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2 September 2004
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Korea Life Blog - New Job

I start my new job tomorrow. All that waiting finally paid off. I was at the point where I was considering teaching 8 classes/day for basic pay at a hagwon just to start working again. Finally, at the last minute, I got the offer I was looking for.

Basically it's similar to the deal with those shady goons: working at a public elementary school for the new after-school program. The differences between agencies are astounding. I'll be working for just about the same pay (just 50,000 won less), yet I'll only be working 1-4PM, no meetings, no extra duties, no dubious clauses in the contract about firing me without notice and keeping my pay, no unpaid week-long orientation period, no teaching sample lessons in front of the staff, and on and on. Now I'll only have 3 classes, cut and dry, with a Korean assistant and they give me all the lesson plans. I'll also have permission from the employer to teach elsewhere.

The only downside is I have to pay most of the cost for my visa trip, but that's why they raised the pay. The woman has also offered to pay 50,000 won/month for travel (about 45 minutes from here) as well as 70,000 toward the visa, to my surprise, and also she's going to pay me a full day for working tomorrow, which is basically a placement test day and all I have to do is stand around and smile. I couldn't believe the difference between this agency and the other one. The woman I met was very professional and, in my opinion (at least so far), trustworthy.

I signed the contract, now it's just a matter of getting my official transcripts. I've always used the unofficial copies in the past without a problem, but apparently the laws have changed. I called my university to pay for the transcripts, and they managed to pull up a campus parking ticket I never paid from 1996. In order to get the transcripts, I'd have to send payment to the campus parking office. When I explained that I'm in Korea and this is an emergency, the woman explained that it wasn't an emergency for me to pay the ticket...ouch! I explained it was emergency for me to pay the $25,000(and that's without all the grants I had!) to go to college there for four years, but that didn't assuage her.

The agency is now trying to get around the official transcripts, seeing as the government issued me three working visas in the past without them. If she can't, I'll just have to pay that mysterious ticket (this is the first I've heard of it, thought I may very well have gotten it and forgotten by now)...wait, hold the phone! The woman from the agency just called Julie and informed us the unofficial copies will be fine! Great news. Now I don't have to waste money on an 8 year-old parking ticket. Note to self: never donate money to my prior university, never, ever, never, ever.


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