Tuesday, April 13, 2010

An example of just how complicated things are

I would like to get a job teaching English, and I've met several people who have told me that there are lots of opportunities, and I've even met some folks who are hiring. Great! However there are several things that are preventing me from working on this. Here is the circle I'm stuck in:

1. I met someone who knows someone who has an English school. I email them, and they are hiring! They want to talk with me on the phone. We don't have a phone.

2. So let's get a phone. The orchestra has a connection (see here for more info on connections) so that we can get free phones and a very good monthly rate. But who knows when this connection will kick into place and our phones will materialize. So we go to plan B.

3. Plan B is to get a local number on Skype. Sounds easy enough. We get online, are about to sign up when we the website asks for our billing address. Hmmm. I think the billing address for our bank account is the orchestra office (not sure why that happened). That needs to get changed, which involves Matt staying late after rehearsal and communicating in Portuguese, and a possible trip to the bank, which is at least a two hour commitment, and even then most often Matt doesn't get what he wants. And then we realize that the debit card/credit card isn't activated yet. We need a phone to activate the card, which is the very thing we are trying to do!! We could just use our US credit card, but we have to pay a fee for each international transaction, and I'm guessing that a Brazilian Skype number falls into that category.

So now you see why it becomes so complicated. I probably will just break down and use the US card today because I really need to be able to reach people (and be reached). But then you never know--the cell phones might just appear today!

1 comment:

  1. Don't quote me on this, but I'm pretty sure that if you use your American card for Skype, it will just debit your account in dollars and you won't pay any exchange fees. Wherever I've traveled with my Skype and whatever services I've used, I've used my American card without any problems (although I haven't tried getting a local number)...

    Cell phone, perhaps? Leo and I don't even have a landline because it's such a hassle. A lot of cell phone providers have promotions so that if you "cadastrar" (register) online, every time you put money on your phone, you earn a bonus. For example: I have Vivo, and I put R$18 on my phone (which gets you like nothing...), but I got a bonus of 250 for calls to other Vivo phones and landlines (fixo), which is more than enough to have a conversation about teaching English! And a lot of Brazilians, when you say you're calling from a cell phone, offer to call you back on their landline so that you don't waste minutes (although all of the English school directors I've ever met are weirdly tight fisted, so I can't vouch for them).

    Don't you love the vicious cycle of Brazilian catch-22s? :) Let me know if I can help you out (you can call me on Skype without spending any money by signing up for an account and calling my username: corin.parsons Skype-to-skype is free and no phone required)!