< You Can’t Escape Fate (1) >
The next day, Young-hoon went to work at the company and greeted the accounting clerk who welcomed him with a chewing gum in her mouth like a boss.
“Hello. I’m Choi Young-hoon, who started working here today…”
“I know. You’ll learn the job from that guy over there.”
The accounting clerk pointed behind him with a smirk.
When Young-hoon turned around, he saw a man with an unpleasant expression on his face.
He looked about the same age as Young-hoon, but his legs were long even when he was sitting.
He had a long face and sharp eyes that made him look like he was born for debt collection.
“Hello. I’m Choi Young-hoon, the new employee who started working here today.”
“You’re not a new employee, but some kind of… what was it? Intern? Something like that? Right?”
He spoke casually.
“Yes. I’ll work for a fixed salary for three months and then…”
“That’s enough. I don’t care how you get paid. Anyway, nice to meet you. I’m Yang Tae-pyung.”
He abruptly offered his hand and Young-hoon shook it.
“Yes. Nice to meet you.”
“Do you mind if I talk to you casually? You’re one year younger than me, right?”
“Sure. That’s more comfortable for me.”
Strictly speaking, it was more comfortable than surprising.
He had never heard anyone speak to him casually except for the head monk when he was at the temple.
When he was a monk, some people joked, “Are you going to pray, monk?” or “Have you had your meal, monk?” But when he entered adolescence, no one spoke to him at all.
He didn’t intend to follow the Buddha like the monk and the head monk didn’t want that either, so he rarely participated in prayer except for a few times when he was curious as a child.
But everyone treated him as equal to the monk.
Some Buddhists even suspected that he was not a child that the head monk accidentally got outside, but anyway, people treated him as equal to the monk.
So he found it interesting to be spoken to casually like this.
“First of all, follow me. Let’s talk on the way. Yoon Daeri, I’m going to Ilsan today and then Pocheon.”
“So you’re not coming back?”
Yang Tae-pyung grinned at the answer of Yoon Daeri, the accounting clerk.
“I’ll come back early if I finish early.”
The clerk sighed instead of answering and shook her head.
Yang Tae-pyung took Young-hoon out of the building and started talking.
“The person we’re going to meet now is a woman who borrowed 10 million won last year and didn’t pay it back. She paid back 1.2 million won of the principal, so we have to get 8.8 million won of the principal.”
“How much interest did she pay back?”
“What do you care?”
“Do you think we should settle for that if she paid back more than 10 million won in interest?”
He squeezed himself into a Matiz parked in the corner of the public parking lot and gestured for Young-hoon to sit in the passenger seat.
“What we have to think about is one thing. Getting back the principal. It’s thank you if we can get back the interest too. If possible, that is.”
“People who borrow money are desperate, but people who don’t pay it back are shameless. That’s who we’re going to meet. You have to think carefully about who’s good and who’s bad. Don’t think we’re some kind of loan sharks from 1988. There are always some people like that among newbies. They think we’re the source of evil. You’re not like that, right?”
“Everyone says that. Here’s the contract, so take a good look at it on the way.”
With that, Yang Tae-pyung started driving to Ilsan and Young-hoon began to examine the contract carefully.
He had never borrowed money from any financial institution or anyone else before, so this contract was quite interesting to him.
“Seoil Savings Bank? I think I’ve seen it on TV.”
“That’s right. They lend a lot of money to ordinary people. The approval amount is relatively large compared to income, so many people borrow from there. Many of our customers are Seoil Savings Bank customers.”
“If she says she doesn’t have money again today, we’ll get a compulsory execution order from the court. But if we try to use legal force against all creditors, it costs money again. If there are other creditors besides us, we have to compete with them for the little money left. The best thing is what?”
“To pay back the money nicely?”
“That’s right. That’s our job. The collection team goes and tries to get them to repay as much as possible, and if that doesn’t work, we take legal action. But that doesn’t mean we can wait forever. What do you think will happen if we do? Other creditors will rush in and there won’t be a bone left, right?”
“That makes sense.”
“Information is the key. You have to be quick-witted too. In the end, it’s this.”
Yang Tae-pyung pointed his index finger at his head and emphasized.
“You have to have this. You can’t do this job without being smart. Got it?”
“Haigo~ I don’t know if I should teach you so passionately when I don’t even know when you’ll leave.”
He said that without caring about the person who was listening.
Young-hoon thought it was just an experience anyway, so he felt lighter by Yang Tae-pyung’s words.
He drove for about an hour and arrived at a village in an area where rice fields were spread out a little away from Ilsan.
This house, which looked quite old, did not make him think that the owner of this house had money by its appearance alone.
Yang Tae-pyung knocked on the door loudly.
He seemed to hope that the owner would be scared for no reason.
Was this also a kind of collection skill?
“Who is it?”
A weak voice of a woman from inside.
“I came from Myeongil Finance. Please open the door.”
She hesitated a bit, but the door opened right away.
She looked younger than he thought, maybe in her mid-thirties, but she had no makeup on her face and her eyes were lifeless.
It was a typical face of someone who had no hope and was living just because they couldn’t die.
A surprising thing was that if it was a little younger and more lively than now, she would have been called a beauty by the people around her?
Yang Seung-tae walked past the woman without hesitation and sat down on the floor.
“Sit down first. You know why I came, right?”
“Yes… If you could give me some time…”
“That’s difficult. It’s difficult. I’ve already given you a lot of time. You keep saying next month, and next month again… The month before last, you didn’t answer for almost a month and then you said you would pay for sure this month, but you broke your promise again. I can’t give you more time this time. You have to pay back some of the principal and interest today.”
“I don’t have any money to give you.”
“Then I can’t wait for you either. You know that if I apply for compulsory execution, this house, which is the only thing left, will be gone, right?”
“Please, not this house. If I lose this, my child and I have nowhere to go.”
The woman pleaded as Yang Tae-pyung got up with a cold wind.
But Young-hoon had nothing he could do for her.
He couldn’t even say he would pay back instead, so he just had to go.
But then another hand grabbed Young-hoon’s arm.
“Please help me.”
A little girl who might have just entered elementary school followed her mother and cried.
“Hey! What are you doing there?”
Yang Tae-pyung yelled at Young-hoon, who suddenly stopped moving and stuck his legs to the ground.
But Young-hoon just stared at the girl as if he was bewitched by a fox.
< You Can’t Escape Fate (1) > End
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