Misaeng Ep 12: Charting the Untravelled Path

You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.

– Rosalynn Carter


Chief Oh is on board with GR’s idea of revisiting the Jordan business, but DS and Mr. Chun are apprehensive. DS doesn’t want their team to be known as greedy for “performance results.”  Mr.Chun is wary of those who might see Chief Oh as screwing the ED over, but Chief poses a similar line of questioning GR did on him: ” Putting aside politics, is this a good business?” After 10 seconds of pondering, Mr. Chun agrees it is reasonable.

“Since when were we afraid of doing things because of politics here, eh?” Chief Oh drives the nail into their fate.

Lower Rooftop

DS pulls GR aside and tells him he should’ve run by his idea with DS first before blurting it out. It might cost the careers of others who have invested years into One International. GR apologizes. They return to their corner and Chief Oh delegates tasks to be be done within the week. Oh? Where’s Mr. Chun?

Upper Rooftop

The man in dilemma is thinking through his position in Sales 2 Team, and his supposed “loyalty” to ED who sent him there in the first place. He is conflicted because he genuinely likes to work with competent and ethical trading men like Chief Oh and DS.

Office on 15th Floor

BK’s boss charges in with a sense of urgency. He asks BK to prepare consortium files ready for the HQ meeting, including Samjung consortium files.

In the pantry, SY continues to bemoan his luck in getting a loser of a mentor in his department. The most recent migrane-inducing episode was the supposed invite to a drinking session which SY ended up paying more than $500 for because dear mentor creatively got himself out of the situation.

Mr. Chun enters the pantry and SY automatically goes into his CV-spitting mode, complimenting him in every other sentence. But it’s obvious that Mr. Chun has beef with the newbie, “Please give us some room.” Before SY even gets to register what his request meant, Chun dives into reprimanding GR about his sudden “burst of inspiration.” Ooops. Time for SY to back away. He tip-toes backwards, takes a few steps away, but his curiosity got the better of him and he sneaks at the corner of the pantry.

Mr. Chun:  You know what you got ourselves into? It’s a common mistake made by newbies. You don’t see the whole picture. You just keep going forward ignoring the politics and emotions. Companies… organizations are not that simple. Make suggestions that you can take on. Be objective. Are you capable of supporting this project? It could seem that you just want to be a follower. (I’ll work harder – GR) Harder? You think working hard by yourself will do it? If it’s that simple, who wouldn’t work hard, my friend?


And off he goes rounding up the other two and shares with them how awesome Chief Oh is accept GR’s radical idea XD However, Mr. Ha of Resource overhears SY saying GR’s team is the only group who has the gumption to re-look in the Jordan business.

Confrontation between Resource and Sales 3 Team

Mr. Jung and his men make a beeline to the corner, demanding rather loudly why they’re looking into an item that they had snuffed out the weasel. Don’t you have ethics or conscience? DS stands up and barks back what do those two issues have anything to do with re-looking in the Jordan used cars business? Mr. Jung insinuates he can’t expect much from DS since he was trained by someone who lacks ethics. :/ REALLY? You’re one to talk about ethics o_O

DS:  You hid the B/L and blamed it on our team. You’re mentioning business ethics? RIGHT ON, BRUH!

Mr. Ha:  Do you think this is right?

DS:  Mr. Oh will determine that. Just ask yourselves if you can say that when you set aside corruption. YE-eEAH DS! You are one LOYAL teamplayer! And Mr. Jung launches into verbal tirade… when Chief Oh makes a timely appearance.

Mr. Jung:  Do you think Mr. Ma will give permission, huh? You REALLY think so? Huh?! Someone just pass me a tray of eggs please. He needs to be pelted 😡

DS:  What will you do if he does?

And that was the flint that caused Mr. Jung to go for the jugular.


Meeting Room

Sales 3 Team are huddled and harnessing their energy to prepare for their Jordan business proposition. Chief tells a hunched GR to hold his head high. He didn’t do anything wrong. DS updates the team on potential local companies that initially failed the bid, none of them are worth revisiting. Mr. Chun has a few places he has to check out for more info, so Chief assigns both DS and Chun to complete their task within 3 days.

Mr. Chun pays a visit to ED before he goes on the road. He informs him of Sales 3 Team’s decision to re-do Mr. Park’s Jordan business. ED frowns for a bit, contemplates, “So?” And he doesn’t know what to do. ED asks how can he afford to think that way when his team has decided on a good business? “Why are you asking me, buddy? You should work as a team member. I remember that’s why I sent you.”

Seriously ED? You magnanimously sent Class A employee to the team whose leader you’ve been suppressing his promotion for nearly 7 years? REALLY ED? No wonder Mr. Chun is confused with his purpose of being sent there.

GR is losing confidence in his idea to re-do Mr. Park’s project. Chief asks him if he was the one who said “let’s do it?” Can he give 100%? GR looks doubtful. Then just do 80%. A newbie trying to do 120% spells trouble for the team.

It’s heartwarming to see a leader trying to absorb some of the burden from GR, and he does see the occasional brilliance GR offers to the team.

Next Day

Mr. Jung tells YY their team will be involved in meeting with Samjung and Steel Team, and be prepared to compete with Samjung for exporting rights. The name Mr. Shin comes up in their conversation and they wax lyrical about his competence, but YY doesn’t hear a word. She is suddenly sucked into her own world, concerned about the eventual confrontation with her past.

Flashback:  They used to be co-workers. She’s packing up her things at her desk and he says to her that it’s not the way to deal with the matter. OoH? What happened between them? o_O

On the Road warriors

DS and Mr. Chun meet countless potential partners in different parts of the country and time is running out. And so is their stamina too. They even work from their motel room in their undergarments. That’s loyalty to Chief Oh for getting results within the stipulated time frame.

Once they return to office, Chief Oh kindly asks for a status report, and their long week seems stretched out even further. The team reviews DS and Mr. Chun’s findings late into the night. Everyone on the 15th floor has left for the day, except Sales 3 Team. And ED checks on them from the shadows…

What is Up with this guy anyway? o_O

Next Day

Mr. Ma goes ballistic when Chief Oh informs him of their decision to go ahead with the Jordan business. What are you trying to prove to the company? To Mr. Choi? He’s just so sure that ED will trump their request down… but he doesn’t… to Mr. Ma’s utter shock, “If it’s a good profitable business, why stop him? You’re the head of a leading team, you should have better judgment.” It is eating me up. There is a hidden intent in that supposed encouragement :/

He calls Chief Oh and congratulates him for hogging the company spotlight. ED and the other executives expect at presentation on their business item. Huh? Why do the whole nine yards on something that is not new at all?

My jedi instincts tell me this has been ED’s plan all the while: let them do what they think would be a sure bet, and see them fall apart on the biggest platform available. Hence demonstrating to CEO that he had misplaced his faith in someone like Oh Sang Sik. Yes? No? I may have to wait one more episode 😀

Chief Oh:  It’s not a presentation, but simply a business item –

Mr.Ma:  A simple business item? Do you think it’s that simple?

Deadline for detailed presentation: by the end of the week.

… And pigs fly at the speed of light o_O

Sales 3 Team

Chief breaks the news to the team and they’re worry factor quadruples. How in heck will they be able to deliver that by the end of the week? Chief knows what is asked of them, and he knows what the ED is thinking too. So what? Wanna call it quits? DS stands up and says they’ve come this far, so the presentation is not much of a burden. Mr. Chun agrees. Okay! Everyone is given a task and the most important part is to find a strategy that will influence all of the directors.

Resource Team

Mr. Ha can’t make it back in time for the meeting with Samjung, so Mr. Jung has no choice but to ask YY to step in.


Mr. Shin and his team from Samjung arrive for their meeting with Resource 2 Team along with Mr Kang and BK from Steel Team. YY pauses outside the meeting room, gathering her courage before entering the room. Needless to say Mr. Shin was surprised to see her, but remains formal in acknowledging her, but he continues to stare at her a while longer, which caught BK’s attention. Does Mr. Shin know YY?

The meeting begins with clarification of job scope and terms for the multi-million Won project and then it was YY’s turn to negotiate for a bigger share of profits for One International. Despite the awkward vibes between them (which BK is SO tuned into) she manages to score a win through her negotiation skills and also wins the admiration of Mr. Shin.

Meeting comes to an end… and YY receives a text message from him.

Mr. S:  Sit down… It won’t take long. I have to go to a buyers’ meeting soon…  I wouldn’t have been so flustered if you’d told me in advance.  When I saw you in the One International lobby, I thought you might work there. But I didn’t know you’d be in Resource. (I’m sorry – YY) How’s work? Things going okay? (Yes – YY) Is it fun? (Yes – YY) Okay, good. It will be like today from now onwards. It’s strictly business.

YY:  I don’t know. I don’t feel comfortable around you yet OOH! What Happened between them? o_O

Mr. S:  YY, you did a good job today. I don’t know who trained you, but he did a good job.

Mr. S:  Good job. Chinese or Arabian buyers don’t expect a female buyer. In any meeting with men, always sit in the middle.

YY:  Mr. Shin, thank you.

BK:  YY… You’re still working?

YY:  Are you taking off? (Yes… I’ll be taking off – BK) Sure… BK, do you wanna go for a drink?

He accompanies her during dinner and lets her drink her sorrow away. He has many questions, but refrains from asking her just yet.

A weary GR staggers into his cleaned-up bedroom which was decidedly rather unkempt, according to his mother. She didn’t throw anything away, just piled them up neatly in a corner. He sniggers when he sees how his mum had propped the world map upside down.

Next Day

SY’s boss is on the phone negotiating with probably three parties at the same time for some movie tickets, much to SY’s annoyance 😀

SY boss:  Can I get the 9:00 tickets instead? No? Why not? I’ve started working PR at a conglomerate. You shouldn’t do PR like that. Yes. Both of them please. Yes. A754… 8531. 7548531, yes. Thank you. Do you have another one?

SY:  Now I know what’s worst about company life. Having to see someone you hate everyday. There are too many faults and lies. He makes me so frigging mad! But the fact that the bosses like those guys better. And the fact that he takes credit for everything I do.

BK:  You want to fight?

YY:  How can a newbie fight?

GR:  Shouldn’t you wait for now? You should start with waiting for fights.

BK:  If the opponent is strong.

SY:  Strong my foot. H0w strong could a Deputy Manager be? You don’t know how to fight. You have to hit them first. You went for me first too… You just have to be ready to quit. This is just wrong!

BK:  Are you feeling okay? (Yes – YY) You can really drink.

YY:  It seems that your team keeps working all night.

GR:  Yes, we barely finished our Powerpoint work.

YY:  I guess only the draft and rehearsals are left. Now it’s going to get tough.

Presentation rehearsal

Sales 3 Team begin to fine tune their files and rehearse their approach and direction. No matter how much effort Chief Oh puts into his delivery, something just seems missing. Their content is solid, but because this was a sensitive item, the pressure to influence the directors to taking this project up again is creating cracks in this team.

And GR knows exactly how burdensome that is for Chief Oh had agreed to his idea of re-visiting the Jordan business. What IS that missing X Factor that will grab the audience’s attention and earnestly view this business with different eyes?

After many hours and countless rehearsals, Chief Oh calls for lunch break, but he goes to the rooftop to rethink his strategy. Is it his nerves that’s causing him to feel apprehensive about it? DS finds him there and he knows Chief’s conviction on the Jordan business is wavering big time. He assures him it’s probably just pressure and stress. The content is good because they’ve been thorough with their research and legwork.

GR flips through the hardcopy of the presentation and sighs in exasperation. Something is missing. The final peg in the hole that completes the puzzle. He sits back in his chair and looks at the world map hung on the opposite wall. He stares at it while remembering how his mom had stowed his away in his room… the gears in his brain are finally clacking in a familiar rhythm…

GR:  Mr. Kim… Last time, we were talking about work.. (Yeah, you have something to tell me> – DS) About the presentation… (What about it? – DS) I feel uneasy about it for some reason.

DS: Uneasy? Who wouldn’t feel so in this situation?

GR:  Yes, but I’m talking about the content as well. (What about it? – DS) Well… I think it shows how it could be bad for our business.

Chief:  What do you mean?

GR:  Nothing, sir.

Chief:  Go on. (He was just thinking out loud – DS) Go on! Why do you think it shows how it could be bad?

GR:  That’s because… our presentation is more like a manual than a manual.

Chun:  It’s perfect, and that’s a problem?

GR:  Yes… You know… a presentation starts with the business outline. Since we’re following that, we can’t help but sound as though we’re giving excuses. (So? – Chief) So instead of following the normal rules, we should be radical.

DS:  GR. That’s not right.

Chief:  Be radical?

GR:  Yes, so… when you look at a map, I would say thinking north goes up is a habit. Wouldn’t earth actually not have and upside or down? So… Australia is down here. If you go like this… it can be in the middle. You can see Australia well. If you put it back to normal, you can’t see it well.

Chun:  GR, that’s –

Chief:  Starting with the outline is a precedent. If we focus too much on precedents, what’s important might not shine through. GR… that might be it. I kept feeling uneasy too.

DS:  Chief, I don’t know what he means by radical, but if you’re thinking about changing the content, I’m against it. You know we really don’t have time to revise it.

Chun:  Chief, I agree with DS too. I think we should choose and focus, not be radical now.

DS:  I understand what Chief and GR are saying. I do. But I don’t think its problematic to bring in a totally new alternative.

Chief:  GR, go organize old reports.

Once GR is out of the room, Chief works on influencing the other two members. One has to be convinced before convincing others, but Chief is not convinced himself and that’s why he feels exactly just as GR had described: giving excuses. Worse, the audience will catch on.

He brings up GR’s method of creating a filing system. He didn’t think within a structure like they would, but simply thought outside of the box to achieve his goal. Forget about maintaining their status or working within a structure. Let’s think to deliver to achieve a goal, no matter what.

GR is called back to join in the meeting room and he is told they’ve agreed to follow his suggestion. Chief wants GR to prepare a presentation based on the visual cues he has in his head and Chief will present them. GR has only one night to do Version 2.0. Good luck buddy.

Next Day

GR slept overnight at his desk and DS flips through GR’s presentation. Waking up startled, DS tells GR to clean up at the sauna while he does revisions on his file. The other members turn up and the air is crackling with tension and anticipation.

They coordinate a live feed with their counterparts in Jordan so that this presentation is shared with both sides at the same time. When the Jordan team peruse the revised file, their faces turn ashen and they ask Chief if this format was acceptable. Chief assures them it is, but he is simply putting up a front. Stress in mounting and conviction begins to ebb by the second. Even GR is second-guessing his approach and he is worried that his radical idea might just cost the careers of model employees in this team.

GR steps out of the room for a breather, followed by Chief who asks, “What are you doing? Praying?” LOL!! XD Before both of them could say the next sentence, they see in the distance, an armada of men in dark suits and ties, walking with purpose towards their meeting venue.

This is it. No turning back:  SHOWTIME.


I’m sending a little prayer for you, Sales 3 Team.

You deserve a big break for all the potholes you had faced seven years past.

And Give IT to ED 😀



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