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5 Chapter 5. Got A Job 1

 Does fate exist?

Gun-Ho tried to recall unsuccessfully the name of the philosophy hall which his aunt mentioned the other day. His car entered into Yangu and arrived at a town called Deokjeong. He purchased a bottle of water from a convenience store there.

"D*mn. It is really a long way, and I gotta go even further. Should I stop here and go back?"

Gun-Ho drove over a hill and continued for a while to a winding road in the countryside.

"It is nice to have a GPS navigator. It says 1.5 km further to go."

"You have arrived at your destination. Ending the service."

The navigator was ending its routing service. The factory was surrounded by farmlands. It was a mid-sized shabby building.

A lady came out and greeted Gun-Ho with a smile. She introduced herself as a manager.

"It was hard to find the place, wasn't it?"

She seemed to like the fact that Gun-Ho was a young man.

"Since you are young, you must be on the ball. Our director will come soon, and you will have an interview with him."

The man who was driving a forklift in the worksite entered the office. He looked arrogant for a forklift driver.

"Mr. Director, this man is here for an interview."

It turned out that the forklift driver was the director. In this company, a director must be driving a forklift as well. The director asked Gun-Ho to have a seat while he was sitting at the table.

"Let me see your application."

The director closely looked at Gun-Ho's resume.

"I see that you have work experience with injection molding. We are using a large injection molding machine. You will have to handle plastic crusher machines as well."

"Ok."

"Do you have a Class 2 driver's license? Or Class 1?"

"I have a Class 1."

"Here, you will have to drive a 1-ton truck sometimes. Can you drive manual?"

"Manual... I've done it when I was in the military... I can do it after one or two days of practice."

"We don't have company dormitories here. We do have one, but it is not in a good shape for you; it is mostly used by foreign workers. Since you have injection molding work experience, we'd like to offer a job. You can decide once you look around the work site."

The director called out to someone through the window.

"Mr. Kim! Mr. Kim!"

A man in a red uniform came out from a container office on the other side. He looked like he was in his 40s.

"This man might join us, so please show him around the work site."

Mr. Kim, a team leader brought Gun-Ho inside the factory. It was loud, and Gun-Ho could smell strong chemical odors.

"Is it normal to make this much loud noise?"

"No. You are hearing now the noise from the plastic recycling crusher machine."

"There are a lot of foreign workers here."

"That's right. We have 15 of them."

The foreign workers there glanced up quickly to see Mr. Kim and Gun-Ho. Most foreign workers seemed young while a few Korean workers there looked over 50.

"You work five days a week, right?"

"Basically yes. But most of the time, we work every other Saturday as well."

"How much do they pay?"

"Didn't they tell you about it at the office? It really depends on the work experience you have. So it's not something I can tell you."

Mr. Kim said. He looked somewhat uncomfortable. Gun-Ho figured that Mr. Kim was not a person that was easy to talk to. Gun-Ho changed the subject.

"I was told that you have a large machine, but they all look small."

"The big one is in the site, B. The person who handled that machine left the company. If you join us, you probably will have to work with that machine."

"I hope I could have a chance to learn a lot from you."

"You have work experiences already... where did you work?"

"I worked at Hwaseong and Pocheon."

"You moved around a lot."

Mr. Kim sounded a bit sarcastic, and that made Gun-Ho feel a little offended. Gun-Ho felt an urge to crush his head. But Gun-Ho would have to work with Mr. Kim if he decided to join the company. He'd better get along with Mr. Kim. He bowed and said,

"Thank you for showing me around. It was very helpful."

The company was not big, with approximately 30 employees. Gun-Ho decided to join them for now. The plant was surrounded by farmlands; he liked this setting better than a busy city. Moreover, plastic factories are all the same everywhere.

Mr. Kim didn't seem to be a person who was easy to get along with, but having a soju together and calling him bro should do the trick. On the way out of the factory, Gun-Ho asked Mr. Kim,

"Since there is no company dormitory, where can I find a place to stay?"

"The area where the Gwangjeok Town township office is situated is good. If you prefer Main Street, try Deokjeong Town or Deokgye Town."

After the workplace tour, Gun-Ho came back to the office to see the director. This time, the director gave him a broad smile, and said,

"Did you have a good time? As you see, we are not a big company but we do have a friendly work environment. We have a very low turnover rate. And... for the wages, you will get paid 1,800,000 won per month. We provide free lunch at the temp building over there; Ms. Cook prepares the food every day."

As soon as he heard the number, 180, Gun-Ho started his calculation.

"A rent will cost me 30, gas will be 20, lunch is free, and I can have dinner at home..."

Well, he could survive, but not much would be left to save up.

"If you work with us for more than a year, we can consider raising your salary. Some of our foreign workers take 300 by working overtime, night shifts."

"300!"

It was tempting. He no longer tried to be a government employee. He was going to stay as a blue collar worker anyway; then, why not make 300? There are things, of course, he had to give up. He wouldn't be able to enjoy his after-work life; no dinner time getting-together with friends, no more occasional gatherings for someone's wedding, funeral, or ancestral rites.

"After one year of working with us, you will get promoted, and then we pay for your gas as well."

"When can I start?"

"Let me see... today is Thursday..."

The director looked at the calendar on the wall.

"Let's start on Monday. If you are not from this area, you will need a few days to find a place to stay. Oh, I saw an ad on the way to the work this morning; it was about a rent without security deposit in Gwangjeok Town. You probably want to check it out."

"Thank you."

"When you come on Monday, please bring a copy of your resident registration and another copy of your bank statement."

"I will do that."

Gun-Ho left the office courteously expressing his appreciation for the opportunity. He got the job. While he was at it, Gun-Ho decided to explore the area around Gwangjeok Town township office.

"Gwangjeok Town, Yangju City... I've never heard of this area before, and I will be working here."

Suddenly his smartphone started ringing. It was from Capital financial institution; his sunshine loan was from them.

"You are behind on your payments. How soon can you make the payment?"

The call just killed Gun-Ho's happy moment.

"Ok. I will send it right away."

"If you don't make a payment by the 5th of this month and your account is still overdue, it could affect your credit."

The voice of Capital representative sounded like the Grim Reaper.

"Hew..." He sighed.

Gun-Ho deeply regretted ever having done stocks.