There's a strange feeling in the air at Yoon's. Everyone (all the teachers, that is) can feel that something is happening. Changing. Maybe. No one is really sure.
The "secretary" (there's a man who works at the Goam campus fixing computers, making schedules and doing the other odds and ends- my mother would remember him as the man with the shiny suit) told Rahee today that he saw a new schedule and that her and Stephanie's names were missing from it. In fact, they weren't just missing, there were other names in their place. But, Julia told Stephanie today that if she wanted to work another thirty day cycle that Rahee needed to work, too. Somehow, they're contracts are contingent on each other's. Neither Rahee nor Stephanie have any idea why.
I talked to Rahee for about a half an hour today. She was told that someone would be sitting in on her classes today. She couldn't remember the girl's name, only that she was Korean-Canadian. But, when I walked by her class, no one unusual was there, just her students. I wonder for what position this person is being hired. Terry (Julia's son) is also back in Korea for summer break, so they'll probably find a position for him here, too. The amount of excess baggage at this company is unbelievable.
Rahee's mother, who is a "home teacher" for Yoon's, has been ill recently, so she has been unable to take on her normal load of students. David, Julia's husband and the real owner of Yoon's, has been pushing her to take a larger load. Her mom has worked for Yoon's for six years, but she's seriously considered quitting. She told Rahee that she may even leave before Rahee is finished.
Julia and her children lived in Australia for four years. During that time, David was running the Jecheon Yoon's franchise. Julia and her youngest (Terry stayed for university and to get out of mandatory military service) came back to Korea and the family went to work expanding their franchise to include hagwons (the Korean word for cram school). Julia is in charge of the hagwons and David still runs the home-study portion of the business. It seems that her management style has poisoned that division, too, because they are losing home teachers left and right according to Rahee via her mother.
I'm very nervous about our meeting tomorrow, but I'm ready for it. I hope that the idea of firing us or "shortening our contracts" doesn't even come up, but if it does Ian and I are armed to the teeth with information. My guess is that they do not expect us to know the laws. They expect us to take everything they say as gospel and, in the beginning, that's what happened. Julia and David think we're stupid and they treat us like children. Because Korean workers rarely act on their own volition, they will be surprised if they end up confronted with our appeal to the Labor Board.
I'm trying to find information on the web about Wonderland Jecheon (the hagwon that Julia worked at before Yoon's), but I'm not having any luck.