Today I got laid off from my fabulous new job…a fact that I’m sure I’ll one day find funny, once I’ve stopped eating butter cookies and staring at my ceiling in stunned shock of it all.
I know that I’m probably being horrible over dramatic right now. Just as I was earlier when I wandered umbrella-less through the freezing rain to an Indian restaurant and cried into my curry. People stared as per usual but it didn’t bother me for once, because at least I’d given them a good reason to. I looked dejected and heartbroken and a lot like someone who’d just been dumped.
And that’s sort of how I feel. I’d fallen in love with my job and it dumped me. Which, if you think about it (which I have been obsessively for the last four hours) is really quite ironic.
Here I came back to Japan in hopes to escape the economic crisis, the bleak job market and the mass lay-offs happening in the States right now, only to get laid off four weeks after starting my new job.
I mean, seriously. Like, what are the odds?
In case you’re wondering, the reason’s behind the split involved the lack of student enrollment. There just weren’t enough students to justify keeping me on staff. Four months at a private school in Tokyo costs as much as a semester at my University in New York and parents (or the parent’s companies who foot the bill) just can’t afford it anymore. No country seems to be safe from the sinking US economy; it’ll find you wherever you’re hiding and drag you down with it. Schools are closing all over the place here.
So I don’t blame the school for the breakup. Really, I don’t. They were really nice about it, gave me the whole “It’s not you, it’s me” speech and then offered me a tissue and a pitying look. They were even caring enough to give me a whole month’s notice, so that I can use the next four weeks to find a new job.
I guess the question is, do I want to find a new job? I’m so sick of gaijinpot.com job searches, and forced smiles at job interviews and lying about how “I love teaching ESL”. Maybe this is a sign that I should finally just throw in the towel on my abusive relationship with Japan and call it quits, once and for all. Maybe give another country a try.
I’ve always wanted to live in Thailand.
You know what I’m going to miss most though? More than the 9 week paid vacation time and fun and friendly co-workers? More than the school-sponsored staff parties, potlucks and pilates classes? More than the staff room with the endless free coffee, tea and popcorn?
I’m going to miss the kids. I know it’s only been a month, but I really love every one of my students. They are so adorable and incredibly well-behaved and just so smart. I’m going to have a hard time leaving them.
I just really wish it didn’t have to end this way.