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feeling left out

 
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conbon78



Joined: 05 Jun 2008

PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:09 am    Post subject: feeling left out Reply with quote

Does anyone ever feel left out at their position? I work hard, put in a lot of time, but still they will go out for dinners and what not without me. Granted, the other foreign teachers are also uninvited (except the Korean Americans who are invited). I guess it just makes me really feel unwanted and makes me question why I bother. Anyone else have similar experiences? I'm pretty sure in America this would be discrimination.
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cpolian



Joined: 18 Oct 2009

PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

why would you want to go? Confused
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I'm no Picasso



Joined: 28 Oct 2008

PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How long have you been at your current job? That can make a lot of difference. I just re-signed with my school for another year, and it's only been in the last couple of months that I've started to feel really included. It just took everyone a really long time to get comfortable with me.

I'm fairly certain that your workmates don't mean to make you feel left out, and if they knew you felt that way, they would be humiliated. Belonging is pretty important in Korean culture, and in my experience, most Koreans do their best to include foreigners in that, even if it can come across awkward sometimes.

My suggestion would be to try to pick up just a little Korean. You didn't give many details about your situation, so maybe you already speak a bit and it's not working. But since everyone at my school found out I'm taking Korean classes, and since I can sometimes understand and react to the conversations around me (although my speaking is still quite low, so my responses are limited) they feel more connected to me, and I feel more included as a result. Even something as simple as greeting everyone in Korean in the mornings or whatever.

Good luck, anyway. I hope things get better for you.
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conbon78



Joined: 05 Jun 2008

PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:26 am    Post subject: reply Reply with quote

Thanks for your thoughts, unfortunately, the foreigner I work with is on his 2nd year and I've been here 3 months. We are only considered "contract" workers so we aren't "actual" employees, which is why they feel it is ok to not invite us. I don't know why it bothers me so much. I just work really hard and its too bad that no one cares that I do. Makes me wonder why I'm bothering.
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I'm no Picasso



Joined: 28 Oct 2008

PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:33 am    Post subject: Re: reply Reply with quote

conbon78 wrote:
Thanks for your thoughts, unfortunately, the foreigner I work with is on his 2nd year and I've been here 3 months. We are only considered "contract" workers so we aren't "actual" employees, which is why they feel it is ok to not invite us. I don't know why it bothers me so much. I just work really hard and its too bad that no one cares that I do. Makes me wonder why I'm bothering.


It sounds like you're doing an after-school program?

Look, the thing is, you've got 9 months to go. You can let this build or your can be a little pro-active. I suggest finding one English speaking member of the staff that you feel a little comfortable with and mentioning some small thing.... about how you would like to attend the dinners or whatever. I would almost guarantee that if you show an interest, you will be invited.

I'm the only foreigner at my school, and I'm there all day long, in the teachers' office with all the other teachers. I eat lunch with them, etc. So my situation is probably a lot easier. But perhaps they assume that, since there is another foreigner, you are just more comfortable spending time with him/her. Again, I would be shocked if any effort you made toward socializing with the other teachers would be rejected. I know it's awkward to make the first move, but why not give it a try?

There can be a hell of a lot of misunderstandings in the beginning. I can assure you of that. It's too soon to make a judgment about their intentions. I know it doesn't feel that way, but I am speaking from experience.
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roadwork



Joined: 24 Nov 2008
Location: Goin' up the country

PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bah! You aren't missing out on anything. It's a fast paced dinner full of hurry up and eat and get out overtones. This is followed by a trip to a pub where more booze and fruit are ordered and the mundane conversations continue. Last is the trip ro the karaoke room where you listen to all the other teachers screech through already horrific pop songs. After the first year and a half at my school, I stopped going. I only go for the luncheons, because we all have to come back to the school anyway.
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Nemo



Joined: 28 May 2006

PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trust me, you don't wanna be invited or be routinely invited.

Once you start getting invites, you will be expected to attened all lunches and dinners etc. If you decline, some will take it as a personal affront.
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roadwork



Joined: 24 Nov 2008
Location: Goin' up the country

PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nemo wrote:
Trust me, you don't wanna be invited or be routinely invited.

Once you start getting invites, you will be expected to attened all lunches and dinners etc. If you decline, some will take it as a personal affront.


This too. It's not worth it just for a free meal. You'll really regret it once the other teachers start getting a little drunk and practicing English with you, not that it's a bad thing, but you'll wind up hearing about kimchi, Dokdo, Korean #1 this and that.
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shcforward



Joined: 27 Sep 2009

PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would probably pay money so that they wouldn't invite me to the big group business dinners.
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Jane



Joined: 01 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OP, I completely understand. You are not the only one going through it if it makes you feel better to know that. And it's completely understandable that you feel resentment.

Koreans are highly inclusionary at the expense of being exclusionary; it has absolutely nothing to do with you and who you are!

I've said this before on this forum, treat your job like what it is: a job. You are there to make money, and it's a business. Be social with your colleagues, then move on. Loyalty in Korea comes to bite you in the azz.
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fermentation



Joined: 22 Jun 2009

PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jane wrote:

I've said this before on this forum, treat your job like what it is: a job. You are there to make money, and it's a business. Be social with your colleagues, then move on. Loyalty in Korea comes to bite you in the azz.


I was about to say this minus the loyalty part. It's a job; you're not their to make friends. Sure it'll be nice to have good chit-chat with your coworkers here and then but it can be more trouble than its worth when you realize such "friendships" come with "responsibilities."
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