Thursday, August 23, 2007

Turned down startling job offer

So I met with the job offer guy today. The one that offered me a job was actually a middleman, and he asked me how much I was going to give him for "hooking me up" after we agreed to meet. I talked to my friend here(a Hatian, been in Korea for 2 years) and he seemed to think it was normal. This made be feel uncomfortable, but I figured it just might be the way things work here and the normal way of doing business. Since he was actually offering a service- he was negotiating the deal with the school and translating because the language school's bossman didn't speak much English. (?!?)
He asked me to meet him in a little slot of time I had before I had to be back for lunch with the orientation group. It was only about half an hour long. He had the school bossman drive out and we didn't get started until 20 minutes before I had to go- and things went slowly because everything went through translation. It was at this point that they told me that the promised 2.2 million won/month was actually $2332 not "around $2500", and that I'd only actually get paid that much if I did a mid-day session as well. Also they didn't have a client for the second morning period so I wouldn't teach that(yet) so it would actually only be 1.5 million won per month- that is, $1590- although he gave me $1700 as an estimated conversion. I also asked if I were allowed to teach as employment on my student visa- I was told in more words that 'everybody does it'. That's probably true, and if that were the only sticking point with this job it probably wouldn't have been a problem. I also learned that I'd have to miss team meetings on Wednesday night (like Cornerstones at LETU) and it was farther away from campus than I though. And the kicker- to formally teach English in Korea you should have a degree. They asked me to tell the students that I had a degree. I think I'm very qualified to teach English(reading so much finally pays off) but I can't tell people that I have a degree when I don't.

At this point I decided it was more or less a crap deal. As far as the 'commission', a kickback by any other name is still as wrong. I could tell that this whole operation is kind of shady. I don't mind teaching English, and I don't see a problem getting paid for services rendered- but I just couldn't live with all of the demands. This deal might have worked out if I weren't in school- but school is the priority and I won't sacrifice my education and experience in school just to be a millionaire in won.

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