So while I am struggling with the endless battle with LSAT, my friend called me about a possible part-time position. I was not too keen on it, but hey, at least someone thought of me and that is a terribly nice gesture. And earning a few more wons won’t hurt me, right?
Friend: Well, they are looking for a native speaker, or “foreigner” for the position.
Ceberus: What? For the English-Korean translation part-time position?
Ceberus: That. is. insane.
Friend: I know! I told them they won’t be able to find a “foreigner” with a good-enough control on English and Korean. But as I heard about the position, I thought of you. You grew up in the States, speak good English and Korean, right?
Ceberus: Yeah I guess so. So should I write to this person in English of in Korean?
Friend: Er…both? ‘Cause that shows you are good at both languages?
Ceberus: Er…I’ll just write in English, since you said they want a “foreigner.” You know it always helps to be foreigner in Korea, as much as you can.
Friend: AH, TRUE.
There goes my resume. Which clearly shows my extensive experience on dealing with foreigners, foreign documents. And I have seperate block for my freelance translation/interpretation.
Oh, and my friend did not have a clear idea about job description (after all, the job wasn’t for her company – it was for her client company), so I also asked them to give me a job description.
The job description never came, nor the reply. Naturally, I thought the position is bygone. Well, as I munch down my lunch today, my cell rang. It was the company.
Company: Thanks for the resume. But we are looking for the foreigner, I mean, native speaker for the position. I think there was some kind of misunderstanding. And you are Korean, so unfortunately, we believe you are not the best match for our position.
And then “we hope to see you again if there is another opportunity” blah blah shit. Yeah thanks whatever. Oh and I never thought being a “foreigner” matters that much in terms of job performance. I didn’t even bother to argue, since my friend already said that they are looking for a “foreigner,” and I am very well aware of Korean (Asian in general) companies’ fantasy on having a foreigner in their office. Oftentimes, it’s usually a white person from North America. Never mind that there might be some other Korean who speaks better English AND Korean than that person – it looks cool, who cares? But if they are really looking for a “foreigner” who can actually translate Korean – English, I say their chance is really, really slim.
It reminds me of how I wanted to join FBI, CIA or MI-5 back in the old days. The things looked good, because many of these organizations are always short in people speaking good East Asian language. I happen to speak 2 East Asian languages quite fluently, and my educational background is a good match. However I had to give it up quickly. All of them were only accepting US citizens and UK citizens. No surprise, they are still short in people who can do that.
It’s not my first time, nor this is something that happens only in Korea. Maybe there was a miscommunication. Nevertheless I hate this bullshit.