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19 July 2004
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Korea Life Blog - Kid's Herald Joondong Bucheon

This is typical. The owner of the Korea Herald school called me and claimed I'm supposed to work there starting tomorrow from 9AM -6PM, the vacation schedule for a month. He claims that I promised him when I only had told him that I'd think about it.

I told him again that schedule is ridiculous and that I'm not going to work there unless he wants to pay me 35,000 won/class - the going rate for part time work - since he also wanted to put off the E-2 visa trip for a month. He started to have a spasm attack demanding to talk to my "wife" (he thinks she's my fiance and kept urging her to marry me to make the visa easier for him, in other words so he doesn't have to pay for the trip to Japan). I told him this is her phone and he can talk to me. Even though I think he made the problem, I calmed down and apologized for his situation. He flipped out; "Sorry? How can you! I already made the schedule. Please put your wife on the phone now!" I replied, "No, I won't. You'd better find another teacher and don't call us again," then hung up. I feel bad for anyone that may work there...

It makes me laugh because he also didn't want to pay me any housing allowance for this month while he processes the E-2 - yet I'd be working full time. Anybody who works full time at a hagwon gets an apartment or housing allowance, it doesn't matter if they haven't processed the E-2 yet. In other words, he wants a part-time teacher for a month to teach 8 classes/day and pay the minimum full-time salary with no housing money. Anyone else would have to pay at least 25,000 won/class hour (that low because it's in a block schedule) for part time. That would equal 4 million for a month. I'm sorry that I'm not a naive fool, Mr. Hwang.

Please, anyone who is going to work in Korea - do not accept a job for more than 6, 40 min classes or 5, 50 min classes a day. No matter how awkward you may feel, be sure to clarify that up front. Otherwise you're just perpetuating crummy job offers because they know they can trick newbies. Believe me, anything more than 6 classes will leave your head spinning at the end of the first day. Imagine how you'd feel after a few months.

Update: The guy called me back three times begging me to work there. He even cut it down to 6 classes/day and "whatever you want, just work my school!" I told him he what he was offering was normal and should have offered that in the first place. I don't like the guy at all and I'm not going to work there. I found out more about the school. The cameras are hooked up to the internet as well so that parents can also watch you teach from home. A foreigner I met yesterday told me how a friend was fired at that Kid's Herald because a parent saw him using a cell phone in class. Not that I agree with chatting on the phone in class, but come on. Can you imagine the phone complaints: "He's not paying enough attention to my boy!" Forget that...


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