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Linda - 2005-10-03

I worked for 5 months at Child-U. The recruiting agency said that my shift would be 3-9, Mon-Fri. and that my apartment was a 5-minute walk from school, which were appealing to me. However, when my school director, May, and her sister, Lydia, picked me up at the airport, May told me that I started every day at noon. Soon I became very tired from the long shift (12-9:30, with only one hour of breaks in total). I told May at least 3 times over several months that I found the schedule too tiring, and asked if she could change it; she told me that there was nothing that she could do. This also happened to the other foreign teacher, Maaike, who started 1 month before me. She was also offered a 3-9 shift and ended up working 2-10.
I finally e-mailed my recruiter and asked her why she had posted my job hours as 3-9. She said that it was May who filled in all of the details. When I confronted May, she initially said that when she posted Maaikes and my jobs at the same time, she wasnt sure who would work 12-9:30, so she just posted the regular work hours on both of our job postings. Interestingly, not one of the 7 teachers even works 3-9 (the others work between 2-10). May later admitted to me that sometimes she has to hide certain details in order to attract foreign teachers. I told her that I felt tricked; I would never have taken the job if I had known what the real hours were.
Also, the 5-min walk from my apartment to school was really 40-min. In the winter we had to spend a lot of money taking taxis home from school.
As for the school, it has about 300 students and is totally disorganized. The classrooms were also very tiny and overcrowded.
On my last night at work (I was flying out the next day) Lydia told me that they were deducting money from my final pay to cover the plane ticket to fly me to Korea as well as the recruiters fee. After a 3-hour argument with May and Lydia, May and I agreed that she and I would split the difference for the plane ticket and the recruiters fee, which gave me about $200 more. However, when the money was wired to my bank in Canada, it was short several hundred dollars. I e-mailed May over a month and a half ago asking for her to send a copy of the wire, but she hasnt.
One of the Korean teachers told me how May has cheated previous teachers on their pay and how she and Lydia were liars about so many things. During my fight with I even noticed that May was beginning to change things that she had previously told me or just denied them.
Also, our contracts state that we would get medical insurance 4 weeks after we began working, but we never did. I asked several times for it as I had gotten really sick from all of the pollution (Yeosu has over 100 chemical plants). The teacher that I replaced told me that she had asked for it for a year and never received it. When I confronted May, she said that they had submitted the paper work, but that the insurance company was taking its time.
The school has a very high turnover and I understand why. Unwilling to be taken advantage of anymore, Maaike and I finally ended up quitting after 5 months. I wouldnt recommend ANYONE to work at Child-U in Yeosu.

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