Help! Teaching Misery

  1. #1

    Help! Teaching Misery

    Here is the situation:

    I work at a horrible language school, was lied to numerous times in the contract, have a horrible commute, and work way too many hours. Therefore, I took the initiative and quit, but you need to give 2 months notice... according to the contract (or else my horrid boss will not return 1 full month of pay to you) What was I thinking when I signed?.

    Therefore, I quit on June 12th, expecting to leave on August 12th. Well, after being degraded in everyway possible by my boss (who is from England mind you) we eventually agreed that I would be able to leave July 6th latest July 9th. For that reason I took a new job in S. Korea starting July 20th.

    Well, last week my boss calls to inform me that I wouldn't be leaving then she hasn't found a replacement for me! So I was in a bit of panic and asked her when exactly would i be leaving since I have a new job and i need to book a plane ticket to Korea. She then responded with we will probably need you till July 28th (knowing full well that I took another job since our first agreement). However, she did manage to say I don't want you working for me so this will be hard to for me to have you at this school as well. Anyway, I put up a good fight with her, and finally she said she'd try her hardest to get me out by July 13th at the earliest, but not to expect it.

    Also, I was suppose to get reimbursed for my airfare to HK, I never did. I have been working overtime doing interviews for the stupid school, and on my last pay check I also wasn't paid for my OT. So they are cheating me out of money, I have absolutely no time (being away from home for 12hrs) to even go to the teachers union to complain.

    So my question is: Should I just get up and leave (despite the fact that i'll lose my Month of May's pay)? Can I do anything legally? Oh and she has already threatened to sue me for leaving after only 7 weeks?!

    Also, she often calls me and puts me down just to be mean.... and is making me do way too much work before I leave as a way to prepare for the new teacher.

    Help I'm confused!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2003

    First option .. walk away. You're starting a new job in a new country from scratch. Focus on the positive side I'd say...

    Second option .. assuming you have a contract which backs up all your claims.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Hong Kong

    Let your boss know you'll be taking this up with the Labour Department and see what she says. Don't be a victim!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Sham Tseng

    Not sure of the rules here but I think at home you are by law allowed to visit with the Union during working hours so why don't you make an appointment and just go. She has changed the rules on you many times so give 24 or 48 hours notice that you wont be available for a day or afternoon and go.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Hong Kong

    Do you have an Employment Visa? (Or the right to work some other way) Or are you one of the English teachers who starts working on the promise of one and then it never arrives?

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Sai Kung

    the union???

    in HK collective bargaining is illegal...unions are more like associations or clubs with absolutely NO BITE in them at all!

  7. #7

    Some Advice from an ex-Korean teacher

    You can get a job any day in Korea (with paid round-trip airfare), so don't walk away from a pay check here if you really need it. Also, I left Korea after seven months of hell and am having much better luck in Hong Kong. In Korea, it's more difficult to change jobs because the company who sponsors you essentailly sells you to another company if you want to leave. Working conditions are generally worse there as far as hours, vacations, pay, housing, ill treatment, you name it.
    It sounds like you are being a very generous employee and your boss is stomping all over you. Don't let her do that. She needs you, you don't need her. Stay strong!

  8. #8

    can you not go above your english b1tch of a boss to the directors (unless she owns the company).

    maybe they will be more reasonable if your threaten them with legal action which you could admit to possibly losing but point out that you will drum up as much negative publicity as you can and that this alone will cost the company more in business than if they had just settled the dipute reasonably.

    you need to fight dirty as they are. even if it means standing outside the school with a multi-lingual flier explaining the injustice you've been through and perhaps a petition from your students will surely cause enough of a stir to warrant a peaceful settlement.

    if i was your buddy in hk, i;d be there supporting you for your rights. the school would have no chance. and this is just playing above board.

    oh, i heard korea and taiwan can be a b1tch...try japan. they have very good working practices and i;ve found that the japanese have a great reputation for honor that precedes them.

    plus they are the only country in asia that doesn;t dicriminate against skin color for native english teachers.

    Last edited by thetokyoproject; 04-07-2006 at 02:10 AM.