The QiRanger Adventures

Glad to be done with them!

with 4 comments

It’s coming up on 04:45 on Saturday morning and the issues for the past six months are finally coming to a close. I wish I could say that there were no fireworks this past week and that my exit was smooth, but that would be a lie.

The issues really started Wednesday, 24th December. While in the Conference Room, I was told by the Head Teacher that apparently he was leaving two weeks early. His contract was up and had previously negotiated a vacation date of 9th January through the end of February. Without his knowledge or consent, the school management booked him a ticket for Monday, 29th December. In fact, they didn’t even tell him about the change in plans and proceeded to let another teacher know so she could move into his apartment during his vacation. Nothing was really said about where he would live after his return.

But today took the cake. The Head Teacher was shorted over W1,000,000 without notice and given a flimsy excuse. At last discussion, he wasn’t sure if he wasn’t going to return to the school in February. I can’t blame him. But I took the full force of the beating last night.

Despite repeated requests for documentation and attempts to be paid, they put things off until 8:30pm. I knew they were going to pull something shady, since when I walked into the school in the morning and they had nothing ready for me.

The owner handed me sheet detailing my last month’s earnings and charges. The final payment they were going to offer me: W3,440. That’s right US$2.65 for a month’s worth of work.

They tacked on a ton of charges to my salary. Some of the charges were most likely valid (gas, electric, Internet, phone, etc.), although they could provide no bills to substantiate their claim amount. The figures weren’t too far out of what I pay on a monthly basis, but seeing as how I never saw many of the bills I was being charged for, I was a little suspicious. But where they went overboard was with the airefare and recruiter’s fee.

In my contract there was stipulation that if I was terminated before 8 months of employment, I had to repay the airfare to Korea immediately. In the same line-item, it also said that if I worked for six months and then left, I would not have to do so. I pointed out the wording of his contract, that I signed, was two-fold and indicated two things. He was adamant that I had to repay, and I was equally opposed. Due to my departure time, I could not file a complaint with the Immigration board or start arbitration. I also pointed out to him the area of the contract that states should there be confusion or aspects of “unenforceability,” that the item should be ignored.

The other item that were charging me for was my recruiter’s fee. First, they were refusing even to pay first and discuss the notion later. Second, they fully acknowledged that no where in my contract did it state that at any point would I be financially responsible for repayment of the fee. It was just something they wanted. During our conversation on this point, they even thought about calling the recruiter to get her to refund her fee (despite the fact that the all the recruiter guarantees is three months).

It took some time, but they acquiesced on that point, but by the end of the night they wound up cheating me out of W1,300,000. In addition, since the banks are closed tomorrow, I’m not able to obtain a check from the ATM. This is needed because the largest bank note in Korea is W10,000. While I can certainly carry the W600,000 I have with me, it would have been a little nicer to carry one piece of paper worth that much and exchange it… and get my last W8,409 out of my account.

I am very happy to be getting out of this school. My experience is very reminiscent of the teacher who was fired six days before her contract was up, so they wouldn’t have to pay her the month’s severance at the end. However, even with all that’s happened, this has been a very positive experience being abroad. Not a bad way to see the world and have most of your expenses covered.

Here’s to a great new 2009 with better prospects around the corner!


Written by Steve Miller

December 27, 2008 at 5:16 am

4 Responses

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  1. That’s really awful! 😦
    I’m so glad you won’t have to deal with them again!

    May there be greater things in store for you in the coming year! ❤


    December 27, 2008 at 5:32 am

  2. Oh, I know that great things are in store for 2009. And I know that you are a part of them.


    December 27, 2008 at 5:43 am

  3. Yep…on to bigger and better things! But hope to see you back overseas…!


    December 27, 2008 at 1:01 am

  4. that’s a great article

    will be coming in here more often =)


    January 10, 2009 at 10:59 am

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