A Job Interview

I just got back from a job interview. It went well! If by well, I mean comically.

I've been on this kick where I've been missing teaching lately, mainly because I'm a glutton for punishment. I thought one way to reconcile this yearning would be to teach adults learning English. As I see it, teaching mature people who are choosing to be in the classroom means less cursing, fewer death threats.

After throwing my resume at everyone I could, I finally heard back from a man who ran an ESL school. From both a brief email and phone conversation, it became clear that his own English wasn't too good. I joked to my friends that the one guy who expressed an interest in hiring me was also the one guy who couldn't actually read my resume.

I arrived at the office today at the same time as another guy. The boss greeted the other guy warmly and said, "Who are you?" to me. I told him I was here for an interview and he said, "Oh no, I over-book! I already did so many, I forgot any more." He promised the other guy that he would get back to him in 10 minutes and pulled me into a room for an interview.

He quickly asked me a couple of basic questions about my experience, then said, "So tell me about Taiwan." I froze, trying to think of what I knew about Taiwan other than that they manufacture a lot of crap. I guessed he wanted to know about my familiarity with Asian culture. "Well, it's an island nation by China..." I started. "No, no, what you do when you in Taiwan?" "I've never been to Taiwan," I said. He points to the part of my resume that mentions my internship at the Mark Twain House. I had to explain that it was Mark Twain the author, not Taiwan the country, and that effectively ended the main interest he had in me. My jest became a reality: he actually had brought me in because he couldn't read my resume properly.

Never mind my experience with ESL students, my Masters degree, my charming tie that's decorated like a pencil (it's cute and education-themed!) I even wore my glasses that I only wear to drive in order to look "smarter." I've been told multiple times that I interview well, and I worked every angle I could before he dismissed me, so I'm not saying that it's entirely out of the realm of possibility that I'll get a callback, but like whatever. I'm not going to make fun of a guy for not speaking proper English, but when you head a school that is designed to do just that, you're opening yourself up for criticism like a fat doctor or an illiterate librarian.

Underemployment for life! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go read some Mark Taiwan.

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