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Not paid today... What now?
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Mankind



Joined: 18 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2003 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Pather on this one. One day, one year, no diff. You make an agreement. You did your part, now they do theres. Hogwans are loaded, now. It's either she's a poor manager (be broke soon), she wants to get rid of him, or she forgot and doesn't give a rats ass.

Would you work back home if you weren't paid? Would you give them a 'week or two' to figure things out? I doubt it.

HAND Smile
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Harpeau



Joined: 01 Feb 2003
Location: In Hannam-dong, Seoul.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2003 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I would do is tell her that after 5 days I will not teach until I am paid. Then, let her know that I'm considering re-signing next year, but that is contingent on being paid on time in the coming months. If there's a problem, I want to know a week before payday and want to be paid at least ++++ amount of money. Also, I would ask her that every day beyond pay day that I'm not paid is one vacation day that you owe me in the future.

Just a few ideas to consider.

Best of luck,
Harpeau
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Harpeau



Joined: 01 Feb 2003
Location: In Hannam-dong, Seoul.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2003 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would dare to guess that us who went through the "IMF Crises" of '97 are the ones who are most likely toughest concerning this issue. Many of us have probably been burned by hogwans and big business and are a bit cynical toward them. Please try and understand.

Regards,
Harpeau
Cool
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waterbaby



Joined: 01 Feb 2003
Location: Baking Gord a Cheescake pie

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2003 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really don't like that as a reaction to your threat to walk that your boss said she was losing students as a result of you... Check out the EFL-Law's FAQs about what to do when your boss hasn't paid you.

I also believe that your boss could pay you if she really wanted to... that the business doesn't have the cash flow at the moment should not have to be your problem. Any decent manager would plan for this in advance! But alas here we are in the country of last minute... I wonder if she's paid herself?

I really it hope it works out for you and you get your money today or very soon. I think threatening to not teach until you're paid, as opposed to walking (which I take to mean quitting?) is not a bad idea.

But like I said, I'm uncomfortable that she brought up that she's losing students because of you. Sounds like she's got her own little strategy/comeback planned.
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panthermodern



Joined: 08 Feb 2003
Location: Taxronto

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2003 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Harpeau that I might be a little more cynical because I am an IMF crisis survivor.

However, I will still contend that there is absolutly no excuse for an employer not to pay thier staff on time, especially without warning.

I would like to ask the OP to use my B.I.S.F. theory:

How many students do you teach: S
How much is tutition: T

Is S x T > your salary x 2

If it is there is no excuse.

From what you said, I think I understand she is using this month's tutition to pay you for last month ... This I will again state is a very shakey financial situation.

I have a question for the OP: Are you paid in cash?

If you are I would suspect that your boss might be not declaring all of the taxable income.

Cash, in Korea, generally means no books, and no books means no taxes.

I would also like to include that NONE of us posting on this thread have enough information to make an sort of serious suggestion. Yes, my initial post of "don't work" may be bad advice, but, all advice is bad if it is made without more background info.

Besides, when the OP said his boss would "try" to pay him I start thinging of Yoda; "Do or do not, there is no try..." and since I am attunded to the darkside of the force I will jump to the negative and distrustfull answer.
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kimcheeking
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2003 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with Panther on this one.

Get paid or leave.
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Son Deureo!



Joined: 30 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2003 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you everyone for your perspectives and quick replies. I am beginning to agree that I may have jumped the gun a bit, but not by much.

To give a bit more background info, this is not the first time my pay has been late, but she usually pays me shortly afterwards. I have had to "remind" her the day after payday, and she always paid me on the workday when that happened. Also, if payday falls on a weekend, she pays on the Monday afterwards. A little stressful, but nothing worth worrying about too much.

I got worried because she did not tell me when she would pay me, and my asking to be paid for time I had worked was met with criticism of my teaching. I do not think that this is a scheme to get me to quit in favor of another teacher. She has fired other teachers before me (with good reason IMHO), and paid them in full when she did. If she wanted to be rid of me, than that's what I think she would do.

Furthermore, by PMs scale, I have a BSF of about 5 by a conservative estimate. We are a small hogwon with about 70 students, and I am the only foreign teacher. I teach every student we have. While students have come and gone, we have more students now than when I started, but not as many as my director wants. The other teachers are one full time Korean teacher, a part time math teacher, and a part time supervisor.

As for summer being a good time for the hogwon, I don't think that applies for us. We are not teaching any special summer courses to bring in more students, and a few students are going elsewhere during their summer vacation (other hogwon camps or trips with family). I believe her when she says she may be making a bit less money right now.

As for Itaewon Guy's ciriticisms, I wish you would not judge me too harshly over one incident. This kid was about 10, and frequently disruptive. Teaching in a hogwon always means a walking a fine line between not being too strict, and not losing control of your classes. I do the best I can in this regard. One of the teachers before me was fired for not being able to control his classes and playing too many games. I am being criticized for being too strict. My harshest punishments are making kids sit in a chair in the corner (up to 10 years old), and writing lines. I do not raise my voice with my students. This kid's mom was complaining that he wasn't learning to read quickly enough while he was disrupting my class by punching other students, hiding under the table, and yelling during my class. The sister was 2-3 years younger than the rest of the kids in our lowest level class, and was falling behind. She cried at the drop of a hat, often during class, usually because her brother was teasing her. I was doing the best I could, but these kids were a no win situation. Most of my students do seem to like me, and I do have fun with them and play (educational) games with them. But there is a time to work, and I do maintain standards. Hiding under the table during my lesson is not something I think it's wise to tolerate.


Again, while these may or may not be adequate reasons to warn me or fire me, they are not reasons not to pay me for time that I have already worked.

On the whole, I do not see my director as conniving and money grubbing, but rather generally kind, albeit incompetent and at times a bit emotional. Frankly, I find that her incompetence/lack of killer instinct makes her much more pleasant to work for than many other bosses who micromanage and try to squeeze a lot of unpaid extras out of you. Provided she pays me, of course.

Also, I have contacted EFL-Law, and these are their suggestions:

Quote:
You have various options -
(a) wait a few days and see what happens
(b) ask for a Letter of Release and find another job - if the school
fails
to pay you, you will find Immigration will waive the need for a LoR
however.
(c) Lodge a complaint with the Labor Office


For now, I will apologize to her for upsetting her last night, and ask her as politely as I can when she can pay me by. I am setting my personal deadline of Monday before classes before I refuse to teach and contact a lawyer and the Labor Board.

Thank you, everyone (including Itaewon Guy Cool ), for your lightning-fast responses and advice. I will let you know how things go.


Last edited by Son Deureo! on Wed Aug 06, 2003 4:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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denz



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Location: soapland. alternatively - the school of rock!

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2003 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i suggest everyone build a late pay penalty clause/option into their contracts.

my contract states that in the event that 1 payment is more than 10 days late:

(a) i am entitled to terminate the contract with no notice and suffer no penalty for doing so.
(b) the school agrees to provide me with a letter of release in the event that i elect to terminate.
(c) the school remains liable for all outstanding pay up until the day of termination.

now, this clause remains thoroughly untested and might end up proving useless in the long run, but it sure makes me feel a little better. would be interesting to take it to "the judge".

ultimately, if you get penalised for being late/absent without reason, so should a school accept responsibility for its own tardiness.

give her 5 days or you walk.

denz
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rapier



Joined: 16 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2003 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It all depends on the school. My first, always paid me on time, to the corect amount, without me even having to mention a word.
My current one is not so good. In fact he's a real pain. I've never been paid on time so far...But I always have eventually. first time it happened I was outraged, like you- but I've kind of gotten used to it. I threatened to walk out once- but realised its better to allow some leeway.
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William Beckerson
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2003 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I decided to give my last boss the benefit of the doubt and agreed to wait for him to give me the rest of my pay.

I never got it.

Dont trust them, they lie.
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Arthur Fonzerelli



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Location: Suwon

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2003 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Definitely take the high road here...be professional. Set a date (1 week) and tell her you won't work if you're not paid by this date. Give her the benefit of the doubt within reason. If she doesn't pay before the deadline, move on.

Hogwans go out of business every day because of finances... It sounds like your hogwan is really struggling... That doesn't mean you have to burn a bridge and possibly a future letter of recommendation because of it... Play it cool and fair (deadline for pay).


Last edited by Arthur Fonzerelli on Tue Aug 05, 2003 10:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Harvard Material



Joined: 25 Feb 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2003 10:33 pm    Post subject: Late pay... Reply with quote

Been there too. First hakwon was never a problem getting paid on time. The second hakwon has paid me on pay day twice in 10 months. They just don't see it as being a big deal.

It also shouldn't be a big deal if the parents are one, or three, or five days late securing tuition expenses. They could simply explain to the owner that they are saving money for an extended family vacation (or whatever...), and they will pay their part of the 'agreement' when they are ready to. Thanks! No problem. Or even better; "We will pay for tuition at the end of each book completed." Ahhh...but wonjangnim would see a problem there. That's why they get paid up front. wonjangnim doesn't like risking his/her investments. Too important.

Like Pantermodern says; show up late. Don't show up at all. Not a big deal?
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rapier



Joined: 16 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2003 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My boss tends not to pay me on time. But generally speaking I am on good terms with him. If he was accusing me of losing him students or otherwise being antagonistic, I'd definitely be very worried. So far he's always come through.
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panthermodern



Joined: 08 Feb 2003
Location: Taxronto

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2003 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly:

It is a big deal that many choose not to care about.

BUT: we are talking pay DAY, not pay minute.

If they cannot find the time and money (ie plan) to do one task, once a month, they cannot be trusted to do anything else they promised.

My reaction to a late pay would be based on how much slack they have cut or seem willing to cut me.

For example:

If you need a doctors note to avoid being docked pay for being sick they should need the same to not pay on time.

If you have ever been taken to task on being late, taking too long of a break, or letting your classes out 1 or 2 minutes too early, they should not pay late or rather should not dare pay late.


Sorry, if I seem like a hardass, BUT, in my experience Hakwons expect far more then most teachers have agreed to and expecting THE BARE MINIMUM in return is not unreasonable.
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Son Deureo!



Joined: 30 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2003 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was paid today. She apologized for hurting my kibun, but told me I need to be more understanding if this sort of thing happens in the future. I apologized for getting angry with her.

Whether she paid me by the end of the workday today because she was planning to anyway, or because of my prior ultimatum, I will never know.

This wasn't the first time she had paid me a day late, but it was the first time she ever admitted that she couldn't afford to, and that our school is basically living hand-to-mouth right now. Having read the stories here, and helped some friends recently who were getting screwed out of pay by their bosses, I do not want that to happen to me. No one deserves not to get paid for time they have worked.

In retrospect, I think that her outburst about my driving students away was based mostly on a combination of her being worried about her business having some tough times, and freaking out about being threatened by some waygook who could make those problems a lot worse. It's not the first emotional outburst I've seen from her (but the first time one was directed at me), and I doubt it will be the last.

I got paid today, but it sounds like this probably won't be the last time this happens. I may need to develop the cavalier attitude that some of the other posters here have towards getting paid on time.

It looks like what I had always seen as my boss' benign incompetence may not be quite as benign as I'd thought. Just to be on the safe side, I am updating my resume.

Thanks to everyone for listening and responding. Maybe I overreacted a bit, but I feel much better for knowing what other people have done in my circumstances. It's good to know that I have options.
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