I opened the email and read through it quickly. My mouth fell to the floor by the end of it as I couldn't really believe the situation. He went on to talk about the H1N1 virus and how it finally found it's way to Korea. Honestly I didn't really read much into that as I skipped to the part in bold that said, "How this affects you:"
This is the part that made my mouth drop to the floor as I wasn't sure whether to be excited or pissed. Read below:
"Unfortunately, you may not return to work until seven day after you arrive in Korea and you show no flu like symptoms. As of now, I have you arriving on September 7th, and so you may return to work on September 14th. At this time, there is no way around this even if you are healthy. I know this sounds unfair, and believe me it really screws things up for operations here as well."
Most people would be ecstatic to have an extra week off of work, but considering I had to use unpaid vacation to go visit my family in Chicago, I was ready to get back on the payroll ASAP! Having already went on vacation to Cambodia in July, and still struggling to pay off credit cards and student loans for my BA and MA degrees, it's just not feasible to have yet another unpaid week off of work!
After trying to argue the situation over email with my boss and demanding to be paid, I finally decided that I was not going to win the war and I looked at the extra week off as a gift. Instead of arriving at 5 am on Monday morning and having to go right to work by 9, I now could relax, sleep, adjust and acclimate to being back in Korea, and unpack without the stress of going back to the office!
I decided it'd be fun for all to keep a little daily journal of my daily happenings during my quarantine. Let me just say that quarantine does not mean I am barred from society, I simply just can't go to work. Some might use the week to get drunk and go visit things around the city, but I had some other ideas up my sleeve.