Home > Employment, Life > Oh, the irony

Oh, the irony

I may have given the impression in my last post that I was going to fight tooth and nail to maintain the status quo in my employment. That’s changed somewhat.

Our new head teacher had a meeting with me yesterday and, after beating about the bush for a while explained that the hagwon wanted me to leave early – my last working day would now be 24th August. I basically said OK.

Apparently, a few students have left the hagwon, and this has been attributed to rumours stemming from my problems with the class I’ve mentioned previously. (I reckon there’s a good chance those kids may have left anyway.) There had also been a complaint from the parents of a student in one of my other classes about that class being too noisy. (This latter class is my worst class by some margin, and has been for most of my time here. It’s also (I think) the only class I’ve taught all the way through my contract.) I suppose I am to blame for my failings, but individually, these things would probably have amounted to little; I’ve been unlucky in that they’ve all come at once.

Although I’ve barely had a conversation with her, I’d never really been keen on the woman who’s become the head teacher. She’s always seemed a bit cold, short tempered and even arrogant. In our meeting she was at pains to point out that she was just the messenger bearing these bad tidings and that she felt really bad about it and had been up all night worrying about how to tell me. This actually endeared her to me and I thought that maybe I’d misjudged her. On a second thought, I realised she could well be just presenting a facade, but I kind of appreciated the effort and I didn’t feel at all upset by the turn of events.

She’s yet to change my flight details, but I’m hoping that I’ll now be returning on Monday 27th. This will give me time to pick up my new computer (it’s not actually mine yet, but I think I can describe it that way) and hopefully see England vs Brazil in the U-17 World Cup that Saturday.

The important thing is that I’m still to be paid my bonus – if this doesn’t turn out to be the case, it puts the whole episode in a completely different light, but they must know that that will cause huge problems for them. I suppose I shouldn’t be so cynical, but no foreign teacher has completed their contract in the time that I’ve been here, so I don’t have anything to judge by (other than the general bad reputation of hagwons). The other thing is that I’ll be going home three weeks early – and I’m quite happy about that. My only reservation is that I’ll have to retell this somewhat embarrassing story over and over again to friends and family once I get back to Britain.

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Categories: Employment, Life
  1. 14 August 2007 at 3:28 pm

    I would be very worried about the bonus if I were you at this point.
    I’ve heard enough stories about this kind of stunt to be very suspicious.
    I’m not sure how you can make very sure you are going to get the 13th month.
    It does not make any problems for them at all. You will have the problem.

    Good luck.

  2. 15 August 2007 at 4:35 am

    My hagwon is part of a fairly large chain affiliated to a university, so I don’t believe they’re complete cowboys. Yes, they may turn around and say, ‘You haven’t actually finished your twelve months, so we’re not paying your bonus,’ but I can just as easily say, ‘OK, I’ll stay here and work for another few weeks, or until you give me what you owe me.’

    I’m torn between not wanting to be too naive and not wanting to be too cynical. Que sera, sera, I suppose.

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