(In order to avoid any misunderstanding and for the sake of privacy, I will just refer my colleages in their last names)
As some of you might already know, I am managing an EC-related program. About 80% of the communication regarding this program is conducted in English, and practically I am the only one who is capable of doing it. Meaning, at this point in my office, I can’t really think of other managers who can replace me for this program. So that was why I placed my vacation on the late September. To be fair, there has been some unexpected changes. There was another manager who was on maternity leave. She came back on September and everyone expected her to work at least for a month. Obviously I thought…so I can leave the EC program to the lady. Well, she quit after 2 weeks, causing big chaos in our office and program management. By that time I and my parents already paid and booked for everything.
While I was gone, Choi and Yoon were two managers who took over my work. Just to make sure I told them to let me know if this is too much burden. They said it is okay. However, whenever Yoon called me for some detail check-ups during my vacation (which I did not mind), I could feel that she was so not happy that I am taking vacation. I was not too happy, but it was understandable since everyone has increased workload.
So today, I was back at my office. Choi and Yoon gave me nice follow-ups. Choi was fine. But Yoon…boy she was not happy at all. She started off saying: “you know, I was quiet surprised how the E program has been managed carelessly.” Not nice…but you know the hierarchy stuff at the Asian office, right? Just start with an apology to your senior and that gets you through. So I did, and also as the most inexperienced manager, I was ready to learn from my mistakes. And yes, I have been careless at some parts.
But most of things she pointed out was not much about how I screwed up: it sounded more like she is not happy with me because I was not doing the things in her way. When she said “you know, I am quiet disappointed you not asking much questions as a newbie.” I was thinking, “well, first of all, I do ask when I am in doubt, and secondly, without any work manuals or written procedure, how do I know what is correct and what is incorrect?” Of course I did not say this to her. Wanna know why? well, refer to the paragraph above please.
Then she went on saying the punch-line: “I understand that EC program is quiet a burden, but I do not think you have much more works to do than other managers.” Okay, first, I hate when people use the group mentality logic without really knowing about the other person. Secondly, I helped her and many others for English communication. That increased my workload but I never complained. Third, fine, then have the EC program, deal with their visa and accomodation craps, and manage 40+ instructors and 9 participants from 5 differen countries on your own with no help.
So after this not-too-pleasant conversation with Yoon…I finally came to a conclusion. It was time to deal with upper authorities directly and let them know what I have been thinking. I have been writing an e-mail to our director (with lots of effort and caution) for my next contract. I did some final reviews of my writing and sent it to the director. It was after he left the office but I am sure he will get to see it.
It was not a rant. Here is what I stated: if you are going to leave the domestic programs and international programs to my responsibility, I would like to see my salary rise, or some kind of additional benefits. If you cannot do so, then let me just focus on international programs.
The reasons? Here’s why.
1) If something is my responsibility with my name on it, I want to do it well. Failing to do so will really piss me off, especially on myself. If something looks like out of my capability, I refuse to take it, even with a big salary rise.
2) I believe that some of the works I am doing are impossible to be replaced by other managers. So I guess it is legitimate for me to ask for compensation of that irreplaceable work I am doing.
3) Imo, dealing with westerners and Koreans are two extreme opposites. Koreans: basically you have to be an overly-caring mom. Westerners: leave them alone, but there you have to explain every single details of cultural differences. Doing Korean program AND Western program at the same time will certainly cause me to develop a bipoloar disorder.
So yeah, in summary, after a long thought I casted a dice. Let’s see how they take it (hopefully in a more positive way).