The Famous Millionaire Chapter 49: Chapter 49
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Park Daebong's eyes popped up at his nephew's suggestion because it required a huge budget.
There were more than 300 full-time and contractors at Aurum. If the company offered free breakfast to them, it needed over 25 million won per month, or 300 million won per year. Even if only the employees here in Ansan got the benefit, it would still cost 10 million per month, or 120 million per year.
Is this guy crazy to propose such a suggestion? He knows the difficult financial situation of Aurum, Park thought.
On the other hand, Park thought his nephew's idea was commendable because he now showed compa.s.sion for his subordinates in a break with his image as "crazy dog."
Consciously hiding his anger, Park asked with a soft expression,
"Why are you making such a request suddenly?"
"In fact, one of our purchasing team members is in a financially bad situation. The thing is he makes soybean juice at home and brings it here for our team members' breakfast subst.i.tute."
Park listened to him carefully.
The more he listened, the more he liked the idea. In particular, he liked the fact that the company didn't need to take any actions to support the idea.
"Do you mean that the company gives 50,000 won in subsidy per person for a breakfast subst.i.tute?"
"Of course, it will be good for the company to offer the subsidy, but it's financially difficult at the moment. So, the company offers only half the subsidy, and when its financial situation gets better later, it will fully support the breakfast program."
Park gave it a serious thought. The idea would only be practicable to the employees at the Ansan factory. Then, 25,000 won for 120 employees would be 3 million per month, and there was no guarantee that everybody will apply for the subsidy because they won't necessarily look for soybean juice as a breakfast subst.i.tute. The actual applicants might be fewer than expected.
In other words, from the management's position, the company would claim credit for their welfare with moderate expenses and at the same time get a productivity increase.
Park patted him on the shoulder with a satisfactory look.
"That's a very good idea. Let me talk to the general affairs team right away and put it into action as soon as possible."
"Thank you, too. Ha ha."
With a bright expression, Park Youngsu went out of the office.
Smiling more brightly, he went back to the purchasing team office.
Hyunwoo, who had been at the material warehouse, was back, too.
Sitting down at his desk, Park called Hyunwoo.
"Mr. Jang, can I see you for a minute?"
"Please talk to your mother well. She had better prepare for it in advance."
"Preparing what?" asked Hyunwoo with a perplexed look.
"The president has decided to offer free breakfast to the employees, so I recommended your soybean juice, and he okayed it. So, we're placing an order on soybean juice soon."
"Really? All the employees? Soybean juice?"
"I suggested 50,000 won per person. Not bad, right?"
Hyunwoo's jaws dropped, with his eyes becoming wider at the same time.
Before he knew it, he turned his eyes to Min Suji because he thought it was Min who had initiated the idea.
It was as he expected. Min was smiling at him out of joy.
But Hyunwoo felt sort of uncomfortable. When he thought of preparing soybean juice for 120 employees every morning, he just felt overwhelmed by that.
How did it end up like this?
Of course it was good to make money. If he could sell soybean juice to the employees, he could make at least one million won per month. Lowering the ingredient cost and raising the price, he could expect to make 1.5 million won. But he began to worry already about his mother's burden.
There was another problem. Currently, she was in charge of the side dish store because the owner was sick. Though she hired two part-timers, they worked briefly in the morning, and the owner only showed up in the evening. Hyunwoo felt his mother might be physically overburdened if she had to make a ma.s.sive quant.i.ty of soybean juice every morning while working at the side dish store during the day. Soybean juice was not on the side dish menu, so she needed a machine to make soybean in bulk. She had to put all her energy and time to make it. What about bringing it to the factory? Hyunwoo could not hire a truck driver to load the soybean juice buckets. After all, Hyunwoo had to carry them in a van every morning.
There were lots of obstacles out there. No matter how hard he thought, Hyunwoo thought he could not accept the manager's suggestion.
I think I have to decline.
But he found it hard to do so. Anyway, Park and Min took the initiative on this for him, and Park already made the proposal to the president, who then approved it already.
"Thank you. Let me talk to my mother first. As she feels physically weak these days, I wonder if she can do it."
"Oh, that's too bad. Talk with your mother first because she should not ruin her health because of this."
"Yes, sir," answered Hyunwoo. However, Hyunwoo decided he wouldn't bring it up to her mother, and the next morning he would announce 'Impossible,' citing her mother as an excuse. Then, it would solve all the problems simply.
As soon as he got off work, he headed home early. He erased any thoughts of soybean juice from his mind completely, vowing to never bring up the topic.
When he arrived, the atmosphere was rather gloomy. His father turned his face quickly and looked out the window, while his mother was quickly wiping tears, but she could not wipe away the sorrow in her look. Her mother's pale lips quivered when she could not control her tears.
Hyunwoo approached her and sat beside her.
"What's the matter, Mom?"
She shed tears again at Hyunwoo's words. Though she was easily moved to tears, it was unusual for her to cut a sad figure like this.
It looked like something bad had happened to the family.
Though his heart sank, he hid his disturbed expression.
Holding her hands quietly, he asked,
"What's the problem? Should I not know?"
She shook her head. Though she wanted to say, she couldn't because of her uncontrollable sorrow.
Then his father said,
"A restaurant owner, to whom your mother supplied side dishes, ran away without paying for the balance. Stop crying, honey. What's the big deal when you couldn't take back 3 million won?"
Hyunwoo let out a sigh of relief before he knew it. He was worried that something bad had happened to them, but it was only a monetary matter. His tension, escalating to the highest a moment ago, suddenly relaxed.
But his mother was still sad, and she began to cry openly as if she could express it freely now.
Her reason for crying was rather strange, though.
"Oh, my poor baby. I'm becoming a burden, not a help to you. My poor baby!"
After all, it all happened because of Hyunwoo. It was because she felt sorry about Hyunwoo making a living alone that she began to work at the side dish store, and it was because she felt like she was a burden to him that she felt so sad.
Hyunwoo was heartbroken. It was not because of money but because of her mistaken thinking.
She misunderstood the situation, which Hyunwoo wanted to correct. Then, she could enjoy a happier life from now on.
With a smile, he said,
"Mom, do you know what the biggest wealth parents bequeath to their children?"
She didn't say anything. She just tried to control her spontaneous sobbing.
"It is not just money. The biggest wealth is leaving behind good memories for their children, such as 'my parents lived a truly happy and pleasant life.' Got it, mom?"
Hyunwoo didn't talk quickly and paused for a moment for her to ponder what he had said.
Then he resumed,
"Think of this, Mom. To me, what makes me feel more heart broken? Losing 3 million won or having to see you feel so sad like this? Please don't feel sad any more. Please get over it on my behalf. That is the biggest gift for me."
After struggling to control her emotions, she opened her mouth, at last.
"I just wish you to be happy. That's all I want, son."
"Then, be happy yourself, mom, for me. Don't feel sad about me. Just take it as it is and enjoy it. I'll be happy with just that."
Tears ran down her cheeks once more, but Hyunwoo thought her tears were different from the tears she had shed a moment ago.
He held her hands tightly and said,
"You and daddy are the only reason why I am alive."
She also held his hands tightly. She could not say anything because she had to control her tears, but he could figure out her heart by looking at her eyes.
Only then did she stop crying. Wiping her tears, she stood up and asked,
"You didn't have dinner yet, right?"
"Oh, I'm so hungry, mom," said Hyunwoo, folding up his belly and collapsing as if he would faint because of hunger.
She pitifully smiled at his cute tricks and said,
"Let me make dinner quickly."
The dinner she prepared was bountiful with lots of delicious side dishes. Leaning against a chair, his father enjoyed the food. Sometimes, she picked up a side dish and put it on his spoon. Looking at that, Hyunwoo felt her sorrow disappear.
15 days later.
A very old mini van, whose engine was likely to turn off at any moment, pa.s.sed through the main gate of Aurum. It was Hyunwoo's van. As the guard had been notified in advance, it pa.s.sed without any checks, but the van had to stop for a while because some of Hyunwoo's colleagues were driving through the gate at the moment.
"Whose van is this?"
"Oh, it was discontinued more than 15 years ago. Looks like it's still in good condition."
"Uh, isn't he Mr. Jang Hyunwoo, a.s.sistant manager of the purchasing team?"
"Really? a.s.sistant manager Jang?"
Their jaws dropped, and they had a similar misunderstanding.
It must be true that his family is in extreme poverty.
The employees reporting to work looked at the van with dubious expressions because it was so old and outdated. Particularly, the purchasing team members felt Hyunwoo's financial situation was worse than they had thought when they looked at his van. Min Suji thought so in particular.
How did I fail to notice this? I think it was a really nice thing to suggest soybean juice as a breakfast subst.i.tute.
On the other hand, Hyunwoo felt rather embarra.s.sed. Wasn't it the first day he offered soybean juice to all the employees who had applied for it? Despite that, the topic of the day was not soybean juice but his old van.
Hummmm..I think I have to change the van quickly.
The Famous Millionaire Chapter 49: Chapter 49
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The Famous Millionaire Chapter 49: Chapter 49 summary
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