Bad Apples

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Alexis's POV

All of the stuff is packed up, and I am about to help the editors move it when Sung-Hyun comes up to me. "The director told me how you did today, great job!" She smiles.

I return the gesture, "Did he?" I only followed what they told me to do, but I guess it went pretty well, the editors were impressed too.

"I already heard about your skills in interpreting from some of the staff, but who knew you transition so well to translating!" She praises.

I blush at her statements, feeling proud of myself for once. "Thank you ma'am."

She looks at the stuff behind me, and the two remaining people who are packing up. "Were you helping clean up?"

I nod, "Yes, this is just the rest of the stuff the editors were using. It's on the way to the shared office anyways."

"That's great, we love team helpers. I was coming over to make sure you weren't lost on anything, but it seems you're doing just fine. I take it Gang-Soo already told you what to do?"

"Yes, he said that he would send me the final versions of past RUN and GAYO episodes waiting for release. I have the due date, so I'll make sure to finish them before then."

"I know you will, just keep doing what you've been doing, and you'll be fine. You know where everything is don't you, like the headphones, pens, paper, how to access your work email? I regret that I didn't go into much depth about your workstation." She worries.

"Not at all! I'm sure I could figure it all out. I'll just ask someone if I have any questions, I know you're busy with your job." I say understandingly.

"Oh, I always do this. My assistant works out my schedule for new employees and conferences. Don't hesitate to ask me about anything. I am part of the HR department so tell me any concerns or worries you might have." She waves, turning to leave.

"Ms. Sung." I call her formally. She stops for a moment. "Thank you so much for everything. I'm glad to be working with you." I bow. She was one of the higher-ups who hired me. She could have left onboarding to someone else, but she personally gave me a tour and made sure I knew my way around even though she has other responsibilities. I will always be grateful to have such a kind boss.

"Of course. Remember what I said." She smiles and leaves out the room. I watch where she left, happy with my choice to work here.

"Ms. Sung is amazing right?" One of the editors comes up to me. He looks around my age, probably somewhere in his early twenties. He was a bit wary of me at first like the others but warmed up to me as the tour staff talked to me without reservations. I don't mind it, having a foreigner work at such a restricted company is a new change. I'm surprised the tour staff adapted to me so well, but they were used to foreigners after travelling so much, I assumed.

"Yes, she is very nice." I agree. Seeing him hold the last of the laptops and files, I grab half of it. The room is cleared, the only things remaining are the white background, overhead lights, and some cameras that I assume are meant to stay in the room.

He thanks me silently. "Yeah, she does that for everyone. That's why most of us have been here for so long."

His tone turns apologetic, "I'm sorry for how I acted at first. I labeled you without knowing you, I'm sorry."

"It's fine, it's normal to be careful around strangers. I hope we can get along in the future." I assert. "Why don't we start over? My name is Alexis."

He grins, "I'm Je-So."

"Since I know you better now, I'll be normal around you if you don't mind."

"Of course not. I'm happy to be friends." I open the door for him since my arms are less full. He stops just before the door, in thought.

I almost think he's daydreaming before he speaks, "To apologize, I also wanted to tell you something."

I look at him questioningly. "Most of the workers here are nice. But there are some mean people."

"What?"

"There are bad seeds in every harvest?" He asks himself. I recognize the proverb. It's wrong, but I get it. "Anyways, you know what I mean, don't you?"

"Not everyone is going to be nice." I confirm.

"Exactly." He leans in a bit. "Some of the seniors are rude. They might boss you around a lot."

"Can't we just go to Ms. Sung and tell her?"

"We have complained. They get reprimanded and punished, but they usually just come back meaner."

"Then report them again," I state. Sung-Hyun seemed nice, I doubt she would sit back and watch us be bullied.

"She can't fire them. I don't want to be specific, but some of them are department heads. The other company leaders won't let her get rid of the department heads and seniors just because some workers complain a few times. It's not like they hit us."

"Why would that be a requirement?"

He stops where he is, thinking about it for a moment, "What?"

"Why would you need to get hit for them to get fired? They can't do their job properly nor treat their coworkers with respect. Shouldn't that be enough?" I don't know anything about leading others or HR, but nobody should be exempt from punishment. Mistakes happen, sometimes people get complaints and it doesn't mean that person should be fired, but hearing multiple complaints about one person should warrant questioning.

"You're right, it shouldn't be a requirement. We would get fired before the seniors though, and nobody wants to chance that." He explains.

"If the other heads can stop Ms. Sung from firing someone, then it would work the other way around." I affirm.

He quickly argues, trying to make his point, "Alexis, I just wanted to warn you so you won't feel singled out, it's not as easy as- "

"Je-So. I will not let myself be pushed around; I wasn't raised that way." I declare. "I will do what I'm supposed to do, and I will treat others how they treat me." Once I find out who the bullies are, I won't outwardly disrespect them, but I won't let them yell at me either. My momma always told me to ignore people who think they're better than you. I'll deal with problems one at a time, just like I've been doing since I got here.

Je-So looks me in the eyes. He must have seen something because he relents, letting out a sigh. He walks through the door with a smirk, "You know Alexis, I think I'm going to like having you here."

I chuckle in delight. "Glad to be here." I never thought this would be easy. So far, none of it has been. But I have the job I've always wanted and a lot of nice people to work with as a positive. If I let the bad things pin me down, I don't know if I would be strong enough to get back up. Good things never come easy, after all.

Following him, I remark, "It's supposed to be bad apples in every bunch by the way."

"Is it? I could have sworn it was seed."

"No, I'm sure it was apples."

"Rotten apples spoil the bunch?"

"No, it was spoiled apples in every bunch."

"That's not what you said."

"Was it not?"

"You said rotten apples in every batch."

"What did you say?"

"Spoiled seeds in every apple."

"..."

"..."

"You remind me of someone."

"Who?"

"I don't know."

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