December 5th, 2010

Ok, so the urge to throtle someone has come back....

A while ago I got "smart" with a senior bod at the school I'm working at because he was being dogmatic about rules. It resulted in the liaison officer telling me "I'm not talking to you any more" till I complained to his line manager, at which he started talking to me again. I mean how stupid can you get? Sticking your fingers in your ears and going la la la la la is something a 5yr old might do.

Now I know there are some rules that you don't break in schools (put simply don't mess with the kids, don't steal the money, hit deadlines set by the examining board), but I still maintain that a lot of it should be open for discussion and the people in charge should step out of our way if we get results. This guy doesn't do this.

Anyway, this guy didn't pay us Monday. Most people in the office we like "Aw well Phuket, we'll get paid tomorrow." When I said that that was a dumb attitude to take, that we should be assertive without getting bolshie, I was pretty much shot down in flames by my colleague, being effectively told that this was China, and we couldn't do that here.

Anyway I went to find out why we'd not been paid, and they told me that they didn't because (and I quote, I'm really not joking when I say this) "They're moving the accounts office next door" [one door down the corridor] "to paint the office and they're too busy moving stuff." I was also that "You won't get paid till next Monday because we pay people Monday"

Now call me a bloody idiot if you will, but it's a woman with a laptop, desk, chain and phone. There was internet and phone access in the room she was moving too. Why can't she arrange for it after she's moved? It's not like she has to move much or far is it? In addition, why couldn't she have told us? It's the top down don't tell people sheeeeeit attitude that drives me nuts here. I'll give them a lot of credit if they give us a head's up first.

Anyway I said this to our liaison officer, and guess what, we were paid Monday. It's funny how asking direct questions often gives you the answers you want isn't it?

I went to see "Othello" yesterday.

I went to see "Othello" yesterday. It was put on at the Ningbo Grand Theatre and starred Eugene Washington as Othello, Holly Hinton as Desdemona, and David Chittenden as Iago. It wasn't that bad. They won't win any acting awards for it, but it was enjoyable all the same.

The theatre is weird. It's a big theatre. It could be an amazing theatre but the fact is they don't seem to know how to run a "good theatre" here. I mean there's no community theatre or standard "local company." The play didn't start till 7:30, and they didn't turn the lights on till 6:45. You couldn't buy a drink or do anything before the play started. There's a feeling here that the "Party" thinks "You'll learn stuff here and you better enjoy it if you know what's good for you" and that doesn't include doing anything that involves you doing anything that can be interpreted as "bad for you." The result is that the theatre experience wasn't anything like I've experienced before.

The play was your standard fayre. They didn't do much with the play, but I'm surprised that it was almost more about Iago than Othello. Certainly I liked Iago more than Othello. Internally I was thinking "Grow a pair Othello" through much of the play. He's a complete wimp, too dependent on others and has virtually no self esteem if you ask me. I found that surprising given how successful a warrior he was.

The biggest problem with the play is the part where Othello becomes jealous drags. I found that middle third tedious and I rather think that it's the most important part of the play, which dragged the play down some.

Finally, I know that the play is a "traveling production," but the set still sucks. I don't expect it to be intricate, but I expected better than some clapboard and rugs, which is what we got from this production.