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15 February 2005
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KLB - Response


Well, Cathy told me that "Bonnie" is waiting anxiously for my e-mail reply, so I finally took the time to put my thoughts into words. Here for you is the exact letter I wrote her and sent. Think what you want of me, but I'm proud of myself that I don't cower to employers and that I never will. Luckily I haven't been brainwashed by my American upbringing yet.

In a day and age where we've been convinced into accepting the system, into feeling guilty when we don't strive to be excellent employees, I'm surprised that still - I just don't care. The only things that important to me are my health and well being. To me all other ills are imaginary. Stressing yourself out over your job - what's the point, really?


I'm sorry for the delayed reply, but I needed time to think about your e-mail.

As you know and have kindly pointed out, I really have been enjoying
teaching these kids. I don't think I've ever had classes of children
so excited about learning English, and that is because of the great
relationship I established with them. Our classes are so much fun and
the atmosphere is excellent. However, as you pointed out, that alone
isn't enough at this school. It's a sad day when the focus of
education is not the children but rather the perceptions of the
parents and administration, but unfortunately that's the day we live
in.

So, after reviewing your e-mail and discussing it with Julie, I have
decided I will resign after all. This will enable me to find a
full-time position with a regular salary closer to my house and for
you to find a teacher who, hopefully, lives nearby and needs a decent
part-time job.

The things you ask for are not unreasonable. I think, however, that
if you want your part-time teachers to do a better job, you should
provide some incentive such as a paid sick day/vacation day once in a
while. Especially when they have to pay a lot for the visa trip
and other expenses. And this: "Regarding to the payment for 1 hour
what I missed in the last paycheck was replaced to the hour you missed
this month" [I didn't include this in my last post, but it was in the payment letter. Basically she shorted me an hour's pay a month ago and I called her on it - this month I happened to be late once about 30 minutes and Cathy told her, of course, so apparently she decided it was OK not to pay that hour's wage] is petty and doesn't inspire me (or anyone) to work harder. It seems you want the responsibility and extra duties that come with a salary - yet you pay by the hour "with no exceptions" [she used these words before] and no benefits.

As for Cathy's role - you should also make it clear in the beginning
exactly what the assistant's role is to avoid confusion. I still don't
understand what her role is except for calling parents, bothering me
and reporting my actions to you. She may be great at paper work, but
she's poor at working with foreigners - which is the main aspect of
her job.

Finally:

Even though the contract between you and I was dated for 6 months, my
contract with the school/E-2 visa is dated for one year. Therefore I
will need a "release letter" from the school so I can get another job.
I don't think my performance was so poor that you can't get this for
me.

Since I will have worked there 6 months, I would also like to use you as a
reference. You don't have to say I was a perfect teacher because I
know I haven't been. You could say I did a decent job, was good with
the kids and that the distance to work created some problems for me.
In exchange I will gladly help you find another teacher and say good things about your program. I think that is fair.

Thank you for your time,

Shawn


That should do just fine. If I don't find another job right away, at least I will have some time to travel or visit New York again.

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