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Coder Lee YongHo – Chapter 38: Name Getting Known (2)

If anyone saw her smiling right now then s/he couldn’t help but falling in love.
“What? You laughed while thinking of the old times?” (wow, I’m surprised she understood that… I sure couldn’t)
The woman was reading YongHo’s message while laughing. She was using a place that was 15 pyung(≈50m2) alone. The neat interior gave a good impression.
“He probably used koogle translate.”
The woman knew that YongHo’s English message at a glance. Perhaps she felt sincerity from the clumsy writing, a smile never left her lips while she was checking the code.
“I think his basics are good. Hmm……”
After scrolling the mouse to the bottom of the page, the woman typed fast on the keyboard.
“Let’s see if he can solve this.”
The woman seemed to have fun as she never left her seat for hours.

***

One place finally contacted him. When he looked it up on the internet, it was an IT company. After tens of times of failing at the résumé stage and getting the door slammed in front of his face, he could finally step into the interview stage.
“Hmm… Lee YongHo, Lee YongHo, huh?…… I think I heard it somewhere.”
The president who did the interview kept murmuring YongHo’s name. Then he stared at the laptop on his desk. YongHo who didn’t know anything, could only stay sitting, silent.
“Ah! Lee YongHo!”
YongHo answered loudly as he thought the president was calling him.
“Yes, sir.”
“You said you were in Mirae IT, right?”
“That’s correct.”
“Things have turned ugly this time.”
“Sorry?”
The president stopped interviewing and went deep in thought. He spoke after a few minutes has passed.
“I will speak directly. Is 20 fine with you?”
“……”
YongHo knew instantly what 20 meant.
20million won(≈17,000 USD) salary per year.
If it was 20 million the actual pay is around 1.5million per month(≈1250 USD). YongHo’s face turned stiff. (about 8 USD/hour)
“We are taking a big risk by hiring you. You, I heard you made a big mistake in Mirae IT……”
YongHo could only be dumbfounded at the president’s words. He made a big contribution, not a big mistake.
“I never made a mistake in Mirae IT though?”
“It’s not a bad thing to make a mistake while working… Anyway, how about it? If you are fine with 20 million then contact me. We are hiring you since we happen to have just the right job for you. Other people won’t even accept you for an interview, you know?”
From the president’s implicit words, YongHo instinctively knew that something was wrong with his personal history. Even just now, he felt that his name was not called but thought up from the president’s memory.
“May I perhaps inquire about that ‘mistake’?”
“Why are you asking me? Ask Mirae.”
“……”
“You may not be able to work in this field if not for us.”
Yongho calmly looked at the president’s eyes. He had little experience with people, but it didn’t seem like the president was lying.
“Then… Can I contact you after considering it a bit?”
“We have a schedule too so contact us within 2 days.”
YongHo first said ok and he stood up. It was a difficult opportunity. The fact that his salary was only 20 million bothered him a bit but he couldn’t let this opportunity go.
And he had to check one thing.

After the interview YongHo made a call.
An ByungHoon.
If it was him, YongHo thought that he would be able to tell him about the ‘mistake’ that the president mentioned.
The two met up in a barbeque restaurant near Yangjae station.
“Manager.”
“…Yeah, it’s been a while.”
“Have you been well?”
From An ByungHoon’s face, uneasiness together with delight to see him could be seen. It was due to the responsibility that YongHo didn’t change into a permanent employee. Anyhow, YongHo was a person who was once under him.
“If I knew beforehand……”
“It’s the decision of higher ups… What can a mere manager do about it?”
“I’m sorry.”
YongHo, who didn’t want the atmosphere to turn gloomy, said in a bright tone.
“You don’t have to be like that. I forgot all about it.”
Seemingly having understood YongHo’s intentions, An ByungHoon loosened his stiff face.
“Yeah, here, have a glass.”
They emptied two bottles while giving and receiving glasses. Both YongHo and An ByungHoon became slightly drunk. (An average adult male can drink one bottle of soju without getting drunk)
YongHo who thought that they drank enough alcohol to talk so he started talking.
“Manager… Did I make a mistake while I was in Mirae?”
“A mistake? You were known for being great at work, what mistake?”
“But you know… When I had an interview while looking for a job. I heard these kind of lines, that I made a mistake in Mirae.”
An ByungHoon stopped his hand for a moment. And he emptied the alcohol into his mouth. He frowned perhaps because the alcohol was bitter. The word ‘mistake’ made him realize what kind of situation YongHo was in.
“A mistake huh… There is no reason for your name to be in the black…list……”
Blacklist.
It was a kind of a wanted poster that businesses shared.
A person who was recorded in the blacklist had a hard time find a footing in the SI industry. This was because most companies would exclude him/her while hiring their employees.
YongHo’s name was recorded in there.
“Blacklist?”
“It’s a kind of a wanted poster that businesses share… They made it to exclude any person from finding a job that was in it.”
“Why is my name in there……”
“I don’t know the exact details……”
It was like a bolt from blue. He never imagined that the results for his hard work was for his name to be recorded in the blacklist.
“……”
“YongHo……”
An ByungHoon made a sorry expression as if he was the one to have done it. At that figure, YongHo said as if it was okay.
“I don’t have anything against you. You did enough for me.”
“……”
“Anyway, who would have recorded my name in there?”
An ByungHoon hesitated. His eyes were trembling. He seemed to hesitate whether or not he should speak about this.
“Only a PM level person or above can tamper the information on the blacklist. I can only tell you until this point.”
An ByungHoon who finished speaking, stiffened his face and didn’t speak again.
YongHo didn’t speak anymore about the blacklist or the company. Only, the speed at which YongHo drank alcohol, became faster.

***

When he came back home, the lights were out. Because the TV was usually always on at this time, YongHo found it strange.
“Mom.”
There was no response.
“Mom. What are you doing?”
When he opened the door to the main bedroom, his mother was sitting there on top of some newspaper. A pair of scissors were held in one hand and strands of white colored hair could be seen  here and there on the grey newspaper.
“Huh, Mom, what are you doing?”
“Can’t you see? I’m cutting my hair.”
His mother instead replied in a calm manner. That figure made YongHo more angry. From the way she was doing it, it wasn’t the first or second time she did this.
“Why are you cutting your hair at home?”
“Even if I go to a barber shop, it’s expensive and they have poor skills too.”
“……”
“You must be tired, go to sleep.”
“I will give you the money so go to the barber’s.”
YongHo hurriedly took out his wallet from his back pocket.
20000 won.
It was all the money he had in his wallet. YongHo’s cheeks started twitching.
“You don’t even have a job, where would you get money… Go sleep.”
“……”
YongHo couldn’t say anything.
Nothing.
He only resolved, and resolved again.

***

Going to stack overfly became an important part of his life. The once a week to once in three days became many hours per day now.
“My rank has risen quite a lot.”
Looking at his profile, his worries seem to have lifted a bit.
5671. (It hasn’t been half a year and … wow.. is that 30+/day?)
It was the number of replies YongHo made.
No.21313
It was YongHo’s rank. His bottom ranking had grown a lot. He consoled himself with the fact that the time spent was not wasted.
Looking around, YongHo checked his messages inbox.
“Huh? I think this person also messaged me a few days ago.”
A familiar nickname came within his sight.
danbi.jeong
Perhaps this person liked YongHo’s answer, this person also sent a friend request.
“Koreans should help each other out.”
Nationality could be seen even without being friends. YongHo clicked the ‘accept request’ button. He could look at the details now that they were friends.
And he went into the details. A few information entered his eyes. The information which caught YongHo’s eye was the e-mail address.
danbi.jeong@shinseki.com
“Shinseki? That’s a big company. And this person knows less than me.”
YongHo’s murmurs came out with a slight frustration. It was a company that didn’t even accept his résumé since his specs didn’t even reach the bottom line.
There was no other personal information so YongHo concentrated on the problem that the person sent.
“What is it this time?”
YongHo didn’t dislike the feeling of being needed. He instead felt grateful. He felt that his his self-depreciation from the difficulties with employment was lifted slightly by being active in stack overfly.

***
Escort agency.
It was term that referred to the company that YongHo was about to go.
It was a word that was coined because this company lent people to other companies like an escort agency that lent women to karaokes.
The client(gab) company would create a project and the contractor(eul) company would receive it. Then the contractor(eul) company would gather developers from escort agencies also known as outsourcing companies(byung).
Gab. Eul. Byung.
As the bottom feeder, the treatment was poor as well.
If 100 was given to the contractor(eul) company, then the contractor(eul) company would take 30 and give the rest to the outsourcing companies(byung)’. And the outsourcing company(byung) would take 30 and give the rest to the programmers who did the actual work.
That was what YongHo knew.
However, he couldn’t not go.
It was an escort agency where treatment was poor, but he decided after he heard that his name was in the blacklist.
First, improve his skills here.
Then improve his ability so that no one can look down on him again.
No one acknowledged a person with no work experience.
He would repay all the frustration he accumulated until now after improving his skills.
He knocked on the office door with that mind.

As soon as he entered the office, the president gave him the employment contract. YongHo couldn’t hide his frustration after he looked at the employment contract.
20 million won.
He knew already, but he couldn’t suppress his frustration when reality was in front of him.
An extra line on top of that.
Including severance pay.
That sentence was an eyesore.
“President, what do you mean by ‘including severance pay’?”
“Your salary includes severance pay, what other things can it mean? Just sign already.”
“It’s different from what I heard last time?”
“Yearly salary of 20 million, what’s different?”
“I didn’t hear it included the severance pay.”
“So? Are you saying you can’t do it? Doesn’t a newbie have to act like a newbie and have a learning mindset? You have to thank us for even hiring you, who doesn’t even have a verified work history… Moreover, blacklisted names don’t even get a work even with these conditions.”
That damn ‘newbie’.
That damn ‘blacklist’.
Is it alright for a newbie to receive 20 million?
If you only want people with experience then where would newbies go?
YongHo clenched his teeth and suppressed his anger. However he couldn’t control the amount of strength holding the pen.
*Screech*
One side of the paper, where the sign ended, had a hole on it.
However, the employment contract was done.


Translator’s note

Bonus chapter ‘cuz 1000 readers on NU

‘If you only want people with experience then where would newbies go?’ – such heartfelt words…

credits to Seven for telling me what escort agencies are…

btw, the minimum wage in Korea (now) is about 6 USD/hour.

Thx for reading!

Translator : Chamber

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21 thoughts on “Coder Lee YongHo – Chapter 38: Name Getting Known (2)

    1. theone320

      But why would they do that? I cannot believe that can just do something like that just because he did not want to take the blame for the telekom incident.

      Reply
  1. ConfuzzledButLikesStoryGuy

    Is it possible to sue for defamation of character? Is the work etiquette really this poor in Korea? I’ve suspended my belief for the story thus far but an ethics committee would be having a field day if they knew what was going on. Oh well I’ve enjoyed reading this so far and keep up the good work translating, I want to read what happens next🙂

    Reply
    1. Chamber Post author

      Not sure.. I’m a uni student myself… But the ‘upper echelons’ are all connected so mass media can’t really report about this. But author says ‘the things depicted in this novel may accurately represent the current Korean IT industry, if not less.’

      Reply
    2. jacobpaige

      Its definitely something that happens in the US, even though its also completely illegal. Its just too hard to prove unless someone with access to the list confirms its existence, and even then, its far from a slam dunk case.

      Reply
  2. jacobpaige

    Wow, I guess they were black balling him. Its a wonder they even bothered. An ByungHoon should have written him a letter of recommendation as his superior. It would likely have been enough to get him an interview with most companies worth working for.

    Or he could have casually asked his new “friend” to let him know if her company was hiring. I’m sure it wouldn’t be the first time someone had asked her to do that and its better to try than not.

    Or just start his own company. He has the skills for it.

    But no matter what, he shouldn’t have signed with a parasitic company like that.

    Reply
    1. Newbeaveteran

      If i was him, I wouldn’t be able to ask An Byung Hoon because of having to worry about giving him problems if the person who blacklisted him will cause problem for An Byung.

      Second, you just dont ask someone you just met for a job. It could be just a prank or something. Well other reasons as well.

      Third, starting a company requires money and there is also the problem with Mirae IT making his business have problems.

      Last, with no way of getting money, family having a hard time to get by with money to spare. What choices would you be able to make with only those choices. Especially when it will take months or even longer to look for a job that would accept him. Which lead him to signing the contract and be taken advantage of, even if the severance thing is in it.

      Reply
      1. jacobpaige

        I think he’d write the letter. He’s feeling guilty enough for it and I doubt they’d fire him over it. If they didn’t value him, then he would have been the one tossed under the bus.

        I’m not saying to ask them for a job. I’m saying to ask them to give him a heads up if the company is hiring, and maybe pass on his resume at that time. Even if its a prank, its won’t be any worse than what he’s already had to put up with.

        He has money and his business doesn’t have to have anything to do with Mirae. Heck, it doesn’t even have to have anything to do with Korea if he can find someone who actually speaks English to work with him. If the girl that was working next to him at the last place qualifies, I’m sure she’d be willing to drop Mirae and start a company with him. He’s a tech god to her.

        He could make more money flipping burgers than he’ll make there. While he’s doing that he can also improve his reputation on stackoverfly and his English skills and focus on getting a job outside the influence of Mirae. He’ll likely have less stress and fewer opportunities for his reputation to be ruined too.

        Nothing good will come from working for someone who only hired you because they could treat you like a slave and didn’t even bother to try to hide that fact.

        Reply
  3. Marca

    Thanks for the chapter. And I hope he gets out of the new comapny soon… Even through he just got in…

    Reply

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