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  • Haibrok
  • Veteran

    • 245

    • January 21, 2015, 01:24:37 pm
    • Jorvik
Re: This is why I find it frustrating here sometimes
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2015, 04:16:08 pm »
South Korea got to steal tech and ideas from Japan and the US.

Since they didn't have to innovate (and got tons of monetary help), the culture actually helped them.

Why? 

Because as soon as one person up top identifies a problem, the whole nation unifies behind solving it.  No matter how stupid his solution, they'll stick with it until it works.

The problem with a lot of perpetually poor countries that seem to have a lot of talent is the constant dithering.  Nobody in India seems capable of making a decision.  When a decision finally gets made, they change their minds every 30 seconds.  Then, every region, religion, caste, and linguistic group starts whining.

Basically, like modern America!

But no really.  The ability to identify a problem, make a decision on how to solve it, unify behind it, and stick with it until it works is a quality NOT to be underestimated.


Re: This is why I find it frustrating here sometimes
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2015, 06:47:29 pm »
I really didn't want to come off as patronizing but I really had to grab her arm at one point, look her dead in the eyes, while slowly and softly asking if she understood the problem.  The look of panic and confusion in response was unsettling. 

As someone else mentioned above, the root of the problem is Koreans not questioning their superiors.  Illogical directives like this are hot potatoes that everyone keeps passing down the totem pole until someone finally gets burned.  Everyone knows the directives are toxic, but nobody has the balls to deal with it, so they pass it off.  Your co-worker panicked not because she is illogical, but because she got handed a pile of illogical dog poop and actually had to clean it up. 

You did the best possible thing in that situation: Outline the problem and politely demand that it be resolved.  It's not your dog poop to clean up. 

Honestly, I have absolutely no clue how small South Korea became a top 15 economy while trying so hard to save face and never ask questions.  It's mind-boggling.

The USA

The USA and to some degree Canada had these things called "personal freedom", based on respect and integrity.  You were rewarded for initiative and hard work, admired even.  If you were seen to be different, so be it.  Bureaucracy was less in the olden days.  Not so much now as there are increasingly so many stupid government rules and a desire for every one to be equal. 

Anyways, the old person is all powerful here and you need everything to stamped with an official seal and to be done up fancy with an official document.  There was a real fear of a person with authority.  A public official in Chosun times was almost like a god and if you questioned them youd be severely punished.  Thankfully it isn't as bad now as in the past or as bad as it still is in China and some other Asian countries. 


Re: This is why I find it frustrating here sometimes
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2015, 09:19:29 pm »
I really didn't want to come off as patronizing but I really had to grab her arm at one point, look her dead in the eyes, while slowly and softly asking if she understood the problem.  The look of panic and confusion in response was unsettling. 

As someone else mentioned above, the root of the problem is Koreans not questioning their superiors.  Illogical directives like this are hot potatoes that everyone keeps passing down the totem pole until someone finally gets burned.  Everyone knows the directives are toxic, but nobody has the balls to deal with it, so they pass it off.  Your co-worker panicked not because she is illogical, but because she got handed a pile of illogical dog poop and actually had to clean it up. 

You did the best possible thing in that situation: Outline the problem and politely demand that it be resolved.  It's not your dog poop to clean up. 

Honestly, I have absolutely no clue how small South Korea became a top 15 economy while trying so hard to save face and never ask questions.  It's mind-boggling.

The USA
 

This x 1,000,000. Without the benevolence of the USA, Korea would still be dirt poor with dirt roads. Despite what they say, they didn't do it themselves. If the USA put the screws to Korea, Korea would be fucked. The lack of logic here is overwhelming and I am amazed that they can even function as a society half the time. Could you imagine if they have to fight a war against anyone without the US backing them? They would be like chickens with their heads cut off. I think Daesh could take the South Korean military.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2015, 09:27:33 pm by cereal killer »


Re: This is why I find it frustrating here sometimes
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2015, 09:22:58 pm »
Let me say that I really like my job.  I've had many jobs in my home country, in other countries, and even here in Korea, that have been stupid.  But my current job is good.  However, at times I run into situations like this that just make it exhausting. 

History: I'm in a PS and have many afterschool classes.  This year I only have 20 regular classes, and my CT scrambled to find me something to fill those other 2 (because even though the most anyone else in the school teaches is 16, I absolutely must be at 22.  That's fair, but come man!).  Also, my CT speaks near native level English, and I've lived overseas for over a decade now.  Language isn't the problem. 

I get my new sched the last day in Feb before my vacation.  One of the regular classes conflicts with an afternoon class.  I try to work it out with those involved, and give three alternatives.  Nothing is resolved and I'm told to come in on my planned vacation (that they know I'm going overseas for) to fix it.  No.  I get a text later that night from my CT telling me that the afternoon class is moved an hour later.  Great! 

When the new semester starts, I'm told that I have to make up those 2 other classes on late Friday afternoon (to make 22).  Ok, fine, no problem.  Here is what happened:

Thursday afternoon, 6th period, 6th graders are in my class (the first conflict, which I thought was resolved)

Co-teacher: "Oh, your afternoon class has showed up!"
Me: "Hey guys, we start next period"
AFT students: "That's not what it says on our schedule"
CT: "Yes, you must teach them now, they have other classes later"
Me: "Well, it's either them or the 6th graders...."
CT: "..."
Me: "I mean...I can't teach both classes at once.  So either I teach our class together or go find another room to teach this afternoon class.  All semester."
CT: "That's impossible"
Me: "Yes, I know.  So one of those classes has to be rescheduled.  I thought we already rescheduled the afternoon one till later.  Either that or we reschedule the 6th graders to another day."
CT:"..."
Me:"Do you...we...I didn't schedule either of these classes.  And I don't have the power to reschedule either.  But I have to teach both.  So someone who has the power to reschedule these classes has to do that so I can teach both."
CT: "But they are here now!"
Me: "Right.  And there are two classes.  And there is only one me.  So we have to work it that there is only one class now, and one class later.....
CT: "..."
Me: "uh....Because....there's only one me now and, uh, one me later.  Do you....Does that...Are you getting what I'm saying?"
CT: "But they must have class now!"
Me: "Who?"
CT: "Afternoon class!"
Me: "But what about 6th grade?"
CT: "They must have class now!"
Me: "Sooooooo........what do you want me to do?  Stay here and teach 6th grade?  Or go and teach the afternoon class?"
CT: "...."
Me: "I can't do both."
CT: "I...I....."
Me:"Okay kids (afternoon class).  Go wait outside.  We're going to have class at 2:30pm?  Okay?"
Kids: "2:30?  Ok."
Me:"Thanks!  See you soon!"
CT:"..."

Only half the kids showed up for that class, which isn't too odd for the first week.  Then today (Friday) afternoon, I'm at one of those extra classes in another room, one of the ones they gave me to make 22.  My CT comes running in:

CT: "Students are ready for your afternoon class!"
Me: "Which afternoon class?"
CT: "X afternoon class!"
Me: "We had that yesterday."
CT: "No, it's scheduled today!"
Me: "No, remember them coming in and us talking about it?  I had them after 6th grade yesterday."
CT: "..."
Me: "You know, both classes were at the same time?  I did one after the other?  Yesterday?"
CT: "No.  You must have class now."
Me: "Well, I'm in the middle of this class.  Should I leave this class?"
CT: "No.  You must do this class."
Me:"Okay.  But I can't do both."
CT: "..."
Me: "I can't do this class and do that other class at the same time.  I don't have a problem, I can do either one.  But I can't do both."
CT: "You must stay here.....You must teach your afternoon class."
Me: "Okay, well, I can't do both.  I am one person.  Those are two different classrooms.  Just tell me which one to be in, and I'll be in it.  But I can't be in both."
CT: "Why won't you teach your afterschool class?"
Me: "I did.  Yesterday after 6th grade."
CT: "Ok.  So you should teach then and now.  And this class later."
Me: "First of all, I won't teach one class twice.  Second of all, later is 5pm so I won't be doing that either.  I can teach both classes, but you have to tell me when and where."
CT: "..."
Me: "And they can't be at the same time."
CT: "I'll be right back."



The point being, sometimes it's like speaking to 5 year olds.  There's no forward thinking, no logic.  BOSS GIVES INPUT THAT YOU MUST BE HERE.  NO INFORMATION WILL DEVIATE FROM THAT.  As I said, I've worked many jobs all over the place.  Sure, double scheduling exists, but only in Korea do people have such a hard time grasping that you can't be in two places at one time.  Not only that, but I thought we solved this problem.  But no, like many other things it was tossed aside because you were so 'busy'.  A simple text to the parents a month ago saying the afternoon class was bumped 40 minutes ahead would have solved this problem.  But instead I got "TOO BUSY!" and now I'm getting angry messages from parents for screwing up their schedule.  Let me be clear: I have no say over the schedule.  I just do what I'm told.  But I'm not David Blaine.  I can't be in two places at once.  I literally had to mime "one me" and "two classes" for my CT to finally grasp the problem.  They might have the highest IQ in the world, but there's a reason there's no Korean detective shows on TV.  It'd be a 25 year long series trying to find the address of the murder. 

A corpse on CSI could solve his own murder faster than a Korean could figure out how to tie his shoes in order to get to the crime scene, is what I'm trying to say.  In a loving way, of course. 

This is why I find it so frustrating here sometimes.  Not terrible, not horrible.  But frustrating.

You need a hologram, man. Try to find R2-D2 somewhere..and bang! Problem solved.


  • specter13
  • Expert Waygook

    • 794

    • November 29, 2010, 10:00:26 pm
    • Seoul South Korea
Re: This is why I find it frustrating here sometimes
« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2015, 07:54:35 am »

I said, "I want them to think!"

She said, "This isn't thinking time. It's class time."

That pretty much sums up this country in my opinion.

That has to be one of the saddest but most accurate quotes I have seen while in Korea. Critical thinking is a myth and a dirty word here.