Taking 1 day off work really shouldn't be an issue right? Well not at the Hogwon where I work. It doesn't matter how much notice you give, the reason, or the approach you use to ask for the day off. Your request will be meet with hostility and a quick response of no. So it was with considerable anxiety that I had a meeting with the Head Teacher a couple days ago to ask for Monday 26th off as Staypuff and I will be Taiwan then.
That fact that anyone at ECC has to work on Mon 26th is ridiculous as the rest the week is a vacation (summer vacation). Nobody at work wants to work that day and everyone is willing to work on a Saturday to make up the lost teaching day. I hoped this fact along with my good attendance record (I've not asked for a day off in 12 months) would work in my favor.
Unfortunately, she didn't respond at all well to my request and started complaining about almost everything that us foreign teachers at ECC had done to annoy her in the past 5 years. She must have ranted on for a good 10 minutes and she even started dribbling on about how much harder the Korean teachers work compared to us foreign teachers (I agree with her). Not wanting to get drawn into a argument I finally interrupted her and said that "I wasn't interested in discussing historical issues and that I simply wanted to address the topic of me taking a day off work".
I quickly mentioned that I was willing to speak to the director with her in an effort to help persuade him to let us work on Saturday. She proceed to tell me a long story about her troubles with the director and that she nearly quit after the school director told her that "she need to control the foreign teachers better or find a new job". I did feel a little sorry for her as the director basically puts most of what should be his responsibilities onto her plate.
So the end result from the meeting is that we are all working on Saturday 19th to make up for not working on Monday 26th. Sadly, what the meeting did confirm to me was that this women holds onto grudges and bitterness for a very long time and no matter how well all the teachers get on with one another at ECC she'll always segregate teachers into us (foreigners) Vs them (Koreans). Should I be surprised?