Misaeng Ep 9: When is Enough, enough?

 Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.

– Thomas Merton


Just when you think your team has finally found it’s groove, Murphy sends in a square peg who comes with credentials… and baggage. The newcomer to Sales Team 3 displays his “alpha maleness” by his condescending tone and gestures. GR can immediately sense that this is someone Chief Oh and DS absolutely abhor.

Chief Oh approaches his Department Manager for a staff change, but the latter believes Mr. Park will be a great addition to the team for he is known to reap profits for the company.

In the photocopy room, Chief Oh comes direct with his statement that Mr. Park was sent over to his team due to Mr. Jung’s (Resources) recommendation. Is it because Jung wants Oh to clean up his mess? Everyone on the 15th floor office knows of Mr. Park’s less than amiable personality.

Lord, I SO know that feeling… XD

Mr. P:  GED! … I heard you never went to college. A rags-to-riches story, isn’t it? Interesting. How did you pull off the entrance presentation? Mr. Kim did you give out the tasks in advance? You won’t know how to do anything. You’re pretty, so you can be the face of our place. Looks are key to sales positions. So keep your chin up. You have a girlfriend don’t you? Show me her picture. Come on…



Chief Oh:  You can get familiar later. Get organized first.

Mr. P:  Mr. Oh, pay me some respect in front of the subordinates. Save me some face here.

Chief Oh:  What did they call you before? … How did you address Mr. Park when he was in your team? Okay… I don’t think I was out of line.

Mr. P:  Yes, yes… you didn’t have to check that.

Chief Oh:  Why are you standing there? (I’m sorry – GR)

DS:  Why were you just standing there? Yeah, how could you possibly put up with him? Why did they send Mr. Park of all people? We’re in big trouble.

Chief Oh:  GR, get the meeting files ready. (These are the meeting files – GR) Those are the Middle East items. See if there’s anything good.

Mr. P:  What’s the rush? I’ve only been here for three days. I haven’t gotten myself oriented yet. When will I read all these papers? This will just be super tight. This one won’t be worth the effort. Ya, GED. You did this? Mr. Oh, this is no good. You need more than ambition for the Middle East.

Chief Oh:  Then think of some plausible items.

Mr. P:  You didn’t hear me, did you? I haven’t gotten myself oriented yet. Even with poker when you join mid-game, you take your time for that. You’re talented.

BK and his Boss

BK knows his Boss saw him talking to the headhunter earlier. He acts awkwardly around him, but his boss doesn’t demonstrate anything in her demeanor about his knowledge of BK’s meeting, nor does he treat BK with less civility.

The headhunter contacts BK. An interview has been set for him, but it’s during a weekday.

YY and the Need-To-Be-Schooled Mr. Han

Mr. H:  Yeah? Fine, go ahead. Empty all the trash cans. Also, wash the bins. What? You can’t do it? (No, I’ll do it – YY) Wash everyone else’s too while you’re at it. (Yes, sir – YY)

Mr. Jung:  What’s with her?

Mr. H:  I gave her work since she was dying for some.

Mr. Jung:  What’s with you, man? You shouldn’t have made her do that.

BK:  Is this how you can be a team member?

DS:  Why throw that out there?

YY:  Let’s talk.

DS:  What’s going on? They… seem… weird. They’re not dating, are they? Answer me GR. (I don’t know – GR) Okay.

BK:  You and I don’t deserve this treatment here. I don’t think you need to stay if the company doesn’t want you. I think you should just leave too

YY:  Don’t ever butt in my business like this again.

BK:  I didn’t mean “give in” like this. Letting them have their way is your solution?

YY:  Yes. I chose to do that. (That’s not right – BK) Then what can I do? What? Tell me if you know. Working hard doesn’t work, and I can’t just do nothing. What else can I do? We didn’t learn in school how to approach to those who shut you out. Not in math or English class. That’s why. That’s why I’m just doing what I can. I mean whatever I can. This is my solution. You said you found your solution. So let’s just do our own thing on our own.

BK:  I’m going to quit.


A senior bumps into SY at the elevators and invites him to have coffee. He gives his credit card to SY who then orders caramel macchiato at the cafe. But, oops, the card has reached its limit. SY has to fork out his own money first, and when said orders are delivered to the senior, SY whispers to him of situation. And conveniently, the Senior is out of cash as well. Don’t we all have this kind of con artist in our work place? :/ Not only that, he offloads a series of midnight/ early morning tasks to SY…

Not happy with the subtle bullying, he calls GR for his opinion on how to tackle the situation. Just then, Mr. P calls GR to do an errand for him. Next we see GR in some part of town, holding a pair of wingtips in one hand, and the phone next to his ear in the other. Hotshot Mr. P is playing snooker in a nearby hall and he doesn’t pick up his phone until he finishes his game. Triple UGH!

He finally emerges from the snooker place, instructs GR to place his shoes on the ground and kicks his slippers back to GR for him to return them to the office. Somebody better hold me back or else…

BK is done for the day, but the phone on his boss’ desk has been ringing off the hook. Chief Oh drops by and asks if the boss has left for the day. No, he’s at Pohang on business. BK and Chief Oh look at each other for 15 seconds when Chief finally walks over to answer the call. He was sending telepathic messages to BK to attend to the call, but he didn’t. Chief also passes BK a file that is of urgent priority and involves other departments as well. Please see to it that it’s taken care of immediately.

Mr. P finally makes an appearance at this desk but is fast to notice the time to leave work already. He picks out “halal food” as a Middle East item to work on and states he wants GR to support him. DS knows GR will be bullied by Mr. P and the heated exchange between Mr. P, DS and Chief Oh was quickly diffused by the presence of Sales Department Head. It’s amazing to see the speed Mr. P engages from high octane discourse to cajoling brown nosing with the boss. Yup, I’ve seen a few of such individuals at my work place too.

Sales Team 3 dinner

Chief Oh shares Mr. P’s background with GR:  He used to be a good worker. And he can be an asset to their team since he’s the expert on Middle East. He was a legend in Steel Team. He was an Assistant Manager in charge of communication with the site workers. Hands down, the contracts pro. But things start to get risky from that point onwards.

Chief tells GR to support Mr. P on the halal issue and be patient with him. That is one of GR’s best virtues: Being patient. But DS disagrees. It’s not okay to be patient when someone personally insults him. Don’t you have any pride, GR?

At home, GR takes one of his many notebooks on his “Go” strategies and finds one:

Inspiration of attacks: Jumping off a bridge doesn’t mean you’re courageous. Ignoring a path which makes you want to jump off a bridge and going your own path requires courage too. It’s not smart to respond immediately when there’s trouble. When you keep your cool and your opponent doesn’t, ultimately gives them trouble. So keeping my cool is the best way to defend myself and attack others.

Next day

GR:  It’s the Halal meat distribution list

Mr. P:  Already? … Wow… You’re really unqualified but a competent newbie. How did you find it?

GR:  I got the contacts from another team who did a Halal item. I called the Arab-related companies and asked if they could do it.

Mr. P:  I’m impressed. I’ll be asking easy support, but you should know the basics. Basics. I mean the basics. You should know the trade terms, for example. You know what AS is? We’re not talking about After Sales service.

GR:  They’re conditions to provide when a promissory note is presented. (I’m impressed… Volume rate?- Mr. P) A discount on large freight. It’s a cheap rate you apply on the transport charges as the number of containers increase. (Knockdown – Mr. P) A method of assembling and selling a machine in parts. The custom rate is higher than the parts, so it’s economical for nations with low labor costs, so it’s profitable for the importer. (WM – Mr. P) A standard for transport charge calculation, whether to use weight or volume is the shipping company’s choice.

Mr. P:  How will you reply to the buyers’ request?.. You don’t understand? English is a basic skill for a trading company… what should we do about him? There’s no solution… Good job.

Chief Oh:  So childish

Mr. P:  Arrogant jerk…

A sudden change in budget for the urgent priority file has taken effect and BK is asked by his boss to look into it. Do a good job, even though you’re quitting. He knows, dude. Finally, BK is given something really important to take care of on his own.

SY has his own challenges to overcome, and he talks it out with his immediate supervisor about his habit giving more work to SY. He’s not afraid to voice his reasons for not being able to take in more work, but of course the boss sees it as SY rebelling against his own team.

Finance has responded to BK’s work: Rejected. He calls up Resource to find out what the reject classification meant and the co-worker explains there must be something key and basic which is missing from his report. Find out what that is and re-send to Finance.

YY, the once intern-extraordinaire, is now the resident cleaner of Resource Team. She is left behind to put everything in order while the boys go in for an important meeting.

Chief Oh stops by BK’s desk. He knows BK’s work was rejected by Finance because he was just there. He looks at BK’s work and he spots the problem: BK’s method of writing out the schedule. Make a chart instead for approval format.

DS and GR clock out for the day, and the latter takes this opportunity to share his life story with DS. He brings him home for dinner and drinks. Meeting GR’s mum was like jumping from the fire in the frying pan. One just doesn’t know whether she’s being serious or just joshing around XD XD

DS notices the bare room GR calls his bedroom, but he still has loads of books on “Go”. GR tells him ever since he was a little boy, his Real World had always been the World of “Go”. His only friends were contestants in Go. He played Go for over 10 hours a day. He wanted to be a professional, but life didn’t turn out that way. And that was when he met DS.

GR had thrown out many books on Go, except an old, thick and tattered notebook filled with basics: Reasons for each success and failure. He applies “Go” principles to his office work as well. And like a professional player, he plays against multiple players: DS, Chief Oh, his rivals, and one day, the Company.

DS looks at GR in a different light. This seemingly agreeable young man has a sharp mind that one day can pull the rug under many feet at a time they’ll least expect it. “Let’s start anew starting tomorrow,” DS offers his hand for a handshake, which GR gladly clasps with both hands.

BK had to swallow his pride and call his boss to iron out a few basics. Mr. Kang freely shared information and even hinted to BK to attach a few files that would expedite the approval process. Very professional. And that was when BK realized what A BIG person Mr. Kang had been all this time.

Chief Oh walks to Mr. P and declares he can’t work with his on his team anymore.












  1. Thank you for recapping this series so quickly each time. I really appreciate it. I’ve been stalking your thread since this series started. I am loving this series so much.


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