The other day, I interviewed for a really lovely ESL program at X College. Everything was going well, and the interviewer told me that because of my experience and qualifications, they were prepared to offer me a higher-than-usual starting salary, then stated a number that’s slightly more than half of my salary at the primary school. Huh, I’ve never Chinese-bargained from the higher starting number. The program was lovely, but not worth a 50% paycut, so I asked if he could do better on the salary.
The interviewer suddenly underwent a massive personality shift, and told me I should be grateful for the chance to work for him because Fengtai is the worst place to live, no one wants to teach little children and our primary school in Yihai has a very bad reputation. X College, he added, is the best college in Beijing, so good that I’m lucky to even be meeting with him.
It was like going on a horrifically bad first date, and while part of you is wondering how a guy that seemed so sweet could be a terrifying freak when served lukewarm coffee, on another level, you’re happy that you found out he has issues BEFORE you kissed him. Or, um, how I imagine that would be. Because that’s never happened to me, of course.
But back to the present. Later that night, Stick and I were having dinner at Xuemei and Manfred’s house. Xuemei asked how my job search was going, and I told her I interviewed at Singapore Academy, a few training schools, and X College. Xuemei’s daughter gasped and said “X College? That’s the best college in Beijing! You’re so lucky to interview there!”
Which makes me wonder if everything else he said was also true.