Timewasting Trial, Terrible Tech, and Sincere Students

This week, dear reader, was full of lessons. I don’t mean lessons that I gave, but rather ones that I learned this week. I’ll start with The English Center because that’s still the bulk of my time. It will continue to be so until I can start advertising Inkreadable. Since I haven’t had time to figure out where to go get a translation of my website, it’s going to be a little while. I spent about 10 hours doing my normal administrative work throughout the week. But I also had three hours of lessons with Jean, an hour with Heleen, and four hours with Eva over in The Hague which was actually 5 hours each day with the commute. That was a little difficult and while she has friends who would like lessons, I am not in a place to be able to go to the Hague to teach people. There has to be a limit to how far a teacher will travel to teach a lesson. And The Hague is just too far. Three hours of travel and €70 for the lesson, if you amortize it across the five hours is just about €20 an hour. That’s my admin rate and I can stay at home to do that. Jean and Heleen are online so that is worth it. They seem to be happy with the lessons and as they both need some flexibility it works out quite well to go week to week with them. For example, I won’t see them this week because of scheduling conflicts for all of us. So the next time I see Jean will be next week and the same for Helene.

In my private client world, it’s been very quiet with just Yuka and Shinwei. Both these lessons are quite easy to plan and ESLBrains and Linguahouse make it much easier. And both of them are active participants in their learning journey and so they often ask me to practice things that they are unsure of. With Yuka, that means learning how to use interjections as well as how to use exactly, definitely, and other words to indicate heartfelt agreement. Shinwei is struggling to communicate with his boss and explain that he feels like his career has stalled, that he is the only one working on his team, and keeps getting stalled because the other members of his team don’t work in the same way he does. He also feels that he isn’t being listened to. I find it a little ironic because he will listen to what I say and the advice that I give in terms of English to use to talk to his boss, but then I am uncertain whether he puts it into practice. His response to why I give him advice on what to say to his boss, (especially be as direct as your boss is because he’s Dutch) is that he has to think about it. I also gave the trial lesson to the woman in the horse riding world who wants English lessons. It was a waste of time as she is not even willing to pay for four hours a month. I find people who are serious about learning have no problem paying my rate. Such is the case with a student who found me through one of my postcards. She has said that she will come to me once a week for 2 hours. She purchased 10 of my hours which is great. And that was just a start so this client seems very promising. So much so that I have pretty much written off the horseback riding trial, but at least this was a good enough exercise to learn how to do a sales pitch and that is good so I can practice. So all things considered, it was a good week.

But things are not always sunny in my world. On Saturday this week, I discovered that the charging port of my computer is no longer working. That’s right, the port that charges my computer is once again dead. I spent 40 minutes on Saturday evening on the phone with Dell and they are supposed to come out sometime between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. am today. I may have to modify how I teach my student if the computer technician is at my house while she is here. And it’s not like I can tell them not to come. Because I can’t be running around without a working charging port. Especially as I am traveling this weekend. Once again, I found it very difficult not to walk onto my balcony and throw my Dell computer into the canal in front of my house. I am so bitter that I am also quite close to going back to Apple which is something that I thought I would never do. It’s a case of “I hate all of the companies but if I didn’t have a hell of a warranty package where Dell has to come and fix everything, I wouldn’t have had a computer for so long. Right now, my warranty program will lapse in 2024. I am in the process of considering whether to purchase another warranty extension for another four years or simply go back to Apple in 2024. I’m very conflicted because I was not very happy when Apple told me that my computer which I had never spilled anything on had liquid damage and that it was my fault. This was in 2018 and back then there was no so extended warranty where even if I spilled water on the computer it would get fixed under the warranty. There is such a warranty now, however, and I do have to say that I generally had good experiences with Apple products until I didn’t. But they weren’t on the same scale as the computer that I have now with the repair people coming out five times in 3 years. I find it a little bit ridiculous. As ever, dear reader, you’ll be the first to know when I do.

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

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