Thursday, February 25, 2010

Opportunity vs Obligation

Yesterday I got a call from the editor of an online Korean publication that I sometimes contribute to. I was introduced to him a few weeks after I arrived here in 2007. When I met him, I initially thought I'd be freelancing and contributing articles every now and then - if and when I was able to. His demands were too great and wanted me to attend meetings, which would be on an early Saturday morning. It would take nearly two hours to get there from where I lived.

I told him that I could not commit to his requests. I was in Korea for the purpose of teaching, and writing for his publication would just be an extra thing to do. If I can't give 100% effort to a project, I'd rather not take it on at all. I was really not impressed with his attitude when I told him that. I decided to keep our relationship strictly on e-mail and would submit stories to him if and when I wrote them.

Yesterday, I appreciated that he called me with a very good Journ opportunity. A Korean TV station wanted to cover an event through the eyes of a foreign journalist. The assignment date: Friday, February 26 2010.

That's the day all teachers are meant to go to school. Even though classes only commence next week, teachers have to prepare their lessons and classes. I tell him how I'd love to, but I have to work that day.

"Sheetal, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity," he says.

I know it is, but I'm torn. I wondered what my dad would suggest.
I'm guessing: Work comes first and Don't you dare lie!

He lowers his voice and says, "Just call in sick."

I've just had many days vacation, and I can't risk faking being sick to do a TV stint ... I mean, what if I get caught? Everyone here watches TV, especially this particular channel in question.

He made me feel really guilty about turning it down, but my first obligation is to my work. Right?



Anonymous said...

omg why wasnt it last friday when you were doing nothing. i wish you could have done it. but again your school wont understand this. sorry girl!!!

Sheetal said...

Thanks! Yeah - not meant to be :(

Unknown said...

you cant tell them the truth too... or cant take a leave for something else? that you wana go somewhere etc...Its really nice opportunity

Sheetal said...

Yeah, I can't tell them the truth. I've just had many days vacation, I know principal too well now :-( It's OK - another opportunity will present itself, I'm sure~

RLS (India) said...

Chill Sheetal. Such is life... Life is too short to have regrets. Look at it this way... you did not stoop to lie nor did you compromise with what was most important to you then. Feel proud and tell such associates to give you ample time to prepare yourself as well as your schedules. Am sure as professionals they too would oblige. All the best. RLS

Sheetal said...


Thanks for visiting and for your message :)