Friday, 1 August 2008

Are you satisfied with 24 to 25 billion won profit a year? (or) Coffee's For Closers

Last month, everyone in the staff-room receieved a letter from the owner of our school in what must be an idea to improve standards or something. When I think of motivational techniques, I prefer to think of this from Glengarry Glen Ross

I have read over this a few times and I'd love to think it's a late April Fools day gag but it isn't. I re-typed the letter to prove to myself that I wasn't daydreaming at work...

Dear M******** Family
How have you been? How are you doing in these hot summer days? I feel really sorry whenever I see people losing their patience. Nowadays, people in the city can't stand sweating even a little bit. Summer is supposed to be hot and we are supposed to sweat. But air conditioners are on everywhere and they block our sweat pores. This is why we get sick so often. (We lose patience and become weaker.)
Recently, local newspapers have been writing about me, about which I hear a lot of comments. This is why I decided to write to you guys.

For CEO's who own one or two academies, M******** is HUGE. But I do not have time to compare my academies with those little academies. Tunton English schools and Yoon's English, Si-sa, Kumon, etc... There are a lot of bigger English Education companies that make over several hundreds billion won of profit every year.

My question is this. Can we catch up with them? Are we ready? I'm asking you this because it's not a battle between us and them, it's a battle in ourselves. Now is the important moment to look back at ourselves and see if we have it in us. Is this what we want? Are you satisfied with 24 to 25 billion won profit a year and being compensated accordingly? Please don't say "yes."

My dear family! We have a long journey to travel. That journey could be boring, tough, and irritating. But we must keep going. we must enjoy the journey. We, M******** people can do it. I can promise you something. Our company may not become the largest in Korea, but I assure you that it will be the best at compensating employees. But can I do it all alone? No. We all have to do it TOGETHER.

So my dear family, let's keep our eyes open and make people think that M******** is different. Good luck to all of us again! CEO M********

I particularly 'enjoy' the line where the owner ask us if we are satisfied about how much money he makes per year. All the foreigners in the office read in disbelief at this, laughed and poured scorn over this bizarre letter, but none of the Korean staff joined in with us or even seemed to acknowledge it ever happened.

Towing the party line is the done thing here for Korean employees and anything else seemingly isn't socially acceptable. The boss is never wrong, you are indebted to them for employing you (in public that is) and losing face must never happen. Whilst i'm pretty certain most of the Koreans felt the same way as the rest of us, it would have been nice to hear one of them to admit it even in private.

Maybe "3rd prize is you're fired" would have been better...

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