Friday, December 31, 1999

another one bites the dust

[Originally posted on December 26, 2022, at 4:36 p.m.]

Well! Any chance of keeping our team together is now out the window. My American coworker M, extremely stressed about his situation, decided to force the company's hand by refusing to attend substitute-teacher training (I had thought he'd decided to go to training, but I guess not). The company promptly fired him. I was taken aback; hagweons don't usually do that to foreigners unless something truly extreme has occurred (like our department's scandal in 2018). I guess the company saw M as an expendable asset: by losing him, the Golden Goose no longer has to pay his salary, and since the Goose held all the power, this was an easy decision to make. I do wonder what's going to happen with M's severance pay, but my boss somehow thinks M might still receive it. Here's hoping.

It sucks for M that this happened, but before he left today, he jauntily said he'd have no trouble landing on his feet. I hope that goes well for him. He did tell me about one specific job prospect not far from where he lives. May it pan out.

Selfishly, I'd say it's a relief not to have M talking my ear off every damn day, but I do feel bad for him. He's got a wife and daughter to take care of, so he has a stressful few weeks coming up. He also mentioned the possibility of going back to the States; one of his brothers has a potential job waiting for him, a job involving tech, which M is good at. (He's been our resident tech guy since he got here.)

I got word from the leader of the R&D team I'm going to that (1) one of my longtime coworkers there is leaving the company at the end of this week, and (2) the team leader himself is leaving his R&D position to "work more closely with teachers." So when I move, I'll be with a bunch of brand-new faces. As an introvert, I'd normally say that this makes me uncomfortable, but I comfort myself by noting that this will be only for a few weeks. For me, as a "J" person on the Myers-Briggs scale, I hate floating around in a mist of indecision. I feel much better after a decision's been made, and in this case, I made the command decision to leave the company, so whatever happens between now and my departure "don't make no never-mind to me." It's all good. I'm not stressed out.

Still, I am taking a mental break this week. I'll start my job search in earnest after January 1. I've gotten jobs before through Dave's ESL Café (an online forum with job ads), so I'm sure I'll find something. And my boss has a possible job prospect for me.

My Korean coworker's move-out date went from January 2 to today; he's in the process of shuttling his equipment to his new office. My current office is getting emptier. The band is breaking up. Well, I guess nothing is forever, and in Korea, nothing is guaranteed.

ADDENDUM: my Korean coworker says he met M at the first floor of our building, and according to my coworker, M told him he had quit. This could be an attempt at spinning a firing into something else, or maybe M really did quit, and that just wasn't made clear to me. Normally, though, if you quit, you're supposed to give 30 days' notice, as I did. Then again, we've had people quit before with barely any notice—another sign of how worthless our contract is. Whatever the case may be, M is effectively no longer a part of this company.

ADDENDUM 2: my Korean coworker moved out of our office, but he's now just down the hall. Why this move was required, no one knows for sure. My coworker's guess is that the company is emptying out our little, windowless corner office to make room for new staff, so we all need to be out of there—the boss, too. This means my Korean coworker is moving twice because "down the hall" isn't his permanent place. Next week, he moves again, this time to his permanent station.


John from Daejeon said...

I think this was the outcome your company was hoping for.

Kevin Kim said...

Could be. A relief to get rid of all of us expensive people and start fresh with new meat.