- 5 years ago
- Wedding: August 2013
Am I crazy is or this super rude?
I work as a teacher in Korea. My FH and most people I know have the same job as I do. In this job, schools do this thing a few times a year where they drop a VERY IMPORTANT staff dinner on you just a few days beforehand. It’s a fact of life, it always happens 3-4 times a year.
On these occasions, you are often judged for your attendance like they judge your attendance at work – not going is harshly frowned on unless you’re on your deathbed and you might as well tattoo “goldbricking non-team player” on your forehead. They’d never say it aloud or write it anywhere, it’s just how it is. Some schools are more intense about this than others but it’s there to a degree at basically of them. It’s just a part of Korean working culture. And that’s fine with me. I like my job and my coworkers, and the dinners are honestly usually a good time, so it’s not that bad.
And since we’re all in the same boat, MOST other foreign teachers understand when someone cancels last minute because of a staff dinner. It’s just a normal, unfortunate thing that happens once in awhile, like getting sick.
This guy I know -same job, different school- is leaving Korea. We’re not exactly close friends or anything, he’s really boisterous and always just wants to get wasted until the wee hours… so we don’t really actually hang out much. We’ve probably met in the context of other people (never deliberately hung out) maybe four times. He’s having a going away party.
Originally I was going to go, but on Monday, my school said “very important staff dinner on Friday” (the day of his party.) So I posted on his facebook event being like sorry dude, just got hit with a staff dinner, you know how it is. I wasn’t the only one, it’s the end of the semester, so odds of sudden dinner go up.
So he writes a post on the event calling out, by name, every single person who had a staff dinner (about 4 of us) saying basically “it’s bullshit” that we’re going to our staff dinners and he “had dibs” on us. Normally, yes, prior engagements. But this situation is different. Then he ALSO sends me a strongly worded message, to harass me more directly, about how I need to “stand up” to my school and I was being “spineless.”
I’m like wow, so you’re asking me to mess up my working relationships and possibly put my next contract in jeopardy, because an acquaintance is having a party. Because you, someone I hardly know, had “dibs.” Yeah, that’s gonna happen. What are you, 10?
I was raised that if someone declines an event or backs out, regardless of what you think about that, even if you know they’re lying(!) that the polite thing to do is NOT draw attention to it. This isn’t something that depends on formality – every “meeting” is subject to this. If someone says they can’t come, you’re not supposed to push them about it unless it’s to remove a barrier for them (offer to pay or drive them or whatever) and even then you only do it if you’re close to them. I was taught that the only appropriate response 99% of the time is “Oh, sorry to hear that.”
So now I’m thinking, is this common or was my family just weird?