Meeting the New

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Sometimes I think I have too many connections. Of course there really is no such thing, but it can feel that way. Often I feel bad because I haven’t talked to certain people in months, but if I talked to every Japanese connection once a month, I would have to cut out tasks like working and sleeping to make time. Confusion sometimes comes into play as well.

A friend who owns a small shop gets a lot of influential traffic through her place. She called me the other day about a teacher – let’s just refer to her as Suzuki – who is looking for a part time teacher for their elementary school. This sounds like a good deal, the hourly rate is low, but it would be almost enough money each month to cover my rent. The hours would be concentrated on Fridays as well. It’s always good to have blocks of classes so time waste is minimized.

Anyhow, I was told to wait for her call later that day… no call came. Around the end of the next day or the day after, I received a call from a Board of Education worker about the same position. This is where I start to get confused; did he contact me independently, because he knows and trusts me, or did Suzuki speak to her boss and it flowed back through the system?

In this case the confusion is a minor concern but, in another case, I was contacted by two people about the same position. One person wanted to hire me out to a business owner and take a cut. The other was the business owner, a friend of mine, wanting to hire me directly. By the time I got it figured out, I was already under agreement with the owner. Fortunately the middle man didn’t take it poorly – we still have a lot of back scratching opportunities.

We arranged a consultation (or maybe an interview) for Thursday at the school. After that, Suzuki asked me to come in for a seminar today. She was very apologetic that they could not reimburse me for travel or time but, needing to promote as much good will as possible, I immediately accepted the invitation.

The seminar was a new education system that will be used in a national pilot program at this school. If I get hired on, it will be important to understand this system, so today was well spent. Several foreign and Japanese teachers of my acquaintance were there as well, so it was a good chance to hook up there as well.

Every staff member I spoke to, including the Principal, always mentioned my potential employment as an already decided matter. This looks promising. Hopefully, some future posts will include good news along these lines.

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