The new year began.
The course at Advanced Center for Administrative Development in Seoul National University began as well. Gun-Ho went to the classes with Attorney Young-Jin Kim. A lot of luxurious cars were found in the university parking lot whenever those classes were held.
On the first day of the course, the course takers went around the table and introduced themselves to the class.
Most of them were high-ranking government officials. Also, many people from a legal profession participated in the course. In addition, there were two general officers and three businessmen. Twenty professors would participate in the program in giving lectures. The high-ranking government officials seem to know each other; they conversed and made jokes within their circle. On the other hand, the businessmen including Gun-Ho stayed quiet.
"How come I don't see Minister xxx? Is he not taking the course?"
"Yeah, he is extremely busy these days."
"What about the guy who moved from the Blue House to the National Assembly?"
While listening to the conversation between those high-ranking government officials, Gun-Ho thought of his high school days in Bucheon City.
'The Minister person reminds me of Won-Chul Jo who is working in a large company as a manager. And, the college president person over there who is wearing gold metal frame glasses looked like Byeong-Chul Hwang who is working at some research center. The congressman person with a murky voice over there reminds me of Suk-Ho Lee; he looked like him too.'
Gun-Ho looked around.
'The dorky Gun-Ho in high school is still a dork in this group as well.'
The lecture was impressive as the university was the no. 1 college in the country. Gun-Ho was also amazed by other attendees; they all seemed to be a great speaker except Gun-Ho himself. The lecture was somewhat useful since they mostly talked about the current international trend and the economy. The thing was though that the topic was not directly related to running a business.
Gun-Ho didn't actively socialize with his classmates like a minister or a congressman. They were a lot older than him, and they didn't seem to care about the mid-size business owners. Gun-Ho talked with Attorney Young-Jin Kim most of the time.
On the second day of the course, someone approached Gun-Ho. He was the minister who was sitting behind Gun-Ho.
"When you introduced yourself to the class on our first day, you said you are running a business. What kind of business do you have?"
"It's a manufacturing company of automobile parts."
"Are you supplying the parts to Hyundai as well?"
"Yes, sort of, not directly though. We are a 1.5 vendor to them."
Maybe it was just Gun-Ho, but he felt like he saw the minister smiling sarcastically.
"How much sales revenue is your company generating?"
"We made 80 billion won last year."
"Is it registered with KOSDAQ?"
"We are in the process of preparing for it."
"Have you applied for the preliminary examination?"
"No, we haven't yet."
"Hmm. I know the governor in Financial Supervisory Service. We went to college together. He was a junior to me. Well, we passed the bar exam together as well. Hmm."
The minister was bragging about his connection with important figures in business.
"Give me your business card."
Gun-Ho took out his business card from the inner pocket of his jacket and handed it to him with respect. The minister carefully looked at Gun-Ho's business card. A congressman who was standing next to the minister glanced at the business card out of curiosity, and then he said, "Give me one too."
Gun-Ho gave his business card to the congressman as well, again while showing his respect.
The minister and the congressman didn't even bother giving their business cards to Gun-Ho even after they got one from him.
It was the third day of the course. The students at the Advanced Center for Administrative Development were electing their class leader.
"A class leader? Mr. Minister Jin-Woo Lee, why don't you take the position? Since you have a wealthy family, our class can be benefited financially, right?"
A man who looked like he was in his 50s waved his hand and said, "No, thank you. I don't want to."
At that moment, the congressman stood up and said, "Hey, Jin-Woo, just take the position. Hey, class, let's clap for our new class leaderJin-Woo, Lee!"
The students started clapping, and the Jin-Woo person came forward in front of the class.
"Haha. Alright. Thank you for electing me for the class leader position."
Even though he said he didn't want to take the position, he seemed to be happy to be elected as such.
"Having a class leader wouldn't be enough. We need a manager for our class who would do actual work. We will need someone younger."
The minister who took Gun-Ho's business card earlier said loudly, "Here, I think President Gun-Ho Goo will fit right in the position. He is a young business owner. He has an automobile parts manufacturing factory."
The congressman who received Gun-Ho's business card showed his strong support while clapping.
"I totally agree! President Gun-Ho Goo is the most suitable person for the position."
Attorney Young-Jin Kim also added his voice to the suggestion for electing Gun-Ho for the class manager position. Now, everyone in the class clapped along with the three people. Gun-Ho suddenly became the class manager.
'Is this position worth taking?'
At that moment, what Chairman Lee from Cheongdam Town and President Jang-Hwan Song said the other day popped up in Gun-Ho's head.
'A businessman should keep his proper distance from government officials. The proper distance is not short or long, but it has to be adequate.'
It was January already.
Gun-Ho sent a text message to Young-Eun Kim.
[Dear Ms. Young-Eun Kim, my parents in Incheon City would like to meet you. The weather will be warmer next week. I'd like to set up an appointment then. I will meet you at Starbucks in Daehakro on Saturday at 3 pm.]
[I will be busy on Saturday with all the seminars that I have to attend with my superior. Can we meet on Friday instead? Lunchtime will be perfect.]
Gun-Ho replied immediately.
[I will pick you up at your hospital by noon on Friday.]
Gun-Ho then called his parents.
"Mom? I will stop by home next Friday around 1 or 2 pm."
"On Friday around lunchtime? What's the occasion?"
"I will bring your future daughter-in-law."
"What? My future daughter-in-law? Are you serious? Is she really coming to meet us?"
"Is that the girl who is working in the office in a hospital?"
"She is not an office worker, mom. She is a medical doctor."
"What? A doctor?"
"Oh, my goodness! A medical doctor!? Shoot. I will have to deep clean our home. I need to get rid of all the doodles that Jeong-Ah put on the wall."
"Just relax, mom. It's okay to be as it is."
"How come I feel so nervous to meet my future daughter-in-law? I will tell your dad and your sister now."
Gun-Ho's mother seemed to be excited and also confused.
Friday came around.
Gun-Ho called for Chan-Ho Eom.
"You will have to have late lunch today."
"Are you going somewhere during lunchtime, sir?"
"I need to go to my parents' home in Incheon City and stop by Seoul National University Hospital in Dongsung Town on the way. We will have to get there by noon."
"Seoul National University Hospital? Someone passed away, sir?"
"No. No one died. I need to pick up someone there."