Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Taobao girl

some phone calls are obviously less important than others

Out of my three university teachers only one bothers to set her mobile to silent mode during class time. I don’t know if it has something to do with me being the only student in her class, but I find it kind of… rude. Why do people always prioritize the person calling you when you are busy with someone else? Sure if you are expecting an important call, but what Chinese language teacher does that every single day?

Anyways, I have chosen not to comment on it, because all of my teachers are great people (except for when they answer their mobile phone during class time).

Lately, however, I have noticed that one of them insanely popular. During our 3 hours class she receives about 5 phone calls! Because she feels ashamed about answering every time she sometimes refuses to take the call, but that just results in the person calling back five minutes later. Knowing that, I always encourage her to answer when her phone rings.

In the beginning she always went outside to answer the phone. Yesterday, however, she chose to answer in front of me, and then I realized what it was all about: a delivery arriving to her flat.

-Oh, you ordered something? I asked when she had finished her call, curious as always.

-Yeah, and it is always a little bit trouble some because the delivery boy arrives when I am not at home.

(Always? How often to you order?)

-What did you order?

-An umbrella.

-An umbrella?

-Yeah, I bought it online. It is so beautiful!

-Beautiful? An umbrella?

-Yeah, you see, I could not find any nice ones from the shop, and I also think the umbrellas in the malls are ugly and overpriced. So finally I found one I like online!

-How much was it?

-20 rmb!

-From taobao?
(Chinese equivalent to ebay).

-Yes. I buy all my stuff from there!

-All your stuff?

-Yes, all my clothes, shoes, bags…. Everything I need.


-It’s cheaper! And also, every day when I come home there is something waiting for me. It is like receiving a gift every day!

-Right… but isn’t it messy with the delivery? Because you are actually at work now.

-Yeah, but I just have to answer and chat to them for a while and then it’s okay.


Yeah, OK. Now I am suddenly no longer that understanding or approving to her answering her phone during my precious class time. However, at least now I know where all of her pretty clothes are from. And I guess in a few days she’ll show me her new, pretty umbrella that was only 20 kuai but that stole 10 minutes of my class time. Can’t wait.


조안나 said...

I'm happy to say none of my Korean teachers have ever answered thier phone in class. At least, none of the teachers I've paid to teach me. I can't really criticize the volunteers, since they're not getting paid.

Jonna Wibelius said...

Volunteer teachers are a complete different story. I wouldn't mind either if that was a case. Thing is, I am paying quite a hefty semester fee.

bARE-eYED sUN said...

how annoying!

*sheesh* have you considered
shaving off on the payment?

otoh, just how pretty are the items on taobao?

thanks for the post.


Joyce Lau said...

I don't know if this would be considered rude in China, but in Hong Kong, I would clearly tell a paid tutor to stop taking calls.
In fact, I took Mandarin for a while here in Hong Kong and the teacher NEVER took a personal call.
We also had a Cantonese tutor work with some of my colleagues at work, and she never took a personal call either that I knew.
If it's a volunteer or "language exchange" I understand. But a paid teacher?
They should be doing their e-shopping on their personal time!

Anonymous said...

I'm not going to defend people answering phone calls in class - or in any meeting; but you are not paying for 'time'; you're paying for an education...

By your analogy what happens to the countless people who get the material in say half the time it takes for others; and what about those who don't get it even after extra tuition?

Jonna Wibelius said...

ero -yes, very annoying. Although I am always annoyed with how people always prioritize the incoming phone call over what they are doing.

Joyce -I don't think it is considered rude over here. Phone comes first, always. I always put my phone on silent mode when I am in class or when I am in an important meeting etc.

Anonymous -not paying for time but an education? well don't I need time to get my education then? Of course I am paying for my teachers to teach me. And they get paid to do so.

Pete In Syracuse said...

That's plan RUDE she's addicted to Taobao if she can't take & make the calls at some other time. Plus what would a teacher say if you did that to them.....I think it would stop right then & there!! You want a great deal just like her but, with your your education your not getting a good deal if she's on the phone all the time.

Melody said...

So rude! Over here in the Netherlands, it's a big no-no to answer your phone as a teacher. We, the students, are obliged to turn off our cell phones, and so are the teachers. I definitely would say something about it. You're not paying those fees for listening to your teachers chatting to the delivery boy.

Jonna Wibelius said...

Pete and Melody -I actually wish that was an universal rule that people had to turn off their mobiles during class times. Whatever important call you are getting... I'm sure that in many cases it won't be any problem for it to wait for one hour or 2.

Joyce Lau said...

Sorry Jonna -- Let me state that more clearly.
Would it be considered rude for you, the student, to put your teacher in her place?
In Hong Kong, it would not be rude for a paying student to tell her teacher to stop taking personal phone calls.
In fact, I heard of a case of some younger students' parents complaining formally because a teacher was making personal phone calls during class time in Hong Kong.

马麟 said...

I guess you should protest to your teacher. This is not about the payment, it's principle. Even when I give free class to my students, I also silent the phone.

Manik Agra said...

hi ..

maybe you'll often find things like this.
in some ways ... teachers even ask students to turn off mobile phones during lessons in class.

this may you never find in your country
new experiences...

indeed you will lose 10 minutes of learning in the classroom