Chapter 3 - Project Management 4
“Once the routing is finished, it should only take around 5 minutes for the source distribution to complete,” Kyuyoung spoke up.
Team Leader Jung turned his attention towards her. As she looked into his sharp, cold eyes, her shoulders tensed up. “What time will this take place?”
“We are planning to start at 3 am when the site has the least amount of visitors.”
He glanced down wordlessly at the project files before him. Diagonal from Kyuyoung, Manager Choi looked as if he’d forgotten how to breathe as he stared at the tip of the team leader’s pen. Aside from the sound of Team Leader Jung flipping through pages and the soft hum of the air purifier, the conference room was completely silent. Amidst the uncomfortable silence, the team leader took out a red pen and drew a sharp line across one of the pages. As she heard the pen scratching across the paper, Kyuyoung squeezed her hands together underneath the table. Each time she heard his pen slash at the paper, it felt like he was slashing at her with a knife.
“Data extraction and server rerouting are basic tasks. If the development team keeps missing deadlines and hitting errors, then it should be up to the project manager in charge to figure out what’s happening. Manager Seokbeom Choi. Do easy tasks like this not seem like work to you?” The team leader called him by the wrong name again, but no one corrected him.
“Let’s get it together and do our jobs. Carry out everything as planned and notify me of any changes,” Team Leader Jung said, passing the corrected project files back to the manager. The papers were covered in red markings and the margins were full of criticisms, but it had more or less been approved. Manager Choi glanced at Kyuyoung, who was silently letting out a deep breath. She had saved him, but instead of being grateful, he appeared resentful at her interjection.
“How are negotiations for the genetic analysis technology with Hyunil Bio proceeding?” Team Leader Jung continued.
This was a project that Kyuyoung was leading. “Their legal team approved our draft of the contract. There will be a meeting to finalize the agreement in two weeks.”
“What about the big data?”
“I’ve compiled the results from our preliminary trial here. I will email you the specifics after the meeting.” Kyuyoung began passing out papers to the members of the project management team and the team manager.
Her project involved bioinformatics and sought to combine genetic analysis with AI technology. She had been inspired to begin this project because of her mother. Kyuyoung had witnessed how difficult chemotherapy had been for her mother. Most cancer treatments did not prescribe medicine tailored to a patient’s unique genetic makeup, and simply recommended the drugs that worked for the majority.
Her mother had suffered more because of the drugs than cancer itself. Using genetic testing, the AI could determine which anti-cancer drugs were best suited for each patient as well as calculate the probability of any rare illnesses developing. If she could combine Hyunil Bio’s data with her AI system through this agreement, it would significantly cut down on both time and money.
As the team leader looked through Kyuyoung’s data results, he tapped on the table rhythmically with his long digits. The paper detailed her findings, but because it was a summary, it was no longer than half a page. Yoongun was a fast reader and understood concepts quickly. He should have been done with his corrections by now, but he was being particularly slow that day. He was taking longer than he had to correct Manager Choi’s project proposal.
Anxious, Kyuyoung laced her fingers together on top of the table and began fidgeting with her manicured nails, which she had gotten done as a little pick-me-up over the weekend. They were painted a demure shade of dusty rose, a color that complimented her pale skin. Suddenly, the team leader’s gaze lifted from the paper and focused on something just past it. What was he looking at? Kyuyoung glanced at him, trying to follow his line of sight.
Her hands. He was looking at her hands. Once she realized this, she balled her hands up into fists, hiding her painted nails. As soon as she did so, Yoongun’s brows wrinkled almost imperceptibly. He looked back at the paper as if he was trying to find something to criticize. Actually, it looked more like he was deep in thought rather than reading a report.
“Manager Kyuyoung Seo, please send me the rest of your results,” he said, rising from his seat. “Let’s end the meeting here.” He quickly left the conference room. Once the door clicked shut around him, someone let out an audible sigh of relief.
Kyuyoung checked her watch out of habit. It was 5:13 pm. It couldn’t be easy to plan this out, but Team Leader Jung reserved exactly 13 minutes of his time for the meetings each week. Maybe there hadn’t been enough oxygen in the room, or maybe it was a side effect of being verbally tortured by Team Leader Jung, but Kyuyoung felt a headache forming at the back of her head.
The test results, a summary, and the report. As she recalled everything the team leader had instructed her to complete, Kyuyoung puffed up her cheeks with a resigned expression. It was as if he was telling her not to even dream of clocking out of work on time.
* * *
“Why does that asshole always call me Seokbeom Choi?” Manager Choi asked, pouring the instant coffee mix into his tumbler. Kyuyoung picked at her paper cup with a troubled expression. Manager Choi was older than Team Leader Jung, but because of his lackluster performance reviews, he had been passed over for promotion to the team leader for many years. “That jerk remembers Kyuyoung Seo’s name though. Is he a sexist or what?” Beomseok grumbled to himself.
“…He only just started remembering my name. You know Team Leader Jung doesn’t pay much attention to us.” Kyuyoung said quietly. However, this did nothing to placate the man, who let out a string of expletives. It was around summertime when the team leader started properly remembering her full name. Before that, he would call her Seoyoung or flip the syllables of her name and call her Youngkyu, which led to great confusion.
“He must like you, Kyuyoung. How nice for you. You have a young, picky boss who defends you no matter what,” Beomseok sneered.
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