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City Stories: Jeong Ok-sun

Written by
Hye Won Kim


Jeong Ok-sun (Yakult saleswoman in Sangam-dong) 

How long have you been in this line of work?
It's been almost two years. I'm a manager of a Yakult branch in Sangam-dong, Mapo-gu.

Lots of people get excited to see you, don't they?
Very excited to see us, indeed. Some run at me saying, “Ajumma, I've finally found you!” What lots of people want to get from me these days are Cold Brew coffee and Kiri cream cheese. I run out of stock so quickly.

Which one's more popular?
Currently, Cold Brew coffee. You know how lots of Koreans drink more than one cup
of coffee these days.

I remember singing this, sort of children's folk verse, that goes: “Yakult lady, give me some Yakult please.” Do you know if kids these days do the same?
Kids still do sing that song! I respond to them: “Yakult isn’t ours, Yakult is yours.” [laughs]

The carts used to be all manual, pull-and-push. Are these new electric ones provided by the company?
Technically, we rent it from the company. There's a security deposit we pay in order to rent one.

What does it feel like to ride the electric carts?
It’s a lot of fun. Some customers ask me if they could have a ride on it. Unfortunately, that’s not allowed. I’ve been riding it around for about two years now, and it's kind of like driving a car. At first I thought it was pretty fast, but now I feel it’s slow. [laughs] The maximum speed is 8km/h. It’s powerful enough to handle both uphill and downhill slopes.

Have you encountered interesting moments during work?
While roaming the streets, I sometimes find myself in the middle of an emergency. Just the other day, I saw a guy lying on the street, unconscious. In the same evening, I saw another man who was so drunk he couldn’t find his way home. In this type of situation, I call the police and help the person get back home safely. I’m always willing to help out the people I encounter on the street and make friends with them.

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