Monday, May 28, 2007

Midnight Run

I never thought it was that bad. Yes, the first several weeks were hard and frustrating but really!

She's gone. Our new teacher that came just in time to keep us from drowning two weeks ago is gone. Without a word to anyone she sneaked out of her apartment on Sunday and probably boarded the first plane to America. We had all gone out on Saturday night and there wasn't any indication that she would leave. She had brought groceries on Friday and a variety of other goods that under normal circumstances would have indicated she would stay.

Sometime on Sunday she did a midnight run. No one noticed her absence until Monday morning. This is a huge shame and insult to the hagwon as they worked hard and spent a lot of money to get her here. And of course it really hurts the rest of the teaching staff because we have to try and cover her classes when we were already understaffed.

I guess she just couldn't hack it. Leaving a beloved pet, living abroad, working hard, working with kids, etc.

We've heard stories about the occasional teacher in the past who pulled a similar stunt and disappeared. We jokingly talk about the perfect midnight run scenario: 1) Stay for one month and get your first paycheck. 2) Ask for an advance on your second paycheck. 3) On a Saturday night close the door to your room and then quietly sneak out. 4)Board the first plane to the States.

I never thought anyone would ever do it though! And she didn't even get her first pay check. No matter how bad the situation is it, one year isn't that long. Despite any of my complaints, we actually have it pretty good and we make pretty good money.

The down side of a midnight run is that they flag your passport. If you don't get on a plane before they flag your passport, you can be detained. If you do make it out of the country, you can't return for a minimum of five years. Pretty light punishment if you ask me.

All in all it was a crappy deal. She leaves us with a ton of work. The school fronted a lot of money to get her over here and there is no legal action for them to take. It hurts the reputation of the school and it leaves the students without a teacher.

Every cloud has a silver lining and we might be able to get a temp until our next American arrives in the middle of June. Cross your fingers for us.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

maybe hagwons should treat their employees as specified in contract if they do not wish for people to run.