Tuesday, August 04, 2015

hiring news

A joyous development: I may be hired in as little as a week or two, depending on when the Golden Goose's wayward CEO comes back from vacation. According to my immediate boss, all the paperwork for me is done, and the only thing left is for the CEO to drag his big, fat, hairy John Hancock across the page, leaving a glistening, pearlescent signature. I still haven't seen my contract, though, so there's that issue. I had once asked how much of a voice I would have in drawing up my own contract, and I never got a straight answer. I suspect that the contract will be boilerplate, and what will matter more is what actually happens in the office, not an abstract set of terms and conditions. That's how it often works with contracts in Korea. We'll see. I hope the terms won't look too crazy; there's even a chance, according to scuttlebutt, that I might end up signing a teacher's contract, even though I won't be going anywhere near a classroom. If that's the case, the contract will be effectively meaningless because it'll be irrelevant to what I'm actually going to be doing at the company.

Today, I found out something interesting. The Golden Goose doesn't just run language schools and a publishing company: it also runs two upscale restaurants and a norae-bang (literally a "singing room," which is mostly like karaoke). I laughed out loud when my boss mentioned this fact, then I told him I had to visit both restaurants. He said he'd take me to them for lunch whenever I liked. What a wacky company, eh?

And in the spirit of that wackiness—as I already mentioned privately to Charles—I'm officially renaming the Golden Goose. No longer will it be the Golden Goose on this blog! Given the wackiness and occasional dysfunction inherent in this company, as in so many others, I hereby re-dub my future full-time place of work Arkham, after the well-known insane asylum in Batman's Gotham City. Let the follies commence!

ADDENDUM: Let's think out loud about the timing of all this.

1. I'm days away from USCIS being finished with processing my forms and—I hope—sending my brother David the documents I'd requested. Assuming everything is done by next Tuesday, August 11, it'll take about three days for the paperwork to reach my brother. David receives the paperwork on the 14th; he emails the PDF documents to me; I print them out and also burn a CD here instead of asking him to mail the CD to me (this was David's suggestion just a few minutes ago). I'm ready to go that very weekend.

2. With the paperwork ready to go by the 15th, I can storm Immigration on Monday, August 17th, filling out an application that morning and starting the three-week clock. Now, when Korean Immigration says "three weeks to process" for a visa, they mean three actual calendar weeks, i.e., 21 days, not 21 business days, which is how the stupid US government reckons processing time. So if I turn in my paperwork on August 17 (I might have to take the morning off from Arkham, then work late), then 17 + 21 = 38, i.e., September 7. I could have my F-4 visa as early as September 7, which would leave me giddier than Scrooge on Christmas morn.

3. Another issue is how to coordinate moving with hiring. If I'm hired too early, I won't be able to move out of Goyang until after I've dealt with Goyang's Immigration Office. (I really don't want to face Mokdong Immigration.) That's going to mean commuting five hours a day, back and forth between southeastern Seoul and Goyang City, way to the northwest, possibly for a couple of weeks. I think the perfect date to be hired would be after August 20—sometime during the final ten or eleven days of August.

4. The date I get hired—or, more precisely, the start date of my contract—affects when I move, so I need to consider when I'm going to have to start prepping. Right now, I think the safest thing to do is to start prepping right away. Luckily for me, the huge apartment complex right across the street from me has various designated garbage-dumping areas, many of which contain a neverending supply of large cardboard boxes. Tant mieux pour moi. I had my eye on those boxes the very day I moved to Goyang, knowing that this day would come.

Several things are going to happen all at once before things get calm again. It's a bit like being a juggler who has nothing to do for long periods, until suddenly twenty of his fellow performers all simultaneously decide to toss him objects to juggle. Fun but scary.

As always, life in Korea is never boring.



The Maximum Leader said...

For what it is worth, before Arkham was associated with Batman it was the mythical town in Massachusetts that was the setting for many an H.P. Lovecraft story.

Kevin Kim said...

How apropos. This company did sink its tentacles into me.

Charles said...

Good to see things are moving along.

John (I'm not a robot) said...

Good luck with everything. It appears the pieces are all falling in place. If you were hired as a teacher would it give you some leeway with the visa situation (I cringe at the thought of you relying on USCIS to be diligent)?