The battle continues…
Paperwork takes forever in China. No really. We went to do our resident permit paperwork on 5 different days. One day we had to go get medical tests done (that is an entirely different story) and that took the entire morning! Another day we had to go to the police station and have them print something and sign it. There was actually one week we were not really in the office for Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. We went to work on residence paperwork because with all the people quitting, things got screwed up and they were late in applying for our permits. On that Wednesday we just sat around all day waiting while the Chinese were arranging paperwork and filing for this or that. Jessica had to take a taxi back and forth from the office to the visa place 4 times. We went and got lunch and then Jared and I weren’t needed anymore soo we sat around in our little bus and ended up taking a 3 hour nap. We weren’t that far away from our training center so I don’t know why they didn’t just send us back in a taxi or have the bus guy drive us back. But I mean who can say that they got paid to literally sit around all day and take a nap, with free lunch I might add.
That is especially good since when it came time to be paid for the first time, we didn’t get paid. After waiting 3 weeks we were bummed when it didn’t happen. We asked about it and Jessica and Grace said that we’d get paid that week. Well that didn’t happen either so we asked again the next week. We even gave them our bank account information so we could get direct deposit. Again, nothing. So finally the 3rd week after we were supposed to be paid, we addressed some of the above mentioned issues with Kelvin (CIEE contact in China) and immediately talks to Sally, (again she’s coming up in later post but for now all you need to know is she is the woman!!) and she came and talked to Jared and I. We got paid a few days later for a little more than half a month worth of working and we even got reimbursed for our medical tests which was 400 yuan. The only nice part about that was that we got paid 2 weeks later and we got our full pay for the month of March. So no need to worry about money anymore. Although, the gym membership and the trips to Wal-Mart, Metro, and Carrefour really take a toll on your wallet.
Another recent struggle is that we have some new students. The two new students in Class C or the lowest level are really below even Class C, there should be a Class D for them. They don’t understand hardly anything and they can’t say much either. We have to work from the ground up on those two. I spent an hour and half teaching them and going over and over the names of family members. The next day at the morning briefing (each morning from 9-9:45 students present in English), one of them didn’t even say the right word for a family member. He called his cousin his sister. I was a little frustrated to say the least. It was a struggle to have class with them. Even with the basic vocabulary and an English-Chinese vocab list, they were struggling. Ahhh good thing I don’t have them that much.
It took over 2 months to get work stuff. When I first started I was told I would get to wear one of the uniforms and I would get a picture ID for access to the building, my lunch money and to identify myself. I tried on a jacket that was the size of a 5 year old and that was the last I heard anything. Well, yesterday as I was about to leave for lunch one of the new secretaries just came up and started measuring me. I was like oh am I getting one of the black outfits from winter or one of the new ones or what. She had no idea but measured me up good. I had to guess my weight and thankfully I know my height from going to the gym. Soo we shall see what I get! … Summer outfit it is. I just tried on a medium and boy was it tight. Chinese people really are stick figures, and they tell me I’m tiny. Pshh you could lose your Chinese friend if they turned sideways. They are ordering me a summer outfit though so yay for not having to choose what to wear every day. I finally got my own ID 2 weeks ago. It was awesome. I didn’t know I was getting it so it took me by surprise. It has my picture (taken on the last day or orientation on 2-13-14), my English and Chinese name and it had my 300 yuan a month for food. Then the week after that, we got more money because the new month started! So Jared and I are rolling in the dough for lunch. What is even better is that the place we get lunch at, also serves breakfast and dinner. I went to breakfast with Sally (She is awesome, more to come on her) and I had warm soymilk while she had a fried egg and some porridge. So no matter what we won’t starve! That is always good news.
Just when I was about to say everything was really coming together, much to my surprise, the office wifi has suddenly disappeared. UHHHHH What the hell how is the wifi just gone and vanished? There are other wifi available but of course they are all password protected. Crap. So now I’m sitting here at my desk wondering how that is going to work. Jared doesn’t have a work computer so he definitely needs the password and well I use my laptop a lot too. Plus ain’t nobody got time for expensive data fees, give me that wifi. That’ll be top priority starting Monday, if Jared doesn’t get that taken care of this afternoon.
So there you have it, working in China is definitely not rainbows and butterflies; it’s not all it’s cracked up to be; things are seldom what they seem; If you don’t want trouble, don’t go looking for it; If everything is going exactly to plan, something somewhere is going massively wrong.- Take your pick, this is China “If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry”
Most plans are just inaccurate predictions.
One step at a time is good walking.
When planning for a year, plant corn. When planning for a decade, plant trees. When planning for life, train and educate people.