“I wonder what kind of company this is.”
Gun-Ho was heading to Asan for the job interview, filled with expectations and worries.
“What kind of person is the owner? Would he be a power-trip type of person?”
His car was making loud noises while he was driving because he didn’t get the muffler fixed yet.
He was passing a town called Yuyangg when he stopped to put some gas in his car before continuing his trip.
“It will be a long trip to Asan. I’d better fill up the tank!”
After he filled his car, Gun-Ho opened Ole navigation application on his smartphone.
“So the company is located at Dunpo Town, Asan City. Let me enter the destination to the app. Uh? It’s not that far. It’s close to Cheonan City? I will stop by the rest area; I left home so early this morning I didn’t have a chance to have breakfast. I think I have time to eat a udong (a noodle soup) and drink a cup of coffee.”
Gun-Ho passed Yangju City Hall and entered the automobile-only road.
“It is nice to see not many cars here because it is still early morning.”
Gun-Ho’s old Avante well passed Uijeongbu IC, making a rattling noise and headed to Namyangju City.
“So many toll roads on the way. F*uck!”
Gun-Ho entered Gyeongbu Highway from Pangyo after passing Han River Bridge.
“Is this Pangyo? Byung-Tae Hwang who was ranked number one in my class is working in a research facility somewhere here in Pangyo. That dude graduated from KAIST. Of course, he seems to be doing very well as expected.”
Gun-Ho had a udong at Giheung Rest Area and a coffee from a vending machine. He, then, called into work with the excuse he made up.
“Boss? I’m Goo Jooim. My father in Incheon got sick and I have to take him to a hospital. I will come to work this afternoon.”
“Your father? Is it serious?”
“I am not sure. He has a severe stomach ache and keeps throwing up.”
“Really? Don’t worry about work. Take care of your father.”
“Thank you, boss.”
Gun-Ho felt sorry to the owner. He hung up the phone and continued driving. Following the direction of the navigation application, Gun-Ho got out of the North-Cheonan IC and continued driving on the national highway.
“There is the sign for Dunpo Town!”
Gun-Ho expected a small town in the countryside. However, what he saw was a large industrial park.
“What is this? Asan Techno Valley? Wow. It looks amazing.”
All factories in Asan Techno Valley were either large or at least middle-sized companies. They were huge.
“YS Tech which I am heading to is not far from here. Only 8 kilometers more to go. Uh? Where is this? Oh, this is Dunpo Town. I see a Lotteria; it must be larger than Gwangjeok Town, Yangju City. If I pass the interview successfully today, I will have to find a room in this area, won’t I?”
Gun-Ho found the YS Tech factory which he had a job interview for in Shinbong Town after passing Dunpo Town.
“Hmm… Its appearance is not bad at all. It’s still ten past nine. The interview time is 10, so I have plenty of time before the interview. Should I look around Dunpo Town? Maybe not. I don’t want to risk being late for the interview. I will just take a nap or listen to music in my car.”
Gun-Ho tried to take a nap in his car after parking it in front of a community hall, but he couldn’t sleep. He played with his smartphone and listened to music to pass the time.
“It’s twenty to ten. Let me head out to the interview place.”
Gun-Ho was thinking of driving into the factory, but instead, he parked along the factory wall as he saw lots of cars did the same. There was a security office next to the main entrance, but he didn’t see a security officer there. At that moment, Gun-Ho saw a person in a uniform passing by the road. He asked where he could find a conference room. The man indicated a two-floor red brick building. Gun-Ho walked to the second floor. There was an interview room sign on the door of the conference room.
Gun-Ho entered the room. There were seven to eight people sitting in the room. He could tell by looking at them that they were all there for an interview. When Gun-Ho entered into the room, everyone glanced at him quickly and then kept focusing on their smartphones.
“Is everyone here?”
A lady in her mid-40’s came out to the front and said, “Hello everyone. I am a manager at YS Tech. We will start the interview in a moment. You will have the interview with our president in the next room. Three persons will enter the room at once. Once your name is called, please come forward and sit on one of the front seats.”
Gun-Ho looked around; most of the people were female, and there were two other males. As soon as the clock struck 10, the lady called three people’s names. Gun-Ho was in the second group. It took about twenty minutes for the first group to complete the interview. Gun-Ho went to the interview room with two other candidates.
“Ji-Hae Choi, Hwa-Young Kim, and Gun-Ho Goo, please come with me.”
Gun-Ho and two other candidates entered the room together. There was a man in his late 40’s sitting at the table; the T-shirt under his suit jacket was colorful. The manager lady entered the room along with the candidates and sat next to him.
“This is our president.”
The interviewer was the president. Gun-Ho looked at his face thoroughly.
“Wow, he is amazingly handsome. He looks like a TV celebrity.”
The president was not only handsome, but he was also dressed sophisticated and chic. The president didn’t say anything; he was just looking at the file the manager handed to him. He, then, raised his head and asked the candidate sitting in the first chair.
“Ms. Ji-Hae Choi, are you married?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Then how do you take care of your child while you are at work?”
“My mother is living close to mine, and she helps me a lot to take care of my child.”
“Ms. Hwa-Young Kim. You graduated school this year?”
“Yes, I did.”
Gun-Ho turned his head to look at her. She looked younger than 20 years old, but her face was covered with a thick layer of makeup with long eyelashes and red lipstick.
“Did you graduate from Cheonan Women’s Commercial High School?”
“It’s Information Technology High School.”
The president continued looking at the file. He didn’t ask about any certificates or other qualifications at all.
“What does your father do for a living?”
“He is working in an elementary school administration.”
The president glanced at all three candidates, then looked at the file again.
“Mr. Gun-Ho Goo, are you currently working at Bangil Gas?”
“Yes, I have to move to Cheonan for personal reasons, so I will soon resign from the company.”
The president didn’t ask why Gun-Ho had to move to Cheonan.
“Did you complete your military service?”
“Yes, I had fully completed the military service.”
“Hmmm… Ok. This is it. You can all leave the room. Next group.”
The president asked a few simple questions and then called the next group in. Gun-Ho thought the interview was too short and simple.
The next group entered the room. There were eight interviewees in total, so the last group consisted of two candidates. That group took about twenty minutes for the interview as well. After all candidates were interviewed, the manager came out of the interview room and said with a broad smile on her face, “Thank you all for coming today. It would be really nice if we could hire all of you, but we only have one open position. It will be a difficult decision for us. We will contact you by next Tuesday at the 10th. Please take these envelopes with you. These are from our president appreciating your time to come here, hoping to help your transportation expense for today’s interview.”
The manager distributed a white envelope to each candidate.
“I came this far but didn’t do much for the interview. Do they have someone already for the position in their mind?”
Gun-Ho suspected. Giving the money for the transportation cost to the candidates was a sensible move, Gun-Ho thought.
Gun-Ho headed back to Yangju City. He opened the white envelope in his car; there was 30,000 won in it.