To the great irritation of my boss, I constantly joke about how the center I work at is where the send the teacher’s no one else wants. We are, I like to joke, the loser’s of the ESL litter. She gets rather mad at me, and then makes an argument that at best proves that Hangzhou is the city that gets the losers of the ESL world. But that is beyond the point.
We were for some time (and as of this writing still are) pretty desperate for teachers at my center. So we were told that we would be getting someone in. My boss kept her fingers crossed for a ‘smooth 32’ year old, British male. I was just hoping that the fucking person was capable of breathing with their mouth closed. We got information about the teacher we would be getting gradually, and with every coming bit of information, the picture it painted got worse and worse.
So the first thing we get is a name. Kenneth. A fine name. Nothing wrong with it at all. So far, we are satisfied. Then we learned that he was American. Well, there certainly isn’t anything wrong with that. It wasn’t my boss wanted, but it was fine none the less. But then we learned that he was… older than the rest of us. He graduated from university the year I was born, and I am certainly not the youngest man in the world. You would think this person wouldn’t be a teacher at his age, but maybe t was just something he is doing before his retirement. But then we found out that he graduated from a bible college with a degree in Theology. Ok, that is kind of a bad sign, but maybe we are making an assumption here. He may still be a good person, but I was weary.
Well, then it turned out that he had been teaching at another center and was found to be… difficult. He was a difficult person to manage. He was a difficult person to get along with. Apparently he was quoted as being unhappy with the center he was working at because ‘there was no one there willing to learn from his expertise’. I wasn’t sure what expertise he was referring to as both me and my boss had more years teaching experience than he.
Now we were starting to get worried.
TO make matters worse he had already been in China long enough that his probation period was over less than a week after his arrival. So we really wouldn’t have a chance to shit can the guy if we didn’t like him. We were stuck with him.
And just as we were worried about this person, fate smiled upon us. Kenneth failed to get his police background check before leaving the US. I guess he thought it was optional. So the Hangzhou government didn’t give him a visa to come in, and Kenneth resigned from our school in a huff. Well, good riddance frankly.