Friday, 8 June 2012

City obsession.

When I first decided I would come to Japan, I really didn't care where I ended up. Actually I yearned for a rural placement. One where I could be away with my thoughts and be forced to learn Japanese at a faster rate. However that was not the case.

Now I'm not complaining mind you, but a semi rural placement is far worse than a rural one. I ended up in Kamisu, a town with a 2hour bus ride from Tokyo, with no train station and rice feilds and factories lining every field of vision. I make it sound far worse than it is, as you may know I lived by the sea so that was lovely and the locals were amazing, snack bars and izakayas literally on my door step.

Could be worse

The bad thing is, because you are so "close" to the city, you end up taking weekend trips there far too regularly, and before you know it, those ¥2030 add up! And being a city girl, being so close but yet so far just wasnt good enough for me. It would be either countryside or city life for me.

Escaping

So I set out applying for different companies in and around Tokyo. I interviewed with Berlitz, Gaba and NOVA, then decided ¥2000 an hour just wasnt profitable enough. for the amount of time and effort they needed of me, then I interviewed with RCS.

RCS

RCS have a number of locations in and around Kanto. They are no where near the size of interac either.
They operate mainly out of their Yorii (Saitama) office and they have a small office based in Shinjuku (Tokyo)

The application process was very quick. I sent off my CV in mid November and filled out a few fields online (I think), around 2 weeks later I was offered an interview with the Tokyo branch. Due to my work hours being the same (more or less) to the interview hours, they scheduled a skype interview for me one day after school.

RCS Interview (Skype)

I expected it to be a video conference type jobby but it wasn't. After I realised my interviewer wasn't putting on her camera I turned mine off and discarded my suit jacket.
I was asked questions such as:
- Why Japan
- Do you like Japan? Why?
- How long will you stay in Japan?
- What teaching experience do you have?
- Do you mind teaching Kindergarten?
- Do you mind only teaching Elementary school?
- How far are you willing to commute?
- Do you have accommodation?
- Can you drive in Japan?
- What is your visa status?
- Describe how to deal with a difficult situation at Jr High. (With staff)
- Describe how to deal with a difficult situation with students.
Most of these led into other questions so I cant remember exactly where things branched off, but these were the basic set.
In total it lasted about 45mins to an hour then we signed off.

I received an email 2 weeks later stating they would like to find a placement for me, and so the waiting began.

I hate waiting

Even though RCS had said they were looking for a place for me, they still hadn't confirmed that I would be 100% employed by April, so this left me very anxious. In January I was sent to a BOE interview as a "RCS employee" so I felt somewhat more confident, however RCS lost that town to direct hire so I was at square one again.

Over the weeks I would receive the odd email saying they had put my resume to XXX BOE, I had a total of 4 updates regarding different locations. This was particularly frustrating as I had also been looking for a new apartment.

March rolled around and I still had nothing set in stone. Interac where wanting me to sign papers of resignation/transfer and I had a week to get out of my apartment. During my final week in Kamisu I received confirmation of a position in Saitama with quick yet somewhat pricey links to the city with a "possibility" of subsidised housing. If I got said housing my rent would be ¥10,500 for a 2k apartment. So I put all my eggs in one basket, cancelled the House share I had just paid a deposit on, and moved in with the fella for 2 weeks while they decided whether I was worthy of such a sweet deal. Only problem is, my salary would be ¥10,000 lower than interac. Not that big of a deal as my rent before was ¥40,000。

All's well that ends well.

Well I am sure you have guessed it by now, I got the place with the cheapo rent, I was technically homeless for a week but it all worked out in the end! My apartment is far from spectacular, but I am happy in saying "Its worth what I pay for it". Ill update later with a vid or two of the new(ish) pad.