№ 11: The Last Day

The view from my old office in Roppongi, Tokyo

35°39’43.8156″N 139°43’53.2128″E

Yesterday was my last day of work at the English-teaching Job I’ve had since May 2015. Or, it would have been, had they given me any classes. Instead, I got my farewell, a final middle finger, in the form of an empty schedule.

Over the last year, while COVID-19 gutted class volume, a lot of my work days were marked EDO on the daily schedule emails I receive. This stands for emergency day off, the company’s shorthand for “we don’t have any classes for you, so you can stay home and content yourself with 60% of your normal pay.”

I get it. The pandemic has been awful for business. There simply haven’t been enough classes to go around. I’m glad they could at least pay the 60% on the days when they couldn’t supply us with enough work.

But I also know that they wouldn’t even offer us that if they weren’t legally obliged. They already pay teachers the lowest they legally can, after all.

I should have left years ago, but I didn’t. The similarities between working for that company for so long and staying in previous, emotionally abusive romantic relationships are notable. I’m glad I’m done with that place, but feel a fool for having stayed so long.

When my schedule for February 4 arrived marked EDO, it felt like a parting shot. It never mattered that I worked there, least of all in the end.

I’d like to have said goodbye to my friends, though.