Misaeng Ep 2: Awaken the Quiet Giant Within

 Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator.
And change has its enemies.

– Robert Kennedy



I was abandoned, because I didn’t work hard. You say I work hard? No.
I’m out in the world because I didn’t work hard.
I’m here right now because I didn’t work hard

I wanted to prove a categorization standard and efficient application – a method to kill two birds with one stone… – Jang Geu Rae

GR:  Hello (You’re early today – YY) Do you know of any cleaners around here? (No – YY)

YY:  You didn’t go home yesterday? (No – GR) … they’re strict with how interns dress. (Huh? Oh, I didn’t know how to tie it – GR) Give it to me. (It’s ok – GR) Come on… I’ll do it for you.

GR:  It’s really ok… What if someone sees us? Shall we go to the rooftop?

Team Sales 3 corner

Section Chief Oh and Team Lead Dong Shik are stupefied with GR’s overnight work organizing the files. Manager says GR has integrity “I’m sure that’s all he has,” Team Lead chirps in. “I wonder how the presentation prep is coming along. Who’d want to be partnered with him?” Both of them still in the dark about who hired GR into the company.

GR bumps into the Chief Oh as he was about to step out of their corner. Yes he has seen his work. GR has quantity and effort. And he leaves it at that.

DS reminds GR to be aware of guidelines set in the company. In this corporation, “No one works alone” as opposed to GR’s childhood times of working only within his world of Baduk.

Another Section Chief leaks out “supposed info of GR’s connection” to Chief Oh: The Executive Director.

Photocopy Room

GR is shredding documents in the photocopy room when he meets the Bully and His Crony who had the gall to proclaim something stinks. You didn’t go home yesterday? No. You finished your work? No. Bully mutters he should’ve gone home instead. GR just keeps to himself, listening to their chat about looking for presentation partners. They talk how daunting it is especially when it is done solo. And the deadline is coming soon. All this was “discussed” for GR’s benefit, of course.

GR asks Baek Ki (super intern but devil incarnate) how to avoid doing a solo final interview. He chuckles saying he was only kidding, and Not being an Intern at One International is not the end of the world. Hmmm, kinda patronizing this one… GR finds it rather ironic that the theme for the interns that day is “to each his own,” total opposite to what Team Lead DS told him minutes before.

Team Sales 3 corner

Chief Oh studies GR from afar recalling the hearsay regarding GR. Executive Director could’ve pulled in someone smarter than GR to be an intern. He asks for a report that is needed for a meeting and DS checks with GR if he has completed it. He has, but Chief Oh is annoyed. How could DS pass such an important task to a newbie? Chief Oh keeps his thoughts to himself about ED’s ulterior motive of placing GR in his team.

GR can’t help but feel that everyone is forcing him to work alone and find his own way in delivering solutions.

One International escalator lobby

YY is carrying bales of fabric and BK offers to help carry them.Why? Because their heavy. Why? And YY challenges BK with just one look on her face. He helps reposition the bales properly for her to carry. He is fishing for information whether she has picked a partner for the intern presentation.

She cuts fabric samples and leaves them for Chief Oh who asks her if she has prepared well for the presentation. She says BK rejected her and she’s not picky with who her partner is anyway. Ooh? Me thinks she said that outloud for GR’s  benefit. Chief Oh encourages her to do well, and it is a glaring treatment he gives (or doesn’t) to GR.

GR enters the pantry area and sighs at the mess left behind by the previous group. YY sees him and tsks the behavior of those who left their mess behind. She helps GR clean up the area, and he musters his courage to ask her to become his partner. She changes topic and deflects answering his question. He took the opportunity to return her hair band she misplaced the other day.

As he makes his way back to the cubicle, an interesting turn of events keep popping up. Suddenly, many other interns are currying favor with GR to be presentation partners. Soon, his desk is overflowing with “gifts,” and all this while GR is trying to figure out what exactly will the benefit out of their partnership.


While GR’s table becomes increasingly crowded, YY is wondering the lack of requests from other interns to partner with her. Could it be that the weaker presenter will be kicked out and the victorious one is assured of a full-time position? And that’s why SO many of them want the “seemingly easy” way to win? Hhmmph! :/

The annoying bully stops by her cubicle and wonders aloud for her why no one has come to her about being partners. What he says to her is pretty much what I suspected. The weaker one loses. Hence the long queue at GR’s corner. She takes out the hair band GR returned to her, walks over to GR’s and asks him out to have a coffee break with her.

GR:  Partner?

YY:  Yes, I was too busy so I couldn’t decide yet. (But I’m – GR) I have a lot to learn too. Let’s work hard together. (To… gether – GR)

GR:  Team? We’re a team? Let’s do it! Let’s work hard together 🙂 (GR-Sshi – DS) Yes. (Are you done proofreading? – DS) Yes, I’m almost done.

DS:  JGR-Sshi, let’s have a talk… Sit down, sit down… Did you decide on your partner? Why are you blushing like that? Everyone wants you, don’t they? (I don’t know why, but – GR) You have everything the other interns want in a partner. No confidence, no comprehension, skills or talent. (But why do they all want me? – GR) It’d be great if both members of a team got good results. But if it’s impossible, it’d be smart to choose a loser.

GR:  Did you say “loser”?

DS:  Yes. He would make the other person look good. They’ll stand out to the judges. That’s why they want you. Be careful of who approaches you.

Well, at least DS’s heart is in the right place and he explains GR’s sudden popularity in the office.

GR:  So that was it. Familiar places I’d visit after my overnight part-time job. Their faces, clothing, and directions were all opposite of mine. I’d never mix with students or company employees. I wanted to be one of them so desperately that I couldn’t see the ugly truth. I was still going the different direction. I’m alone here too.

Only I didn’t know that truth when everyone else did. All this chaos in order… I wonder would it ever be possible to have an agreement?

And GR looks at Chief Oh directly in the eyes for a second longer before leaving his corner to resume his thinking again. He recalls YY’s words of wanting to work together.


Both Chief Oh and GR enter and that’s when GR says he is alone, and there’s no one willing to teach him the ropes at all thinking he will end up dusting his behind after the presentation. Chief Oh was right in assessing his personality being much of a loner by looking at his filing method. He had to because there was no one else to teach him. GR asks Chief Oh to show him the way.

Chief Oh still hangs on the misunderstanding that GR entered One International with someone’s help and not by his merit, “We’re in a corrupted world where those who lack the basics get on the escalator with lines. I guess it can’t be helped. But, I don’t support that world yet.”

GR:  Sweat, tears, and frustration… [and he maintains eye contact with Chief until the elevator doors slide open and Chief steps out] how much more should I shed? [GR says to no one in the elevator]

Back to the 15th Floor

GR is still inside, hitting his forehead against the elevator wall, “What have I done?”

Another intern, next to Sales 3 corner, is falling asleep at his desk and his superiors are yammering at him for tasks he didn’t complete. GR witnesses how the boss cuts him down and scolds him for being so inadequate. He was asked by yet another person to take of a contract and the intern reports which he confirms his understanding… but I have a feeling he’s gonna screw this up Royally o_O

DS rushes into their corner and tells GR to paste receipts and send them to General Affairs department. Stat. GR picks up recycled paper from a bin and sticks them all on the reverse side of the said paper. Why do I have a baaaaaad feeling about this? Chief walks back to his desk.

Bumbling Sleepy intern wants to use GR’s glue stick since he’s out of it and he’s in a hurry to complete a task too.  Okay, bring out the popcorn coz the drama is gonna kick into high gear. He pastes his notes hastily and accidentally picks up the one below (which was the recycled one) and as he leaves his letter to be sent out at the reception, the glued-on piece flutters to the ground… until someone in a very sharp suit picks it up and heads to the office on the 15th floor… straight to Teams Sales 3’s corner. EVERYBODY stands up and waits for hell to unleash. But all he does is pat on Chief’s shoulder and says to do a good job. And of course Chief Oh and DS presume it’s GR’s utter stupidity.

Chief yells at GR to get out of his sight. DS brings GR up to the rooftop and makes him run laps.

Night falls. Most of the office folks are still working and Bumbling Intern’s team received news of a secured contract. They celebrate loudly, much to the annoyance of Chief Oh and DS. Chief looks at the incriminating document which was picked up by the boss, and he notices the tear at the bottom page… and remembers the intern using GR’s glue to to his work. EUREKA. It was NOT GR’s fault.

GR limps back to his desk, all sweaty and sore. Another intern, Han Sook Yul of Fabric Team 2 comes by GR’s desk, wanting to be his partner. At the rooftop (this is a rather popular spot, yes? ) GR asks his reason for wanting a partnership. As he blabs about his specs, GR could see right through him and walks away while he was still talking about his love for Sales.

Chief Oh shreds the evidence of Kim Seok Oh’s name transfer on the draft document after knowing that he is a newly wed and likely the sole breadwinner of his family. He sighs as he walks back to his team’s corner, and when he sees GR trudging back to get his things he quickly tells DS to wrap it up for the day and the three of them are going to have drinks. Awww Chief… is this your way of apologizing? 😀


Chief Oh is already getting drunk and he was upset the Director came by their corner. He tells DS that GR’s filing method is actually quite practical, meaning you can see all other related documents (from other teams) using his system. GR is quite superior in this area compared to the other interns. Then, Chief brings up the glue incident:

Chief:  It wasn’t GR’s mistake. There was a misunderstanding, man! (Then who did it? He touched those documents – DS) That’s … a secret. (Gosh! Oh man. I’m sorry… Are you okay? – DS) Water…

DS:  Carry them well…

Obnoxious Mgr:  Mr. Oh! You must’ve had a drink today. Mr. Oh… I understand it all. (Understand what? I’m saying, you should use your glue, not ours – Chief) What are you saying? You always hat it when I succeed.

DS:  He’s really drunk now (I got a big one [contract], got a problem? You feel bad? Do You? HUH?! – Obnoxious Mgr)

Chief:  I’m saying… (Yeah?! You’re going to keep that up? I want to make a good team – Ob. Mgr) WHAT I’M SAYING IS!! Give him SOME GLUE. (Stop talking about supplies! Geez – Ob. Mgr) Our kid got in trouble because of what yours did! (What did my kid do? – Ob. Mgr)

Bumbling intern:  I’m sorry. I’m sorry JGR-Sshi.

Chief Oh:  Be alert, dude. (Mr Oh! Come on – DS) I’m fine.

Everyone goes their separate way home. GR on foor, DS on the subway, Chief returns to his family he barely sees, YY to an unpacked apartment, KDS to a tired wife and a wide-awake baby. GR sits at his desk repeating Chief’s last sentence over and over again… and hangs onto the first two: Our Kid. He smiles and tears up when he writes into his notebook – We don’t work alone.

Next day, GR has a spring in his step, decked out in the suit his mother bought for him and exudes a new sense of confidence. He hears YY calling his name, but this time he doesn’t stop nor does he hold the elevator for her. He walks straight to the only intern who explained his need to partner with GR and states his intention to be partners with him.



JGR will show the latent genius within and smack those arrogant yangbans off their imaginary pedestals XD




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s