Wednesday, May 28, 2008


My title header is very obviously a work in progress. Equally obvious is the fact that I still have no clue what I'm doing with this site! Be patient with me, I'll get it eventually.

Double Yikes! I haven't updated in nearly two weeks! Nothing much going on, just wrapping up with all the kids' end-of-year junk.

I finally made it to Tokyo for the orientation at Gaba, it was really disappointing. It took about a week of planning to get everyone's schedules arranged so that I could be on the train by 2:45p to make the 5:00p meeting.

I didn't have any problems finding my trains or making my connections and had planned to be in Ebisu (the area of Tokyo where Gaba is headquartered) by 4:15p, in plenty of time to grab a bite to eat at Wendy's (only the 2nd one I've seen in Japan!). I should know by now that no matter how well I plan, I'll never make it anywhere on time! There was an accident on the last train line I had to take, my train was delayed almost 45 minutes!!! That was 45 minutes spent standing on the train, wondering what was going on, checking my watch every 2 minutes, knowing I'd never make the meeting on time, wishing I could understand the steady stream of announcements, despairing over whether or not I had time to run back to the ice cream vending machine for a frozen Crunky.... The Japan Rail service is notorious for it's punctuality! The trains are NEVER late! Until I get on them!!! So I made it to the meeting with only 5 minutes to spare, sweating like a stuffed pig!

There were about 12 people at the orientation: a couple of Americans, some Aussies, a few Brits and one or two other nationalities that I didn't find out. First we had an overview of the company and the teaching program, then we were given a screening test....did you know the verb teach can be conjugated 13 different ways???? Crap! Then they tell us that you only get paid 1500 yen, around $15 per 40 minute lesson. The going rate around the base is $30 - $45 per lesson!!! Next, I find out that you only teach at Gaba learning centers, the closest of which is easily a 45 minute commute from my house. On top of all that, you have to wear a black suit whenever you teach. Quadruple crap! It cost me $16 (parking + train) and 5 hours to do this orientation, I'd have to spend another $16 going back next week for a 2nd interview, then another $48 to go back for the 3-day training. When it's all said and done I'd have to teach at least 10 classes before I make any money! As you've probably guessed by now, I won't be working for Gaba.

We're heading for Lake Kawaguchi in the Fuji Five Lakes area tomorrow (on our own!!!). So I'll have an update and pics soon!

1 comment:

Jason said...

Thanks for the Gaba info...I was just deciding on whether to go that route or not myself.