masking my frustration

Went to Seoul yesterday to do this voice-over job that I came across on the internet. A Korean cell phone company wanted to record some Westerners saying names and phone numbers (in English) to use in developing voice recognition software for their phones, or some such thing. They were promising a good sum of money in cash for doing only an hour’s worth of work, so I signed up. I took the subway to Seoul, and after a bit of getting lost I finally found the office (“Ad Sound”). I was scheduled to do the recording from 5 to 6 p.m., so I got there at about 4:45 to be on the safe side. Five minutes after I got there I was told that they were running late so my appointment would be about 5:40. I sat down at a table in the lobby of this office and talked to a Canadian woman who had been waiting for about a half-hour for her appointment to start. At 5:55, someone finally came and said that they were ready for me, so I went into a small recording booth with a young Korean woman and sat down. The woman explained exactly what I was to do, and I started reading this list of names into these cell phones. After reading about twelve names she tells me that I’m doing it wrong, so we start re-recording things over and over again, and I start masking my frustration. After fifteen minutes we’re only about halfway through the first page (out of about fifteen), and I’m beginning to realize that this is going to take longer than an hour to finish. I explain to the woman that I was told this would only take one hour, and that I can’t talk any other way, and if they were looking for a certain kind of western voice then they should have screened me before I came all the way down here. At this point she hesitantly tells me that they can’t use my voice at all, so I thank her for wasting my time and I head for the door. As I’m leaving she comes up and hands me an envelope containing a fourth of the amount I was promised, and I consider arguing for the rest — I had fulfilled my part of the deal, and it wasn’t my fault they couldn’t use my voice — but I decided it would likely be futile. I just left, all pissed-off like, and took the subway to Itaewon to get drunk.

I met a friend of a friend, Courtney, and we ended up at a cavernous little martini bar called “BricX” (reminded me of “La Cave du Vin“, which was a nice reminding). Got drunk on martinis, called our mutual friend in Ohio, and molested a small snowman… good times. Unfortunately, I had to leave at 11 to make the last subway back to Incheon, which was actually a good thing — if I’d stayed for another drink I would have had trouble finding my feet, let alone the subway.

Now it’s Sunday again, and in two weeks I’ll be in Israel. Can’t can’t can’t wait, no sir.

2 comments to masking my frustration

  • anon

    Thank you for your blogs. They’re therapeutic.
    I’ve been contemplating travelling overseas and teaching English lately to change pace. I live in Canada and nearly finished university, but it’s (school) depressed me that I’ve been eating instant food and buying world maps or flipping though atlases on many spare occasions. Slowly gaining ground in myself I’m believing I’d rather be at home and miserable, than be miserable in a foreign land knowing no one while bearing the frustrations of a rookie teacher. I haven’t ousted the idea of teaching overseas, but I’m realizing my pre-notions of the ‘foreign escape’ are a pipe dream. Maybe later I’ll consider, but now I’ve to hit the books. Look forward to reading more of your blogs. take care.

  • […] speaking.Coincidentally, the woman I’m renting the apartment from owns the BricX bar that I drank at a few months ago, so I met her there last night to give her a small deposit on the place. It’s a cool bar, […]

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