Misaeng Ep 7: There Are Silver Linings in Grey Skies

 Our fatigue is often caused not by work,
but by worry, frustration and resentment.

– Dale Carnegie


Another day at work. GR enters the pantry and overhears Mr. Ha berate YY about her evaluation of his report. Unhappy with her competence, her throws her report in her face and results in a papercut just next to her eye. He was about to physically hurt her for standing her ground and before GR could step in to help, Chief Oh defuses the tense situation, “Mr. Jung is looking for you, Mr. Ha.” YY looks back to see Chief Oh smiling and GR with a concerned look on his face. Awww, these guys have her back…

And as all three return to their work pods, Chief Oh had to physically restrain GR from looking over at Mr. Ha and Mr. Jung who were giving death glares at them. Hee Hee Hee! XD

Meeting Room

Sales Team 3 are deciding on a new business item to pursue. Chief Oh wants to hop on something that not many would dare to undertake and DS advises him to choose something “reliable” so that the team’s performance will not be adversely affected. GR observes Chief Oh’s demeanor when perusing the preferred item:

Go stones hidden in the palm of one’s hand. Just like hood winkers hide a single card in their hand, some Go players hide their opponent’s stones in theirs.

DS suggests they inform Risk Management team of their decision, so they can do the final check. Although DS is not happy with Oh’s decision, he nevertheless does everything he can to minimize possible backbiting for his boss.

Resource Team

Mr. Ha throws a report at YY. Finance department has rejected it. And continues to throw a few more rejected proposals. He tells her to sort them out and get them approved. The other cohort knows it would be an impossible task since they had not been successful in their past encounters with Finance on the same matter.

GR overhears them talking down on YY. She should learn the ropes the hard way, and if she faces a wall, she’s going to Chief Oh for help anyway.

SY gets info on Finance Manager: Her nickname is Smiling Mask. She may be meticulous and straight, but she’s open-minded, especially with newbies.

BK confronts his supervisor on the lack of work given to him. Boss believes BK is not well-trained yet, but he relents and gives a file to BK: Make and Excel chart of it.

YY seeks advice


YY asks him if he has come across that file when he was an intern with Resources: Carbon Emission Rights. This item was on hold. Instead of helping her out, BK tells her to let this one go and give the win to Resource team. She will never be able to get this item approved. However, he shares background info: the fastest way is to meet the Finance Manager, but it won’t be easy. YY notices the change in the weather, and BK casually invites her for a drink: Gossip about Bosses time.

SY drops by the very busy Sales Team 3 corner and successfully wrestles GR out for a drink.

SY:  Hello. The two alcohol lovers won’t come… I guess they’re fine. Let’s get out. (Why? – GR) This place is for having dates, not a man’s place. (Suk Yool-Sshi – GR)  What? What?! You said you didn’t want to drink.

SY:  You should’ve consulted with me with your concerns, YY. BK has his own worries. How can he be counseling you? Look at his face. He looks so perplexed. He couldn’t refuse. Yet, has nothing to say to you. You shouldn’t give people trouble like that.

GR:  If I were you, I’d go see the Finance Manager.

BK:  That’s not easy. There are procedures to follow.

SY:  She’s a difficult person to deal with. Her face is different from what you’d imagine from the back (ie she has a Killer Body but…) The question and answer in totally different. It was just so shocking! I’m told she’s a great person though. She’s practical and open-minded. She listens to the newbies too.

GR:  Mr. Oh also said she’s quite flexible.

BK:  Don’t be so careless about other people’s business. Ah, I understand. It could be something that can’t be shared with you, GR…. Procedures could be much more important than you think. Since they’re a type of promise. Most people trust in, prepare for, plan, and execute that promise. I hope people who rely on those promises are not fooled.

YY:  Let’s do it. (YY-Sshi – BK) I’ll just do it. They might like a newbie’s vigor.

SY:  Okay. I agree with that. Here!

YY meets Finance Manager Round 1

Finance Mgr:  Get out. Can’t you see I’m working? (I’m sorry – YY) You’re newbie Ahn Young Yi in Resources Development Team 1? (Yes – YY) I don’t know what you want to ask me directly skipping your direct bosses, but that’s not right. Your bosses will get in trouble, right? (I’m sorry – YY) Get Out.

BK texts YY:  I told you not to go.

Unperturbed (and likely fired up due to incessant bullying from her team), she sends an email to Finance Manager. The reply received:  Come and see me.

The team is STUNNED to see YY being called over by the Finance Manager. BOO YAH! 😡


Finance Mgr:  Thanks for the apology email, that was wonderful. I like people who acknowledge their mistakes. (I’m sorry – YY) You’re working on the Carbon Emission item? (Yes – YY) Why? You know Finance has put it on hold for 1.5 years, right? (Yes, I do – YY) Did your team ask the newbie to revive it? Why?

YY has no answer for that question. Or rather, Finance Mgr has a feeling why she was given that task.

The Manager hands over a file to YY. It’s their review data of the said item. She wants YY to submit a report on why she thinks Finance Department turned it down. Deadline: Tomorrow morning.

Resources Team is an unhappy bunch and continue their whining at the rooftop.

BK prepares to leave for the day, but stops by the pantry to hand an ointment for YY’s scratch. She stays on to accomplish the task given by Finance Manager. GR is also working through the night going through documents for Chief Oh. After many hours, YY texts to GR to take a short break on the roof top. He apologizes for egging her on, but she’s fine with the outcome. She inquires about Chief Oh’s plan on pushing his item through.

Rethink it from the other’s point of view, and make it happen.

And it is GR’s statement that gives her fresh eyes at the report she was struggling with.

YY meets Finance Manager Round 2

YY:  I was imprudent.

Finance Mgr:  It’s not going well?

YY:  I have no clue. I could’ve written something fancy, but I didn’t want to be deceptive. I’m sorry. I apologize again.

Fin. Mgr: I’m disappointed. I thought since you spent that much time, you’d come to a fruitful conclusion.

YY:  Regardless of not being able to write it, I thought about something. (Yeah? – Fin Mgr) I think from each department’s point of view, the interpretation of the document could be different. When Sales say there is potential, Finance could it as needing further review. Similarly, “positive response” could be interpreted as “nothing has been decided yet.” (And? – Fin. Mgr) Learning about Finance’s mechanism regarding business budget administration was the biggest benefit for me. The abstract estimated profits in my head are reevaluated with solid grounds by Finance. There are businesses you can still pursue, and others you can’t. Also, the fact that the judgment is classified. If my proposals go on hold or rejected, I won’t think about what went wrong, but what I didn’t satisfy.

Fin Mgr.:  That’s even better than the report. You can return. I’ll think about the penalty. What was your major? (Political Science, Ma’am – YY) It suits you. Did you study accounting on your own? (I’m studying now – YY) Okay. Hurry up and learn it. Accounting is a language of management.

YY:  Thank you.

Fin. Mgr.:  I’m impressed.

BK’s boss:  BK, is the Excel file ready? (Here you go – BK) Come here.

BK:  Is there a problem? I did it as you told me with the data –

BK’s boss:  What’s with this new format? Haven’t you been trained about our format?

BK:  If you can check the data, I’ll revise it later

BK’s boss:  You know I’m really busy. Who told you to do as you please? BK. Don’t you know the order? Confirming data? That’s basic and you want me to waste my time here? You input the data and then revise the format. What company uses that process? You can leave now if you want to work for another company.

GR and DS are meeting with their Iran counterparts, but it was such a rushed one. Back at the office, GR suggests to Chief Oh to go through the paperwork one more time before making a report to his boss. After finding all necessary changes had already been included, GR apologizes to Chief Oh for wasting his precious time. Chief says it was a good thing GR reminded him to be prudent rather than pushing through with something that may have had hidden issues. The meeting with Chief’s boss and Risk Management team is favorable towards his proposal, and Sales Team 3 enjoy a simple meal and drinks to celebrate the fruits of their labor.

All they have to wait for now is the ED’s approval. DS still has reservations about their Iran proposal because the boss showed interest in the Chinese one. They wait for the phone call from Boss. It comes through: Go with the China item. DS takes the Iran file off the table and passes it to GR for safe keeping. It’s their team’s asset.

Next day

Sales Team 3 tackle the China item as their new proposal but after going through latest documents, a lot has changed since their last visit. Many hidden issues would have crept and not noted in the papers. This seems to be trickier than the Iran item. Chief Oh has a bad feeling about the China item. However, the Department Manager  tells him to power through and not be petty about losing his Iran item.

Sometime during the day Dept Mgr walks into Sales Team 3’s corner and sees a report on Chief Oh’s desk. He is shocked to see many variables have changed with the China item. He calls Chief Oh in, tells him to abandon China and use something else instead. On his way back to his corner, Chief bumps into Sales Team 2 Manager who is scurrying over to their Dept Mgr with his item’s business data. Why the urgency? He lets Chief Oh in about office politics and strengthening one’s likelihood for promotion.

She walks to the elevator, but comes face to face with Mr. Ha who makes it a point to block her way into the carriage. He mutters, “So obnoxious” as he finally steps out, but Chief Oh trips him, just as he had done with SY earlier. XD XD. “Oh? You better watch your step! Your lower body is weak, huh? Use the stairs from now on, not this” Just like he said to SY! LOL!! XD XD


Both Chief and YY enjoy a casual chat about their mutual interest in Russian culture and language. Although they are in different departments, they are aware of their current issue at hand and soon both have a sudden stroke of inspiration to make headway in their work.

Chief Oh goes through his files with YY’s thought, “We overlook what we think is obvious” and YY scrambles back to her pod with Chief Oh’s suggestion to “use that item.”

Department Manager senses that Chief Oh is on to something just by looking at his thoughtful expression looking at the screen. Chief Oh’s discovery is great news indeed and Dept. Mgr tells him to call a meeting with the Planning Department and include his team in the meeting as well. The rival manager does not take this well and shouts at his team to do a better job.

YY’s revised report is picked up by Mr. Ha the bully and he is surprised to see how feasible her results are. Goodness, Finance might just pass this proposal. Mr. Jung scans through and agrees the document looks solid and places it in his file.

Private dining room at a Restaurant

Sales Team 2 Manager is pleading his case to the Dept Head to use his item instead of Chieh Oh’s. The latter explains Chief Oh’s proposal creates new business and they should all have his back on this one. However, another person is also there influencing Dept Mgr to pick up Mr. Ko’s item instead of Oh’s. Sales Team 3 is called to join in.

When they arrive, DS notes that Mr. Ko is already in the room just by looking at the shoes neatly placed outside the door. Everyone sits around the table, the head pours the men a drink, takes a moment and announces he will use Team 2’s item first. But he asks Chief Oh to increase his numbers. Resources business will be huge given some time. DS feels for his Chief. I feel like smacking Team 2’s shameless leader 😦

Dept Hd:  What brings you here, sir?

ED:  Our Resource Development team is here. I heard a familiar voice. So I peeked in.

Dept Hd:  We were having dinner too.

ED:  What a loud dinner. Looking good. Wait a minute. Can I see that?… Rare earth resource? Why is Sales Team 3 dealing with the Resource team’s item? You mentioned rare earth resources the last time.

Res. Mgr: Oh.. yes. I was going to submit a proper report. UGH! You credit monger! Another prime candidate for serious smacking! 😡

ED:  Mr. Kim, it overlaps, so why not combine them? Why suffer when there are pros? Find something that suits Sales Team 3. It’s on me, so enjoy your time.

Res. Mgr:  Find something that suits you.

Chief Oh:  Mr. Kim, sit over there.

Dept Mgr:  Take your time. Mr. Ko, let’s go.

Chief Oh:  Let’s eat. I’m hungry.

The moment Chief grabs the bottle of soju, DS and GR knew he was going to drink his frustration away. His wife had changed the passcode into their house, but she opens the door anyway when he struggles to get in. She scolds him for getting drunk every night, but we know he drinks because that’s the only way he knows to flush out the angst, frustration and anger so that he continue working in the office for one more day. And the next. And the day after.


Note to self: When cross paths with idiots who try to pass off as geniuses, heroes of the day; but in reality, energy-sappers and demeaning bastards,

I shall smile at them, for I have punched their smug faces off 10 times in my head.





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