South Koreans Receive Fewer Paid Vacations, Says Survey

Koreans use least paid holidays

From eDaily:

“Short Holidays, Demanding Bosses” Vacation Usage for Korean Employees at the Bottom.

A survey revealed that Korean employees are given the least paid holidays and their holiday usage rate is on the lowest level in comparison to other major countries.

The survey revealed the reality of Korean workers who cannot use holidays on their own terms because they have to cancel or postpone their vacation plans due to work or they have to act according to their bosses who restrict their holiday usage.

This survey was conducted by online travel agency Expedia with 8687 employees from 22 countries in the world.

According to the survey results that came out on the 19th, the number of paid holidays per year for Korean employees is 10 days on average, which is the least among the 22 countries. The number of actually used holidays is also only about 7 days on average. Korea’s holiday usage rate was the second lowest after that of Japan where 5 out of 13 paid holidays are used.

In 10 countries including France and the UK, the workers answered that they use 100% of given holidays. Taiwan has the same number of paid holidays as Korea but the number of actually used holidays was higher with 12 days on average.

With regards to the reasons of postponing or cancelling vacations, 67% of the Korean employees chose ‘due to work’, which is the second highest after Taiwan. Besides Korea, employees from mainly Asian and Latin American countries such as Taiwan, India, Brazil and Mexico have their vacation plans interfered by work.

On the other hand, employees from European or North American regions have their holidays relatively less affected by work.

Answering a question on whether or not your boss is positive about your holiday usage, a high portion of the respondents answered ‘no’. 58% of the Korean employees said their bosses are negative about their holidays, which is the second highest among the 22 countries. 67% of the Italian employees answered negative, which is the highest rate, but it was found that they use 20 out of 28 paid holidays on average. Their number of used holidays is 3 times higher than that of Korea.

Reflecting these results, 55.2% of the Korean employees favored benefit returns over holidays.

However, when asked whether they get to save up their unused holidays, only 39.2% answered ‘yes’.

45% of the Korean employees, the highest among the 22 countries, would go on a ‘romantic trip’ over all other choices if they are given only one chance for a vacation. This is an outstanding result compared to the ‘vacation on the beach’ that was favored in most other countries.

Koreans use least paid holidays

Comments from Naver:

mtbm****:

Holidays and time-off should be handed out carefully and accurately to reward work efficiency. Just shoving work down the throat only degrades efficiency and taking a break is also a means to work better.

rudg****:

Korean companies are No. 1 at exploiting their employees!!!!

hyun****:

Don’t they have to give you money if you don’t use a paid vacation?

hymm****:

I quit this job on salary because I despised it and I’m running my own business. The executives are the problem. Korean workplaces in a hierarchical order are just like the army or gangs. They give you a hard time although we all live on salary! That’s because it’s like a dictatorship. Workers should be the owners. They say they give you money for cultural activities but they don’t even give you enough time. Are they teasing you or what? Then, they go around advertising that they do everything to improve their employees’ welfare.

dktm****:

Before everything, please obey the maximum work hours. It is a universal labor law as a result of an International agreement.

dltl****:

Why would you want to leave the country after saving money? This is the best country completely suited for the rich people.

loye****:

Korea has the longest working hours. Interestingly, the unemployment rate is also high. Those few people who have good jobs get paid well but they have no fun because they work to death. On the other hand, the unemployed people suffering from social deprivation commit more crimes. It would be better if they cut down the working time and salary to 2/3 and hire 1.5 times more people but those few rich people in good position cannot accept that because of their greed. This is lethal to Korea because parents’ overwork or deprivation ruins their children’s personality and life, resulting in their misbehavior. It disheartens me because I love Korea….

jpj8****:

The moment you often take your holidays will be your eternal vacation~~

aiso****:

If you can use your holidays freely, women don’t need menstrual leave so wouldn’t the reverse discrimination controversy go away?; It is not a privilege to take a break when you are sick. It is a right of every human being.

yomi****:

Would you want to have a second child in Korea? Politicians always talk about halving tuitions or exempting third kids from tuitions ha ha That’s funny. You can have second and third children when you are happy…….. Politicians luring dumb people with money ha ha All that money comes from your taxes ha ha

ssyk****:

Just like I would expect from a country with the longest working hours.

baks****:

Our country has too many weaknesses compared to strengths.

bbaa****:

In my opinion, taking over tasks is regarded differently from developed countries. If you leave on a vacation and someone else takes over your task, in developed countries, clients generally understand the situation when some mistake happens unless it’s such a big deal. However, in Korean social context, if someone in charge of your job makes a mistake, everyone including you gets in trouble, which contributes much to the problem.

oheu****:

Our national economy is close to a developed country but in social awareness, it is still a developing country…

fant****:

If you go to work late, your superiors make a fuss but they don’t let you go home at the right time or take holidays. I want to restart my life in a foreign country.

wls1****:

In tough rough Korea, if you enjoy all your holidays, you can have holidays for the rest of your life.

mago****:

Korea, the backward labor country

rkfr****:

Looking like a developed country only on the outside… freaking shameful.

trip****:

If you are born in Korea, you have to live a wasteful life to be respected as a man and a father. What you have to do is pre-determined, just like the quests in online games. By the time you finish all the quests, your life will end, too.

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  • KrZ

    “Our national economy is close to a developed country but in social awareness, it is still a developing country…” $30,000 per capita is not “close” – it’s developed. It’s interesting to hear Koreans talk about Japan as being so superior in terms of salary when they have nearly become equals. Some sort of lasting inferiority complex.

    • chucky3176

      I’m sorry, but who talked about Japan? Nobody did, other then yourself.
      Do you really think Koreans still think they’re inferior to Japan these days? Not these days.

      • Yorgo

        Japan is culturally a century ahead of Korea. Does that make your blood boil Chucky ol’ boy. You are living proof of that.

        • chucky3176

          Not really. Your opinion is subjective. My blood doesn’t boil.

        • dk2020

          buhh .. life isn’t a competition ..

      • jon775

        Maybe not, but the inferiority complex against whites is still there. But, don’t feel alone, everyone feel inferior to whites.

        • dk2020

          LMAO .. you still living in the past .. what you gonna do when most the earth’s population is going to be brown in a couple decades ..

          • jon775

            We’re going to be brown in a couple of decades? WTF?! What are you planning? Sounds evil.

          • dk2020
          • jon775

            That’s a good explanation as to why people feel inferior to whites.

          • dk2020

            Nah, I just think Louis CK is hilarious though.

          • dk2020

            What is the exact number of whites in SoKo? Less than 40,000 in a total population of 50 million people .. yeah okay .. I don’t think Koreans in Korea are worried about white dominance it’s more of wanting their own sovereignty away from outside influences ..

        • Jennster

          the problem is because china is too weak. however, why do they (japan and korea) feel inferior to whites when they are rich and independent from china?

      • KrZ

        This is just something a lot of my friends have expressed to me, which is odd because they are mostly scientists and engineers so I would assume they would be up on GDP rates. I’m saying Koreans should be proud of their economic success and I’m the bad guy?

      • holdingrabbits

        Koreans don’t seem to think they’re inferior to anyone, that’s why it’s impossible to change.

        • dk2020

          lols .. so Koreans have nothing to be proud about and we’re the scum of the Earth .. white power! do it the white way!

          • holdingrabbits

            that’s almost exactly what i said. well played.

        • Sillian

          Do you really mean it or are you just saying that for the sake of being condescending all the time?

        • chucky3176

          Why Koreans need to feel inferior to Japan? Panasonic, Sony and Sharp have all recently been relegated to Junk Status by international ratings agencies. Once they all go bankrupt, which is just matter of time, the Korean companies can take over their market share (or what’s left of them).

          • holdingrabbits

            I don’t mean to say that Koreans need to feel specifically inferior to anyone. I do think that rabid nationalism and racial homogeneity does hinder Korea’s success though. An adult student told me that he likes Korea because it’s racially homogenous. This student’s job is to engage foreigners on a regular basis for his company. Let that ignorant belief slip out and see how that does for his business relationships. The unwillingness to accept new ideas and ways of thinking is what keeps the country back. Instead of feeling inferior to anyone, the country tends to overcompensate with the kind of bravado that makes America look shy and modest. Instead of fiercely hating Japan and thinking “We’re so much better than Japan!” why not look at it objectively and see if there’s anything worth learning from Japan? For instance, Japan has super clean streets, Korea doesn’t. Why is that? When my friends living in Japan come for visits they’re always amazed by how filthy it is. My point is that Korea would benefit greatly if they could just figure out why it is that the Japanese keep their streets clean and they don’t. I’m not saying that Japan is better than Korea, but in this respect Japan is light years ahead. If you always think you’re above everyone, no one has anything they can teach you. That goes for me and my country as well.

          • Sillian

            The funny thing about anecdotes is that they can always be used in the opposite way. Don’t go too far. Just take a look at the netizen comments in the article. Granted, with Japan, there are issues but Koreans aren’t shy about seeing good in this and that from other countries and complaining about their own. Maybe not in front of condescending expats. You said ‘impossible to change’ but Korea has been pursuing changes and reforms for the past several decades. How can you even not see all that blood and sweat? It’s uncalled for.

          • holdingrabbits

            Yeah, of course it can go both ways, but honestly if Koreans weren’t so nationalistic and more realistic, maybe they wouldn’t be so hyper sensitive and cry a fucking river every time they receive criticism. You can talk bad about America all day long, I don’t really care and will probably agree with you on most things. I think Koreans can acknowledge problems, but due to respect for hierarchy very few people attempt to change their situation because it would take a gesture of disrespect to do so. Buildings, cars, and technology can change, but attitudes are much harder to change. When children are raised to be racist from the start without even knowing why they hate Japanese people or why they think black people are savages, then the “changes” and “reforms” don’t amount to much. All the changes are financial in nature, but it doesn’t really seem like Korea is becoming an open, accepting, or modern society. Just because someone wears a suit and drives a nice car doesn’t mean they’re not a peasant.

          • Sillian

            Maybe they ‘cry a fucking river’ in your words or get cynical around try-hard satirists. Many Koreans enjoy reading well-thought-out constructive critiques from ‘outsiders’. Such books have often been best sellers.

            Korea probably needs to maintain a certain level of nationalism. That ‘certain level’ can be subtle to define. Sadly, Korea is not located in some lalala happy land. You need enough people who would bleed and die for the country in case of ‘emergency’.

            Of course materialistic changes are much faster than social changes for a late industrialized country. Social progresses in the west have happened because of the social problems they directly experienced. It was so bad that they eventually realized they needed to change out of dire necessity. Ideally, people should learn from others’ mistakes regardless of their own social context and history. I don’t think Korea is doing terribly bad in this regard. They are progressive in some ways and behind in some others. If you genuinely think that Koreans as a people in 1960 and 2012 are not socially different in a significant way especially regarding the huge generational gap, I don’t think I need to keep talking.

          • chucky3176

            “When children are raised to be racist from the start without even
            knowing why they hate Japanese people or why they think black people are
            savages”

            Assuming much there? Have you even been through the Korean school system? I have, but it looks you haven’t. No, Korean schools don’t teach to “hate” Japanese people without any reason at all, nor do they teach blacks are savages. Those are stereotypes of Koreans that you have come up with, because based on some headline news.

          • holdingrabbits

            You know I teach, right? You know that I have daily contact with students. I assure you that this is not some myth that I’ve heard, but rather it is something that I’ve experienced. Children are raised by their parents and grandparents, not by teachers. If I show a picture of a black person to any of my classes, the first response is immediate laughter. If I show a picture of anything Japanese (one time it was a pheasant, the national bird of Japan) then vitriol starts coming out. 10 year olds, 15 year olds, it doesn’t matter. Perhaps the teachers aren’t teaching it to them, but someone is and it wasn’t me.

          • Sillian

            I’m just curious. What’s the age group of those kids who laugh at a picture of a black person? What type of picture was it? Would they laugh at images of black people like Beyonce? Without any ‘instruction’, kids pick on other kids who look ‘weird’ to them. Maybe the picture was associated with those ‘weird’ traits in their mind? Korean highteens get to know black American stars so you would rather see them look up to some black Americans.

            For Korean kids’ negative feelings about Japan, I think the internet plays a big role if you consider how much Korean teens use the internet. It’s very easy to stumble on reports or gossips about Japanese nationalist crap on Koreans if you surf around the Korean web. You were probably first exposed to ‘netouyo’ through JapanCrush but for some Korean netizens, it’s been part of their web surfing for a long time. They get numb. I’m sure chucky has seen loads of netouyo comments and stuff like that. If you are an adult, you are supposed to take internet crap in perspective, but for teens, it may be quite hard. It’s like the Internet has brought a new breed of vicious hate circle.

          • holdingrabbits

            Anywhere from 10-15 years of age (Korean age) usually. It’s usually pictures of famous black people like Barack Obama or Stevie Wonder. It’s usually musicians I like, but it has also been known to be just normal people doing normal things. I wouldn’t put up pictures of tribesmen making funny faces with bones in their noses or anything. Perhaps it is the internet, but it’s not just a few kids here and there. It seems that it’s the majority who are like this and the minority that doesn’t really care. I don’t know what the problem is, but it’s not entirely children. I’ve had an old man walk up to me and say “fuck you.” What was I doing? Waiting for my friends, alone, standing. It’s not like I was screaming anti-Korean propaganda and exposing myself to kids. I was just standing. There was a girl I met who didn’t want things to go too far because she was afraid that she would get aids from me. I know this isn’t everyone in Korea, but the attitudes that do exist here and there will just take a long time to change.

          • Paul M

            One time my Korean teacher was confused as to why I was upset at a picture in our textbook. It was a caricature of a Korean standing next to a stereotype of a tribesman, naked from the waist up holding a spear with a bone through his nose. The caption was “Apurika maleul hal su eobseoyo” and the English translation was I can’t speak Afrikaans. Colossal fail on so many levels.

          • holdingrabbits

            There was a picture in one of the books I had that was basically a nazi era depiction of a jew. He was breaking into someone’s house to steal something.

          • Sillian

            Hahah, you got the f word out of nowhere? That’s horrible.
            Just for a ‘global perspective’ though, I assume you don’t get racist physical attacks or S.O.D mob like in Australia?

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUBhTcLxLuY

            I don’t think this is common in Australia but probably it’s even more rare in Korea?

          • dk2020

            you’re really narrow minded and you just want to see things from your pessimistic perspective .. See I’m an optimist I have to believe in Korea no matter how bad you say it is, while you think the society is going to collaspe .. I love black people and darker skinned minorities, there’s blasians like Hines Ward and Ben Henderson who are role models for koreans that is changing perspectives on mixed race children, what have you done? Instead of judging the dumbass racist kids behind their backs .. what a good teacher .. I still haven’t heard you say anything good about Korea ..

          • holdingrabbits

            The world needs optimists, so no one’s going to fault you for that. I don’t think society is going to collapse. I don’t judge them behind their backs, they hear about it right then and there. I do like Korea, but is there anything I could point out that wouldn’t sound ridiculous? Like if I said “I like to be able to smoke in coffee shops” that’s a stupid answer (but it is one of the things I like about Korea).

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_G3BZRN6Q65NGIJXTBN5HZVKLEU Jahah Hahfd

            You go to America, get brainwashed, “racism is bad” because your fragile mind couldn’t take racism, you come back to Korea, and think you have the right to change the Korean population. “Korean society need to change their “racist” perspectives” is purely
            your view based on your experiences of felt racism you endured living in
            a foreign country. It is the signal to your weakness that you’ve
            inherited in a multicultural society.
            Can you see yourself how your own stupidity is attacking your own race?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_G3BZRN6Q65NGIJXTBN5HZVKLEU Jahah Hahfd

            Natural fondness of things that person share commonality with and condemnation against foreign is natural human instinct.

          • holdingrabbits

            Common depiction. This was on a video we watched today from our textbook.

          • Sillian

            Are you talking about the exaggerated lips in the caricature or the fact that they used an image of African tribesmen at all who are not imaginary but real people?

          • holdingrabbits

            The exaggerated lips look like black face (that is, non black people dressing up as black people) and tribesmen represent an incredibly small percentage of black people, yet it is the go to picture for black people. How would Korean feel if nearly every representation of them was some exaggerated piece of racist propaganda that made everyone look like buck toothed rice farmers with cross eyes? http://seoulbeats.com/2012/03/kkk-pop-facial-insensitivity-in-the-great-hallyu-wave/

          • holdingrabbits

            Sorry, I had to address the part in which Koreans wouldn’t admit their complaints to condescending expats. What do you think the reason for this is? Some Koreans do criticize their own culture, but they also don’t hesitate to criticize other cultures either…but when criticisms of Korea come into play there’s a double standard. Koreans are allowed to talk shit about other people, but no one had better dare criticize Korea because that’s going too far. I think you’re pretty reasonable, so you’ve got to understand that this board is in place for discussion and not for the praise of the Korean state. What a boring site it would be if everyone just posted vapid garbage agreeing with all the articles and comments. When it comes to some certain things, like this article, I’m definitely condescending. But do you really think it will change in our life times? Do you think company owners are going to look at the data and say “Look at this! We should stop overworking our labor force considering it has been proven to not affect our productivity. Maybe happier workers are more productive workers” or do you think they’d ignore it because “fuck everyone else, I’m the god-king of this company and people had better listen to me?”

          • Sillian

            You can also say they don’t hesitate to put other countries on a pedestal. Many Koreans tend to idealize some European countries. Things like this depend on what you wanna put in your narrative.

            I don’t know how familiar you are with Korean history since the 50s up until now. When you read about all those social upheavals and movements they went through, don’t you think they’ve come a long way and they will continue to do so?

            Do you follow the presidential election debates in Korea?

          • holdingrabbits

            I know that Koreans put other countries on pedestals in theory, but I’ve just never seen it in practice. It seems that there are temporary fascinations and misconceptions about places (If British men are all gentlemen, then I’m the King of Siam). I’ve been in Korea a good while and I’m familiar with the history and you’re right. Korea has come a long way in a lot of respects, I just think that certain attitudes are going to take a long time to change, but that’s true of any culture.

          • chucky3176

            You never seen it in practice because all your information about Korea come from other ESL teachers and their blogs. Thus explains your explanation.

          • holdingrabbits

            Have you been following me? How did you know my secret?

            oh…..you were making an assumption.

          • Sillian

            Superficial fascinations and positive misconceptions certainly exist like anywhere else but I’m also talking about more intellectual debates. Korean media often uses developed western countries as models to learn from for many things. Politically Japan gets flak but aside from that, they often get positive media coverage too.

            Your experience as an expat can be significantly different depending on how extensive and deep your interaction with locals has been. If you speak fluent Korean and show your Korean friends that you have a decent understanding of the country, I don’t doubt most Koreans will listen to you when you want to be serious with heavy topics. That’s what I’ve consistently heard from those engaging expats. On the other hand, if you come off as a perpetual holier-than-thou whiner who’s generally unpleasant to be around, you will get cold shoulders for sure. Such people tend to blame everything on Koreans. I’m not talking about YOU specifically here. I don’t know what you are like in real life.

            I have read many discussion forums and it doesn’t seem to be hard to find Americans who wouldn’t just take it quietly if some whiner comes along and makes sarcastic condescending comments about how America sucks all the time. Maybe how people get annoyed like that is universal. We can discuss who is more or less sensitive than who all day long but the problem isn’t always with the listener. I don’t think everyone is supposed to just sit back and take whatever is thrown. Critics can do their part to diplomatically deliver their genuine message unless their intention is just to vent out and feel better alone. When I read Brett’s comments here for instance, I barely notice the trite insular ‘expatism’. I don’t see much of a reconstructed reality through a thick expat lens.

            What do you think Koreans talk among themselves? How great Korea is? They always complain and want improvements. The younger people with social experience and education especially. However, their priorities as Korean citizens in Korean social context might not coincide with what some western expats wish to see change as soon as possible.

            About the ‘double standard’ you mentioned, we can think about this. Koreans who lived in Italy normally wouldn’t complain about rampant pickpockets in Italy in front of Italian acquaintances. They would usually talk about good things and try to make the atmosphere friendly. But they would definitely more freely talk about negative things they experienced in Italy with other Koreans, non-Italian foreigners or very close Italian buddies within their personal clique they feel comfortable with. It’s like some protocol.

          • maja

            if you have some anecdote about pickpockets in italy most italian people would probably listen and agree with every complaint you have or give you advice. or laugh if it’s particularly funny.
            anyways pickpockets accidents and social critique is not really the same and I understand your point on the let-him-speak attitude.

          • Sillian

            Yea I picked an easy example but pickpocket incidents in Italy are probably more like drunk ajusshi episodes in Korea. To make it more relevant, imagine someone who sings about how Italians are backward, corrupt, incompetent, and [add a few more negative adjectives] all the time to his Italian acquaintances and then complains even more because they don’t wanna listen to him

          • maja

            well… sorry if I’m late. maybe with italians (but not only) you’re not picking the easiest confront on this point, there a LOT of italian singers talking about what’s wrong in the country. I would get as far as saying that it’s difficult to become popular without proclaiming your own critique at some point.

            at the same time a foreigner speaking about the shortcomings of the country during a dinner with the locales… I would say that while there could be an awkward response (let’s say, some people wouldn’t accept it from a black person, or asian, or french), but in most cases… anyone would want to say something and the discussion would linger for a long long time until everyone agrees on… something.

          • Sillian

            Italian singers criticizing Italians in whatever way can be easily seen out of genuine concern. They are carrying the burden together as insiders.

            “let’s say, some people wouldn’t accept it from a black person, or asian, or french”

            That’s the thing we are talking about here. If they sound not diplomatic and sincere but condescending and sarcastic, there can be an extra barrier in the dialogue. The worst kind would be the delusional person who doesn’t even speak Italian and comes off as “you guys don’t even know the problems. I, an enlightened foreigner, know everything!” when what he thinks oh so insightful has already been discussed to death among many locals. That’s just pure arrogance.

          • maja

            I also suspect we’re talking about a misunderstanding of etiquette or just straightforward arrogance, but in effect in many western countries if someone is oblivious about a delicate matter he or she will receive some kind of consideration (even a very simplified explanation, not necessarily a real discussion). only exception being contempt towards the person who’s talking, and since we’re talking about foreigners and locals we’re basically talking about racism, that’s how many westerners would see the situation of receiving the cold shoulder. I would say that a lot of westerners really cannot take any real cultural adjustment regarding interpersonal relationships but in general it’s quite difficult to get any (culturally unfamiliar) meaning form a col shoulder. it’s difficult for westerners to not receive answers in a social situation… let’s say it’s some kind of “face”.

          • holdingrabbits

            Fair enough. I’ve got Korean plenty of Korean friends, but none of this stuff is appropriate dinner table conversation. Occasionally, I’ll have to say something if they make a racist remark or something, but keeping the peace is priority number one in the real world. Some people online like to keep the peace too and they might share their criticisms in the real world, but I am not one of those people. I think it depends on who the person I’m talking to is. If they’re some big nationalist who thinks Koreans are the master race and they constantly make it known how uneducated they are (even about their own history), then I want to take that person down a peg. It’s just a natural instinct. If it’s someone who REALLY hates Korea, then you have to let them know it’s not as bad as all that. The truth is just in the middle between the two opinions.

            I think this is an issue that some people have with me on the boards, that I am perceived to view Korea too negatively, but that persona is a response to those who view Korea too positively according to my perception. So perhaps neither side is as extreme in their views in real life. If in Italy, there’s some bigot telling everyone that the country would be better off without Koreans and then the problems would magically vanish, then I think even the nicest person would want to mention pickpockets. If someone was always talking about how horrible Italy was, then you might want to bring up its rich history and amazing art collections.

            Like I said, critique America all you want. It’s nothing to be offended at because I believe a critique of a culture is not a critique of the individual. If someone says that there’s horrible crime in the states, A) it’s true and B) does not mean the person is implying that I’m a criminal…the problem in Korea is that arguments often lack nuance when it comes to things like that and there are labels like “foreigner” and “all” thrown on everything. You speak with great nuance in your arguments though, and so even if I don’t agree with you on everything I can still respect where you’re coming from.

          • Sillian

            That’s very true about our natural response. Like a pendulum tries to go to the center but ends up moving further due to inertia, which makes it swing back and forth in different situations. That’s human but at least we are aware of that.

          • dk2020

            Go live in Japan if you think it’s better, be happy .. the whole reason i dislike you and don’t respect you is there’s a big difference between constructive criticism and sarcastic condescending shit talking which is what you do. Be realistic and offer realistic solutions to the issues instead of Koreans should be like Westerners. I haven’t heard you say anything remotely positive about Korea so that gets me wondering why the fuck are you there if you think it’s so oppressive and you’re miserable.

          • holdingrabbits

            Let’s be clear, you dislike me because I disagree with you and made you look like an idiot once upon a time. What realistic solution can I offer that doesn’t involve being more like the westerners in this case? “Work less, do more while you work, and take some vacation days” seems like the only reasonable response, and yet it’s a very western concept as the data shows. So why don’t you give me your Eastern solution to the problem. I like Korea plenty, but about 50% of the population is just horrible. Japan shares a lot of the problems of Korea, no one is saying it’s paradise, but their streets sure are clean. See, the reason I dislike you is that if I so much as mention that Korea’s streets are filthy you call me a white supremacist and tell me to move to Japan. You’re exactly the kind of person I was talking about to Sillian. You love to criticize others, but you have thin skin and can’t stand anyone saying anything bad about Korea. Here’s a constructive, non-western criticism: don’t throw garbage in the street.

          • dk2020

            I can take criticism from people i respect and i don’t respect you .. if you haven’t noticed dummy I do agree there are alot of problems with SoKo but doing it the white way won’t work, you can’t comprehend that it’s a totally different culture ..

            I grew up in the ghetto in LA. I’m used to it being dirty and the streets having potholes. It is what it is, move somewhere else where it’s not filthy, i heard in Gangnam the streets are clean .. you’re just a whiner with no real solutions..

          • holdingrabbits

            I’m not criticizing you though, that’s the problem! I’m criticizing Korea and you are NOT Korea. If I say the streets are filthy you act like I told you that you personally stink. What’s this about the “white” way you fucking racist prick? You’re getting good at editing your comments, so I expect that to be gone soon enough. I forgot that your experience in the ghettos of LA have resulted in a profound understanding of Korean culture. Just come live here. I hear gyopos have a great time fitting in and that Koreans are really accepting of them (just kidding). Anyway, the streets in Gangnam are filthy, I’ve actually been there. I have a solution though: don’t throw garbage on the ground. Is that too white for you?

          • dk2020

            When I visited Korea I hung out with my cousins so i didn’t have any problems, and I still have family there and that’s all I need, I don’t go looking for acceptance from strangers. I actually thought Seoul was pretty clean, the subways didn’t even have graffiti. Yeah, i am Americanized but I was still raised in a Korean household, and I can hold a decent conversation. The fastest way to earning respect in Korea is learning the language or to at least try. If some drunk ajeoshi started shit with me I’ll put his ass to sleep, from experience drunk fools are easier to KTFO ..

            Again, if you have a problem with the garbage MOVE SOMEWHERE ELSE .. if you think Korea is dirty I guess you haven’t been to Shanghai or the Phils, I love it ghetto though. How your ssuhganom attitude is I really can understand why Koreans don’t like you .. if you have a problem with 50% of the Korean population, dude I would seriously get out of the country ..

          • Paul M

            - If some drunk ajeoshi started shit with me I’ll put his ass to sleep

            That is so not Korean. The Korean way would be to sit there and suck it up. Let the ajeoshi be an asshole but as soon as you start fighting back you have lost.

          • dk2020

            Well I grew up in Ktown where it is the closest thing to Seoul with the largest KA population. I don’t blindly respect elders especially if they demand it like assholes. My hyungs that I grew up with really did take care of me and they earned that respect.

          • Paul M

            I get the feeling a lot of young Koreans feel the same way. You can see it in their eyes when an older person starts bossing them around and the younger person has to do the whole bowing and scraping act. You can see they hate it and find it humiliating. I don’t know if it is a mis-translation or if it is a term that has been used for so long for so many different situation in that it has lost it’s true meaning, but I think in reality it’s more a case of younger people should be submissive to their elders rather than show respect. Respect carries with it a sense of positive emotion which I feel is lacking in a lot of cases. But believe me when I say that no one is more deserving of a smack-down than a drunken self-entitled arrogant asshole ajeoshi.

          • dk2020

            Right .. well I do automatically respect the elderly Korean folks and I listen to their advice .. Koreans are scrappers, being a Korean man there is alot of machismo, pride or whatever add in Confucian teachings of respecting elders and of course there’s going to be tension. Isn’t the most popular kids in school the best fighters? But the thing is .. I like fighting, when me and my friends went out to clubs and bars we would be ready to get in fights. I haven’t been berated by an ajeoshi since I was a kid though .. you say Koreans are hard on foreigners, see how Koreans are hard on ourselves ..

          • chucky3176

            I don’t think Korean streets are “filthy” at all. What country do you come from, so that we can compare?

          • holdingrabbits

            America.

          • Alex

            Actually the garbage having to be left there on the street floors its “a little” filthy, don´t Koreans know what containers are?

          • Alex

            The problem is that the goverment don´t provide the cities with the proper trash bins or garbage containers ㅜ.ㅜ I hace to put the trash on the street floor because I have no other option than wait to the garbage truck to come and pick it up

          • Kate

            Trash cans. Haven’t you noticed how there aren’t many public trash cans on the streets? You will see them near some stores, the subway, but you hardly see them anywhere else. People have trash and no where to put it. Also the smokers are horrid about throwing their cigs down, why no places for them to put their cigs when done? Also I think they have the mentality that the street cleaners will come gather the trash thrown down to recycle, so why care. I will say that at the public parks, its generally pretty clean because they have public trash cans there.

          • Sillian

            Spot on. Seoul got rid of street trash cans after introducing 쓰레기 종량제 or ‘volume-rate garbage disposal system’. They expect you to carry garbage with you for hours even until you get home in the worst case. This has been an issue.

            http://imnews.imbc.com/replay/nwdesk/article/3124258_5780.html

          • holdingrabbits

            Right, I just don’t think it’s an excuse. Not to bring up the Japanese again, but in my experience they actually carry their garbage home with them. I think it’s partially a matter of national pride, and this is the kind of national pride I could get behind. G.K. Chesterton once wrote “Rome was not loved because it was beautiful, it was beautiful because it was loved.”

          • dk2020

            Go live in Japan be happy gaijin ..

    • ChuckRamone

      Looks like you have a superiority complex. i.e., you’re pompous.

      • KrZ

        What are you talking about? I’m saying that Korea is a developed nation and that people should say “almost developed”?? How is that pompous? If being pompous is telling Korean people they should be proud of their economic success, I suppose that makes me a pompous prick.

        • KrZ

          should say -> should not say

    • Jennster

      they are just being modest (at least some are), i assume.

      • chucky3176

        No, Koreans are not being modest. Most Koreans still don’t know how good they have, compared to the most. They underestimate Korea too much. They will realize this once they have traveled extensively and see for themselves.

  • holdingrabbits

    In Korea, everyone on their deathbed says “I wish I would have spent more time at the office pretending to respect my boss.”

    • dk2020

      Where did you go??? Here’s some racist tweets from Americans that saw Red Dawn .. IT’S A FUCKIN MOVIE and they don’t have enough sense to differentiate that from reality!!! They sound just like ignorant netizens on KB or JC .. SMFH ..

      http://i.imgur.com/vcYuy.png

      • Zappa Frank

        I can’t belive it, must be a joke, … it has to be a joke….no one can be that stupid..

      • holdingrabbits

        “Red Dawn” was a documentary filmed in 2003, so I understand their comments.

        But seriously, yeah, that’s messed up. Sorry, I was out. I find that the message boards on koreabang don’t do much for me during the weekend.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_G3BZRN6Q65NGIJXTBN5HZVKLEU Jahah Hahfd

        Every Korean should watch Red Dawn and get a sense of the American media and the general perception of their society. They don’t like us and I welcome that.
        Tell all your friends and relatives NOT TO IMMIGRATE TO U.S.
        There are some Koreans who think America is the promised land. These people are extremely stupid.

  • dk2020

    Hard work and long hours is what has made Koreans successful, compared to some countries in Europe like Greece, France, and Spain where their economies are in trouble being in so much debt.

    Fuck working for the man, gotta be daring and strike out on your own .. that’s why Korean immigrants in the US are successful starting their own small businesses, being self made entrepreneurs..

    • RegisterToPost

      Your anecdote contradicts the evidence. Germans work hard and take long vacations. How do you reconcile that?

      • dk2020

        I wasn’t talking about Germany which is the largest economy in Europe, I’m talking about Greece and Spain where there is a 25% unemployment rate..

        • Joey

          If you have to work long hours, you’re not working hard.

          • dk2020

            Uh yeah it is .. you try running a convenience store, restaurant, or being a nurse on a 12 hour shift .. work is work .. but who doesn’t complain about their job nowadays ..

        • Zappa Frank

          i’m afraid you’re wrong, there’s nothing like 25% of unemployment, usually this high rate is for young people, under 30years old..besides, try to compare life in spain with life in korea, simply there’s no match…even in the middle of an economic crysis the lifestyle is far above korean. Economic crysis doesn’t have anything to do with working hours.

          • dk2020

            It’s just funny to me some of y’all keep bringing up the success stories in Europe like Germany and the Nordic countries but fail to mention the countries that are struggling and will effect the global ecomomy. I would like to compare Greece to South Korea during the ’97 IMF bailout and see how fast they recover ..

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjZVHHNe-xc

          • Zappa Frank

            you seem have no knowledge about what is EU and why this crysis is something different, where greece by itself cannot come out.

          • dk2020

            No need to explain it then bro .. forget it nevermind .. shouldn’t compare Greece’s IMF bailout to SoKo’s ’97 IMF bailout .. got it. Shouldn’t compare Europe to Asia because it’s like apples and oranges.

          • maja

            I don’t agree nor disagree, I just want to say the you may be know better what you’re talking about: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_economic_miracle. and btw, the economic boom described in the link was largely based on producing cheap products for export, does this make you think of something?

    • holdingrabbits

      France has the number 5 economy in the world…but the existence of Chaebols make it pretty hard for people with new ideas to make it in Korea these days. Mom and Pop places can’t really compete with just about anything sold at the giant Walmart-like super stores. Opening a Korean restaurant in America is a good idea because there isn’t a lot of market saturation, but if you open a Korean restaurant in Korea then it’s nothing special. If a local Korean joint goes out of business, I can just go to EVERY other restaurant in town because there’s nothing distinguishing them usually (they all serve the same thing at the same price with the same recipe). What you’re saying is true for America, and in the same way, Indian, Greek, French people etc. can do well for themselves by opening restaurants in Korea.

      • HaakonKL

        Aren’t there franchises you can take?

        I know that most stores in my own country (Norway) are self-owned, but under a franchise to one of the four big chains.

        So you own the store, and pay money to use a brand. In return, you get access to the brand’s distribution services, deals, sales, marketing, POS software licenses and more.

        Surely there is a similar structure available for Korean businessmen?
        Or a cooperative they can join?

        • holdingrabbits

          Certainly, you can have a McDonald’s franchise or a coffee shop. I don’t think you can franchise a Homeplus or E-Mart though. I think it’s pretty hard to open an independent business that gets nationwide success; I think those days are over. Most people would rather go to a chain coffee shop rather than an independent coffee shop because the flavor is consistent and the price is a little cheaper. Other than restaurants, it would seem that most businesses in Korea are franchises or corporately owned.

          • HaakonKL

            Yes, but you could conceivably take a franchise in Mom And Pops Stores “LocalMart” or something?

            It’s the most popular option here, since the corporations gets a lot of knowledgeable highly motivated leaders and owners, and the would be store-owners own their own stores, and will therefore care a lot more.

            There are franchises for small, medium and large stores, of the cheap and well-stocked varieties, etc.

            And the local franchisetakers have a lot of say in the matter, since they can change their franchise to something else if they don’t like the current franchise’s direction.

    • 3ayo

      I wouldn’t directly correlate long working hours with working hard. Anyone for example can play around on the web at their desk for hours, and actually may do a few hours of work in an 8-10 hour shift.

      Productivity is just a better measure. Where Korea ranks with that I’m not sure. But considering how many European nations have high productivity rates while taking much more vacation time than either the U.S. or Korea says something.

    • jon775

      Well, hard work is good but it’s about more than that. The nordic countries are the most successful countries in the world and yet they work the least. Chinese people work hard and long hours, still, they are dirt poor. It’s mostly about the system. Korea’s and Japan’s and Hong Kong’s success is mostly thanks to America and the west.

    • restirus

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17155304http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17155304

      “Most hours worked hours 1Greece”

      You are just wrong.

      • dk2020

        You serious? So Greece doesn’t have a 25% unemployment rate and is going to need another bailout? okay ..

        • Zappa Frank

          but it is not related with working hours..

    • restirus

      And compare France and Korea is a joke…

  • Praxis

    “It was revealed that many employees who didn’t not fully use paid holidays didn’t get returns.”

    I….what. This article needs some proofreading, that sentence peeved the heck outta me.

  • Paul M

    I’ve also noticed that almost everybody in Korea takes their holidays at the same time, usually because that’s when their kid’s school vacation is. And when they do take a vacation it’s usually just 4 or 5 days during August. So not only do they face pressure from their boss for staying at work they also have the pressure of not letting their kids fall behind on school work.

    I remember my wife had to quit her previous job so that we could go on vacation together.

    • dk2020

      Interesting, why do Koreans take vacays around their kids? How do they fall behind on schoolwork? Well I think it’s no secret Koreans are workaholics .. most of the Korean shop owners I know don’t even take vacations and are open on holidays. Is there overtime pay?

      • Paul M

        It’s all about the insanely intense competition to do well on the university entrance exam and getting into a prestigious university. Parents put so much pressure on their kids to do well and make enormous sacrifices for them if they think it would give them the upper hand in their grades. Even when the semester is over parents send their kids to 4 or 5 cram schools (hagwons) so that they don’t fall behind all the other kids. It’s not so much that the kids will actually fall behind but the parents fear that it may happen and so tend not to take vacations unless the schools are closed for vacation too.

        • 3ayo

          When I was in school my parents only took off, and still only do because I have younger siblings still in school, on holidays when school was out. Every other summer we’d take a vacation but that was it. So the fear of their children falling behind is understandable. The intense competition though not so much.

    • holdingrabbits

      It’s also a fun time to take vacation because the price of every motel on every beach in the country nearly doubles in price.

  • Jang

    Online Expedia, Is that it? I suggest a better source and disagree with(at the least) “and their holiday usage rate is on the lowest level in comparison to other major countries.” Check latimesblog “Money & Company” or any other google source as of late. USA puts S. Korea to shame, yes, who’d a thunk it? Americans work harder than Koreans. I’ll try to include a link but I’m not sure this site allows as much?
    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2011/11/study-says-americans-given-less-vacation-time-in-2011-still-dont-use-it-all.html

    • JoeChicago

      “American workers expect to receive less vacation time in 2011 than the previous year but still won’t use all of their allotted time off, according to a study on vacation habits by the travel website Expedia.com.”

      You do realize the article you linked used stats from an Expedia study from last year? And in the study Korea recieved less vaca time than the USA and used less.

  • Kate

    I would be impressed if bosses actually started allowing employees sick days. Hell just using a sick day in Korea is one of the most stressful things ever to set up. We had a Korean TA take 2 days off from work due to food poisoning, the girl was literally in a horrible physical state and stayed in the hospital due to dehydration and the school manager was literally calling her almost every 2 hrs to see when she was coming back and after the first day they threatened to fire her if she wasn’t back at work…this was the first time she had ever taken off work. I was given 3 sick days, (usa teachers have 10) and using 1 was like pulling a tooth from an alligator.

    Sick days and more family vacation time and keeping the work week to 40 productive hours and more social services for women like counseling, a wic program for low income mums and babes, lower education costs, abolishing cultural norms that hurt families like requiring employees to drink after work with the boss (I despise this the most, my SIL husband is head CPA at a large credit card company in Seoul and the ceo routinely requires him and others to go out and get piss drunk and it worries and angers my SIL so much…..) Some of these changes would probably help the birth rate and the divorce rate and the suicide rate in Korea.

    • dk2020

      Kate for ROK President! :) Seriously, the only way things will change is for the politicians to write up new laws for women’s rights and labor policies to enforce sick days without the fear of being fired. More of the people need to stand up for themselves! I’ve gone out to watch baseball games and been bar hopping with coworkers and it was fun .. not everyday after work though ..

      • Kate

        Thanks ♥♥♥♥^_^ These are just things I observed living there and that I personally experienced. Korea is a beautiful, wonderful country that is first world in terms of development but socially there are a lot of things that could be better especially for families and women. I care a lot about these issues, my daughter is as much korean as she is american and we are actually moving back to korea in march.

        • dk2020

          I truly wish you and your gajok the best kate. you know there are special tax breaks and benefits for multicultural families and organizations and support groups for hapas and migrant wives.

          how was your thanksgiving? my fam did the half and half, my mom cooked most of the food but I did the market run and bbqed the ribs happy thanksgiving mamas..

      • Sillian

        I’d support Kate for the minister of gender equality and family and stuff. xD

    • seungri_92

      Drinking after work is just part of the culture. But it is slowly changing, many companies don’t allow using the company card after 9pm. And Samsung has some pretty radical rules (compared to other companies) in regards to dinner parties.

      How come no one complains about the amazing job security employees of large companies have in comparison to the west? ^^ Sure, I didn’t have to drink with the boss when I worked in the west, but they also layed me and my department off when stock price went in the toilet. Maybe I would’ve been harder to lay off if I did have a good, close personal relationship with the boss.

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