As I wiped my mouth, I read the article carefully.
[American singer Roger Jackson, more famous for his nickname “Knight,” was found dead around 10 a.m. local time in the United States today. According to the coroner, the cause of death is drug abuse…]
There were only a few words different from the article I read yesterday, but they were almost identical. I read a few more articles. As such, they were written in a similar way, only in different expressions. I listed the articles in chronological order.
Roger Jackson died around 8 p.m. Korean time. The first article in the breaking news was exactly 8:12 p.m. I got up from my seat. Heartburn was not important now. I took the laptop lying in a corner of the room, turned on Internet Explorer and went straight into my mailbox. But the email that I had seen yesterday was gone.
‘What? I did not delete it.’
I searched my mailbox more, back and forth, and even the trash can, just in case. But I couldn’t find the email I had seen yesterday. I scratched my forehead. At this point, I thought I was possessed by a ghost.
‘Did I… drink too much yesterday?’
No. It had nothing to do with alcohol. Yesterday, I saw the email at work. Drinking was after work. I stopped for a while on the spot.
‘What the hell is this?’
It was like being possessed by a ghost or a goblin. But then the cell phone in my hand beeped once more.
This was the second time. If I did not get ready now, I would be late. The monstrous Heo would return a day after being hospitalized with appendicitis. Once I put aside the weird email, I started getting ready for work.
“It was good without me yesterday, wasn’t it?” Heo stared at me with his mouth flexing. I had no choice but to stand silent. “Hmm? You wanted me to stay in the hospital forever, didn’t you?”
I wanted to tell him exactly what I had in my mind. ‘Yes, you son of a bitch.’
But that would make me even harder to work at the company. I said with my head down, “No… No.”
“Is that so? Who else writes the report like this?” Heo tapped me on the head with the report I had written yesterday.
“What’s wrong with you? If you don’t have sweat for a day, don’t you get to work properly? Huh?”
Heo was stuck in the position of section chief for 10 million years without promotion, while his colleagues were promoted one by one, but then turned around and became our section chief. When we thought about his age, he was practically demoted. But he released his stress on his subordinates. I had to bear his nagging all over.
‘Cause you’re so incompetent that if you do that to me, what will be changed?’
As I listened to him, I thought of something else, but on the surface, I had to answer helplessly with my head down, “…yes”
Heo looked at me with my head down and said, “Return to your seat.”
I returned to my seat with my head down. It had been a year and a half since I had joined the company. In the youth unemployment era of one million unemployed people, I entered the company after barely passing through the job crisis, but the good time was only for the first month or two. I worked overtime every day without being paid, and my salary was small. Every day, I was squeezed by my boss and worked. I had to suffer from severe stress every day.
‘Damn it, I really want to quit.’
I used to talk to myself several times a day, but I couldn’t do it, as I was born with a plastic spoon in my mouth. I had spent four years attending a private university with a tuition fee of over five thousand dollars a semester, and I had to work for several years without income after graduating, just looking for a job.
Far from having saved money, I still had ten thousand dollars left in the student loans that I had not paid back. If I quit my job, I had to worry about the monthly rent right away. So no matter how bad things went, no matter how evil my boss was and if the company was hell, I could not quit.
‘Shit, I’m going to lose my eyes.’
After watching the monitor all day, I blinked and leaned back in the chair. Naturally, the office clock came into my eyes. It was Friday evening at eight. It was Friday night, so-called TGIF, but I couldn’t get out of the office because today our team was working overtime. It was not that special because the nature of our company called us to work on weekends.
Heo said, “Let’s get it over with today. It’s the only way to rest on holidays.”
It was like a threat that if we did not do it properly today, he would call us in on the weekend. On TV, people said that the Labor Standards Act had been reinforced, but our company ignored such a thing lightly and pushed employees too hard. However, we could not express complaints. If we did such a thing, we would be labeled as whistleblowers and would be disadvantaged not just by our company, but also by other companies.
‘The law is far away, and the boss is close… It’s not much different than a real gangster…’
I stretched out, thinking this.
Then, I could feel the look of someone staring at me, from the seat Heo was in. Like a spring, I put my hands right back on the keyboard and mouse.
In the company, there was only work, work, work. While this overtime work would not necessarily increase productivity, this company seemed to think that the result would be good, since it pushed employees so hard.
‘If I had a beer at home and watched TV… I’m sure I’d do a better job tomorrow.’
I looked at the monitor with a blank look, thinking of it. But suddenly, in my head, the email I had seen this morning came to mind.
I was overworked all day, and I forgot it, but it was a strange email. It was like someone had seen the future and told me in advance.
‘However… it was gone. What happened? I’m sure I did not erase it.’
If I did not take my eyes off the monitor, Heo would think I was working. I entered my email account. Once again, that email was there.
[12 Hours After]
‘What is it? … Was it an error?’
However, the email was not marked as read. I saw the time they had sent it.
[July 25th, 8:55 p.m.] This was not the email I had seen yesterday, but this morning.
‘It’s a new email, isn’t it?’
I put my cursor over the email and hesitated whether to press the left button for a moment. I could run a virus test, but I was afraid.
[Politics Economy Society Life/Culture World IT/Science Entertainment Sports]
[You can subscribe to only one news item a day.]
My eyes once again went to the phrase “You can subscribe to only one news item a day.” Last time I read it, I concentrated on the words, ‘only one news item a day.’ In other words, it meant “At least one per day” would be sent.
‘Well… it was certainly not a virus. So… what shall I look at this time…’
Rather than hard news such as Politics and Economy on the left, I wanted to touch the news of Entertainment and Sports on the right side. I circled my mouse cursor, and this time I touched the Sports category. Soon a window opened.
[Lotte escaped two consecutive losses with a dramatic come-from-behind victory over Hanwha]
Lotte, Hanwha, they were baseball teams.
‘Is this baseball news?’
I clicked on the window.
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