Bullying in the Workplace
Episode 5 of The Interest of Love starts with a look at Jong-hyeon’s past. He sends money home to his folks and tells them about his exciting new job, working at the bank. As we know, he’s not treated particularly well by his coworkers, especially Mr Ma who immediately stamps his authority and tries to send him out to do errands.
On his way home, he sees Su-yeong and learns that she lives nearby. They seem to hit it off, especially as they get talking, and the pair trade a joke or two.
We then return to the present, with Sang-su hugging Su-yeong. She’s taken aback by how forward he is and in her stunned state, Sang-su asks whether she would have chosen to date him had he kept his promise. Before she can answer though, they’re interrupted by the other guys at the conference. Su-yeong walks away, while Sang-su speaks to the men, as they quiz whether Su-yeong is seeing someone.
After the trip, Su-yeong and Sang-su head back to the bank where Sang-su apologizes for making her uncomfortable the night before. She tells him he didn’t and suggests they meet later on after work. It’s certainly a change of fortune for Sang-su, and his new standoffish attitude rather than being clingy seems to be working!
When Sang-su heads back into work, Mi-gyeong is there and invites him to go to a wedding with her. Although he agrees, he feels awkward and Mi-gyeong can sense it. She’s certainly pining for him and tells Su-yeong in the breakroom that she believes they’ll be dating soon.
Su-yeong heads out for a dinner with Mr Yuk and a wealthy client but things are awkward, especially when Su-yeong attempts to talk business. They berate her, claiming that she’s young, as they get back to just personal chatter. As they part ways, Yuk gives Su-yeong money for a cab and leaves. In the morning though, things spill over to the office, where Su-yeong points out to Yuk that she feels uncomfortable doing these dinners and entertaining clients if no business is actually going to be done.
As a result, Su-yeong is punished by Yuk who decides that she should be relegated to the back office filing papers away and cleaning the room by shredding documents. It’s supposed to be a two-person job but since she’s got to go it alone, it’s a grueling and humiliating assignment, one designed to punish her.
Sang-su shows up and asks Su-yeong whether she needs help and retorts that he sent her a text last night, “I fell asleep,” She shrugs. As for Sang-su, he heads outside and decides to get some food for Su-yeong, who has to now work late. He doesn’t bother her but leaves food on her desk.
The next day, Sang-su heads out for a round of golf with Mr Ha and President Park. Now, Park is an important potential client for the bank but he refuses to look at their proposal. Well, Sang-su decides to play a round of golf with him and after, they set up a rematch. He’s impressed by the young man’s skills.
Mi-gyeong suddenly comes in and takes Sang-su away, not even bothering to greet the other two men. It turns out Park is actually Mi-gyeong’s father! Sang-su shows up at the wedding but he sees Su-yeong in the position of the actual bride. It’s only momentarily but it shows where his head is.
At dinner, things become awkward. Mi-gyeong’s friend Sang-hui drinks too much and immediately begins berating her, pointing out that she got a full scholarship and sponges off her rich parents. Apparently she stole the scholarship from those who really deserve it. It cuts her deep and she decides to head off and get some air. Sang-su sticks up for her and points out to Sang-hui that she’s a hard worker.
While Mi-gyeong drowns her sorrow in alcohol, Sang-su’s hangover cure helps stave off any after-effects at the office the next day. That previous night though, back at the bank, Su-yeong ends up with a paper cut. She ignores a call from her mother and presses on. When Sang-su sees that Su-yeong is hurt, he’s not happy.
At the team meeting Mr Yuk praises Sang-su’s work on bringing Park in as a client. He points out that with Su-yeong off shredding files, General Affairs are to help out with the Deposit Team. He forbids anyone from leaving their post to help Su-yeong, telling them it’ll be considered a dereliction of duty. It’s basically bullying at this point, and Su-yeong ends up overhearing the whole team speak ill of her. When Sang-su is asked for his opinion, he tells them all “this a choice she made.” Su-yeong rushes off, hurt.
It’s here we see a little more of the past, including how Su-yeong’s father cheated on her mother and went AWOL for months. Su-yeong ended up seeing him with another man but Suyeong’s mum, Kyung-sook, chalks it up to his way of dealing with grief and even blames herself.
That night, Su-yeong is greeted by Jong-hyeon in the rain who helps her out and changes the plaster on her finger. Su-yeong reflects on all those moments together where he’s helped her out and makes a bif decision. She decides they can be together as a couple after all, and they make it official.
The next day, the audit team show up at KCU Bank. They have a few things they want to clear up. A couple of the guys in the office believe it’s about Yuk’s private affair. They want to talk to each of the employees one by one regarding something. Out in the main atrium, Mr Yuk suddenly comes storming out and confronts Su-yeong. Only, Sang-su steps up and blocks his path.
The Episode Review
After such a poor showing early on, The Interest of Love takes one step forward and another two back this week. Sang-su has backed off a bit but he’s still not going all-in on actually helping his colleagues when it matters most. And that’s before mentioning his whiny “I text you, why you no text back?” line. He’s one of those people who will certainly do good deeds when it suits him but when it could potentially put himself at risk, he doesn’t bother. However, the end with him protecting Su-yeong could be the turning point there.
With Jong-hyeon and Su-yeong now dating, and we learn a little more about Mi-gyeong’s past too but beyond that, most of the episode focuses on this toxic KCU bank workplace. The two females gossiping about Su-yeong is played off as comedy, for some reason, while the whole bullying thing with Mr Yuk should end with Su-yeong resigning to be honest. No one should be treated like that at work.
But beyond that, there’s not a whole lot else to get excited about here. The show is pretty standard fare when it comes to romance and drama, but it lacks the cutting edge that series like My Liberation Notes had. Hopefully things will improve tomorrow.