Oh I really am going to just reach across the table and strangle her one of these days.

She's just one of those people who likes to complain about every goddamn thing, and is constantly poring over everyone else's situation to see how it compares.

The private school teacher, of course. Who I had the privilege of having lunch with alone today.

Last week, she nearly had me publicly crying (which believe you me, is not an easy task) by asking increasingly awful questions and pointing out increasingly awful things about the situation with my grandfather. Like. It's hard to maintain the belief that she wasn't actually trying to be mean -- that's how awful it was. This week, she started out by asking how my grandfather was.

"He's fine."

"He's fine...? I thought he had cancer? Like really serious?"

"No. He's fine."

"What? He is still at hospital though right?"

"No. He's home. He's fine."

"How is cancer fine?"

"Just fine. Everything's fine."

She didn't know where else to go with that one, so she started in on how much easier my job must be than hers. Hers which apparently requires coming in five minutes before her first class begins and leaving five minutes after her last ends.

"So you don't have any classes left today so you can just go home now right?"

"No. I work from 8:30 to 4:30."

"But last week you went home early. You were not supposed to?"

"I had a family emergency I was dealing with."

"So you cannot go home when you don't have classes?"

"No. I work from 8:30 to 4:30."

"But you don't have to come on school festival or picnic days."

"I come to school every day, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 to 4:30. The only exceptions are my 18 vacation days and red days on the calendar."

"But you do not have to come on exam days because you have no classes."

"I come to school every day except for my 18 vacation days and red days on the calendar."

"It's kind of hard schedule for American person, right?"

"No. Not really."

"Oh. But Americans work less than Koreans."


"It's not hard schedule for you because you are American?"


"But you are not a real teacher so you don't go on the school picnic."

"I go on the school picnic. The school picnic is not on my vacation days or a red day on the calendar."




"Because... I'm a teacher?"

"You are not Korean teacher."


"Anyway you don't have to come to school during vacation. You get a lot of vacation time."

"I come to school for the entire vacation except for 9 days in the summer, and 9 days in the winter."

"No you don't."

"Yes. I do."


"I don't know."

"You don't have to."

"Yes. I do."

"No.... why?"

"I don't know."

"Anyway, you don't have to work on Saturdays like other Korean teachers. How much money do you make? I bet you make a lot...."


Diana E.S. said...

That's a crazy B. And I don't use the b word.

I'm no Picasso said...

Haha Diana. I forgot the part where she told me I must have very good skin, because most American women my age have a lot of wrinkles and look 35, but I don't look 35.

There's a compliment in there somewhere.

MikejGrey said...

Here's the conversation you should have with her.

"Says something in Spanish."

"What did you say?"

"Oh, you don't know? It's English. But you wouldn't know because you're not a real English teacher."

"I teach Korean English."

"Korean English isn't real English."

"British English is real English."

"British English is Shittish."

"I do not understand."

"I know!"

It's okay Liz. I have a good aura and I can be safe around Cliff. He's going to protect me from the skin heads in the work out yard during exercise times.

Anonymous said...

I usually try and put some thought into my comments, but all I can do is laugh at how ridiculous this woman is. Kick her.

Anonymous said...

Now, when you call her "private school teacher" do you mean a hagwon or an actual private middle/high school?
Private schools are a good gig for a Korean teacher because you teach rich kids and you can stay put at the school forever instead of rotating out like in public schools.
Since its such a nice gig, the most important qualification to work at a private school in Korea is a hefty bribe.
You should ask her about it next lunch time.

Kel said...


I'm no Picasso said...

Anon -- I mean hagwon teacher, former. I get the impression it was a pretty rink-a-dink little number as well. I guess she heard that public school teachers have it easy or something, which is hilarious, basically. I don't know what her teaching situation was before, but an all boys' middle school of 1,500 in a rough-ish neighborhood was definitely not the right choice for a follow-up to whatever it was.

The rest of you -- haha. Love.

Nathan said...

My god, this woman is as thick as two short planks...

I'm no Picasso said...

Nathan -- Basically.

Today, when my other co-teacher asked me in front of her how my grandfather was doing, and I gave a short answer, not wanting to give her an opportunity to start in, she looked over and said, "So there is no more bad news lately?"

Not that I'm telling you. "No."

"Oh I thought there would be." And she just went back to eating.


Nathan said...

It's like she considers the world around her to be her own personal drama show and she felt you were ripe for another plot twist!

Should tell her to leave the Soap Opera attitude at the living room couch...

I'm no Picasso said...

Today she came into the office and the first thing out of her mouth: "Any more bad news?"


"He's the same? Or getting worse?"

"The same."

"He must be really sad and hurting."

I'm trying to give it the benefit of the second language doubt. But come on.

I just give the most obvious non-answers possible. AWHere she's concerned, my grandfather is floating on a miracle cloud of the best brain/lung cancer ever and nobody in the whole family is upset about it at all. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.


Nathan said...

The hell, only interested in bad news, not good news? Thats ... special...

Also, best of wishes to your Grandfather and Family!

Anonymous said...

The questions about your grandfather seemed legitimate, as cancer is not "fine", and saying it is will only confuse people. Just say you don't want to talk about it.

The next line of question is hilarious. Having met people like this, you have my sympathies.

I'm no Picasso said...

I'll decide what questions about my family are legitimate, and out of whom, but thanks for the advice.