Things can only get worse before they get better. Our Sales and Marketing Team has had some bumps in their journey together, but they were able to overcome these hardships as a team. However, what happens when the issues and challenges start to build from within the team? What happens when the team no longer views themselves as a team, and instead, as competitors?
Kkondae Intern: Episode 6 Recap
Joon-soo and Executive Ahn watch the news broadcast of Mr. Park apologizing for the cockroach incident and owning up to his mistakes. Joon-soo grows impatient and angry with the issue being solved and demands Executive Ahn to dismiss Man-sik. And so Man-sik is dismissed and fired from the company, but Yeol-chan doesn’t let him go so easily. He discovers Man-sik out at a park and drags him back into the company building with him. They head straight to Joon-soo’s office to rebel and to discuss about Man-sik’s dismissal. Joon-soo uses the excuse of the ransomware as the primary reason for the dismissal, but Yeol-chan owns up to his mistake. He was the one who caused the ransomeware to spread, not Man-sik. If Joon-soo wants to fire anyone, it should be him. Joon-soo takes Yeol-chan’s offer seriously and agrees to bring up the topic to his dad, Chairman Namgoong. Yeol-chan then reinstates Man-sik back into his team and they stroll to the office together. While Man-sik rejoices over the fact that Yeol-chan stood up for him by admitting to his mistakes, Yeol-chan has second doubts about admitting the truth to Joon-soo. Lol. They eventually return to the office where the rest of the team waits for them. With Man-sik back on the team, he volunteers to support Jung-eun in a new project where they are to collect consumer surveys and feedback on one of their products. Yeol-chan approves Man-sik’s participation in the project and Man-sik finds himself with another opportunity to support the team.
Joon-soo brings up Yeol-chan’s involvement in the ransomware case to his dad as well as Executive Goo. Yeol-chan basically blamed and framed Man-sik for a mistake that he ultimately committed. He should be fired from the company! However, Chairman Namgoong is impressed with Yeol-chan’s antics and audacity. He’s so impressed he even considers promoting Yeol-chan. Lol. Back at the office, Man-sik and Jung-eun work together on the consumer feedback report they have to send in to the Chairman. Executive Ahn swings by and criticizes their current version of the report; they should focus on making the report more “presentable.” Man-sik catches on to Executive Ahn’s message and abides by the man’s words. After work, Man-sik gains some training from IT senior intern Han-gil on how to screenshot and save online comments from consumers. Although Man-sik is impressed with Han-gil’s skills, he doesn’t feel the need to adjust to the times or to learn these type of skills. However, Ok-kyung – who is also there with Han-gil and Man-sik – reminds Man-sik that he should try to do better and get with the times. Man-sik spends that night working on the report and gathering comments made by consumers. Although impatient and frustrated at first, he succumbs to his new reality: he’ll actually have to do his job as a real intern in order to survive in the workplace.
Yeol-chan visits the same restaurant to once again hold a ranting session with the cook/owner of the restaurant. After venting about Chairman Namgoong, Yeol-chan encounters Jung-eun who also appears at the restaurant. Just like Yeol-chan, she too has a carton of milk hidden in her hands. After seeing Yeol-chan, Jung-eun excuses herself and prepares to leave. Although Yeol-chan claims she can stay with him, Jung-eun kindly declines the offer. She’s more than willing to grab dinner with him anywhere but at the current restaurant they’re in. So with that, she walks away while drinking the milk carton (WHAAAAT IS GOING ONNNNN). Meanwhile, Tae-ri encounters Joon-soo while exiting the company building. It’s not until he introduces him as the CEO of the company which she confirms herself that she places all her attention on him. They go out for some drinks and Joon-soo once again proposes the idea of getting into a relationship with Tae-ri. However, her stance still remains the same and she’s only willing to give it a thought once Joon-soo is single.
Chairman Namgoong isn’t impressed with the falling sales of their super spicy chicken ramen noodles which suffered as a result of the cockroach incident. In a meeting with all the board members and executives, Yeol-chan suggests that he’ll put on another promotional event to combat the decline in popularity and sales. However, Chairman Namgoong rejects his idea and adds that they should be promoting their products online via social media. With that, Executive Ahn announces to our team the newest (voluntary but involuntary) campaign that they are to participate in: with the decline in sales, Joonsoo Foods employees are to purchase the products within the company themselves. As an incentive, whoever purchases the most amount of products will be rewarded at the end of the campaign. Everyone will record their transactions by uploading proof of their receipt onto the online campaign forum. The caveat? You can only purchase the ramen noodles at a grocery market or a big chain store and you also cannot use your employee discount. Tae-ri has a difficult time understanding the rules of this ‘grocery shopping’ campaign nor does she want to participate. While everyone is busy shopping at grocery stores and stuffing their carts with packs of ramen noodles, Tae-ri relaxes.
Assistant Manager Oh checks in with Yoon-soo on his involvement in the campaign. Yoon-soo hasn’t been buying a lot of their products. Is he even participating? Although Yoon-soo understood the campaign to be voluntary, Assistant Manager Oh warns him that his participation will be reflected in the evaluation report for his internship. If Yoon-soo wants a permanent position at the company by the end of his internship, he should start pulling out his wallet to purchase their ramen noodles. Speaking of the campaign, Man-sik has been purchasing a large amount of ramen noodles on his own. How is it that he’s been placing first in the campaign? Is it out of loyalty for the company?
Back in the office, Yeol-chan follows up with Man-sik and Jung-eun on the consumer feedback report they’ve been working on together. While reviewing the report, Yeol-chan notices that there’s only positive feedback about the product throughout the packet. There’s even a positive comment that Man-sik made using his own ID. Yeol-chan isn’t impressed with the report; how can company improve if Chairman Namgoong only sees the good reviews? It doesn’t help that Jung-eun fabricated numbers for the reports and spiked up the views to their online videos to hit the amount of numbers Chairman Namgoong wants. Yeol-chan demands for the second report that the two worked on that includes both the positive and negative feedback by consumers. He wouldn’t want to give a report based off of lies to the chairman. Yeol-chan marches off with the second report in his hand and presents it to Chairman Namgoong.
Unlike what Yeol-chan thought, Chairman Namgoong isn’t impressed with the report. The negative feedback, such as the low amount of views and engagement with their online videos, upsets him even more. He critiques Yeol-chan on his performance and threatens to fire him. Executive Goo and Joon-soo witness the confrontation and celebrate internally at the chairman’s dissatisfaction with Yeol-chan. After the meeting, Yeol-chan drags his feet out of the office. He recalls the comment that Chairman Namgoong whispered into his ears the day after the contract with Mr. Binghao was signed. How could Yeol-chan have fallen behind a new senior intern in the company? How could a guy who killed a man merely turn into a fool? It was with this specific comment that caused Yeol-chan to suffer a panic attack. Executive Goo reminds Yeol-chan that he shouldn’t be so ethical when it comes to reports for the chairman. When Yeol-chan returns to the office, he pretends as if everything is okay and merely states that they should improve on their marketing strategy to reach their goals. However, he’s also a lot more serious and stern than before. He instructs Jung-eun to be more assertive in their approach when engaging with their consumers through social media. Jung-eun is thrown back by Yeol-chan’s sudden change in behavior, but Man-sik reassures her that everything will be fine. He slides a small gift onto her desk to show her his support. Aww.
Yoon-soo checks in with Tae-ri regarding the campaign. Does she really not plan on participating at all? Tae-ri feels as if it’s not completely necessary for her to participate; Executive Ahn did mention that the campaign was voluntary after all. Plus, she doesn’t have all that much money so it’s not like she would be able to purchase much anyways. When that part of the conversation concludes, Tae-ri requests for Yoon-soo to review her proposal for her and to give her some feedback on it. Isn’t Tae-ri afraid Yoon-soo’s going to steal her idea from her? However, Tae-ri isn’t concerned about Yoon-soo possibly betraying her. They can work together and collaborate and come up with ideas that is fitting for each of them respectively. However, Yoon-soo draws the line with Tae-ri and describes his views on their internship. He sees them as competitors, not friends. He also doesn’t feel comfortable when Tae-ri asks him for help so he walks away. Tae-ri grows hurt by Yoon-soo’s comments. Later on that night, Yoon-soo takes a peek at the results of the campaign. As usual, Man-sik is in first place while he remains last. He can barely afford to make a living.
After the brutal confrontation by Chairman Namgoong, Yeol-chan works his magic on social media posts related to Joonsoo Foods. Using a bunch of electronic devices that he has laid out in front of him, he creates his own username ID, “10chani”, and writes positive comments and feedback about their ramen noodles (this reminds me of me before BTS concert tickets go on sale haha). Man-sik catches onto the comments and becomes suspicious of who this ’10chani’ person is. He assumes it must be Yeol-chan. Lol. And so Man-sik confronts Yeol-chan about it the next day at work. Although Yeol-chan denies the accusation, Man-sik is certain the username belongs to Yeol-chan.. Yeol-chan then moves onto Jung-eun to ask about the first report she had written for Chairman Namgoong. You know, the one with all the positive feedback? Jung-eun confesses that she threw the report away since the report wasn’t honest. Lol. Meanwhile, Yoon-soo’s numbers for the campaign increases dramatically which impresses everyone. However, the good news doesn’t last too long. Executive Ahn wreaks havoc once again by confronting them about someone in the company who’s been selling their ramen noodles for cheap through an online service called ‘Used Goods World.’ Luckily, the post hasn’t spread just yet, but it could potentially cause for a PR disaster with the way it seems like the company is forcing their employees to purchase their own products. And so the investigation for the person behind the username ‘dubuabba92’ begins. Who in the team is behind this? Yeol-chan pays special attention to Yoon-soo who he notice seems extra nervous.
Our team (minus Man-sik and Yeol-chan) discuss about the person behind the post. They’re aggravated at the current situation they’re stuck in thanks to this ‘dubuabba92’ person. Tae-ri has a difficult time comprehending why they have to go to such lengths. Why do they have to find this ‘dubuabba92’ person? Why do they have to purchase ramen noodles and participate in the campaign? Her patience with her senior colleagues is tested when they instruct her to just do as she is told. Yoon-soo remains quiet in all of this. Yeol-chan follows up on his hump that Yoon-soo and ‘dubuabba92’ are the same person. He confirms his assumption after doing some research on his own. Instead of exposing Yoon-soo to the team, Yeol-chan comes up with another strategy to resolve their current situation. Yeol-chan presents his grand idea in a team meeting: instead of selling the ramen noodles to other folks, everyone can sell the ramen noodles to Yeol-chan instead. He’ll then reimburse them for their purchases and will find a way to share the ramen noodles with other folks. Everyone rejoices at the novel idea and they’re more than willing to participate in the campaign. Yeol-chan to the rescue once again!
And so the competition begins (again). Assistant Manager Oh, Seung-jin, Jung-eun, and Yoon-soo are all eager in purchasing as many boxes of ramen noodles as possible and “selling” them to Yeol-chan for reimbursement. Although Yeol-chan feels as if he’s doing a good deed for his team, Assistant Manager Oh and Seung-jin doesn’t miss the chance to gossip about their boss behind his back. Since Yeol-chan did cause all the trouble with the cockroach incident, they feel as if this is the least he could do to help out the team. Eventually, the amount of sales for everyone builds up including Man-sik even though he’s not participating in the reimbursement campaign with Yeol-chan. Everyone is fascinated and confused at how Man-sik’s numbers continue to grow every time. While everyone is busy participating in the campaign, Tae-ri remains at a standstill. It’s not until she receives a text from Yoon-soo about how the campaign will be included in their performance assessment that she understands why everyone is so involved. So what about Yeol-chan? How are things going for him? Yeol-chan struggles to do something with the heavy amount of ramen boxes he has inside his house. He’s running out of people and space.
So what has Man-sik exactly doing with all the amount of ramen boxes he’s invested in? As we will see, Man-sik has been sharing the boxes with colleagues and acquaintances around the neighborhood who also happen to be store owners or restaurants owners. He gifts the ramen boxes to them for free to help promote the company. Aww, he’s working real hard. Yeol-chan takes some time off to visit his nephew, sister, and Mom. Everything seems to go well until Yeol-chan suggests that Mom move in with him. Her apartment looks tacky and old and nothing in the apartment matches at all. Things could be so much easier if she just moved in with Yeol-chan. However, Mom opposes the idea and grows upset at her son. Yeol-chan shouldn’t feel so confident just because he now earns a huge paycheck and has a nice house. Plus, the house was given to him by the chairman. Who knows what could possibly happen once Man-sik gets dismissed? Chairman Namgoong could even ask Yeol-chan to pay him back later on. Yeol-chan grows upset and angry at Mom’s words. When Yeol-chan gets home that night, he once again works his magic by “liking” social media posts. Although he’s not so happy with the video that Joonsoo Foods posted online, he “likes” the video on every electronic device laid out in front of him.
Executive Ahn demands for updates and answers on the investigation into who ‘dubuabba92’ is, but Yeol-chan answers that they’ve dropped the case since the post has been taken down already. With that resolved, Executive Ahn uses another reason to get angry at the team: what about the consumer feedback report that they were supposed to give to Chairman Namgoong? Executive Ahn warns them to turn in the report as soon as possible before leaving. With that, Yeol-chan gathers Jung-eun and Man-sik for a talk. He wants them to write up the same report that they created the first time around: a report with only positive feedback. Jung-eun is in disbelief at the request, especially since Yeol-chan originally didn’t want the report to consist of deceiving information. Yeol-chan scolds and yells at Jung-eun to do as he say which shocks everyone in the office.
Man-sik catches onto Yeol-chan’s actions and confronts him about it. He’s worked long enough to know that Yeol-chan got yelled at by Chairman Namgoong for the report. If they were just going to have to redo the report, why didn’t they just turn in the original report the first time around? While Man-sik is busy chewing Yeol-chan out, Yoon-soo chimes in to hand in his receipts to Yeol-chan. He needs his reimbursement as soon as possible (wrong timing, Yoon-soo, wrong timing!). Seung-jin and Assistant Manager Oh butts in with their receipts as well which only worsens the situation. Yeol-chan’s bubble eventually bursts and he shouts at his team members to purchase the products with their own money from now on. To avoid the awkward and uncomfortable silence, Yeol-chan steps outside for some fresh air. Uh oh, someone’s mad. With Yeol-chan gone, Yoon-soo notices a note on Yeol-chan’s desk and finally realizes that it was Yeol-chan who wrote the comments on his proposal T_T
Man-sik joins Yeol-chan on the rooftop of the building and nags at him. However, Yeol-chan isn’t having any of it and he has to return to work to turn in the consumer feedback report to the chairman. Jung-eun isn’t in the mood to talk to Yeol-chan at all and directly drops off the report to his desk. Just as Yeol-chan is about to submit the report to Chairman Namgoong, he discovers that the chairman now has an SNS account. Great! Yeol-chan postpones turning in the report and instructs the team to increase the amount of views on their online videos. While at a PC bang, our team works hard at increasing the views, but Man-sik works harder. He recruits his son, Man-se, and Man-se’s friends to also assist them with their mission. LOL, too cute! The kids not only get paid for every hour that they work, but they also get free food. Yay! It’s a win-win situation for everyone. However, not everyone is satisfied. Tae-ri joins the team shortly afterwards, but she still doesn’t understand why they have to do this. She also defends Yeol-chan when they complain about him and his refusal to no longer reimburse them. Yeol-chan was just merely supporting them and trying to help them out. How could they blame him and criticize him?
It’s not until Yoon-soo shows Tae-ri a page from her proposal packet that Tae-ri wakes up to reality. Yeol-chan isn’t the angelic and kind man she assumes he was. Just like he did with Yoon-soo, he also wrote harsh comments on her proposal packet as well. Tae-ri bursts into tears upon reading the hurtful comments and she struggles to accept that Yeol-chan is not like who she thought he was, especially after all that he’s done for her. Tae-ri walks home with tears in her eyes and reflects on all her interactions with Yeol-chan so far. Although heart-broken at first, she strives to get revenge on her boss. That night, Yeol-chan lays in bed with a thousand thoughts running through his mind. He’s certain the rest of his team is talking about him behind his back which Man-sik confirms through a text. As the boss, there are times where he will be hammered by his subordinates.
The next morning, Tae-ri publishes evidence of her revenge on Yeol-chan. She purchases $40 worth of ramen noodles from their competitor, Ongol Foods, and uploads a photo into their group chat as proof. OH NOOOO. SHE DID THATTTT. SHE WENT THERE. Of course, everyone is upset and outraged with her decision and they wait to confront her that morning at work. When Tae-ri does arrive in the office, she addresses the proposal packet with Yeol-chan head on. How could he write such brutal and harsh comments about her proposal? Yeol-chan doesn’t see any fault in his doings. As their boss, he’s allowed to badmouth them. Plus, Yeol-chan got into trouble because of Tae-ri’s ex-boyfriend so they should be equal with each other. Although Yeol-chan is well aware of the type of comments he’s spewing out loud, he can’t get himself to stop. He keeps attacking Tae-ri.
Soon enough, the attention shifts to Yoon-soo and they discover that he was the person hiding behind the ‘dubuabba92’ username. Anger and frustration is directed towards Yoon-soo, but he defends himself. Assistant Manager Oh shouldn’t pretend to act innocent either for he also has been forcing vendors to purchase their products. Ooh, shots fired! Yeol-chan is also caught selling some ramen boxes outside to customers so he too plays a role in all of this. Plus, it doesn’t help when Man-sik and Yoon-soo read out loud the type of comments that he wrote on the proposal packets. Eventually, everyone explodes and the office transforms into an entire mess. People are throwing things at each other, voices are raised, and everyone is infuriated. In between all the chaos and the commotion, Yeol-chan can only stay silent and he watches as his team breaks down in front of him. He has no words to say; he remains speechless. How did things get this bad?
OH NOOOOOO. What is going on?! Look, I knew things weren’t going to stay peaceful in our team forever. There were already cracks in the bond and connection that our team had together, but I wasn’t expecting things to escalate this much at this rate and at this point. I’m sad to see how frustrated everyone is with each other, but I’ll also admit that it was entertaining in a way to see everyone so mad. The frustration and suffocation they felt inside has finally been unleashed. Maybe once they finally let everything out and forgive one another, things will get better, right? No one will hold any grudges against each other, right?
Our team’s bond was truly tested in this episode in so many ways. From Yoon-soo and Tae-ri’s proposal revelation about Yeol-chan to the campaign to even Yoon-soo and Tae-ri themselves, everyone learned that things are not as they seem. There’s always more to something than meets the eye and the reality can be difficult for people to understand and process sometimes. Tae-ri’s reaction to Yeol-chan’s true colors sort of reminds me of the way that fans behave when they learn about their favorite idols getting into a dating scandal. Lol (okay, but also, what was it with the scene between Jung-eun and Yeol-chan at the restaurant? Did they used to have something going on? Do they have history with each other? I’m so confused). Yoon-soo isn’t the quiet and shy and reserved intern that he presented himself to be. He can be quite the sly and slick and mischievous intern and the scary part is that he does it so subtly without anyone noticing him. Whereas Jung-eun and Assistant Manager Oh are more explicit on their thoughts and feelings towards people or situations, Yoon-soo is so quiet so it was refreshing and yet frightening to see him so bold in this episode. You just never know what he’s going to do. Sometimes, the quietest people can be the scariest.
I wasn’t the biggest fan of the campaign plot in this episode, but I understand that it was utilized as a ploy to expose the issues and problems within our team that had already been fading through the cracks in prior episodes. It was just different in this episode in that people finally revealed everything and no longer held their tongues like they did before. Our team is, by far, not perfect, but they were able to keep their momentum intact thanks to Yeol-chan. It wasn’t until he started to break his facade and the perception that people had of him that the rest of his team felt the same way. If he can be impatient with them and scold them, then they can to him and each other as well. Of course, I can’t blame Yeol-chan entirely for the way he treated his team in this episode. At one point, he even gave them another opportunity for reconciliation and improvement by proposing the whole reimbursement idea. He held himself together at the very last minute to be the team leader that they always relied on; he tried so hard to keep himself intact despite all the emotions and feelings that he was enduring. I don’t necessarily agree with all the approaches he took when addressing his team, but I can see where he was coming from. Reports should be honest and truthful; he was doing it so Joonsoo Foods could improve the company reputation and brand. His team members took advantage of him when he decided to do the whole reimbursement thing and they still didn’t forget to badmouth him despite his kind doing. When he finally had enough of their attitude and level of disrespect, he gave them a taste of their own medicine which they didn’t respond too well too. A part of this could be because they’re so accustomed to the kind, sweet, and intelligent Yeol-chan that they were presented with this entire time, but another part of it could also be because they’re so used to relying on Yeol-chan that they don’t know any other way. They view Yeol-chan as their savior of some sort so they grow frustrated and upset when he breaks away from that role.
I don’t think Yeol-chan should be responsible for the misguided thoughts and perception that the team has of him. He’s always been a leader to them both in the past and in the current. The only difference now is that he’s slowly starting to change his tactics and be more bold and stern with his team members which, let’s admit, they need to an extent. Yoon-soo and Tae-ri needs to learn to be okay with constructive criticism (notice the magic word “constructive”) and not get so hurt when their proposals aren’t greeted with approval. Assistant Manager Oh and Seung-jin shouldn’t gossip and talk bad about every other person on the team. The team needs to learn how to do things amongst themselves as well and not always rely on Yeol-chan. They shouldn’t take advantage of him either which they clearly did in this episode. This isn’t to say that Yeol-chan didn’t commit any wrongdoings or that he’s innocent in all of this. He’s made his fair share of mistakes without holding himself accountable for them and he too has lots of room for improvement. However, to blame him entirely for what happened to his team wouldn’t be fair.
This episode also brought up a really good point which was that, as much bonding as our team members do under the guidance and leadership of Yeol-chan, they also are competitors at the end of the day. As much as it pains me to see Yoon-soo not want to work with Tae-ri and to reject her request for help, I can also understand why he didn’t want to. They’re merely just interns fighting for a permanent position within the company at the end of the day. There’s no time to be helping each other or to be nice to each other in all of this. It especially doesn’t help that they had the whole campaign going on at the same that only intensified the competition so much more and promoted that idea of individuality within the company. Everyone was battling each other individually in this episode and that’s why it was so challenging for everyone to work as a team. When the leader falls apart, so does everyone else. Even when the team leader doesn’t fall apart, the team still does. There’s no easy way in resolving or gluing things back together overnight. It’s going to take much longer for everyone to recover from the reality and truth that they were faced with.
I find it ironic and funny that it was ultimately Man-sik who was the most normal, smart, and ethnical one in this episode. While everyone else was shady or mischievous or angry, Man-sik held his cool and remained loyal to both his internship, the team, and the company in the end. He didn’t do anything suspicious that would tarnish his image or reputation; instead, I would argue that he actually did the opposite in that he improved his reputation and the impressions that everyone had of him. All those boxes of ramen noodles that he purchased? Oh yeah, he donated them for free to his colleagues and friends around the neighborhood. He’s doing actual charity work with his work and he was rewarded for it at the end of this episode when no one had any dirt on him. Why? Because he remained honest and truthful and loyal until the very end. I mean, he even recruited his son and his son’s friends to help them with their work. If that isn’t loyalty, then I don’t know what is. But I mean, that’s the part that makes me laugh. In the beginning, everyone painted Man-sik to be this evil, old-fashioned, and disrespectful type of Kkon-tern, but he reigned as the winner in this episode due to his hard work, good work ethics, and honesty. In the end, his actions didn’t betray him and he gained just as much as he put into the campaign and his internship in general. The truth will prevail; the truth will never betray you.
I commented in my recap for episode 3 that I loved watching our team work together. Obviously, things have dramatically changed since then and that teamwork is pretty much nonexistent at this point. We’re halfway into the drama so I’m confident that our team will eventually make up and go back to being the great team that they were before. Of course, it’s not going to be easy and there’s going to be many more truths that they will have to deal with before they get there, but it’ll ultimately be worth it in the end.
Extra screenshots from the episode~