Posted in Commentary, Drama Series

Misaeng: on episode 15~16


Another bleak week. Which stresses how sucky it is to be a newbie in a highly hierarchical workplace, where rank and seniority is everything. Be as eager and worked up as they like, the company won’t break the mold or accept breakthrough. They’ll only be constantly reminded that it’s not their time to shine yet — they’re years too soon for that.

Then there’s huffy seniors. While most have redeemed themselves by now, at least a couple of them still get under my skin whenever they appear onscreen. Probably they too was mistreated when they started out thus passing down the tradition to their juniors. Luckily, Manager Chun chooses not to do that.

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[indifferent or harsh to Geu-rae in person, a proud papa behind him]

Back to the episodes, Geu-rae overhears the tragic story of (Senior) Manager Oh’s former subordinate which causes him unable to give Geu-rae any irresponsible consolation or empty hope he so wanted to hear. Even so, he notes positively that there’s still another year for them to work together like this. In the ensuing days, he is extra enthusiastic at work and works extra hard to prepare the team’s next business project. Despite the confident presentation and usage of professional jargon, Manager Oh slams it — he doesn’t get what Geu-rae’s trying to sell and whom he’s gonna sell it to — even if Manager Chun applauds the non-amateurish feel it gives off. Still, it’s Manager Oh’s opinions that make or break him.

To show Geu-rae what his proposal is lacking, Manager Oh gives him a $100 task to do real business of sales. That’s the basics of the basics — buy something at a lower price and sell it at a higher price to someone who needs it. In the process, Baek-ki gets assigned to complete the mission with him. Naturally, he is less than pleased.

He’s been resentful of Geu-rae’s advancement and recognition while he can only manage babysteps progress, so it is a good chance for them to bond and for him to understand Geu-rae a little better. Always deem himself above Geu-rae, Baek-ki is in fact similar to him in many ways — he too has a long way to go and has yet to master the basics. That’s why he’s sent to complete the $100 assignment alongside Geu-rae. The focus of episode 15 is thus on these two.

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Face to face sales is no joke, i don’t expect them to succeed at first try. Neither is it as easy and simple as buying the cheapest item and thinking anyone would re-buy it at a mark-up price. They need to cover all bases — know the product’s specs and value, the selling price, and why it appeals to buyers — and thicken their skin to make the sale.

Geu-rae even goes as far as coming to the baduk association he was once a part of. Gawdd, the look on his face, the way he turns around once inside but realizes it’s too late to run away, the 90 degree bows he gives the team leader as he takes his leave, still fullhanded… tell me you’re not affected at all.

If there’s anything good out of it is that Baek-ki gets to learn about Geu-rae history and the world he left behind and hence begins to see him with new eyes. Everybody has their own struggles — took him long enough to realize how better off he really is.

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Buuut, like any other episode, it’s just another workday; regardless of what happens today, tomorrow’s a completely brand new day, or struggles. Next thing we know, it’s been 1 year and 5 months for the newbies and they are working on business proposal on their own. Err, except for Seok-yul. He is yet to show the team what he’s truly capable of though has decided to raise white flag, conform, and eventually lose his personality. The new hairstyle is better, but now he looks just like anybody else. Worse, he pulls through looking like a zombie. A Misaeng episode sans his blabbering and sing-songy lines is half as fun and twice as depressing.

The others don’t fare much better either. Young-yi’s and Geu-rae’s proposals are approved, alas the euphoria is fleeting. Young-yi is forced to give her project up as the dept head is less than pleased to know he’s losing out to a newbie, let alone a female, whereas Geu-rae has to hand his over to one of the seniors as the company won’t let an outgoing contract worker head an important project.

Everybody knows how unfair it is but can do little to defend them as they’re fighting a losing battle. Resources team’s manager seeks a middle ground — he asks Young-yi to see it as doing him a favor to get promoted. Sales Team 3, however, has no heart to tell Geu-rae to back off he’s the one giving his baby away in the end.

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“Your best earns you good treatment at school, but only results earn you good treatment at work” is Manager Oh’s response to Geu-rae’s “I did my best.” Even so, his results are overlooked. No matter what, there’s still no space for him in the company. Tell me it ain’t so!

Since mama bear is not his usual self, nobody brings the newbies together and gives them consolation. Everyone’s fighting their own battles; they have learned that hardships have to be endured alone and thus restrained from giving rash advice.

If anything, Young-yi has totally win her team’s hearts. They cover for her when the persistent calls from her parents asking for money again render her unfocused. The manager even stands up to the dept head and puts the kibosh on his next round of physical abuse. I do hope it’s the last time he pokes anybody. His verbal abuse needs to go next.

Baek-ki also gets sidetracked due to the pending status for his proposal. When it finally gets through, both he and Kang daeri can’t hide their joy. Aww… I don’t know what will happen to his project, but i bet they’ll let him continue working on it since he is neither a contract worker nor a female?

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At this rate, are we able to catch up to the opening scenes with Geu-rae in Jordan? I thought the Jordan project is related to it, now it’s unheard of anymore. Speaking of which, episode 17~18 will air this week, which means the finale is next week! *gasp*



I blog sometimes, gush ofttimes, snark all the time.

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