I have a theory that
the truth is never told during
the nine to five hours.
-Hunter S. Thompson
Pursuant to our recent luncheon discussion about a feature length comedy aimed at the pre-/teen market, I have come up with the following idea. The story follows a less-than-honest individual/group of individuals who somehow ingest a ‘truth serum’. Consequently, the individual/group of individuals will be forced to tell the truth despite his/her/themselves. The results would be nothing short of uproarious. Let me know what you think.
It would have been better if she was drinking a cup of coffee or a glass of water, something with a decent size opening. Instead she was sipping on that insidious Vitamilk crap that makes me nostalgic for more innocent times of wet diapers and finger painting. The straw made it even more difficult to drop in the small, dissolvable tablet when she finally turned around to answer the phone. She spun back around so quickly that I was sure I had been caught. Maybe not. She picked up the drink and started sipping on it again. The sip became a slurp as she neared the bottom. Watching the middle-aged Thai lady with traces of baby powder on her neck inhale the beverage through a straw made me feel I was in some silly advertisement where children behave like adults and vice versa. I just hoped the pill worked.
I probed the waters with a simple question. “So, does this school provide me with a visa and work permit?”
Her face lit up. “Of course we say that we will give you a letter for immigration, and we will. However, we don’t have the two million baht in capitalization required to hire a foreign teacher. You’ll find that out after a lengthy, laborious process. Whoops, I seem to have let the cat out of the bag. Truth is, we can get you a teacher’s license, but that’s meaningless without the visa. Oh, goodness me. I’ve done it again.”
The serum was working. I couldn’t wait to get into my notebook of questions. I fumbled for it in my bag. I only had a precious few minutes before the effects wore off.
“Your advertisement said a salary of thirty-thousand a month. Is that accurate?” I asked.
Another grin. “Thirty thousand a month is accurate, but you English speakers typically understand a month to mean ‘on a monthly basis’. As we intend, that means there may be one month in the year that your hours actually allow you to make that amount. Typically your salary will be much lower.”
I thanked her for her straightforwardness. She admitted she was feeling a bit out of sorts. “Tell me about the materials and class sizes,” I enquired.
“An average class would be around eight to ten students, but don’t think we won’t stick you with thirty to fifty if we can. Those are our resources on the shelves over there.” She gestured toward a sizable library of books. At least that looked inviting. “Granted the photocopier hasn’t worked since Taksin was voted in…the first time, but we keep it here for appearances.”
“I see,” I scowled a bit searching for my next query. “It says you are looking for part-time help in addition to a full-time position. What’s the hourly rate?”
“Four hundred baht an hour, which is competitive. On the other hand, due to the unworkable class sizes and lack of materials you’ll probably spend at least an hour in unpaid preparation. And no, don’t even ask to be reimbursed for things like printer paper or ink.”
“Anything else I should know?” Not that I really wanted, or needed, to know anything else.
She appeared drowsy, a sign that the serum would wear off soon. “Just be aware that your hours are completely fluid, your contract is moot due to lack of legal working status, and we reserve the right withhold your salary if we feel that it would bring even scant amusement into our humdrum existence.” She started shaking her head as if she were dizzy. The serum’s effects were dissipating. She smiled and looked up at me. “So when are you ready to start?”