Is it me? Or did I just land in the country most well known for “drama?”
Just visited my great friend Derek at his wedding in Hawaii with the beautiful bride Bonnie and great friends. It was seriously a beautiful wedding. Here’s the couple dancing to “Bella’s Lullaby” played by you would think a professional piano player, but rather by their niece “Rachel” who is AMAAAAAAAAZZZZZZZZZING!!!! (think of Will Ferrell yelling this like he did at the Harvard Commencement speech).
His best friend James also delivered an impressive best man’s speech here:
Derek and Bonnie finally delivered a great tandem speech at the end which was a little too long for me to upload to Youtube, but I’ll break it up and post it here later. You’ll definitely want to look out for this speech. Derek’s as hillarious as usual!
Anyway, after flying back home into Busan, South Korea (and only being away for literallly 49 total hours in Hawaii – o.k. 17 hrs there & 16 hours back as well), I land to get an immediate text message from one of my bosses telling to call him IMMEDIATELY! I call to find out that 3 of our teachers were in a group of instructors that potentially had swine flu and were going to be quarantined despite our dire need to have them start next week. OK, coming back is already feeling a tad disturbing. I’m wondering why I came back.
After hanging out with my buddy Tim & David until 7a the night I get back, I even make a few minutes of time to read Yahoo News when I arrive home where I see in a small side post “X-President commits suicide” with a picture of the previous South Korean president Roh. I read the article to find he jumped to his suicide over the weekend. The weekend hasn’t even finished and we have swine flu hitting home with the most recent x-President committing suicide.
Let’s just say things just continue to get “better…”
The next day, I walk into office at the normal time to see 6 of our higher officers & investors sitting down as if they were planning out a war in our meeting room. It looks like “war central.” They happen to be mapping out actually the fact that we may not see our teachers beyond even the recent quarantine and try to figure out what to do moving forward. I had planned on only coming in for an hour or so to find out that towards my departure time to Changwon where I was suppose to substitute, the whole company of 1400+ instructors which manage 60,000+ students were about to shut down immediately. It was 2 hours away from class and as a company, we were going to decide for the safety of our students and our teachers to shut down for not only a day, but possibly as much as 9 days due to the Center for Disease Control’s (in Korea) recommendation.
Just in our 15 branches (which probably represent no more than 10% of the country), we were going to take a $500,000 USD hit by doing this. While we were being conservative and possibly not paying our instructors, we knew we might potentially pay them & ultimately decided to do so and as a result are out another $150,000 USD making the total hit to be about $650,000 USD because of a bit of media hype and instructors who have a pretty nasty flu. Many of our healthy instructors who have passed training and feel fine (over more than the regular period for the flu to gestate) are still quarantined and yet we must abide by the warnings & take the huge financial hit.
On top of this, North Korea has been testing nuclear weapons for the first time to the magnitude they have been recently and literally angering the rest of the world.
Can we say “drama?”