In South Korea they have a custom where you are expected to go out for meals and drinks with your coworkers, and occasionally take vacations together.
You are supposed to spend a lot of time with your “work family” to build strong relationships.
I didn’t really mind this most of the time, except for the pressure to get really drunk. Some nights my boss kept us out so late that she ended up buying us breakfast and cabs home.
Don’t get me wrong, Jinah (above) was a wonderful boss and I adored her. I haven’t really had a bad boss yet, actually. It’s just that I am a bit old (in my opinion) to get home after sunrise.
Anyway, for one of our work trips we went to Nami island. It seemed like an odd choice, because it’s sort of a love-themed island where people go for dates.
However, at that time, Jinah was falling in love with her then-boyfriend (later husband), and I think she wanted us all to feel it too.
It was a good adventure. I guess the most surprising part was how Koreans travel in groups. We had a two room hotel with one room for the boys, and one for the girls.
We all laid out our mats on the floor and slept together. It’s not weird in Korea, but to an American it was a little unusual.
Overall, it was a fun trip and we saw a lot of cool things. We definitely bonded as co-workers, and I guess that is what it was all about.
If you do go to Korea, I recommend Nami island. It’s a fun little place to spend a weekend.