Sunday, 8 March 2009

Institutionalised Alcoholism

I saw in the English expat magazine recently an advert for a teacher recruitment website. It listed the features and benefits they offered, and showed a picture of a large group of westerners who may or may not have been recruited through the site, in a bar, downing shots.

Now, in my opinion that's a bit wrong. You wouldn't advertise any other job with a picture of your current employees getting trashed. It's not professional. It's certainly true, though, that a lot of teachers view their year in Korea as a paid jolly, seeing nothing wrong in spending unconscionable amounts of time and money on hedonistic pursuits.

Now, like most people, I enjoy a few drinks - but not during the week, at least not excessively. I know of teachers who've rolled in in the morning, unshowered, wearing clothes from the night before, having had little or no sleep, smelling of soju. I can't fathom how this can be done: teaching dozens of screaming under sixes with a hangover? No thanks. I've done it before, in previous jobs, jobs where I can sit behind a checkout or answer phones for eight hours, jobs where I don't have to use my brain, but not when I'm working with kids - it's not fair to them, or to their parents who've paid hundreds of thousands of won to send their kids to our hagwon.

And it reflects badly on other teachers. And I had to get that off my chest.

No comments: