I don’t think I could ever get bored with life. There’s just too much going on.
For a start, there’s events in the news. I don’t follow the news religiously, but I have recently subscribed to the Guardian feed on my iPhone – I scroll through the headlines on my way home to keep abreast of world events that my students may refer to. It’s not entertainment, but it does push me into a different space, changes the context within which I live. Things today are different from how they were yesterday.
I’m finding it difficult to put the horrific events in Mumbai into context, as I have not known this sort of thing before outside of Hollywood movies.
Then there’s Bangkok airport, temporary home to my friends Catherine, Stew and Annie. They tell me they’re safe at least, which is a relief. My brother-in-law, Leigh, who lives here in Japan is also stuck out there – I reckon he’s secretly happy to be able to extend his business trip into a holiday (Leigh is quite an inspiration for me, having come here a few years back for the first time with nothing, and having established his own successful football academy has now created a second company that is contracted by Nike to provide coaching clinics throughout Japan).
A meeting was held at work today. There are big changes afoot in our office. The departure of a fairly central employee has prompted a major overhaul of the way the business is run. Whilst I was initially hired to search for / interview / place new teachers, it’s now been decided that my ‘talents’ are needed elsewhere. Whilst initially surprised as the announcement, I soon realised that this was a very good thing.
My new roles suit me down to the ground. I have several.
The first is teaching English over the phone. As as far as I know we are almost unique within the industry for offering this service. Whilst it can be quite exhausting (8 students per hour) I find it pretty enjoyable – it helps me practice my communication skills – I get to play the game “How quickly can I suss this person out and connect with them?”. I feel really good when it’s clear the students have enjoyed talking with me.
My second role is that of The Cleaner. We’re not talking dusty shelves or dirty carpets (a little old lady comes in everyday to do that. She always asks me if I’ve got over the cold I had last month), we’re talking stripping down and cleaning out the old systems/ workflows, and rebuilding them using a lean model. We’re talking clearing out data archives, transferring operations currently carried out manually / using real paper to semi-automatic self-cleaning databases.
I love this kind of thing. It’s kind of funny, but at the same time sort of expected that a job be created especially for me that involves my doing what I love.
My third role, and this one’s a little more long term, is to revolutionise our web presence. We need to embrace mobile platforms, need to harness the power of these new technologies that will allow students to study wherever they happen to be – I can’t help but think how effective iAnki is in giving me the freedom to fit study in with my everyday routine, with no significant additional impact upon my schedule (it’s really working by the way. Amazing program).
I find this all very exciting – I’m going to get paid to learn about and experiment with new systems that I have a natural interest in already. The only difficulty is in fitting all this in – there’s only so many hours in the day. Thus, I’ve been given the go ahead to work overtime whenever I wish too, paid at overtime rate. This is great, just what we need as we save up more money to move house. I’ll start tomorrow.
This evening I met up with a bunch of boy-mates for a ‘boys night out’. All eight of us have Japanese wives. Except for me, everyone had been married for several years.
At one point the conversation turned to baby-making. “Oh no, you’re not having to go through that are you..?” said one boymate to another. “You’re lucky” they said to me. Sex is still for fun for you, right? For us, it’s just a job, only to be done when the wife is ‘on heat’.”
It all sounded a bit mechanical.
I wondered if that would be *Twinkle* and I in 2 years. I hoped not.
Anyway, it’s now 1.15am. I need to get these photos processed before work tomorrow. TTFN