My boss recently got hit up by some government department looking for reasons why things didn’t add up on their end, like why there was no health check submitted for the Anglo-Saxon she’s got performing in front of Korean children. A double load hit the fan when they found that the foreigner currently working at our academy was not the same guy they had listed. The guy they had listed actually left three years ago, but I guess it was more convenient for our academy to keep him around on paper than to update the records. These are signs of massive loopholes and negligence in the Korean system.
Now with two departments after her, both of which were wielding the threat of fines, my boss had to swoop me up for an emergency visit to the hospital so they could run me through the astronauts’ fitness test required of all English Entertainers in Korea. That’s right, I’ve got three months left on my contract, and only today did I get my health check.
But we’d be remiss to judge Korea solely by these failures alone. For example, we might expect that a trip to the hospital would expose similar flaws, like negligence and bureaucratic sloth, but it just ain’t so. After making an appointment last night, this morning I got through eight tests (height, a chimpanzee’s IQ test, blood pressure, hearing, vision, urine, blood, x-ray) in thirty-seven minutes, all for $80. About five of those minutes were spent waiting, and I wasted about three minutes in the bathroom squeezing the lemon and taking the picture for this post. I’d spend thirty-seven minutes waiting in a clammy chair if it were an American hospital. So, it’s not all sloth and negligence.