Gun-Ho came back to the office without mailing the certification of contents.
“Did you already mail it out?”
The owner was dozing off and then woke up when Gun-Ho entered the office.
“Um, I came back to pick up my cell phone. I left it in the office.”
The owner looked uncomfortable; he walked out of the office.
“Let’s get the two missing pages of the certification of contents before he comes back.”
Gun-Ho printed out two additional pages of the certification of contents. Gun-Ho hastened to drive to the post office. When he arrived at the post office, this time a foreigner with dark skin was mailing something before Gun-Ho. When it was Gun-Ho’s turn, he handed over three pages of certification of contents to the clerk. The clerk carefully looked through the certification.
“You missed the stamp. The stamp of the sender.”
Gun-Ho thought ‘darn it.’ The sender of the certification of contents was the owner of the company, but his signature or stamp was missing. Gun-Ho should have at least stamped with a wooden stamp. Gun-Ho, as a bookkeeper, had the company owner’s wooden stamp.
“Oh okay. I will be right back.”
The clerk lifted her head again.
“When you stamp the certification, you have to do the covering stamping as well.”
“Okay. I will do that.”
Gun-Ho felt embarrassed while taking those three pages of certification of contents back.
“That clerk lady probably thought I was very stupid.”
When Gun-Ho turned around, the clerk added, “If you are not the sender, you have to prepare the power of attorney. You can find the form over there.”
Gun-Ho felt embarrassed again. He quickly took the power of attorney form and headed outside. He looked back at the post office and said, “Bitch, she should have told me earlier instead of making me come here three times. F*ck!”
When Gun-Ho arrived at the office, the owner stood up from his seat and grabbed his tools; he must have been waiting for Gun-Ho to come back.
“Are you on your way out for gas pipe repairing?”
“Stay in the office.”
Gun-Ho felt relieved when the owner went out of the office. He quickly took out the owner’s wooden stamp from his drawer and stamped on the sender section in the certification of contents. He, then, did the covering stamping, and prepared the power of attorney and stamped on it as well. Gun-Ho made sure the owner’s car had left before he headed to the post office hastily.
“We are just closed for today.”
The post office clerk told Gun-Ho as she was standing up from her seat. Gun-Ho was perplexed.
“Please do this for me. I came here three times already for this today”
The clerk hesitated, and then went back to her seat.
“Bring it to me quickly.”
The clerk took a look at the certification of contents and then stamped on it with a hammer-like stamp. She, then, gave one of three pages back to Gun-Ho.
“Thank you. Thank you.”
Gun-Ho bowed to the clerk deeply low as if he wanted to touch the ground with his head. He felt a great sense of relief. Gun-Ho again found himself humming on the way back to the office from the post office.
“This is one of the ways to learn.”
It had been over six months since he started working as a bookkeeper at Bangil Gas.
“Cosmos flowers are in blossom.”
Time didn’t cheat people.
“Come to think of it. It has been exactly one year since I met Chairman Lee.”
The Cosmos flowers just blossomed when Gun-Ho saw Chairman Lee at the Pocheon fishing site for the first time.
“I became proficient at my job here. Maybe I should look for a new job?”
Gun-Ho wanted to work in a bigger company where he could get real work experience in bookkeeping. He opened WorkNet website to see if there was an opening for a bookkeeper position.
“What should I tell the owner and his wife? I feel kind of sorry to them. Well, they can find someone else.”
Thinking about quitting the current job and getting a new job, Gun-Ho gazed at the Cosmos flowers outside the window.
“Oh, maybe I want to go to the Pocheon fishing site this weekend. I am wondering what Chairman Lee would say if I tell him I am working as a bookkeeper.”
Gun-Ho called Jong-Suk. Jong-Suk was working in a freezing machine manufacturing company to gain work experience. Gun-Ho was told that Jong-Suk joined the maintenance team there as an assistant. Jong-Suk’s phone kept ringing for a while with no answer.
“He must be tied up at work. He probably doesn’t even have time to pick up his phone.”
Twenty minutes after Gun-Ho hung up the phone, Jong-Suk called him.
“Uh, bro. Why did you call?”
“Why didn’t you pick up my call?”
“I was repairing a compressor.”
“You can fix a compressor?”
“No. I was just assisting the team leader in repairing it.”
“Hey, you wanna go fishing to Pochun this weekend?”
“Yeah. It has been one year since we didn’t go there.”
“Our team leader’s daughter is getting married this weekend. I gotta go there. Everyone at the factory goes.”
“Really? Okay, maybe later then.”
After getting off the phone, Gun-Ho wanted to go fishing even more, and he also wondered how Chairman Lee was doing. Gun-Ho wanted to let Chairman Lee know he was working in a bookkeeping job.
“I will go fishing by myself this weekend. I have nothing to do anyway.”
Gun-Ho headed to the Pochun fishing site that weekend. It was a long drive, passing by Sanbuk Town. The fishing site was a reservoir far from Seoul and not very known to people, so not many people came to the site
“Cosmos flowers are in full blossom here too. It had been exactly a year.”
Gun-Ho looked around to see if Chairman Lee was there.
“He used to come here every weekend. I don’t see him today though.”
Gun-Ho attached a plastic fishing float to the fishing line and started lure fishing.
“Fishes are not biting today. Did they all run away knowing I am here?”
Gun-Ho moved halfway around the reservoir, reeling his lure back in and casting into the water repeatedly.
“I’ve got a bite.”
Gun-Ho hoisted the flapping fish to the surface. It was a palm-sized bass.
“It’s small fry.”
Gun-Ho was thinking of letting it go, but he, instead, tossed it to the grass because he remembered bass eat native Korean fish and they could be a threat to the species.
“After one or two hours later, the sun will go down, and the fish will start biting, but I will just go home now.”
It was not fun fishing by himself; Gun-Ho retrieved the fishing rod, and sat on a rock and started looking at his smartphone. He checked if there was any new message, and then opened the WorkNet website. There was one job advertisement that drew his attention.
“Hiring a bookkeeper. No experience necessary. For a male applicant, completed military service is required. Having own car is a plus.”
The advertisement mentioned about the completed military service. This meant they were accepting male applicants. Gun-Ho got goosebumps.
“Where is this place? Wow, it’s far. It is in Asan City (“Asan”), Chungnam Province (“Chungnma”).”
He had to move if he decided to work in Asan, Chungnam. He only paid one month’s rent as a security deposit for the current room, so it was not a big deal.
“They prefer someone who owns a car, meaning their location is not easy to access without a car.”
Most of the factories Gun-Ho had worked for were located in an isolated area. Their locations were hard to reach by public transit. Since many small companies with less than 20 employees did not provide a commuter shuttle, they preferred workers with their own cars. Many factory workers had to possess even a rusty vehicle to go to work.
Some foreign workers owned a car with rattling noise. Vietnamese female workers usually drove a motorcycle to commute.
“It was an excellent decision I made to buy a car when I worked for the factory in Hwaseung. Nowadays, people can buy even a used car on an installment plan, which is nice. It is also nice that even the people with bad credit can buy a car if they have a job.”
Gun-Ho purchased the car when he was working as an injection molding worker in a plastic factory in Hwaseong. He used to miss a bus that came to the bus station once per hour when he didn’t have a car. This is why he purchased a 2006 AventeXD for 3,000,000 won. There were 13,000 kilometers on it at that time. He had several small accidents with that car, in the beginning, so he couldn’t save money because he had to spend fixing the car. However, he didn’t have any car accident afterward.