Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Your problem and my problem, part 2

The other day I talked about boundaries and students trying to harass me into doing something I don't want to do.  The example I gave was in my school's "Global Zone," where students will try to catch me as I'm leaving to go to another class and trying not to be late, or running to the bathroom in my 2 minute break between sessions to help them with their last-minute homework.

Today, I'm going to talk about boundaries with the admin and requests that they have.  Over the years, I've gotten some very ridiculous requests.  Like working on Saturdays, teaching young children of some professor or another for $10/hour because there's no book and I just have to talk with them, therefore it's "easy."  Or, someone being disorganized about something and leaving it to the last minute and expecting me to cancel my regularly scheduled for-credit classes (which the students pay tuition for!), just so I can be a judge (ie: white face) at some relatively meaningless contest or another.

I will say what I said in my last post.  Your stress and last-minute problem does not need to become my stress and last-minute problem.  Of course, it's kind of tricky because you don't want to get a reputation of being uncooperative/ a bad employee if you always say no, but here my top 5 tips that I have for dealing with admin requests:

1. Say yes sometimes, especially when you are new at your school.  This will help you build a stellar reputation.

2. Also say no sometimes.  You don't want to get the reputation as the pushover who will do anything because then when you say no at some later point, you'll be looked unfavorably upon.

3. The best excuses are those that involve you helping students in some way.  You are taking some students out for dinner.  You're meeting them at the park for a picnic.  You're holding extra tutoring sessions in your office for the students who missed class.  You're already doing this other overtime thing  Not that you should lie about this........

4. The second best excuse involves a "promise" of some sort.  You're going to a friend's wedding or a child's first birthday.  These things are important in Korea.

5.  Ask for the details in writing, via email before you make a decision.  Most Koreans will not be bothered to do this and will just phone the next person on the list.

Check out this book about how to get a University Job in South Korea.

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