Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years

Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years: Version 2.0!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Afternoon Scandal!

Word around the water cooler is someone in the sales department is in a world of shit for accepting inappropriate gifts.

The more cynical take on it is that he didn't share which is why he's being called to explain himself.

What do I think?  Thanks for asking!

I've never been in a position to be bribed.  Usually by choice.  My ethical center tells me I wouldn't take a single won.  But then I remember the story told to me by the Korean friend I've known the longest:

He works for a major construction company overseeing purchasing.  He's also a devout Christian and a commited family man.  Back in simpler times he and I would meet up once a month or two.  We'd go to expensive restaurants, swanky bars, and he'd always insist on picking up the tab.

I got angry about this after a while: he would never let me pay.  It made me uncomfortable.

When I told him as much, he explained it thus: he gets offered a lot of bribes.  He has no choice but to take them.  If he doesn't, he'll be looked on distrustfully by his colleagues and peers, since everyone is on the take in some form or another.  If he wants to advance in his job, he has no choice but to look the other way, keep his mouth shut, and take the money.

Since to him its dirty money, he decided to use it in frivolous, free ways, such as always paying for dinner and drinks.

I could get behind that.

Similarly, back in my teaching days, a corporate class I taught would insist on going out for expensive drinks with stunning female companionship and always paying.  They had an expense account amount that had to be used every month for entertainment purposes.  If it wasn't, they risked not only losing the funds, but being seen as not a team player.  They didn't necessarily enjoy what they were doing (ha!), but they had no real choice in the matter.

So what would I do.

When in Rome. . .?

No comments:

Post a Comment