Archive for November 2010
Thanks GrizzlyB for posting a comment in regards to my post about English teachers trying to change their image. You’re very pessimistic but you speak the truth. Put simply, do your job, don’t expect any favours, and don’t do anything stupid. I’ve BOLDED the parts that hit home.
Nope, English teachers just have to do their job and behave normally in Korea. Having a one year contract and a shitty free room does not equate to some obligation to run around and show Koreans who are xenophobic/racist that foreigners are human beings.
Start seeing Koreans as people who live in a society that is ethnically homogenous apart from a foreigner population of still limited size. While there is a general inability to see foreigners as people who are equal, there’s a mostly live and let live attitude towards them. As is the case in other countries, there are elements who are abusive towards non Koreans.
This is fed by irresponsible sections of the media and by politicians who get away in Korea with saying racist garbage that is not acceptable on the part of politicians in some other countries.
Korean society has a big problem with alcohol,has an age of consent that is 13, encourages males to pay for sex and accepts married men whoring around while wives and kids at home. Koreans are hardly in a position to criticise E-2 holders for partying on their days off provided the partying is not illegal in any way and Koreans are not harassed by drunk foreigners in any way.
E-2 visa holders don’t have to go out of their way to give money to Koreans and their causes, visit orphanages, do free work etc etc. In the case of orphans you are just going to end up being pestered for expensive/brand goods and will not be appreciated for small gifts you give. Korean orphans have the same shallow materialistic ethos that other Korean kids show.
In the case of helping care for the animals that are tortured and thrown away in shamefully high numbers, you won’t get any credit from Koreans nor will it change their attitudes either to their treatment of animals or foreigners.
So volunteer if you want to but it won’t make much if any difference to most Koreans’ attitudes. Just follow the law and don’t cause disturbances. Just because Koreans give you a job that pays less for the hours than some serving coffee and burgers back home doesn’t mean you have any obligation other than to do your job as well as you can and follow the law.
If you haven’t already, please read this post on ESL Cafe before it gets deleted. Basically it’s about some guy trying to start up a recruiting/dispatch company.
It’s funny how so many people think it’s so easy to become a recruiter for English instructors in Korea when they actually know jack squat. I’ve talked about this here and here. Anyone can find teachers. Just post a free AD on one of the many sites and I guarantee you’ll at the very least get a few applicants. However, it’s not only finding clients, but clients who are consistently giving you business. This is what takes time, effort and business savvy.
Anyways, back to the thread. Some knee-slappers:
So anyways me and him had a chat and we were both thinkig the same thing. Most (I think all) recruiters basically recruit and introduce to a Hakwon/school for a fee and they are free from all obligations. However our company actually recruits teachers and they stay our employee but are contracted out for 6 months or 1 year to various Hakwons.
Free from what obligations?? So the instructor actually is employed with the recruiter and is contracted to the school? Sorry bud but an E-2 can only be tied to a school Einstein.
When Henry T Ford introduced his idea of a production line or when Bill Gates told his collegues he was going to put a desktop computer in every home across the world, people thought they were crazy to. However it didn’t stop them from implementing great ideas and I won’t stop because some jerks on some internet forum think I’m a “giant waste of space”.
Oh but you are a waste of space. I’m okay with it though because you’re just so funny. Remember that you’re product is ‘people’, not cars or computers. Humans are a very unpredictable species; they will be great one day and screw you over the next. Don’t expect them to act kosher all the time.
Is there no union or something like that? I am quite a dreamer and I think maybe one day we (native teachers) could form an organised union and you know work towards a more secure working environment for native speakers.
Maybe you should do more research into the industry before you even dream of something like this.
Well our basic wage structure is like this:
Monthly Wage: 2 Million Korean Won
Pension Contribution: 4.5% of wage (we pay additional 4.5%)
Medical Insurance: 2.835% or wage (we pay additional 2.385%)
We provide housing. Apartments (between 25 and 30 ‘pyung’). Three bedroom; for three people, same gender. Fridge, Washing Machine, Beds, Wadrobe, TV, AirCon, Boiler Heating. Just your normal apartment. We think its better for people to live together, less lonely etc.
We also plan to have monthly bonuses. Employee of the month, small monetary rewards or coupons to various things.
Also we will hold monthly ‘hweshik’, like dinners for employees. Where we get-together for dinner and some light drinks (all paid for by us) where we can relax and enjoy a good time. Maybe in the long run we’ll hold big Christmas Parties and hold other events such as an Athletics Day etc. Who has been exercising regularly since they got to Korea? I mean everything is home delieverd even at 3am so it’s hard not to gain weight I found! We are just starting so most of these are just ideas and concepts we are trying to implement.
Yes, I think you’re stupid! Monthly dinners?? Wow, how will we ever compete with that?!
One of Korea’s biggest foreign English teacher associations is taking an enlightened approach against the fight on mandatory HIV testing by correcting, rather than complaining about, the public’s image of English teachers as promiscuous party animals.
It’s a proactive approach but,
“ATEK prefers taking a problem-solving approach to that kind of a question, where rather than complaining about some perceived injustice, why don’t we get to work on improving the reputation of English teachers in Korea, by going out into the community and doing good stuff.”
Not sure if everyone will do that. However, if a few bad apples can tarnish an entire community’s image, perhaps a few can set a good example and show that not all foreigners are dirty, diseased, perverted, unqualified joint-smokers? Too optimistic? Probably.
“When English teachers go out into the community and volunteer, collect clothes for poor kids and volunteer English lessons at the orphanage nearby, than instead of being that kind of faceless, scary, English teacher, it humanizes us and by contributing to Korean society and saying we’re not here just to drink and party and take our money and go home. We’re part of Korean society, and we want to be responsible members and contributors to Korean society.”
Umm…not to rain on the parade but I think a lot of foreigners (not just English teachers) do things like this already and the image remains the same.
Korean company employees start off pretty low but after 10 years make over 50 million KRW in annual salary. Reading about Korean salaries definitely puts things into perspective. A lot of foreigners in their 20s and 30s make over 50 million regardless of their line of work and we all know that working at a company in Korea isn’t always as good as it may seem.
Those in the finance industry however, aren’t seeing much increase:
However, the survey result is not applicable to all workplaces. A worker with 10 years experience at a foreign lender said that she didn’t see any increase with wages frozen this year.
“It doesn’t affect me. Normally bank employees have frozen salaries,” a female worker, who leads a four-member team at the lender, said on condition of anonymity. “I really want to see my salary go up next year.”
Nothing has been confirmed yet but rumour (HT to Popular Gusts) has it that the new E-2 rules (nationwide criminal background check) will be delayed until 2012. Looks like a lot of employers/recruiters were complaining that the check takes too long for instructors to arrive January onwards. Not a problem with my company as we have a stack of candidates with completed FBI checks! (Note to other recruiters: recruit in advance).
Also, in other E-2-related news, it seems that the current restrictions placed on E-2 holders will be relaxed to allow them to work at multiple locations and other jobs (like privates-legally of course).
Has the government finally come to its senses? Don’t hold your breath. It seems that there are now more restrictions for F-visa holders and less for E-2s due to some incidents. Well, I guess we’ll see what happens in the coming months.
I’ll keep you posted.