Wednesday, January 20, 2010

trials and tribulations of working at a hagwan

Today in class Tina, 7, says teacher's Korean name is chae san hee. I ask her what it means. She says chae is teacher, san is beautiful, and hee is girl. Teacher beautiful girl. Awww. Candy and a sticker for you! Maria and Chetta, the kids LOVE gummy anything, and everyone, teachers included, were blown away by Peeps. They have never seen such things here. I for one loved the Milanos the best!!! Love you guys!

So now with the drama. In the past week it has come to light that my school owes be roughly 700,000 won ($600+) and on top of this it's Jan 21st and I haven't been paid this month's salary. Theyre supposed to pay me on the 14th. I haven't gotten a pay stub since September, so since i moved this month and things were kind of weird with my salary that I should get them. Ohhh man did they mess this up. My school Director, Christine, is a totaly crazy woman. To illustrate this note the following:

I have 7 co-teachers, 6 Korean and Joel. 4 of them are leaving at the end of February, and Joel is thinking of leaving as well. They hate Christine!!!

So I run into Brad teacher at the bar Sunday night. I tell him I've been trying to get health insurance for 4 months now (which they deduct 56,000 won a month from my paycheck since September when I started) and he said ohh yeah same thing happened to me. He had to threaten them with a lawyer before he got the 400,000 won in back payments. But he DID get it. So that's 200,000 won I am owed in deductions for something I dont have. My head teacher has asked Christine everyday for the past 3 months if she filed for our health insurance, and Christine keeps saying yes. I call on Monday to the Korean Health Insurance Center and they say they have never heard of a Lauren McPhate. I call back on Tuesday because my head teacher told me to, and they say "Oh yes we have a record of you, your boss filed all of the paperwork yesterday." January 19th. She said she did it in November. Christine had been lying to me and to everyone. Right to our faces!!! On top of this she's trying to screw me over on my rent money. I was promised a certain amount and she gave me a third of it and deducted internet for an apartment I dont live in anymore! Ughhh.

NEWS FLASH. My head teacher just came in. She said she talked to Christine today and I will get the money in next month's paycheck (ha if I ever see that) and that my last day is February 14th!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy Valentine's Day to me!!!! Unemployed again! Woohoo.

In employment news:

Today I picked up one of Susan's old privates. An older woman who pays 50,000 won an hour. Sweet. First session next Monday.

I have an interview tonight at Emily's (from home) school. It would be awesome to work with her, but it's all the way in Jamsil which is kind of far from where I live.

And the best news. I have an interview this Tuesday for a school near the Express Bus Terminal (Seocho). That's a 20 minute bus ride from my house, great shopping in the terminal, and best of all 7, yes 7! foreign teachers. Bigger schools tend not to rip off their teachers like the smaller hagwans *cough cough BITS*.

It's amazing how fast stuff happens over here. MOving for example, I decided to move, found a place and moved all in a week. I decided to quit yesterday, did, and now have 3 interviews. Sweet.

So this means another year in Seoulland. It also means I need a new visa which means I have to flee the country. Japan visa run!!!!!!! Woohoo. I love quitting jobs. This seems to be a new hobby of mine. 3 in the past 3 years....

In other maybe not-so-interesting-to-anyone-but-me news, Saturday I am going skiing with Susan and Suzi. Just heading up for the day, but it should be quite the scene. Koreans don't do anything half-assed. And I also signed up for a 10k with Susan on Feb 6th. Ive been running 8ks at the gym so I think I'll be in fine shape. We decided if we do ok in this one we'll do a 20 k before she leaves for Canada. How are things at home?

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