I don’t work in the worst hagwon – there are a lot of good things going for it, but sometimes there are a few things that don’t feel entirely right. Hagwon Horrors is a multiple part series where I tell you the short little moral ambiguities I encounter from working at my specific after-school academy.
After the 6 month mark, employees of my company are entitled to take a vacation. Contracts vary between people, but generally you get between one and two weeks – the specifics of this, while clearly laid out in the contract, is apparently up for debate, but that’s another tale for another time.
One of our coworkers gave her vacation notice 3 months prior to her taking 2 days off. She formally requested it through the proper channels, and everything seemed to be going well. The week before, when she mentioned her vacation in passing, management realized they’d forgotten completely about it, and scrambled to fix the situation. Not being able to secure a substitute teacher in the short amount of time, they first tried to request that my coworker cancel her vacation plans. With that being a resounding no, they elected to cancel some classes. Instead of making the logical decision to cancel the classes of the coworker who was on vacation, several other teachers’ classes were cancelled so the schedule could be rearranged to fulfill the vacationing coworker’s absence. This all seemed relatively normal until we learned that management had told parents that many teachers were “sick”, including the coworker on vacation, and the ones who had their original classes cancelled to cover. Instead of admitting fault and their mistake, they blamed it on the foreigners. To add insult to injury – we don’t even get sick days.