I hate yet love my job.
Rather, I hate a man who works at my job, and love everything else about it.
You would think “Pfft, leave and find another job if the guy keeps bothering you”.
Sadly enough, this man happens to be my boss, and I want out. Now.
Sorry about that dramatic title everyone, but for those who are in the circle would understand my frustrations, as they mirror many others who work under the same roof as I do.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, this post is going to be quite drastically different from any of my posts. Due to a change in thinking, I have come to the conclusion that I should maintain a constant flow of blog posts, even if it isn’t a review on something; that way, I can avoid doing random hiatuses without notice. So, if rant/thought blog posts ain’t your cup of tea, skip now cause this is a lengthy one.
Let us begin by giving some context to this story. I currently work at a tutoring centre which has 3 branches all across Sydney. At the tutoring centre I am merely a high school tutor in charge of a handful of students ranging from year 7 to year 12. Initially, it all seemed well and dandy, but then for the last 3 months or so, things just started going downhill from there, for various reasons.
I started to notice some ‘issues’ at around the end of March when I was approached by the boss himself. On a random Saturday, I was just peacefully microwaving my lunch when I was approached by ‘the rat’ (which I will explain later on why we call him that way), and was asked by him to meet him the next day for a meeting. I didn’t ask for details, as he is the boss and it felt alright at the time to not question, but to just silently accept his demand. After all, what could a harmless meeting cause?
Funnily enough the next day arrives, and what I find myself is not having a meeting at the branch that I was initially at, but rather was being driven by the boss into the city, and being given a rundown of what a new student is like, her areas of improvement and what the child’s mother demands to see from the tutor.
Oh, did I mention that this child is only 7 years old?
Yes, you read right. A 7 year old girl.
Instantly the concern I thought of was “Holy cow, a 7 year old is being forced to be tutored?! What has become our society today?!”, but then as I allowed the thought to gradually sink in…
“Sorry to interrupt, but…why are you telling me all this?”
“I’m expecting you to tutor her. Are you alright with that?” As he posed that question, his very prominent buck teeth poked, and remained this particular look for a couple of seconds as we awaited my response.
By this point, poor me should have seen it coming. Poor me should have known that I was walking into a trap laid out by the rat himself. But yet, I didn’t, and just simply said “…That’s okay, I guess”. Because poor little me didn’t want to upset him, or make it seem as if I did not a “can-do” sort of persona, in fear of displeasing him and placing me onto his blacklist of tutors to hate and not give students to.
And so I guess you all can guess what happened from there. After we arrived at the branch, I met the mother as well as the child, and started to tutor her the next coming week. That lasted for quite a couple of months, until I could not continue tutoring her anymore as I eventually realised that tutoring a 7 year old was never going to work; each lesson became a babysitting session more than a lesson where I tried to teach the girl how to write her own speech. After finally shedding tears over the phone to the boss himself, he finally agreed to seek another tutor to take her. I finally thought that the whole ordeal was over, that I was finally able to tutor my senior students in peace and under my own method and jurisdiction.
But oh, oh how wrong was I to just naively believe that any of that would happen.
From that period on, I was piled on with more students and hours that I had initially agreed to, and was seeked by the boss himself constantly week after week to negotiate about plans for a class that was never destined to run. After being piled on with so many working hours, as well as many wasted hours participating in meaningless meetings, I began to notice that I was unable to continue to maintain an equal balance between work and uni. I began to sleep a lot less, and began to realise that my time was slowly disappearing into areas that I was never aware of. Then, once my practical rolled around, I was working 7 days a week for 4 weeks because I knew that the centre would have never approved my wishes to be taken off work for a month.
Those 4 weeks killed both my heart, mind and soul.
I was clearly under-performing to my students, and that attitude bleeded into my practicum. I was crying every 2nd day to just reassure myself that this was a temporary moment in my life, and that I have experienced much more gruesome periods in my past that cannot compare to this stress and pain. But, as I gradually realised, the stress from work was not going to ease up once prac finished. Rather, it became growingly worse.
Soon after prac finished, the school holidays rolled around and as expected from a tutoring centre, holiday classes were to commence. Sadly for us though, there was just incoherent organisation from the boss himself who claimed to be taking care of everything, and what it all resulted in is empty classes, no materials and not even an expected structure for us to follow and teach. With other colleagues, they were given materials that were way too difficult for the students to complete (I mean they’re here for tutoring so of course their level is not up to par; how do you expect yr 10s to do 3 unit mathematics if they are being tutored for maths?!) Overall, that week was an absolute mess not only for myself, but for also my friends and colleagues there at the different branches. Some holiday classes were cancelled for the whole week, while others fed complaints to our teaching department about how the classes were ‘unprofessional, disorganised and poorly structured’ which I will admit was all true. However, I feel the need to emphasise that the fault in this scenario shouldn’t fall on the tutors, but rather ‘the rat’ himself. That was indeed the last straw on the horse’s back.
The good news behind this depressing story? I will be leaving in about a month’s time. I will finally be set free from these locks that have held and restrained me for months. However, one thought still crawls back into my deepest thoughts:
What to do about my students? What is going to happen to them once I’m gone?
I guess a thought that is trying to reassure my aching heart is that there will forever be replacements for them, that this is still a functioning business enough to provide some new buzzing tutors for them. As much as it breaks my heart to leave them, I do wish them the best, and that hopefully these last couple of months have been just as useful and eye-opening for them, as they have been to me. However, that inner mother inside of me still doesn’t trust myself to be able to once and for all leave them. It’s probably the teacher within me that is messing up with my logical and emotional decisions -__-
From these students, I have learnt so much about myself, about them and about the true reality that I will be destined to step in a couple of months time. That me, as one person, can indeed make a difference to one person, but perhaps not to everyone. And that is a reality that I must face and be able to accept once I leave this tertiary institute, and out into the big wide world.
Another component that has made my decision difficult is my beautiful, amazing colleagues. From this job alone I have made so many friends who are studying the same degree as I am, and are just as passionate about their teaching as I am. They are definitely a bunch that will be hard to miss. Yes, I will still leave here as their friends, but it’s just not the same when you’re at work and free to talk about your boss with your closest workmates, in comparison to when you’re at home lounging around in your sweatpants and hoodie, texting each other till late.
But I guess I do need to just look at the big picture:
Do I regret working here in the first place?
Am I happy to leave?
And there, I have my answer.
So then, I guess this goodbye. Goodbye my students, who I wish the very best to. I know that you all will do great (Rosenthal effect everyone!!) to achieve what you all are aiming for, and I hope to hear of your success once you are done and dusted with that horrid HSC!
Goodbye my wonderful family at work, from fellow tutors to the receptionists to even the occasionally seen members of the accounting and teaching department. You all have made my stay here that much tolerable and bearable, and I am grateful for knowing you all. I hope to leave with most of you as my friends, and I wish you all the very best in your blossoming futures.
And finally, goodbye Rat, and I hope to never, ever see your face appear in front of my face ever again.
Anyway, that’s all for now! Sorry for the epic rant that I’ve just placed in front of you all; hopefully that won’t come around very soon in the coming future. But yes, this post is dedicated to my fellow colleagues who can totally relate to the matters that have erupted at the ‘tutoring centre’ (if you can call this place one even). Regardless as to whether or not you are involved, I hope you have kind of enjoyed this post(or at least tried hehe), and I hope you all have a lovely day/evening.
❤ Hyunnie ^^~