Tuesday, June 25, 2013

My last week (or is it?) takes an unexpected twist

Jeju City at twilight

Last week took an unexpected turn when I asked my co-teacher to confirm that June 28th was my last day. Instead of confirming it, she asked if I would work through the beginning of August.  This caught me completely off guard and put me in a conundrum.  On the one hand, more money is always good.  On the other hand, so is more vacation.  Further complicating matters, is that fact that we'd be leaving after about a week in August and there is a ton to do to prepare for our departure, Europe trip and wedding.  So having more than one week off before we leave had much greater value to me than it would to most people in this situation.  And though we don't have a lot of money to spare, we have budgeted for all our expenses for the rest of the year with a comfortable cushion just in case.  So while the money would certainly be nice, it wasn't necessary to our survival.

After thinking about it, and getting some good advice, I opted to offer them a counter proposal.  I would work for two weeks in July for a small raise over my current salary.  I was in a strong negotiation position as I would be doing them a favor and I didn't mind using it.  My thinking was "either they accept my offer and I get more money and still get done early, or they reject it and I get even more vacation time.  I can't lose!"

I didn't hear back from my director until today (through my co-teacher since he speaks no English).  According to her he said that June 28th is my last day.  Don't know if he disliked the salary bump, the fact that I offered 2 weeks instead of almost 5 or if he was simply angry I didn't just say yes and do what he wanted me to do (as nearly all Korean workers would have done).

But, whatever the reason (his heart or his shoes), I get more vacation and I'm very enthused!

PS.  Bonus points to you if you recognize the reference in that last sentence.

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