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Got any Nightmare "Bonus" short-stories?

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Joined: 08 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2003 12:02 pm    Post subject: Got any Nightmare "Bonus" short-stories? Reply with quote

The Farm-boy Who Cried

It was 1997 and almost summer in Jeju. I had taught at this school for a while when another teacher- farm boy from Canada- was about to finish his contract. He was dating a Korean girl at the time whose father was fairly high-up in the police department. The first thing the owner told us about him when we arrived was- "Very funny teacher- hee heee." The weeks spun along towards the end of his contract when:

The owner said- "Can you stay an extra month?"

He said- "Yes- just please give me my bonus on the date my contract ends."

Owner- "OK"

It was a well known thing that the owner had lots of connections and the owner would make that very clear from time to time about his police and immigration friends throughout the city.

A few days had passed when suddenly the owner announces to this fellow that the police were coming to our school to investigate him about tutoring. The first thing that flooded the farm boy's mind was- "My Bonus." You see- the contract had it that if any foreigner were in any kind of legal trouble the bonus would be denied. So- a few weeks after the contract was officially over the police suddenly came- asked him questions about tutoring (only 1 week before he was finished the "extra-favor-month"). He eventually got worried- asked for his bonus again- the owner pointed out the contract clause. He slapped the desk and said with a pleaful voice- "Just give me my damn bonus and I'll finish." The owner picked up the phone- called immigration- they came and hauled him away for several hours because he had blown-up in the school.

Later on he had his girlfriend's father ask about any investigation about tutoring on the island. Her father said- "No- there is no such an investigation going on!" He had phoned all departments.

Soon, all teachers were sitting at a table (Good-bye Party) watching him shake and tears filling his eyes. He thought that his favor of staying an extra month would end in a fairy-tale dream- it didn't. He cried.

As for the bogus investigation- it just melted away as did the bonus.
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captain kirk

Joined: 29 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2003 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

like you, humanus, i don't give a rat's ass about the severence anymore. and i have a story about getting in a horrendous knot about 'not receiving' the 'promised severence'.
i was at a two room school in a little village, about two or three thousand people. i lived on the roof of the school. sometimes i felt like lonely scrooge on top of 'hooville' mountain. sometimes like a sociologist living among a tribe of neighbourhood rice farmers, studying them. the first year was all right, very peaceful. i'd just come from taiwan and it was wired-hectic there, so the fresh air, mist on the mountain like a dragon hovering in it's daily morning was welcome peace. i was the only foreigner within a 40 kilometer radius. i was 'chillin'
well there was a 'megamart' type of hagwon within sight of our school. it offered all subjects; science, math, english, etc. and had cheaper rates. it was owned by an unscrupulous mafia-connected korean who took on foreign teachers for seven months or less, then dismissed them; "you can go". and they'd buzz off, mad as hornets, and he wouldn't give a damn.
my school's owner was totally legal, and he himself majored in english while the 'evil' owner of the nearby school cared only for money. so, with this unscrupulous competition, our school was doing moderately well. and i'd had a peaceful year so i figured i'd 'give him a break' and 'waive' the severance. how 'noble of me'. but after the second year, i said, you must pay severance of one month pay.(this sounds like a fairy tale)
two months before the end of the second year a new korean teacher was hired, who was hostile. and a class of teen girls became hostile. and the boss asked, 'would it be all right if a new teacher arrived before the end of your contract?'. all this hostility was a gang correography sweeping me out.
well i was seriously irate all round and didn't cry like the farmboy. but i was flashing back to how 'noble' my boss represented himself as, compared to the 'evil' school director next door. i blew out of there with the force of a nuclear bomb, and reverberated amongst everyone i knew when shocked-waved back to canada for a break. i'd been away almost three years. and i brought home the splashing acid over that damn dipstick.
now i see the boss as pampering the performing chimp, and the severence is a promise which just about addled my wits defying deception, because what is there to do, pretend it doesn't bother you? too late for that. 'art of deception' is the phrase left by the previous teacher at my current job. swept out she was.
but in the end it's only money, isn't it? nothing deceives like avarice
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Joined: 08 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2003 4:36 pm    Post subject: I'm a sucker for stories: Good "bad" story Captain Reply with quote

Chicken Little and His Bonus

It was approaching fall time in the small community of Mokpo- I had been at the school for almost a year. IMF days were crunching-in on everybody. Faces were grim- gold rings, trinkets, necklaces, coins were being gathered in baskets to fight the IMF winds. My wage was dropping just like the sky "Chicken Little" had imagined due to IMF and exchange rates.

The school I had worked so hard and long at was primarily for Adults/Business persons. The owner was still slipping into his deluxe car from glory days past and cruising away and out from the school looking like a million dollars. You see- there was a time when the school had hundreds and hundreds of students. As the cash-flow of the economy leaked away- so did the students. Each and every month 1/7 Korean teachers were asked to delay pay- delay pay- delay pay until it was 7/7.

Finally- everyone - including Halla Shipyard workers- were in the "delayed pay mode." I thought:

"Great! I'm making almost half of what I was making through exchange rates. There are teachers who haven't been paid for almost a year their full wages. He took my airfare money back and wheezed threats/promises trying to keep his ship floating. Now the students- down to 70 in total! Arg!!"

So stressed was the bulkhead of the environment that the owner started screaming at any and all college/adult students who dropped even one complaint. They started saying, "We hate him. He's a bad man."

I knew that I was next on the list- the bonus had evaporated into thin air even before it was time. I said to myself- "I have to protect my financial future too. I had better set limits. I know I'll never see the bonus. So- if he includes me on the "delayed pay" list- I have to give notice."

Well- he did- $300,000 Won (not to mention the airfare he just took back). So- not far from finishing- I read the handwriting on the wall- gave one month's notice. The students all threw a tearful party in the noray-bang (Good thing because I would have never seen that last pay if there wasn't some social pressure). The same night- he- the owner came with the reddest head you'd ever seen (drinking soju for him made his whole head red from neck up). A half-a-tear filled his eye and he reluctantly gave me my last month's wage.

The funny thing was for almost a year- he's the first I've ever seen do this- when he paid anything he would pretend he was crying as he counted the money and handed it over. Everyone got a huge kick out of this/felt partially bad and felt so manipulated by it all. I'm talking 10 staff people all watching him pretend (Those of you with a soft heart- no- really it was pretending).

It was commonly known that on several pay-days he'd go play cards and lose 200-500,000 WON of staffer's delayed pay.
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Joined: 08 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2003 3:15 pm    Post subject: Keep the stickers Reply with quote

Keep the Stickers!

A married couple from the land of the Wizard of Oz lived in the "tropical paradise" island of Jeju. They were an intelligent couple- him with an MA- her with a teaching degree. They both were a little older than most of the teachers there. However, that didn't matter because they had energy abounding. They had been in Korea almost two years and were set-up well in their apartment (the only couple to have purchased a stove/oven). As for Korean friends- they had an abundance. Most in their 30's.

It was only about three weeks before it was time to finish their contract and the heat during the season was sweltering. Temperatures were up on all accounts. There had been small spats going back and forth between the foreign lady and her boss- but nothing that could be chalked up as serious. Finally- just three weeks before the contract ended there was a spat over stickers. You see- the owner had one idea and the foreign female teacher had another. They went back and forth over the stickers and then the foreign female teacher ended the "discussion" by throwing the stickers down on the table and the owner screamed- "You're fired." It was a suspicious thing that emotions were aflame to such a degree just over "stickers." It was convenient that it was three weeks before the end of the contract.

Her husband, who was working at another school did all he could to get the bonus. Called his Korean friends, went over the situation with this that and the other person- all to no avail. You see- the stickers were a convenient out- all she wanted to do was get better stickers to make a better program.
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