Wednesday, February 02, 2005

damn-- did I flub an opportunity?

I usually wake up around noon these days, because I'm up until 5 or 6AM. I was to go to an interview today, so I made an effort to get to sleep much earlier yesterday. Unfortunately, I was feeling somewhat under the weather last night, and I woke up this morning at an unusual 6:30AM feeling just as icky. I decided I'd have to postpone my interview by a day.

To that end, I sent my interviewer, Mr. Yoo, two text messages in Korean apologizing for being sick and therefore unable to make today's interview. I also requested that we meet tomorrow. I waited until a few minutes ago, 8:30AM, to give Mr. Yoo an actual call (in Korean culture, it would have been rude for me to stop after giving only a text message, which is still considered a less personal way to interact with businesspeople than voice-to-voice or face-to-face interaction), and now I'm wondering whether I've flubbed a golden opportunity.

On the phone, Mr. Yoo, as would be typical for someone in his position, insisted that he must decide by today whom he will hire.* He has two other interviewees coming, he said. I decided to ask him about the job's particulars, and discovered that my work would be little different from what I currently do at EC: his college is engaged in a one-on-one tutoring project of its own. The idea seems to be catching on everywhere; perhaps this represents one of the few positive trends in hagwons these days.

Assuming I can trust Mr. Yoo about what the job entails (and this might not be a safe assumption), the job might be fantastic. Why:

1. one-on-one teaching
2. 2 million a month, a bit less than the 2.2 (gross) I get from EC, but--
3. only 18 hours a week on a 9-to-5, Monday-through-Friday schedule.

Compare: 18 hours/week versus 44 hours/week.

Compare: Saturdays at EC versus NO FUCKING SATURDAYS.

Damn, damn, damn.

Mr. Yoo sounded doubtful about rescheduling the interview, but said he'd send me a text message later today. There's a wee chance I might get to interview with the college, but shit, I might have blown it. I can hear my brother David's taunting voice in my head: "You snooze, you lose! YEAH! You snooze, you lose!"


Good news, though: the very high-paying Chungdahm Institute over in the Samsung district of Seoul is still hiring, and I found out two nights ago from my buddy Jang-woong that his cousin works there. All hail cronyism! I'm going to meet Jang-woong and his cousin this Saturday evening to talk about a job there. One advantage of a Chungdahm job over the Mr. Yoo one-on-one job is pay: Chungdahm jobs pay about a million won a month more (almost $1000) than regular hagwon jobs. But here, too, caution is called for, because I don't know what a Chungdahm work schedule will be like.

More on this as it happens. Popes spring eternal. I'm going back to bed for a few hours so I don't feel like crap when I teach at EC today. Maybe Mr. Yoo will text me back; maybe he won't.

*News to me: when he called me earlier in the week, he gave me plenty of leeway as to when I could come in for the interview. Is this desperation? If so, it doesn't work in his favor.


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