A busy month of moving and changing jobs

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I should apologize for not keeping my readers in the loop, especially those dedicated readers and those reading via RSS / Google Reader. I tend not to write a lot about my personal / teaching life since they’re not precisely the focus of the blog, but every now and then life takes a turn for the unexpected.

Rewind to the end of September – my school (an adult-hagwon-that-must-not-be-named) decided to give me a thirty-day notice because of ‘complaints’ and a ‘low booking rate’. In other words, I wasn’t making them enough money. Fine. Whatever. Thirty days is more than enough time to find a new job, right?

I should apologize for not keeping my readers in the loop, especially those dedicated readers and those reading via RSS / Google Reader. I tend not to write a lot about my personal / teaching life since they’re not precisely the focus of the blog, but every now and then life takes a turn for the unexpected.

Rewind to the end of September – my school (an adult-hagwon-that-must-not-be-named) decided to give me a thirty-day notice because of ‘complaints’ and a ‘low booking rate’. In other words, I wasn’t making them enough money. Fine. Whatever. Thirty days is more than enough time to find a new job, right?

Umm… well, that depends… I had a couple specific requirements – I wanted to work in southern Seoul (so as to stay close to my girlfriend), and I wanted to have an apartment provided by the school. In other words, no putting down two months rent as a ‘deposit’ with the school and receiving a measly housing allowance. Seriously, 100,000 won a month won’t even get you into a goshiwon or a room with another teacher.

After doing the usual round of e-mailed resumes and cover letters, I went to a few interviews and had a few recruiters sending me their ‘urgent fill’ type categories. Whether the teacher they had originally planned on getting reneged or couldn’t get a visa, the school had an urgent need, so they call their recruiter and make it an urgent request.

Job #1 offered, job #1 taken away – I was offered to teach adults at a hagwon after one interview. Looked over and signed a contract, but after a call from the recruiter, I was told they offered the job to someone else. WTK? (What the Kimchi?) Apparently, the fact that I couldn’t start on the precise day they needed was the supposed issue – even though during the interview I specifically informed them that I would be finishing my 30-day notice and would be available to start in November. Oy vey.

Job #2 offered, job #2 taken away – Another interview led to another offer at a large hagwon chain, working with adults. I was sent a contract, which I reviewed and later signed. The timing worked out well this time – I’d finish one job on a Friday and start the new one on a Monday. Things were looking good – until the recruiter sends me a text message announcing they’ve decided not to hire a teacher at this time. This is about a week before I was expected to start. A couple calls later, the recruiter informs me that the ‘new director’ at the school made the call, and my application / resume supposedly appeared before they came on. I find it hard to believe that a new director wouldn’t be part of employment decisions – WTK?

Thankfully, the recruiter from job #2 sounded as shocked and taken aback as I was by this explanation. Within a day he had located another job at an elementary school hagwon looking for a teacher. I’ve accepted that job and am moving forward with that.

And then there’s the moving process. While not necessarily a difficult thing to do, it is if the moving truck ends up being smaller than needed. The ajosshi driver could be heard muttering something about how foreigners have a lot of stuff on more than one occasion. To add another degree of difficulty, I had to be out of my old housing by Friday, but couldn’t move into the new place until Monday. A bit of negotiation made Friday Sunday, but no later – the new tenant wanted to move in before the weekend was over, and of course one must respect your tenants moving in dates. About 1/2 of the stuff fit in the moving truck, which was taken to an extra room of the recruiter’s house, and the remaining stuff went to my girlfriend’s place by a combination of taxis and buses. I left behind quite a bit of furniture, but that’s where dumpster diving / keeping your eyes open while walking has paid off. Everything I left behind was freely gotten anyway…

So now it’s Friday – I have everything in the new apartment and have unpacked most of the stuff. I hadn’t stopped to do a big survey of just how much stuff one collects after living in a given area for awhile. There will definitely be a pruning of sorts over the coming weeks – how many dress shirts does one really need, anyway?

Now that things are finally settling down, I hope to start getting back to what I enjoy write about most – traveling and life in Korea.

Creative Commons License © Chris Backe – 2009



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