Slow paced Korea - Hogwan and Bureaucracy - 85
In contrast to the Samsung situation where efficiency was the order of the day, Valeria had the experience whereby in her school, they had a computer engineer unsuccessfully attempt, six times over a few months, to repair the computer in the staff room. One visit involved moving all of the cables and furniture (including cupboards), as he followed the cable across the room: Still no luck. It always seemed to me that companies in Korea are a mixture of some of the most efficient and brilliant companies in the world and some of the most inefficient you are likely to find.
Bureaucracy in Korea
When it comes to paperwork and bureaucracy, it is a common complaint from Westerners about their experience with Hogwans: Things can happen very slowly. You can for example, be waiting days or even a week or two for news on your work visa papers from your school, and then suddenly one day, you are told you have to go to Japan the next day to sort out your papers. (For some unknown reason, Korean immigration requires teachers to visit a Korean embassy/consulate outside of Korea in order to get the required work visa issued. Korean immigration will not simply process the paperwork within Korea, instead of at expense of the school or sometimes to the teacher, the teacher must fly to another country for one day to go to a Korean embassy outside of Korea. Most teachers choose to fly to Japan on a day trip).
Notes: i) The ‘order of the day’ means ‘the way things are normally done’. ii) Hogwans = Private language school.