Misaeng Ep 11: Courage or Foolhardiness?

Don’t you dare underestimate the power of your instinct.

– Barbara Corcoran


ep11 collage

SY is searching high and low for GR, who is not at his corner nor at the Gents’. He backtracks towards the main entrance and signals to YY to follow him and then stops BY to ask him if he heard about Mr. Park’s incident. GR quietly joins them from the foyer, but he heads directly for BK, and thanks him.

SY has question marks blooming from his head. “What? What?” and the audit team marches in as well, “WHAT?!” Seems this was one breaking news he wasn’t on top of XD

Audit team arrives at Sales Team 3 corner and the lead formally informs Chief Oh they will seize all of Mr. P’s possessions. SY wants to know what would happen to Mr. P. DS says it is one of the biggest scandals ever to hit the company, so punishment could be pretty harsh.

GR voiceover:

The concerns become reality. Mr. Jung of Resource  2 Team was called as witness. Mr. P’s bosses at that time, Mr. Cho Won Jin and Mr. Shin Jae Min were called as well. Mr. Kim Suk Man was audited too. And… Mr. Kim couldn’t evade responsibility either.

Mr. P:  Please forgive me this once, sir.

ED:  Jong Shik, that was nothing, right? A trading man could become a gambler or a con man at times.

Mr. P:  Yes, because you have to make things work.

ED:  Thanks for my daughter’s wedding. (Excuse me? That’s nothing – Mr. P) You came straight from the airport. I remember you being out of  breath. (I hurried over from a business trip – Mr.P) Yes. You were that type of guy. A bit late, but you always made it. Bur this time… you’re late. Too late.

Notice:  Personnel Appointment – Kim Suk Man, Choi Won Jin assigned to Fabric, Chemicals.

Crowd:  I heard that Mr. Kim Suk Man had resigned. This is demotion. Yeah? Wow. Half of Mr. Choi’s men are sent away.

Mr. Kim:  I’ll contact you when things have settled down. You can treat me to soju… I heard you’re getting married (Yes) Okay, see you at the wedding (Thank you) You should get married too. Thanks for everything. Mr. Lee… GR.

Chief remembers his first day at work when he reported to Mr. Kim. He was Chief’s mentor at that time. But over the years, Chief had developed into a Trading Man who sticks to his guiding principles are is not afraid to stand his ground when the situation calls for “improvisation.” Although their working relationship may have been less rosy, Chief still regards Mr. Kim as his teacher, and for that he bowed deeply to the retreating figure of Mr. Kim.

Next Day

GR’s voiceover:

It was so unfortunate. When you lose in Go by a move to prevent a tie, you wonder what all the moves were for. Even if you win in a small battle or war, if you end up losing, it all seemed useless. If you win by a move to prevent a tie, you can see a different world. I was grateful to the stones in the war, enabling the victory of that move. Every single move seems precious to me. Doing your best in every moment makes the victory of that move possible. Missing a moment means losing the whole and eventually, failure.

[Mr. P and GR cross paths at the lobby, where the former is escorted out of the building by the Audit Team]

When did you start losing that moment?

Sales 3 Team

The CEO and his aide walk to their corner, personally thanks them for a job well done and hands them their reward [discreetly placed in envelopes]. He gets to know Chief Oh a little bit better. Obviously, this visit was an impromptu one as ED quickly swoops in (was pre-warned by his secretary minutes ago) and does his best to “remain relevant”. GR is singled out by the CEO on his critical role in pulling out the parasites from the company. ED is CLEARLY not happy to see them being personally congratulated. And the trio take their leave.

DS whispers to Chief, “You’ll be up for promotion next year!” Chief shushes him.

At the elevator lobby, the CEO informs his aide to promote Chief Oh to Deputy Head of 2 years, which he will carry out in the first half of next year. What about personnel appointment of the latter half of this year? It’s only a week later. “Do it then. Employees can only be compensated by their salary and timely promotions.”

I ❤ this bauce!! And all this while ED looks as though he’s sucking on lemons XD

But the not so good news is that Resource 1 Team Lead acts as interim Sales Dept Lead while they wait for their replacement. I can already see the volatile fireworks that can erupt at any time between the grimy bigot and Sales 3 Team.

Aside: Why do I get this buzz that ED is somehow linked to the Jordan Used Car issue but other people were used as collateral? He has never been comfortable around Chief Oh and he knows if all things are equal, Oh would make a much better boss than him. And ED uses his position to ensure Chief Oh will never rise to his level… 

Notice:  Personnel Appointment – Oh Sang Sik from Manager to Deputy Head

Aaannd tongues are wagging again…

GR’s voiceover:

Manager Oh, I mean, Deputy Head Oh seems easy-going but meticulous as always. Our team was calm. No one mentioned Mr. P’s incident. Everyone was silent. It was probably because our team’s accomplishments brought unfortunate results. So I think they’re escaping to work. Deputy Head Oh is especially quiet. So all he can do is work. Chief Oh and the rest of our team can’t feel the change.

But you can feel how they see us differently in the hallway. We didn’t just scold a negligent team member. We removed an infection in the company. But our team members are viewed as whistle-blowers. ‘Why couldn’t you take care of it internally?’ ‘Why pursue profit betraying your colleague?’ ‘Are you all innocent?’ You can see online comments pitying the transferees and Mr. Kim who resigned. No one denied the fact that they should take responsibility.


Chief gives a pep talk to his team. Things are not going to get easy, but hang in there and just focus on doing good work.

Mr. Ha & YY

Thanks to SY, the story about YY loading heavy orders all by herself is circulating via the office grapevine. He brings her to the pantry and grudgingly hands her a task to communicate with their Russian counterpart. It’s about time you gave her real work.

Office pantry

Manager Sun chats with Oh over coffee. Sales 3 Team will get another personnel, but this time, someone who is competent. Chief Oh is not sure if anyone wants to join his team. But someone good has been nominated: Mr Chun.


GR is curious about the newbie. DS explains he has experience with the Middle East, but not as specialized as Mr. Park. And he used to be in Sales 3 Team too. It was his first department as an experienced hire.

When they return to their corner, Mr. Chun is already there, organizing his things at his presumed desk. DS is happy to see him and so does Chief Oh. But GR could sense the tense atmosphere Mr. Chun creates around him. He glances at the neck-tie pin he wears, the tidy rows of reference books, mug of stationery on the desk, and the slippers neatly placed next to the office chair. Mr. Chun excuses himself to bid adieu to his previous team. GR just knows something is a little bit off…


He hands in his work, but his supervisor still doesn’t get it that SY will not do work that has not been under his care. SY is called over again for the mistake that may have been costly to their department. And gets his ears boxed off.


She is on the phone with the Russian counterpart. Mr. Ha secretly smiles to himself, proud of her competence in the language, while the other two are in awe of her skills. Yet, after the brilliant performance, they ask her to run menial errands for them. Mr. Ha cannot believe their gall.

YY:  It’s cold at night now. (You want my jacket? – GR) It’s okay. Thanks. You’ll be happy with your future girlfriend. (Come one – GR)  Don’t be so bashful.

GR:  I’m not bashful. I’m just hot.

YY:  Fall and winter will pass by soon. Spring will come soon. Then it’ll already be a year for us. What?

GR:  Because of ‘us’.

Flashback:  (Our kid got into trouble because yours made a mistake! – Chief)  He called me ‘our kid’

GR:  Last spring, I wanted to hear that word. It’ll be spring and already a year. For us… I’m hot (Your ears are red now – YY) My ears get red when I’m hot (I see – YY) It’s true.

Next Day

Mr. Chun officially joins Sales 3 Team and he hints to GR about the work load that will come his way. He also suggests that GR keeps his hair neat, above the collar and nix the bangs. DS teases him about being the Student Dean of their team. Chun then requests for a briefing with DS separately in a meeting room. DS thinks it’s Chun’s way of getting the inside scoop of their team.

But it’s not. Chun admonishes DS for his carefree behavior and tells him to forget their tough but fun memories of three years past. DS changes his tone and asks whether Chun is there for some other reason. At least he comes clean with DS saying he doesn’t have any personal agendas, but he’s not so sure about “the sender”. Meaning ED? o_O

Ever since the Mr.P incident, their team is being watched like a hawk. Chun was sent there because he’s seen to be close with them. So in lieu of such relationship, their communication filter might slip and any hint of information that can be used against them, Will be used against them. So keep your guard up, Chun advises DS. The former is also not pleased that he is being used for such covert ops for someone else’s personal gain.

Both return to their seats, Chun acknowledges the Chief, and the latter notices a shift in mood with DS. Something must’ve happen between them. Chun requests for the latest reports from DS and he notices a file that is linked to the Jordan used cars. He wants everything updated and before he could say much more, Chief shouts at him. Everyone in the Sales department heard that and watched the tableau unfold.

Chief Oh:  You’re funny. Work, since you’re at work. Don’t influence others that way. You know why people get addicted to games? [gets up from his chair and walks towards Chun’s cubicle] It’s because they play games. If you play games at work, you’ll get addicted to the games first… Let’s go for a drink after work.

YOU DA MAN, CHIEF!! You know EXACTLY why Chun was sent to your team and by Whom! XD YEAH!

Sales 3 Team bonded over dinner and drinks and they’re charged to tackle next year’s business proposals. That meant working late into the night sifting through old items and looking for new opportunities. Pretty soon Chief and DS are running on empty, ideas have ceased yet only Mr. Chun seems relatively “fresh.” GR observes him and remembers his Baduk Master’s wisdom:

You want me to tell you why your game isn’t improving? You’re too hung up on rules and previous examples. Obviously you should learn and study moves, but how can the game survived only through unchanging truths? Break the formality. Be radical. If you can’t break the formality, you can’t become a pro.

GR:  What do you think of the Jordan business?

All three are stumped. Did they hear right? Jordan business? Again? Mr. Chun and DS advises GR not to pick up someone else’s business and do not bring up the Jordan matter again.

GR:  If you exclude the corruption issue, I think it’s a good business item.


The meeting froze at a fast pace.

Chief and Manager Sun

He shares with his team’s dilemma over GR’s unique idea. If she were in his position, it’s something she wouldn’t do. Everyone knows there’s leftover business, but no one is saying they’ll do it. Chief goes to the point, “They don’t want the misunderstanding of getting credit from a different team’s work.” Sales 2 Team lead had also suggested to Chief Oh to abandon the idea. It’s a weak cause, and this is also a shared view with Manager Sun.

Mgr Sun:  If you must do it, you need a just reason. A higher value than the fact that it will bring in high profits.

Chief Oh:  GR… Let me ask you a question. Are you going for the profits of the Jordan case? Is that why you don’t want to miss it?

GR:  That’s not all. Though I do think it was a good business.

Chief:  Then why must you take over this business?

GR:  I don’t think our team’s work is done there. (It’s not done? – Chief) I think we were insulted. (Insulted? – Chief) Our company was insulted by Mr. Park. I don’t know if just reporting him was  enough.. (You don’t think it was enough? – Chief) I think we should wrap it up. (Wrap it up? – Chief) We should utilize the company’s manuals and systems to make the biggest profit.We must make the business back to what it was.

Chief Oh:  We were insulted? Our company was insulted by Mr. Park? If we eliminate the corruption, yes… it’s a good business. Since you’re a newbie,… only a trading company’s newbie could think of it. That’s a trading man alright. Okay. Let’s do this business. Let’s do it.



Chief Oh is not afraid to put aside ranks in the office and acts on his gut-feel when he knows the idea has a possibility to work.

I have your back anytime, Chief Oh 😀


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