Monday, April 12, 2010


Today was not a good day.  Today has made tonight a night to drink crummy imported white wine from a jam jar.

In fact, today was the worst day I've ever had of my working adult life, including college.

It is Monday, which means that we had our weekly meeting this morning.  We arrived at 11:30, thinking we were to have a normal meeting with Gene where we accomplish very little (well, at least I accomplish very little), Ian hands over some of his class materials for inspection and they talk about Goam related things that have nothing to do with me.

But, when we got there, Gene told us that Julia would be joining us.  She arrived at about 11:45 and immediately got on a computer.  She didn't say hello.  She didn't even look at me.  Ian and I went and waited in his classroom and our meeting began at 12.  This was already a bummer because we hadn't eaten yet.  Our meetings usually end no later than 12:15 (usually closer to 12), so it's never a problem.

Just before Julia came into the room, Gene came in and gave us each a small packet of papers.  The top sheet regarded a conversation that Ian and she had had on Friday.  She expressed that she was unhappy with his performance and he said that he felt he would be doing better if we had been through some sort of training.  He reminded her that she never took us to Seoul to see classes and/or workshop (like she said she would) and that she never even brought us videos of other Yoon's teachers (like she said she would).  Note:  Ian and I have been doubting the existence of other Yoon's locations for several months now.  So, the paper, or letter, mainly asserted that we had been trained and that Julia had fulfilled her side of the employee/employer bargain fully.  We needed (for the sake of our self respect as teachers) to live up to ours.  For a better understanding of what it's like to talk to Julia, remember this Monty Python skit.

Our horror increased twenty five fold when we got to the next page and realized it was a "first warning" for our impending termination.  We have two weeks to live up to Julia's expectations.  I'm not actually sure if we get a "second warning" after that or if we're simply canned.  Since we never received verbal warnings, it's all a little unclear.

The next sheet was a check list/ rating system.  A Korean person (be it Julia, Gene, another teacher, or, hell, probably any halfway respectable looking Korean person off the street for that matter) will sit in our classes and give us points based on the rating system Julia created.  If we score less than 80%, it's a failing grade.

Gene sat in the first three of my classes today.  He had to return to Goam to do his real job after that.  A "new" Korean English teacher I've never met or seen before sat in my last two.  Before my second to last class began she was sitting in my office.  I went in to grab my books and she asked me to sit down and said, "We should be friends."  Red flag.  I don't think it takes half a brain to recognize that particular method as a fraud.

Luckily, my classes went well today.  Actually, it's unusual for my classes to go poorly; which is one of the numerous reasons I am so confused and frustrated by all of this.

Julia is treating Ian and I as if we are one person.  Any of his flaws are mine as well and anything I do wrong is his fault, too.  Julia said almost nothing to me the entire meeting.  And when I asked what was wrong with my classes, I was told that I lacked "zeal."  Ian and I don't even have the same class format, so lumping us together makes zero sense at all.

Tomorrow should be interesting.  Hopefully, I'll have a little more perspective on this ordeal.  Right now, I'm having difficulty shaking the worry that this will all end in us working up until the end of our contract just to have them fire us so as not to give us our bonuses and airfare.  I'm pretty frightened of that.

Wish us luck.
Good night.


  1. Oh. My. Gosh.
    That is terrible! Do you think it might be a scheme so they do not have to give you your bonuses, or is that an evil thought? This is so frustrating! Who were the people who set you up there? Can you contact them and complain? If I were you I'm not sure I could control my anger. There might be screaming involved. Glad it isn't me.

  2. Hey guys. I'm sorry you had such a terrible day. I agree that it sounds like a scheme to get out of paying you. Is there anyone you can document all of this with? Maybe getting someone unbiased but with authority would hemp, if there even is such a person.

    Hang in there. I'm glad you have each other through all of this.

  3. I am so sorry. Have you had a chance to speak to Gene about this whole thing, and get his perspective on it? I agree you need to get in touch with who ever is the position that Asia held and talk about this.

    Hang in there