면접 본 날에 대해서

I haven’t started working yet. I was supposed to start on May 1st but since it was a holiday, they pushed it back to May 5th instead. So for now, I’ll just talk about how I ended up getting this job and my interview.

I was in Manila when my mom told me to text the Korean army who were sent here on an agreement to help out with the restoration of our city and nearby towns. My mom told me to ask them if they can also help with the rebuilding of a school in her hometown and if they can come over to fumigate the town because they were afraid of dengue outbreak. She told me to text them in Korean so that they’d understand. And so I did. (I wish I didn’t. >__< )

Long story short, they asked me if I wanted to work for them as…. *cringes* their interpreter. ㅡ_ㅡ;; *shivers* I rejected it without any hesitation. Muahahahaha! *slapped* I rejected it and even told them I'm not even that good to qualify as an interpeter yet. My Korean skills… well, I still have so many things to learn and I'm only good at reading. I'm not confident when it comes to speaking Korean or conversing face to face. Online chatting is fine. And despite all this, they told me it's fine and give it a try. They said they have 10 Filipino interpreters and none of them knows how to speak Korean. They needed someone who can at least speak even just a little Korean. I told them I really can't. It's scary for someone like me who isn't even fluent and only studies Korean for fun. But they told me to have some confidence in myself. They kept persuading me, telling me that this is my chance to practice and improve my Korean. In the end, I said yes. (You would too if you were in my shoes and they keep texting you almost everyday and your parents keep on telling you to do it. ㅡ_ㅡ;;)

So yeah… I guess it's safe to say that I was forced into this job. (Someone switch places with me please. OTL)

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The day after I arrived from the long roadtrip from Manila, I went to their base camp. I was trembling when I handed them my ID and got my temporary pass. I was told to get in, leaving my friend outside. I was walking towards the container vans (yeah, that's where their office is). I was welcomed by two soldiers and they escorted me to their coordination office. Going inside their office felt like going inside a lion's den. My heart was so beating so fast I thought it would jump out of my chest and run away. Lol. Once I got inside, I was told to sit down. There were four of us in the office: me, Jung, Choi and Lee. (I'm sorry, I forgot what their rank was and I only know their last names. ;;)

And so the 멘붕 started. They started speaking in straight Korean. It was so fast, I did not understand most of it and I just smiled like an idiot. I felt like every word that came out of his mouth were daggers coming at me. I was so scared. They kept on telling me to relax and gave a reassuring smile so I calmed down a bit. I asked them how I should call the soldiers and they jokingly told me to call them 아저씨. ㅋㅋ How can I call them 아저씨 when most of them are around my age. Some of them are even younger than me.

A Filipino soldier entered and they introduced me to him. He asked me in Tagalog if I know Korean and I absentmindedly answered him "네" which brought laughter in the office. I wasn't thinking straight that time. T_T

The Choi guy (lol. I feel so rude calling him that right now. I'm terribly sorry.) took me to their commander's office. There was a conference room with two big flat screens in front. One had Korean news on with no sound and the other had Firefox on. I finally met the commander. I couldn't look straight at him so I couldn't tell if he was pleased to meet me or not. I was looking on the ground while Choi guy and the commander started talking about me. Then outside, Choi guy called Hwang guy and gave him instructions. Hwang guy was told to take me and my friend to the school where they are giving free Korean lessons to elementary and high school kids. My friend and I got on their car. I forgot to return my pass and claim my ID. *facepalm* Hwang guy and the other dude beside him were 2 years older than me. Since I was more relaxed, I was able to converse with them in Korean. After giving us a quick tour of the school, they gave us a ride downtown.

This is turning into a very long entry and it's not making sense anymore. Lol. I'm sorry. I'm typing like crazy, hoping to post this before 3G disappears again. XD

I'll end this post with a story of what happened to my friend who waited for me outside while I was having my interview.

Friend: *waits under the scorching heat*
Korean Soldier: *approaches her with a dead serious face* Are you hot?
Friend: *confused* H-huh..? N-no…
Korean Soldier: If you're hot, you can go inside.
Friend: OHHHHHH! Okay.

Did you get it? ㅋㅋㅋ

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11 Comments

  1. That’s so scary. I think the habit of saying “OMG your Korean is so good” come from the fact that a lot of people don’t study it as a second language. I’ve been clapped at for saying thank you, yes, or hello in Korean.

    Anyway, an amazing job opportunity has seemed to fall right out of the sky. Good for you, seriously. That’s actually pretty lucky considering you haven’t had a job for 3 years and you finally get one with a language you’ve been studying.

      1. Indeed. But if you succeed, your Korean could really improve. Someone told me once they they learned to speak a second language the quickest when they had to.

          1. The same thing happens in Korea believe it or not. Sometimes when I ask a Korean something in perfect Korean they wont understand me initially because they are assuming I must be speaking English to them.

            You have to go out of your way to speak Korean to them as they are not used to encountering foreigners who can.

  2. I wish you the best with the job. 😀 Speaking with and interpreting natives can definitely can be scary, but you’ll learn a lot. I remember when I had a language exchange partner for Japanese and was like “ohgodohgodohgod” when we had to speak Japanese. (It was English for 30 minutes and then Japanese for the other 30.) They seem really patient and encouraging so that’s good.

    1. Language partners are different. They are really nice and would speak slowly so you’d understand. But the soldiers I work with won’t slow down. T^T

  3. omg! how was your experience dealing with the army guys? i find it exciting to talk with koreans but i feel intimidates too because of my poor conversation skills ;;

  4. That was a nice read of what is going on with you but I would also feel the same as you about being asked to be an interpreter when you clearly know you’re not ready and they are just offering it you as an “anything” job,

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