As part of my drive to achieve respectability, instead of just being a drunken old sailor, I have volunteered to become a ‘warden’ at my country’s representative office, the BTCO.
I know that some people have a rather negative view of the usefulness of this type of office, and maybe with some reason, but in the event of emergency… who ya gonna call?
The BTCO wardens are links in the chain between ordinary mortals and pseudo-diplomats in their ivory tower on RenAi Rd. Under normal circumstances I just relay any info they may have on SARS, visa restrictions, travel advisories, etc. It’s not much of a job to do and I don’t mind volunteering.
In the event of major catastrophe - earthquake, nuclear disaster, invasion by the commies, etc. - I’ll be leading the way to the airport, or at least calling to see if you’re OK so that we know who’s missing. (I have this cool folder with all the emergency plans for these and other exciting eventualities!) To do that, someone needs to have your details on file.
It takes five minutes, costs nothing, and who knows? You might one day wish you had.
If you’re unhappy about giving your info to big brother, or you don’t fall under her majesty’s authority and want me to keep an eye on you anyway, then drop me a line with a bit of basic info and I’ll put you on my list. The EU countries in particular also watch out for each other.
So useful, I made it a sticky.
The last time I regisitered with the BTCO It took 2 or 3 months to hear who my warden is, by which time I had already decided to leave.
Apart from you, stragblaster, everyone at the BTCO is a waste of space :x
So what are some of the plans for some of these exciting eventualities ?
Spack, I’ll PM details to you. But only if you promise never to call me ‘strag’ again. Obviously you’re someone else who doesn’t know where his towel is.
BFM, actually I’m usually a waste of space too. But I’m a well-meaning waste of space, which is why they hired me. Thanks for making me a sticky waste of space.
The plans for emergencies are all about evacuations, satellite phones, keeping your head down, etc but they’re state secrets and if I was to tell you the details I would have to kill you. There’s nothing in there about grabbing beautiful women, but I’ve sent an email to Century House asking them to correct this oversight.
Apparently my James Bond watch is ‘in the post’, but I got my cyanide pills (disguised as shirt buttons) and that ultra sonic ring to shatter glass with. I leave it at home to avoid mishaps with my bacardi and cokes.
I’m curious. How much is the normal salary for someone who works at the BTCO or AIT? Last summer, I met an American guy named “Charlie” who works at the AIT office in Gaoxiong, and he told me that he used to teach English at a bushiban in Taiwan, but then he quit teaching English as soon as he got the position he applied for at the AIT. But he told me that he was very lucky to get a full-time position because most of the staff are temporary.
I’m also curious if you would be re-assigned to a different country every few years or if you could just stay in Taiwan permanently.
As far as I understand it, you have to pass the US Foreign Service exams in order to get a job at AIT. And you work for the foreign service, not AIT, so yes, you can be posted wherever they decide to send you. I’ve also been told that they frown on allowing people to stay in one posting for long because they don’t want people going “bush,” as it makes it too complicated to re-assign them elsewhere should the need arise.
I saw the ad for that BTCO job and was quite shocked at the low salary, especially given the qualifications required and the heavy responsibilities and workload described. At the current exchange rate of nearly NT$63 to one pound sterling, it’s equivalent to not much more than 17,000 pounds a year, which is, quite frankly, a pittance.
A Taiwanese friend of mine asked if USA citizens should register . . . . . after all, if a Chinese person moves overseas, he is an “overseas Chinese,” so it stands to reason that if a USA citizens moves overseas, to North America or whatever, the sense of cultural identity would be retained, and he/she would be an “Overseas Brit.”
BTCO will be moving to plush new premises next month - just across from 101.
The new premises will feature 6 classrooms, so that the British Council, registered in England as a “charity”, can pursue its commercial goals.
Unfortunately, the budget didn’t run to finding space to conduct examinations, so if anyone has a room they don’t need on weekends please let the new much-loved director general know. Any kind of space will do, as exam candidates, such as IELTS candidates, currently wait for their tests in a corridor (near the toilets) and are then examined in small cubicles and stationery offices.
How splendid! That’ll help project a most dignified and almost awe-inspiring image of the U.K., wow potential students with a foretaste of our superbly equipped world-class higher education sector, and bestow tremendous face on our glorious nation in Taiwanese eyes.