Saturday, March 20, 2010

Your Problems Solved

Kimchi Icecream made a post that highlights all the major issues one faces at the work environment here in Korea.

When I went through the list I couldn't help but see how much I have failed. Since I have tendencies to make most of these mistakes I fear I will never get it right. What I learned, however, is to grow a golden rule within myself. That is to keep my coteachers happy and don't pass judgment on them.

14. Failing to be patient with the bureaucratic school culture paperwork and how Koreans get tasks done that are directly related to your work and living situations.
11.  Getting visibly and openly upset/angry/negative about something in the teacher’s office (or anywhere in the school where faculty and/or students can hear and see you).
10.  Open confrontation and being assertive.
9.  Asking “Why?” when a higher rank teacher, office admin manager, vice-principal, or principal (pretty much anyone who is Korean and older) tells you to do something.
4.  Getting upset about ‘last second notice’ aka ‘last minute notices’ about schedule changes.



  1. That's one thing I'm not looking forward to about going to Korea, the work-place culture I'll have to endure.

  2. It's part of it but really you can live here and survive. Just gotta try not to loose your cool.

  3. It's quite different from the Western mentality - but then again that's part of the reason lots of us come here. At the same time, there's more than a few Koreans fighting the traditional / archaic way of doing things. The young women who go out for coffee instead of soju. The people who 'have other plans' instead of going out for dinner and drinks with the boss. That's how cultures change - at the risk of playing devil's advocate, choosing not to completely accept a given culture does not alienate you or sentence you to a life of ignorance. Heck, there were too many societal expectations / rules I didn't follow back in the US - so what? It's your life - not Korea's.


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