“That’s right. He is a moron. Ggae-cheol is a complete moron,” they ended their conversation as if they were assuring themselves. The two shared a subtle sense of accomplice…. Half of the reason why Ggae-cheol could have three meals a day and a place to sleep without having to work is thanks to the ladies.”
― “An Anonymous Island” by Yi Mun-yol
I first read this book over 20 years ago while getting trained at the Korea Army Training Center. There was no cell phone or TV allowed and only entertainment options available were a few old novels. “An Anonymous Island” had a book cover made with coarse paper and even an outdated spelling but it captivated me. I was fascinated by a country boy who has low intelligence but irresistible charm and neighbors who sexually desire him. The book was popular among the soldiers in the training center and we used to say we wanted to be Ggae-cheol.
Then, I had a chance to realize my fantasy by writing a sketchy featuring a character like Ggae-cheol. Actor Lee Sang-Yeob who was the host of SNL played a role of a country guy whose unintentional charm attracts ladies in his neighborhood and a young guy from Seoul played by Shin Dong-yup. While I had a pressure to produce an 80-minute show without any issue, I was smiling the whole time.
It may seem like personal fantasy and occupation are like oil and water. There is no guarantee that it will lead to high performance. However, when the two are mixed together, it causes a chemical reaction of what I would like to define as the ‘fun of working.’ Whether it is a salesperson realizing the fantasy of “Salesman” by Huh Young-man or a lawyer creating a dramatic moment in a court like the one in a video game “Ace Attorney,” I hope workers are more encouraged to realize their fantasy at work. That would keep them smiling from time to time amid a chaotic situation at work.