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I will never work for Gepik again.
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philipjames



Joined: 03 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:17 pm    Post subject: I will never work for Gepik again. Reply with quote

I have been hassled for the last time for taking a sick day at a Gepik public school. On Sunday I developed a very swollen and painful foot. It was excruciating to stand up. Taking even one step was painful beyond words. My foot was swollen and felt like someone had taken to it with a hammer. No way I could go to school.

My Korean friend phones my school on Monday to explain the situation. He talks to the secretary and leaves a message. Fine. She'll pass it on to the vp. So I go to the hospital for x-rays and blood tests. Turns out some tissues etc. are badly inflamed. I get medication and the doctor says I shouldn't walk at all for three days. I react well to medication, so I figure I won't need three days, but I'll definitely need one or two. There was no way this excruciating pain was going away overnight.

So the next day I'm still in brutal condition, and I get my Korean friend to phone the school again to explain the situation. After talking to the school my friend phones me back. He says the secretary told the vice-principle the situation, and he started yelling and screaming in the background that I must come in and fill out a sick day 'application' form which I must submit to him for his judgment before a sick day can be granted. Shocked When I heard this I wanted to hop all the way to school on one foot, hop up the stairs, and punch the b*stard in the face. I'm at school today, and if he mentions anything I still might.

Here's the thing. In my Gepik contract it says I'm 'entitled' to fifteen sick days per contract. But if you dare take one, regardless of how sick you are, it's considered a capital offence. Why put those fifteen days in the contract at all if they're not going to be acknowledged? This is my second Gepik school. And in both schools it has been the same. Take a sick day off and you can expect grief.

And it's not as if I'm missing classes. It's vacation time (for everyone except whitey). I'd simply be staring at the wall for eight hours. But, regardless of how sick I might be, that's what the vice-principle thinks I should be doing. Gepik, in my opinion, put those 15 sick days in the contract as a dishonest means of luring native teachers to the system. Then they do the old Korean 'bait and switch' thing, just like the hogwans.

This is only one of my grievances with Gepik. I will not be signing on with another school in this education system.
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sargx



Joined: 29 Nov 2007

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"You lack discipline!"
--Schwarzenegger

"Quit whining!"
--Schwarzenegger

(I just like those quotes, don't read anything into them.)

I actually think that the VP doesn't know the severity of your ailment. He probably assumed that you were lazy and wanted a day off. I'm not sure what the real formula is for properly handling the situation. If it was me I would've hobbled to the school and gone to the hospital with the school nurse. She could then relay the situation to the VP and he'd understand. I think it also depends on your school rather than GEPIK. Everyone here seems very supportive.
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agoodmouse



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Location: Anyang

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I work for GPOE/GEPIK and I've taken two sick days. Koreans call what I had 'a cold', but which I call a 'bad flu'. However, both are treated seriously here and you're treated as if you're mentally deficient if you don't visit a doctor for what westerners call consider a cold and not the flu. It's interesting and funny to me.

My two sick day experiences with my GPOE high school were handled very positively. Both times I called in around 6:30 a.m. in the morning and spoke to my Korean English teacher sponsor on her handphone. I didn't call the school, as no one in the administration office is there at that time, much less speaks English. Both times she said I ought to stay home and "take a rest" (such an odd phrase to me), and when I came to school everyone was genuine and sincerely concerned. The principal and vice principal treated me fairly and I didn't catch any flack for having been sick.

There's a nurse's office with two or three bedrooms faculty can spend time in to recuperate. The next time I'm really sick I'll come to school and spend time in the nurse's office. It looks and is taken better.
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Bingo



Joined: 22 Jun 2006

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had the same experience with Gepik and sick days. About three weeks ago I had the flu. Just brutal. Chills on top of a fever. Every bone aching. Stomach pains. Everything. I took two days off and got a lot of grief about it when I went back to school. They said I should have come to school and then got permission to go home or to the doctor. Yeah right, I'm dragging my sick asz out of bed and going to school just to massage some clown's ego. I don't think so.

The whole Gepik fifteen days thing is a dishonest scam. This is also my second Gepik school. The situation was the same at both. At my previous school after phoning in sick once (after nine months of working there) my vice-principle had my co-teacher sit me down for a serious talk. "In Korea we don't take sick days off," he said. I almost snapped. I told him that I wasn't Korean, and that the vice-principle should acquaint himself with my contract. I stood up, announced that this conversation was over, and left the room.

Fukc Gepik. I wish I hadn't signed this latest contract, but I did. So I'll stick it out until my contract is up. Then it's goodbye Gepik.


Last edited by Bingo on Tue Feb 19, 2008 7:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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bassexpander



Joined: 13 Sep 2007
Location: Someplace you'd rather be.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just get a doctors excuse. Take your sick day. Tell them that if the form is so important, they must bring it to you. If they don't, fill out the form as soon as you are able.

Let the boss have a heart attack. Tell him your sick days are in your contract, and if he wants to remove you for it, you'll be going to the labor board and also getting another month salary out of him.

He knows its not easy to find a new teacher anyway.

Let the bastard squirm. If you're sick, you're sick.

I get so sick of these "breastfed until the army" ajosshis that I wish I was you just so I could tell him to go *beep* himself.

Don't sign with that school again, and be sure to post on here and let us all know to avoid the place when you're finished.
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Atavistic



Joined: 22 May 2006
Location: How totally stupid that Korean doesn't show in this area.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't had any problems taking sick days at my school. I mean, really, none.

OK, actually, I took a second day in a row once the my coteacher came to bring me food and check up on me the second day. I think it was spying, but I think she really just came over to ask if I was coming the next day cause I had a business trip.

Otherwise, no problems. I've never shown a note, either.


Last edited by Atavistic on Tue Feb 19, 2008 7:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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tob55



Joined: 29 Apr 2007

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:57 pm    Post subject: GEPIK and Sick Days Reply with quote

I have had little problems with my sick days in the three years at my public high school. Mainly because I am seldom sick, but when I am, I don't give them a chance to say "you have to come in." As it has been mentioned, I always go to the doctor first to confirm my illness and conditions. Then, I call in and say I will be absent for whatever the reason is. I also had a few accidents requiring hospital stays for a few days. That is a no brainer, because they can't come up to the hospital and say "get back to work."

I know the whole sick leave thing is not necessarily meant to be followed, but at least they do include it. I would think that in Korea where everyone (Korean) walks into school with their "I'm really sick" badges on, spreading their flus, colds, and other viruses and bacterias, they would get a clue and figure out that they compound the problem by not taking care of their self.

Funny, no: BUT if your contract says 15 days sick leave then don't be intimidated into thinking you can't take it.
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tophatcat



Joined: 09 Aug 2006
Location: under the hat

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bingo wrote:
I have had the same experience with Gepik and sick days. About three weeks ago I had the flu. Just brutal. Chills on top of a fever. Every bone aching. Stomach pains. Everything. I took two days off and got a lot of grief about it when I went back to school. They said I should have come to school and then got permission to go home or to the doctor. Yeah right, I'm dragging my sick asz out of bed and going to school just to massage some clown's ego. I don't think so.

The whole Gepik fifteen days thing is a dishonest scam. This is also my second Gepik school. The situation was the same at both. At my previous school after phoning in sick once (after nine months of working there) my vice-principle had my co-teacher sit me down for a serious talk. "In Korea we don't take sick days off," he said. I almost snapped. I told him that I wasn't Korean, and that the vice-principle should acquaint himself with my contract. I stood up, announced that this conversation was over, and left the room.

Fukc Gepik. I wish I hadn't signed this latest contract, but I did. So I'll stick it out until my contract is up. Then it's goodbye Gepik. Very Happy


I’ve had the same problem with a GEPIK School. I was coughing, had a fever, had a runny nose, difficulty talking, etc. I almost fainted in a classroom. I had been to a doctor and was taking medicine that had been prescribed by the doctor. The doctor told me I needed several days in bed to recover. I was treated like a criminal for asking to go home for a couple of days to recover.
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bassexpander



Joined: 13 Sep 2007
Location: Someplace you'd rather be.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You don't ask. As Tob said, you don't give them the room

You just get your doctor's note with his recommendation, and just phone from home. When they complain, you be very blunt with them that you are taking a contract sick day. Don't budge.
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Atavistic



Joined: 22 May 2006
Location: How totally stupid that Korean doesn't show in this area.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Screw the doctor's note! You only need a note if you're out seven days (inclusive of weekends and holidays).
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Bingo



Joined: 22 Jun 2006

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, do not give them a doctor's note. The contract says that a doctor's note is not required until you've been absent seven days in a row. Again, the contract sounds so reasonable, as if they're trying to accommodate Western standards and expectations. But it's just a honey trap, another unethical Korean business method.

Bye bye Gepik.
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bassexpander



Joined: 13 Sep 2007
Location: Someplace you'd rather be.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bad advice.

The doctor's note is easy to get, and it's a paper trail you can use later when they try to fire you for being a "bad teacher who took unneeded sick days." You should always get a doctor's note.
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Easter Clark



Joined: 18 Nov 2007
Location: Hiding from Yie Eun-woong

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm at a GEPIK school as well. I took a sick day last year because I had the flu. However, the day before I had to do an open class--sick--"sucked it up," and taught the class. All of my coteachers knew I was sick that day, so they took over my other classes. I stayed home next day and two of them came to my apartment and brought me kimchi, ramen, and those Vita drinks you get from the pharmacy. They felt bad that I had to teach a demo while sick, and told me if I needed another day off to call the next day.

I've found that if I'm too sick to teach effectively (not too sick to teach at all, mind you!) and go to work anyway, the coteachers will do their best to help out by taking my classes and telling me to rest in the teacher's room.

Again, this should really be generally looked at as a case-by case, school-to-school kind of thing, and not strictly as a GEPIK issue.
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frankhenry



Joined: 13 Mar 2007

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bingo wrote:
No, do not give them a doctor's note. The contract says that a doctor's note is not required until you've been absent seven days in a row. Again, the contract sounds so reasonable, as if they're trying to accommodate Western standards and expectations. But it's just a honey trap, another unethical Korean business method.

Bye bye Gepik.


It’s a “honey trail” in the contract. I agree. I work in a GEPIK program. I’ve had the same problems with taking sick days.

I second the, “Bye bye GEPIK…….

I've never had this problem with other schools.
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nomad-ish



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Location: On the bottom of the food chain

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i've had the same experience with sick days at my public school. i've had my co-teacher come to my house, ring my doorbell over 20 times (literally), then bang on my door (but her hand must've gotten sore, because she didn't keep at this too long), phone and text me constantly while i'm out sick, leave a note on my apt door calling me a liar.

one time i came back to school and my co-teacher told me that i must go downstairs to talk to the VP. so, i'm surprised but i head down anyway with my co-teacher to the main teachers' room where the VP's desk is. the VP starts talking, my co-teacher starts translating, and i'm told that i must never turn off my phone when i'm sick. (i turned off the phone because in the space of an hour and a half, i received about 3 phone calls and 10 text messages from my co-teachers bugging me to come to school). now i'm visibly annoyed and i told my co-teacher to tell the VP that i turned off my phone because my co-teachers wouldn't stop bothering me when i needed to sleep and rest. needless to say, she probably didn't translate that for me, Wink but i felt better knowing that i defended myself.

i think the public schools here put in those 15 sick days in the contract because teachers in english speaking countries expect them in a contract. it's not that they think we should actually use them when we're sick.
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