Friday, November 10, 2017

fuck lunch

How to plunge Kevin into a bad mood:

1. Force Kevin to attend a luncheon with the department head (bonbujang-nim).
2. Have the department head beckon Kevin to sit right next to him.
3. Constantly elbow Kevin and pepper him with questions and jokey comments in Korean to keep him in the conversation, even though Kevin obviously wants nothing to do with the conversation, or with the luncheon as a whole.
4. Joke about the fact that Kevin is a talented cook who "looks like a chef," i.e., is fat. Further joke that he looks like a famously fat chef on Korean TV.
5. After being this insulting, urge Kevin to "eat a lot."

I should have gotten up and left the fucking luncheon. You'd think I'd have a thick skin by now, given that I encounter this shit nearly every day—and by "this shit," I mean Koreans who have no idea how to handle variety and difference except through jokes, insults, and otherwise awkward/stupid observations—but I guess, despite the thick layer of blubber, I'm still thin-skinned after all. Maybe I was just in a foul mood to begin with.

Next time, though, I think I'll beg off lunch or dinner or whatever the fuck the department head wants to do next. Not a fan of reindeer games and forced togetherness.

ADDENDUM: the food itself was good, but not good enough to be worth the shitty experience.


King Baeksu said...

The department head inviting you to sit next to him was an honor, and a signal to the rest of the company staff that you were an up-and-comer.

If you don't like his bantz, dominate him with superior wit while still remaining cordial. This is how one demonstrates one's own self-possession and mastery.

Possibly this was a test, and you will now be perceived as less of a "team player." If you don't care about advancing up the company hierarchy, that's your choice, but this was certainly a lost opportunity.

Kevin Kim said...

I didn't dominate anyone with wit, but I did remain cordial, albeit quiet.

If it's a lost opportunity, then so be it. I'm not much of a team player—or any sort of player, really. Especially not in the context of this sordid company, which is a den of vipers, given the stuff I constantly hear from my boss and have personally witnessed. I'll probably be leaving the company next year, anyway, so advancement within it is not my concern. I live a better life out in the margins, with a measure of independence, not entrenched in the halls of power.

(BTW, you're right about the up-and-comer part. The boss has made noises about my eventually taking over his shiljang position, but I have absolutely no desire for that particular promotion. I see the crap he has to go through—the onerous obligations packaged with that position—and I want nothing to do with that sort of responsibility. I'm just a foot soldier; that's what I'm best at.)

BK said...

I always thought it was kind of wild how politically incorrect Koreans were re: to the overweight. On tv it's crazy how folks like Defconn and Lee Guk-joo always get ragged on for being on the heavy side.