Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fun with GHD

The GHD are the foreigner babysitters that the company provides. I believe they're subcontracted by my company. I only 'believe' this b/c no one really likes to clearly explain who's in charge of anything. This way they can all deny responsibility for anything until you finally manage to corner everyone who could possibly be responsible and force one of them to accede to doing their job. Anyway, since I'm scheduled to move on Friday, I contacted the GHD to ask how this was going to occur.

The impression I got from the housing manager/personal shopper when he brought me dishes was that he would be coming to the temp apartment this Friday while I was at work and moving everything. I would just go to the new apartment Friday evening and start living there. You might think that someone would verify that this was the case and, you know, tell me that I should be packed Thursday, explain how to get keys to the shopper-dude and how to get keys to my new apartment. Or at least tell me which apartment I'm moving to (I have vague information that it's in the building that I liked previously. Thus, my current plan is to get off work Friday, go to a busy area of Seoul, hope I can find an apartment building I visited once, three months ago, and hope that someone there is expecting a random American to show up and demand a place to live).

Well, I get a response confirming that yes, Friday, shopper-dude will be moving my stuff to my new apartment and I should go there after work. No word on how shopper-dude will be getting into my apartment or where the new one is, but at least I know I need to be pack and clean Thursday. This seems like reasonable progress, and I assume that with a few more emails over the next few days, I might actually have half a clue what's happening.

Then, at about 6:30 (TU) I get a phone call. Since I was in Korean class and didn't recognize the number I just hang it up to make it stop ringing. They call back.

Me: "Hello"
Jim or whatever: "Hello, this is Jim from the GHD. We need you to confirm the color of your dinner table."

Me: "Uh... (dumbfounded silence. My brain tries to run through all the possible slight context shifts or mispronunciations that could turn this sentence into one that makes sense. This is what I do 90% of the time I have to deal w/ the GHD or HR or really just about anyone.) ...what?"

Jim: "The housing manager called me and said we needed to confirm your dinner table. Your usually GHD person already went home, but he said it couldn't wait till tomorrow. What color is the table?"

Me: "Uh...Brown. Wait, why do they need to know that?"

Jim: "I'm not sure. They said they were moving things into your apartment and needed to know about the table."

Me: "Uh... (inner monologue:
normal Brandon: 'That can't be right. I'm not supposed to move till Friday.'
Koreanized Brandon: 'Crap, that totally could be right. They're probably in my temp apartment right now'
normal Brandon: 'What? That makes no sense.'
Koreanized Brandon: 'Exactly.'
fin.) ...I was told that would happen Friday. I haven't packed and don't even know where I would need to go if that's the case."

Jim: "Hmm...I'll call him back and let you know."

About 10 minutes later, Jim calls back.

Jim: "No worries, they're not moving your stuff until Friday. The decorator just needed to know the color of the table."

Me: "Ok, thanks."

So, maybe I don't know where I'll be sleeping 3 nights from now, but there's a reasonably good chance that my coffee pot will match my dining room table.

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