September 5, 2014 by helenwaldron
English language professionals are like buskers. They only get paid as long as they keep working and they only get paid if you like what they are doing.
Clients constantly come and go. You always need something up your sleeve to compensate for a sudden loss of income.
And, like buskers, English language professionals see a lot of life while they are working.
Like the client who sends a car to pick up Writewell once a week and to whisk her away to a country estate some 90 kilometres north of Hamburg. The client is a fashion designer. She teaches him in the pool room – a huge atrium with golden statues of Buddha, Greek Gods and other bling lined up around the glorious turquoise pool. (It’s a swimming pool room, not a pool table room). The fashion designer is always cold, he sits in a fur coat and sometimes he doesn’t speak at all.
It’s very difficult to teach English to someone who hardly speaks, or even shows he has heard. Writewell works through lesson plan after lesson plan, until she has exhausted her repertoire and the ninety minutes for the week is up. She gets no response from him and he certainly doesn’t learn any English from her, but he seems to find it comforting. Something has upset him, but he still wants his English teacher to be brought to see him.
After 90 minutes his driver returns Writewell to Hamburg. She is paid handsomely in cash, including for the journey times, and it gives her the chance to wonder if money brings happiness.