Saturday, March 21, 2009

Childish Rant

Okay, so bear with me...I'm going to have a fairly childish rant session, but I need to get it out of my system.

I'm the youngest member of my team, which consists of two people. My co-worker, Ji Won, is three years older than me and has been working at my company about four months longer than me. When I first started at my company, we became good friends and she acted like my personal translator and helped me out. I thought she was really nice and a sweet girl, albeit a bit naive for someone who is 28 years old.

However, over the passed few months, Ji Won has morphed into a power trip psycho, it seems. I understand that I make mistakes and they need to be corrected. However, Ji Won tends to yell at me and degrade me over these mistakes. She often says things like "I don't want to have to tell you again." or "Why can't you just double check everything," and "When you make mistakes, Mr. Ahn yells at me." On Friday, she went as far as to say, "When you make the same mistakes over and over again, it speaks about your ability."

Of course, about five minutes after these exchanges, she's smiling and trying to act like my best friend.

What she doesn't realize is that by yelling at me all time, it actually has the opposite effect. Instead of inciting me to do better work, I just get angry, stressed and end up making even more mistakes.

On Friday, I tried to talk to her about this and suggest using a more constructive approach to criticism, but she unfortunately jumped to the wrong conclusion and thought I was telling her to quit correcting me. She refused to listen or understand me and then basically said, "I'm your senior. It's my right."

This pissed me off. I know I'm still learning Korean business culture and Korean PR, but damnit, I've studied PR. I did a year-long PR internship. I know how to write a press release and put together a press kit. I've worked many different jobs, all of which have given me applicable experience for this kind of work. I know I'm smart, a hard worker and capable of doing well at anything I set my mind to. And little miss senior has never worked in PR before and didn't major in PR. This is her second "real" job. But she thinks that just because I'm young and she went to uni in Australia for four years, she is the shit and master of the universe. All the while, she keeps asking me how we should do things and passing on all the work that she doesn't know how to do to me.

Though the clincher is, Ji Won has thyroid cancer. She had surgery in December to remove a tumor and will have one treatment of radiation in April. Though, it's not fatal and completely treatable. And thyroid cancer seems to be quite common among women. Unlike most of the people I've known with cancer, Ji Won is always complaining about how tired she is and how stressful her job is and how her mother said she didn't have to work. But to everyone else in the office, she just smiles and acts like nothing is wrong. And then tells me that she doesn't want people to show her sympathy when all of her actions are screaming "Pity me!" These kind of people disgust me. And it doesn't help that she's also the office gossip (and admitted to saying things about me to my other co-workers). On Friday she told me, "I know I'm always smiling, but I'm really tired, so please help me." Heh, she wants me to help her when she can't even treat me with a modicum of respect?

I've met children with terminal cancer who never complained about being tired. I've known women with Lupus who were incredibly optimistic and never said," I don't want people to pity me." They lived their lives as normally as possible and never blamed their shortfalls on their illness.

Ji Won comes from a fairly well-off family, from what I take, and doesn't seem to know what it's like to be completely independent or how to start at the bottom and work your way up. She thinks that she can glide up there. I find it very difficult to respect people like this.

Ugh, I know I complain about this way too often, but it just frustrates me because nothing I try seems to work to make the situation better. I try to just sit there and take it, but I get so angry that I end up talking back to her. I try to talk to her and she doesn't understand. My job is great and I'm finally getting along really well with all my other co-workers, but it's just this one person who can make work miserable in a span of two minutes.

I can't talk to my boss about her, because he often babies her since she's sick and puts off this "I'm helpless and innocent" kind of persona. And I can't talk to any of my co-workers about it because they would all think that I'm the big bad guy because I'm the outsider and the foreigner.

Oi...I really hope she just quits...according to her she can get a job like this anywhere...

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