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I'm surprised that e-mail is still being circulated. It's a classic example of how to sink your career and I remember after I graduated college that was making the rounds and everyone was having a laugh at it. Also, don't trust people with stuff like that in your workplace.
Are we taking into consideration the size of the place and location? Korea is a big country, and you often hear people on this forum talk about the difference between 1st tier, 2nd tier and 3rd tier cities. I was in Suwon City, and only went to Seoul a few times for food and fun. That has to play a large role in the treatment different foreigners get, wouldn't you think?
“b***y is so strong that there are dudes willing to blow themselves up for the highly unlikely possibility of b***y in another dimension." -- Joe Rogan
I don't think its been circulated for a long time. But, it certainly still occupies a spot of cyberspace and can easily be found by anyone who Googles Peter Chung or words connected to the specific incident.
I remember when that email came-out, a lot of discussion threads were written around it. One involved a female undergrad student at Brown Uni who had been busted along with a friend for seeking 'generous gentlemen' in the classifieds of a local newspaper. Of course that story got covered by the local press and both the school and she and her friend were shamed. I think she still graduated but her rep was ruined so she had no hopes of finding a professional job right out of school.
But she was still young and this was back in the mid-80s. She decided to disappear for awhile to let memories fade. She went to Taiwan which was still pretty much a backwater back then, got a job at some local financial institution, and learned Mandarin Chinese to a very high level. Fast forward to the mid-90s. She returns to the States to pursue an MBA, graduates in late 90s and guess what? China just happens to be white hot and her language skills + Asian experience coupled with MBA are in high demand. She lands a big job at a bulge bracked Wall St. Bank which plans to train her up and send her out to China. Everything is looking great. The shit that happened in college is ancient history by now, all in the deep past. She was young and naive. And anyway, she hid-out in Taiwan for nearly a decade, plenty of time for the memory to fade into oblivion. But no. Within a month, a Brown grad at the NY office were she was training recognized her name, did a bit if checking, and brought her past to the attention of the firm. She was out on her ass the next day. The last thing any big bank or company wants is association with any sort of scandal.
Poor girl. Just 1 stupid decision, email, or social network posting, even when you are very young, can compromise your entire future. And once something makes it into cyberspace, it will probably remain there for the rest of your life.
The ironic thing about the good ole' boy's clubs (wall street, politics, law firms, etc..) is that the higher you worm your way in the more insulated you become from regular everyday accountability. You see scumbags like Angelo R. Mozilo the former founder of Countrywide stealing millions and cashing out while getting away scott free. Some even move on bankrupting different companies like parasites while raking in millions in stock options.
Now you have these little office/executive worker drones getting canned in a heartbeat for saying stupid (but relatively harmless) things.
Apparently stalking foreigners is somewhat common in South Korea. Two years ago I used to read a blog written by a young Scottish guy living in Seoul. The blog basically covered his day to day life in Seoul - both the good and the bad. If I remember correctly, he only lived in South Korea for about 1-2 years. Eventually, he started writing about how some Korean guys were stalking, harassing, and threatening him. He said that sometimes they would even show up at his apartment with baseball bats.
He believed the men were stalking him because of the negative things he said about South Korea in his blog. I read a lot of his blog, and I didn't think what he wrote was really even that bad - certainly not bad enough to receive death threats! Eventually he had to leave South Korea and move to China because he felt like his life was in danger. His blog was very interesting, but I assume it has been deleted permanently (maybe for his own safety?). I searched high and low all over the internet so I could post a link of it here, but I can't find it anywhere.
My advice is to keep a low profile if you're a foreigner living in South Korea. And if you want to write a blog while living there, you certainly shouldn't make it available to the general public.
Koreans can be shy around "strangers." This includes other Koreans. While teaching at a provincial university, I (male wasp) would invite my students to go with me to events (dinners, parties etc.) where there would be other Korean students from the same university. Well, many was the time that the kids deferred - because they didn't know the other students. ( If I just said they'd be doing some-thing with me with-out mentioning that there would be other Koreans there, it was never a problem of their being shy.) And when the students got to the affairs, many of them would "cling" to me to "protect" them, which could be pretty funny if two Koreans are both trying to do this because of each other, with the waegooki in the middle. (By the way, I would probably be the same way on a lesser scale in an analogous situation, so even though I find it funny and frustrating, I can empathize.)
Totally agree with this post. I worked in Seoul for a year and 1 black girl I knew was very well treated by Koreans becasue partially her personality but also being female, she was no threat to steal a Korean girl from her Daddy...she was kind of a pet to them.
Most of the American guys that stayed there awhile had secret Korean gf's. You gotta be patient, work on your game, and reailze they are going to be harassed if they're seen with you.
Imagination is more important than knowledge. - Albert Einstein
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