Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years

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

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Last Minute!

Many a waeg has complained about an integral part of working in Korea: how to manage doing most nearly everything at the last minute.

What most waegs don't get is that it's not about making the most efficient use of time and resources, but tapping into one of the true strengths of the Korean people: spontaneity. 

In the past, I myself have said that this passion for spontaneity is at the same time one of Korea's greatest strengths and greatest weaknesses.  Of course, this was when I was still wet behind the ears and didn't know any better, but thankfully I drank the coolaid and have seen the light. 

A common misguided representation of the process views this passion to move and get things done RIGHT NOW as having not only led Korea to become one of the richest countries in the world, but has also resulted in uneven development and a rise in reactionary movements.  This view is generally propagated by guys like the one above however, and should simply be ignored.

I'm a big fan of last minute, having learned the art of procrastination early on in my youth, and I think being spontaneous is truly an underrated activity.  But I realized quickly after coming to Korea that I had nothing on most of my Korean coworkers, and this has been a valuable lesson to me.

In the same vein, it would serve most waegs well to learn how to go along with these popular gusts of feeling, and allow yourselves to be caught up in the frenzy of the moment.  Pointing out flaws and inefficiencies or how foresight and long term planning would be a more suitable course to follow will do nothing but engender bad feelings all around, and is best avoided as a possible course of action. 

Just make sure you aren't the person on the bottom who gets buried in the shit tsunami if a department store or a bridge collapses, and of course, don't be in the department store or on the bridge. 

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