Bangkok school seeks computer or math teacher for a mini English program (no mention of qualifications - Bingo!)
The phone rings for what seems like forever. Perhaps everyone's got the day off? Eventually someone picks up and says 'Hallo'. It's a male. It sounds like the gardener.
"Hello there, I'm calling about the ad on ajarn.com. You know, the one about the computer teacher"
"I said I'm calling about....oh never mind. Does anyone there speak Thai?"
While I'm thinking about what to say next, greenfingers suddenly gets the message, drops the phone down onto a hard surface and the sound of disappearing footsteps tells me that he's gone to fetch someone. It's two whole minutes before someone plucks up the courage.
"Hallo" (oh Christ, not this again)
"Hallo, I'm calling about the ad for teachers on ajarn.com"
"Can you send your resume?" (skip the pleasantries, why not)
"Well, I was hoping to come in for a personal interview, because I've got one or two different job options to weigh up" (Liar)
"You can speak to Khun Yupawadee. She is responsible for this area"
"Oh great. Is she there?"
"Where has she gone?"
"I'm not sure. Can you leave a message and I will tell her to call you back"
"I tell you what. It'd be better if I call her. I'll call back in an hour"
"OK. Thank you. Goodbye"
I've got no intention of calling back. I just couldn't face another exchange with the gardener.
Native-speaker urgently required. The school also has the word 'college' in the title. They sound desperate! This is right up my alley.
The phone is answered on the third ring, and the young and very capable-sounding assistant scurries off to get the man in charge. Ooooh er....perhaps I've misjudged things and the ad was just a smokescreen. The man in charge picks up the phone. He sounds very official. No turning back now.
"Hi, I saw your ad on ajarn.com. I read that you're looking for a teacher urgently. Well urgently's my middle name. Listen, I'll be straight with you - I don't have a teaching qualification"
"Hmmm I see. Do you have a degree?"
"Actually I haven't got one of them either"
"Do you have any teaching experience?" (credit where it's due - he's sticking with it)
"Yes, I taught a small group of kids in India a few years back. And really enjoyed it"
"How many were there in the group?"
"Three or four if memory serves me correct"
"Well, the classes here number at least 40 in size. That's a big difference from teaching a group of four"
"What's the pay anyway?"
"Starting salary would be 20,000 for someone with no qualifications"
"I don't suppose you could up it a bit could you? I have to send me mum 5,000 a month"
"No, not really"
"Where are you located and I might pop around to see you?"
"We're about two hours from Bangkok"
"OK, let me mull it over and I'll get back to you"
"Thanks very much for calling"
School in Bangkok is looking for full-time and part-time teachers.
The kindly lady on the other end of the phone takes down my particulars but there's a sharp intake of breath when she realizes that my teaching background has more holes in it than a colander.
"I think we're looking for someone a bit more qualified. The ad clearly says that you need a bachelor's degree in an education-related field. We might accept a TEFL certificate instead but we need a degree to get you a work permit"
"Well here's the beauty of it you see, I know a man who can sort this kind of stuff out, so the work permit doesn't pose a problem"
"Well, I just don't think you're what we're really looking for"
"Couldn't I just have an interview? A quick one. I'll be in and out in ten minutes.
"Can I take down your number and our Head of English Department will get back to you?"
Kindergarten Teachers wanted for Bangkok area (This school is forever advertising)
The phone is eventually picked up by a young girl who I suspect has never handled a phone in her life. Her lack of ability in English is surpassed only by the girl she hands the phone to. Within seconds we are reduced to communicating using a series of basic nouns.
"teacher......ajarn.com.......job........yes" (that's me not her. This is what she's reduced me to)
"You......er.....call again soon.........boss may yoo"
I know a phone call that's going nowhere when I see it. Click.
Teachers required to teach mathoyom students in a large secondary school
After a brief introduction it's clear that the woman on the other end of the line is more than a little interested. The lack of qualifications did force her to pause for a moment, but next to the fact that I'm willing to stick it out for a year, it pales into insignificance.
"You already know the salary from the ajarn site but we also offer housing and two meals a day" (I get the distinct impression that she's offered me the job already)
"What's the housing like?" (talk about cocky. Five minutes ago I was begging for a job, now I'm about to discuss the color of curtains)
"We offer you a small room on the campus. You will also have to share with another teacher"
"Hmmm. I'm not sure about that. If it's a small room, what if he's a large teacher?"
(laughs) "Oh no there's plenty of room for two"
"What about the food? can you give me some examples of a few typical dishes"
"You'll be eating in the student canteen, so the food is basic. Probably a rice dish"
"You don't say! Will there be anything on top of the rice?"
"Yes, something like green curry or chicken or maybe a fried egg"
"Stop it stop it, I'm dripping saliva on the floor-tiles" (frankly I don't think she got it) "give me a few days to think it over. Thanks so much for your time"
"Wait! you didn't give me your phone number"
School in Chiang Mai seeks full-time teachers starting in May. B.A and TEFL a MUST!
Buoyed by my success with the previous phone call, there's a certain arrogance and an unmistakable swagger in the way I dial the next number. It's time to spread my wings and look a bit further afield. To Chiang Mai. Yes, I know it says B.A and TEFL a must but this is Chiang Mai for pete's sake. They drag you in off the street if you're wearing long trousers.
"Well thanks for calling but we really must insist on at least a B.A and TEFL certificate. I'm sorry but we can't really look at you" (and what's more he's serious)
"Couldn't I go on a sort of 'emergency list?"
"I'm not with you. What would an emergency list be?"
"You know. You're two weeks into the new term, and the new teacher decides he or she doesn't like the job after all. That's when you need someone like me to step in at a moment's notice"
(laughs) "It's certainly an idea, but no, we must have our teachers fully qualified"
"That's a pity. I'd really set my heart on working in Chiang Mai. It's such a gorgeous city with wonderful friendly people, and I feel that I could thrive in that kind of community" (he's not having it. Not for a second)
"Good luck with your job search Mr Simpson"
Corporate teachers 500 baht an hour. Call for an appointment.
"Do you have any business experience?"
"Yes loads. I can send you my resume if you want"
"We don't have much work to offer you right at the beginning, but you'll build up to about 16 hours a week if you show that you're hardworking and popular with the students"
"So how many hours can I get at the beginning?"
"Maybe four. Two hours a day, twice a week"
"Can I discuss it with my wife first?"
"By all means. Get back to me by the end of the week if you're still interested"
School in Ayutthaya wishes to expand its English language program
The most charming and playful Thai lady answers the phone. She's giggly and flirty and I almost want to take the job on the strength of her alone, but I keep in mind that I am calling this establishment for the procurement of a teaching position and not to chat up the admin staff.
"So is there much to do in Ayutthaya in the evening?"
"Yes. We have a lot of pub and a lot of restaurant. I can show you if you come to Ayutthaya"
"I would really love that. Don't you forget that promise now. It's not nice to break a promise" (even I'm in danger of being violently sick)
"So do you like teaching children Khun Simpson?" (you will by now have guessed my nom de plume)
"I love kids. How could I not love kids. I went to school with them" (it didn't so much as go over her head, it positively soared)
"Can you come for an interview with my boss?"
"That would be lovely. I'll contact her by email. Could you give me her email address and while you're at it, give me yours just in case one of them bounces" (snigger)