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Dealing with a princiUNpal.
« on: April 28, 2011, 09:18:03 am »
So this morning is just the icing on the cake and I could get into a whole 18 months worth of similar situations, but basically it boils down to my non English speaking principal being a huge nazi-esc steaming pile of dog@#$% (what I actually call him is a lot less P.C.). 

[Not that I have anything inherently against him for not being able to speak English, it is just that I can never get my point across because it is hard to feel good about making the teachers that are with me (who I  do actually respect and like)to translate the things that I want to say to stand up for myself.]
 
I am not alone on this one, and coming from an elementary school with 60+ teachers, I can't find one that actually likes the guy.

Basically the last principal at my school was a "G" and this one, after his one year honeymoon period turned into a completely ridiculous a$$hole. 

This morning, I arrived at my office at 8:31 bright eyed and bushy tailed (technically I am supposed to be there at 8:30), and greeted the principal with a smile on my face, as usual, as he was standing outside the gate greeting the parents dropping their children off. No big deal.

My handler, boss, whatever you want to call the sweet lady that looks after my best interests gets called to talk to the principal.  The conversation involved me and whether or not I was late every day. 

She said no, that I come on time to school, every day--at 8:30, like everyone else.  He replied with, no, he was late today, he came in at 8:31 (I also sprained my ankle last week, which is still swollen and purple and I am walking with a pretty good limp).  To this she replied with a moment of silence, some stuttering (from the shock of his assholishness), and then said well we don't have any classes today so maybe he thought.....trail off argument.

Also, he has me scheduled to come in on at least 4 different Saturdays as he has different grades' "English days" on those days (one of which is the Saturday of the "long weekend" at the beginning of April). There are 4 other weekends that he thinks I will need to come in for things like sports day, science day, and somehow he even has an open class for me on a Saturday. 

Previously, they were during school hours, in the afternoon, when there were no classes. These times, during school hours, must have been too sensible for his liking.  I have repeatedly brought up the contract regarding not working Saturdays.  They feed me some crap about the wording being "shall not" work Saturdays and Sundays instead of "will never." Last year, when he asked me to come in on a Saturday for which I had plans (it was Halloween) I told him no, I had plans and would not be coming.  Through the translation I got "We'll see about that."  When I didn't turn up, he was livid on Monday morning and told me that I could never, under any circumstances do that again.

POINT OF THIS WHOLE RANT: Do you all have any clever ways of "sticking it to the man" that would give me some sort of at least minor/major (either one at this point) victory over this pretentious jerk?

Basically,


  • Ectofuego
  • Featured Contributor

    • 920

    • November 02, 2010, 09:21:10 am
    • Mars
Re: Dealing with a princiUNpal.
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2011, 09:25:37 am »
wow.  Stand your ground.  If your GEPIK or EPIK, report this situation about working weekends to your coordinator.  Tell him, due to your contract, he can not make you come in on saturdays.  Generally in the past when i have worked with unruly people (in the us and korea,)  I am super super nice about it.  One:  It makes you look good, and Two; it incredibly annoys the person mad at you because they know they didnt get to you.

YOU:  I am sorry Mr. Principal, but I can not work on saturdays.
Principal:  You will work on saturdays, you have too.
YOU:  Oh really?  I am sorry, but if you look in my contract, it says I will not work saturdays.
Principal: You WILL come.
YOU:  Um....no, sorry though!
I'm Jason and I approve this message!


  • w4z
  • Veteran

    • 205

    • November 30, 2010, 10:12:55 am
    • USA
Re: Dealing with a princiUNpal.
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2011, 09:30:39 am »
Talk to your GEPIK/ EPIK coordinator.  They should "stick it to the man" with any contract issues you're having.


Re: Dealing with a princiUNpal.
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2011, 09:32:23 am »
I'm assuming you're at a public school, so definitely go to your district supervisor or handler. Tell them your principal is trying to force you to break your contract and you need someone to explain to him the terms of your work hours. If this was the first time, I would advise you to handle it more discretely, but because he got livid last time and will continue to make your work life worse the longer you fight him one-on-one with this, I think it's best to get the higher-ups involved.


  • Gillod
  • Veteran

    • 125

    • December 01, 2009, 07:29:17 pm
Re: Dealing with a princiUNpal.
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2011, 09:37:18 am »
I tend to be very short with my principal, especially if she's trying to work contract voodoo. If they say like "You'll come to work on Saturday!", I just say "No" and walk off. Your co-teachers will be too jittery to lay it down for her, you have to be the tough dude.

One time she tried to claim that cleaning the bathroom was among my duties.


Re: Dealing with a princiUNpal.
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2011, 09:40:04 am »
Go through the chain of command and toss out that contract. You do NOT have to work anything outside of your contract. Some people get lucky and don't have this issue. Others get the shaft and get the slave drivers. The good news is, the contract protects you.

I was lucky. I usually do extra things, but I only do this because my school rarely asks me and always makes it a great experience for me. They asked me to go on this field trip on a Saturday once and I did not want to at first, but I decided to go. They praised for me for going and bought me dinner. The Principle shook my hand and they have not asked me to do anything on Saturday again. They then asked me to stay until 6pm once, because there was a tour of my English room and I REALLY did not want to stay. I figured they would ask me to do it a lot. I stayed and they paid me the overtime hours and bought me a fruit basket. They later asked me to do bonus classes for additional pay and I can cancel them on days I am too busy on.


  • koko
  • Newgookin

    • 2

    • April 14, 2011, 09:55:07 am
    • Incheon
Re: Dealing with a princiUNpal.
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2011, 09:43:01 am »
Not only do I agree with the prior posts about getting your program involved with the higher ups about the contract I think its very rare that people work Saturdays at all. This principle definitely has it out for you from you story. Its best to get a group of teachers and district administrators on your side by telling them the multiple occasions of the principal being unruly. If you are thinking about doing a third contract, you should seriously think about moving schools! Under no circumstances should you allow to work any Saturday no matter what. The Korean mentality is that if once is ok, than anything is ok.


Re: Dealing with a princiUNpal.
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2011, 09:43:51 am »
YOU:  I am sorry Mr. Principal, but I can not work on saturdays.
Principal:  You will work on saturdays, you have too.
YOU:  Oh really?  I am sorry, but if you look in my contract, it says I will not work saturdays.
Principal: You WILL come.
YOU:  Um....no, sorry though!
[/quote]

I love this! Kill him with kindness. I find it to be pretty effective in Korea (and elsewhere). He will be the annoyed one.


  • aramella
  • Veteran

    • 168

    • September 15, 2010, 12:01:19 pm
    • Pohang, South Korea
Re: Dealing with a princiUNpal.
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2011, 10:02:14 am »
I don't have my contract in front of me but I remember when I had this situation last year it said something along the lines of "you may be required to work Saturdays for English Camps and other school activities etc etc."  But I get paid overtime and get free Lotteria so I don't care very much. 

Your school seems very pushy about it though.  My school tells me months in advance about the English Camps that fall on Saturdays. I am usually the only person at my school with 20 students.  I get about 100,000won every Saturday I work.  I think thats worth it.


  • Ectofuego
  • Featured Contributor

    • 920

    • November 02, 2010, 09:21:10 am
    • Mars
Re: Dealing with a princiUNpal.
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2011, 10:05:02 am »
I don't have my contract in front of me but I remember when I had this situation last year it said something along the lines of "you may be required to work Saturdays for English Camps and other school activities etc etc."  But I get paid overtime and get free Lotteria so I don't care very much. 

Your school seems very pushy about it though.  My school tells me months in advance about the English Camps that fall on Saturdays. I am usually the only person at my school with 20 students.  I get about 100,000won every Saturday I work.  I think thats worth it.

Article 8(Work Hours)
1. Employee shall work eight (8) hours per day including lunch hour for five (5) calendar days
per week from Monday to Friday and shall not work on Saturdays, Sundays and Korean
national holidays.
2. The Work Hours of Employee shall follow the normal work schedule of civil servants of the
Korean Government; however, such Work Hours may be adjusted by the school principal as
he/she deems appropriate as necessary.
3. Employee’s teaching hours shall not exceed twenty-two (22) hours per week. Employee
shall/may be asked to teach extra 6 hours within and/or out of the regular working hours.
Extra teaching should not exceed 6 hours per week without Employee’s consent.
4. If an employee does not fulfill his/her teaching quota of 22 hours per week, the Employer may
ask the Employee to teach classes in other subject areas, outside of English, for the remaining
hours.
5. For the extra class teaching hours aside from the normal 22 hours per week, Employee shall
be offered with supplementary class instruction pay at the rate of 20,000 KRW per hour or use
it as contribution holiday in which 8 hours’ teaching will be considered as one(1) day.
6. During school vacations, Employee shall be asked to participate in special classes or English
day camps up to 20 hours per week.
7. Upon mutual agreement, Employer may require Employee to perform duties overtime other
than teaching classes in addition to normal Work days and Work hours. In this case, overtime
pay will be provided (7,000 KRW/hour).



This is the GEPIK contract wording
I'm Jason and I approve this message!


Re: Dealing with a princiUNpal.
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2011, 10:17:27 am »
The thing that gets me here is that there seems to be a bit of a contradiction between points 1 and 2. 

Which one has more power(<<awkwardly worded):  In essence, 1 says that I shall not work on weekends but 2 says work hours may be adjusted by the principal as he/she deems necessary. 
Does that apply to weekends?
Does one overrule the other?


Re: Dealing with a princiUNpal.
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2011, 10:20:33 am »
As other people have said, just say no.
He's trying to bully you as he would with any Korean teacher. But the thing is you're not Korean, and your career doesn't depend on kissing this d-bag's ass. I mean seriously, what are they going to do, fire you? And with the ridiculously long criminal background process, who exactly are they going to replace you with?
Yesterday I had a co-teacher tell me that the principal demanded the after-school first grade class begin at 1:10, as opposed to 1:00, which means I would have 40 minutes to eat lunch and prepare for the after-school classes. So I told them, "I'm very sorry, but it looks like we will have to cancel the after-school first grade class." Who do you think won that battle?


  • woman-king
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1159

    • October 18, 2010, 03:56:29 pm
    • Gyeonggi
Re: Dealing with a princiUNpal.
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2011, 10:23:08 am »
You need to whip out the contract, show him "Employee shall not work Saturday or Sundays" and simply don't come in on those days.  Buttt...might be a good idea to get there a little earlier than 8:30 since that's also what the contract says.


  • earthjuice
  • Waygookin

    • 15

    • January 18, 2011, 12:40:45 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Dealing with a princiUNpal.
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2011, 11:00:38 am »
Simply put...just don't do anything that's not in your contract. I would just say that I am not coming in on Saturday with a smile and don't do it. In the meantime contact your Epik coordinator and stand your ground. I wouldn't recommend just doing something to make yourself feel better or causing a scene or writing a letter to your principal or anything 'formal' like that. In my experience Koreans hate that and it's not gonna get you anywhere. Just don't make a rucous and don't do anything you don't have to do.


Re: Dealing with a princiUNpal.
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2011, 11:35:22 am »
As for the never going in on a Saturday because they'll take advantage of your good nature it ultimately depends on who you're working with. I was asked to come in one saturday a few months ago to get my picture taken for the yearbook and I haven't been asked since to do anything outside of the contract. Everyone's right though, it's probably best to work with the higher-ups to get this solved.


  • Ley_Druid
  • The Legend

    • 2468

    • February 17, 2011, 08:36:33 am
    • Shinan-Gun, Jeollanam-Do, South Korea
Re: Dealing with a princiUNpal.
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2011, 11:43:18 am »
So this morning is just the icing on the cake and I could get into a whole 18 months worth of similar situations, but basically it boils down to my non English speaking principal being a huge nazi-esc steaming pile of dog@#$% (what I actually call him is a lot less P.C.). 

[Not that I have anything inherently against him for not being able to speak English, it is just that I can never get my point across because it is hard to feel good about making the teachers that are with me (who I  do actually respect and like)to translate the things that I want to say to stand up for myself.]
 
I am not alone on this one, and coming from an elementary school with 60+ teachers, I can't find one that actually likes the guy.

Basically the last principal at my school was a "G" and this one, after his one year honeymoon period turned into a completely ridiculous a$$hole. 

This morning, I arrived at my office at 8:31 bright eyed and bushy tailed (technically I am supposed to be there at 8:30), and greeted the principal with a smile on my face, as usual, as he was standing outside the gate greeting the parents dropping their children off. No big deal.

My handler, boss, whatever you want to call the sweet lady that looks after my best interests gets called to talk to the principal.  The conversation involved me and whether or not I was late every day. 

She said no, that I come on time to school, every day--at 8:30, like everyone else.  He replied with, no, he was late today, he came in at 8:31 (I also sprained my ankle last week, which is still swollen and purple and I am walking with a pretty good limp).  To this she replied with a moment of silence, some stuttering (from the shock of his assholishness), and then said well we don't have any classes today so maybe he thought.....trail off argument.

Also, he has me scheduled to come in on at least 4 different Saturdays as he has different grades' "English days" on those days (one of which is the Saturday of the "long weekend" at the beginning of April). There are 4 other weekends that he thinks I will need to come in for things like sports day, science day, and somehow he even has an open class for me on a Saturday. 

Previously, they were during school hours, in the afternoon, when there were no classes. These times, during school hours, must have been too sensible for his liking.  I have repeatedly brought up the contract regarding not working Saturdays.  They feed me some crap about the wording being "shall not" work Saturdays and Sundays instead of "will never." Last year, when he asked me to come in on a Saturday for which I had plans (it was Halloween) I told him no, I had plans and would not be coming.  Through the translation I got "We'll see about that."  When I didn't turn up, he was livid on Monday morning and told me that I could never, under any circumstances do that again.

POINT OF THIS WHOLE RANT: Do you all have any clever ways of "sticking it to the man" that would give me some sort of at least minor/major (either one at this point) victory over this pretentious jerk?

Basically,

Contact your coordinator or local office of education. That should not be the case. If he wants you to work on Saturdays, and you are NOT ok with that, then he just needs to choak on his own flem. Do your job, and don't be late. One minute is one minute. I know, still, that one is your fault. Ok, whatever.

But the bigger point is the Saturday working days. If you are in GEPIK/EPIK, it says in your contract that you do NOT work on those days. If they don't like it, they better contact the Office of Education and get it worked out.

You better as well. Don't sit around waiting, or just refuse to show up. Be proactive and go get 'em, Tiger!!!


  • Koenji
  • Super Waygook

    • 286

    • December 03, 2010, 02:43:17 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Dealing with a princiUNpal.
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2011, 11:49:10 am »
just echoing other people's advice on here.

Contact your co-ordinator first....if that gets you nowhere, then speak to EPIK/GEPIK.

Do not give them an inch and work on a weekend, stand your ground or the principal will walk all over you again in future.


Re: Dealing with a princiUNpal.
« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2011, 11:54:11 am »
I dont know why they were talking about the "shall not" The korean part of the contract is the leaglly binding one. Not the english translation.


Re: Dealing with a princiUNpal.
« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2011, 12:22:00 pm »
he might not speak English, but i'm sure he understands "NO",say it with a smile.
I have been asked to work 4  Saturdays last year, they asked me wo months in advance, i said ok. They asked for this year June (the long weekend) ,for English Festival and i said "Sorry, No." And that was that.
Stand your ground, ignore the idiot, and contact your  Coordinator ~