What Next Indeed

Quito Travel Blog

 › entry 8 of 9 › view all entries

Well, much to my combined relief and horror, am now working girl. Relief because poverty is no friend of mine, and horror because in all the fervour and frenzy of the 'getting the job' process, had forgotten the reality of actually doing the work that my CV claims I am so excited and enthusiastic about.

In fact, due to the over excitement during application process, I have two jobs. One is the teaching English thing, and the other is marketing for a tour company based in Ecuador.

Strangely, I have many grievances to air about same.

First and foremost, daily routine stands thus; I get up at 6am in order to start work for 7. This frankly is enough in itself in my opinion, however there are more tales of woe to come. As I get down to the street in which I get my taxi, I stand every morning finding the road deserted and think how much easier would be f I just called and booked taxi to coolect me. This I never, and will never do for two reasons. Firstly, I do not have a taxi number. This one, whilst seemingly easy to remedy, is I imagine not something I will do any time soon, if indeed ever. The second (which is considerable factor in not dealing with first), is that have rejoined world of pay as you go, and therefore, as those of you that know me of old will remember, I do not have credit. Ever.

And so, I arrive at my little school at approximately 10 to 7, and climb the 4 flights of stairs that lead to place of work (don't mind this so much, is good for thighs). Thus far, I wait for an hour and a half before first student arrives, and listen to reasons that they have lost text book and audio CD that need for lesson, and why the printer doesn't work on this particular morning. However, it seems that these halycon days are over as my first lesson tomorrow is 7-9. This in itself is not something that offends me, (as have got to be at bloody place anyway), it does however mean that might have to plan lessons night before as opposed to when get to work. Should therefore, be doing that now. Hmm.

What does offend me howeve, is this. When had interview at place of work, the agreement was that would work 8.30- 12.30 for between 300-400 dollars a month. Aware that this is rubbish but beggars can't be choosers etc, and is Ecuador. So said ok, but want 400. Boss said that he had to clear this with somebody (which I now think is lie frankly) but next day said was OK. Hurrah, I thought, victory is mine...until he promptly changed my hours from 8.30- 12.30, to 7am- 1pm, for same 400 dollars. Now, the getting up earlier thing is undoubtedly sad news. However, I find that whatever time alarm goes off for work it causes almost unbearble resentment, so whatever.

However, what I find incomprehensible is that lesson finishes at 12.30, and yet I have to stay until 1. I broached this with Boss this morning, and he said is because they need English speaker in building. This is a definite lie, as Ecuador is Spanish speaking country and potential clients want to come to school to learn English. This in my mind, is hefty hint that they do not already speak it.

In general terms, an extra half an hour is (I can see) not end of world. However, it does severely impinge on my Papayanet time as start marketing job at 2.

Yes, marketing job. Well I must start by saying that even by Ecuadorian standards they pay me a pittance, and whilst they call it an internship (as excuse) have learnt thus far how to use Microsoft Publisher, and this I taught myself. First job is have to write booklet on cruiseships. Fine. Except they have 800 of them, and want this task done by Thursday. Unreasonable deadlines, whilst irritating are admittedly not the end of the world. However, I got ye olde internship contract emailed through yesterday. It said all the usual things about trial periods, they have right to terminate contract whenever they like, regardless whether is rational or not etc etc. This annoyed me a lot. Frankly for this pay I'm doing them a bloody favour, not other way round.

In essence, Ecuador employment situation is very irksome. They expect me to work a lot of hours and do a lot of work for not a lot of dollars.

I mean, do these people not know who I am? I am from Harpenden for goodness sake! Does no one here know what that means?! It appears that no, they do not. Bah.

It really is most unfortunate that none of these Euadorians ae affected by my middle class entitlement induced tantrums. However, amusing side effect of this is that Ecuadorian culture appears to be rubbing off on me. My sense of outrage when a taxi driver tries to charge me 50 cents extra is in no way manufactured. In fact, I am so outraged by it that I have been learning handy Spanish phrases in order to argue with them.

As God as my Witness, I will never be ripped off by Ecuadorian taxi driver again.


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photo by: Bluetraveler