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A correspondence

From: Terry Feckless
To: Express English
Sent: Monday, July 25, 2005 7:50 PM
Subject: Vacancies

Dear Express English

I am interested in working at your school. How much do you pay? My CV is attached.


Terry Feckless

From attached CV:

  • Job seeker, 2004—present
  • Senior Sales Representative (Anglia Double Glazing), 2003—2004
  • Sales Representative (Anglia Double Glazing), 2002—2003
  • Trainee Sales Representative (Anglia Double Glazing), 2001—2002
  • Job seeker, 1999—2001
  • Sales Assistant (Doncaster Mobile Phones), 1996—1999

From: Express English
To: Terry Feckless
Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2005 9:23 AM
Subject: Re: Vacancies

Dear Mr Feckless

Thank you for your interest in working at Express English, a dynamic school in the heart of Turdsville. Owing to our runaway success in attracting new students, we are expanding rapidly and do have vacancies for instructors.

The salary affords a comfortable standard of living within Dystopia compared to that of most local people.

I note from your CV that you do not appear to have a university degree. Is this correct? Also, please could you tell me where you did your “TEFL certificate”.

Best wishes

Maureen O’Brien
Director of Studies

Express English, Blok Z KR-3678/9 III, Outer Expressway 7, Northwest Turdsville 12089, Dystopia
Tel: +99 32 9847 2893 Fax: +99 32 9847 2894

Dear Maureen

I did one year of a BA in Media Studies & Swimming at the University of Bakerloo, but I could not continue because of circumstances beyond my control. My TEFL certificate is from

How much is the salary? What is Turdsville like? Is there a good night life?


Dear Terry

While we usually require a university degree and an ELT certificate from an approved institution, I am prepared to make an exception in your case, based on your experience.

Tursdville is a bustling city which has largely been constructed in the last eight months. While it lacks some of the modern facilities we associate with Western cities, it has a lively atmosphere that blends the traditional customs of the Dystopians with their eagerness to acquire the benefits of rapid development.

As a home bird myself, I can’t tell you much about the night life. Of course, there is Turdsville’s huge red-light district, serving the needs of the migrant workforce, and I believe there is a monthly disco in the Sheraton Hotel (a bit pricey).


From Wikipedia:
Turdsville is a city in northeastern Dystopia. It is a major industrial centre. Manufactures include iron and steel, aluminium, transportation equipment, machinery, machine tools, chemicals, tanning, processed food (especially sugar and soybean products), and wood and paper products. Modern industrialization accelerated in the 1990s. In 2004 demonstrations against migrant workers left 90 dead and 940 wounded. Population (2003) 1,520,000.

Dear Maureen

I have a few questions:

  1. How many other teachers are there? Where are they from?
  2. Will the school provide accommodation?
  3. Are there mosquitoes?
  4. Will I have to teach kids?
  5. Can you buy things in the shops like mint-flavoured dental floss? If so, is it expensive?
  6. What’s the salary?

I read on the Internet that there were riots in Turdsville last year and some foreigners were killed. Is it safe now?


Dear Terry

First, let me reassure you about the security situation here. Obviously, the embassies have to protect themselves, so they bend over backwards to be cautious. The recent advice from the British Embassy—Do not under any circumstances go to Turdsville, Dystopia, unless you are stark raving bonkers—should be taken with a pinch of salt. I have lived here now for several months and seen hardly any incidents.

To answer your other points:

  1. There are 5 teachers, including one native English speaker, Emilio (from the Philippines).
  2. The school provides a large shared house, which you will have all to yourself, as Emilio lives with me in a room in the military barracks.
  3. There are mosquitoes, but not nearly as big as the ones in southwest Dystopia, which you may have seen on the National Geographic channel’s Giant Scary Gnats of Death.
  4. You might have to teach children occasionally, but most Dystopian children are quite well-behaved if you are strict enough.
  5. I haven’t actually noticed mint-flavoured dental floss in the shops, but I’m sure it’s there if you look for it.

So, when are you coming?


Dear Maureen

Thanks for the information. I still have a few questions.

  1. What are the promotion prospects? Could I become a Senior Teacher after one year?
  2. What are Dystopian girls like?
  3. You still haven’t told me the salary.


Dear Terry

Promotion prospects at Express English are excellent. There is every chance you will become a Senior Teacher, if not the Director of Studies, within a month or two.

I may not be the right person to ask about Dystopian women! You will have to ask Emilio. They are certainly very strong.

Sorry, I thought I had already told you about the salary. It is being reviewed, so it may increase before you arrive. At present it is 136 billion wobli a month (after tax).


Dear Maureen

There are about 270,000,000 wobli to the US dollar, so this means the monthly salary is $503.70. How can you live on that?


Dear Terry

I never was any good at maths, I’m afraid, but if you say it’s around $500, I expect you’re right!

Frankly, it’s best not to think in terms of other currencies, but about how far the money will go in Turdsville. Obviously, if you choose to frequent places like the Sheraton (where a small bottle of imported beer costs 2.7 billion wobli), your salary will not go very far. However, at a roadside food stall a large serving of the staple food, blup (a sort of dumpling boiled with cabbage), costs only 29 million. Some local people earn as little as 3 billion a month, so you will be 45 times richer than them!

We really want to open a TOEFL class next week, so can you get here before then?


Dear Maureen
  1. What sort of electric sockets does the house have?
  2. Is there a satellite TV with English language channels?
  3. Does the school provide free Internet access for the teachers?
  4. How many bars are there within a two-mile radius of the school?
  5. What are their opening times?
  6. Do they serve Guinness?
  7. If so, how much is it?
  8. What about health cover and holidays?
  9. Do I need a visa before I leave?
  10. Do you reimburse my visa and airfare and, if so, how quickly?
  11. If I don’t want to live in the teachers’ house, can I get a housing allowance instead?
  12. Are there any penalties if I leave early?
  13. Can you send me a draft contract?


Dear Mr Terry

How do you do? Yes please, I am, and to introduce.

Maureen go and Emilio also, very bad peoples, now we have nothing foreigner so please to come at once we answer all question after you here, I make Special Offer good salary you DOS and have plenty Dystopia girl they very like Western man even old and ugly man they still like, no problem.

Your faithful

Wondo (owner)

P.S. Also many homo boy here, also like Western man.

Dear Mr Wondo

I’m booked on Dystopian Airlines flight DY 4562 arriving Turdsville 10 August 2230 hours local time. My friend Kevin is also coming. (Can he be a Senior Teacher?) Please meet us at the airport.