Things to like about Korea post, interrupted…


By a call from my recruiter about the major corporation…

STRIKE THAT

25 calls/texts

25

25 today and 12 yesterday!

First, some background information on the continuing saga:

After telling the recruiters that their contract was worthless and that I didn’t want to work with their company anymore because I had no confidence in their business practices, I tell them no thanks, but that I’ll stick around for the interim while they look for a replacement.  (see how reasonable I am?)  They call and I get offered $5 more an hour and a promise they’ll find me more work the other three mornings if I’ll please stay.  Sounds like still not enough money and an empty promise.  Hmm.  Especially since, how can I accommodate the V.P.’s flakey schedule if they’ve found me other work for the mornings at the same time?  Hmm?  I tell them no, thank you.

Please excuse the mess of poor quotation punctuation – I’m still fuming…

The class gets canceled by the student, and then again the following day.  The following week, I get a call from Nadia the evening before asking me to come in an hour early.  I agree to go and then get another text telling me again that the class is going to be an hour earlier and three more text messages explaining why.  I put on my monkey suit (or as close as I can get to one) and go to where I’m supposed to rendevous with the teacher coordinator, who doesn’t show up.  I call and she tells me – class was canceled, I told you that!  (no.  it’s in black and white .  wasn’t told)  Naturally, I’m a little annoyed and admonish her – if she’s going to text me about something so important, to please not back-peddle with long explanations, but make it simple and clear, like “no class today.”

That afternoon, I start getting a WHOLE SERIES of (excuse me) ass kissing calls and texts, from Nadia, and then Jemma, her senior.  Then I get another call from some guy named Shawn, their senior, saying he will pay as if I went to class.  Shawn goes on to tell me how it’s not their fault, the V.P. is very busy, how important I am, yadda yadda yadda. Then they say that they would like to offer me pay equivalent to four classes (= 4 hours to keep about 12 hours open = still not much) to compensate for the shifting schedule and to please keep my mornings open, with a pay increase after three months.   I tell him they’re finally sounding somewhat reasonable, but that it doesn’t matter, I’ve been traumatized by my experience with them and no longer have faith in part-time positions:  I will find a full time job and leave at the earliest opportunity.  I’m only doing them a favor now, and please start looking for my replacement.

THEN – a few hours later I get another call from Shawn apologizing profusely and informing me that tomorrow’s class is canceled and – could I please change the class to Mondays and Wednesdays…please?  Just this once.   Now, now I lose it.

Look, I tell them.  I TOLD YOU from the first day that I was ONLY available on Thursdays and Fridays because I’m still working full time until the 11th of February. You knew that all the time.  What the heck are you doing promising things you can’t deliver?

He begs, he cajoles, he tries to get me to call in sick to work, etc.

Oh I see.  So you want me to lie to my real job?  How can you ask that?  Do you want your employees to lie to you?

He goes on again to explain how it’s not their fault, but the student is just very demanding, and wants what she wants when she wants it, and that if she doesn’t see the new teacher on Monday, then the recruiters are finished.  Because so many teachers have quit, she thinks the recruiters don’t manage their teachers well.  I am beginning to think the V.P. is much like me, tired of excuses, and probably there’s nothing unreasonable about her at all…

I tell him I’m sorry he’s painted himself into this corner,  but I really can’t help them.  Turns out they not only promised that I’d be there on Monday, but that they promised  the V.P. I’d also be willing to switch to Mondays and Wednesdays and be on call every morning.

He begs me to help him come up with a solution.  I tell him to have somebody else stand in for me, since I’ve STILL yet to have a class with the student.

No good.  The student picked me.

Well then, the V.P. will just have to take the class as scheduled or wait a week until my school is finished, just like any other person on the planet would have to do.

He says he will talk to his boss and H.R. at the V.P.’s company to see what to do. Next comes calls from Jemma.  Texts from Nicole.

I text her back that they have lost all dignity and ask her if they really want to live like this.

A We-care-about-you call and about the sixth we’re-worried-about-you text from Nicole and can she call me again later?

I tell her no for god’s sake don’t call!  Let me have my day back.

Call from Shawn practically begging.  I tell him the V.P. is right – they don’t manage their teachers well.  They have history with this woman and know her needs and instead of structuring the job assignment to accommodate her, they low ball the salary and attempt to trick and pressure the teacher into doing it instead.  I tell him AGAIN that they are bad businessmen and deserve what they get.  They should have told me up front what to expect, and they should only hire people who can accommodate what their client wants.  God, I’m sick of being an educator.

Well, he says, it’s too late now.  What do we do?  Can I call you again tonight?  NO! please no more calls from you people tonight.  Let me have a peaceful an evening to myself.

Against my better judgment, I call my school and ask if I can rearrange my schedule to accommodate these idiots.  I feel so wrong enabling them.  I just want to take a bath and get the hysterics to stop.  You know, I haven’t been paid anything yet for all this grief.  I absolutely can’t believe the lengths these people expect someone who wants a job to go to.  I can’t believe how many hours I’ve spent going to their office, being subjected to their ill-prepared, no-win humiliating training sessions, only to find out that they can’t find anybody who does what I already do just fine.  I tell them I want double the class fee.  In cash.  Before the lesson.  Or forget it.  They say what I want is no problem.

Of course, the calls/texts continue from all of them.  After about 20 of these calls, and one incredible email where Shawn offers me a monthly package that is LESS than the previous one offered, throwing in that it’s a 6 month contract,  I finally tell Shawn:  What part of DON’T CALL ME ANYMORE don’t you understand?  If I get ONE MORE CALL you can forget about this favor I’m doing – coming in for you after I’ve already quit.  This has crossed the line into harassment!  I already told you I’m looking for full time work and won’t be signing any long contract.

4 more calls and texts from Nicole, asking to talk over coffee.  I tell her please, I just want to do my job, be left alone, and to collect my money.  Just business.  Please don’t call me again.  So what does she do???  Yup.  SHE CALLS.  She just wants to have coffee and chat.  I finally told her,  “That’s it.  You can’t respect me and leave me in peace, so I won’t be coming in Monday.  DON’T CALL ME AGAIN.  I won’t answer the phone.”

1 more text from Nicole.  “but I’m just worried about you because I want to be your friend!

Oh – my – God.  Sorry this is so long, but you can not begin to imagine the whining, and long windy excuses, and disgusting sucking up that my poor ears have had to listen to today.   I’ve only relayed my business-only short and increasingly curt answers.  I agree to buy them time to find a solution and they repay me buy trying to trick me, manipulate me, and con me into more.  As if this is a relationship anybody would want to continue.

Shawn tried to reason with me once.  He says he spent a few years working in America and he understands that time is money.  But this is Korea.  I have to understand that they have to do what this very important person asks.  I tell him they had every opportunity to do just that in a professional manner, and that I have nothing to do with their mistakes.

Between all these calls, I am trying to organize a public event for TRACK and attend a meeting and talk with a person in Jeollanamdo about a real job and worry about my unpaid heating bill.  I am beginning to think I am like some Korean garbage magnet.  I just want to run away.

The phone is turned off, though, and it’s beautifully silent in my little basement apartment.  I’m going to watch a streaming movie and try and calm down.

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