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29 December 2004
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KLB - Great Employee, Awful Co-Worker

Cathy does make a good employee - hell, I'd probably hire her. I could pay her very little while she mindlessly does everything I ask of her.

I'm confused about what I'm supposed to think about people who work very hard and don't complain no matter what. I've been brought up to think I should admire and emulate them. Fortunately I've never fallen for that. To me, most of these people are being taken advantage of and are foolish not to see it. Or cowardly when if they do see it, they don't do anything to change their situation and simply conform because that's what everyone else is doing.

In this world, if you want to get anywhere you have to work very hard. See, I bet you just read that sentence and nodded your head in agreement. There you have it - you've also been brainwashed. Scary, isn't it? Don't feel bad - you're not alone.

Step 1. The only way to get ahead is to lower your liabilities, or in other words, the amount you spend. I call this Expenditure Concept 41C - Common Sense Liability Diminishing to Greater Wealth Building. Increasing the amount you earn won't help unless you've mastered step one. Step 2 to come in my new book: 7 Steps to the New and Rich You.

So, Cathy's been calling all the parents in her free time and finding other students to enroll in the classes during the one month winter vacation. She told me today we will have quite a few new students. Before she started doing this, we were to have just 10 or less in each class - which made me relieved because of the length of the classes (about 2 hours). It's hard enough to control/entertain them for an hour. But now it looks like there will be around 15 in each class. It may not seem like it unless you've taught elementary school before, but that's a big difference, especially since we only have six tables (when they doubled the size of the classroom they never bothered to give us any more desks).

In fact, she spent the whole day today out in the hall calling up parents and urging them to enroll their kids. So, when she told me the news, she seemed to be proud of herself. Try if you can to imagine this situation: she, beaming with pride that's she's gotten so many new students - when the only reward she or I will get for her hard work is more students and more work - and me staring back at her in stupefaction.

"Cathy, why are you trying so hard to get new students?" I sighed, rubbing my temples.

"I have to, of course. Bonnie told me to do like this."

I wanted to say to her, "Of course she told you to get more students. Why do you think? So she can make more money. Is she going to pay you a commission? I don't think so. You don't have to try so hard." However, I knew she would be unable to comprehend how I could even think such a thing much less say it out loud, and so I simply made the usual sneer-of-contempt and returned to my desk. As I said, she's a good employee but a damn annoying co-worker.

I spent the entire day teaching grammar and writing. The poor kids have been bored to death this week, but this is what I have to do. I think I'll just return to the way I was teaching, making it fun and focusing on speaking skills. The program potentially ends at the end of February anyway, and I have the option to quit at that point. Why not at least make it fun while it lasts and not worry about the consequences. If parents are not satisfied, they can send their kids off to more expensive hagwons if they so desire and we both win (while the student loses).


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