Continuing my recent post, this is the second part of the writing. I write this for the purpose of reminding myself in the future that I should not be dealing with these people, ever in my life, as a colleague, working partners, business partners or anything that has anything to do with money. Money make people do nasty things, they said, and I start to believe it.
5. Crazy About Credits and Recognitions
Living in this world, people are used to something called give and take. The practice of give thanks is something common, almost like ritual for the society. What will happen if it goes too far? Koreans really appreciate if other people recognize their works/efforts in doing something for others. They would love it if others can mention it in front of other people which means giving recognition of their efforts. The thing is, not all people do that as the way to give thanks. Different people, different set of rules, different way of living. Surely if you forget to mention the kindness of a Korean to you, you will be someone frown upon. There is someone in my office who would praise a person who express their gratitude to him, especially when that person makes sure other people will know how thankful s/he is. He even clearly stated, "Do your best and people will thank you for that. They will feel grateful to you". While the thing is, there are many people who came to my boss asking for letters to smoothen their way to deal with their "papers". Each time my boss would always ask me to do these "additional chores", I was the one who do the things that actually not my job at all. I should only deal with the office insiders, not people from the outside. Later on, when those people got what they want, they would thank my boss, praise him like there is no tomorrow and my boss would take all the credits. Talking about someone who tells others to work hard in order to gain people's gratitude. I can say, none of those outsiders even say thanks to me. I guess, it is only for Korean to Korean. Other people do not deserve any thanks or gratitude. HA!
There is a story from my Indonesian colleague who managed to get a kind of award to be a good example for his peers. He was supposed to be given a certificate and money. This is when the thing came nasty. My office only gave my colleague the certificate. At first my colleague did not know that there is money in the present too until one of the people from the "head quarter" asked what did he use the money for. He went outrageous and demanded his money. Too bad, they never gave it to him.
6. Exchange Rate Craze
There is the thing that I don't understand at all from these people are they always whine when exchange rate is showing lower graphic, even if it is only by the value of 10 rupiahs. It actually made no different for them. Let me give you example: Yesterday 1 USD is valued as 14000 and today it is valued as 13990. This 10 rupiahs different will make them whine. Some others are feeling relieved that they exchanged their USD before it decreased in value. Most of the time, people exchanges 500 USD - 1500 USD. With the 10 rupiahs different, what could they do? I mean, with those money in their luxurious life, what could they buy? One time meal? That's all?
The funniest is when my colleague asked them to pay for stamps, they would take out their coin purse and start to count the coin for the stamp fee. Sometimes out of annoyance, my colleague would deliberately dropped the coins to annoy them back. It is too ridiculous that people of their level are still caring so much on coins, as if their life depends on those coins as their source of fund.
Asking for help outside the office works, not giving extra for the time spent
7. Cheap is The Key
If there is one thing that I should do that embarrass me every single time I am doing it is if my boss asked me to find vendors for something. When I find it, he will push me to bargain and to ask for cheaper price. Sometimes, even for something like insurance, they ask me to bargain. I don't understand it. I think bargaining is only at traditional market or thrift market. It is just so inappropriate to bargain and I am under my office's name. I am so ashamed most of the time. If not haggling the price, sometimes they would just postpone the payment. This is something unacceptable. Once, they used a vendor for the service. While everything is done, they payment was postponed until a couple of months. The vendor was so upset that they refuse to make another cooperation with my office. How can this be true while my boss constantly saying that the office has a lot of money.
There is also a story from a higher rank officer who does not like to use his money, he intends to keep money as much as possible, maybe. One day he was arrogantly told his peer that he had scored big during his holiday to safari park with his family. He said he simply shoved his sons at the rear compartment to avoid the ticket officer to include them as people who must pay full priced ticket. Can you imagine? You put your sons at the back of the car, to be hidden from officers? There are so many things wrong within one time frame. First, car compartment is not safe for children. What if they are lack of oxygen? Also, the man has corrupted the entrace fee by hiding the sons. He does not have this realization that it could be dangerous for the children to be in a closed compartment like that. I would never understand this kind of people. Very barbaric, indeed.
I think those are the things that I can recall right now. I might go back in the future and add some more points to this piece of writing.
Indeed, it is the working environment that is nasty. I cannot stand working with Koreans and I would try my best to avoid any crossing-path with these people. I would continue to befriend my Korean friends though. It is because for me they are great people who came to me at my toughest time and they never think of me as someone who come from different country. I am glad that I don't work with them anymore, so that I don't have to go through this horrible thing over and over. I also take the experience as something very priceless. I will never learn how to appreciate people or how to look through people's souls instead of just their outer covers, if I don't work with them.
Last but not least, the great thing to be a good person is that, it is free. You don't have to pay to be kind. Be kind. If you help people, God will help you one day. That is how this world works.