design for creating this one. Do you like it?

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

I've been found!

Luckily, it was only by search engines, though. Someone found my blog by a search on 'funny teacher report card' on (I was the 24th selection) and someone else found it by a search on 'teacher report card,' where I was selection #8. These are the first times my blog has shown up on search engines. I'm not sure if that's good or bad.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Would I lie to you?

I went into the office to print something for a class this morning and was about to sit at Young Secretary's desk (she was on a break), when Secretary from Hell stopped me. She said that I couldn't use it, and then turned away. I sat down, and then she came over and told me again not to use it. When I asked her why, she told me that she was copying a CD. 'Fair enough, as some CD writers lock up the computer while a CD is being copied,' I thought. I looked at the screen and saw that the CD writer panel was up, but she hadn't hit 'Copy,' and then looked at the processor and saw it wasn't doing anything (no lights were on). I told her about this, but she was 100% convinced that it was working (it really wasn't), and refused to accept any help from me (she barely knows how to turn a computer on). So I left.

I went back twenty minutes later, and she told me that it was still copying (status quo). I once again told her that it wasn't, and I'd be glad to help her copy it so that I could print a few things for my class after. She still refused to let me help. Back to the teachers' room I went.

After another fifteen minutes had passed, I went back to the office (I really needed to print), and saw YC there. I told her what had been going on, and she told me that when she came back from lunch, she saw that SfH hadn't pushed the 'Copy' button, pushed it and copied the CD for her. She also let me print my documents.

Monday, May 10, 2004

I've just read on Haddocktwat's blog that Blogger has a new look, so I had to check it out. What a difference. I wonder if w.bloggar will also be revamped?

I've just filled in my blogger profile, because it has all sorts of neat stats. Here they are as of today:

Blogging Since: November 2003
Recent Posts: 14
Avg Posts Per Week: 1
Posts Written: 46
Words Written: 5,582
Outbound Links: 7
Profile Views: 0

Off the subject

A slight deviation from the focus of this blog....Happy (38th) Birthday to.....ME!

How am I celebrating? By working almost 10 hours (11h - 20h40).

Saturday, May 08, 2004

A funny story

Yesterday, I told one of my classes we'd be having a visitor to take care of some administrative things. Of course, they wanted to know who it'd be, but I refused to tell them. Here's how it went:

MrT: You'll have to wait and see.
Student: Is it Bossman?
MrT: No. Worse.
Student: Is it Bosswoman?
MrT: No. Worse.
Student: Is it both BM and BW
MrT: No. Even worse.

There was a knock on the door 10 minutes later, Young Secretary came in and the students burst out laughing. One looked at me and said, 'You were right!'

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Organisation at its best

I was sitting in the teachers' room this morning preparing for a class, when Bossman came in and said, 'You know a new class is being thrown at you starting on Thursday, don't you?' to which I replied, 'No.' Here's how the rest of the day went:

BM: 'The secretaries know about it.'
MrT: 'Okay, I'll go to the office and ask.'

I walk to the office, followed by BM.

MrT: 'Secretary from Hell, can you tell me about a new class that I'm starting on Thursday?'
SfH: 'I don't know anything about it.'
MrT: 'BM, are you hallucinating?'
BM: 'Ask Old Secretary when she comes in.'

Two hours later:

MrT: 'OS, do you have something to tell me?'
OS: 'About what?'
MrT: 'About the new class I'm supposed to be starting on Thursday?'
OS: 'It starts next week and Incompetent Colleague will be teaching it. Is that okay?'
MrT: 'Fine with me.'

One hour later:

MrT: 'BM, OS said that it starts next week and IC will be teaching it.'
BM: 'Oh, that right. It does. You'll be teaching it.'

It'll be interesting to see what happens next week.

************ Update 10 May 2004 ************

Today, I saw OS put a card in IC's schedule indicating that he'll be the teacher for the above-mentioned class.