Tag Archives: Contracts

All About the Benjamins

15 Sep

Earlier I planned on dropping a few lines about my recent addiction to Korean barbeque, but I’ve decided to change it up. Why? I’ve been hit with a bit of a dilemma and I feel it might turn out to be the first rift in the relationship between myself and the school administration. For any of my readers considering coming to Korea to teach, take note. You quite possibly will have to deal with a similar situation.

Yesterday after my morning classes were finished I asked my co-teacher when I would be able to receive the 300,000 Won settlement allowance (as well as my first month’s salary) the school owes me . Naturally, after having set up three Korean bank accounts, I figured they could easily deposit the money in just a few days. This may not exactly be the case.

Before thanking me for bringing it to her attention, my co-teacher tells me she just needs to file some paperwork on my behalf with the school administration and the money will be deposited soon after. I got the feeling I would’ve been completely assed out had I never brought it up. No problem though. I return to my desk to watch football highlights before taking off for the day.

Today, however, after barely making it through five-mind numbing lessons with a group of sixth graders who couldn’t give two fucks about comparative adjectives, the story changed. My co-teacher now tells me I will have to have a sit down with her and the principal to go over, and officially sign, my employment contract before any money can be sent my way (mind you I have already signed the same contract three times with various entities). A bit of patience is lost, but alright. Sign the damn thing and get paid right? Wrong! 20 minutes later my she again appears at my desk and informs me that the school administration apparently will need several other documents; namely my resume and a copy of my college diploma–of which I already submitted to both my recruiter and the EPIK staff during the orientation. In fact, when I originally signed  my contract with EPIK, I specifically asked if I would need to hold on to bring either my diploma or transcript to the school I was set to work at, and they assured me that they would forward all documents to the Busan Metropolitan Office of Education and that there was no need. This is precisely the type of run around I was hoping to avoid during my time here.

Now I wrote before how I understand my low social standing as a native english teacher here in Korea, but all this misinformation has me feeling like I need to perform a damn shuck-n-jive just to get what’s owed to me. Maybe I should do a full out minstrel show where I eat fried chicken and loudly explain how much I love watermelon. “Aww massa, I showls wish I had me some watermelon to snack on why I wait for my scraps!” Hell, I’m already singing and dancing for several hundred students per week. What more do they expect?

To be fair, my co-teacher seems like she’s doing her best to help me out, but she’s caught in-between  my needs and her loyalty to a system that thrives on bureaucratic red tape for anyone who’s last name Doesn’t end in Lee, Kim, or Park. She claims she will make a call to the Busan Office Education first thing tomorrow morning to sort everything out, but my fear is, with Chuseok approaching next week (I have the week off and am heading to Seoul), this shit may not get resolved until after the holiday.

I’m going to hold off on blowing my lid. I don’t want to jeopardize the good standing I have with my co-teacher, but if I walk in tomorrow to another fairy tale about what I need to do to get paid, shit might get a bit ignorant. Mama didn’t raise no fool, and she for damn sure didn’t raise no punk.


Kimchi Dreadlocks

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