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对抗“恶老板”,韩国民众对职场霸凌说“不”

South Korean Workers Turn the Tables on Their Bad Bosses
对抗“恶老板”,韩国民众对职场霸凌说“不”

SEOUL — A boss orders a worker to feed and clean up after his dog. An airline heiress makes a taxiing passenger plane return to the gate to remove a flight attendant who rubbed her the wrong way. The 10-year-old granddaughter of a newspaper tycoon hurls insults at her chauffeur, threatening to fire him for being spoiled.

首尔——一位老板命令员工喂他的狗,并且清理狗的粪便。一名航空公司继承人让一架正在滑行的客机返回登机口,好把冒犯她的乘务员赶走。一位报业大亨10岁的孙女辱骂她的司机是废人,威胁说要解雇他。

Such behavior has become so common in South Korea that the country now has a name for it: “gapjil.”

这种行为在韩国非常普遍,韩国人现在给它起了一个名字:“gapjil”。
 

朴昌镇曾是大韩航空的空乘人员,他在为一位死于工业事故的临时工举行的集会上反对职场虐待行为。

The word is a portmanteau for when “gap,” people with power, abuse “eul,” those who work for them. And in South Korea’s deeply hierarchical society, where one’s social standing is determined by profession, job title and wealth, hardly anyone has escaped its claws.

这是一个合成词,指的是“gap”(有权力的人)虐待“eul”(为他们工作的人)。在韩国这个等级森严的社会里,一个人的社会地位由职业、职位和财富决定,几乎没有人能逃脱它的魔爪。

More recently, though, gapjil has triggered a backlash​. On websites, street banners and even stickers in public bathrooms, government agencies, the police, civic groups and corporations are offering “gapjil hotlines” encouraging citizens to blow the whistle on officials and bosses who abuse their authority.

但最近,gapjil引发了反击。政府机构、警方、民间团体和企业通过网站、街头横幅、甚至公共厕所的贴纸提供“gapjil热线”,鼓励市民举报滥用职权的官员和老板。

Using bullying language, offering bribes, preying on subcontractors and failing to pay workers on time are all examples of gapjil. On college campuses, students are hanging placards accusing “gapjil professors” of sexual harassment.

使用霸凌语言、行贿、盘剥承包商以及不按时支付工人工资都属于gapjil行为。在大学校园里,学生们悬挂标语牌,指控“gapjil教授”进行性骚扰。

The campaigns appear to be working. Politicians, senior government officials and corporate bigwigs have all seen their reputations ruined after gapjil scandals. The public has swelled with pride — and a good dose of schadenfreude — while watching the rich and powerful fall from grace for being, well, jerks.

这些活动似乎起到了作用。政界人士、政府高级官员和企业大亨中都有人因gapjil丑闻而名誉扫地。看到有钱有势的人因为自己的恶劣行为而倒霉,公众不禁会感到骄傲,而且还有一丝丝的幸灾乐祸。

Gapjil became an election issue during the presidential campaign. The wife of Lee Jae-myung, a leading candidate, was forced to apologize after she was accused of treating government officials as though they were her personal servants, having them pick up takeout food and do her holiday shopping while Mr. Lee was a provincial governor. Mr. Lee lost the election by a razor-thin margin.

在总统竞选期间,gapjil成了一个选举议题。热门候选人李在明的妻子被指在丈夫担任道知事期间,把政府官员当作私家仆人对待,让他们帮自己买外卖,为她在假日期间购物,她因此被迫道歉。李在明以极其微弱的差距在选举中落败。

“South Koreans live with an enormous tolerance for abuse, but when they can’t take it anymore and explode, they call it gapjil,” said Park Chang-jin, a former Korean Air flight attendant who campaigns against gapjil as a leader of the small opposition Justice Party.

“韩国人在生活中对于虐待有极大的容忍度,但现在他们再也无法忍受,爆发了愤怒,并把这种现象称之为gapjil,”前大韩航空空乘人员朴昌镇(音)说。朴昌镇是规模不大的反对党正义党的领导人,曾发起反gapjil的运动。

Mr. Park knows the feeling.

朴昌镇知道那种感觉。

In 2014, Cho Hyun-ah, the daughter of the former Korean Air chairman Cho Yang-ho, forced a passenger jet taxiing at Kennedy International Airport in New York to return to the gate because she didn’t like the way the macadamia nuts were served to her in first class. Mr. Park and another flight attendant were made to kneel before Ms. Cho, who let the plane depart only after Mr. Park had been kicked off the plane.

2014年,因为不喜欢头等舱送上夏威夷果的方式,前大韩航空会长赵亮镐的女儿赵显娥在纽约肯尼迪国际机场迫使一架正在滑行的客机返回登机口。朴昌镇和另一名空乘人员被要求给赵显娥下跪,赵显娥在朴昌镇被赶下飞机后才让飞机起飞。

The Korean Air family became the epitome of gapjil again, in 2018, when audio and video files emerged showing another daughter, Cho Hyun-min, and her mother, Lee Myung-hee, screaming insults at workers. The chairman had to apologize and banish both of his daughters from management positions at the company.

2018年,大韩航空家族再次成为gapjil的缩影,当时出现的音频和视频文件显示,会长的另一个女儿赵显旼和她的母亲李明姬大声辱骂员工。会长不得不道歉,并解除了两个女儿在公司的管理职位。

There was a time when South Koreans were more likely to tolerate such behavior, especially when it involved the superrich families who run the country’s business conglomerates, known as chaebol, said Park Jum-kyu, an official at Gabjil 119, a civic group that offers legal advice for victims. (The group uses an alternate spelling of the word.)

为受害者提供法律咨询的民间组织“Gabjil 119”的官员朴珠奎(音)说,曾几何时,韩国人更多地会选择容忍这种行为,尤其是涉及该国企业集团(即财阀)的超级富豪家族时。(该组织使用了“gapjil”的另一种拼写方式。)

“But people now demand higher standards on what behavior is acceptable and what is not,” Mr. Park said. “Now, when someone says to an authority figure, ‘Are you doing gapjil to me?’ the accusation packs a punch.”

“但人们现在对什么行为可以接受,什么行为不可以接受有了更高的标准,”朴珠奎说。“现在,当有人对一个权威人物说,‘你在对我gapjil吗?’这样的指责很有说服力。”

South Korea has one of the longest workweeks among the world’s wealthier nations, and gapjil is often cited as one of the reasons behind the country’s miserable work conditions. The phenomenon takes many forms, like excessive hours with no overtime and bullying by supervisors.

在世界较富裕的国家中,韩国是每周工作时间最长的国家之一,gapjil经常被认为是该国工作条件糟糕的原因之一。这种现象有很多种形式,比如工作时间过长却没有加班费,以及主管人员的霸凌行为。

“I hated it when they seemed to have nothing to do other than going around the office commenting on female workers’ clothes, saying that we could not get married because of the way we dressed,” said Hong Chae-yeong, referring to older male managers at her former corporate job. Ms. Hong, 30, said that behavior was one of the reasons she had quit.

“我讨厌他们总在办公室里评论女性员工的穿着,好像除了这个就没别的事干,还说我们穿这样的衣服是嫁不出去的。30岁的洪采英(音)说,她指的是她以前公司里的年长男性经理。她还说,这种行为是她辞职的原因之一。

Corporate and government elites have been notorious for a type of gapjil known as “imperial protocol,” which includes having a row of underlings hold umbrellas or commandeer elevators while ordinary people are forced to take the stairs. In 2017, Kim Moo-sung, a political boss, became a symbol of that sort of entitlement when he rolled a suitcase at an assistant at the airport. He later became the subject of public ridicule.

企业和政府精英因为一种被称为“帝国礼仪”的礼节而臭名昭著,其中包括让下属排成一排撑伞,或者霸占电梯,让普通人只能走楼梯。2017年,政治领导人金武星在机场向助手推过去一个手提箱,于是成了这种特权做派的象征。他后来成了公众嘲笑的对象。

Some trace the origins of gapjil to South Korea’s military dictators, who enforced a command-and-compliance culture that remains pervasive. It is both “the basic grammar” and “a deep rooted malaise” of a South Korean society that reflects the “rankism its people are addicted to,” Kang Jun-man, a media scholar, wrote in his book on gapjil.

一些人把gapjil的起源追溯到韩国的军事独裁者,他们推行一种命令与服从的文化,这种文化至今仍很普遍。它既是韩国社会的“基本语法”,也是韩国社会的“根深蒂固的弊病”,反映了“其人民沉迷于等级主义”,媒体学者姜俊万(音)在他关于gapjil的书中写道。

“People who suffer gapjil at work commit gapjil themselves when they are in the position of authority, as when they talk to a call-center employee on the phone,” said Cho Eun-mi, 37, who quit a stationery factory in April because of her manager’s abusive language.

“那些在工作中遭受gapjil的人,等到身处权威的位置时,自己也会搞gapjil,比如他们和呼叫中心的员工通电话时,”37岁的赵恩美(音)说。今年4月,她因为经理的辱骂而辞去了在文具厂的工作。

But the country’s march toward democracy is also filled with stories of rebellion against the powerful: citizens driving a dictator into exile, taking up arms against a military junta and holding massive rallies to win a right to free election.

但在这个国家走向民主的过程中,也充满反抗强权的故事:公民驱逐独裁者,拿起武器反对军政府,举行大规模集会以赢得自由选举的权利。

The impeachment of President Park Geun-hye in 2017 was started when it was revealed that her secret adviser, Choi Soon-sil, was accused of forcing an elite university to change its admission policies to accept her daughter. “Money speaks,” the daughter said in a Facebook comment that triggered public outrage.

朴槿惠总统2017年被弹劾的导火索是她的秘密顾问崔顺实被曝光强迫一所精英大学改变录取政策,以便她的女儿能被录取。“金钱万能,”崔的女儿在Facebook上发表评论说,这引发了公众的愤怒。

The recent trend of whistle-blowing on gapjil also reflects a deep mistrust of the justice system in South Korea, where many have said the courts rarely punish corporate elites who act as though they are above the law. In 2007, Kim Seung-youn, chairman of the Hanwha conglomerate, was imprisoned only briefly after assaulting workers.

最近揭发gapjil事件的趋势也反映出韩国对司法体系的严重不信任。许多人表示,法院很少惩罚那些似乎凌驾于法律之上的企业精英。2007年,韩华集团会长金升渊在殴打工作人员后仅短暂入狱。

And in 2010, Chey Cheol-won, a member of the family that ran the SK conglomerate, received only a suspended prison sentence after battering a union activist with an aluminum baseball bat.

2010年,经营SK集团的家族成员崔哲元(音)用铝制棒球棍殴打一名工会活动人士,只被判处缓刑。

When victims of gapjil exhaust resources to address their grievances legally, they often resort to exposing the abusers in the court of public opinion, usually with the help of camera phones and social media. In 2018, video footage emerged of Yang Jin-ho, the head of an online file-sharing company, ruthlessly slapping a former employee.

当gapjil的受害者用尽资源,通过法律手段解决冤屈的时候,他们通常会借助手机拍照和社交媒体,让施暴者在舆论法庭曝光。2018年,一家网络文件共享公司的负责人杨镇镐残忍掌掴一名前员工的视频被曝光。

In 2017, audio files emerged of Lee Jang-han, chairman of the pharmaceutical company Chong Kun Dang, harassing his chauffeur with a stream of insults. “What kind of bastard your father was to have raised a son like you?” he said.

2017年,制药公司钟根堂的会长李章汉(音)用一连串辱骂骚扰司机的音频文件曝光。“你父亲是有多混蛋,才养出你这样的儿子?”他说。

Mr. Yang was imprisoned for violence and other crimes, while Mr. Lee was forced to hold a news conference to apologize.

杨镇镐因暴力和其他罪行被监禁,而李章汉被迫举行新闻发布会道歉。

Despite the anti-gapjil movement, South Korea may have a long way to go to make its work environment more fair and its society more equal. A law against workplace harassment took effect in 2019, but it mandates only disciplinary actions or a financial penalty of up to $8,000 against offenders. In a survey by Gabjil 119 last year, nearly 29 percent of workers reported abuse at work.

虽然有了反gapjil运动,但韩国要想让工作环境更加公平,社会更加平等,可能还有很长的路要走。一项针对职场骚扰的法律于2019年生效,但它只要求对违规者采取纪律处分,或处以最高8000美元的罚款。“Gabjil 119”去年进行的一项调查显示,近29%的员工报告工作中受到虐待。

“Gapjil is still treated as something that should be resolved within the company,” said Yun Ji-young, a human rights lawyer who helps gapjil victims. “There is a huge animosity against people who take the problem outside.”

帮助gapjil受害者的人权律师尹智英(音)说,“gapjil仍被视为应该在公司内部解决的问题,人们对于把问题带到外面的人抱有极大的敌意。”

Without more accountability, though, Mr. Park at Gabjil 119 fears little will change for South Korean workers being tormented by their abusive bosses. “We have ended the military dictatorship, and we have impeached a president,” he said. “But we still have to change our workplace culture.”

不过,Gabjil 119的朴珠奎担心,如果没有更多的问责,韩国员工仍然会受到虐待成性的老板折磨,这几乎不会有什么改变。“我们结束了军事独裁,我们弹劾了一位总统,”他说。“但我们仍然需要改变我们的职场文化。”
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