What I Hated the Least Today 73-77/365: More Catching Up

This is another instalment of my tongue-in-cheek gratitude project, which takes into account that I’m ungrateful. Also taking into account that I spent the last five days commuting to and fro to attend the final week of my IT course, this is a five-in-one catching up post. So catch it if you can.

73/365: Daughter


The last week of my web building course built up on the knowledge that I didn’t gain in the previous two weeks. I felt sorry for myself and occasionally also for our instructor with his regular outbursts of instructing passion. He reminded me of me when I was young and took my teaching like it could make a difference.

Partly to keep myself reasonably awake and partly out of desire to please, I would also break into regular fits of activity in which I would attempt to answer the instructor’s questions. At one such moment, when I accidentally managed to return the right answer, the instructor had the ill-advised idea to ask me how I arrived at it. I explained it was an uneducated guess. He observed that I reminded him of his daughter.

He was probably being sweet but I found it mildly disturbing. His daughter is eleven, he says, so does it imply that my thinking is that of an eleven-year old? Or that my chest looks like that of an eleven-year old? I mean, yes and yes, but it’s not polite to point it out. Also, how the heck old does he think I am? For me to be his daughter, he’d have to conceive me when he was like ten. This course is getting increasingly creepy.


74/365: Temp


On our day off the course, I took a commuting trip to yet another town because I so much love to get up at five and drag my ass around in the biting cold of early mornings. My schoolmate teaches at the local university, where a temporal vacancy opened because one of their teachers went mad. I volunteered as a substitute. I already have about as many issues as the New York Times, hence my sanity is no more a concern. Had I known though that the teaching takes place in a building containing asbestos and convicted for demolition/renovation, I’d have asked for a bonus to compensate the doubly hazardous working environment.

I had what was presumably a pleasant talk with the department head. I would never know for sure because she spoke Slovak and Czechs of my generation no more understand Slovak since Czechoslovakia split in the early 1990s. What I did gather was that she was inquiring about my possible interest in a future more permanent employment. It transpired that there wasn’t enough people with a doctorate willing to submit themselves to a minimum wage eight-to-five teaching toil. What a shock. I told her what I thought she wanted to hear (Sure, I’m so excited to start the next week, I was missing teaching already!) and promised nothing.


75/365: Wardrobe Malfunctions


I found out that my new shirt manifests a malfunction. When I stretched in class, all the buttons from neck to belly went unbuttoned on their own accord. As I was tired with transcribing the completely incomprehensible script from the board onto my screen, I spent the rest of the class experimenting to see if I could repeat the same effect. I couldn’t. A creepy classmate who sat in the row behind me and seemed to be taking pictures of something with his phone constantly was probably disappointed.

On a related note, throughout the whole class I had a strong urge to ask the teacher nicely to strip his shirt. Someone should inform him that a white shirt simply can’t be worn twice in a row without laundering because it looks filthy the second day. Not to mention the stain on his chest which appeared after the lunch break. It made my OCD curl up in the corner of the room, rock to and fro and cry. A lot.


76/365: Kafka Land


I live in the country in which Franz Kafka produced his chronicles of the red tape. Kafka clearly modelled his books on the local government institutions and surely found a particularly rich source of inspiration in the local employment agency. Because I’ll be teaching from Tuesday through Thursday starting next week, I can’t come for the next scheduled appointment on Thursday. I emailed to explain the situation and ask for rescheduling.

Guess what I learned. I received a brief reply stating that a job mustn’t interfere with fulfilling my obligations towards the employment agency.  I wonder if I should quit so that I could devote my undivided attention to being unemployed and calling at the agency at their convenience. I’ll pay my employment advisor a surprise visit on Monday the first thing, if only to enlighten her that for her, it’s not Mrs Eastern, as she addressed her email, but Dr Eastern. I would hate to wave a gun, so what’s left is to wave my diploma, since appeal to common sense, reason or logic doesn’t apply here.


77/365: Bus Mates


I spent the whole hour on the morning bus with a guy on top of me. He was sleeping while his thigh was maintaining a constant contact with mine. That is, I assume he was sleeping. I didn’t mind it to start with, but then the person opened his mouth to speak. That totally spoilt the semi-cute impression his looks left on me. On the list of my requirements on a potential partner, I’m adding that he must be dumb. Not dumb as stupid, in which case the guy in question would be a great fit, but dumb as mute.

And I thought the worst bus mate was my Monday’s one. It was a girl who kept on punching me with her elbow while using her laptop. She was clearly dumb too, no offence, because she was using the Edge browser (!) to view a site in HTML 4.01 Transitional (!!). The site looked very much like my homework site that I made for my course. Except possibly worse. Also, my web building course is working because since I started it, I’ve been spending considerably more time viewing source code of web sites rather than the sites. On this note, here’s to the current HTML5 and good code. Cheers.


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Mara Eastern

I'm a sardonic blogger, snapper, scribbler and rhymer; a virtual space invader who indulges in cheerful negativism, morbid self-deprecation and bleak humour.

16 thoughts on “What I Hated the Least Today 73-77/365: More Catching Up”

  1. I look forward to the report of your meeting with the employment supervisor where you remind them of your correct title. The dirty white shirt would have made me twitchy too. It reminds me of when I was in school that some teachers wore the same shirt and tie all week.


    1. Haha, yes, I’ll keep you posted about my adventures with my employment supervisor. I will need to make sure I’m properly zened out (or stoned) when meeting her so that I don’t fall into a hysterical fit.

      The same shirt and tie all week? Oh dear… That’s no more about fashion but about basic hygiene…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I bet he meant that you have the youthful skin and glow of an 11 year old. And the shirt splitting open is something I have nightmares about at least once a week. (my shirt splitting open, not yours hee hee)


    1. Hahaha 😀 Yes, that’s what he must’ve meant, that I have a skin like a pubertal 11 year old.

      I’m sorry if my shirt splitting open gave you nightmares about your shirt splitting open 😮 Fortunately, I was wearing a decent top under the shirt, so there was no indecent exposure.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I regularly have nightmares about being only partially clothed in public places, so it’s nothing you need to feel guilty about!


  3. Great reading! Especially the part where the employment agency said that your job must not interfere with your appointments. That’s hilarious!

    The commute to your new job, will that take as long as the ones to the course?


    1. I couldn’t stop laughing at the email from the employment agency, but then it dawned on me that the clerk probably wasn’t joking. I’ll see what the result of my next meeting with her will be. I hope both of us will survive, without me killing either her or myself.

      I hate it that I’m back to the commute routine, my new route will take about as much time as the previous one, except it will be to a different town. I’ll be teaching three hours a day for three days a week, so I hope it will be manageable.


      1. That thing with the employment agency was just as stupid as waking up a patient to give them sleeping pills.

        The days become so long, with a commute like that! Is it a place you could consider to live, if the job were to become permanent?


        1. Haha, waking up a patient to give them sleeping pills 😀 Cute.

          I’m quite happy for my temp part-time job, I’d hate it to sign up for something permanent and full-time. If I did have a permanent job at the same university, the salary would only pay my rent and commute – nothing left for food and other things. Curiously, external teachers are better paid – I’m now external.

          I’m hoping I’ll be able to earn my living by freelancing, supplemented by part-time teaching gigs like this one. I’ll be leaving the employment agency soon, much to my relief.


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