Chapter 67
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Chapter 67

    A month in the life of a chemical company team leader(12)

    Day 22- KG Health Planning Headquarters

    [Han Jeong-woo. Graduated from Myeong-Woon University with a major in Business Administration. Work experience None. Qualifications None.]

    As Cha Jin-seong examined Han Jeong-woos profile, received through someone he knew in the HR department, he couldnt help but let out a chuckle.

    A person with an unremarkable history, not special enough to be handpicked. His background was too pristine to be called a high-ranking parachute.

    Rumor has it that Center Director Jang Tae-seon didnt push to secure the project for him. Hes solely standing on his skills.

    Flipping through the back page of the profile, Cha Jin-seong paused.

    How did he amass such commissions in such a clueless manner?

    Yujin Chemicals, TS Mall, KG Industries. Add to that the bonus from KG Health Planning that comes if Chaffrins sales continue to rise. The year-end bonus was already surpassing the annual salary of most deputy managers.

    Whats more frightening is that all of this happened within just 2 months of joining, and there are still 10 more months until the end of the year.

    Cha Jin-seongs gaze turned to the Chaffrin evaluation team test score report conducted over the weekend.

    The evaluation of the product, which the entire center staff had worked on tirelessly last week, had dramatically risen from 87 to an impressive 96.

    Everything was at an A level.

    It had to be acknowledged that Han Jeong-woo played the biggest role in achieving this outstanding result.

    Who he was affiliated with upon joining wasnt even an important question.

    For someone running a research center, it was evident they would seek out talents who could deliver such results.

    Now the most significant issue would be Han Jeong-woos affiliation and future trajectory.

    The power struggle among the center directors is bound to intensify.

    From Cha Jin-seongs perspective as part of an affiliate company, it would be best if this exceptional talent stayed within their basic framework for easier interactions. However, it seemed that Director Son-gu had no intentions of keeping this talent in just one place.


    The office door opened, and Yoon Hyung-seok, the assistant manager, walked in.

    Ive brought in Team Leader Han.

    Seeing Jeong-woo enter as Cha Jin-seong had been waiting, he moved towards the refreshment area.

    Come over here.

    Jeong-woo looked at the photos spread out on the table by Manager Cha and had an expression that seemed to ask, Whats all this? Pointing to the rightmost photo, Manager Cha spoke.

    This is Seong Soo-won, an assistant in the Lifestyle Medicine Development Department. He earned his masters degree from Berkeley. Over the past 5 years, he has participated in seven projects, all of which have yielded remarkable results.

    Hes quite skilled.

    Manager Cha gestured to the second photo on the right.

    Kwak Bong-su, an assistant in the Surface Materials Research Department. Graduated from KAIST. Currently in a doctoral program, and holds a patent for independent surface activation material application technology.


    SH Center Fragrance Design Teams employee, Shin Ki-woo. Hes on the verge of a promotion to assistant and is the ace of the promising Fragrance Team. He has a masters degree in Biochemistry from the University of Toronto.

    I do know Shin Ki-woo.

    As Jeong-woo listened to Manager Cha read through the profiles of the individuals in the photos one by one, he realized that these were indeed the aces among aces at KG Health Research Center.

    After the descriptions for all 8 individuals were finished, Manager Cha spoke.

    Choose the person you want.


    Manager Cha was someone who tackled work with a fiery passion, without any hesitations.

    Pick anyone from these.

    Are you saying I can just choose anyone?

    We keep our promises. And youre a team leader. No, Jeong-woo. I want to speak more comfortably from now on. Is that okay?

    Cha Jin-seong. He heard he wasnt the president of an affiliate company, but rather the grandson of the head of the KG Group.

    With such a background, he was a figure who had risen solely based on his abilities, starting from an ordinary employee and overseeing the planning of all KG Health products.

    Shin Ki-woo really looks up to him.

    Cha Jin-seong, who used to seem distant, was now suggesting a more comfortable senior-junior relationship.

    There was no reason to refuse. It wasnt a situation where he was hesitant to work together like with Jang Tae-seon.

    Sure. If its not too impolite, may I call you Senior?

    Of course. I heard you studied business administration. I majored in that too. Although Im not an actual researcher like you, Jeong-woo.

    Anyway, were senior colleagues from the same field in that sense.

    Jeong-woo pointed to the photos on the table.

    All of them, just lend them to me for exactly 5 days. Ill finish the project.

    5 days?

    Confirming whether he had heard correctly, Jeong-woo nodded in agreement to Manager Cha.

    Cho Seong-hwan and Bae Ki-tae were taken aback as people suddenly crowded into the fragrance room.

    Did you receive orders for our project?

    Yes. I just received a call from the HR manager. Its Kwak Bong-su, an assistant in the Surface Materials Research Department.

    Bae Ki-tae was taken aback.

    Could it be the legend of the Chemistry Department, Bong-su senior?

    Oh, that nickname. Did you come from KAIST?

    Its an honor!

    As more people entered, the fragrance room became cramped with around 10 individuals.

    Five minutes later, Shin Ki-woo looked around the fragrance room and approached Cho Seong-hwan.

    What about Team Leader Han?

    Hes on a call with a client due to the remaining samples. Ah, there he is.

    The door opened, and Jeong-woo entered the fragrance room.

    Is everyone here? Please take a seat for now.

    People gathered around the central table.

    Lets keep calm. We have a total of 12 people.

    Finishing the headcount, Jeong-woo smiled and said, Now, Ill divide you into pairs. Each pair gets one sample. Out of the 9 synthetic fragrances requested by the client, 3 were delivered last week. We will complete the remaining 6 by Friday.

    Shin Ki-woo, who had been glancing at Jeong-woos research from behind, raised his hand in surprise.

    The newcomers to the project are interns, but theyre expected to complete this intricate synthesis in 5 days?

    Well, if you think about it, 5 days is actually quite long. The process is already established.

    Only Bae Ki-tae and Cho Seong-hwan secretly laughed at Jeong-woos logic, which made something seemingly impossible sound trivial.

    You dont need to feel burdened, everyone. You are the best researchers at KG Health. Like the Avengers or something.

    With a proud expression, Jeong-woo scanned his team members and gave further instructions.

    Bae Ki-tae will cover the molecular recombination technique, and Cho Seong-hwan will explain the experimentation and review process. We will start working on the remaining 2 samples from this afternoon.

    As soon as Jeong-woo finished speaking, he opened his laptop on the table and began dividing the wild plants that each group would be responsible for.

    While Bae Ki-tae and Cho Seong-hwan explained the processes they had been working on with sweat dripping down their faces, Seong Soo-won, who had come from the Lifestyle Medicine Development Department, approached Jeong-woo.

    Team Leader Han.


    Theres something I dont understand. To carry out this recombination technique, shouldnt we start with sample analysis? The most important part

    Looking at the laptop screen briefly, Soo-won was left speechless. The page was densely filled with materials to be extracted and molecular structures to be synthesized. The analysis was already completed.

    Did you do this, Team Leader?

    Oh, Im in the final stages. Just a moment.

    Staring at the molecular structures displayed on the laptop as if enchanted, Soo-won couldnt take his eyes off them.

    The other team members, who had been listening to explanations from Bae Ki-tae and Cho Seong-hwan, gradually gathered behind Jeong-woo.

    Why is the analysis coming out so fast and precise? Comprehensive synthesis? Is that possible?

    I heard rumors before I joined, but is this the style of Team Leader Han? He also worked on the Fragrance Center project, right Shin Ki-woo?

    I received a lot of help.

    Jeong-woo, who had been typing away on his keyboard absentmindedly, turned his head.

    Huh? Why are you all like that?

    No, we were just looking at what samples we would be handling.

    Take a 5-minute break. The coordination will be finished soon.

    Jeong-woo continued his work while whistling.

    Day 23- Fragrance Center

    Jeong-woo was slightly surprised to come face-to-face with the two people who had been waiting at the center entrance since morning.

    What brings you here?

    Kim Jong-chan and Won Jin-soo. The two responsible researchers who had gone out for a fire bidding collaboration task on their first day at the Basic Materials Center were standing in front of him.

    Oh, Jeong-woo. I dont even know. I have no idea why were supposed to be here.

    Kim Jong-chan chuckled. Won Jin-soo sighed and spoke.

    There was a meeting with the department heads yesterday, you know. Director Jang was bragging about your project so much; it seemed like they were all really annoyed. They were wondering why you werent there showing it off.

    Thats well

    Although Jang Tae-seon might have had a hand in this, the main reason was the strong request from the powerful client.

    Won Jin-soo placed his hand on Jeong-woos shoulder.

    Its from the Material Science Center Director. He wants you to come and do a top-notch research.

    At this, Jeong-woo remembered the face of Director Noh Jong-seon that he had seen during the planning assessment.

    They sent you here for this collaboration project since we know each other. Its like a voluntary forced assignment. Thats how things go for us.

    Thats right, senior.

    Seeing Jeong-woo hesitating, Kim Jong-chan laughed and said, Dont feel pressured. You came here for a reason. Worried about not having team members? Ill help.

    To send two research leaders like himself and Won Jin-soo just to earn points, Jeong-woo knew Noh Jong-seons intentions.

    However, if it had been last week, it might have been possible. But now, it felt like the last train had left to achieve the points.

    I dont really have much to do

    As Jeong-woo said this, he remembered the 2 samples that arrived yesterday. If he handed over the remaining analysis to them, he could move around freely and communicate with his team while they worked.

    Then, could you help with the material analysis?

    Arent we researchers who only do that? What is it?

    Eoreum orchid, a plant from the orchid family, and Prickly lily from the water lily family. Both are endangered species.

    Do these go into perfumes?

    Kim Jong-chans eyes widened.

    Dont even mention it. They put all sorts of things in, its audacious.

    Hey, this is different from what Seung-ju said. Sounds like a tough project.

    Upon hearing Kim Jong-chans distressed voice, Won Jin-soo clicked his tongue.

    And Jeong-woo is doing it alone.

    As expected, Jeong-woo. We saw it in Cheonan, but youre truly amazing.

    Jeong-woo said to the two admiring individuals.

    Lets go for now. The team members are all working in the fragrance room.

    Accompanied by two PhDs from the Material Science Center, Jeong-woo tapped his card on the door of the fragrance room.


    Kim Jong-chan and Won Jin-soo, who were caught off guard as they faced the 12 team members busily preparing for their experiments, widened their eyes.

    I heard from Seung-ju that you dont have many team members.

    Turns out, weve actually increased quite a bit this week.

    Jeong-woo, smiling coolly, surprised the two individuals who looked at him. And they realized it. Noh Jong-seon was one step behind.

    Please pay attention for a moment. Two individuals from the Material Science Center joined us today.

    After the introduction, the total of 14 team members started their work.

    As Jeong-woo looked at the bustling fragrance room, he chuckled inwardly. Truly, these were days of abundance in terms of team members.

    No longer working alone.

    On the 23rd day of the project, he wasnt overly concerned.

    Day 26- Fragrance Room

    Friday morning.

    Jeong-woo quietly sat in the fragrance room with six sample vials placed on the table, which he had finished working on the previous evening.

    Only the final inspection from the client remained.

    Recalling the gloominess of the first day as the team leader, it was hard to believe how the research had been completed at such an unbelievable pace.

    Should I find this kind of experience refreshing?

    Opening his laptop, he sent individual thank-you emails to the 10 researchers from KG Life Health who had wholeheartedly assisted him during this short assignment.

    If he ever encountered them again in another project, these connections would be valuable assets.

    I dont plan on taking up the role of team leader immediately, though.

    Balancing external matters that needed his attention with internal ones was quite tiring.

    Did they say they would come at 11?

    While waiting for Michles arrival, a bored Jeong-woo picked up his phone and opened a video app.

    A video from the previous week, shot at a barbecue restaurant, which he had sent to Shin Ki-joon. Watching the increasing views on this video had become quite entertaining lately.

    Channel Chemistry [Subscribers 26,034]

    Fragrance Neutral Zone [Views 75,023]

    [0m 15s]

    We have brought along two individuals who just finished their meal.

    Splat, a liquid sprayed from Jeong-woos hand landed on the clothes of the two men and women who stood in front of the barbecue restaurant.

    Huh? It doesnt really smell.

    You neither? Wow, thats strange.

    Jeong-woo commented while looking at the screen.

    As you can see, it pushes out different odor molecules. It doesnt tolerate anything else except its own scent. Quite a snobby fellow. Should we call it the gangster of the fragrance molecule world?


    The phone vibrated briefly. The cameraman was chuckling.

    Why such an explanation?

    Do people like it when you talk about complicated chemical formulas?

    [1m 12s]

    Whats up? I dont even smell like alcohol. Heh. How is it? My wife wont suspect anything, right?

    Sir, your face is getting so red. Your pronunciation too. Its better to just act like you drank it without making a fuss.

    [3m 7s]

    If I spray this, do I not need to wash my hair? Its been two days since I washed it. Its cold.

    I dont know about the smell, but greasy hair is a lost cause.

    But still, spray it on my hair once more~

    Yes, sure. Hey! Dont overdo it.

    [4m 28s]

    An old man with a chefs hat walked out of the restaurant.

    What are you people doing?

    Oh, were getting rid of the meat smell for the customers.

    Not that!

    The kitchen man pointed his finger at Jeong-woo.

    The meat smell should spread all the way down that path so customers can catch the scent and maybe another person will come. Right now, its just the floral scent!

    Um well

    Youll ruin our business!

    I apologize.

    Jeong-woo quickly lowered his head, and the person recording also bent over, causing the camera to briefly capture the floor before rising again.

    The old man asked Jeong-woo as he entered the barbecue restaurant.

    But what kind of air freshener eliminates the meat smell?

    This isnt an air freshener, its an air deodorizer.

    It works well. Lets buy one after closing for business.

    Its still in development, so were not selling it.

    [End of Video]

    Jeong-woo watched the last part of the video again and let out a sigh. The conclusion wasnt very favorable. He had thought that Shin Ki-joon would edit it nicely, but instead, he had even added captions emphasizing that part.

    He also checked the newly added comments below.

    -This guy, last time he shattered a lot of ice, and now hes deleting meat smells.

    -Snow Removal Captain -> Fragrance Serial Killer


    -The barbecue owner seems really angry. When I went to the PC bang, if someone ate instant noodles, they would get upset like that. But what does this person do?

    -Hes a chemist. You can see it in the video from Seongbuk-dong.


    A text message arrived saying that Michle had arrived. While waiting for her, Jeong-woo looked around the neatly organized fragrance room once again.

    Todays work in this place is done.

    Together with Jang Tae-seon, Michle entered the fragrance room. She looked at the table where six sample bottles were placed and her expression showed disbelief.

    Are you really saying that you completed six samples this week?

    Jeong-woo smiled playfully and handed her the first bottle to confirm. Michle opened the cap slightly and smelled the fragrance, then let out a brief exclamation of admiration.

    Its hard to distinguish this from natural fragrance.

    The synthetic fragrances of yellow bucket flowers were worked on by Ki-woo and Na-yeon. They have a good sense, maybe because theyre from the Fragrance Design team, so the match rate was the highest, 99.63%?

    Make sure to pay the bonuses properly to the team members who put in the effort.

    Jeong-woo was surprised by Michles words.

    Is that really okay?

    With a cheerful expression, Jang Tae-seon replied, Most of the remaining funds from the first development budget are going as bonuses. Even the team leader can expect something. The project ended without using nearly half of the initial development funds.

    Hearing that unexpected money might come in, Jeong-woo felt happy too.

    After confirming the second bottle, Michle nodded. As they went through the third one, she turned to one of the assistants.


    It seemed like she was trying to restore her dulled sense of smell by smelling deeply consecutively and then using something like an alcohol pad.


    Jeong-woo remembered the Paradise scent mixed with Chaffrin and took out a sprayer from his bag.

    CEO, hold on a moment.

    Spritzing it around Michle, the fragrance molecules that had spread from the three samples were pushed away into the distance.

    In an instant, the unique floral scent of the Fragrance Center remained faintly, and as the rest was purified, Michles eyes widened.

    What was that just now?

    In case the aftertaste remains too strong and interferes. Please check the others now.

    Whats this, Chaffrin? Is this the ambitious project you mentioned before?

    Jeong-woo shook his head at Michle, who read the temporary label on the sprayer.

    Its a mixture with that as the base. Chaffrin is a fabric freshener, and this one works more strongly in the air.

    Spray it here.

    Michle said this while pointing at Jang Tae-seon.

    The low-quality fragrance of Scent Number Nine is bothering me.

    Oh dear.

    Jang Tae-seon, who had sprayed on the cologne of the gentleman again today, scratched his cheek as if embarrassed.

    I forgot. Its become a habit for me to spray after showering.


    Without hesitation, Jeong-woo sprayed the liquid at Jang Tae-seon.

    Oops, youre here! Haha. Jeong-woo, youre acting all strict again just because you said youre leaving today.

    Its harmless, so just stay put. Its not really that cold either.

    Jeong-woo meticulously traced the trace of the sprayed liquid using his molecular vision.

    The molecules of the gentleman-like scent emitted from Jang Tae-seons body trembled and fled far away upon the approach of the modified Paradise molecules and the scent molecules resembling Michle.

    After smelling the remaining fragrance, Michles astonished expression deepened as she spoke to Jeong-woo.

    That. Its a very good deodorant for perfumers.

    Is that so?

    Is this a product under development?

    Its not like that. I accidentally made it

    It doesnt matter. Im willing to invest in that product. Even if you have to put in all the second and third development costs.

    Jeong-woo was surprised by Michles attitude, which highly valued this.

    This CEO really spares no expense for a good fragrance.

    As soon as the word investment came out of Michles mouth, Jang Tae-seons complexion changed. His eyes that were just being sulky suddenly turned sharp, then he composed himself and spoke in a polite voice.

    CEO. You know our product, right? Its all chemistry. If were to get funding and turn it into an official project, it would require our Team Leader Han Jeong-woo to be fully dedicated!

    Enough already.

    Jeong-woo promptly cut off Jang Tae-seons words as he threw a meaningful glance. Seeing Jang Tae-seons expression that seemed to say Why are you doing?, Jeong-woo let out a wry laugh and then spoke to Michle.

    This isnt chemistry; its the miracle of the perfume that CEO Michle made.

    A miracle?

    I mixed molecules extracted from the Paradise that the CEO gave as a gift. If you really think about it, the value of this single sprayer is enormous. Theres no reason to invest in it. The production cost is just too high. And this, no matter who researches it, they can never replicate it. Its just something personal I did for the CEO

    Jeong-woo held out the sprayer.

    Ill give it to you as a gift. If its not enough, just let me know. I can make a years worth with what the CEO gave me.

    Michles expression brightened.

    Can you really give it to me? Im so sorry.

    Were people who enjoy fragrance, after all. Please think of it as my heartfelt offering.

    Having finished speaking, Jeong-woo saw it. Michle, who had a heart as icy as her heart, who never smiled like a normal person, was now looking at him with a gentle smile.

    A little while later.

    After finishing the confirmation of the remaining three samples, Michle came to Jeong-woo and extended her hand for a handshake.

    Mr. Han Jeong-woo, youve been very inspiring all this time.

    CEO Michle, you too.

    Jeong-woos first project, which had been ongoing for about a month since the end of January, ended like this.

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