Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Leaving Hong Kong

Last Friday I arrived at Heathrow airport with a single air ticket because the woman who engaged me for the job was buying one because they wanted me to stay a long time. I asked her if I needed a visa and she said no. She's employed several teachers for this family so I thought she knew what she was talking about. 

I check in and am told I either need a return or an ongoing ticket in order to enter the plane. The ticket guy gave me a return ticket for free 'cos I was saying I had no money in my account. (a return is the same price as a single so I think that's how he did it). It's dated 15th November, arriving 16th November. If I had had a say in it, it would have been for a month after arrival.

I'm not really happy in this job. The hours are too long for me. I had nothing in common with the mother or the maid. The maid smokes. She hides whilst smoking and I'm sure she doesn't realise the smell carries. She does it in the toilet or behind the washing on the balcony. The smell makes me feel nauseous and gives me a headache. 

 I left teaching because I didn't like forcing the children to do the work the government dictated they learn, and here I am doing the same thing with a poor 5 year old. All in all I can't see myself doing this for 2 years. 

On Wednesday I got an email on from a person who interviewed me for a job in June. She was advertising for someone to look after her mother when they moved house and could have her to live with them. The job was supposed to start at the end of August. I was due to go to the USA for the summer, coming back on 1st September so I asked to have an interview before I went. I had it sitting behind their market stall in Wells. They import fresh and delicious olive oil. 

She said she was 90% sure she wanted to engage me but had promised interviews to other people next week. However, when I didn't hear from her I thought she's engaged someone else. I did have a little niggling thought that an email might have got lost in cyberspace but I could see the job wouldn't be all plain sailing due to the daughter, the woman I was having an interview with. So I didn't do anything. 

Anyway, it seems she had her phone stolen, lost papers in the house move and had much legal stuff to sort out due to her aunt dying. Her mother only moved in last week and she engaged a temporary help in the meantime. She phoned my mum, who told her I was in Hong Kong for 2 years. She then emailed me to wish me well and ask if we may keep in touch. I emailed back saying I wasn't sure if I could stick the job for 2 weeks let alone two years and had she found someone else to do her job? 

I realised that I had a return ticket for the following weekend so I could go back to England then if I felt it was the right thing to do. She emailed me back to say the job was mine if I wanted it. 

So Thursday afternoon I spend the time in prayer and meditation to ascertain what God's will was on the situation. Should I stay or should I go? I surrendered both situations and became unattached to the outcome. Both had plusses and minuses. I understood that I should ask the father if I could move out, to get away from the smoke and see what he said about the boy having an earlier bedtime. 

So when the father came home on Friday evening I was ready to try and make the job more to my liking. However, he told me that he realised I needed to get a work visa.  He wanted me to give him the piece of paper he had written the details of the pay he'd given me. He wanted to destroy it. He told me I wasn't to do any more work until I got a visa. He said I could stay with them but must keep a low profile. He was very worried about the authorities getting to know I'd worked for him without a visa, in case he lost his licence to trade as a businessman and he said he was sure I didn't want to go to prison. 

On Saturday, I got a phone call from him to say he was buying a ticket for me to go back to England ASAP as it would take 6 weeks to process. (The website I checked on said it would take 8 weeks.) So I told him that I couldn't be without pay for 6 weeks. I told him that I had been offered another job in England and that I initially going to take it because I wanted to stay in Hong Kong, but as things had changed I would be taking the job so wouldn't be coming back. 

I'm so glad that I have ascertained God's will in the situation because this way around he felt bad about it and not only did he not ask for the original air fare money back but he gave me extra because, I suppose I could have kicked up a fuss! 

My flight was Saturday night 13 hours straight through from Hong Kong to London arriving 4:30 am. 

So having a job for one week broke my previous record of four weeks. This is  not going to look good on my CV. My next employer wrote "I've looked at your CV. Do you want a long term position?" Ah.