Saturday, August 6, 2011

A man ahead of the times.

I knew a foreigner who seems, in light of the Korean government saying contracts aren't binding, to have actually known more about contracts in South Korea than any other foreigner did.

Johnathan was an interesting character. A nice enough guy but kind of flaky and one of the cheapest sons of bitches you will ever meet. If he was out with a group he would figure out his portion of the bill to the smallest amount and give just that. That is if he actually had to pay and wasn't just mooching.

I ended up getting the job at Ivy School through him. He had just re-signed with them for another year. As my year there was starting off well his was going down hill. After signing a contract Johnathan decided he should be head teacher, making more money and the school should be paying a maid to clean his apartment. So, he felt justified in re-opening his contract negotiations. In the end he wasn't going to get anything he hadn't signed for already so he pulled a runner.

I always thought he was an ass for doing that. A contract is a contract. You negotiate then sign it and abide by it. Of course that was based on the faulty premise that contracts in South Korea are binding documents. Johnathan was actually on the same wavelength as Koreans by seeing the contract as a mere starting point for more negotiation and demands.


  1. It sounds like he did know how things work.

  2. As cheap as Johnathan was I met someone cheaper. A couple that worked at my 1st hagwon after I left. How cheap were they?

    They were so cheap that instead of spending 1000 Won, less than a buck then, to buy a set of 3 plastic glasses then they would wash out and reuse their cardboard Lotteria/Popeye cups until they couldn't be used anymore. THAT is cheap.

  3. I think you misunderstand Koreans. The contract they prepared ;which gives them maximum rights and protection, is fully enforceable against the teacher. They are merely suggestions for the Koreans involved.

  4. Ah ... you are right ... I was thinking it would apply equally. :)