I decided to write a post about the meeting between me and this senior manager, which I mentioned here because it deserves a posting.
Now, the sr. manager is not an evil, ill-willed person. Thing is, she is narrow-sighted and judgmental. And she talks a lot, without thinking. Not the best combination. Sometimes, it’s almost like her toungue and mind are directly connected and there is no filter between them. She often sucks at explaining. There are several times when I was listening to her Korean explanation because I asked something, and I couldn’t help thinking “wait…why am I not understanding this? This is Korean explanation?”
For instance, I once had a lunch with her and we started to talk about the national health insurance reformation (Korean). She simply said “Doctors, nurses, and hospitals are complaining because they are greedy.” Having several doctor and nurse friends, I almost lost it. Even if I don’t have such friends, you probably shouldn’t form such a judgmental opinion without researching and studying both sides’ argument. Oh, but wait, this is an age of cyberbullying. What am I talking about…
Anyway, after that busy post-chuseok chaos, as I said, she called me to a meeting and said I’m probably not suitable for the communication managemet (hurrah!). Now, the ideal meeting would have discussed just the sr. manager’s impression, a thing or two about the job, how I feel about the new task, and what we are going to do about it. Well of course this meeting would be more than that. So here are some of her comments.
– I don’t think you have what it takes to do the job.
–> In this particular situation, hurrah! But really, I think it’s ridiculous to judge someone’s ability only after two days of doing the job, especially when the job is new to the person and that two days were extra-busy days.
– You can’t take the job like a half-way task. It’s going to take one year for me to finishing teaching the skills for the job, and I can’t commit myself unless you really take yourself as a full member of this team.
–> Um, ok, but let’s not forget that (1) I still officially belong to another team and (2) I am still doing that another team’s job, like full time. Why should I expected to be a full member of another team in this situation?
– Everyone in my team reviews like you do, and also manages and tracks the communications.
–> Alright…IMO that’s probably not true, and if that is true, then why did this company hire me? If what she says is true, then they probably didn’t need me. Personally, I frigging hate it when Koreans say “but you are not the only one suffering! Bear it!”
– *She brought up what sort of clarified the complaint about my work. First, I really don’t know why she brought it up. Second, are you trying to intimidate me? For what?
– To be honest, I feel uncomfortable teaching you the new skills because you went to graduate school.
–> ??? Okay…but you knew my specification and if you thought so, you probably had to re-think giving me another task and maybe decline it. And you expect me to be a full member of the team?? Like hello?
– I hope I didn’t make you feel bad.
–> Well that’s something you probably need to worry/think before the meeting…or as you talk. All you did was just pouring out when there is an imbalance of right to speak, to someone who has less power.
I totally respect her dedication to work and her skill. But at the same time, I feel like she’s someone who has been in a very small circle and kept running in it, it just became the only world she knows. And she is expecting the same to everyone else, when not everyone is like her. Which is pretty typical of Korean bosses.
If someone is learning a new thing, it has to be done in a baby step, preferably with a guide and enough time. A lot of things in life can be learned by doing this. Of course there are geniuses who just gets it and improves so much faster than all others. But honestly, how many of such people are in this earth? What’s the percentage? We weren’t born with all the high-level skills. However, many – especially Korean organizations – forget it.