I have more respect for a man who lets me know where he stands, even if he’s wrong.
Than the one who comes up like an angel and is nothing but a devil.
– Malcolm X
It’s a new year’s kick-off at One International. Everybody who’s anybody turns up for the major meeting. There was even an introduction and award-giving session for the best performing team. It was also a moment for GR to realize that he is only a very small part of the whole. Tiny.
BK is on the phone with a German client (WHOA! ) Mr. Kang overhears his conversation and looks on as BK wraps up his call. BK feels good about it, but Kang pops his bubble of happiness by telling him his pronunciation needs polishing, and proceeds to teach him how to create the sound 😀 When Kang leaves his desk, BK murmurs to himself, “But I majored in German Lit.” LOL!! XD
YY updates Mr. Jung that their additional Norway business has been approved. She even has information to help her other colleague in selecting a contractor for specific technology involved in their project. Mr. Ha is impressed with YY’s arsenal.
Sales 3 Team
Did someone put some magic dust in the water? Now it’s DS’ turn to demonstrate his foreign language skills by conversing with his Japanese client over the phone. GR shares with DS a trend where low-alcohol and beer drinks are fast catching up in Japan. DS looks at him blankly, “GR, have you been receiving tutoring? You have a Japanese girlfriend?” BWAHAHAHA! XD
Mr. Ham of IT drops by looking for Chief Oh, but he is currently in a meeting. He needs some info rather urgently from Sales 3 Team: purchase amount of nuclear energy. Can you find it? GR’s mind is racing and says he can, but Mr. Han looks at him skeptically. It took GR only 30 seconds to find the right documents 😀 GR copies the original for Mr. Han and hands the set over. All this while Mr. Han never took his eyes off GR.
Geez. He looks like he’s about to pounce on GR
Mr. Han: I heard a newbie thought up the Jordan business. Is it you? (Uhh, .. yes – GR) Yes. You look like a smart worker. (Thank you – GR)
DS enters the photocopy/ pantry area and bumps into the both of them. Mr. Han explains he came over for some information and GR helped him out. After his departure DS inquires if Mr. Han had lots of questions. GR answers no, just for some information only. He tells GR to expect visits from previously unknown persons from other departments. They’re jockeying to get the newbie that the CEO complimented…
DS: And they’ll think there are no worries even when you become useless-
Too late, DS realized. He didn’t mean to let it out that way but GR understands and cheerily steps in to cover the awkward pause by offering to make coffee for him.
When GR walks back to his place, he notices that Chief Oh has an aura of dissatisfaction. He warns GR to not release information when he is not around, or else he will be responsible for any consequences. Actually, he’s more annoyed with Mr. Ham’s unannounced visit.
Mr. Chun arrives and senses the dark mood “What happened?” DS filled him in on the event of the month and Chun agrees that it’s not fair for someone to pinch their team member so early in the year. Chief Oh can’t take it in much more and marches over to IT.
Mr. Ham: We need more employees.
Chief: You should tell Upper Management.
Mr. Ham: I can’t get through to them, you know…
Chief: So you’re lurking around my team? (What? What are you saying? No way – Mr. Ham) Don’t come near GR. It means you’ll offend me.
Training for New Hires
Text message: New employees come to the 5th floor meeting room by 5pm, HR.
The foursome meet just outside the meeting room and YY asks GR if he went out with Ms. Ha. “Why should I?” SY inquires if BK managed to hit on girls at the ski resort. “I’m not into that stuff” LOL!! XD
Chief Oh and ED (with his PA) cross path just nearby the elevators. ED inquires on the status of Jordan used car export business. Chief thanks him for his support, and the team is in the midst of preparing the shipment.
ED: I heard your newbie worked hard regarding Mr. Park and Jordan cases. (Yes – Chief) He must be bright and full of vigor. You’re lucky to get such employees.
Chief: You had an eye for people
Peeps, my Jedi force is telling me a threat is looming from the Black Mamba…
ED: See you later… [Chief takes off, but only manages a few steps] Don’t be too concerned about Mr. Park’s case. That was reasonable (ie stop digging further… coz I SO KNOW you’re gonna be tied to it too 😡 ) But, couldn’t you have told me in advance about it? That’s not too much to ask for, hmm? It’s not too much. That would’ve been nice.
UGH. Under that calm veneer, I know he’s gonna hit Chief Oh where it hurts the most – GR.
Meeting room @ 5th floor
The facilitator talks about their welfare points, volunteer work, and education mileage they are afforded beginning that year. Lastly, their contracts with their annual salaries are given out, and there are only 3. It’s a smidge embarrassing to GR, and he quickly excuses himself out of the meeting room. The rest are agog.
GR can’t bear to return to his desk, and goes to the benches outdoors where others are also talking about their contracts. He wants to be just like them. And then the seniors come out for a breather too: Mr. Chun and DS, Kang and SY’s boss. GR looks away but he can hear how excited they are talking about incentives. Mr. Chun notices GR’s desolate figure under the sunbrella.
When GR returns to his spot, Chief knows how disappointed GR must be when he attended the meeting with HR. He barks at GR to stay focused on the task at hand and keep working like he usually does.
GR: Mr. Oh, (What? – Chief) I just have to work like I normally do, right? As usual. I’ll become a full-timer like this, right?
He brings GR to a meeting room for some privacy and tells him, “No you won’t. It’s what the data is about. There are many college graduates who studied abroad. They’re struggling without a job too. If you think of the money and effort they put in it might be natural for them to get in first. They want elites, so they look at education, GPA scores and talents. Then they add points for special skills to be fair. They compare everything. The company’s manual is very strict. There won’t be any room for you.” And Chief Oh leaves before his emotions betray him.
Big fat teardrops are rolling down my cheeks 😥
Before he leaves for home, GR stands by the pillar and touches the stainless steel surface:
I thought it was my infrastructure, but it was just borrowed for a while.
His fingers pull out a rolled-note he had stuffed in the crevice and reads the message he wrote:
He rolls it back and places the note in its place. Mr. Chun finds him and invites him for a drink. During this rare moment, Mr. Chun shares his bits of wisdom with GR:
Mr. Chun: Enjoy alcohol. It could become poison. Cold mind and warm heart. If it’s cold, raise it, and if it’s hot, lower it. Have a cold mind, and a warm heart. Alcohol can raise the heat.
Cold mind and warm heart. That’s a familiar phrase for those who play Go. Have a cold mind and a warm heart.
Mr. Chun: As of today, I’ll stop drinking. Thanks to you, I enjoy working after a while. I’ve felt my heart beat that I didn’t feel for a long time.
GR: Don’t mention it. I know you went through a lot because of me. I didn’t even get to apologize, because I felt so guilty.
His arrogant boss is on the phone again, but was interrupted by the head about preparing files for the 9:30am meeting. And of course he passes the buck on to SY and rattles off the reference files SY has to double check for the meeting as well. Once big boss leaves, the small fry resumes his personal call…
SY Boss: What’s up? You’re still at work? Jae Yun is treating us today. Yeah, gotta hurry to have a drink. See you where we always go to. Bye… Text me when you’re done SY.
Text: You can take off.
SY: If I’m about to fight with a filthy dog, I should be ready to be filthy.
Pop-up box: Would you like to delete the ‘meeting file’? [Yes]
Big Boss: I said there’s a 9:30 meeting… What time is it now? (I’m sorry I’m late – SY) SY-Sshi, you haven’t made the meeting files? Didn’t you hear there’s a meeting in the morning? (Oh, I made it – SY) He said he made it.
SY boss: Why… didn’t you tell me?
SY: You texted me to take off.
SY boss: You should’ve uploaded it.
SY: I couldn’t because of the intranet check up time.
SY Boss: You should’ve printed it out!
SY: The printer’s broken.
SY Boss: But why isn’t it in the computer?
SY: What? It’s not there?… The system was so unstable yesterday, I guess it didn’t save it. (What?! – Big Boss) But don’t worry, I have a backup file.
Big Boss: So you didn’t check it yesterday?
SY Boss: Sorry, I had a sudden visitor. I was away for a minute.
Big boss: Why would a visitor come at that hour? Check the file and send it to me.
SY boss: Yes, don’t worry sir.
SY: This isn’t right (SY… Did you look at this? What’s with the spacing? What would’ve happened if you had just submitted this? You still don’t have it down? – SY boss) This isn’t right. (Sir, I’ll redo this ASAP – SY boss)
Big boss: Okay, and submit a written apology for being late SY. I’ll go in the meeting.
SY boss: Yes, see you later.
SY: This isn’t right… (Email the file to me ASAP – SY boss)
GR voice: Fights start with waiting when the opponent is strong.. (Strong my foot! – SY)
Mr. Ma the Malevolent Neanderthal
YY informs him of all the arrangements she has made for the meeting with the Norwegian counterparts. And what does her ask her? “What’s up with you and Mr. Shin of Samjung? People kept talking about the two of you. You have to be careful with your body or you might get into trouble.”
Her team heard his idiotic presumption, and so did BK.
This time, YY says back in professional tone: That question is not related to work. And walks off. YES!!
BK follows her to the outdoor bench to make sure she’s okay. However, the caveman steps out at the same area and shouts her name when he sees her, mistaking her friendly smile at BK as flirtatious. He grows livid when she questions him why should he regard her as his daughter. And I’m focusing on the cup of hot coffee he has in his hand…
… Mental, This One Is.
BK smarts from the scalding coffee and YY runs to get something to wipe the coffee off. She notices the angry shade of pink on his skin where the coffee came in contact with. Oh dear. Later she gives BK a brand new shirt and thanks him for what he did for her.
Female coworker: Another gift when we still haven’t finished out Thanksgiving one. Gosh, it’s the same cooking oil every year. They want us to fry their ham? It’s okay. Many temps didn’t get anything. Let’s go. See you later.
Chief: I said don’t ask for too much (Hello – GR) Don’t ask for too much.
GR: Must I get permission to just to ask for things? (What? – Chief) It’s not an issue of full-timer and temp positions. It’s not that. (Then? – Chief) It’s not that. I just want to continue working. With our team I’ve worked with. Us. Together. Always.
My vision is blurry again. AWWWW!!! 😥
Chief: How was your blind date? (Well… – DS) You should’ve done well! Geez!
DS: Did something happen? (Nothing – GR) Oh! It’s ham!
GR voiceover: It’s not that. I just want to continue working. With our team I’ve worked with. Us. Together. Always.
Eunji: Mr. Oh (What? You did this when I didn’t even ask you? – Chief) You taught me everything. (Not everyone gets what’s taught to them – Chief) Anyways, it’s thanks to you. Thank you. Hopefully I can continue working if I keep this up, right?
GR returns from buying a gift for Sales 3 Team’s client and Chief announces an early end to the day. He gruffly calls out to GR and hands him a thick envelope,”Enjoy your holiday.”
I ❤ you Chief! 😥
New Year’s Holiday
GR’s Mum tells him to stay away from the house as she’s expecting loud guests over…
My mother gave me freedom. When I gave up playing Go, she yelled at scolding relatives. How will they hurt her feelings today? How I ran away to my first workplace, then the army? How I’m a 2-year contract worker? Holidays can be ruthless time your family can hurt each other. I felt bad about leaving my mom alone, but I think it’ll be better I stay away. But, there’s no where to go. How did I live such a pitiful life? I realized I didn’t even have a friend to enjoy a cup of coffee, a movie, nor a riverside walk with.
But he realizes he wasn’t thinking right. He runs back to his house. Back to be with his mum. He sees the shoes lined up neatly outside their house and he hears how proudly his mum talks about his current job. Despite his smiles, she knows he is suffering inside.
And that did it for GR. Tears stream down as he walks away from the house, back towards Han River. And he became resolute: Let’s not forget. I’m the pride of my mum. I’m not a disappointing son.
GR rushes into an elevator, Mr Oh sees him as he walks towards the area, and ED catches the wistful gaze Chief has regarding GR. ED invites Chief over for tea.
Here we go, peeps. The unveiling of ED’s nefarious break-up plan…
In his luxurious office, ED is amused at how focused GR is when it comes to work. He doesn’t have any concerns or calculates, like a daredevil. Like You-Know-Who. Like you, Mr. Oh.
He brings up “the good old days” when they were younglings, running around to secure businesses, and due to a certain event they had to fire people as well to cover some losses.
ED: I wonder why you grew distant from me. We were tight like comrades in war.
Chief: The only person fired was Lee Eun Ji.
ED: Who? Ah, the one who died. I think she did something wrong. Now I see why you’re still like this in Sales 3 Team. You fool. You bent over backwards to protect temps then too. Will you do that this time with GR as well?
Chief: I’ll drink the tea next time.
ED: Didn’t you say you’d take responsibility then? Didn’t you? Did you say you wouldn’t take the responsibility? I can’t remember.
GR takes his cup of coffee to enjoy the crisp winter air. And then he hears someone walking into the lower rooftop area and backs off the railings a bit. It’s Chief Oh and Manager Sun. She tells him to take a deep breath.
Chief: Mr. Choi couldn’t remember Eun Ji.
Mgr Sun: He’s just acting like he can’t.
Chief: No, he really can’t. Since she’s not worth remembering, that’s the way he works instinctively. He perfectly erased himself from that incident. So perfectly that he could fool himself. It’s his instinct, not intention. That’s why he’s a scary man. He used to tell Eun Ji everyday what you’d see in self-help books. “Go to night college” “Dream big” “Effort will pay off” “Work hard and you’ll see the road”
Mgr Sun: She was smart
Chief: She’d be alive if I had known my place. She would’ve worked comfortably, met a nice guy, got married, and lived happily after. Right? Since she’s a good girl. She told me with a smile, “Thank you Mr. Oh. I just have to continue working like this, right?” GR asked me the same thing. I said he can’t make it. Times are tougher than Eun Ji’s. Empty hope and irresponsible consolation are useless.
Mgr Sun: It’s scarier we live in a world where irresponsible consolation and empty hope can’t be given. Since there are so many who are desperate for that empty hope at least.
Chief: Still… he can’t make it.
I did not expect many Kleenex moments in this episode. Thank you for making me cry late at night which will result in extra-puffy eyes when I wake up for work in 4 hours.
And I shall anoint ED, The Magnanimous Voldemort.