Desk Warming, Day 3

I attended lunch with the staff and ate as fast as I could. And yet somehow, they ate even faster.

“Koreans eat really quickly” one explained as I nearly dribbled water over myself in their haste. We left for the restaurant at 11:50 and exited the restaurant at 12:06. That includes walking there, waiting for the food, and eating.

Y’all. That’s sixteen minutes TOTAL.

He lied. I have never eaten with or near Koreans who scarf down hot rice and boiling soup in under 8 minutes. Plus Korean food is not calorically dense so more bites are required (rice, soup, fish on the bone, side dishes for the rice). And even during the school year we use our entire lunch time to eat and wait for everyone to finish before getting up from the table.

At least I managed to finish almost half my rice this time before they started to get up from the table. And to be fair, you do feel fuller when you’ve shoved down 400 burning calories so quickly that you end up with indigestion.

I don’t know why they’re in a rush but I’m signing out of it. In protest I decided to take my alloted additional 40 minutes and wander around while talking with a friend on Kakao video. I saw several of my students: “am I pretty” with her mother, their hair is dyed the same color, a sassy grade 4 boy, the same I saw at our celebratory final lunch, that bowed to me across the street, and a grade 6 girl who told me she was en route to ride bicycles with her friend. The same pleasant older man who I still don’t know passed me outside the school gates and said hello. I’d eat with him.

I returned at exactly 12:50 but heard mumbling about me being gone for an hour. Don’t like it? Talk to my supervisor.

Maybe they don’t know my schedule but if they had asked I would have just told them “eating so fast gave me indigestion so I had to take a walk”. I even planned it in my head: 빨리 막으니까 배가 아픈데 산책을 해야 됐어요.

Originally I was going to be in the other makeshift office with the main office ladies but the space was too small. I passed them on the stairs and they said bye Abigail! I wish I was cramped with them instead of the strange bunch on floor one.

In the morning the VP came in and told me “every hour you should take a break for ten minutes”. And either his English has miraculously improved or he memorizes a sentence before talking to me. I appreciate that but where would I take this break sir? We’re in the parking deck/auditorium building and it’s 20 degrees F outside…

This strange group and the constant sitting are an excellent reminder of why I don’t work well in corporate.

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