All Change: The Highs and Lows of Berlitz life

Anyone who knows me will tell you it takes quite some week to prompt a text saying ‘Please say thank you to Jesus for our new office, it looks beautiful’. It’s been an odd one. I should probably start my explaining that: The ROK hasn’t converted me to a religion I’ve often openly criticised: the reality required a far more off twist of events. This month we moved out of the office I’ve worked in for the past year, and moved around 400 metres down the road. Fortunately for me the new office is closer to home, and closer to the bus route, though it is further from the subway and most of my travel classes. Swings and roundabouts. Anyway, the office (which is a truly stunning piece of modern art interior décor) was designed by my favourite class (the very same one who’ve featured heavily in Friday night stories for the last couple of weeks. For homework from their first ever English lesson they had to right names and profiles for who some celebrity. Ever since most of them have kept these characters as nick names: in one class we have Denzel Washington (a woman), Beyonce and King Se Jong (the inventor of the Korean alphabet). I’m sure you’ve got where this is going by now: our office’s new designer is nicknamed ‘Jesus’. Well it was a nice way of getting the story across…

The office move has been accompanied by an almost total company organization: a new Korean manager, almost totally new front desk staff (they all abandoned ship to various parts of the World at the same time, having undergone months of being pumped full of Western travellers ‘see the world’ philosophy’) and an up and coming teacher change as well. Friday night we all had a few drinks in the bar next to work, a few tears were shed and promises made to meet up in various far flung corners at later dates. I hate goodbyes, but by Friday night I was just too tired to really wake up to it. Hardly surprising after three consecutive days at the end of the week in which I taught at least 12 hours and was in work at least 14. Ouch.

Monday morning bought the plus side: the gorgeous new office, friendly new people to interrogate about schedules and a location dangerously close to one of those gorgeous Korean bakeries. Despite the tiredness Friday turned into a big one as well: Tak (party animal) has decided his farewell is every weekend night from now on. Who am I to argue? I really hope the next teachers to come in are even close to what we’ve had over the past few months. Onwards, though it could be that only the office is a step up. Now, one day they might even let me know about that promotion…

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