Imagine the Truth

Min-Ju Kiml승인2009.05.06l0호

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A few days ago, a man visited my home to change our phone. After he finished setting up the new phone, he said, "Our company will call you in a few days and they may ask you if you were satisfied with the service I provided." He asked me to please answer that I was "very satisfied" with him, and that if not enough clients answered that they were "very satisfied", they would cut his salary. I couldn't understand the reason why companies would cut their employees salaries based on these kind of after service calls. I also wondered why the service personnel were so nervous about these calls if they were discharging their duties well. I was shocked that these calls to investigate their customer's satisfaction were mere fakes. I also got angry that the victims of the companies lies are the frontline staff members who deal with the public everyday. After long contemplation I asked myself the inevitable question; what is really true? and what is false?

In order to help the youth in Korea, the government is trying to develop internship and job sharing programs. However, in order to enter many of these programs there is also a tricky questionnaire survey that must be completed. This survey is designed to find out applicants opinion about the companies involved in the program. In order to procure an entry level position many new recruits are asked to take low starting salaries. This is a nation full of high-ranking officials who enrich themselves and low level workers who are forced to tighten their belts. I don't want to believe that the reality we live in has to be the inevitable truth. Can we change the inequities of the world by ourselves? University students are not always energetic or involved. Nowadays, there are very real burdens for university students to deal with such as finding a job. Making the world a healthier place to live and fighting all social injustices seems like too heavy a burden for us. However, we must realize, if not us who? If not now when?

 

 

Remembering a Friend and Colleague

 

On 4th April, marked the first anniversary of the tragic death of my good friend and colleague, Frank Callaghan. For those of you who never knew him, he was a distinguished teacher here at Yeungnam University, a very fine writer and editor, draftsman, self-taught musician, humorist, and devoted husband and father. I still can't believe he's gone.

The advent of spring on our campus is breathtakingly beautiful and nobody ever appreciated it more than Frank. Despite the fact that he was one of the rough, tough lads from Liverpool, he had a keen aesthetic sense.

On that day, I wrote in my diary, "Today is about the most perfect day one can imagine. The cherry trees on campus are splendid. The weather is clear and sunny and it could not be more beautiful." And on that day, he mounted his powerful BMW and rode slowly up the cherry-lined hill just southwest of the FLI(Foreign Language Institute), to keep his final date with destiny.

I miss the Sunday morning coffees at his house, his quoting of "Hamlet" on the veranda at La Cantina, his wonderful advice when I asked for it, our playing football with his daughter on Saturdays when she was supposed to be in school and the quiet times when no words were necessary. A good friend he was, and still is.

In a day or two, I will leave the FLI and walk down past the Mirror Pond and up the same cherry-blossomed road to meet my good friend, Frank. I know he will be waiting for me. We'll greet each other warmly and I'll clap him enthusiastically on the back as we continue our short journey up the hill. We'll talk of battles won and lost, the many songs we have sung, the good old days, and the way it used to be in spring.

- His good friend Jack Everton -


Min-Ju Kim  voguekim@ynu.ac.kr
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