Saturday, March 19, 2016

TEFLpocolypse 2016: Maybe is the New Yes

I can be even less specific than usual about my current job, but it involves teaching people from the Middle East and I am employed by a government contractor. It's an okay job, with small classes and a supportive management, albeit in a kind of boring smaller town in the southern US.

This is back behind my apartment

(Recall that I am here to help out with my father, who has moved into an assisted living place, before you make a comment like "DUDE YOU SHOULD BE SMASHING PUSSY BACK IN VODKABERG!")
Southern gothic abandoned concrete mill

Contractor, of course, means you work on contracts. But the contract, in this case, is between the company and government bodes in the Middle East. I, myself, am employed on an "at-will employment agreement" which can be ended at ANY TIME by either side with no notice.

The contract between the company and the Middle Eastern government was originally a two-year one; it ends in September of 2016. The two upper-management doofuses from the company came to visit the program and try to discuss the future of this job.

Will the program continue? we asked. Many of the teachers are quite anxious; there are a lot of single mothers working here, believe it or not, and pretty much everybody re-located to be here.  Some middle-management people were laid off recently, and about 50 percent of the students have gone home while none have arrived.

The answer was: well, yeah, probably. Maybe.

View from my parking lot

We asked if and when we could get a firm answer on that.

They hemmed and  hawed and said, well, there are a lot of layers there, budgets have to be agreed on, there were a lot of variables in the world situation right now. US regulations means they have to offer the contract for competition for a certain amount of time, too.

So when could we get a definite answer?

Well, probably by August, although it wasn't impossible that there would be a budget deadlock that would lead to a month-to-month "bridge contract" until the final decision.

So basically, the job could end at any time?

Well, yeah, pretty much.

But they sort of laughed that off. That's the 21st century job market, they said.

Old car junkyard of the soul
Now I've always lived like that, in my jobs; I'm renting month-to-month, no lease, here in America too. I could leave in 5 minutes without much trouble. I'd be relieved, probably.

But that's just me.


Ken said...

TBH it's been like this in state funded schools for a while now (UK).

They either call them zero hour contracts or run the contracts through an agency... which runs the zero hour contract.

Number of students falls below the number they need to make a profit? Your hours are reduced to zero completely circumventing any work rights you have.

You'd think University or 6th form colleges are safe but nope nor are primary and secondary schools. Annoyingly you always get fired for school breaks so you don't need to be paid or accrue job time (2 years and you get rights).

Education it seems in the western world is going to hell as it just isn't valued even for the native UK born people.

It's a bloody good thing I have a fair bit of income from other things that are not related to teaching. If my main source of income came from teaching I don't know what I'd do.

Anonymous said...

Interesting update. Was wanting to hear how it's going out there. How is the social life? Any available women? Is small town southern USA as quiet as we imagine on those fronts?

brian said...

Sounds like the adjunct professors at my college. I'm tenured as a counselor, so I'm safe, for now. At least you're helping your dad, banking a little into Social Security (assuming it's even there when we reach that age) , and you're used to the uncertainty.

englishteacherx said...

I'll write about my social life and my colleagues in a later post.