Friday, December 31, 1999

today will not live in infamy

[Originally published on December 7, 2020, at 4:10 p.m.]

The saga involving my boss's (and our department's) future has come to an end—for now.  I'll get right to the point:  the boss can stay on, but he'll be losing a third of his salary (which was a cool W15 million per month, or about $13,900 per month at the current exchange rate).  He goes from earning three times as much as I earn to earning only twice as much.  

It's hard to feel sorry for him:  from my perspective, his income looks stratospheric.  Then again, he lives with a wife and two sons in a palatial apartment in an expensive part of town, so I suppose the loss of a third of his income will cause him some hardship.  

The boss's new contract will be for a year—with the possibility to renew at the end of the year—and he has demanded that it stipulate that our current R&D team not be broken up (at least until our respective contracts run out).  So from the point of view of us proles, nothing has changed, and we can continue to soldier on as before.

The boss, meanwhile, will be on a "freelancer"-style contract that allows him to be absent from work several times a week.  He's more like a project manager now, so I guess we'll be seeing less of him during the week:  he'll pop in only when necessary, unless he loves office life so much that he just can't stay away.  

On the downside, the boss must now undergo a performance review after six months.  This will be based on whether he can produce books according to the schedule laid out during our PowerPoint presentation this past Friday.  Barring any sudden changes (which always happen in this country full of zigzaggy, nonlinear people who can never quite manage to go straight from A to B), we ought to be able to keep to that schedule.

So that's the news.  I'll celebrate tonight by going out for a walk to the Jamshil Bridge and back.  In Korea, if you're an expat, nothing is ever guaranteed unless you stick to university work, and even there, things can be tenuous.  For now, though, life is back to an even keel.


John Mac said...

Interesting outcome. The boss takes a hit but not the BIG hit and life goes on as usual for the rest of you. Given the alternatives, not a bad outcome all things considered. Honestly, if I had been offered a salary reduction/work hour reduction deal it would have been something to seriously consider...especially if I was still making 10 million a month.

So, now you have a year to decide the best possible future for the Big Hominid.

Kevin Kim said...