Wednesday, March 01, 2006

School Bureaucracy Gone Mad

With my departure from the high school imminent, I have been asked to administer the interviews to find a suitable replacement. So for the last few days, with the Prinicpal and Department Head sitting close by, I have met the applicants, explained the position and answered whatever questions they had.

Having advertised the position with clear instructions on how the applicants should approach the school, the Principal was inundated with emails and resumes. However, yesterday he told me that he had been on the phone all morning to a man wanting to apply, and requested a 5pm interview. Fair enough, I thought, this is my job after all. Whilst I was in the office, he called again, and with fluent Japanese managed to cram about 2 weeks worth of talking into 5 minutes, not giving the Principal time to answer and offering proposal after proposal, which were blatantly contrary to what the school wanted. After hanging up the phone, the Principal slumped into his chair and told me that "Mr Robert" will come at 6pm instead, so could I come at 5.30pm to prepare. No problem, said I.
The Principal then told me that ideally he would like to choose between the previous three applicants, and completely disregard "Mr Robert". Why not cancel his interview then? I ventured, and save him a trip. Ah, well, he has made commitments to the other teachers involved in his proposal, so it wouldn't be right, the Principal grumbled.

But... but... you're not even going to consider his proposal. Why pretend to be interested? Why do we have to sit here waiting and waiting ("Mr Robert" eventually arrived at 7.10pm with little in the way of explanation, or fellow teachers in tow) when it wasn't going to lead anywhere? And why was I asked to explain the job requirements when Mr Robert had something very different in mind, which made almost every point I made redundant?

To work in a school eh...


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