After finishing his work at GH Building in Sinsa Town, Gun-Ho headed to GH Mobile in Jiksan Town in that afternoon. On the way to GH Mobile in his car, he received a text message from Jae-Sik Moon from China. He sent Antang City's transportation company's bank account number with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. After receiving the text message, he got a call from Jae-Sik Moon.
"President Goo? Did you get my text? I just sent you the bank account number of Antang City's transportation company."
"Yes, I did."
"You can send the investment funds to that account."
"Okay. Thank you."
"Today was my first day at work. I went to Antang City's transportation company and had a meeting with their executive officers."
"Really? You went there with your interpreter, didn't you?"
"Of course. I'm with her right now. Min-Heyok came to Shanghai City and introduced her to me, and then we came to Guizhou Province together. I can't go anywhere in this country without her company."
"Where did you sleep last night?"
"They reserved a hotel room for me, and Ms. Eun-Hwa Jo stayed at a Chodaeso (similar to a motel in Korea). She already found a place to live, and I paid for it. Its monthly rent is 100,000 won with a security deposit of 300,000 won."
"That's cheap, meaning that it must be in a very Chinese style."
"Since they haven't received investment funds from us, the joint venture company is not officially organized yet. There is only a preparatory committee. The Chinese people call it 'a preliminary committee,' instead of 'a preparatory committee,' which sounds funny to me. They brought me my business card today, and it indicates my current title as 'Jooim' of Preparatory Committee. I don't know it sounds weird."
When Jae-Sik mentioned the word 'Jooim,' Gun-Ho recalled the days when he had worked for a small company called Bangil Gas in Yangju City. It was already five years ago. The owner president of Bangil Gas, who was now running a hardware store, used to call Gun-Ho as "Jooim Goo." If it was a manager or a team lead, that would have sounded natural to Gun-Ho. But, it was "Jooim" which sounded so obsolete that it might have been a common job title a long time ago like during the Japanese colonial period. And that made Gun-Ho giggle at that time, just like how Jae-Sik was reacting right now.
"You know what? The job title, 'Jooim' is a very high position in China. It would probably be equivalent to 'Chairman' in Korea. The position of Jooim of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China is an extremely high-ranking position. I just want you to know that."
"Haha, I got it. Oh, you know what? Remember Mr. Choi from Social Science Academy? You know that Korean Chinese man. He came to the meeting today as the interpreter for our Chinese business partner. He will join us whenever the preparatory committee has a meeting."
"Really? That's nice."
"So, I have a dinner appointment today with Mr. Choi and Ms. Eun-Hwa Jo. We three will meet this evening."
"Did you eat with the Chinese business partner as well?"
"Yes, I did. On my first day in China, the terminal company's president, and the planning manager arranged a dinner."
"The head of the transportation department and the deputy mayor didn't come, did they?"
"No, they didn't. When I asked about them, they said that those two will come when youPresident Goovisit us. I guess they have some sort of rules in treating their guests."
I don't have any office or desk yet. For now, I'm supposed to attend the meeting like two or three times per week, and I can enjoy the rest of the days for a tour or something."
"Is that so?"
"They even suggested taking me to Huanglong as part of my sightseeing. One of the staffs of their planning department will pick me up tomorrow."
"Until they receive the investment funds, that would be how it is. They are very careful people. They will proceed with the project step by step as they receive the investment funds."
"Hmm, it seems like they would."
"Well, when they show you around, just enjoy it and have fun."
"Haha, I will."
"Tomorrow, I will send 50,000 dollars to Zhongfang (Chinese side) only as preparatory funds. They will probably be able to retrieve the funds two or three days later though. Once I send the funds, I will send their receipt to them via fax. Please text me later with their fax number."
"Okay, I will do that. When I heard of the word 'Zhongfang' and 'Hanfang (Korean side)' from Chinese people here, I thought they were talking about oriental medicines or something. And, when I found out those mean the Chinese side and Korean side, I laughed out loud by myself."
Jae-Sik Moon giggled while talking.
"You are already learning things. Haha," Gun-Ho responded.
Jae-Sik's reaction reminded Gun-Ho of his old self when he had started his first joint venture in China for Jinxi Industrial Complex in Kunshan City. Gun-Ho also, at that time, thought of oriental medicines whenever he heard the Chinese people saying the word 'Hanfang.' It sounded like some sort of the name of oriental medicines spoken mostly in Gyeongdong Market where lots of medicinal herbs were being sold.
When Gun-Ho went to GH Mobile, President Song was not in the office; so was Jong-Suk Park. His secretaryMs. Hee-Jeong Parkbrought a cup of green tea to Gun-Ho's office, and she said, "Mr. President Song and Mr. Director Jong-Suk Park went to A Electronics' factory in Dangjin City this morning. It seems that they loaded the car with something."
"Hmm, really? Was it only the two of them going there this morning?"
"No, Mr. Manager Chang-Hoon Seo from the sales department left with them as well."
Gun-Ho nodded his head.
"I guess they were taking the sample products to A Electronics' factory."
Gun-Ho called for the chief officer of the research center through the interphone.
"I was told that you had visited A Electronics' research center in Suwon City the other day."
"Yes, sir. We received their product drawings of five different products."
"We can produce them, can't we?"
"Yes, sir. We can produce them without any difficulty. We have already produced the samples of their three products out of five. We are testing the samples right now."
"Hmm, is that right?"
"Because these will be used as part of their exporting products, we are conducting UV radiation and solar thermal tests on them. We will also perform acids and bases tests as well."
"Yes, in shipping the products, they will be exposed to the hot weather and bases from the ocean through the sea breeze for several days. We will have to consider every possible way that could cause discoloration on the products. If any part of their products is found being melted or corroded while being shipped, we will receive a product claim following by their returns of those defective products to us. If that happens, the workers at our research center will have to turn in their resignation letters."
"Receiving the resignation from the research center's workers is not the only problem, but it will definitely damage our company's reputation. That's why we perform thorough tests on the products, not just once, but we are conducting the second and third tests."
"I see. Very good job."
"Once we finish our testing, we will bring the samples to their research center in Suwon City. If they give us a pass after conducting their own tests, I will make a report to you, sir."
"You don't have to give me a report on it. You can report it to Mr. President Song. If our products pass A Electronics' tests performed by their research center in Suwon City, I want you to take all of our research center's workers out for dinner."
"Okay, sir. Thank you."
The research center's chief officer, who was in his mid-50s and who was holding a Ph.D. obtained from the Technical University of Munich in Germany, gave a deep bow to Gun-Ho, who was in his late 30s, before leaving his office.
Gun-Ho liked the responsible attitude shown by President Song and the research center's chief research. They were very reliable workers. They were strict to themselves, and that applied to their work life. Director Jong-Suk Park, who had used to work for small companies without clear rules to follow, seemed to gradually acclimate himself to this new work culture which was new to him.