[FOUNTAIN]How to use summer vacationKim Dong-gyeom, who was a deputy manager of the Commercial Bank of Korea (now known as Woori Bank), was a workaholic. Mr. Kim, who worked at the bank’s Hyehwa-dong branch for nearly six years, rarely took a leave, and he often finished his lunch in less than 15 minutes. Mr. Kim, who attracted about 15 billion won ($12.5 million) of the 30 billion won deposited in the bank’s accounts, was highly esteemed by his colleagues at the Hyehwa-dong branch. Mr. Kim’s reputation was stellar until he was arrested and detained on Aug. 17, 1983.
In the so-called Myeongseong fraud case, it was alleged that Mr. Kim attracted large sums of money by offering high interest rates, and he did not deposit the money into the bank’s actual accounts. He used it for loans to Myeong-seong, a resort developer. Mr. Kim provided the depositors hand-written copies of bank account books. Mr. Kim built his own private bank inside the bank. Through this method, Mr. Kim skimmed 16.6 billion won.
After Mr. Kim was arrested, banks adopted a new policy -- a bank worker suspected of wrongdoing could be asked to submit to a review.
On June 7, 1993, the presidents and other senior executives of the Samsung Group, a leading business concern of Korea, gathered in Frankfurt, Germany. Samsung’s chairman, Lee Kun-hee, had summoned them abruptly. After his Frankfurt declaration that Samsung executives should change everything except their spouses and children, the executives began touring ad-vanced industrialized countries to learn about management principles emphasizing “quality.” The executives had to be away form their jobs a long time, and Mr. Lee did not allow them to contact their offices. But the firms operated without problems.
A friend of mine who works at a foreign bank told me a story. He said he had 22 paid holidays annually and he had to use more than half of them consecutively. If he decided to use all of his leave at once, he would end up out of the office for more than a month. During such breaks, the bank checks to see if the long absence hinders its operation.
The summer holiday season is upon us. In a recent survey, 38 percent of LG CNS employees said they would not surrender their summer vacation for any amount of money. The poll shows that leave is absolutely precious to a working person. During employee leaves, companies should ascertain whether its system can endure their absence.
by Lee Se-jung
The writer is a deputy business news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.