Monday, May 31, 2010

The Blame Game

Ian and I had a meeting with Julia this morning.  She was in great form this morning, laying the full weight of her company's financial problems on us.

As we sat down she brought out a sheet with the enrollment numbers for all three campuses.  She told us that, for Haso and Goam, the numbers were down 40 students from the beginning of the year (September).  She said that the "students don't want to come" because our classes are "not interesting or beneficial."  I talked to a student last week who told me he wasn't coming back next term.  When I asked him why, he told me that his mom didn't want him in classes at night, so they were going to find somewhere he could take a class an appropriate level class during the day.  It had nothing to with Yoon's itself.

Then she scribbled some math regarding our severance, airfare and remaining three months.  She asked us (and not hypothetically) how she should find the money to pay for that.

At one point, while Julia was chiding us for the seven months that we lazily "wasted time" ("Your teaching skill is fine now, but you wasted so much times," then she drew a time line from September to April, in case we didn't understand) Ian swallowed hard and told her that it was difficult to know how she felt about our performance during those months because Gene rarely spoke of it and when he did, he told us we were doing well.  Julia said, "But, Mr. Gene said he told you all these things, but you didn't listen.  That's why he choose to leave the company.  He felt he had no work to do here."  While I doubt that Gene actually felt that way, I do believe he may have said it to her, as he proved pretty spineless when it came to Julia.

This went on for nearly an hour.  Ian and I twisted uncomfortably in our seats wondering if she was just going to out and fire us.  Then her phone rang and she ran (quite literally) out of the room to take the phone call.  When she came back, she picked up one of the new books and started going over potential lesson plans with us.  We went through two books and then she dismissed us.  Just before we went to lunch, Ian tried to tactfully clarify that we were going to finish our contracts with the company.  She answered with, "Oh, just continue to do your best."  So, my guess is that we will be on our toes until August 31.

I was pretty tired after that meeting, but my classes went well.  The first day of a new term is always a little stressful.  The books make it easier to keep the students engaged and the time flew by.  I didn't have time to finish my lesson plans for tomorrow, but I should have ample time before tomorrow's begin.  I'm hoping things settle down enough for me to work on my article.

Good night!


  1. What a STUPID woman this Julia person is I just want to SLAP her!!! I think you and Ian are handling this very well and wisely, just hang in there ...I think she is just "lost" in some weird power trip to supplement for her own insecurities....hang in there again and Know for every one Julia, there are at least a dozen or more of us that love and respect you dearly...Hugs, Wendy

  2. Wow, The fun just keeps on rolling, doesn't it. I think I remembered you saying that Wonderland, (the school Julia worked for before this one),was black listed for awhile. It would be interesting to find out why. I think the answer lies right before you in a small framed woman who never takes responsibility for anything, and whom I believe is a miserable human being. You both are handling this whole experience beautifully. But it might be therapeutic to fantasize about your last day, checks in hand, about how you are going to tell her just what a piece of work she is and that the schools financial problems and other problems are hers to own and only hers.

    Oh, I will be bringing out that voodoo doll again, you can count on that!!

  3. Hmmm. I don't want to alarm you, but I hope she isn't just stringing you along to finish the term so she can fire you on the next to last day and avoid paying airfare and such. I wonder what it costs to go see a Korean lawyer.