Monday, June 04, 2007
Well, I did it.
On Friday at 9:00 am I marched into work, collected my paycheck, gathered my sad collection of office supplies and cds from my desk, wrote a note to the teachers on the white board, gave a hug to my newly-married coworker, and marched upstairs to talk to The Boss.
He was not surprised when I told him I was quitting. He was not shocked, not disappointed, not regretful, and definitely did not act as though he was losing a good employee and that was a shame. He did manage to accuse me of being power-hungry (hafuckingha). He also accused me of being ungrateful after he bought the school a new photocopier. This remark actually made me laugh out loud. What a fucking tool. Speaking to him was like speaking to a brick wall. He refused to acknowledge any of the serious problems to do with communication, honesty, and employee morale. He seemed to believe I was only concerned with money, which is ludicrous since none of my reasons for quitting had anything to do with the pay scale. His parting words to me were "well, I've done my job."
What a deluded, small-minded, unfortunate little man he is.
I felt slightly sick afterwards, as though I had just gotten far too close to a spitting cobra and had barely escaped with my life.
Then, I went shopping. Many hours and a great deal of clothes later, I met up with my friend Rosie and we went out for pizza and hung out at the gayest beach in town, watching kids throw each other in the water and slathering on the SPF 60. It was peaceful, pastoral almost. And most of all, it made me feel free.
I got a call from my coworker that afternoon informing me that the first thing my boss had done after I left was to walk to my first class and bad-mouth me to my students, telling them that I was a bad teacher and irresponsible and that I had abandoned them. My coworker tried later to repair the damage he had done, but she said none of the students believed him anyway. They all said I was a good teacher and they missed me, and several of them cried.
My only regret is losing my wonderful students. I'm hoping we can keep in touch.
On Saturday I made a picnic for my friend Leslie, who was just coming finishing a week-long cleansing diet which I discouraged her at length from doing. Sigh. And then I reward her with a picnic. Hopeless. I made couscous salad with mint, potato salad a la Mom's recipe, and chocolate Blancmange pudding. I had never made any of these things before and was shocked that they turned out nicely. It's probably a cooking faux pas to try out new dishes on unsuspecting friends, but then I am full of faux pas.
Last night I met up with my ancient high school friend Lauren for frisbee, macaroni salad, and lengthy political discussions of gender and queer theory. It was most interesting, and unlike when we were younger, our discussions didn't dissolve into arguments but rather remained safely in the realm of academic and philosophical curiosity. It was nice to see that we've both grown up a lot, and perhaps now we can be real friends rather than intellectual rivals. It probably helps that I've come out and so now we have something more intimate in common.
On Sunday morning I had brunch at a restaurant that is famous for serving staff that abuses the customers. I went with my great aunt and my mom, and the waiters were super-nice to us. They're all almost too gay to function, and called us "darlings" and happily checked on us every three minutes. Attitude, my ass. Maybe it helps to go there with an 85-year-old in tow, but those boys were all sweethearts to the extreme. I refilled my own coffee with pleasure.
Perhaps you're all wondering why everyone's favourite worrier isn't worrying about being essentially unemployed with bills to pay and rent on a West Side Vancouver apartment to reckon with. And the answer is....I have a plan. Once I get back from my little vacation back East I can work full-time at my other school for the summer. In September I'm going to get my ESL certification, and hopefully get a job with a unionized school where I have a connection to the owner. Guess networking is good for something after all.
Today I'm thinking of going to buy some jeans, although the weather's a tad depressing. After two weeks of brilliant sunshine, my first week off consists of chilly drizzle. Go fucking figure.
Anyway, this is too long.
You wanted more posts, and now you've got them.
So be happy!
Oh, and more news. On Saturday night I met a girl. She's clever and funny and disarmingly down-to-earth, and quite adorable too. Tall with brown hair and huge gray eyes. I liked her a lot. We walked around downtown for a couple of hours before she had to go home. The only downside -- she lives in the same middle-of-nowhere boonies town that Claire hailed from. Dammit! Rosie will never stop making fun of me for falling for the suburban ones. But I just can't help it. They're so damn provincial, and their wide eyes when taking in the mess of Granville Street are just too bloody beautiful for words. They make me feel street-smart and worldly, even though I'd be eaten alive in Detroit. Anyway, I'll keep you posted.
Thanks to everyone who encouraged me to quit my job -- I'm starting to think it's the smartest thing I've done in ages.