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  • helppp
  • Adventurer

    • 28

    • March 03, 2014, 01:43:22 pm
    • Daegu South Korea
Unpaid school saturday trip, (13 hours).
« on: June 02, 2014, 11:04:01 am »
I work at a public school and my co-teacher mentioned briefly that we'd be having a Saturday English club school trip. Our English club is 15 students who normally meet on friday afternoons to play games and speak English one on one. When this trip got closer I thought I'd cover myself by just checking that I was being paid over-time for it, (as my attendance on the trip was never given to me as optional), only to find out that not only am I not being paid overtime, I'm not even being paid.

I know that my co-teacher also is not being paid, he's just genuinely doing this out of the kindness of his heart. However this trip starts at 7am on Saturday and finishes at 8pm the same day. Whether the co-teachers before me did it or not sounds pretty vague, (I can't find a definite answer). I'm almost certain it's not legal, my issue is I'm trying to find a way of saying "no" without rocking the boat, as the school that I work at is really nice. I've already made it known that it is not something I am overly pleased about. I actually have a sports trip to play for a local team on the day the trip is set for, however now that I've said that to them it just sounds like a poor excuse. 

Has anyone else been in this situation?


  • busandar
  • Super Waygook

    • 276

    • March 05, 2013, 11:41:05 am
    • Busan, South Korea
Re: Unpaid school saturday trip, (13 hours).
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2014, 11:13:43 am »
Yes, I got roped into one of these last year. It was also unpaid, except the tour tickets and lunch were all covered. I regretted saying yes as well, and I think mine wasn't even as long it was 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. In the end, it actually ended up being a good time so I quickly got over it. And I don't mean that in an ass-kissy way, but it actually was fun. Also, the other great thing I appreciated was seeing the kids out of school, they were so much more lively and really let loose.
So, if you do end up going it may not be so bad. If you don't then I'd stick with the sports excuse you have. Just say they can't find another player and act really torn about it. 7am-8pm is a bit much, OR the other thing you could is compromise and agree to go for half  but then say you have to leave early (if it is happening in your town that is).
I feel your pain, it's an uncomfortable situation.


  • Grimne_Lothos
  • Expert Waygook

    • 846

    • December 28, 2011, 12:56:27 pm
    • Buyeo, south korea
Re: Unpaid school saturday trip, (13 hours).
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2014, 11:37:28 am »
of course you weren't being paid.  If you didn't want to go you needed to refuse right away and invent some conflicting plans.   At this point there is no way out of it without  looking bad but so what?  The other teachers will openly hate you instead of secretly hate you?


Re: Unpaid school saturday trip, (13 hours).
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2014, 11:51:18 am »
It seems like it would be difficult to pull out now without alienating your co-teacher and the school administration quite a bit.

Maybe go but tactfully make it clear that any future trip of this sort will require compensation.


  • madison79
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1373

    • October 19, 2010, 01:26:04 pm
    • Interweb
Re: Unpaid school saturday trip, (13 hours).
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2014, 11:55:57 am »
I know I'm going to catch heat but I would just do it since you already said yes.  It's 1 Sat out of 52 and the kids will be happy to have you with them.  Sure it's long and not paid but it's only 1 day.  It might turn out to be super fun too.

It's -ev to deal with some people.


  • stemarty
  • Featured Contributor

    • 1135

    • September 02, 2011, 12:20:42 pm
    • Jeonnamdo
Re: Unpaid school saturday trip, (13 hours).
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2014, 11:56:42 am »
Even though this is a 13 hour day, you could have a really great time regardless of pay. You get to spend your day with English students who want to be there.
Have fun with them!

If I added up all the extra hours / clubs / trips / study groups I have done (volunteered and assigned) without pay my school would owe me a lot more than one 13 hour field trip.

It's going to be really hard to snake out of it, as the school will see it as a "I don't care" motive (which I'm sure isn't true, but this is Korea and dedication is everything)

better do it NOW if you are wanting to speak up about not attending. Talk to your co-teacher about your feelings towards going. Nicely explain that you had other plans and are really sorry that your can't make it. Try to pin your reasons for not going on your planned sports day. They probably won't like it, but there isn't anything really that they can do to make you go, except perhaps extreme guilt action.


  • kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 5119

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: Unpaid school saturday trip, (13 hours).
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2014, 12:23:57 pm »
The other teachers will openly hate you instead of secretly hate you
Why would teachers secretly hate you for going out of your way and volunteering your weekend to assist in a field trip? Seems to me like the opposite would be true...
... unless they currently openly hate you, and by doing this you could upgrade the relationship to having them only secretly hating you? That would make sense.  :smiley:
***

Regarding unpaid weekend trips... I have never been asked to do them, thankfully, as my school seems to have a decent English budget and doesn't mind occasionally tossing money in my direction.
In my opinion, it would be best to respond to these kind of things with a polite but firm negative, along with a reasonable sounding, face-saving excuse. However, it sounds like it might be too late for that now, so I suppose you need to decide whether or not refusing now will strain your work environment, and if avoiding that awkwardness would be worth losing a Saturday.
I personally would go, and use it as credit for any future favours (ie: a half day off to "go to the bank" during desk-warming etc).
« Last Edit: June 02, 2014, 12:32:15 pm by kyndo »


  • orangeman
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1769

    • September 01, 2011, 09:56:35 am
    • Seoul-East Side
Re: Unpaid school saturday trip, (13 hours).
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2014, 02:07:38 pm »
I think that poster meant that most CTs already secretly hate us.  Even if you think yours love you, they probably hate/resent you in some way.  I wouldn't take it personally, it's the Korean way.  They hate each other, too. 

Anyway, I don't like it when people say, "Oh it's for the children!  You'll have so much fun!  Just do it, it'll be worth it!" because it has nothing to do with the children or your dedication to your job.  Your school is taking advantage of you, and the more you let them inch you back, the more they'll take next time.  You aren't going for the children, you are going for free for the school.  They have the money to pay you, but instead will use it on whatever they want (your principal and VP will probably order an extra round of samgypsal and soju that day).  This is no different than a restaurant demanding their cook to come in a work for free this Saturday. 

Does anyone honestly think other professions do these things for free because they 'love' their job?  Sure, some individuals do, but a dentist doesn't fix teeth while his boss pockets the money.  If he does it for free it's for charity.  If anyone here wants to teach for free there are more deserving countries than Korea (or even more deserving children in Korea). 

Fact: The kids paid money for this field trip, whether it was at the beginning of the semester or last week.  That money was supposed to cover your OT, but someone higher up pocketed it.  It happens all the time, and Koreans on the lower end like your CT (if he's being honest, big IF) accept it as part of life here.  One day he'll be able to screw over someone else in the same way, and he knows it.  You, on the other hand, will just keep getting screwed. 

However, for our relatively short stays here, we do have to compromise and pick our battles.  If you don't want to do it, do NOT feel guilty.  But if you do it, make a big stink about it and choose something now that you want in return.  Bring it up NOW.  They have already framed this in such a way that it's not a favour based on your niceness (common trick here).  You better make sure they know it's a favour.  Otherwise there'll suddenly be trips every other Saturday and they'll say you did that one for free, you must do this one now. 



Re: Unpaid school saturday trip, (13 hours).
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2014, 02:14:18 pm »
Working for free is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.

Honestly, what is wrong with you people?


  • Squire
  • Super Waygook

    • 352

    • March 01, 2011, 02:11:36 pm
    • Yeosu
Re: Unpaid school saturday trip, (13 hours).
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2014, 02:25:23 pm »


However, for our relatively short stays here, we do have to compromise and pick our battles.  If you don't want to do it, do NOT feel guilty.  But if you do it, make a big stink about it and choose something now that you want in return. Bring it up NOW.  They have already framed this in such a way that it's not a favour based on your niceness (common trick here).  You better make sure they know it's a favour.  Otherwise there'll suddenly be trips every other Saturday and they'll say you did that one for free, you must do this one now.

Good advice. Personally I think giving up so much time on a Saturday warrants a day off another time, so if you do it then that Saturday will be a work day, but another day won't. I'd agree an actual date for that day off too.

To be honest it sounds a bit unlikely they'd agree to that, but maybe an afternoon off would be more agreeable to them. Perhaps on a day when you finish classes at lunch time, if such a day exists.

Two months ago now I was asked to do two extra classes every week for English contest prep, and I said I'd only do it if all teachers' classes between then and now were canceled. It was agreed, which meant the same teaching hours but less preparation time during April and May. The key is not backing down to their demands if they refuse your compromise. No day off? Then no 13 hour Saturday field trip



  • country09
  • Expert Waygook

    • 653

    • January 05, 2011, 10:04:21 am
Re: Unpaid school saturday trip, (13 hours).
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2014, 02:28:24 pm »
a quick comparison.

Internships are usually non paying jobs. You do them to get your foot in the door or earn brownie points. The same applies in this situation. Some people can see more than just $ signs when they work.

If you only want to stay a year or two and really don't care about the impression you make with your co workers then by all means just flat out say no. No one is MAKING you go on this trip.

Learn from the mistake. The next time someone asks you to work on a Saturday make sure it is payed.



  • TeachaTeacha
  • Expert Waygook

    • 524

    • September 06, 2012, 03:27:09 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Unpaid school saturday trip, (13 hours).
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2014, 02:40:04 pm »
orangeman... Spot on, as usual. I'd respond to country09's post, but I think I'll let orangeman swoop in and say it far better than I.


  • kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 5119

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: Unpaid school saturday trip, (13 hours).
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2014, 02:45:59 pm »
I think that poster meant that most CTs already secretly hate us.  I wouldn't take it personally, it's the Korean way.  They hate each other, too.
Oh, I know what he was getting at. My reply was a poor attempt at some light hearted mockery of this assumption. ... ... It's a Monday, bear with me. I promise to do better next time!

However, for our relatively short stays here, we do have to compromise and pick our battles.  If you don't want to do it, do NOT feel guilty.  But if you do it, make a big stink about it and choose something now that you want in return... You better make sure they know it's a favour.
+1
This is exactly what I was trying to say. Avoid doing free stuff whenever possible, but if it isn't (or if you feel that the cost of avoiding is too high) make sure they know it's a favour, and that you expect some consideration when it comes to leaving early etc etc.


Re: Unpaid school saturday trip, (13 hours).
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2014, 02:52:18 pm »
OP you should've said from the beginning that
1. You are not contractually obliged to work Saturdays so therefore you will not be working on a Saturday.
2. If you do work outside of your regular hours, then you'll need to get paid the correct amount of overtime.
3. A big fat 'NO'

Stand up for yourself. Be polite but make it clear. You should have a contract that states all of this. Now grow a pair  :P


Re: Unpaid school saturday trip, (13 hours).
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2014, 02:54:08 pm »
a quick comparison.

Internships are usually non paying jobs. You do them to get your foot in the door or earn brownie points. The same applies in this situation. Some people can see more than just $ signs when they work.

If you only want to stay a year or two and really don't care about the impression you make with your co workers then by all means just flat out say no. No one is MAKING you go on this trip.

Learn from the mistake. The next time someone asks you to work on a Saturday make sure it is payed.

See what?
See the opinion of our employers changed from thinking we are of value to them seeing us as literally worthless?


  • a1mighty
  • Adventurer

    • 38

    • July 18, 2012, 05:03:52 pm
    • usa
Re: Unpaid school saturday trip, (13 hours).
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2014, 02:59:08 pm »
Make a deal with the VP or P. You'll do this saturday in exchange for... no deskwarming/ getting to leave work early/ get extra vacation days that can be used when you have no classes/ ect.

You could be like these fools and flat out say no, get nothing in return, and have your bosses hate you... or you could play office politics, play hardball, negotiate, and get yourself a good deal.


Re: Unpaid school saturday trip, (13 hours).
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2014, 03:01:45 pm »
Eh, if you think one Saturday is such a big deal and cause for great indignation, then you have questionable priorities. Granted, I would be upset if I wasn't at least given a choice. I still think this is totally a time when you can say "this is how they do it in Korea and I'll play along because this is part of living in another culture." Doesn't mean you have to like it or agree with it, but it stands to reason that if you live in another country, you should expect to do things differently (even if they blow). Sucks, but think amout the amount you get paid divided by the amount of work you do compared to Korean teachers.

Or, take the hit in the school's opinion on you. May or may not be the best choice given what you want out of Korea.
But how do I know what to lick and what not to lick?


  • country09
  • Expert Waygook

    • 653

    • January 05, 2011, 10:04:21 am
Re: Unpaid school saturday trip, (13 hours).
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2014, 03:03:04 pm »
a quick comparison.

Internships are usually non paying jobs. You do them to get your foot in the door or earn brownie points. The same applies in this situation. Some people can see more than just $ signs when they work.

If you only want to stay a year or two and really don't care about the impression you make with your co workers then by all means just flat out say no. No one is MAKING you go on this trip.

Learn from the mistake. The next time someone asks you to work on a Saturday make sure it is payed.

See what?
See the opinion of our employers changed from thinking we are of value to them seeing us as literally worthless?

Look I get it. Some people do not wish to do anything in life without getting something in return. I said some people. I am just pointing out that not everyone thinks like that. It is an opinion that is being added to the mix. People volunteer in all sorts of jobs. There are benefits to volunteering.

I personally would not do this without some sort of compensation. I am just playing the other side to the many people who seem jaded on this forum.


  • climber
  • Super Waygook

    • 270

    • January 02, 2011, 06:52:36 pm
    • Ilsan
Re: Unpaid school saturday trip, (13 hours).
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2014, 03:03:34 pm »
If you really don't want to go, I see only a couple of options.

1. Straight up say that you don't want to go and you can't be made to. Personally, I think this is a bad idea.

2. Say someone important is coming from out of town and you must meet them.

3. Go to the doctor the day before and explain how you have really bad diarrhea. He/she will give you some medicine, which you won't need to actually buy, and then ask for a note. The next day you can give it to your co-teacher and say you can't go. Obviously this is a lot of work for an excuse, but it's an option. Also, they are likely to not be angry at you with a doctors note.


Re: Unpaid school saturday trip, (13 hours).
« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2014, 03:18:18 pm »
Think of the children