Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years

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

Thursday, November 24, 2011


This morning I had a little powwow with one of the COOs.  He wanted to know why I did not go to the mandatory company concert / dinner last weekend.

I figured feeding the BS about how I'd developed car trouble wouldn't fly, so told him the truth: if I didn't go make the kimchi, my wife's kibun would be very upset.  Many of the other mothers did not go to help with the work, and if instead of helping out I went off to have fun at a dinner and concert, things would be more than a little frosty around the house.  I felt very bad for not going as I understand the health of the group depends on good, happy feelings all around, but I would hardly be a good member of the group if for the next few weeks June was constantly walking around with dark storm clouds over her head.

He seemed at first somewhat flummoxed as to what to say.  It was obvious that he had been primed to get his rage on, but my explanation was pretty sound.  How are you to fault somewhat for not attending a social event when the health of his home life is on the line?  The company does claim to be very family oriented.

But then I remember the conversation I had around the water cooler with another waeg: he didn't go either, as his brother was flying into Incheon on the same day.  When he asked for permission to not attend, he had been told by the same COO that his brother should reschedule his flight, as attending the company event was extremely important.  This made more than a few of us shake our heads, as one of the Korean managers was given permission to not attend when he'd told again the same COO that he had a cold.


End result: he said he understood, but that next time I should make more effort to attend all company social events.  I said I most definitely would, as he could see my record for attending these things is near spotless.

Hopefully there won't be any other blowback.

Time for coffee.


Roarchild said...

My previous principal was very good about these things. I don't remember ever missing anything but everything ended quite early.
He wasn't the type to order everyone to kick on at a singing room and we have a lot of older teachers at our school. The Vice Principal hardly drinks due to a health issue so things never get out of hand.

New principal seems a bit more old school with the mandatory drinking and seems chummy with my coteacher who is a bad drunk..... could be trouble brewing.

F5Waeg said...

That echoes my general experience at my current employ, although there have been times when things organically got sloppy. Depends on which people actually go, which departments are involved, etc. There isn't so much pressure to attend, although of course it is expected, but quite a few people get away with not showing up at many of the events. This one for some reason was deemed mandatory. Seems quite a few clients showed up, and we were all expected to put our best smiles on. Woops.

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