Don't be surprised if your boss changes the terms of your contract. As the article on ESL Monkey states, "for many Koreans, a contract is part of the symbolism involved in beginning a relationship . . .[and they] view contracts as infinitely flexible and subject to further negotiation." Therefore, "the written contract is not the real contract; rather, the unwritten, oral agreement with an employer is the real contract." Foreigners panic when they realize this, for it is a culture shock. The printed word made it possible for our Founding Fathers to build our nation the way we know it today. The United States is a contract-based society with the written word carrying authority in legal matters. This clash in cultural beliefs undoubtedly causes disputes over contracts. Koreans rarely takes such disputes to court.
The following is a quote by a recruiter:
"Look over the contract and if you agree to it, sign and fax it back to me as quickly as possible."
English School Watch Organization unravels the hidden meaning:
"The sooner the contract is faxed back to the recruiter and the teacher is in Korea the sooner he or she will be able to collect their commission from the hakwon owner. Additionally, the language in this statement leaves the potential recruit little time to conduct appropriate research into the complaint history of the employer, or the recruiter him or herself. A number of teachers commented that they did not know precisely what they were agreeing to simply because they did know enough about the market and were not aware of information, and of sources and resources where they could conduct research allowing them to make informed decisions prior to signing their contracts."