On the whole, I’ve got a pretty good crew at school and we all play nice together, but as is the case in most every other sector of life, there is always an odd duck or two. My ‘kryptonite’ at school, the one that automatically lowers my chi the moment he enters the room, seems hell bent of rattling my cage. He’s what we used to call an “English Bandit” in Japan. Someone who has no real interest in you as a person, just wants to use you to “improve my English.” It’s no different than using a hammer, screwdriver (appropriate) or any other tool. This type of character has aways irked me and I don’t hide that fact. I make it pretty clear to him that I’m not interested in engaging, but unfortunately, he’s got a real ‘can-do’ attitude when it comes to annoying me. Yesterday, I was in conversation with another teacher when he walked in….I’m calling it “The Exchange of the Week!” I might even make it a regular thing on this blog. Anyway, here’s what was said, after he interrupted the conversation I was having with the other person I mean:
Him: “Good morning, Mr. Joe.”
Me: (squirming on the inside, but keeping stoic on the outside). “Morning, Pak (Ball-breaker)” *note: not his real name.
Him: (grabs the seat closest to me and offers his signature, soft handshake that I loathe)
Me: (wishing I didn’t have to partake in the handshake formality, but do so to keep things kosher)
Him: “How are you, Mr. Joe?”
Me: “(I was) Fine. And you (didn’t want to ask, but…)?”
Him: “I have the flu.”
Me: “You have the what!? What are you doing shaking my hand and then sitting next to me!? Get out of here… (wiping my hand on my pants, hoping (illogically) that I’ll rid myself of the flu germs he so generously shared with me).
Him: (gives me a curious look and walks away)
Me: “Hope you feel better….(Ass Clown!)*note: that’s what I WANTED to say, but thought better of it.
Boy oh boy, some people just don’t have any sense. I really don’t think this one is a cultural issue, but I’ve been mistaken before. Either way, I’m going to have to hone my strategy in dealing with this character over the next couple of years. Wish me luck!