From tomorrow, I will officially be on vacation. From everyone. By that I mean, from Felix, Carlton, Janice, And, of course, VIPKid. Although my vacation from VIPKid actually started last Friday. It taught me something: people don’t read. From the moment I put myself on vacation, as one can do in their schedules on VIPKid’s website, parents have been asking me for priority booking l. I have even informed them via feedback that I am leaving. Still, they book me. I don’t know whether to be happy that they love me so much, or whether to be chagrined that they don’t read. Also, I’m noticing that I’m having some very weird timeslots being asked for. For instance, I have one student who consistently asks me for 5:30 in the morning my time. I did that in the States for a month last year. I refuse to do it this year. I will never work at 5:30 in the morning here in the Netherlands. I think it’s simply too much.
Once again last week, on Tuesday, Carlton’s mother let me know that he was sick and would not be having class. I told her that was OK but that I would have to charge her for the lesson as that is my policy. Her response was to come back and say that we would then have a lesson. This put me once again in the position of having to get to a lesson where my student is sick, putting me and potentially my other students at risk of also getting sick. I decided that if I was going to go teach a sick kid I would go and teach him at 6:30 and not at the 5:30 time that I was used to going to teach him. I thought perhaps that that would allow him to potentially get a bit better on his own. Alas, it was not to be. He was a sulky child for the first 20 minutes of the lesson. Head on the table, really tired, not really engaging. I find that when parents don’t want to take the hit for tutors who have a policy like mine ultimately results in a subpar lesson with their kid. I also got paid for Carlton’s June sessions. His parents put me in a bit of a pickle, however, because they overpaid me. I checked my invoice and I did give them a correct invoice with the right amount. They paid me for an extra hour. I’m not ungrateful, truly. But I report a certain amount to the Dutch tax office and if the bank deposit and the invoice do not match, that might be a problem for me. I think I’m going to have to ask my accountant what to do about that.
I really would love to know how The English Center maintains its policy of a 48-hour cancellation and otherwise, the lesson is charged. And I know for a fact that they charge their customers much more than I do mine. Someday when I get up the courage I’m going to have to ask about that. Speaking of English Center, I wrapped up my lessons with three of my clients and there are two clients that remain. One is a semi-private lesson that finishes up tomorrow. And the other one is a private lesson with an Italian client who is looking to improve his business English as he works for an American company. He is a sales rep for the Italian market and so does most of his work in Italian on the phone, but hast to him put his notes on the calls in English as the company is American. I foresee that this is what we are going to be working on over the next three lessons one tonight and two once I come back from Greece.
Janice and I have been having Skype lessons as she has been quite busy with the house move and other various things that eat up her time so that she cannot come to the Starbucks at Amsterdam’s Central Station to meet in person. Skype is working surprisingly well with her as we tend to make them conversation lessons. We are friendly enough that we find things to talk about all the time. When we have in-person lessons I actually do grammar. It’s not as fun.
By far the highlight of my week had to do with Felix. He got a job. He is going to be a French/English speaking customer service representative for Nike here in Amsterdam. I was so proud of him because we had prepped so hard in general for jobs but we also prepped extra hard last Tuesday before his interview. He did so well that they hired him on Wednesday. He sent me a text after our lesson to let me know. At some point, we’re going to have to go out and celebrate.
That’s all she wrote for this Inkreadable installment. But stay tuned. As always, there is More to come.