Thursday, January 25, 2007

Assume, verb: to make an ass out of you and me

Nothing that has happened in the past couple of weeks excuses my neglect of this blog. I was hoping to redeem myself by writing a concise summary of how everything turned out alright. Unfortunately, things may not turn out alright. Why is that? Assumptions! We make assumptions all the time. Some of these assumptions are warranted and others are not. I made several unwarranted assumptions that have contributed to my increasing anxiety regarding my job status in Korea.

The second school finally came through with a job offer- about a week after I last spoke with them. I had assumed that if they were interested that they'd have emailed me sooner. Mistake number one. In order to accept this job, I guiltily informed the recruiter for the first position that I could no longer make it to Jeonju. Even though I felt bad going back on that decision, I feel ultimately justified putting my own interests first. Even so, I assumed the recruiter would be very upset with me. She first expressed concern that I was OK and later attributed the sudden decision to my not wanting to be in Jeonju. She suggested she find me a position somewhere else. *guilt!*

While I was extricating myself from the first job, I was trying to get things settled with the new position. We had one quick email exchange and I was confident that things would move quickly. The school seemed eager to have someone there asap, so I assumed the whole hiring process would quickly. Mistake! After a FIVE day interlude, I finally got another email from Jae. He said things were hectic at school but that he'd send me the final contract soon. I thought we were back on track and that now things would move quickly- especially considering I need to get a visa before flying over. Last weekend we sent a few emails back and forth, talking about flights and other minor points. On Monday he said he'd email the final contract to me the next day- that being Tuesday. It's Friday midday in Korea and I still don't have a final contract.

The dialogue in my head goes something like this:

Am I missing something? What is going on? They offered me the contract, I accepted it. According to American law, that contract is now binding. But we're talking about Korea. Maybe they're trying to stall while looking for another teacher? But if they're serious about getting someone soon, they should just send me the contract! ME! He said things were hectic last week. Maybe things are still hectic. He's just slow. He said "welcome to the family" in his email- of course everything is going to work out! How could it not?! Right?! There's plenty of time for the visa. Don't worry. BUT he said he'd send the final contract the next day- it's been way too long! I'm just used to things happening quickly with email. I'm making these assumptions that reveal my American biases. Shut up about cultural relativism! He said next day! That means next day! Give it some more time. Try to relax! Relax! GAH!

Some version of this occurs every time I check my email. I don't like being in limbo. If this isn't going to work out, I need to know so I can find another job. But I really want this job! This is by far the best position I've found with regards to pay and location. I've also been in contact with two of the current teachers and they seem great. I just need the contract...



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