In the middle of Myeong-dong, Seoul.
In one of the high rise buildings, there was the office of Shiseki Group’s CEO. With one side of the wall made entirely of glass, the view of the city there was, without a doubt, beautiful.
In front of the glass wall-window was a man.
Wide shoulders, wide back, sideburns with a tinge of grey – these were complimenting his serious atmosphere. Although he was nearing 60 the vigor of a person in his 30s could be felt from him.
It was the CEO of Shinseki Group, Jeong JinYong.
“Team Leader Jeong DanBi should be busy, but why are you here?”
“Please don’t touch our team members.”
“…Can you see the people down there?”
Jeong JinYong spoke, while his gaze was still directed to the scenery of the city.
“They’re moving quite busily. What did I tell you before?”
“Look at them as numbers.”
“The number one CEO of the economic world once said this. That one talent feeds 10,000 people. Let’s say one person spends one million won(≈870 USD) a month, then how much money would be spent by 10,000 people?”
“10 billion(≈8.7million USD).”
Jeong DanBi quietly sat down on a seat and answered Jeong JinYong’s question. Heaviness could be felt from the furnitures in the office, rather than luxuriousness. They were something you could see chairman Jeong JinYong’s character from.
“10 billion is needed. Smart shopping strategy team are made up of 10 people, and to prove that each one of them can feed 10,000 people, then the sales from the team needs to be 100 billion. How much is the current sales?”
“A, about 10 billion, sir.”
At Jeong DanBi’s unconfident words, Jeong JinYong turned his head. Then he waved his fingers and said.
“No, not the total, the sales per month.”
“F, four billion, sir……”
“So you are short of 96 billion.”
At Jeong JinYong’s words, Jeong DanBi lost her words to say. There was a promise between Jeong JinYong and Jeong DanBi.
With 10 people, achieve 100 billion won in sales for just one month.
Then, I will allow you to do whatever.
However, before that, whatever you do, you won’t be able to get out of Shinseki’s eyes. ‘Not able to get out’ included marriage.
It was a test that Jeong JinYong gave to Jeong DanBi, a child of the CEO. It may be difficult and seem impossible. However, to achieve what others deem as impossible was an ability in itself, and the words also implied that as long as she proved her ability, she would be given her freedom.
Jeong DanBi stayed sitting while biting her lips. From behind her, Jeong JinYong calmly, but heavily spoke.
“Bring me results. I won’t listen to anything else.”
With those words, signifying the end of the conversation, Jeong JinYong turned back his head to look outside. The sun was setting and lights in Seoul were lighting up one after the other.
Jeong DanBi stood up, still biting her lips.
She was frustrated, but it wasn’t like chairman Jeong JinYong wanted something that was impossible. In fact, there were numerous cases where a small number of people achieved massive sales. In the end, it ‘looked impossible, but is possible’.
“How do you feel now, that you are going on a business trip?”
“Oh, it all just feels unreal. It’s like… I finally feel that I’m commuting to a big company now…?”
“You are going to come back here after the opening ends, so don’t worry about anything else. We have no intentions to let go of a talent like you, Mr.YongHo.”
“Haha, I’m not worried about anything.”
He was feeling unfair due to going to Busan so suddenly, but at Jeong DanBi’s acknowledgement, his mood got better. And also he was thinking of another thing.
The imagination of going to his first business trip.
He only saw them in TV dramas.
He placed himself in the shoes of the cool employees in the TV dramas he vaguely remembered. ‘Business trips are only meant for people with ability’ – he had this thought.
In contrast, worry couldn’t be erased from Jeong DanBi’s face.
“Thanks to you, Mr.YongHo, I can finally see some hope. Think you’re on a vacation and have a good rest in Busan.”
Confidence was taking root in Jeong DanBi’s eyes, which were looking at YongHo. To pass Jeong JinYong’s test, she could have selected 10 people who went to top universities.
However, to earn 100 billion with 10 people, she thought that it couldn’t be done the usual way.
She needed to break common sense.
And so, she selected Son SeokHo.
YongHo was, in a sense, a joker. She knew of his ability through Stack Overfly, but she selected YongHo, who had no real work experience, as a bet.
She expected a newbie’s passion and open mind when selecting. Due to these expectations she had, she didn’t go through the normal employment process and looked around websties such as Stack Overfly and gethub to look for talents. And her selection was correct. YongHo made a team with Son SeokHo and produced an unprecedented result and proved his ability.
“I’m thankful for your words. I’m not going there to die or anything, and it’s only Busan. You don’t need to worry so much about me……”
“If you think that way, then I’m thankful.”
YongHo also had ears. He vaguely felt that the relationship between Jeong DanBi and Jeong JinHoon was not that good.
He was caught in the fight between Jeong JinHoon and Jeong DanBi.
The occasion just fit Jeong JinHoon’s needs too.
He politely refused Jeong JinHoon’s proposal, and this was a sudden deployment. He vaguely knew what Jeong DanBi was worried about.
However, the important thing for YongHo was not intra-company politics.
‘Will I be able to improve myself.’
YongHo resolved that he would undertake anything to improve his own ability. And to do that, he needed to experience various different kinds of work. There is no such thing as ‘almighty’ but becoming a close to almighty programmer – that was YongHo’s aim.
Store openings were a new experience for him. If he experienced something different, he might be able to increase his ability.
And so, he wasn’t that repulsed, nor was he worried.
He needed to do his best in his position. It was obvious, yet not obvious. YongHo resolved.
She was happy when she heard he was going to America, but YongHo’s mother was also happy when she heard YongHo was going to Busan.
“You are finally acknowledged by the company and going on a business trip. A big company is sure different.”
She did odd jobs all her life, with a high school degree. She never had a chance to go to a middle scale company, much less a big one.
Cleaning, serving, etc – these were the thing she did for her entire life.
YongHo was also slightly excited.
He already had experience going to America but this was his first time going on a business trip to work.
After Three and a half hours on the KTX (an express train in KR) and one and a half more hours on the taxi, YongHo arrived in Gijang County, Busan
‘It seems to be here.’
Last-minute construction was underway.
Buildings with light pink color were placed, and brand YongHo saw for the first time was emitting their dignified aura from the signboards.
‘Shall I call first?’
The only thing the company told YongHo, who was going to Korea, was a phone number.
Call this person.
That was it.
The person YongHo called was named Seo JooShin, and he was an assistant manager at Shinseki I&C. YongHo was placed in Jeong DanBi’s team as soon as he entered so the number of people YongHo knew in the company were extremely small.
Seo JooShin’s first impression was ordinary.
Just that, he looked too busy. Without even unpacking his belongings, YongHo was put to work right away. That work – was extremly absurd.
“So… You are telling me to test the POS machines, right?”
“Yes. The ones you see here are the POS terminals that will be used in the store, and they need one final check.”
At assistant manager Seo’s words YongHo looked at the installed POS’s in front of his eyes.
There were at least 100 of them. And the words meant that he needed to test these one by one.
“You want me to do all of these, alone?”
“If there are any that have problems, then you can organize it and send them to me.”
The person called assistant manager Seo calmly continued talking. Even while talking to YongHo, his phone was continuously ringing.
Not only that, there were some people who came to him to ask things.
“I came here to do program developing related work, though.”
When YongHo said in confusion, while tilting his head, Seo JooShin stiffened his face.
“I’m busy so do what I told you to do first.”
Then he picked up the call and left the place.
He never knew when he bought things.
If he just handed over the cash or the credit card, the staff will do the work so he didn’t have to mind about anything.
And when he was the one doing that on the POS, just the normal patterns went over 30 in number.
Gift card transaction.
Combination of cash and card, etc. There were numerous cases.
Still, the guy called assistant manager Seo left a table of test scenarios.
It was a document he gave YongHo to test according to the scenario and write the serial number of the POS and the problem.
‘The word is ‘business trip’ but it’s no different than labor, huh.’
Son SeokHo caused chaos in the office, saying he wanted to meet the personnel management team himself to not let YongHo go on this trip.
He was calmed after a lot of effort from Jeong DanBi.
He didn’t know why Son SeokHo was so over-reactive at the short business trip. He didn’t know what store openings implied.
He now knew why Son SeokHo was so against it.
‘My arm hurts now.’
When he did about half of them, he had swiped the card so many times that his arms started hurting. He swiped cards, inputted cash, and scanned the barcodes on gift cards. After a standardized test scenario, he did one or two tests using a non-standard way, before going on to the next machine.
He didn’t even have any time to wonder why he was doing all this.
Some minor bugs could be seen when he underwent the transaction. They were minor, so he wrote them in a simple manner on the test scenario.
There was no one who oversaw his work, but YongHo did the work seriously.
-I shouldn’t be doing this.
This kind of thought were taking root in his heart, but his thought to finish this work was still bigger.
After finishing the standardized tests, YongHo tried to do the non-standard test, aka monkey test.
‘A situation where a customer pays 10000 won with a gift card, 5000 won with cash, 10000 won with card, but the customer asks to return the cash and asks to pay the remaining 5000 won with a card.’
He swiped the gift card, inputted 5000 won, swiped a credit card, and cancelled the 5000 won cash input.
Although nobody was looking, he was doing his best. Even if he didn’t do a monkey test, there was no one to take responsibility.
At that moment, the POS program crashed. There was no reaction no matter how much he touched the screen and it was frozen.
There was an error message on the bug window, which only YongHo could see.
‘Let’s write it down first.’
For dinner, he ate a lunch box someone brought to him(Korean convenience stores sell microwave lunch boxes), and the test only ended when the sky was dark.
It was past 10 o’clock at night.
After numerous tries, he could finally connect. Seo JooShin’s work wasn’t finished so he called YongHo to the second floor of the main building.
‘Is it the same for developers no matter where you go?’
The desk was littered with A4 papers and left-over burgers. The trash can on the floor was full and there were bits of trash around it.
“I only need to do a few things before I finish so please wait a moment.”
Even while he was speaking to YongHo, Seo JooShin’s phone was ringing. Not only that, the phone installed on the office was also ringing.
Seo JooShin pointed at a mobile phone with one hand and looked at YongHo.
“Mr. YongHo, can you get that call?”
The phones died down after it was past 11.
2 people needed to use one room, so YongHo used the same room as Seo JooShin.
“You haven’t even met the people from cooperating companies, have you?”
After unpacking, Seo JooShin took YongHo out. When they went to a sushi restaurant after leaving the motel, there were already some people who took tables and were sitting.
There was no one younger than YongHo. They all looked at least Son SeokHo’s age or more. Seo JooShin had no difficulties handling them.
“Manager, thank you for your hard work today. Please take care of me tomorrow too.”
“Assistant manager Seo has worked hard too. Here, receive one from me.”
Perhaps they worked together for a long time already, but the atmosphere wasn’t awkward at all.
After a few rounds of alcohol, everyone’s face turned bright red. YongHo also was tired, riding the train all the way here and taking the taxi again. Perhaps due to his exhaustion, he didn’t drink a lot before becoming drunk.
An employee from a cooperating company checked that everyone was drunk, and spoke out.
“Assistant manager, then shall we end it here today?”
“Let’s do that.”
When it was past 12, a manager from a cooperating company stood up. Then he took Seo JooShin outside.
YongHo also barely scraped his conscious before following.
It seemed that everything was already paid for, as the owner didn’t block them at all from leaving.
“There is somewhere I know, so let’s go there.”
“I intended to take it easy since it’s the first day……”
Seo JooShin, who blurred the end of his words, also didn’t seem to hate it that much. YongHo who was closing his eyes due to being drunk, also vaguely knew what those two were on about.
YongHo checked his watch on his wrist to check the time.
Then he clicked a few buttons on the side as if the time was wrong. Seo JooShin approached YongHo who was fiddling with his watch.
“Why don’t you come with us, Mr.YongHo?”
Seo JooShin grabbed YongHo’s arm while pulling him towards the car. A car was already waiting on the road.
“Oh, I’m too tired today so I think I will go back first.”
Someone grabbed YongHo’s arm, who used the excuse of ‘I am too tired since I only arrived today’.
It was an employee from a cooperating company.
“Why don’t you come with us, assistant manager Lee? We will be working together in the future. Must you be so distant from us?”
It seemed like it wasn’t the first time this happened as he didn’t pull hard, nor let go easily.
YongHo felt that he would be dragged there if he answered vaguely.
“I’m really tired today. I’m sorry. If I get a hold of myself tomorrow, I will greet you formally then.”
When YongHo kept refusing, the employee from the cooperating company, who was grabbing YongHo’s arm, seemed to think that they will ruin the atmosphere if this went on, let go of the arm.
“Oh, that’s a pity. It will be good to have a good time with you , assistant manager.”
“I’m sorry. I’m too tired today.”
“Yes. It will be good if assistant manager Lee came together with us, but if he’s tired, then there’s no helping it.”
YongHo refused Seo JooShin’s offer to the end, saying he was tired. The employee from the cooperating company also seemed helpless as he called for a taxi and left.
YongHo, who was going back to the residence, had this thought.
‘I’m becoming Gab too, huh…’
Regular chapter 1/3
Uhh… what to say here… YongHo has become assistant manager now, if people didn’t realize already, refer to glossary for the word ‘Gab’…And minor spoiler: Watch out for that watch.
I was so sad because of the comments…. in the last chapter…. (There were some unapproved comments that made me cry). I guess I’m never doing an FAQ again… If you guys want to insult me, then just don’t read… why do you even read if you’re going to insult me? I’m sorry I know Korean which you don’t and I’m sorry my translation quality is horrible, and I’m sorry that you hate me to the point you have to insult me. But please, f*ck off if you want to insult me, in fact, just don’t comment and keep it to yourself. If you keep insulting me, then believe me: I will drop this series. (what keeps me going is the kind commenters and people who participate in the LCD on NUF, Thank you) Why don’t I let this series gather some dust like what happened with God of Cooking? I can get more attention when I resume that way. Also, there are plenty of other novels I like on Munpia and those I’d love to translate. There is already one series I have translated 8 chapters for (Not GoM), and in my opinion, this series is MUCH better than those xuanhuan/xianxias that everyone likes. Besides, this novel isn’t that popular anyway. I have plenty of reasons to drop this series and pick up another one.
…. that was enough ranting (finally, got some steam off my head)… Also, there was some controversy with YongHo’s prize money…. I will explain it here:
The total prize ‘Shinskei Maut’ received was 2 million USD. Which is more than 2 billion KRW. You will know if you have checked the glossary page (the glossary page exists for a reason), but 1 USD = 1150 KRW. So if YongHo has received 1 billion KRW, it is actually less than 1 million USD. However, Korean people just round down 1 USD to 1000 KRW since that’s easier to calculate. In this story, currency conversion I use will be 1:1150 ratio. But Author may use 1:1000. Heck, if you keep going on about this, I will stop converting money, it’s much better for me to stop typing large numbers on the calculator and dividing it by 1150.
Nice reading~ (Let’s not bully the staff in comments, please ^-^)
Translator : Chamber