Thursday, January 15, 2015

Just another day at the paint company
I had my first day of work at the Materis paint company the other day. F has taught English there before so he was supposed to know the drill. Our boss at the English school came up with a brilliant solution for the transportation problem. She arranged for me to teach two courses back to back at a location very near to where F has to teach so that he could give me a ride. He did give me a ride, but as for helpful hints, not so much.

Let's talk about paint!
It's a gorgeous location if you like cement and such.

Go team English! (Actually this is a stock photo and I don't know those people.)

We got there 20 minutes early because I am compulsive and because the boss said to get there at least 15 minutes early the first day so that I could get my entrance and exit badge. We waited and waited while I kept nagging F and telling him that it made no sense for us to get there early if we were just going to wait in the car and not get all of the bureaucratic, annoying things started. After ten minutes I resorted to calling our boss and telling her that I didn't see my coworker from the office and I didn't want to be late to class. It turned out that we were waiting in the overheated car for nothing because I was supposed to go to the reception area. Once in the reception area, I introduced myself to the receptionist and then realized that I knew her from somewhere. She is one of my ex-fitness clients from when I worked at the LIFE gym. She is a virtual living magnet for negativity and bad luck, but I was happy to see a familiar face. Even if it turned out that that face had literally been run over by a car this October and she had barely survived. Anyway, she gave me my badge which is used to get in and out of a revolving door to enter the cement cubes that make up the administrative part of the company. I knew I would get lost just because everything looks like everything else when it comes to cement cubes. And I get bored easily and have no sense of direction.

She said that I was to meet my co-worker there. He is a nice man. Well, he seems like he is secretly a nice man although he is all business and not very big on making pleasant conversation or smiling. Anyway, his entire job entails schlepping his well suited behind over to where I am going to teach and then patiently and calmly explaining how to do things that an intelligent pre-schooler can do. He showed me how to give the class forms to fill out and how to take attendance. This is like the sixth time I have been shown these things. Then he stressed out about whether he should come back in an hour and show me again when the second class came. The representative lady at the paint company assured him she would check in on me to make sure it got done so that he could take off. Is my Italian that bad? I mean do they really want to trust me to teach English if they can't trust me to hand out forms and make people sign things?

That is actually another issue. I am not super proficient in English grammar, although I know more stuff than I did say five months ago. My strength is in exploring the terrifying life of a stand up comic who has been constrained by economic motives to use some English grammar as the source of all her material. I was supposed to have two classes with six students each. There was some convention or other for paint people, though, so I only had these two sweet guys the first hour. All my jokes killed with them. Therefore, I was unprepared for the second hour where I had two men and two women who either didn't get any of my jokes or were so prepared for the kind of mean Italian professors that they usually have that they didn't know what to make of me.

I was violently nauseous before the class, and this is only in part due to the fact that I had been drinking a "health tea" which turns out to cause violent nausea in some lucky people. I think most of the pain I have suffered in my life has been self-inflicted. My resolution for 2015 is to stand in front of myself with my arms crossed and not let myself make any changes to my daily routine without getting six other people's opinion on it and then having my coworker teach them how to sign forms to that effect.

F asked me what I plan to teach next week. He told me he could lend me some material on the different roles people have at the company and blah blah blah. I said I probably would come up with a different idea. He asked me why and I said something like, "because that's as boring as watching paint dry, dude." Sometimes I feel like I truly am the expat Kathy Griffin.

Paint that, you bureaucratic wackadooodles!

1 comment:

Faria said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.