(Almost) Lingueo Loss, Surreal Scheduling, And medical maneuvering

It’s been an interesting week at Inkreadable , dear readers. In fairness, I had an easy week for the most part. A couple of hours of VIPKid each day and at least one, if not two, Lingueo classes. What’s interesting, is that for the most part I’m managing my schedule quite well. My Lingueo classes are happening at times where my VIPKid schedule doesn’t generally book. Or at least, no longer books. For me, that’s the 9 to 11 AM central European time hours. So I’m quite happy just teaching prime prime time for VIPKid.

But my scheduling nearly backfired this week. Like most companies, Lingueo requires you to submit feedback within a certain amount of time. In the case of VIPKid you need to submit within 12 hours of giving the class or you get half pay. Over at Lingueo, the limit is six hours but if you don’t submit feedback you don’t get paid at all not even half pay. Which I think is not a very nice policy, but on the other hand because we teach from Skype and do not record the lessons, there’s no way for the company to actually track how many lessons we’ve given unless we give feedback. It happened on Tuesday. I completely forgot to give feedback to my 10 to 1130 lesson, and was out €27. Well, you might think it’s only €27 and what’s the big deal? At least, for those of you who have jobs where you make considerably more than that, for those of you that work in online teaching like I do, that loss is significant. I did send an email to the company and they opened up the feedback so I could leave it, with assurances from me that I would try not to forget again. What I need to do is get into the habit of leaving feedback right after my classes. I did this successfully on Thursday for both my classes. But again, I learned a valuable lesson.

I learned that I need to take better care of my schedule on a couple of different fronts this week. On Saturday, for instance, I did not open the correct slots and got bookings from 11 to 2 central European time. Generally, the schedule is fine during the week. On weekends, it’s a whole other matter. On Saturadays, I have standing morning commitments that I do not like to miss and on Sundays I have private clients so I can only teach from 9 to 1130 on Sunday mornings. This week I opened up 11 to 2 on Saturday which would leave me no time to engage in my morning commitments in the way that I like to/need to. The Weightwatchers zoom coffee after the meeting is important to me and I like to attend. I’m also the host so attending is almost compulsory. But this week, I almost didn’t get to. I did not realize I had opened from 11 o’clock to 2 instead of 1130 to 2, and thought I would have to teach two level sevens and two trials in that three hours. Luckily on Saturday morning I woke up to a finished class at 11 o’clock which meant that I didn’t have to teach. So not only could attend my morning Weightwatchers and coffee, I also got paid to do so. Best of all worlds..

Don’t get me wrong, I love Stone, the student that I would’ve been teaching. But I’m also honest enough with myself that I was quite happy that he canceled. Generally, I don’t like it when my level sevens cancel because they cancel outside of 24 hours and the slots don’t fill. I got lucky this time.

It’s been rather a fraught week in other ways. A while back I had decided that I needed to be followed by an ophthalmologist here in the Netherlands and finally managed to get an appointment for this past Friday. Turns out that it was good that I went. At 45 years old, it appears I have a cataract impeding my vision in my right eye. What, you say?  A cataract, you say? Aren’t you too young for a cataract?

It turns out that no, I’m actually not. People with very high myopic prescriptions are actually prone to cataracts much earlier than others and while the condition is rare even for them, (it’s about 1% of the population) it seems I am that one. Still I’m quite happy to have the diagnosis and a potential way to fix it. Now starts the almost endless rounds with specialists to measure field of vision and just what kind of lens to put in. While Dutch healthcare can be quite brusque, and people don’t have a sense of humor about your self-deprecating. humor (the technician was not very pleased when I said that I had complicated eyes. She she turned around with an offended air and said not to me you don’t), The doctor was efficient and she did have a sense of humor as she laughed with me as I told the story of how I got to her in a funny way. I was also pleased that including dilation the whole appointment took one hour. In America I would’ve been sitting at the doctors office half the morning. I did have an interesting conversation with the office that did my Lasik in 1997 as they claimed they had no records of my care before 2003 and I was insistent that they must. THe doctors here want my records pre-Lasik as a benchmark. They did have them, though not in electronic form, so I am getting them sent to my dad and then he will scan them and email them to me.

Next up is my third (and hopefully last) MRI to make sure that I am fully recovered from my spinal issues from the fall. I’m happy to report that I have no tingling or numbness in my feet. I am hopeful that the MRI will show nothing and that my brain is not swollen. I think the doctor is just being conscious. Trying to stay positive at the thought of needles and contrast as well.

Writing continues to go really well in terms of editing and I am slowly but surely clearing very old mistakes and comments from the Washington Creative Writers Group. I have not even started with the Dutch critique group, which tongue in cheek, my friend Ilana pointed out, has two Spaniards an American and one Dutch person. So is it really Dutch? She’s not wrong. I have submitted the next two chapters for revision and critique so we will see how that goes. I wager that if I submit two chapters a month I will have at least 20 months of  material before I have to write anything. But hopefully the creative juices will start flowing and I can continue the story. It was fortuitous that I am editing because in one part of the book I had given a character blonde hair and dark eyes and in the beginning of the book I had said he was dark-eyed and Chestnut hairs. These little details matter. How to keep them straight probably takes an Excel worksheet. I know, I have seen such a worksheet. (I’m looking at you, fantasy world builders.)

That’s all she wrote for this Inkreadable installment. But stay tuned. As always, there is more to come.

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