Teaching Job vs. Bar Job

A few years ago I wrote about the differences about my Real Job and my Bar Job, which was my first popular article on PIC. Then I wrote about the differences between my Bar Job and my Real Job, which wasn't really as popular, but who's keeping score? Since nobody cares about my Real Job, I thought I'd write about the differences and similarities between a Teaching Job and a Bar Job.

KC pointing to a BAR sign in Korea
The best decision I've made in a while, BAR none.
You see, my Real Job laid me off so I needed to work in the bars again to pay my bills. But I was tired of the loud music, violence, drinking, and dipshits. So I found myself back in school to become a teacher; then I found myself in a school actually teaching. Let's see how being a bouncer and a bartender matches up to being a teacher.

One reason I needed to get out of the bars was the noise. That bass-pumping music you love so much adds up to bar workers over the years, and they start to lose their hearing. Which makes them yell more, which makes bar-goers yell more. And since you're being louder, we're being louder, but the deejay can only hear people screaming so he turns up his jams even higher.

Kids still want to punch me, kick in my nuts, and stab me with safety scissors. Lucky for me, they can't reach my beautiful face. But in the schools, you're dealing with 15 little kids, who all want to yell and scream and holler and shout. Which makes the teacher need to yell and scream and holler and shout even more. But here in Korea, our classrooms are basically cement nuclear bomb shelters with crayon drawings decorating them, so the sound resonates a lot more. As a result, my ears are ringing almost more now than at the bars and clubs.

Also, I fucking hate most of the music most bars play. I know it's unpopular of me to say it, but I can't stand Lady Gaga, fucking Journey, fucking Bon Jovi, and fucking hip-hop. Now, I hate all the music my kids listen to. Fucking Korean pop music or the same shitty music I hated in the USA... only sung by little children. Actually, I'm not going to lie, little kids singing "Baby Got Back" warms my heart every day.

KC dressed for his teaching job in the morning
Ready to face minor violence.
Then there's the violence. In my days as a bouncer, I've knocked a few heads, flattened a few noses, and helped a few chuckleheads donate blood (to the floor). I've also been hit in the head with bottles, received some ball stompings, and iced a few black eyes. So I was hoping to give up the blood and guts of the bar.

But guess what? The kids still want to punch me, kick in my nuts, and stab me with safety scissors. Lucky for me, they can't reach my beautiful face. Unlucky for me, my giant American important parts (KC Junior and the Twins) are right at their level. Ouch.

When I bounced, some cops were terrified of my friends and me because they knew we fought twice as much and hard as them—without guns or billy clubs. In Korea, cops are terrified of me because I'm taller, bigger, and fought a thousand times as much as them—because there really isn't crime in Korea.

When you're standing in front of a bar's door with a clipboard, everybody wants to be your buddy and shake your hand and hug you so you'll go easy on them if they fuck up. When you're standing in the doorway to your classroom, none of the kids want to touch you because they think all foreigners have swine flu and syphilis and monkey pox.

In the bars they called me "The Demon" Casey Freeman, or just "Delicious" (my tag team partner was "Vicious"). I thought I'd leave the sophomoric nicknames in the bars, but now I'm called "The Apple" (because my face gets red like the apple) or "Rooney" (because I share the same haircut as the goal-less World Cup Brit soccer player Wayne Rooney) or "Teacher-er-er-er-er I HATE YOU!" (that one should be pretty easy to understand).

Whiteboard drawing from KC's students - 'HI TEACHER'Usual language in the bars includes a lot of sailor talk. Motherfucker, dipshit, fucktard, dickboy, and shit-for-brains are the common lexicon for pub employees. And since I can't have an entire generation of Korean children speaking like American construction foremen, if I need to swear, I go to my good old Spanish swearwords. "Chupa mi piene," "pinchemadre," "caca de toro," and "nino de Diablo" are all words that salsa dance out of my mouth on a regular basis. So instead of sounding like that American construction foreman, I sound like his employees, the Mexican construction workers. I guess it's a trade-off.

In the bars, you get some fringe benefits. You also end up with some shitty liquor promotional t-shirts and caps and shit. While tending or bouncing or waiting, you meet the hottest women (or men if you're into that) and they're already drunk. You've also got access to a limitless amount of free booze, which only makes you cooler and smarter and funnier and sexier in the eyes of somebody who wants to bang you.

In the schools, well, you don't really get shit except paid vacation, health insurance, and a pension. But other than that, chicks (or dudes, if you're into that) still want to bang you because you're pretty much the coolest and highest paid person Koreans know—and you may be stupid enough to marry them and get them a green card.

Whiteboard writing from KC's students - 'ALWAYS HAPPY WITH CASEY'
Teacher appreciation/Student bribes
Sometimes, so I wouldn't kick their asses or make fun of them in front of their girlfriends, my favorite patrons would bribe me with little nuggets of weed, hits of ecstasy, or grams of coke (which I'd promptly throw away or sell, because *ahem* I would never ever do anything like that). Now, my little devil children give me shrimp-flavored chips, rice cakes, and chocolate-covered, um, drinking straws? The children give little snack tokens of gratitude so I won't tell their parents how shitty they've done on their last few memorization tests.

I know, I shouldn't sell out, but everybody has a price. Apparently, mine is three stinky potato chips.

In the bars, every once in a while we'd all decide to drink too much and try to watch the sun come up. Usually, we drank too much and smoked weed and passed out on couches. Now, as a teacher, my education friends say, "Fuck, it's 7 in the morning. I still have a few hours before I need to get home and shower before class."

Also, we bar workers would think we were all hardcore and say, "Yeah, two dudes and I killed a bottle of Jager. We're so neat." Yeah. Fucking. Right. Last week my buddy invited me to a party with 900 bottles of soju. That's right, 900 bottles of soju. That's enough to get about 1,000 people drunk. Or about 90 Koreans. Needless to say, I pussed out.

And while I definitely grew to hate my bar job (I hated my real job within minutes of accepting it), I don't hate my teaching job at all. Yet.

So there you go, gang. Tough guy or teacher? Educator or eradicator? Instructor or destructor?


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Robert King's picture

If you waiter or bartend and you don't end up hating Lady Gaga and Journey by the time you quit, it's a damn miracle.

I was a waiter in Boone, NC and the area loves mountain music. Every shift you could count on hearing "Wagon Wheel" covered by Old Crow Medicine Show at least 1-2 times per shift and god forbid people discover Journey in the jukebox.

"Don't stop believing..."

Michael Winston's picture

I was fucking BORN to be a fiddler in an old-time string band.

Damn you guy. I just discovered this gem of a roll you've here.

Brilliant!

I taught in a bilingual school not too long ago. I remember the potluck nosh sessions/ bribes. I taught the youngest in school, so no complaints when my lesson plans included some Grateful Dead or Marley.

BTW, not that I think you need the warning but just in case. Smoking Mary on the job makes for a very aggro teacher. End up with the need for quiet, which is just NOT going to happen.

If ROK and soju loosen up her charms on you I know a list of people always looking for teachers in other abroad situations. Cheers!