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  • jon-anon
  • Veteran

    • 172

    • May 10, 2011, 04:03:23 am
    • Gyeonggi-do
Re: Hall monitor duty?
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2012, 07:39:58 pm »
You agreed to it?  Get ready to be walked over and abused for the remainder of your contract. 

I was mostly agreeable and compromising when I arrived in Korea, but soon found myself being walked over and taken advantage of.  And trust me, you don't earn respect by being this way.  I'll give you an example; at my first hogwan here I was told no kindy and no Saturdays.  Of course that's what I arrived to.  There was another teacher there who had been with them for maybe 6 months.  Every time she was asked to do something stupid she would just say 'no'.  Flat-out.  Even simple stuff, she would hum and haw, and then grudgingly do it. And you know what, she was barely ever asked to do anything and for the last few months of her contract she was just left alone to teach her normal classes.  At first I thought she was a disagreeable female dog.  In the end, I ended up with the same reference, professional contact and respect she did when my contract ended: NONE.  At my second place I stood up for myself more and I saw first hand what it got me (actual pay for OT, proper vacation, a sick day) while I watched the newbies get eaten alive.  Look even at Koreans.  Everything is a dramatic scene from a disaster movie when they're asked to even the simplest thing.  Lots of running around, screaming, crying, whining.  Even on the streets Koreans are always running somewhere.  Always running, yet never actually getting anywhere.  It's a way to show everyone how busy they are.  It's ingrained in the culture.  In the West we have business.  In Korea we have busyness. 

Korea is a dog eat dog world.  And they will eat you alive if you don't stand up for yourself.  Look at what's already happening to the OP.  First it was, "Oh, just come in at 8am instead of 8:30.  What's the big deal?  You can just sit, drink coffee and read the paper!"  Now it's, "Oh, just come in at 7:50.  What's the big deal?  You can watch the kids!  Don't you love the kids?!!!"  This is how it works.  By the end of the semester you'll be scrubbing the toilets with bare hands at half past midnight. 

You're not being co-operative or respectful by agreeing to everything, you're being spineless.  You shouldn't say no to everything, and sometimes you have to bite the bullet and do what's right even if you don't want to.  But this is clearly outside the bounds of your contract and what's acceptable.  I just laugh at the people here who talk like they are 'in the know' about Korea; "You have to say yes to everything otherwise it'll upset the 'jung' of the school and time/space will collapse upon itself!"  Who cares about the jung.  I'm sure it would make the jung better for you rub the principal's feet and make breakfast for everyone, too.  Jung is going out to dinner with your co-workers and bringing chocolate in every now and again.  It's not being a wimp. 

Bit melodramatic, aren't you? 

Unfortunately you've had some bad experiences while working in Korea which (judging by your post history) has somewhat embittered you, but there's no guarantee that my situation will unfold as analogous to yours.  Maybe you see my choice as being spineless or wimpy, but I know what I can endure, and what the value of this ten or so hours of extra non-teaching time at school per month is worth -- about 60 bucks.  Frankly, causing a stink where I'll be working for the next year, with my immediate superior, and being the only one in the school to do so, for 60 bucks, is both boring and not worth it, particularly when (as aforementioned) I tend to show up early all the time anyway.  Also, I sat in a meeting with the vice-P and my co-T, and I sensed that his impetus is a better school environment for our students. 

So sorry, but you are mistaken.  정 is not buying chocolate for the office or dinner with colleagues, but rather genuine empathy, compassion, and caring for those with whom you interact.  Hopefully your 정 is felt, and genuinely returned, but that is not the point.  As I try to remind myself daily -- "the giver should be thankful".

And for the record, I'd gladly make breakfast for any of you -- I can whip up some mean fu***ng omelettes and homefries, fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and plunger coffee.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2012, 08:29:45 pm by jon-anon »


  • jackdaniels
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1133

    • September 18, 2009, 02:00:00 pm
Re: Hall monitor duty?
« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2012, 08:33:18 pm »
Just a reminder no name calling or insulting others.


  • orangeman
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1769

    • September 01, 2011, 09:56:35 am
    • Seoul-East Side
Re: Hall monitor duty?
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2012, 09:00:21 pm »
You agreed to it?  Get ready to be walked over and abused for the remainder of your contract. 

I was mostly agreeable and compromising when I arrived in Korea, but soon found myself being walked over and taken advantage of.  And trust me, you don't earn respect by being this way.  I'll give you an example; at my first hogwan here I was told no kindy and no Saturdays.  Of course that's what I arrived to.  There was another teacher there who had been with them for maybe 6 months.  Every time she was asked to do something stupid she would just say 'no'.  Flat-out.  Even simple stuff, she would hum and haw, and then grudgingly do it. And you know what, she was barely ever asked to do anything and for the last few months of her contract she was just left alone to teach her normal classes.  At first I thought she was a disagreeable female dog.  In the end, I ended up with the same reference, professional contact and respect she did when my contract ended: NONE.  At my second place I stood up for myself more and I saw first hand what it got me (actual pay for OT, proper vacation, a sick day) while I watched the newbies get eaten alive.  Look even at Koreans.  Everything is a dramatic scene from a disaster movie when they're asked to even the simplest thing.  Lots of running around, screaming, crying, whining.  Even on the streets Koreans are always running somewhere.  Always running, yet never actually getting anywhere.  It's a way to show everyone how busy they are.  It's ingrained in the culture.  In the West we have business.  In Korea we have busyness. 

Korea is a dog eat dog world.  And they will eat you alive if you don't stand up for yourself.  Look at what's already happening to the OP.  First it was, "Oh, just come in at 8am instead of 8:30.  What's the big deal?  You can just sit, drink coffee and read the paper!"  Now it's, "Oh, just come in at 7:50.  What's the big deal?  You can watch the kids!  Don't you love the kids?!!!"  This is how it works.  By the end of the semester you'll be scrubbing the toilets with bare hands at half past midnight. 

You're not being co-operative or respectful by agreeing to everything, you're being spineless.  You shouldn't say no to everything, and sometimes you have to bite the bullet and do what's right even if you don't want to.  But this is clearly outside the bounds of your contract and what's acceptable.  I just laugh at the people here who talk like they are 'in the know' about Korea; "You have to say yes to everything otherwise it'll upset the 'jung' of the school and time/space will collapse upon itself!"  Who cares about the jung.  I'm sure it would make the jung better for you rub the principal's feet and make breakfast for everyone, too.  Jung is going out to dinner with your co-workers and bringing chocolate in every now and again.  It's not being a wimp. 

Bit melodramatic, aren't you? 

Unfortunately you've had some bad experiences while working in Korea which (judging by your post history) has somewhat embittered you, but there's no guarantee that my situation will unfold as analogous to yours.  Maybe you see my choice as being spineless or wimpy, but I know what I can endure, and what the value of this ten or so hours of extra non-teaching time at school per month is worth -- about 60 bucks.  Frankly, causing a stink where I'll be working for the next year, with my immediate superior, and being the only one in the school to do so, for 60 bucks, is both boring and not worth it, particularly when (as aforementioned) I tend to show up early all the time anyway.  Also, I sat in a meeting with the vice-P and my co-T, and I sensed that his impetus is a better school environment for our students. 

So sorry, but you are mistaken.  정 is not buying chocolate for the office or dinner with colleagues, but rather genuine empathy, compassion, and caring for those with whom you interact.  Hopefully your 정 is felt, and genuinely returned, but that is not the point.  As I try to remind myself daily -- "the giver should be thankful".

And for the record, I'd gladly make breakfast for any of you -- I can whip up some mean fu***ng omelettes and homefries, fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and plunger coffee.

I sincerely didn't mean to insult you.  I chose my words carefully, and said you were acting a certain way.  I didn't call you name, and I certainly didn't use the word 'wimpy'.  It's like when teachers tell students, "you're acting badly" not "you're a bad student".  I don't know you so I would never assume you're spineless or heroic or otherwise.  But this one action, in my opinion, was how I described it.  If you are willing and able to do it, that's your decision.  But you posted the situation and your actions on a public forum, and asked for opinions. I commented on them in what I thought was a civil way.  That's fine that you disagreed with me, but I never insulted you or called you a name. 

Anyway, I don't think I'm bitter about Korea at all.  Unfortunately, there's a belief on the internet that unless you love every inch of this land and do whatever you're told to by Koreans you secretly pray the whole peninsula drops into the sea.  I like my job here and there things I like and don't like.  Just like everywhere else I've been in the world.  Sometimes my lame attempts at humour can come off as cynical but in the end I'm still here, ain't I?  If you think I'm bitter about Korea you should go back to your home country and listen to the locals complain there!  And not just on internet forums meant for venting.  But yes, I've been here a while and have learned certain truths and ways to deal with different situations.  I'm incredibly pleasant at my school and do go above and beyond, but I have limits and I've learned not to be so afraid to enforce them.  I've also learned it's not as bad as people on this site and others claim when you do, if you do so in a respectful manner.  Pick your battles, and fight them with a smile on your face.  That's all.

Anyway, good luck.  I certainly hope everything works out well and your unpleasant VP doesn't demand more ridiculous things from you.  That was not sarcastic, btw.


  • orangeman
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1769

    • September 01, 2011, 09:56:35 am
    • Seoul-East Side
Re: Hall monitor duty?
« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2012, 09:30:26 pm »
Soooooooooo....shou ld I give you my address or phone number?  How does this breakfast making thing work?  Also, I'm assuming you didn't need to mention bacon since it's a given. 


  • poppy
  • Veteran

    • 183

    • May 07, 2010, 12:33:32 pm
    • Daejeon
Re: Hall monitor duty?
« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2012, 08:11:41 am »
If you are already at the school and don't mind doing the hall monitoring then perhaps you could work out a compromise with the VP.  Last year the school I was at wanted me to do a little extra work.  Basically they wanted me to spend some time each week with the grade 1, 2 and kindergarten class.  It was easy work, and required very minimal prep.  I agreed to it and in exchange they agreed that I would do no desk warming during the summer and winter vacations.  I would come in to teach camp and then leave right after camp finished - at lunch time.  While all my friends were stuck spending afternoons sitting alone in their schools, I was at home relaxing.  Maybe worth suggesting it to your co teacher or VP.


  • Jrong
  • The Legend

    • 2381

    • April 28, 2011, 12:52:32 pm
    more
Re: Hall monitor duty?
« Reply #25 on: March 08, 2012, 08:20:21 am »
That's unheard of.  At my school the teachers weren't responsible for those duties.  Every morning I'd see some grandmother types out directing traffic.  I'm assuming they were the kids' grandmothers or just old ladies volunteering their time.  I really doubt you'll be asked to do this outside of the paperwork but definitely show them the contract.  Not only is it outside of your working hours but also has nothing to do with your job duties.  I personally wouldn't wait to see what happens.  Get on it now otherwise you'll just set a precedent that you're a pushover.
Yeah.
"When in doubt...ask Troglodyte" ~0mnslnd