Sunday, July 17, 2016
The Nothing Paradox
There's an inherent dichotomy in teaching Saudis -- they are some of the most difficult students in the world ... but at the same time, working with them, you are most likely going to be paid to sit around and do nothing a lot.
My first job was at a college, and I only actually had to teach about 32 weeks out of 52. My second job was at an oil company, and the trainees came and went at unpredictable intervals due to the complications of bureaucracy there; there were whole weeks and months we were sitting around the office doing not much.
This job, working for a government contracting company, is now experiencing that same "bureaucratic lag." We had 200 students when I arrived, with 35 teachers, but most of them have already been sent home or graduated. Now we have about 35 teachers and 20 students. New students are coming in September -- supposedly.
Needless to say this makes the work day a bit leisurely.
Last Friday at work I played "Don't Starve" for a couple hours and watched the original Conan on Crackle. (Sure, Conan, it's a pleasure to see your enemies destroyed and hear the lamentations of their women, but it's also nice to get paid a full salary for watching movies.)
My replacement is a guy I worked with in my second job in Saudi; I'm supposed to be mentoring him, technically speaking, but there's not much to do there, either. Show him how to fill out some paperwork, and warn him about how to deal with trouble-makers.
My visa for China is being processed, and next Friday will be my last day here. The three weeks in the Canary Islands with the Girlfriend and then I start work in China the last week of August.