Issues, Issues, Issues...


Lawd, the last few days have been crazy!

First, I turned in my work laptop last Thursday so I've been without a computer for a few days. Those of you who know me know that I usually have a computer of some kind surgically attached, so I'm going completely bonkers without good net access.

I've ordered a new laptop which is supposed to be here sometime today. The research I've done says it's best to get your computer before heading to Korea so that the operating systems are all in English (duh, that does make sense doesn't it- lol). Anyway, in the meantime I've only had access via my blackberry-- which is actually how I'm making this post.

Soooo... With limited access to check on things, we start having issues with my travel scheduling.

When I first spoke with the Canadian representative for Gone2Korea, James, my understanding was that they (Gone2Korea) would pay for my airfare then be reimbursed by the school. In fact, this was one of my primary reasons for using them. (For those who don't know-- some schools in Korea pay for the ticket upfront and others have you buy your ticket and then they reimburse you.). So, I get an email from the Gone2Korea rep in Seoul, Sharon, telling me that due to the swine flu scares I'd need to arrive in Korea about 5 days earlier than I was expecting because I'd have to be quarrantined for a few days and asking me to let her know once I'd arranged my flight.

As you can imagine, my initial reaction was, "what the ?!?!?"

I contact Sharon... And after a little back and forth, apparently there was miscommunication somewhere. My contract with the school does state that I would be reimbursed by the school for my ticket. From my conversation with James in Canada, I took that to mean that Gone2Korea would pay and be the one reimbursed. Since I never discussed the specifics of that part of the contract with Sharon, she thought I would be paying and be the one reimbursed. Arrrggghhhh!!!

I go into all the detail on that to point out how important it is to be CERTAIN all the details are clearly spelled out. I really don't think anyone intentionally misled me... I truly believe it was simply miscommunication between the 4 parties (James, Sharon, CDI, and myself). When you factor in language and culture differences, it's easy to make communication errors.

To jump to the end of the story... Sharon has been working overtime trying to find a way to have my ticket paid in advance, but if that's not possible then she's already cleared it witrh the school for me to wait until I get my severance from the college on the 31st, then buy my ticket... So I would actually be arriving about a week later than originally planned instead of early.

A VERY important lesson I learned a long time ago with any kind of international travel--- you GOTTA be a bit flexible!!


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Rick is an English teacher currently living and working in Seoul, South Korea. If you have any questions about life in Korea, feel free to email:

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