I broke one of the cardinal rules of management.We have been scrambling to find a replacement for John, since he’s returning to the States on Tuesday. I had been scanning resumes, and I put an ad up on Dave’s ESL Café. We had some nibbles and a total no-show for an interview. Most all the resumes I got from the internet posting were from people outside Korea. We were looking for someone who was already here and could work next week.

And, yeah, some of those cover letters and resumes were embarrassing.

I called Jeremy to see if there were any disgruntled folks at Brighton, particularly to see if Ellen could be persuaded to come here. Jeremy volunteered a solution.

“What about Injoo?”

“Injoo? Oh my God, I never thought of that.”

“He just quit his job, and he’s looking.”

I called Injoo up, and he said he was interested. The next morning, I talked to Roberta, and she said she had heard that I had found someone. She wanted to meet him.

Injoo showed up that afternoon, and they talked for around an hour. Roberta said she’s a little cautious about hiring him because he doesn’t have the usual background for a hagwon English teacher, particularly that he doesn’t yet have a four-year degree. I had forgotten that he didn’t have a degree. All of us in our circle of friends thought that his English was phenomenal compared to other Koreans we knew, even other Korean English teachers we knew.

Nonetheless, she said she trusted me. That makes me nervous. I hope I haven’t screwed up. I hope Injoo does well at this job, and I hope this job does well for Injoo. But I did break the rule about hiring friends.

Of course, Anne couldn’t resist being unprofessional and griped about the job in front of him while I was showing him around. She’s gotten to the point now that the other teachers have asked me to say something to her. It is unbearable for any of us to work with her. As soon as someone is within ten feet of her, she reels them in so she can go into one of her repetitive tirades about how everyone is screwing her over and how she plans to exact revenge.

The rainy season is a bit longer than last year, even though the rain is less consistent. I’m getting a small invasion of mosquitoes in the apartment. Still, no roaches, thank goodness. I’ve been keeping the place clean, and I haven’t seen a sign of the freaky bugs I saw my first weekend here.

Each day at work there seems to be some drama, usually revolving around Anne. Nonetheless, I’m still enjoying the job. And it still looks like it could get better. I hope I don’t have to eat those words.

I’m thinking of spending a few days in Japan for my August vacation. Don’t know for sure yet.

I’ve also had more pho than I can handle. It seems that whenever I go out with Eun Jeong or hang out with James, they each want to go to the Vietnamese place for pho. I went twice last week, and Eun Jeong wanted to go again today. It’s not that bad, though. It’s Vietnamese food, so it’s always good. The thing is, the menu does not have much variety. It’s basically beef noodle soup or seafood noodle soup. Or how about noodles without the soup? Or noodles with little rice paper wrappers. I think I’ve already had everything on the menu.

It was quite an exhausting week but exhausting in a good way. Friday I just wanted to spend quietly at home, a whole weekend at home.

Eun Jeong called me Saturday night and asked me what I was doing.

“Just watching TV and playing on the computer. What are you doing?”

BANG! BANG! BANG! On the window.

Freakin’ scared me.

I went outside, and it was Eun Jeong calling me from outside my door.

It was a nice surprise.

We spent the rest of the weekend hanging out in the apartment watching movies. She made an elaborate bibimbap setup for dinner, which included rice, mushrooms, zucchini, fried pumpkin, bean sprout salad, red pepper and onion salad, samgyeopsal, matchstick carrots, and various sauces. We ate and watched “Notting Hill” together, since it’s the movie she’s using to study English.

Nice quiet weekend for once. Now, if I could have a quiet week, we’d be on to something.

I gotta get up and to work early Monday to meet parents for a parents’ workshop. I’m supposed to be teaching them the songs I’ve taught the kids. I also have set up Injoo for his first day at work and make sure James is all settled for his last day. I also have to work out the details for Tuesday’s field trip. The school is going to Outback Steakhouse in the kitchen to learn how to cook. Should prove to be one of the more interesting field trips.

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