You’re Fired!

So I got quite a shock this morning. My school informed me that they are breaking my contract due to financial constraints. I will be unemployed come May 1st.

At the end of December my school expanded and moved to a bigger location. Our director planned to have six kindergarten classes instead of four at the start of the new school year, which in Korea is the beginning of March. So they went ahead and hired two new teachers, which of course includes one foreign teacher who is on a one year contract. But now it turns out we don’t have enough students for six classes. So, since I am the foreign teacher whose contract is up next… I’m the one to get the boot. (Or so I was told to not “take it personally”.)

Their rationale for me leaving at the end of April instead of the end of May as my contract states is that my visa actually expires at the beginning of May (one year from when I got it in Atlanta). And of course they want to pay me as little as possible without pissing me off to the point that I sue them or raise hell. (Not to mention that my contract already states that my workday ends at 4pm on Tuesday and Thursday and now our hours are extended until 5:20pm every day, and I already agreed months ago to let that slide.) So I could piss and moan and demand for them to finish my contract and let me leave at 4pm on Tuesday and Thursday. But I won’t. It’s not my nature to be confrontational and I need a good reference for the next job.

And of course, they are not totally screwing me. I am getting paid my full salary for March and April, even though I won’t be teaching but maybe a few classes a week. I still get my plane ticket home (or money for it) and severance pay. So basically it’s just that I’m working and getting paid for 11 months instead of 12.

Which wouldn’t be so bad at all, except that Daniel already extended his contract until the end of May… so that he could get a new job starting June 1st and we would both be finished at the end of May 2012 and could do a big trip together. I thought I would be extending my contract at my school for another year and had already planned all my travels and whatnot. In fact, I was planning my summer vacation to Thailand when I got the bad news!

So now I have to figure out what I am going to be doing during the month of May. I don’t want to get a job May 1st because then I will be finished a month before Daniel. Also I just applied for the FBI criminal background check (which you now need for new visas) and it might not even be ready by then. So I will be looking for a job that starts at the end of May or the beginning of June. In the meantime…

I could go home for a month. My flights would be free since my school now would pay for the ticket home and my next school would pay for the ticket back to Korea. But…

It would be easier to get a new job if I stayed in Korea. I am more likely to get hired here since they can interview me in person and they would just have to pay for my visa run to Japan. But…

I would be pretty bored living here and not working for a month. Plus I would have to ask my school to extend my visa for me. So maybe I could take two weeks and go to Australia or Thailand or something. But…

There goes my whole severance check.

Of course my school says *maybe* we will get more students and open two new classes and I can stay on for another year. But that would be last minute and would I really want to?

So lots to think about! Advice? 🙂

-Jen Pace

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “You’re Fired!

  1. don

    Find another job, perhaps in another country.

    When you’re both ready to make a lot more money, I can pass your C/V’s to the H/R dept., at our university in Dubia, Abu Dhabi and Al-Ain.
    We need a couple of English teachers at the Aviation Academy as well. And, since I am the Dept Head, I have some pull… it is called networking…

    Have not seen any head choppings or woman being beaten here either… I keep hoping, but to no avail, it is calm and serene. Woman driving cars and working. Pubs open for customers, pouring cold beer, etc. Just terrible it is!

    Come Luke!! Join the Dark Side! I am your Father!!!

    Come visit us for the holidays and you will see what I am talking about.

  2. Mary Baumgartner

    Hi Jen,
    I was really “shocked” when I read your blog. I really don’t know what is best. I guess Don had a good idea. But it’s really up to you and I’ll pray that whatever it is, it’ll work out for the best. Love, Grandma

  3. cindy

    I am so glad I said to Daniel that he needs to SAVE his money. You never know what will happen. I hope you aren’t broke with all of the travelling you have done. That job just might not come through.

  4. Jen Pace

    come over here and represent me!

  5. Frank

    You do not need an attorney. If you were not provided with two months notice, there are labor laws intact to protect your salary. Contact the foreign help center in Seoul.

  6. Sab

    LOL, I don’t think Colin, Esq. is acquainted with the reality of teaching English in Korea.

    Just do privates for a month or two 😉

  7. Jen Pace

    i think everyone is taking colin a little too seriously 🙂

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