15 December 2011

Bazinga!

I know I really ought to be packing right now, but I have to write down some of my thoughts!

Ben and I got the job with that nice school.  It's in Yongin city, not too far from Seoul.  I've heard many reports of it being an awesome city, so that's good!  We got the unofficial offer Sunday, and we got the contract Monday night.  I turned in my notice at work on Tuesday and craziness has consistently ensued ever since.

The most stressful part:  they want us to move in two weeks.  Actually, they want us to be there on the 27th.  (AHHHHHHH!)  I told them I had to give my two-week notice at work, and I hope they got that.  Because I kind of need the extra day or two to move all our stuff up to Jonesboro... and to get Cat settled up there.  I don't know how she is going to react, and I'm kind of worried about her.  I never thought I would feel so protective about an animal, but she's important to us.  Hopefully we can get her moved to Korea quickly and safely... we just can't afford it (financially and time-wise) right now.

So to add to the stressful part of them wanting us to move in two weeks, we don't know when we are flying out.  Which means we are packing now, thinking later.  We're selling whatever we can, giving or throwing away the rest of what we don't want, and storing the rest at my mom's.  I hate packing, though.  Never was good at it.  And it's just Ben and me... no one to help.  Sigh.  Not that we can really afford the U-haul either...

I am excited, though.  I just wish all of this extraneous stuff would take care of itself!!

Note:  If anyone needs a dining table and chairs, couch, tv stand, or end tables, let us know!

11 December 2011

The waiting game.

Waiting is tortuous.  I've never been incredibly patient, and waiting to hear back from this school has been tying my insides in knots since our interview on Thursday.  The first school we had interviewed for (the shady one) offered us a contract within 24 hours, but we turned it down for obvious reasons.  We thought we might hear from the second school as quickly, until we realized that Friday evening for us was Saturday for them... so we've been on pins and needles waiting for news all weekend.  Ben's being much more chill about it.  As for me, I've felt sick off and on from the nerves all week, haha.

Worst case scenario:  we don't get an offer.  It won't be the end of the world, and we will continue to interview for jobs until we do find one.

Best case scenario:  we get an offer, and we leave for Korea in a month.  Which means this week I would have to put in notice at work and at the apartment, we would have to pack all of our stuff, and get ready for a really quick December.

Both scenarios seriously stress me out.  I'm still having difficulty figuring out how we will pay for everything if we leave in a month.

08 December 2011

Morning thoughts.

Well, here I am finishing a stale cup of coffee, thinking about what went down last night.
We had our first school "interview," which basically entailed talking to one of the teachers while the director was listening in.  Which basically means they probably couldn't be truthful about some stuff.

We had originally been scheduled to have two interviews last night.  The first one was rescheduled last minute because of an unforeseen situation arising at the school.  The second... well, they just forgot to call us, apparently.  I ended up having to e-mail the recruiter to make sure we got the interview... And they called us, about 45 minutes late.

The interview wasn't really like any interview I had ever had.  The fact that it was a teacher talking to us let our guards down a little bit (until we realized the director was there the whole time), and the guy was pleasant enough.  However, his lack of anything negative to say about his experience was a bit of a red flag for us.  Also, when he asked the director if she wanted to talk to us or if she had any questions for us, she said no.  The entire "interview" was pretty much the teacher asking if we had any questions.  He didn't ask too much about us, which was surprising.  The feeling we got out of the experience was strange... we couldn't tell if they were just feeling us out, or if they were confident about us and just making sure we didn't have any questions...  No e-mails from them since, and I have no idea if we're going to hear back from them at all.

The final weird thing about the interview happened when I asked the teacher for his e-mail address.  His e-mail had his full name, so we Googled the teacher.  None of his online presence has anything to say about being in Korea since August 2010.  In fact, his sites (Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook) all say he is currently in law school in Washington DC...  Ben got upset over this.  It's hard to know who to trust, and when it looks like we're being played... that's disheartening.  I'm sure there is some possible explanation for it, but those explanations aren't exactly forthcoming, and it isn't a question one can just whip out in casual conversation online.

"So, like, were you lying that whole time?"


The good news is that we have this second interview tonight.  I hope it goes well... from what I've heard about the city and the possible school we're interviewing for, it's a really great job.  At this point, we're just needing some concrete information!  This constant limbo of waiting for job interviews is pretty nerve-racking.

I'll let you all know what happens next when I find out.
Cheers!  

20 November 2011

Updates.

Well, here's a quick update on our situation!
First, we are still poor.  Ben's still trying to find a job.  Chris is getting married this weekend (that's a major yay!), which means soon I shall have a sister-in-law and two new nieces.  I'm pretty excited about that one.

I had a nice birthday, though it was fairly quiet.  Still had to go to work (boo), but they got me a chocolate cake (yay)!  Ashley, Julie, and Ben took me out to Olive Garden for dinner.  And on Saturday, Mom came down from Jonesboro to take Ben and me out to dinner... we went to Gauchos-- yum.  And Mom got me the most amazing suitcase that I'd been drooling over.  I still have my bright fuchsia one... and Ben may have to use that one when we move, haha.  I also got the Doctor Who Series 6 Part 1 Blu-ray pack!

Now for the real updates.  We've been accepted to Footprints Recruiting, which is great.  And we've applied to two jobs already through separate recruiters.  We haven't heard back from them yet, but those jobs started March 1st, so if we can find something sooner, that would be better.  Also, Ben and I bit the bullet and reluctantly signed up for online TEFL certification courses.  This set us back $445 (I had a bit of a panic attack on the way to work after paying), but the benefit is undeniable.  We will not only get some good insight on the classroom settings we will be working in, but we will also be qualified for higher salaries with those certifications under our belts.  I hope we made the right decision.  I'm still freaking out about it a little...

In other news, our FBI background checks finally came in, and we got a recommendation for a private organization that can get them Apostilled for us much quicker (as in, about a week, as opposed to 4-6 weeks). Which means, once we get that taken care of, and our letters of reference are complete, we will have all of our paperwork.  Which means we just lack a job offer, a contract, and our visa from the consulate.

Moving right along...


14 November 2011

Baby steps forward.

Well, things are a little better than they were my last post!  We decided to ditch the TeachESLKorea recruiter and move on to other options.  As in, we applied to six other recruiters.  I was hoping we would only have to focus on one set of applications, but as it turns out, most people have better luck from exploring more than one route.

So.  Here's the current sitch on things.  Despite some negative comments about Footprints Recruiting on Dave's ESL Cafe, we went ahead and put in our applications.  We are playing it pretty wary with each recruiter until we get the info on what they can offer us, so don't worry about us getting stuck with a bad organization!

I just had my interview with Footprints this afternoon, and I think it went really well.  Ben's interview is on Wednesday, so please send positive vibes his way.  What we really need is someone looking for jobs for us at this point instead of being in perpetual limbo.

As far as our E-2 Visa process goes, the only thing we lack is getting our FBI background checks in.  We applied for them in August, and they still haven't gotten back.  After that, we have to send them to get apostilled, which will take another 3 weeks or so.  (ugh).

The only real difficulties we are having right now involve the TEFL certification and our current financial situation.  Ben and I simply cannot afford shelling out $220 each (that's with the Footprints discount) to go through the course.  I really want to take it, and Ben's resume would really be buffed up if he had the certification.  But we are poor.  :(  Seriously.  I have been eating ramen noodles for at least one meal every day for the past two weeks.  All carbs all the time.  We'll get through it and figure something out, but it's been tough... and probably will be for a while.

Note:  I've never done this before, and we don't want to put pressure on anyone, but if someone feels inclined to help us out, even a little, we now have a donation account on PayPal.  The button is up there in the upper right hand corner.  We would sincerely appreciate any help you can provide.  All donations will go either toward our TEFL certifications or our cat's relocation fees.  =^.^=


Sometimes the pressure of our financial situation is overwhelming.  It will hit me all of a sudden, on the way to work or while I'm making dinner, and I will have a mini-meltdown.  I honestly don't know how we are going to survive financially if we are forced to remain in the States for more than a couple of months.  If we go through a pet relocation agency, we are going to have to borrow serious money from family to pay the bill.  I've been considering sending funding letters to friends and family, like I did for many of my Hungary trips.  (This is what I get for not learning how to budget properly from the beginning.  Sigh.)

I keep telling myself we'll make it through somehow, that we will figure something out.  But the longer we wait, the worse it gets, and I can't figure out a way to do it all without borrowing.

Boo hoo.  There's my sob story for the day.  Poor and unafraid to say it.  Just terrified to deal with it, haha.

Love,
Beks

01 November 2011

Setbacks

This is so frustrating I could cry.
This morning I received an e-mail from the recruiter saying they probably could not place us in Korea.  That there are too many applicants and too few jobs.  He told us to go get a 100hr TEFL course (about $200 per person), get all of our documents in order, and then talk to him, but he couldn't make any promises.

Can we afford to invest more time and money into this?  As it is, I'm uncomfortable with our current financial situation.  We were counting on this.  We have friends who are over there, and we had no reason to believe it would be difficult to get placed.

So right now I'm having a little freak out, trying to decide whether to send back a reply assuring him we'll do what we can, or whether we should just forget Korea and move on to another country.  I can't sanely back out of this venture.  We have to go.

19 September 2011

Don't let me down.

Letting people down is not something I relish doing.  I hate "breaking the news", and I generally put it off as long as possible.  Though I doubt that letting the wait drag out hardly improves the situation, I guess it's more for my sake.  Knowing that people may think less of me or blame me for something is the worst.  I shouldn't care what they think, but I do.  It's natural for me to want to please.  It used to be worse.  Back in high school when I had frequent and disturbing nightmares, I narrowed the problem down to my difficulty with saying no to people.  I would let myself get so stressed out with not only my schedule, but worrying about what other people would think if I messed up, that my mind would vent when I went to sleep.

All this to say that I have news that will not make some people happy at all, and I don't know how they will react.  These people have been so good to me, and while I can get pretty frustrated with them, they have done a lot for me since I have known them.  I've always been a teacher's pet--so sue me-- and this situation doesn't seem any different.

So boo.  I have to break the news soon, because once the paperwork starts trickling back in... Ben and I are moving to Korea.