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On the Verge of Insanity -- Episodes 5 & 6: Workplace Harassment

Han Se Kwon is complete and utter trash. I didn't think I could despise him any more than I do already, but I do. But As much as I dislike him, I love Choi Ban Seok; nothing much riles him up. At first, I wasn't sure if Ja Yeong suggested the test as a disqualification measure to only meet the 40% layoff quota or if she was trying to weed out the bad apples by giving the good ones a chance to shine; either way, I like her proposal. From an HR perspective, it's the best and most credible way of going about the layoff, even if that weren't her intent initially.

Even though I already knew, this episode highlighted to me how underappreciated HR is as a function, wherever it is, despite it being crucial to a company's success and sustainability. No person, let alone an employee and the head of HR at that, should be humiliated the way Ja Yeong was and publicly. But they say from adversity comes opportunity. I hope this is the opportunity Ja Yeong needed to realize that doing the right thing in the wrong way is doing wrong; no amount of excuse will make it right.

If there is one thing I am glad for, Se Kwon appears to have met his match in Seo Na Ri. He isn't in the relationship to be with her but with her father, that's for sure. As for Seo Na Ri, her jealousy of Ja Yeong as the ex-wife is understandable, but the outright animosity speaks more to her maturity level than anything else. It's not Ja Yeong's fault she's insecure in her relationship. I don't get what Ja Yeong even saw in Se Kwon; he is such a weasel. At this point, I'm not sure if I even like Ja Yeong; she's clearly using Choi Ban Seok to propel her agenda forward.

It's so true when they say a good-performing employee is only as good as their manager -- it flows from the top to the bottom. Steve Jobs said it doesn't make sense to hire smart people only to tell them what they can do; we hire smart people to tell us what to do. I don't think I've experienced such unprofessionalism in the workplace as the supposed senior professionals at Hanmyung Electronics. If Se Kwon keeps up his behavior and refuses to listen to what his team has to say, they will eventually have nothing to say. He has a long way to go before realizing what it takes to be a good leader.

This drama is doing a great job keeping me invested with its realistic depiction of the difficulties entry-level, mid-career, and middle-aged workers, women, and HR professionals face in the workplace. Actors Moon So Ri, Jung Jae Young, and Lee Sang Yeob are doing a great job selling their perspectives. Watch Episodes 5 & 6 here.



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