Saga of a Ronin English Teacher – Tokyo, Japan

Saga of a Ronin English Teacher
Tokyo, Japan

In the the time that I have been in Tokyo, I’ve squandered my time in various ways: starving, jumping the gates at train stations, teaching the spawns of Satan, learning the deadly arts of chopsticks, pursuing a black belt in tea, and working for a good company.

Alright I’m lying, except for the starving, jumping, teaching, chopsticks, tea part; the rest is lies.

I’ve been teaching English to children from ages 3-10 or at least trying to do so. Ah, children! They’re not just our hope and future, they’re also gaseous balls of snot and flatulence filled with demonic energy out to leech the very life from our bones. No, seriously, this experience has taught me to love kids, especially in lemon and butter sauce. Accompanied with a light chianti, they can’t be beat.

As for my company, well, it started off as a good idea with lots of hope and grandiose dreams but it ended suffering from a terminal dose of reality. Originally, the plan (or what passed for a plan) was that every month they would hire more teachers and open more schools and just keep expanding with the hordes of students they expected to pull in through word-of-mouth advertising. They figured in seven months they would be in Osaka. At the rate we were going (since I represented 50% of the workforce), we’d have been lucky to be across the street by next year.

My company seemed to be lacking in certain crucial business essentials: brains, customers, my pay, and anything resembling an actual working plan. What pay I did get was late and taxed to bits, including the transportation reimbursement. This is what I get for a joining a new start-up company.

At the beginning of this fiasco, before it became apparent that it was a fiasco, back when I naively still had hope and the dignity to pay full fare on the train, I thought, “Hey, this would be a good company to be with from the ground floor.” Unfortunately they pushed the wrong button and it ended up in the basement where it caught on fire and burned down the whole building.

If my company was a race horse, it would be a sleek, massively impressive horse that people would bet their unborn children on. When the starting gates opened, it would burst from them and tear down the track like a bolt of lighting, then drop stone dead after an impressive 20 feet.

As one who put his future on this horse, namely the hope to be able to buy food in order to ensure my future, I would have a strong word with the owner and the manager of this ex-horse but they have been too busy working other jobs trying to come up with the cash in order to bury their dead horse.

Our company finally just folded quickly and quietly in the night, still owing me the last month’s pay. Fortunately I know where my boss lived so the ever imminent threat of my burning his house down was motivation enough for him to pay up when he had the money.

So now I’m a Ronin English Teacher in Japan looking to sell my services to the highest bidder, or any bidder for that matter. As I sharpen my skills I look over the necessary tools I will need for specific clients. For the business man, I have my blazer and tie. For the housewife and office lady, I have my wit, charm and my baby blue eyes. For children, I have my squishy ball and my patience.

Now am I prepared to go forth and walk the Ronin path.

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