Saturday, August 22, 2020

temporary blackout/outage redux

Two days ago, I had a long text-message exchange in Korean with a lady who works in our "NHR" department (sort of a fancified human-resources division). We'll call her Lilly. I told her that I had a leak somewhere over my head in my apartment, especially somewhere above my bathroom's ceiling, where I could hear an ominous dripping noise that sounded as if a little swimming pool had already formed above me (that's pretty much how I worded it in Korean). As I learned a while back, repair requests are supposed to be run through NHR, which is why I texted Lilly. It was a slow exchange because Lilly had to check around and find a repairman for me, and in the end, she said someone would come by my apartment on Monday, probably while I was at the office. She then said something very interesting, "Oh, and thank you so much for writing up that translation about the coming blackouts!"


So the building admin office obviously knew it had been me (I did sign my translation "Kevin Kim," but I don't know how many building staffers can put a face to my name), and they had apparently already talked with Lilly. Well, upon hearing this, I bluntly asked Lilly whether she knew the signs had been taken right down, and I offered my guess that this had to do with their not having been stamped. Lilly confirmed that a dojang (stamp) was necessary, but she kindly offered to send emails to the foreigners in my building to alert them as to the coming outages. I thanked her and said yes, please send out those emails, but I also told her that this would solve the problem only this one time—what about next time? We both agreed that I probably should visit the building-admin office to get permission for any future translations, so I guess that's what I'll do. I griped about how, if the admin office had any consideration, it would produce an English translation for the foreigners in the building at the same time that it was working on the Korean version. Lilly agreed and sent me a "tears running down face" emoji to express her sympathy. I interpreted this as a customer-service tactic for mollifying irate customers, but I admit the tactic worked, and I felt mollified.

Here's the other thing, which I discovered only a day ago: the building admin ended up taking down its own signs (which had been laminated sheets of A4 paper) and putting up simple A4-sheet printouts of the same sign... with the dates of the outages now changed. So that could be another reason why my translation had to go: it was now out of date. If that's the case, then I can be a bit understanding, and maybe the admin folks aren't quite the leprous dicks I'd thought they were. I now have time to rewrite my translation (which I had the presence of mind to save, this time, on the assumption that this might be a yearly thing), visit the admin office, and do things the kosher way.


John Mac said...

Lilly sounds nice. Ever met her in person?

Kevin Kim said...

No, but her Kakao profile shows pics of her with her boyfriend.

Charles said...

Now all you need to do is figure out how to get paid for your translation work.

Kevin Kim said...


A loud, rotten fart followed by, "Two hundred thousand per translation, and that never happens again"?