Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Office in Existential Crisis

At any given time, it is almost guaranteed that someone in the office will be having a crisis, whether major or minor. Lately, it seems that everyone is having a crisis of some sorts, giving the office a surreal comedic quality that escapes definition, especially with a different nationality and personality to color each crisis.
It would also help to note, that with exams completed and the marking, reporting and student evaluations now in full force – all of us are working harder than we do most of the rest of the semester, or sitting around at a total loss for what to do with our work hours; the officers (secretaries) are in overdrive and what’s going on is as clear as mud as ever.
Without airing everyone’s dirty laundry and trying to avoid as many gendered pronouns as possible, and keeping in mind I am only discussing the foreigners, here is a sample:

•One of us has left, and been replaced twice. The parting of this teacher was a school wide crisis, though the teacher is actually on to better things.
•The first replacement teacher was sacked, and we gained a third replacement teacher mere weeks before the end of the semester.
•One of us is facetiously dating a bass guitar. They had a lovely Valentine’s dinner date. There are photos.
•One of us considered entering the monkhood to figure out what to do in life (for about 48 hours).
•One of us is suffering from insomnia.
•One of us has a trip to Europe beginning Friday. The necessary visa has not materialized yet, and has been months in the planning.
•More than one of us is at the top of the parent complaint list.
•One of us cannot decide whether to stay or go home. More than one of us is at a loss for what will happen next year even with a plan to stay.
•One of us is having a heck of a time registering a used motorbike recently purchased. I believe it’s up to fifth trip to a government office of some sort.
•One of us had a rather difficult medical issue recently, without a specialist available. It turned out alright at least.
•One of us decided to leave, and then the ‘plan’ for what to do next fell through just this week.
•Three fifths of us have dissatisfying love lives.
•One of us has a significant other who has three years to find a new nationality/citizenship or risk statelessness. This is not through criminal activity, I will just say the regulations of a certain former Soviet Bloc country in regards to long stays abroad is rather screwy.
•One of us is in debt for the first time.
•Two of us have had a very sickly semester.
•One of us just realized our contracts end in April not May if we are not staying on for the next academic year – and thus realized a month of expected income will not be there.
•One of us has decided maybe just a meditation class and not the monkhood. With a steak and a beer before and after that vegetarianism of course.
•One of us is unsure the school can renew a work permit due to national regulation change despite several years experience.
•One of us is still waiting on an airline ticket confirmation that has been two months in the making.
•At least three of us have significant problems from back home wandering over into the Land of Smiles.

While that is not an all-inclusive list, I believe I’ve reached the limit of what is acceptable to publish. So, here’s hoping for some health, some meditative guidance, some citizenship and valid visas and so forth to this motley bunch of farangs we are.

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