“Wow, if it isn’t the famous Manager Lee. Good morning.”

While walking through the entrance, Si Hyun’s senior playfully saluted him.

After the documentary was aired and videos of Si Hyun became popular on the internet, some of his seniors joked around like this.

Si Hyun’s name was probably well-known amongst the wards within Korea.

The Ministry of Justice even recommended their public officers to watch it and even if they weren’t told to, many of the wards probably watched the show already.

Even if he was working at a different part of the prison, since they often rotated their stations, rumors would spread throughout the prison.

On top of that, he appeared on the documentary and even became a hot topic.

“Hello.”

Si Hyun greeted back with a simple smile.

That was for the best.

If he reacted to it, then they might joke more about it.

***

‘I’m tired of being a Rank Nine Ward.’

He’s given a 30 minute break per day and Si Hyun thought about this while walking towards the Security Division.

Whenever he heard Rank Nine, there was one thing that popped into his mind.

It happened three years ago when he was first appointed to the Korean Prison and they had dinner to welcome the newcomers.

While being awkward with the other newcomers and seniors, one of the senior started talking.

- All of you guys are Rank Nine, right?

- Yes, that’s correct.

- I feel sorry for you guys. This is my recommendation. The young newcomers should go out, take the Rank Seven exam and come back here. This isn’t the military, but ranks are important. If you just work here from the way bottom, you’ll end up experiencing a lot of situations that’ll just piss you off.

- …….

- Oh, if you have connections, that’s fine. Is there someone here that’s the son of the Director? Or the son of Deputy Director? No? Then all of you guys will just suffer. Ha ha.

When that happened, he didn’t officially start working, so he didn’t quite understand what they meant.

But, two days after, during the official welcoming party, he experienced something shocking.

All of the high-ranked officials attended this event.

It was here that the Director General spoke.

- Are there any newcomers here that can’t really drink alcohol?

Since Si Hyun didn’t really like alcohol, he raised his hand. He didn’t want to say that he couldn’t drink alcohol from the start, but he knew he wouldn’t be able to get out of future gatherings if he didn’t say anything.

But, what the General said was shocking.

- You can’t drink? Wow, are you a dumbass? He’s such a dumbass.

He remembered word for word.

It was that shocking to him.

Even if Si Hyun was just an employee, was it right for him to speak like that?

He heard that being a ward was like a mix between being in the military and being a public officer, but he didn’t know someone could talk like that.

Si Hyun’s pride was extremely hurt.

He felt like a dumbass for just laughing awkwardly.

This was what society was like.

He was working from the way bottom and experienced many things.

Not everyone experienced the same thing though.

When he saw news about employees getting stressed because of their senior’s comments, he couldn’t relate because he was still a student, but he now knew that it was true.

If you feel angry about it, then succeed in life.

His co-worker, Joon Chul, told him that there will always be seniors with dirty personalities and that he shouldn’t think too much about it.

But, Si Hyun purposely didn’t forget about it.

When he becomes lazy, that memory helps him stay motivated.

That Director got called to a different station one year later, but the fact that he left a piece of memory made him feel angry and at the same time, thankful.

But what Si Hyun experienced was nothing.

There was an incident that became a legend amongst his coworkers.

When Joon Chul was working late with his senior that was seven years younger than him, he requested for a number exchange, but his senior declined without much thought.

His senior didn’t just decline, but also said, “Do I look like someone that will give the numbers to someone like you?”

Joon Chul had a pretty laidback personality, but it wouldn’t be weird if he decided to punch him.

This incident became legendary because as soon as it was known within the ward community, there were so many comments that said that wards were seen in a bad light because of someone like him.

There were other comments that said this field had no room for growth and that they should get rid of the military-like system.

Anyways, that senior was known as a crazy person so when his coworkers saw him, they would just ignore him.

On top of that, he was known to not have the best reputation.

‘I’ll pass no matter what.’

His goal was to get a promotion, but he couldn’t because he had a bad reputation.

He was going to pass this time no matter what.

He was a bit late, but he was going to make it up by becoming a Rank Seven ward as soon as possible.

Then, he’ll be able to get promoted to a Rank Five.

Being a Rank Five was a great position in this field.

During the beginning of this year, two 20-year-olds passed the exam and was stationed as the Director General of the Korean Prison.

They were younger than Si Hyun and even the section chief would speak to them formally.

He couldn’t help but feel envious towards them.

Moments later, he arrived at the Security Division office.

“Manager Lee, what’s wrong?”

After approaching the General Affairs Manager, they asked.

“I want to use my day off. I’ll take next week off.”

Normally, he would be too scared to take this many days off. They also had a policy where if they requested to take off for more than three days, they would have to report it to the Security Manager.

But, there are times when they’re able to take a week off.

For wards that were preparing to take the promotion exam, it didn’t matter if they took more than a week off because they needed to study.

“Oh, you’re taking the exam too. Got it.”

The manager marked their calendar.

“Thank you.”

“Good luck.”

***

Normally, he would have to wake up at six o’clock in order to get to work, but he woke up at 8 o’clock.

He only slept for two more hours, but he felt really happy.

He planned on studying after eating breakfast, but he was tempted to turn the computer on. However, he managed to stay focused.

He wore comfortable clothes, grabbed his backpack and headed for the library.

It was still morning on a weekday, but the library was packed.

There were a lot of people that were studying to become public service officers.

Si Hyun took his seat and take out his reading material.

He was pretty used to the content, so he was able to read it with ease.

After seeing how the people around him were studying hard, he was motivated to study even harder.

After focusing on his studies for about an hour, his phone started vibrating.

Thinking that it might disturb the others, Si Hyun quickly walked outside.

After checking his phone, he noticed it was his sister.

It was a bit odd.

His sister knew that he would be working at this hour.

“Hey, Ha Young.”

“Oh, you picked up.”

“I’m on break starting from today. What’s wrong?”

“You see…just listen to me, okay?”

Her voice sounded gloomy.

Si Hyun started feeling uneasy.

“What is it? Tell me.”

“….Dad fainted.”

“What?!”

“Dad asked mom to not tell us, but mom called me about it.”

“Why did he faint all of a sudden? Is he sick?”

“I’m not sure. He’s currently at a hospital, so I was going to head there right away.”

“Okay, I’ll head over there too.”

Si Hyun bit his lips with a gloomy expression.

 

 

<Motivation> End.





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