Thursday, 10 June 2010

Nemesis watch: Final word

One of my best mates here and a co-worker, Mark, left this morning - the office will be very different over the coming months. Everyone at work wishes him the best for his future and he certainly has an exciting one lined up. Whilst departures like this are an unfortunate consequence of my job, some exits are welcomed more easily. A couple of weeks ago my nemesis left. Well not really my nemesis but a co-worker who was 'different' from other teachers.

A co-worker who spoke to the English teachers at work a handful of times over the course of two years. Indeed she only seemed to speak to her partner teachers when they spoke to her in Korean. Maybe if I was Korean then the working relationship would have been better. A favourite with our manager, at her leaving party everyone was requested to say some words on her leaving. This was bizarre and uncomfortable for me. How can you talk about someone who simply does not talk to you and is on the surface, a cold person. I managed to say something but was my insincerity noticed?

It always felt strange to me that someone who seemed to dislike interaction in English would actually choose to be an English teacher. And then go to Australia, where she would have to speak English. Some Korean teachers grasp the opportunity to get to know co-workers, learn about other cultures and improve their English but not her. Perhaps she is destined to join the ranks of Koreans tourists who venture abroad on vacation only to hang around fellow Korean travellers and eat only ramien and ignore the whole point of travelling.

Her replacement has spoken more English in the staff room in two weeks than she did in two years.

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