Friday, May 17, 2019

a soul-draining experience

Our company's Foundation Day event turned out to be almost six hours long. Intermission occurred about two-thirds of the way through that hellish experience. One of the slogans to come out of the event was "We Comes Before Me": an invitation to succumb to the seduction of the collectivist Korean hive mind. Westerners—who should have known better—were among the sirens on stage, singing the collectivist tune. Awards were given, and 95% of the awardees who spoke ended up crying. It was touching the first couple of times, but after the tenth or eleventh person started choking up, all I could do was roll my eyes. And every time a speaker began to sob, the audience would obligingly go, "Awwww..." Good Christ. Korean society has an infinite capacity for emotional incontinence (I've stolen that term from Paul Joseph Watson), which is why K-dramas are chock-full of screamers and weepers. Emotional self-control is apparently unknown here, although I'm sure Koreans would spin the matter positively by describing themselves as "passionate." Ha!

Anyway, my ass hurt from sitting on a hard chair, so I got up and stood at the back of the auditorium until intermission, after which I simply sank down onto the floor and sat cross-legged for the rest of the event. A former coworker saw what I was doing and quietly joined me. We said nothing to each other; there was simply nothing to say. It's funny... I can walk for hours and hours in silence, but sitting for five hours in an auditorium, feeling my soul drain away, is a hellish experience. And in a signal irony, our CEO, who had the floor several times throughout the event, said at one point that time is far more precious than money. Oh, I agree! It's a shame the CEO didn't think the event was a waste of our precious time.

After the long, grinding program was over, I cabbed back to the office (Thursday was payday, so I'm off my austerity for a week while I shop and prep for the next month's discipline; taking a cab didn't involve breaking any oaths) and hung around in order to be able to walk to the bank and do my monthly international wire transfer of money to my US account. But perhaps because all the company staffers—including the finance department—were at that damn event, my direct deposit didn't happen until a bit after 4 p.m., and 4 p.m. is when my bank closes. It pissed me off that I had stayed an extra hour at the office specifically to hit the bank, only to discover my direct deposit hadn't come through in time, thus leaving me with nothing to send to the US. More time-wastage. So I'll hit the bank on Friday.

When we R&Ders all got back to the office, my coworkers professed varying degrees of pain (from those horrible chairs) and un-motivation. I'm pretty sure everyone else ended up leaving the office early, too. Can't say I blame them.

Because I went straight to my apartment after realizing I couldn't go to the bank, I got back pretty early. I told myself I'd take a long, 30K-step walk around 7:30 p.m. after taking a nap. I turned out to be too tired to do any walking, though, so I simply lazed around and visited my basement grocery, where I spent money on soda and junk food, thereby doing nothing for my health. Not to worry: I'll be back on my program soon enough.


John Mac said...

Well, not wanting to sound trite, but without the bad days the good ones wouldn't be as enjoyable. And thank you for reminding me of one of the underrated perks of being retired--no f'n meetings!

Charles said...

The pain... it is delicious.