Where’s that country in the sky?


Class 1-3 was beastly again this week.

19 heads on desks.  No co-teacher in sight.

I FINALLY got word about my application for flight reimbursement.  It got disapproved by my Vice Principal.  He’s probably too chicken shit to send on up the ladder.

So here’s my reply:

May 14, 2009

To Whom It May Concern:

For the record, I have resubmitted my Application for Airfare under duress because my original application is being blocked and it means I will get zero reimbursement if I do not.  I feel it is my legal duty to submit my denied Application for Airfare as a document and record that I did attempt to collect on a debt I felt was contractually owed me.

According to Item 5.1.:  The actual purchasing price of the airfare for Employee’s flight to Korea shall be reimbursed by Employer within a month (30 days) upon working at the school based on the economy class of the most direct flight available from Employee’s residence to the Incheon International Airport in Korea.

  1. The actual purchasing price of my airfare was the total of the two tickets submitted.
  2. Employee’s residence was Seattle, Washington.
  3. Chiang Mai, Thailand was NOT this employee’s residence.
  4. At minimum, I expected to receive the lowest fare available for a direct flight from my residence to Incheon International Airport available on the day of my arrival.

The “Information Package for New GEPIK Teachers,” which was received AFTER signing our contracts is the first mention that teachers can not be reimbursed for any “unnecessary” stops.

  1. Adding information such as this AFTER signing a contract is a practice known as bait and switch, and it is illegal in most developed countries
  2. It is discriminatory in that it acts on the prejudice that any stop is for pleasure and should not be contributed towards.  It would be fair if we were compensated for what would have been the market rate price of a single destination ticket from our residence to our new place of employment, which is what “based on,” appeared to mean.

I didn’t ask for extra money.  I only asked for what it stated in the contract, the economy class of the most direct flight available from my residence to Incheon International Airport in Korea.  Remember:  we had to shoulder all these costs up front, out of our own pockets, and at great hardship.  Instead, I will receive less than 40% of what I spent and 48% of what a direct flight from my home would have cost.  Of $1,274.00 I spent on airfare, I will only be reimbursed $481.34?  That’s a lot of money: hardly fair and certainly not equitable.  And, I might add, would discourage other teachers in the future from bothering to get additional training prior to signing a contract with GePIK.

The verbiage in your contract (“based on”) is vague, and based upon your reaction to my asking for comparable airfare from my residence to Incheon, contradictory and misleading. Basing on something nebulous is not a good model for contract language.  If your intent was to penalize those teachers who would ask you to partially fund a joy ride on their behalf, the outcome was that you penalized teachers who were trying to be better prepared for their assignments, and who paid dearly for it.  As well as my friends and family – the good people who sacrificed and lent me the airfare to come to Korea, knowing that I would be reimbursed.

Disappointed with your business ethics,

Leanne Leith

Now published on the internet.  Goddamnit.  Why is the world such a vile place sometimes?

ADDED: I know 1-3 is half my problem, especially today after coming in from writing the letter above, I was in a particularly bad mood. But 40 students with no skills and bad attitude you only see once a week with no assistance is too much. It’s just this one class. The class started with one forth of their heads down, and I just barreled on. And then I ceased to care whether they heard or not. And then I took my handouts back, since they’ll never need to refer to them while they are delivering chinese food. And I taught half my lesson to the six or so still listening. Demoralizing day.

MORE: The thing I don’t understand about 1-3 is all the other classes did pretty damn good with the lesson this week. All of them. Even the first class of the week, which has to be guinea pigs at dress rehearsal. The other thing I don’t understand about 1-3 is I have one or two allies in there. Cute popular boys who get the class in line for me. But the total indifference from everyone else makes me want to just walk out and never go back.

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3 thoughts on “Where’s that country in the sky?

  1. “Delivering chinese food” OMG this is amazing! HAHAHAHAHA!

    You better watch out they could be delivering Pizza Hut or Domino’s on one of those mopeds trying to run people over on the sidewalk.

    Wait Chaing Mai isnt your place of residence? you mean you dont want to live in the sinthana resort for the rest of your life?

  2. Wae? Do you live in Itaewon or something? Why order Pizza when there’s Ja Jang Myeon?

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