Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ivy English School - YongAm-Dong Cheongju Part 5

Monday came and went with no money being put in my account. After calling Mr. Kim he said he would put it in Tuesday. On Tuesday he did put it in, minus 610,000 won. Of the 1,100,000 Won he still owed me he tried to claim my final months bills amounted to 610,000 Won. That was so much BS.

Every month he deducted between 200,000 to 300,000 Won for taxes and bills. I was making 2,100,000 Won a month, and he was putting between 1,800,000 and 1,900,000 in the bank after deductions. Said deductions were to include my monthly bills. There is no way they jumped from that to 610,000 Won in the span of 30 days.

(IF you are considering working in Korea, or already work here, PAY YOUR OWN BILLS. This is one way the Hagwon owners WILL screw you over!)

When I called him about this he acted shocked that I would challenge his credibility. He actually tried to tell me that I owed 100,000 won for my phone bill. I used a calling card so no international calls should ever appear on my phone, only local. And I always used my cell phone for local calls.

Then he said the 100,000 was for the last 10 months, 10,000 won a month. At which point I brought up the monthly deductions. He played dumb and kept trying to say I owed for the yearly amount. He said the same thing about the gas bill, electric bill, cable bill (although cable was supposed to be provided by the school in my contract), any bill he could think of. He was telling me I owed the YEARLY amount and not the monthly.

I told him I wanted to see copies of the bills and to have a breakdown of the costs emailed to me the next day. He said the school was closed for vacation so he couldn't see me until August 1st. Coincidentally, I was in YongamDong on Wednesday July 27th. Not only had I seen 2 Ivy School buses with students in them. While eating at the MacDonald's beside the school I saw several students coming and going back into Ivy School. So much for the school being closed.

I also found out from another teacher that the income tax rate is 3.3% not the 5% the Kim’s had been deducting for the last 10 months, or the 6% they were deducting for 2 years. That means for the last 10 months he has taken out 105000 Won a month when it should only have been 69300. 35700 Won a month MORE than he should have. 357000 Won over the last 10 months. For the 2 years prioer to that he was taking out 120000 when he should have taken 66000. 54000 a month more than he should have, 1296000 more than he should have over 2 years. If this is right he stole 1653000 Won from me over 2 years 10 months.

On Thursday July 29th a Korean friend, Park, called Mr. Kim on my behalf, but without my knowledge. According to him, Mr. Kim said the reason I was fired is that I didn't prepare for my classes. Interesting considering what he told me about no one wanting to work with me, kids not wanting to be my students, etc etc. Now it is because I didn't prepare for classes. It was just another line of BS in a long line that he has spewed out. Park went on to say he thought Mr. Kim would give me airfare home now. I doubted it.

On August 1st I went in to talk to Mr. Kim. As expected, Park's phone call only made him angry. He made a big show of telling me he is a busy man, and he had to take a lot of time this morning to get copies of my utility bills. Mind you I asked him the day he fired me, about 2 weeks BEFORE I was due to be paid, to have all of these so EVERYTHING could be taken care of on the last day. Which he didn't do.

He STILL didn't understand that I wasn't disputing the yearly costs. My problem was that he was charging me for the FULL year instead of the last month when, because of what I was told when I started working at IVY school, that the bills would be taken out of my monthly pay. I have no doubt my telephone bill was 100,000 for 10 months. 10,000 a month. I have a problem with him telling me I never paid any all year when it looks like money was taken.

So, he had these bills, and a document HE wrote up showing their totals, and how much he took off for income tax (105,000) a month plus maintenance fee of 20,000 a month plus another water/electrical fee from the apt of 15,000 a month. Which meant he was taking 135,000 a month off but most months show 200-300,000 was held back.

He still didn't understand what I was saying, and had NO copies of the deposits he had made to my account. Which means I was going by what was in my bank book and memory. I asked if I could have copies of the bills and the paper he wrote and he said no because I might show them to someone.

What makes this whole stupid notion of the teachers paying their bills in bulk when they leave is that I HAVEN'T left for almost 3 years. When I re-signed in 2003 there was no lump sum taken off for bills. When I re-signed last year there was no lump sum taken off for bills. Which would mean I haven't paid utilities UNTIL then. Mr. Kim is too much of a "businessman" to have let that happen. Especially with the gouging they had been doing with people the last year.

It was a waste of time to even go and talk to him. I left him with a hearty go fuck yourself.

The summer camp was GREAT. It helped improve my mood a bit. At least until I found out we should have been paid 800,000 Won more but the President of the English department decided to pad his own pockets. Hagwons, Public Schools, Universities. The thieves are everywhere in Korea.

And the Kim's weren't done with me yet.