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to be a tad pissed off

(12 Posts)
IPlayPingPong Mon 01-Feb-16 23:02:21

I have just started language tuition with a freelance translator. Had one 2 hour lesson so far and going really well, am enjoying it and learning a fair bit. (I am advanced in the language so we mainly discuss articles etc. rather than doing formal study.)

He doesn't have many students and I get the impression he tutors as more of a hobby than anything, something on the side.

However his lessons are fairly expensive to reflect his expertise, so it's not like he's doing it as a favour or anything.

We were due to have a second lesson today but he cancelled the night before as he had a big, unexpected work commitment come up. He has offered to reschedule for another day this week which is great, but still leaves me two hours short (I was hoping for four hours a week, this will mean I have two).

I don't know what to do... I don't want him to cancel on me every time he gets a big job!!

IPlayPingPong Mon 01-Feb-16 23:34:25


LineyReborn Mon 01-Feb-16 23:38:41

You need to talk to him about your agreement and what it means to him.

But he has offered another day this week to replace today - that sounds like you'll get your hours in?

IPlayPingPong Mon 01-Feb-16 23:46:23

Liney - thanks.

We were scheduled to have 2 x 2 hour lessons a week, eg Mon and Thurs.

So he has rescheduled today's lesson for Thurs - effectively I'll only have 2 hours this week now.

LineyReborn Mon 01-Feb-16 23:49:57

Oh I see. That's annoying. You'll need to clarify his commitment with you.

Personally I'd ring him tomorrow about it and see if he can offer a lesson on another day other than Thursday this week. I wouldn't want to waste any of Thursday's lesson talking over it.

IPlayPingPong Mon 01-Feb-16 23:56:26

Thanks, I would do that normally but he can't - has already said that Thurs/Fri is the earliest he can do.

I haven't paid him yet (I'll pay for the first four hours in a block payment of ten hours) so before I transfer the money, I'll clarify the agreement with him. It's early days still so hopefully after we have gotten into things, our 2x lessons a week will become more fixed.

Just a bit of a disappointment really.

Brokenbiscuit Tue 02-Feb-16 00:01:39

Is he a translator or an interpreter? (Or both?) My DH does freelance interpreting and he can't afford to turn down the really good jobs when they arise. If that's your tutor's main source of income, I guess it will be his top priority. YANBU to be pissed off though. It doesn't sound like he will be very reliable if you're looking for regular input.

LineyReborn Tue 02-Feb-16 00:03:17

So he hasn't actually rescheduled the lesson, he's just cancelled it? Unless you could do Thursday and Friday. Which a bit intense.

Ah well. Just talk to him and express your disappointment.

But if he's good, you may want to hang on to him ... swings and roundabouts.

IPlayPingPong Tue 02-Feb-16 00:34:29

He's a translator and an interpreter.

I'm not very good at being assertive (and also he seems good so I want to hang onto him, so I just said "ok no worries")...

Fingers crossed he doesn't do this every week!

liinyo Tue 02-Feb-16 00:36:48

You need to clarify your contract with him. Presumably if you canceled at short notice there would be some sort of financial penalty? Could you ask him ' is committing to twice a week too much of a commitment for him? Would once a week be more doable for him?'

Also ask yourself why are you concerned about this? I have weekly psychotherapy with a very expensive analyst. On the very rare occasions she has cancelled, my first thought has been 'Kerrching!' followed by joy at the thought of a free afternoon, followed by various negative emotions linked to feeling unimportant/unwanted/neglected. In therapy all these doubts and feelings are part of the process. For language lessons you don't need to put up with that kind of shenanigan.

If you need 4 hours a week to achieve a particular performance level and he cannot commit to that you might need to look for someone else. If once a week with him would be okay, contract accordingly. Don't get fobbed off or allow your requirements to take second place to his.

Bogeyface Tue 02-Feb-16 00:38:40

Something along the lines of "I was disappointed about our cancelled lesson. I know that you have bigger commitments, so is this likely to happen often?" opens up the discussion and you can go from there. You can be assertive without being aggressive.

IPlayPingPong Tue 02-Feb-16 00:52:08

Thanks all.

Essentially I am only after tuition for the next three months, so about 12 weeks of intensive 2 x 2 hour classes each week. He knows I'm working towards a specific goal/deadline.

I think I will leave it for now, but during our next class I'll clarify that I'd like four hours every week (he was the one who suggested this initially!) and will follow this up in an email.

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