The first casualty when war comes is truth.
– Hiram Johnson
Sales 3 Team are gathered in a meeting room, listening to the recorded phone conversation:
GR: I have a question. Then aren’t the roles of reversed right now? I don’t know how Mr. Choi made that judgment, but our company actually has the upper hand, right? Mr. Seok…
Chief: Jang Geu Rae!!
End of recording. Everyone’s is looking at the table, not making any eye contact. Chief finally asks GR what his intention was. GR remains quiet. Damage control time. Chief asks DS to connect him to Mr. Seok.
Chief Oh: [laughs] Our youngest one made a mistake. No way [laughs] We don’t think so at all… I told you last time it’s to make things clear. Don’t worry… Recording? I’ve already deleted it [laughs] Yes… I’ll treat you to soju when you come to Korea. Have a good day! [laughs]
He hangs up the phone, and the burden weighs even heavier on Chief’s shoulders…
Chief leans back into his chair and in a calm voice, asks DS and Mr. Chun to leave the room. He looks at the downcast GR.
Chief: You couldn’t believe me till the end? (Mr. Oh – GR) I told you I’d take care of it… GR, listen carefully. What you did today could actually put the team in danger.
DS: Why did GR do something so foolish? Even if he’s not familiar… Mr. Seok must be so nervous now. It’s like saying Mr. Choi is corrupt, and Mr. Seok is in on it too.
Mr. Chun looks worried too.
Chief: Mr. Seok is not in a position to take responsibility for his words, so there’s no telling what he’ll do if he gets negative vibes about this. And there’s no proof for your distrust in Mr. Choi. If the case gets out of hand, and Mr. Choi is proven to have no fault at all, our team and you will have to take responsibility since you started it.
My heart is beating like crazy, anticipating the consequences
Mr. Chun informs DS that GR found out about the reason Chief Oh took on the Solar Energy project He overheard their rooftop conversation the night before, “He thinks he’s affecting Mr. Oh’s judgment. So I think he wanted to confirm his suspicions. He must’ve wanted to save the team. Though it was immature. I’m sure he couldn’t take it thinking it was his fault.”
They both return to their corner and Chief Oh instructs them to continue their tasks as though nothing has changed, but he tells DS to double check on Poshin’s contract and make sure the details are favorable to One International. DS asks about the agent issue. Chief Oh buttons his jacket and says he will talk directly with ED on that matter.
ED states that the agent was confirmed. However Chief explains such details did not exist in the previous files.
ED: Didn’t I tell you that the circumstances have changed? I mean the solar energy power plant business.
Chief: I thought the connections would take care of that.
ED: No, that’s the norm. We need something additional. Categories were just divided with potential issues in mind. Just think of it all as connections. Okay?
Chief: [Huffs in frustration] Then, our profit rate from the solar panel business would be 0.5%. That means it’s nearly zero considering the business’ characteristics.
ED: Mr. Oh [getting slightly annoyed] it’s despite that. (Mr. Choi – Chief) I’ve worked here for 28 years. I grew with this company. I always showed them results, I mean always. When the company was bad, and other companies were in trouble, you know how we were? We found a market using all my lines in China. I saved the company each time. I helped it grow, and that’s how it grew. This was all possible because I had made family-like business partners there. It’s no different this time.
So… you’re saying you deserve to dip your finger in the cookie dough because you brought the ingredients together?
ED: No matter how much we pay for the connections, it’s for the company.
Then why don’t you run your Own company and use those family-like partners for yourself?
Chief: [stands up ] I respect whatever way you had helped the company to grow, but please don’t use that method for this case. We’ll proceed with the original contract we had sent.
ED: [patronizingly smirks] Mr. Oh –
Chief: That’s what the company approved and that I can accept. So please help this business go smoothly… [heads out towards the door] Please delete the details on the agent, sir. Or we won’t be able to work on this business. If that’s deleted, we’ll definitely get the second business too. I’ll make sure there’s no problem with you becoming Vice President.
Chief updates DS and Mr. Chun on what transpired in ED’s office. EHRMERHGERD! Did you threaten ED? 😮 . Chief assures them they should be alright considering ED’s burning goal on becoming Vice President.
ED is contemplating by the window. Mr. Chun is alone on the deck and receives a call from his “Master.” He sits in the armchair listening to what ED has to say.
ED: Your team is good. Hmm? Securing that much supply within a short period of time… Do you work well with them?
LORDY. You just DIDN’T get what Chief just said to you?
ED: Why are you so nervous? You still get nervous around me? Oh! What do you think? Do you think it’ll be impressive enough even without the agent details? Enough for Poshin to want to give us the next business?
Chun: I… my opinion is… I don’t know… [ED sniggers with satisfaction] However, Mr. Oh will make it succeed. So please trust him. [ED cocks his head to the side]
ED: He didn’t tell you about GR?
This black mamba is not waving the white flag just yet… 😡
SY in on the phone with Mr. Park, informing his that he has requested many times from Chungsol for the parts statement. He is not satisfied with the reply he got from Mr. Park and tells him to call him back when they come up with a solution.
Within a minute, Mr. Park calls Mr. Sung and tells him their predicament. The latter assures him that there are no major issues and the factory should focus on meeting their deadline instead. He is miffed with SY for butting in his business.
SY follows Sung to the stairwell where he is on the phone with someone,” Yes I’ve received it. I know I’ve received a lot from you. So don’t worry I’ll pay you back. I’ll pay it all back. See you tomorrow evening. I’ll see you in person.” This further adds more substance to SY’s suspicion that Mr. Sung is on the take…
SY meets YY and asks if she has seen GR. The office is vacant and their team seemed super busy. YY theorizes it could be due to the China-related which was originally managed by Mr. Ma and Resource 3 Team but ED might have passed it on to Sales 3 Team instead. SY is disappointed in Chief Oh for succumbing to the powers that be rather than sticking to his principles.
GR enters and apparently overheard their conversation. This is the first time they’ve ever seen GR livid, “Don’t say whatever you want when you don’t know what you’re talking about!” He storms off and cools his jets in the stairwell.
BK explains to the rest that Chief Oh likely took on the project as a means to make GR a full-timer.
Main Floor Lobby
GR steps out of the carriage and sees ED and his henchman walk towards the elevators. He quickly steps aside, and ED pauses before going to his floor,” I asked you to come play Go, why won’t you come? (I’m sorry – GR) Okay, come when you have time. See you.” GR bows and takes his leave. ED looks at the retreating figure of the strangely brave young man.
Sales 3 Team
Chief Oh receives a call from ED’s secretary, “He’d like to have dinner with you.”
He is ushered to the VIP section and ED invites him in. Chief Oh peeps in and sees GR already sitting at the table. Chief is rooted at the spot for a moment. It is a sumptuous spread, but no one is eating. Yet. Chief just looks at GR.
ED: I invited him. I thought I was being too careless after giving responsibilities. He’s done a lot for the company, and I felt I ought to treat him since I had chosen him, as you said.
Chief can only concentrate on breathing to calm his rampant nerves.
ED is such a slick player
ED: I don’t know if he’s serious for his age, or shy. I asked him to come for a game of Go, but he won’t come. [Chief looks at GR, reining in his anger] Oh, you heard of this, right, GR? ‘A good move for me could be good for the opponent too.’ [Chief suddenly looks up to stare down ED] Let’s eat, the bass looks good.
HOW IN HECK CAN THEY EAT WHEN YOU BASICALLY THWACKED THEM?
I’d get indigestion, man!
Chief: GR has a lot of work today, sir.
A mini-stare down ensues. ED looks over to GR and asks if it’s true. Yes. Okay, we’ll eat together next time. Chief Oh opens his mouth to say something, but ED cuts in…
ED: Come to think of it, isn’t there a reason you need this reason too? I had you come since you seemed to have forgotten it. Some people only think about winning and having the opponent lose, [he offers to pour Chief a drink, but the latter remains still]
ED is Voldemort Mafioso, wearing the mask of a calm and benevolent business man.
ED: They’re bound to lose in the long run. I like to lose and have the opponent win. I don’t like either winning or losing. Let’s have a win-win situation. You win and I win.
And this is how the centuries-long-social imbalance of the “Haves-Get-More” enigma perpetuate. Ugh 😡
Chief is in ED’s office,” I’ll do it. However you’d like. But I can’t just trust you like I did with Lee Eun Ji. I’ll make this case work no matter what. So, please give me a definite answer. Promise me that you won’t ask our team to be responsible for anything related to connections.”
ED: Promise? Should I sign a contract? It’ll be an arbitrary decision. I’ll take responsibility if there are any issues. Is that definite enough of an answer for you? [Chief Oh keeps mum] That’s not enough?
Chief is having a chat with Ms. Sun. He is unsure what ED’s motivations are now but he was sure that ED chose Sales 2 Team to be his bullet and shield. Ms. Sun brings up the matter of changing circumstances. Chief had made so much progress up to the point of signing the deal. Chief Oh had been a much bigger success than what ED might have anticipated. Sales 3 Team is bullets for ED now. Ms. Sun encourages Chief to focus on his purpose in taking on this project.
Mr. Ha, Mr Kang and BK
They are waiting for an escalator on the fifteenth floor when one arrives and the doors slide open to reveal the occupants: two new female newbies. One caught Mr. Kang’s attention… 😀 Only BK gets into the elevator, and Mr. Ha and Mr. Kang follow the scent of new blood xD
Lee Yun Suh is introduced to the fifteenth floor office as the person involved with the survey project spearheaded by HQ. Most of the male co-workers are rendered fools as they enjoy the vision of such beauty. Good Lord
Ha: They say the enemies of women are women. She’s being mean because she’s younger and prettier. What’s wrong with putting the pen in her mouth?
Kang: Personal habits in public settings aren’t good. She should’ve been told off.
Ha: She was just cute.
BK: Hello, hello.
Kang: Cute? She lacked the basics.
Ha: Her boss lacked the basics. She embarrassed her.
Kang: Embarrassed? I’d like to ask YY how she’s felt till now.
Ha: Mr. Kang, I always thought your taste in girls was unique. (What do you mean? – Kang) You like stick-skinny girls like her. Stiff girls that are cold-blooded.
Kang: Watch what you say. I like girls who are proper… You like giggly pushovers, don’t you?
Ha: Come on… get your words straight. I like warm girls who can make others smile.
Yoo: I think you like thin or curvy girls. Anyway the new employee is my type. She’s cute 🙂
Kang: Who do you like better, BK?
BK: I think Ms. Kang would be fussy.
Ha: See? Your taste is weird… You’re loyal, man.
BK: Uh, Mr. Kang –
Kang: I’m disappointed in your taste of women.
SY: What’s going on?… You’ve been working here for over a year and you still don’t get it? The boss’ taste is the Bible. To corny jokes, you go… laugh hysterically. To his taste in food… that’s yummy. When he wants to smoke…I’ll go with you. You need to adjust to his taste in music, art, politics and society. But you know what’s way on top of all that? Taste in girls. You should always say his is the best… Only if you like that boss.
SY the detective
Sung parks his white BMW by the Han River and GR sits up in his seat, “I’m glad I renewed my driver’s license.” LOL!! XD XD . SY gets his camera ready for some incriminating shots. Another car pulls up next to Sung’s. He gets into the visitor’s car and SY begins photoshoot. As the camera clicks off, he backs away from his camera and gapes, “What was that?”
GR walks towards the elevators, ready to leave for the day. The doors open and he sees a troubled SY inside, “Is something wrong?” No… Is work going smoothly? GR stays silent. SY quickly steps out and gives GR a hug “It should go smoothly, it has to.” And runs back into the elevator in time.
Right. Life throws tough quizzes at you to make you helpless. But it leaves you hints in funny places at times. But of course, there’s no guarantee the answers you get are correct.
ED walks to Sales 3 Team’s corner, and creates a buzz in his wake. Makes a speech at their corner, “I see you’re working hard. Let me know if you need anything. Yeah, Mr. Kim will be losing some weight. Heh heh heh. Good day everyone.”
After that day between Mr. Choi and Mr Oh, our team seemed like they wanted to succeed no matter what. We only focused on work, we didn’t think about anything else.
Then one day…
Chief Oh receives a call from HQ. Everyone in Sales 3 Team stops working and turn to look at Chief. And then two men in dark suits arrive at their corner with grim looks. They received a tip-off. No, no, no… I do not have a good feeling about this…
ED’s phone goes off too. Mr. HQ rep explains to Chief Oh that in their monthly earnings statement there was a document regarding the issue of Mr. Choi’s business with China. And they heard S3T has a recording.
The rest of the fifteenth floor co-workers are crowding the corner to watch the drama. Chief’s face turns ashen, as does DS and Chun’s.
The tip-off was from China. It must’ve been smart to stay out of the strange game. Though Mr. Oh’s consolation came right after, words were recorded and when a contract employee pricked his conscience, Mr. Seok indirectly agreed without overt denial.
He must’ve reported it to his boss with anxiety. After receiving his report, the manager is China had a hot issue. He got it over to HQ right away.
The HQ Men in Black are questioning him and ED is getting frustrated with their line of interrogation. “How many times are you asking me? This is totally normal.” But China-side is saying the opposite. “You’ve always worked like this, right? I mean for a long time.”
Mr. Choi explained how he had worked for over many decades. He thought he could persuade them. But the reality was…
Chief Oh is questioned separately by Internal Audit about ED’s decision to follow-through the China-related business. He tries his level-best to answer the questions objectively and not make it entirely ED’s fault. However Audit has looked into Chief’s past work and all of them do not have trait such as connections. Why now?
ED is extremely worried. He paces in his office and his secretary comes in to announce the President’s arrival.
President: I met with the Audit Team at HQ. Mr. Choi, it’ll go with the proper procedure.
ED: Sir, this is normal. What’s the problem with custom? You’re well aware of that. And you said you trust me –
President: I was aware of it, but I don’t know if HQ knows too. Prepare for anything you need to.
So, basically it’s okay but just don’t get caught? Is that your covert policy, Mr. President? How WARPED is that?! Decades of service to a conglomerate gets wiped out within a day. Just like that. So, this is how ED the Voldemort Mafioso is dealt with… but why do I have a sinking feeling about my fave mentor of the decade? 😥
Everyone is in the main lobby, to say their final farewell to ED. He gives a long last look at Chief who stood at the fringes of the throng.
This feels like a hollow victory to Chief. Yes, the tumor is finally taken out, but at what price?
Mr Choi was appointed to an unlisted affiliate One Global.
Hang on. ED is still working though? Hell to the Oh?
By raising issues regarding connections and effort to improve the circumstances, Mr. Oh and Sales 3 Team weren’t punished. Poshin stopped the solar heat power plant business. It was in protest to issues about connections and Mt. Choi’s punishment.
Things were unsettled in the office. Rumors about connections spread in Chinese firms we had relations with, so some team suffered direct losses.
The reason could be found in Mr. Oh’s inflexible work style and side effects.
As the days went by, Mr. Oh was blamed for everything. That strong Mr. Oh seemed to waver too. And I knew. That it all started with the careless words of a certain contract employee.
Chief: It’s not your fault. It’s my fault. I’m the one who got Mr. Seok to find out all the details. I’m the one who made the entire company nervous as well as you who knew nothing. So I started it and ended it… Geez! What’s with you?! I told you not to be like this! The one who should be responsible and take responsibility is the share and prerogative of those in position. I hate when you do this! Not knowing your place! I just can’t believe it, it’s just ‘OMG! OMG’ as kids say. It’ll be tough.
The scale is different from Mr. Park’s case. You have one thing you’re good at! Patience! Let’s hang in there! We’re the tough Sales 3 Team… Look up. Stand tall.
Mr. Jung is on the phone with his Chinese business partner and is having a tough time ironing out details of their contract. Seems Chief Oh’s actions had reverberated to other Chinese counterparts that have dealings with other departments in One International.
Chief Oh is getting an earful from the Planning Manager about his “influence” over One International’s entire China-related businesses. “Are you telling me to take responsibility?” Chief Oh looks on incredulously.
He says he’s just checking who’s at fault from the viewpoint of the company.
Just spell it out. You need a scapegoat. Someone weak to point your fingers at so you can announce to your half-a -billion worth of business in China that the problem has been fixed 😡
Chief Oh, Mr. Ko and Ms Sun
The three Sales Team leaders are out for drinks, with Chief drowning his predicament in soju. Ms. Sun reminds Chief that he is not at fault. Time will solve everything, so stop drinking. Mr. Ko thinks otherwise, and pours him another, “Mr. Choi fell into his own trap. No one’s at fault. Times have changed, so how can he not? Right?”
Chief: He hasn’t changed.. neither have I.
The Fab Four are also out for drinks, and GR is the one guzzling most of the alcohol. He drunkenly teaches them how to make boilermakers, a drink that Mr. Oh said is a must for sales. The three of them sympathize with GR’s situation, and they aren’t in any position to make things better at work for him.
Miraculously, GR arrives home safely and staggers in the living room. Mum sees him sussed and offers to make him a snack. “Ramyun! With [chopping motions] green onions…” and he flops to the floor.
ED and Chief Oh
ED sits by a window in a restaurant, enjoying the morning sun pouring into the establishment. Looking rather relaxed in casual wear, someone walks up to him and says hello. It’s Chief Oh. They exchange usual pleasantries before getting into the real reason for the meeting.
ED had poured 28 years of his life into One International and was shocked they would have an issue with his ways of dealing with business. They say an executive is someone who can see the stars on clouds when everyone is looking on the ground.
He thought it was alright to jump above the ground to get on the clouds. He learned his lesson. However, the type of execs the company wants is a giant who can see the stars with their feet on the ground.
Chief: When I met you for the first time, Mr. Choi, I was sure you’d be like that. I thought you were amazing. I wanted to become like you.
ED: Thanks for not bringing up other issues during the auditing process. I wanted to tell you that.
Chief: Are you talking about the doubts regarding the rebate?
ED: They weren’t doubts. They’re your groundless suspicions.
Chief: Yes, that’s why I couldn’t bring that up. It wasn’t for your sake. I just didn’t have hard evidence though I had suspicions. Just like with Lee Eun Ji.
YE-EAH!! Chest bump!
Chief bows curtly and stands to leave, but not before ED warns him about the tougher days ahead for Chief in One International. It will come to a point where it is too unbearable to work there any longer.
ED’s prediction comes true. Many department heads are wary to share any data with Chief Oh. He was even summoned to the Business Planning unit where the head revealed to him about the rejection of all previous business projects he had been involved with and the increasing difficulties faced by other departments due to his involvement with ED’s project.
The guillotine is being brought out to the public square… 😦
Chief: Are you saying we should take responsibility?
Mgr: Not necessarily… Still, personal responsibility… Anyway Chinese companies are saying they can’t work with One International since connections can be an issue. So each team had to persuade them. It wasn’t the company’s position, but an arbitrary individual opinion. But things aren’t looking good. So I think we need to make a gesture that we fired you. But we couldn’t fire an employee who wasn’t even punished.
You. Are. Replaceable. Billions worth of business is not.
Chief Oh cynically shares what transpired with Ms. Sun, “I’ll have to leave for our team to survive.” Ms. Sun dissuades him from making a rash decision to leave. But he has made up his mind,” it’s not like they can’t run without me.”
Yup. Many businesses share that same mindset: You. Are. Replaceable.
Chief: I’ve been mentally preparing myself for it. But… But… I’m just worried about that kid.
Later that night, Chief goes through another drinking binge before facing his wife at home. She pours him a cup of water and waits patiently for to finish gulping down before telling him to go to bed. He needs ample rest before going to work tomorrow.
Chief: Can I quit work? (No you can’t – wife) Right… (Are you quitting or getting fired? – wife) I’m quitting… myself.
Wife: Okay… [Chief finally looks at his wife] But you remember we have three kids, right? Receive your bonus before you quit.
Chief Oh arrives at One International earlier than usual and bumps into YY, SY and BK at the escalators. He has such good rapport with all of them, especially SY. They have much respect for Chief Oh and the opportunity he gave them to put their skills together.
No one else has arrived in Sales 3 Team’s corner. He puts the photo frame upright, takes an envelope from the top drawer and places it in his left jacket pocket. It’s time. He sighs deeply looking at the empty chairs of GR and DS and places his resignation letter on his boss’ desk.
GR walks in and senses a somber mood. He sees Chief Oh packing up his things with DS and Chun looking mighty glum. The other Sales team members are looking over at Chief Oh as well in silence. Chief looks up and sees GR standing next to his desk. He smiles.
Chief: I’m not dying. I’m just leaving the company. GR with extra quality and quantity of effort. GR… (Yes – GR) Hang in there. (What about you? – GR) I’ve hung in there enough. I want to take a break now. My legs are shaking. Make sure you win. Even if you think you won’t make it, fight to the end. In life, there are many things you start even if you know the end… JGR, (Yes -GR) [Chief takes a moment to compose himself] I couldn’t take responsibility for you till the end. I’m sorry.
Chief says goodbye to Ms Sun over a cuppa near the outdoor deck. He asks her to take care of GR. He lightens up the mood by telling her to get promoted soon so that she can take care of his team.
SY, YY and BK wait for Chief Oh at Sales 3 Team corner and he is happy to see them there. SY breaks down, and so does YY. Chief leaves his slippers on GR’s desk, “This is yours.” and briskly walks away from this beloved team.
I am crying a Han River right now 😥
Night fall. Sales 3 Team has dinner and soju as a team for the last time. They all try to cheer GR up who seems to be the hardest hit in the team. He absolutely believes Chief Oh’s career came to a standstill because of his actions. Their raucous laughter seemed forced and it came to a point where DS had to step out with the excuse to have a few puffs. In fact, he had to cry his heart out and not let Chief Oh see how affected he is by his departure. Chun comes out to check on DS and pats him reassuringly.
😥 😥 😥
Chief: I’m not drunk… I’m fine, so don’t follow me! (Yes – GR) Go! (Yes – GR) I said go.
GR: Then, I shall take my leave
Chief: Okay, go… Don’t come visiting me just because you know my address… Answer. (Yes – GR) JGR, What did I say?
GR: Hang in there. (What else – Chief) Win…
Chief: Remember that… Go now.
GR with extra quality and quantity of effort
GR: I’m sorry
In life, there are many things you start…
GR: I’m sorry
even if you know the end.
GR: I’m sorry
Hang in there.
GR: I’m sorry
Captivate me. What? Persuade me by captivating me. What can you sell?
You could teach me since I don’t know. You could give me an opportunity. You need to be qualified to be given an opportunity.
Get out, jerk! Our kid got into trouble because yours dropped a file!
Mailbox or message box… what’s the definition?
Hello, I’m new employee, Jang Geu Rae. I’m here Mr. Oh. SO! Why you again?!
I thought you had asked for me.
Contracts and approval requests, it’s for the Resource Team! Don’t make them contact us again!
GR! What are you doing here? Hello, Mr. Oh.
First Merry Christmas.
Who are you to say my judgment – You’re trying to save me. You’re trying to make me a full-timer. Isn’t that why you’re working with people who you normally never would?
GR: Mr. Oh… I’m so sorry…. Sorry…. I’m so sorry…