My department head is convinced that I’m only interested in making money. No matter what I tell him, he keeps on trying to get me to do extra work, and his motivation is always “but you can make lots of money”. Fair enough. That’s generally a good motivation for a lot of people. But if I wanted to make loads of cash by working ALL THE TIME I would have studied something else. BA graduates tend to find other forms of motivation. If I wanted to work all the time and make lots of money (or debt) I would have studied a degree with better employment prospects. I would also be splattered face down at the bottom of some tall building by now. But that’s another story.
Over the past week my department head has tried to make me work an extra ten hours over weekends (five hours on Saturday and another five on Sunday). This would have meant that my income would have increased by 1.2 million won a month (or about R9600). Not bad, but I’m not sure it would have been worth giving up my weekends. It is pretty strange to be in a position to turn down this kind of EXTRA income, which is more than I was earning in total back in SA. But I think it is important to come to Korea for something more than just to work and make money. The main reason I turned this down was so that I would have time to travel to all those places in Korea that I want to see. Otherwise this teaching gig becomes just another job. Go to work, go home, sleep, go to work, go home, sleep…. I have had enough of this over the past few years.
So I said a big loud NO to the extra work. Not only do I get to enjoy some of this country, but I also put a nice big hole in a lot of Koreans’ perceptions that foreigners here are only in it for the money. But I have to admit it’s still pretty tricky dodging all the offers!