I’m not worth 6 Round Trip Tickets?

December 29, 2007

Shri Diwa International School
Originally uploaded by Mun Mun Well, okay, that’s not quite true.

I applied to The Haidho American School in Sarkhan; they’d advertised a need for a counselor and an English teacher. (And, yes, Haidho is the fictional capital of the fictional country Sarkhan in The Ugly American. I’ve changed the names to protect the innocent; as I’m the guilty one here, we will not bothering adopting a fictional pose and personna.

Here’s what I received back from my initial e-mail:

Dear Peter:

I have just spent some time reading through your website, enjoying reading about your career and your many accomplishments. In so many ways, you are the kind of person I’m looking for to join the staff of Haidho American School but I have to be quite honest with you that it would be a real strain for us to hire a faculty member with a spouse and four children, delightful as I’m sure they are. Finances are a big part of it, I’m afraid, since we would be committing ourselves to six RT air fares every year plus a much larger apartment (probably 4 bedrooms) than we normally use for faculty (apartments here in Haidho are going for about $1,500-1,800/month for 2-or 3-bedroom flats).

In virtually every other aspect, HAS meets what you’re looking for in an independent school and more and, like I said, you meet what I’m looking for for this vibrant school.

With every best wish for you and your family for the New Year.


Bill Clinton
Haidho American School

A couple of days later, and I’m still not sure how to respond. Frankly, in a country like Sarkhan, I might end up as a geo-bachelor, as Jennifer isn’t really intrigued with the idea of living in a third-world nation. Well, that and the fact it’s actually 7 roundtrip tickets as we have another child in the oven.

I’ve done this to myself, but that is a totally different post on a totally different blog.

I’m tempted to right back that while I understand that finances does come into play at some point, it ought not be the starting point. Finances is merely one component of all that makes up a deal and is negotiated.

Your thoughts?