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workaholic (not so)

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"Bae Irene, please make a copy from..."

 

She continued on, but I barely managed to listen, distracted by the fact that she came just minutes ago to give me a task. My face contorted in grimace as I took a glance at the thick papers that I, unfortunately has to work with. Letting out a deep sigh when the manager took her step away, my fingers vaguely took the papers as if it has their own thoughts.

 

The inevitable thing about this situation is that even they pay me dust, I have no choice but to continue on with my work. In life, survival is the word that comes with it, they're inseparable; as if they are bound to be with each other. Honestly, the word survival is quite scary, it and itself just makes myself want to crumble and contemplate why were I born a human in this vast universe. I could be a small bunny instead, or a robot which can possibly do anything whatever's programmed inside your system without being beffudled.

 

Thinking about it, I'd be happy if I were a robot, I could've  finished all my work right now, but, unfortunately I am not a robot.

 

Momentarily, my hazelnut brown eyes dart at my colleagues who are busy with their own works. Some cohently pressing their fingers at the keyboard with eyes fixed at the screen, others busy flipping pages as they read reports, and I could see two petite figures standing near the coffee machine, the aroma instantly filling the atmosphere.

 

I am in no means close with them, specially because I am either too young or too old for them, as what as I decipher from how they react whenever I am around them. Adding that I am a really introverted adult, things won't really go well in my workplace. There's nothing much I can expect tho, since back in my school days I've always lived quite a 'you don't belong here' life. Different thing is that I have a few friends back then.

 

Despite being incoherent, my colleagues worked hard and are, to say the least— genuine and try their best in this workplace even if they're not getting what they deserve. It's kinda sad, when we give our all yet fail to take what we earn and settle less.

 

What can we expect? This workplace is relatively small, the ventilation's far from high functioning, and the so-called CEO doesn't give a damn or two.

 

"Miss Bae Irene!" Speaking of the damned CEO, he's calling my name again and asking to make me do things that is beyond in my position. I exasperated an annoyed sigh, walking towards his unpleasant office. I bowed my head as a sign of respect.

 

"You do know you're the best employee here..."

 

I tried my best to look at anything besides him, trying to avoid his gaze. I've listened a million times to his sugar-coated words that have been tattooed in my brain. To be frank, the first time I've heard it; I was a little euphoric and now that I've realized he just want to make me do extra work— I was disappointed and furious at the same time.

 

"... Can you buy us some beef bulgogi? You know, the one from down the street. They have the absolute best ones," He asked.

 

"Sure, Mr. Kim. I'll call the restaurant right away," I replied in a reluctant manner. The probability of him saying no is definitely higher, but at least I have to try and take a chance.

 

"Ah no, no. They charge extra for delivery. I'd like you to go there personally and order,"  He said without breaking an eye contact, his intimidating blue sharp eyes trying to kill me internally.

 

No, I'm not going to do it. I'm too tired of being a pushover. I am not a robot .

 

***

 

"Gosh, since when did it got so hot here?" I expressed  as I warily walk under the beaming sunlight. Resplendent yet unfamiliar faces abruptly filled the streets, it seems that they're bright energy match the sun shining above us, and the vibrant blue color that is painted across the sky. The thing ruining this scenery is my dismal figure— if only I can do something to lift it up.

 

This could've been a perfect day if not for the feverish heat that has touched my skin and that I came out here to buy beef bulgogi for our company's CEO, and yes, apparently I ended up throwing my words because who am I kidding? I'd make this situation worse by not doing this 'extra job'.

 

I get nothing out of this yet if I didn't do it I'll end up having nothing.

 

Reaching the quiet restaurant, I halted my pace and entered the humble establishment. As much as I dislike coming here to buy other's food, I couldn't hate the place itself. From the earth colors that conveys the whole interior, aroma of home cooked food that fills the air, and the green plants that welcomes you once you step inside, screams home.

 

I felt my nerves calm as I heard a familiar voice called my real name.

 

"Joohyun-ah! Did your boss asked you to buy again?" Haesook, the middle-aged restaurant owner asked me. Her crescent-like eyes matched with a genuine smile, made my lips crept into a smile.

 

"As always," I bowed my head as I replied, oblivious of both my feet mindlessly walking near the counter.

 

"Yah, Joohyun. You always come here every single day just to buy something for your boss and the so-called higher- ups, when he could've let it be delivered. Ah, I envy your willingness for your job," She said, looking at me with dear sincerity.

 

I shrugged, "I wouldn't say that I'm willing, tho. Should I say... I have to do it or else I'll lose my job type of thing?"

 

"Gosh, I'd never imagined how I'll tolerate that. Anyway, what does arrogant Mr. Kim wants?" She said whilst preparing the order list.

 

"A platter of beef bulgogi. The company sure does love your food, Haesook-ah, I'd prefer not calling him arrogant if I were you," I jokingly said, letting out a small laugh.

 

"Okay,okay. I will, as long as he treats you nice, right?" She said with a known smile in her face and started to walk near the kitchen, a signal that I should sit back at a table to patiently wait for my order.

 

I've became really close with the owner, thanks to my boss letting me come here everyday. It became my routine — a routine that gives me mixed feelings, and, I hate to admit it but going here is the thing that daggers my excitement. A little ambitious of me, but somehow I still imagine myself sitting here, eating food that I've bought and ordered for myself. It'd be wonderful, but my salary says otherwise. The amount of money I receive is just enough for my rent, electricity and water bills, and other necessities that I practically 'need'.

 

Suddenly, I heard a buzzing sound coming underneath the pockets of my black skirt. I brushed my hands against the warm pile of cotton and grabbed my phone. Seeing the name 'Mr. Kim of BKWN' infuriates me, couldn't he wait for his food?

 

Regardless, I answered his call, "Yes, Mr.Kim?"

 

"Ms. Bae, I changed my mind regarding the beef bulgogi..." He said from the other line. What in the world is he saying?

 

I am calm. Be calm, "What do you mean, Mr. Kim?"

 

"We changed our mind, nevermind the beef bulgogi. Instead, order tteokbokki. Thanks, Ms. Bae," He said and ended the call abruptly.

 

Goodness.

 

Everyone, I am Bae Joohyun and yes, this is how my work life goes. I definitely despite it.