Youngsters 1) toil in vain in 2)bleak job market
Hardships from working overtime to 3)sexual assaults are common, but future remains bleak for most jobseekers
It is very common to see youngsters rushing to the subway station at dusk to catch the first train, when it is still dark and chilly, with a cup of coffee and toast in hand. They are eager to be the first ones in office, and for a reason.
It used to be no different for young intern Jeon -- she wished to be identified only by her family name -- until all her hard work 4) came to naught.
She used to begin her day at the office by making coffee for her seniors, and couldn’t imagine dozing off or 5)slacking, for everyone in her team was watching her -- job performance and attitude would be evaluated when hiring full-time workers after the internship.
Jeon endured everything -- from tedious chores to 6) fawning over her weird boss who would frequently 7) leer at her. Despite all these efforts and perseverance, all she was left with after her internship was a text message which read, “We’re sorry but we have decided not to move your application forward.”
“I was 8) devastated,” said Jeon, who is back on the 9)sluggish local job market, saying she feels like she has wasted her precious time 10) on a wild goose chase.
This is not an isolated case. According to government statistics, one out of five young job seekers begin their career paths as nonregular workers, such as interns or trainees.
Many businesses hire new workers through internships through which the companies offer full-time positions to a certain portion -- ranging from 50 to 90 percent -- of high-performers. In this way, companies can identify potential employees who are also trained and experienced through the 11.probation period.
Every year, tens of thousands of young Koreans enter into 12) exploitive work arrangements, working overtime and mostly doing menial works for little or no pay, because they consider it as a rite of passage to be admitted into the white-collar world. These desperate jobseekers can barely complain or 13)speak up against their poor working conditions, for disobedience could jeopardize possible job opportunities.
“Nobody complains about working overtime,” said Choi, who gained a permanent position at a public firm last year through a 6-month internship at the company.
“There was also fierce competition among interns. They were willing to work overtime and nobody asked for the rightful reward as long as they could become regular workers.”
Heavy strain and worries are what torment these young people most, since they have to cast their dice on the internship -- they might be wasting their precious time for nothing. Also, they might have to make excuses in their next interviews, while their certificates and English test scores -- which often cost them significant amount of effort and money -- expire in two years. Some even suffer from the fear of being around people, as families and relatives 14) meddle and 15) put heavy strain on them.
For female interns, the reality is even harsher. A 22-year-old college student Jang, who recently did an internship at an architectural firm, had to put up with her boss who would pass offensive sexual comments on her body. A few years earlier, a congressman was under fire for sexually harassing his intern. Likewise, female interns are often targeted for sexual harassment.
Internships are supposed to provide 16)on-site experience for the fresh graduates, while it can work as a system to find potential future hires for employers. Companies, however, often take advantage of the system and view it as an opportunity to exploit the plight of cheap and passionate workers.
Earlier this year, a local social commerce firm, Wemakeprice.com, drew 17) flak for firing all of its 11 interns after hiring them for two weeks. But such tyranny never seems to stop. Recently, a local financial firm reportedly laid off more than half of their interns due to financial problems.
In April 2013, a 20-something Korean man hanged himself in his apartment. The young man had begun his sales internship at an insurance firm few months earlier, but had been reportedly suffering from work pressure, due to bad sales performance. Who are pushing the young job seekers to death? The need seems to be growing for more decent jobs for fresh graduates and strict legal guidelines that protects the young, desperate job seekers.
1) Toil in vain: 헛되게 힘들게 일하다. ( toil means work hard and involves physical labor) < Copyright © The Gachon Herald All rights reserved >
Ex) Teams of men have toiled over decades to provide trillions of meals to billions of passengers.
2) Bleak: 희망이 없는/암울한/절망적인 offering little or no hope. Ex) Korea’s economic outlook grew even bleaker.
3) Sexual assault: 성폭행, 강간
4) Come to naught: 무효로 끝나다/실패하다
**naught is a word for nothing that is used in specific ways, usually when a project or effort comes to naught.
Ex) His hopes of becoming commissioner have come to naught.
5) Slack: 하는 일에 태만/느슨해지다 (= be negligent) ex) That suggests there is still some slack left in the labor market.
6) Fawn over : 비위를 맞추다/알랑거리다 (=flatter) ex) Many of the emails to Mrs. Clinton offer fawning compliments from friends, family or staff members.
7) Leer at: 추파를 던지다 (=look at someone with a suggestive or rude expression.)
8) Devastate : 비탄에 빠뜨리다(= to make someone feel very shocked and upset)/한장소나 지역을 완전히 파괴하다. Ex 1) The death is devastating, but no one should be shocked by it, either. Ex2 ) At least 120 people are feared to have been killed in a series of devastating attacks across Paris on Friday evening.
9) Sluggish: 느릿느릿 움직이는(=moving slowly)/ 부진한(=not active in business) ex) Behind the low price projections is a sluggish world economy, experts say.
10) 0n a wild goose chase: 헛물만켜다/헛고생만 하다 ex) I was searching for my cat all over the house but I couldn't find her anymore, it really felt like I was on a wild goose chase. It turns out my cat was outside during the entirety of my search, no wonder I couldn't find her!
11) Probation period: 수습기간( The probationary period is the initial period of employment, a kind of “trial period”)
12) Exploitive work arrangements: 착취적인 근무제
13) Speak up against someone/something : --에 강력히 반대하다 .. 에 대해 공개적으로 부정적인 것을 알리다. Ex) Encourage everyone at your school to speak up against bullying.
14) Meddle (in/with sth) (못마땅함) (남의 일에) 간섭하다[참견하다/끼어들다]
15) Put a strain on someone or something :…에 부담을 주다. Ex) All this bad economic news puts a strain on everyone's nerves.
16) On-site: 현장에서의 (=at the place where a business or activity happens)
17) Flak: (informal )criticism or argument 비난 ex) Obama’s approach has drawn flak from both parties in Congress, where lawmakers have argued current U.S. policy in Syria is too limited.