It has to stop. No, really it does!
I don’t really get angry. I just feel disappointed. I should feel angry but, you know, there’s just too much effort in being angry. And, anyway, it doesn’t solve anything. However, I could be, shall we say, firmer. You could say ‘more of a bastard about it’. And that would be true ….. to some extent.
But, overall, I’m just disappointed – both with the people concerned and with the resulting situation for me.
I don’t know why I do it really. The ‘planning’ bit. Even as I’m doing it I think, ‘don’t do this ‘cos it won’t all work out like this at all’. Still, I do it.
In this case, I’m talking about my students – but, to be honest, it applies to most things. One of them, who has to complete this test before the end of this year or else he loses his degree that he worked so hard for. But he doesn’t work hard enough (in his own time). There are excuses, of course. They are reasonable excuses – he works full time, also runs a business (a nursery) with his wife, has a baby daughter and fights with his wife most evenings. Oh yes, and he’s just bought a new flat which needs work to be done. Not really a recipe for success when the English thing is difficult for him.
So, as he hasn’t worked hard enough, he wants to stop the lessons. This is fine by me. His Monday, hour-and-a-half lessons at 9 p.m. were a real killer for me. It meant not getting to sleep much before midnight, making me have a lack of sleep that is showing in my face as I rapidly approach old age. He says he wants to self-study. He won’t pass his exam ….. even if he does actually take it. But he has no intention of using his degree; it’s too difficult for him to get work in his field without working for a while as an intern (meaning no money – which with all his other commitments is impossible) and he’s unlikely to get an internship at his age (being a few years older than is normal). Anyway, his long-term plans means that he doesn’t really need a degree. He wants to open a tobacconist (he works for the one below my house). You don’t need to be an architect to do that.
And so, he cancelled a lesson a few weeks ago and said he didn’t want to do any more. But he had pre-paid. I said he had two lessons left. And so, he booked for last night and next Monday.
I sit in my kitchen. Everything is ready. Well, I say ‘ready’. I have no real lesson plan. I’m not sure what he wants from the last two lessons. I will play it by ear.
F is packing for Spain and trying to do the music (see post below). He knows the lesson is until 10.30 so he isn’t rushing. He ‘does beauty farm’, as he says. After he comes (which is always after the lesson), we will eat the remains of the Cottage Pie. It is too late, really, but the other option is to throw it away.
I had, previously, rushed round to his place to show him a ‘solution’ that didn’t really work and rushed back to be sitting in my kitchen, with a cup of tea, by nine.
It reaches two minutes past nine. I have a ‘sense’. It’s not a good sense. I decide to text my student. I attach his message which gave the dates and ask ‘Are you coming or have you forgotten?’. I already know he has forgotten or, if not forgotten, chosen not to come.
I wait for no answer and am rewarded.
Ten minutes later, I text again, this time putting a delivery receipt on the text. This one just asks ‘Are you there?’. He’s not. Or he’s ignoring me. Or his phone has been stolen. Or he’s arguing with his wife (again). Or he’s in hospital or dead or something. But his phone’s still working and there is a receipt to say the message was delivered.
I am a little pissed. At least have the decency to let me know you’re not coming? I had turned down a drink with A (who is away the rest of this week) because of my errant student.
I decide that I will charge him this anyway. Stuff him. Unless he has a really good excuse like he’s in hospital. Or his daughter is, or something. Then I couldn’t do it. There’ll be some excuse, for certain. Also I had told someone else they couldn’t have a lesson at that time. Goddamn them. Bloody people.
But this keeps happening. People cancel. At the last minute. Now I have to be upfront about this. I have to set rules. It will make me seem like I am a money-grabbing bastard. But so be it.
As I found when running a business before, rules only need to be brought in when people start taking the piss. And so it goes.
It’s bloody people that are the problem!