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Samsung forbids employees from drinking after 9pm

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Samsung forbids employees from drinking after 9pm
There is a lot of weird things in Asia, but one you probably have not heard about is hoesik, a team bonding weekly experience that is literally translated as ‘staff dinner.’ With Monday, Wednesday or Thursday usually the days for hoesik, employees gather over dinner that easily extends into drinking, mixing drinks and karaoke singing well after midnight.

To a Westerner this might seem like an innocent ritual that will indeed strengthen the team, but in an environment where denying a drink might mean a bad performance review the next day, ‘hoesik’ starts looking less naive.

Starting with beer often mixed with soju, the local rice-based liquor, the dinner continues with whiskey and so on.

“At my first hoesik, we started out with everyone filling a beer glass with soju, and downing it on the spot. That was just the beginning," a Korean American shared his first shocking corporate dinner experience for CNN.

Hoesik is not a simple dinner, though. You have to adhere to local customs, not drinking before seniors and holding cups and bottle with two hands. And most importantly - not saying no to offered drinks. The Koreans even have separate words: ‘beolju’ for forcing drinks on others, and ‘sabalju’ for mixing up beverages.

The weirdness does not end here. Often times, wannabe employees would have to fill up a document when applying for a job, saying how much of the soju drink they can take during hoesik while remaining fit for conversation.

Now, with this ample introduction to Korean customs, you can probably better understand why Samsung wants to limit the ritual for its employees. The company is trying to fight this alcoholism that turns off new hires with a new strict rule, the 1-1-9.

The first ‘1’ stands for one sitting as opposed to bar hopping, the second ‘1’ means only one type of alcohol allowed rather than mixing drinks, and the ‘9’ is for 9pm, the time when it should be all over. Not a bad start, is it?

source: Wall Street Journal, CNN

29 Comments
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posted on 29 Nov 2012, 08:40 16

1. _Bone_ (Posts: 2132; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


Consider this my resignation. Goodbye Samsung!

posted on 29 Nov 2012, 08:54 8

4. dickwyn (Posts: 595; Member since: 07 May 2012)


nah they'll just drink at 8:59PM

posted on 29 Nov 2012, 17:00

22. fanesxx (Posts: 72; Member since: 19 May 2011)


lmao, they didn't say before

posted on 29 Nov 2012, 09:09 12

5. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5856; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Drinking does have its downside. Especially if it is compulsory. Props to Sammy.

posted on 29 Nov 2012, 09:12 3

7. thelegend6657 (unregistered)


But it limits our freedom . Sure drinking is bad , but we are adults that can take care of ourselves. So this is a bad move

posted on 29 Nov 2012, 09:21 7

8. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 3012; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


Contrary to you comment, no one is sane when drunk... And when one drinks...they probably get drunk!! Except for people who have few controlled occasional drinks.

posted on 29 Nov 2012, 11:32 2

13. Commentator (Posts: 2435; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


But when, as the article says, turning down a drink might result in a bad performance review, how free are the employees anyways? From what it sounds like, it's either drink or risk losing your job.

posted on 29 Nov 2012, 12:40 1

16. Reluctant_Human (Posts: 864; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


Again I ask. How is this a bad thing unless you have to buy the rounds?

posted on 30 Nov 2012, 15:27

28. Commentator (Posts: 2435; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


It increases the possibility of chemical dependance on alcohol, as well as the risk of harm to self and others, especially if the drinker has a low tolerance.

(Forgive the lateness of my reply.)

posted on 29 Nov 2012, 18:13 1

23. thelegend6657 (unregistered)


Its asian culture , dude , i'm asian

posted on 30 Nov 2012, 15:30

29. Commentator (Posts: 2435; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


Just because its Asian culture doesn't mean it's necessarily right. Lord knows there's a lot wrong with American culture.

(Forgive the lateness of my reply.)

posted on 29 Nov 2012, 11:59 4

14. darkkjedii (Posts: 11892; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


How could this possibly b a bad move?

posted on 29 Nov 2012, 18:14

24. thelegend6657 (unregistered)


Limits employees freedom . People should be given freedom to do something as long as its not illegal

posted on 29 Nov 2012, 12:50 4

17. spookytj (Posts: 13; Member since: 17 Sep 2012)


I imagine that Samsung wanted to leave that custom alone...but if their employees can't regulate themselves and their job performance suffers then they need to step in.

posted on 29 Nov 2012, 09:39 2

10. Reluctant_Human (Posts: 864; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


Drinking has no downside. Its makes lame people awesome and gets ugly people laid. Don't listen to Droid's lies!

posted on 29 Nov 2012, 09:12 1

6. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 3012; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


If anyone is going to Korea planning to be a part of a big company, prepare to be wild drinkers!!
And if you are thinking of being a part of Samsung...learn to control the wild drinking habit first! :D

posted on 29 Nov 2012, 08:46 6

2. Aeires (unregistered)


Different cultures makes the world a more interesting place.

I lived in Japan for two years, they have some interesting cultural nuances like this as well. And I'm sure they look at some western culture as 'weird' to some degrees also. Don't think so, watch "Only In America" by Larry the Cable Guy.

posted on 29 Nov 2012, 09:37 2

9. Reluctant_Human (Posts: 864; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


I'd commit seppuku before ending that awesome tradition. My company parties suck. I'm moving to Korea and but working for Samsung.

posted on 29 Nov 2012, 10:10 5

11. ilia1986 (unregistered)


And you thought that Gangnam Style was weird.. :P

posted on 29 Nov 2012, 10:44

12. DiegoMarques (Posts: 4; Member since: 29 Nov 2012)


In the day after that costume, the productivity should be close to nothing for those that are adepts of the binge ;)

Unfortunately, I don`t live in Korea =(

posted on 29 Nov 2012, 12:30 2

15. osmaankhaan (unregistered)


i support samsung for this cause since there should b a limit to everything otherwise it will surely effect one's work
good work 1-1-9 (since 9-1-1 has copy right issues i believe..lol)

posted on 29 Nov 2012, 13:53

18. Bfrenz (Posts: 106; Member since: 26 Aug 2012)


Hmmm. Diffetent cultures,diffrent people.

posted on 29 Nov 2012, 13:54

19. Bfrenz (Posts: 106; Member since: 26 Aug 2012)


Sorry me little drunk now.lol.

posted on 29 Nov 2012, 15:02

20. downphoenix (Posts: 2357; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


I think this is a good rule for samsung.

posted on 29 Nov 2012, 16:09 1

21. 1ceTr0n (Posts: 510; Member since: 20 May 2012)


As being from a family of alcoholics, I should probably follow this rule as a general principle

posted on 29 Nov 2012, 20:25

25. meowcenary (Posts: 187; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)


Try the bars in Utah.

posted on 29 Nov 2012, 20:32

26. networkdood (Posts: 6274; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


If you do not like the policies of a company - then go work for someone else...

posted on 29 Nov 2012, 21:07

27. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6579; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


Um why after 9pm? Don't these guys go home after 9 or something plus if their at home and or off for the day don't they get to drink? and what does this have to do with phones for?

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