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28 July 2003
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Korea Life Blog - Over-employment

If you have ever been to Korea you know how they tend to over-employ here. Especially at the department stores. This is probably because minimun wage in Korea is 2,500 Won, or about $2.25. Others have said it's the culture: they believe it's helpful to customers. For foreigners anyway (and, oddly enough, every Korean I've talked to) it's usually uncomfortable and intimidating. It's not uncommon for there to be an employee in every single aisle. They follow you around and stand next to you when you try to look at something. Often they are aggressive. On a number of occasions I have not purchased what I wanted simply because the sales person was completely annoying. While they may think they are being helpful, they make you feel as if you're about to steal something, the way the follow you and watch you. When they do this I will purposely act insane: walking in circles, zig zagging left and right, back around, ducking behind a display, leaping out, shucking and jiving, all the while laughing maniacally and bewildering the desperate sales clerk. Overemployment doesn't only occurr at the department stores though, it's at the grocery stores, and even at the American fast food chains.


On a sunday evening, I stop off at the Baskin Robins in Suwon where one employee makes my milkshake and three others observe. A classic example of over-employment, brought to you by Korean Life Blog.

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