Payday should be on the 5th of every month. We accepted that we wouldn’t get it before our week off so thought the paychecks would be deposited the day of our return on January 6th. Wrong. Today is Friday and this whole week we’ve been working without pay, and have gotten zero answers about our pension accounts. Well, that’s not entirely true. I called the National Pension office and confirmed that my account in fact has ₩0 in it. So I’ve got that going for me.
A friendly letter with clearly stated advantages & disadvantages of diligent payment was drafted. It outlined how employee morale has bottomed out highlighting the stress of not being paid, the revelation about our fraudulent pensions and the uncertainty of the future. It further stated that the simple solution to avoid complications at the school was to adhere to our contractual payday.
I really wanted to have this translated and left on the boss’ desk but I was out voted. Only myself and the author were willing to sign our names. I guess it doesn’t bother me too much since I didn’t really think there would be any effect other than some angry Korean. It was more of a symbolic olive branch to try and fix the problems while helping our CEO see the benefit to a good business practice aka paying his employees.
Its bad enough on a normal Monday morning but everyday past our payday it grows harder and harder to remain motivated to do any work and to come each in morning. I look forward to leaving this job in a way I have never before experienced. I chalk most of the trouble up to the language barrier and cultural differences. If Mr. Bae spoke any English or we spoke Korean well enough to have a conversation perhaps he could convince us what he was doing made sense. Well, no chances are it would make me hate him even more if I understood what he was saying.
As a result of the stress and uncertainty we have had some interesting developments. This week there have been a handful of absences; they can largely be attributed to catching viruses like the devil I brought back from the Philippines but I wouldn’t be surprised if one or two were directly related to the lack of pay. I know I’m planning on taking at least 1 ‘sick’ day next week to give myself a 3-day weekend for my birthday and am certain the remaining 7 weeks will include coworkers following suit.
The unfortunate side of a teacher calling in sick is that we are required to give up our prep periods to sub. Today that backfired on one of our administrators. Roughly 10 minutes before the class started (the teacher has been absent all day yet they waited until the last minute to ask) they approached a teacher with a prep this afternoon asking her to cover. It got a little ugly when she refused; stating significant work (including a private school application) and the intent to visit the doctor since she had been sick.
As teachers we can’t understand why our principal doesn’t cover on these occasions. Her main responsibility is to develop our curriculum (which she fails to do) and online shops or chats on her phone most of the day. She deals with parents when the need arises but usually pawns that responsibility off to our coteachers who are on the phone most of the school day as a result. Well, anyway a screaming match ensued in the hallway; it was exacerbated by both parties lack of pay and resulted in a “warning” letter which was mistranslated as a “call to immigration.”