One FT whom I nominate for suborbital flight with hard landing is a woman who hails from a mid-continental European nation. When I first spoke to her, she told me that she was "working on" her Ph.D in Sino-European relations. Then, later, she revealed that she had actually been awarded her degree. When I asked about the subject of her dissertation, she said that she opted to take a test rather than to write a dissertation. Then, when the school asked her to meet the school president to present him with a plaque during a school function, she declined, saying that she had business in another city and couldn't change her plans. (She hid in her apartment during the ceremony).
For a two-hour English Corner,we agreed to discuss cultural highlights of our respective countries. Since she maintained that she held dual citizenship, she said that she'd lead a discussion of her two home countries. For this, she was given an hour to speak and answer questions. The other FT and I kept our part short. We conducted the EC discussions for thirty minutes each. When it was her turn , she realized that there was a Chinese teacher present. She freaked out and left. The other FT and I had to cover for her for an hour.
She wanted to be paid to accept a dinner invitation to the dean of the foreign language department's home. I let her know how I felt about that after she agreed to attend, then canceled on everyone's behalf only about eight hours later.
Then, later, she commented that she had been doing some research in "a nearby old graveyard" over the weekend and "got sixty nasty mosquito bites." She was wearing shorts when she said this. There wasn't a bite on her legs. I was terminated from that school on short notice. During that same conversation, she admitted that she had only a BA in drama. (It was known that she was drawing a substantially larger paycheck than the other FTs because the pay vouchers were delivered to us by the apartment attendants, and they enjoyed telling me what they thought about the foreign teachers, including me.
The day before the school took me to the wrong airport, she told me that she was responsible for my termination. Her words were, "The turning point for you was on that fatal day of our discussion about our not accepting the dinner invitation." (She had a, um, "special relationship" with the female waiban (frequent dinners and trips out of town).
I could go on and on about that nutcase.
The other nominee is from a different school. He is a pixie-ish American guy in his sixties who claimed to have been married five times, twice to Chinese women. He claimed that he had a grown Chinese son who lives in Nanjing. This FT, however, had lived in China for a grand total of 18 months.
The interesting fact about this guy is that he is a compulsive liar. (The moniker that he adopted pretty much tells it all). Like the previous nominee for a total crash-and-burn, his professed credentials changed often: first, an MA in art; then a JD in environmental law ; then an MA degree in TESOL. At first, I thought that his inability to give correct directions to anywhere in the city (including the other campus where he worked)was because he didn't know the city well enough.
He returned to the U.S.,then returned to China and got married quite hurriedly to one of the Chinese teachers. One term into his second contract, he was told to look for another job at the end of the term. Strange. Nobody ever found out what that was about. The FAO was very clear that he was no longer wanted at the school, so his dismissal was a fact.
As far as I could tell, he usually didn't lie maliciously, except during the week before he left. It was clear that he was spinning out of control and wanted to bring down as many people as possible.
Wait. When I first arrived at that school, I saw that there was no number on the telephone. The FT in question was there and he volunteered the number. I accepted it as fact. I had not yet bought a cell phone, so the only contact number I had was that land line telephone in my apartment. I gave people that phone number. After I was there a couple of weeks, someone to whom I had given my number saw me in town, and told me that the number that I had given her was wrong. Worse, the Chinese guy who answered the phone called her back several times, trying to extract information from her. He made frequent references to the other FT.
After he left the city, he returned to the city ONCE to see his wife. Another FT and I were approached at various times by Chinese people who asked if we knew him. Most of them were effeminate Chinese men, one of whom described himself as being the FT's best friend. Once, as I was getting off a bus, a woman asked me (in a strangely brusque manner) if I knew the FT. We took a few steps together. I told her that that I knew him. She made a point of telling me that she was a lawyer. End of conversation. She turned and walked across the street. God only knows what that was all about.
Do these people sound familiar?