Thursday, October 25, 2007

In which the author experiences a minor epiphany

While I was in Australia in September I applied for a job in Hong Kong. It was a vacancy which doesn't come up very often and I only noticed it a couple of days before the deadline.

I was invited for a phone interview which didn't go too well. I was quite sure that the interviewers hadn't read my application, CV or the 3 references they asked for in advance.

And I realised that the job wasn't exactly what I thought it was. They were looking for someone to teach kids though the daytime and then adults in the evening.

I started to worry that my students would all be kids with pushy parents and adults hoping to climb the corporate ladder and buy £10,000 diamond rings (ask Jean!).

And then I realised how much I enjoy my classes here. Ramadan finished the day after the interview and suddenly classes were full and students were all kissing each other.

I had a few thoughts. It's quite important to me that I'm teaching classes that are free (or close to it). I also like the fact that I'm teaching people of mixed age from a variety of countries.

I'm still not sure where I want to live but I know what I do (and don't) want to do. So I was quite relieved when I didn't get that job.


Jean said...

It's good that you've learned more about yourself. This is what my mgr said to me when I resigned and realised what I didn't want to do.

Also, you must clarify re: the GBP10K ring. Other readers may be mistaken to think I'm a gold digger and it is *I* who is demanding that.

On that note, at a recent dinner with a group of upwardly-mobile-corporate-achievers, the girls at the table set the going rate for an engagement ring to be 3months salary gross + bonus pro-rataed + pension pro-rataed. I thought it was rather ridiculous that they wanted to add the pension amount in too. Considering the average income level at the table, this is def no small amount!

As with me, I just want romance. If I wanted bling, I can buy my own!

Cal said...

So you're not leaving us just yet then. Hurrah for that.

Jean - I would so like to think you were joking over the ring conversation, but I have a horrible feeling you're not. Do I live in a different world or do they?

Joe said...

Okay. For the record, I ain't sayin Jean's no gold digger. She was relating the story of a princess who ain't hanging with no broke broke...

Cal, it's real. There are people my age who do weekend breaks to New York, shoot guns for fun, only travel business class and buy jewellery exclusively from Tiffany's. I live on the edge of this world and it freaks me out.

dimsumdolly said...

Oh my god, that computation of how much the ring should be is downright scary.

I second Jean's sentiments...just give me romance!

Iqbal Khaldun said...

Anyone who needs to spend that much money to feel satisfied is clearly not very satisifed.

You(se) should stay here, you've got a good thing going... and I'll be back in London by the end of 2008. Who'm I going to sponge off if you guys go?!

j a s o n said...

My estranged high powered lawyer wife may care to grace you with her comments, but...her free time is money she isnt charging.

Consensus in my Offices in both London and Hong Kong confirms the 3 months salary Gross $ value of a modern day engagement ring.

Though the pro-rated pension and bonus is new to me and smells simply of greed. But, I am a guy I have to say this.

My accounting and tax training confirms this as correctly calculated assessible income and as valid part of the overall calculation of the man's annual earnings.

After all it does represent the real dollar value of the man's earnings. Let's add all profits on shares, and unrealised annual value of any other property or investments he may earn in the year for good measure, just to be accurate.

Though there is a possible argument to less any costs he has spent on the lady during the year as deductible from this total money spent in advance.

The price of ring is a double edged sword - as the bloke, you save the money and buy the ring to keep to socially (yuppie level) accepted, or to be forever known to all who will listen as the cheap bastard. It's the fellas choice.

Also , its all relative to ones wages, I think, the ring is a token of future sacrifice and commitment. As economic powerhouses, yuppie men's wallet represents their modern day hunting ability, their strength as providers.

Economics is king in Corporate land and corporate relationships - you do your talking and the depth of your convictions with money. Money talks, I'm afraid.

Who has time for romance these days...?, time is money I'm simply not making!

j a s o n said...

Seems like London is the place to be Joe!

So where are you guys going to move to??

Jean said...

Jason - you crack me up. I esp like the un/realised investment appreciations comment. But I guess there is a glimmer of truth in that the number of digits in bank account (or should I say portfolio) is the measure of the modern day man's hunting prowess.

Oh, the girl's family is meant to give the guy a very nice watch post marriage proposal. So it ain't a one way street boys.

j a s o n said...

Yeah I was given a Swatch watch...what least it was Swiss...

Joe said...

Jason I want to live on top of the Lisboa. Golborne Road is my new Chungking.