Monday, September 16


Today I feel broken, angry and vicious. I received an email just a few minutes ago saying that I get a WARNING to improve my Attitude and my Skill as an online English tutor at the company I currently work for, otherwise, I won't be able to teach for 10 straight days. This outrages me. Because I know how I got low evaluations in the first place, I know who gave them to me and I know why they did. But I can't fucking understand why they do what they do.

I do my best at my job; I give it my all. Yes, there are times I feel tired, burnt out, lazy and not-in-the-mood but whenever it's time to talk to a student, I try to talk as friendly and as diligently as I could. Yesterday, after a class with this certain student, I noticed my evaluation averages fell. I was shocked. Because I'm sure it was that student who evaluated me but I can't figure out why he would fail me in the survey. I was judged poorly on my attitude, my skill and my audio quality. I know I can't help it if the student was not satisfied with the lesson but that student could have told me so during the class. That something was wrong with the audio, that the way I was teaching was not really good and if I could possibly adjust it then. I would happily do so. But no! I believe the class went finely, not as cheerful as my other classes are since that particular student was not really participative or cheerful either. I volunteered a lot of information during the class but I felt they were ignored or unappreciated. There was a time, during that class last night, that my television screen was flickering. I panicked. The tv was off so I was shocked that it was flickering. It could have blown up or got on fire. I was talking to that student when the screen started to flicker. So there were times my attention wasn't on the conversation but on my malfunctioning tv. Wouldn't it divert your attention if your tv started acting up weirdly?

Towards the end of the class I said goodbye properly and hung up the call. I checked my evaluations and there they were, a couple of points down my previous scores.

I asked the previous student professionally if there was something wrong with my audio during the class (I didn't ask if there was something wrong with my attitude or skill because that's subjective and anyone's entitled to evaluate them subjectively). The student told me that no, nothing was wrong but it seemed like sometimes I couldn't hear him. I knew the right word was not HEAR but instead, LISTEN. I knew what he wanted to say was that I wasn't listening to him during some parts of the conversation. I admit it. Yes. There were some very brief seconds (yes, only seconds) that I lost my attention and got caught up with my flickering tv. But was that a good basis for flunking me on the evaluation? Was that a good basis for giving me a failing score? No. And now I feel sad and mad.

Why? Because he could have failed me on the basis of audio quality alone. But why would he fail me on attitude and skill, too? Was I THAT bad? Was I a fucking terrible person during the class? If I had a recording, I could prove I wasn't. But recording a lesson is against the company policies. And it's a fucking bullshit.

We are not perfect, we are humans. Tutors are not robots who would act perfectly on all conditions. We have lives outside work and we have lives WHILE working since we do it AT HOME. This is a home-based job and being inattentive at times should be forgivable.

Do I get mad when students answer phone calls or drink alcoholic beverages during the class? No.
Do I protest when students act rudely while talking to me? No.
Can tutors give evaluations to students based on their attitude, too, just like what they do to us? No.

There are disparities and we are willing to take them even if they're against our morals. Because this is a job we like to do and we find comfort in doing. This is an easy job, an okay-paying job. But it can sometimes be a rage.

I don't really know what I'm writing here now. I don't really know my point. I guess this is pure, selfish, uncontrollable rant I have to release otherwise I'd blow up.

Just like what could've happened to my tv if I hadn't tried to fix it up last night.

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