Category Archives: Translated Work

The Newspaper Deliveryperson

Interactions shared, with that someone who delivers the newspapers to you every day, and his work ethics drove you to continue to subscribe to the papers, translated…

Early that morn, I’d gone downstairs to retrieve my papers, found that there was a screwdriver inside my mailbox, because my family use this tool for work often, I’d not questioned it, and, took the screwdriver, home with me.

The following day, the paper delivery person called to inquire, asked if I’d found a screwdriver in my mailbox?  I told him I had.  He’d told me, bashfully, that the new delivery guy didn’t know the route yet, accidentally sent the paper into the mailbox of the second floor residents, and used a screwdriver to try to pry it back out, but accidentally, dropped the screwdriver into my box.  I’d started laughing out loud, a while later, that paper delivery guy came to pick up the screwdriver from me, I’d told him, you could’ve just called, and I’ll tell the residents on the second floor, why did you need to go through all the, troubles?  He’d smiled that, shy kind of, a smile.

Two mornings ago, as I was flipping through the papers at breakfast, I’d suddenly found, that the subsection of the paper went, missing.  This was the very first time I’d encountered this, could it be, that the newspapers forgot to print the section?  No, impossible!  I’d started feeling funny over my weird guesses, and asked the friend who also had her papers delivered, she’d told me, that there was, the subsection in hers, so, it must’ve been the delivery person who’d, forgotten, to put the inset in, then he’d, sent me a link of the online version of the paper, and told me, that I could write an article titled, “The Day of No Subsections of the Papers”.

like this??? Photo from online

From before when I had to rush off to work, I’d, flipped through the papers quickly, gulfing down my breakfast, and this day, without the subsection that I read, it got me to focus on eating my breakfast for once, it wasn’t, all that, bad at all, but I didn’t want it to happen again, so I’d called up the delivery person, and told him.  He apologized to me profusely, and a little later, I was heading downstairs to get to work, the delivery person came toward me, with the subsection of the paper that was missing from my newspaper.  And wow, he’d delivered that single page in the pouring rain, and now, I’m, ashamed of my self, I’d told him that it was no hurry, why did he have to come over in the downpour, after all, I could still find the section online to read off of.  He’d apologized to me, and said that it’s his, responsibilities to.

The second day I’d opened my mailbox, and found, that other than the United Daily I subscribed to, there was, an extra copy of another newspaper.  Whoa!  Is it, another, mistake again?  I’d called up the delivery person, he’d told me, that he was sorry he’d forgotten to put in the subsection of my paper yesterday, that he’d needed to make up for it with another copy of another paper for me.  Suddenly, I’d recalled an article from the Merit-Times, but couldn’t get it anywhere, and I’d mentioned it to the newspaper delivery person, and the next day, he’d, sent me a copy.

I’d felt warmed, originally, I’d considered if I need to, terminate the newspaper subscription, but, seeing how hard the delivery person worked, his passion, and his thoughtfulness, I’d, decided, to continue my, subscription, using this method to show him my gratitude, and support too.

And so, this is on work ethics, I mean, in the above situation, the delivery person can well tell the writer to go buy herself another copy, of the paper with the subsection that he’d accidentally, pulled out, and yet, he’d gone above the call of his responsibilities, brought back the missing pages of the papers, and, sent in another copy of another paper for her, and it’s this sort of warmth in the interactions that’s caused this newspaper subscriber to keep on, ordering the deliveries of her newspaper.

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Filed under Interactions Shared with the World, Interpersonal Relations, Translated Work, Work Ethics

The Rainbows Keeping Watch Over the Phones Late in the Nights in the, Cities, a Passerby in Someone Else’s, Life

The volunteer lines for the LGBT communities, in training here, this is something that’s, needed, with the increase of sexual and gender diversity, translated…

“Hi, this is the homosexual hotline, how may I be of service to you!”, this was the instinctive response that got etched into my mind the year I’d worked as a call receiver of the hotlines.  Picked up the phones, was like getting the buttons turned on, immediately, I’d gotten into the various modes of answering, ready to catch the LGBT communities’ various troubles.

I’d signed on to be a volunteer, right after the public policies votes.  That was when a lot of people felt upset, with the strong sense of, helplessness passing through the LGBT community.  “What can I do, for them?”, it’s this thought that’s, got me, involved.

The Tiny “Secret Room”

In the times of convenience communications app, who still use the landlines?  But, in the tiny room of the call center, there were, several landlines, with the volunteers, sitting in their seats, talking in whispers, looking a bit, mysterious.

Although it was called a “hotline”, but there are, a lot of the small cliques, for instance, “same-sex families”, “A.I.D.S. prevention”, “gender education”, etc., etc., etc., many of these groups needed to reach outward, the team members are all very active.  Comparing, the volunteers of the call center were much, quieter, and the other groups’ volunteers would always joked, “the call center volunteers are all, autistic!”

like peeling the layers of an onion off! Illustration from UDN.com

Surely, the most active place for the volunteers is, inside that tiny room, the door into the room was like a threshold, only the call operators are allowed in.  And, as we’d gone in to answer the calls, we’d, used the “false names”, and the privacies of every unique case does NOT leave the room, so, nobody knows exactly, what we’re, doing in there, and so, that made the other volunteers, feel, a bit, distant, to us.

It’s not easy to become an operator in that tiny room, we’d had to, go through the evaluations: signing up, getting evaluated, train for six months, and we had to pass an oral exam.

How Can Pressing an Elevator Button be an Obstacle?

But, I never imagined, that the very first obstacle I would come across, was pressing the elevator, button.

The location of the hotline office was at the busy Roosevelt Road, first time in, as I just stepped into the elevator, about to press the button for my floor, I’d, hesitated—there’s, a ton of different folks in and out of the building, there were, the employees of the offices, and also, the residential elderly people too.

The alarm started sounding inside my mind, like everybody was staring AT my, finger, I’d feel anxious: how would the perceive me, after I’d, pressed the “12” for the floors?

But, it’d not mattered which number I’d pressed, there are more than the hotline office on the twelfth.  For a while, I’d felt uneasy over the reactions—but, WHAT was I, fearful, of?

This shame and secret got buried in my mind, and, for a very long, long time, as I got to talking with the volunteers of the hotlines, I’d found, that I wasn’t, alone in feeling like so.

Getting Involved with the LGBT Communities & Getting to Know Myself Again

After I got past the obstacle of the elevators, first what I’d needed to learn, is getting acclimated with the LGBT culture and the community: the gays, the lesbians, the trans, the bis, the gay and lesbian Christians, to the families of homosexuals, and we also needed to familiarize ourselves with the topics of safe sex, and the bad reputations for A.I.D.S.

“Gay” is too generalized a term, and we only know the tips of that huge, iceberg, so, going to classes was like opening up the minds, from the uses of the terms, the cultures (why are there more and more gay bars in business but the trans bars going out of businesses?), to the societal debates (how the H.I.V. patients would get turned down by the dentists?), and it’d made me wondered, was the world I used to know, for real?

And all of these, are what the callers faced, from their, day-to-day interactions.  The male homosexuals’ are mostly concerned about their statures; the lesbians, dealing with the dual impacts of being females and lesbians, and, with the Gay bars more in numbers than the T-bars, which made well be related to how the females can’t feel safe enough to go out at night.

There are a ton of callers who worried over illnesses too, they’d gotten scanned multiple times, but still worried of contracting A.I.D.S.  Reason why this is a primary fear is due to how the media press equated H.I.V. and A.I.D.S. with gays and lesbians, which is why those who’d contracted H.I.V. still keeps on hitting the walls in their lives, for instance, the dentists would use the excuses of “we don’t have the equipment to offer you your needed treatment” to turn them away, but, others who have illnesses by blood contact rarely got, stereotyped or, discriminated against.

Other than knowing those who aren’t the same as we are, we also need to get to know ourselves.  That’s where the “groups” came in, the volunteer candidates would split into groups, led by those with most experiences to supervise, to take turns sharing the experiences, to dissect life, the process of accepting, hen, with the supervising individual, and the rest of the group, offering positive feedback.  Before we can help anybody else, we need to know our own, selves, this was, what I’d learned, the most important lesson, of all.

The Rehearsals that Left My Heart Bumping

Surely, we also needed training in the, various, counseling, techniques too: identifying the emotions, empathy, and disclosures of our own, selves, and know the S.O.P. of taking the calls of the hotlines: greeting the individuals, understanding why they’re calling, in the conversations, collecting the data about the persons (i.e. age, students or in employment, gender orientation, gender identification, city the individuals live in, etc., etc., etc.).  After we get to know some specifics about these individual callers, we’re, better able to, give them the fitting, responses.

The supervisors in class often told us, “don’t rush into giving advice”, if the advices are unfitting, to the point of not responding correctly to the callers’ problems, then, we would be misunderstood as we can’t understand them, instead, catching the callers’ emotions first, to establish that trust in conversation.

On paper, it all sounds, simple, but, putting these theories to practice, that was, something, else!  We would split up into groups, the supervisors would play the caller, we’d taken turns, answering the calls, and, the members whose turns are still on the way, would sit close by and take notes—those exposed, the wrong words being used, the awkward silence, all get, captured down, and we would be evaluated on afterwards.

The supervisors used a multitude of means to interact with us.  Some had, comforted us, “this is only for a few short minutes, you can, do it!”, while other supervisors get into characters right away, started in the roleplay, cried, ranted, cussed, everything, and it’d, made us, too flustered—while in reality, that, is how, multifaceted the callers can be in our line of, work!

Am I, Only, on the, Starting, Lines?

After the test trials, can we start, working on, the, hotlines?  Not yet!  There’s still, a final, and not everybody passes!  On the day of the test, the supervisor I was assigned to played the role of an anxious mother of a gay/lesbian person, started grilling at me, “how do I know that my son/daughter is gay/lesbian?”  “Can’t my child become, ‘normal’ again?” I’d used empathy, to get to the emotions being the caller, avoiding the “right answers” that might “kill”, fearing the caller would, hang, up.  But, she’d not accepted my means, and continued on, and I was, stuck.  As the session ended, the supervisor asked me, “why didn’t you just tell me that you didn’t know?”, then, it’d, dawned on me, how multivariate the callers can be, that there’s no one-answer-fit-all, and we can only, search for the right direction in the words of, our, exchanges.

I’d felt, very, defeated, and felt that I’d not, passed, as I got home, I was so upset, I’d finished a whole can of, chips.

And yet, a week later, I received the notice that I’d been, approved for the, hotlines, and I still can’t understand why I had, passed!  After this “round”, I’d finally realized, that to work as a hotline operator, we need to have a very strong, heart, but, this was certainly, to make sure, that all the hotline operators are highly qualified to work the lines, not to miss any caller.  While, as I’d started working in the hotlines……well, another story, for, another, time!

And so, this, is the training process of someone, becoming a hotline operator for the LGBT communities, because there’s this desperate need, for these individuals’ voices, troubles to get, heard, and yeah, we are now, more opened to the LGBT groups, but, there are still the issues that these individuals come across in their daily living, that they may need an outside perspective to help them see things more clearly, and that, is where this hotline comes in.

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Filed under "Professional" Opinions, Gay Rights, Homosexuality, In the Workplace, Interactions Shared with the World, Interpersonal Relations, Life, Observations, Overcoming Obstacles, Perspectives, Properties of Life, Theories & Applications, Translated Work, White Picket Fence

The City at the Far End of the Skies

How we are the ones, destroying EVERYTHING, from the views of, “lesser” creatures in nature…translated…

In the barrenness of the fields, there were, many different, species of living organisms, cramping up that tiny passage, crawling, toward the unknown boundaries far, far away, toward the distant, skies.  For the sake of migrations, the living organisms continually made the new roads, the bulldozers, the till, the tractors, the machineries, turned the small path into a major road.  And, the antennas, the footprints of other living things, were all, destroyed, broken, and bled.

the photograph that came with this passage by the writer, courtesy of UDN.com

“How far away is, the sky?”, a ton of living organisms wondered.  The avenues, the boulevards, from the lowered end of the horizon, stacking up, higher, higher, and higher still, expanding toward the skies.  “Would those be the clouds that appeared, by the edge of the skies?”, the living organisms pondered, wanting to, sit on the clouds, to cross that, border.  “Would there be the stars, the planets by the edge of the skies?”, the living organisms want to depart from earth.  It’s just, that at the far end of the road, on the other side of the skies, was a city, built by, man, the appearance of the city, with the tall buildings, erect, like the monsters of, civilization, welcoming, rejecting?  Is it, defensive, or, offensive?”

The living organisms decided to crawl toward that city on the edge of the skies, and so, they can only, turn themselves into, tanks with the feet underneath their bellies, the cannons like the antennas, the winged rockets, fighting the thoughts of, human, being.

And this would be, the adverse effect, of urbanization, as we humans take over, there are, less and less natural habitat for all the other living things, the wildlife in the areas, and we humans, are the, EVILS here, DESTROYING the living habitats of nature’s creatures.

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Filed under Life, Observations, Perspectives, Properties of Life, Right to Life, Translated Work, Wake Up Calls, White Picket Fence

Liang, of the Lotto Ticket Shop

A story of hope, of how someone helps someone out, with someone else’s, introductions, how these connections worked, translated…

During the time I’d had a couture shop in Tainan, there would be the street artists who’d performed at the plaza on the weekends, and the plaza was no more than twenty-meters away from my shopfront, and, I could hear the music standing at the counter.  One afternoon, I’d heard a mature performing voice singing in Taiwanese, it’d sounded like the Taiwanese famed singer, “Only You”, I’d immediately run outside to see, it was a man selling the lotto tickets, his voice full of confidence, with the scent of the worldly attracted many tourists to stand around him, listening.  That was at a time when I got really into discovering the “famous in the world”, I’d gone up to carry on in conversation with the man, and learned that his name is Liang, that he’d sold the lotto tickets by trekking around.

Liang has his own principles in selling the lotto tickets, never forced anyone to buy from him, and, as he saw people passing by him, he’d, nodded towards them if they’d made eye contact, not wanted to give anybody the stresses to buy a ticket from him.  Sometimes, I’d asked him to the back of the resting area out back of my shop to have a drink, or to have something to eat, and carried on in conversations, heard him tell of how he loved the music classes in his middle school years, and now, he’d felt blessed to have the opportunities to sing for someone who wanted to hear him.  Singing gave him the self-confidence, and it’d, given him a stage too.  There’s that let’s get this place noted back then, and, as a T.V. show came to interview Liang, the neighbors helped Liang to host a coming out concert, set up his fans page, and, put out the items to sell, I became his agent, and made the business cards for him, it seemed like playing, and we were all, into, this “game” for sure.

Then, after that, something that impressed me deeply happened.  The presidential election was happening, on the day of the votes, I’d bumped into Liang, he’d told me that he couldn’t find his notice to vote on paper, that he’d not gone to cast his ballot, I’d told him that he could use his identification card.  And Liang saw that time is about to be up, felt that he wouldn’t be able to make the deadline, and, gave up on going to cast a vote.  Because I’d known which candidate he’d supported from our chats, and knew that he’d cared about this too much, although I was back at my shop, and I’d felt, tangled up inside then, kept replaying the way he’d looked, like he’d gotten used to giving up on trying things he couldn’t manage.  So I’d, run out to find him, planned to get him to the voting station on my scooter, I’d asked the elderly woman at the rice shop, the owner of the fruit stands, his favorite fish soup, the bank he’d gone to the most, and finally, I’d, caught him at a drink shop, immediately hollered at him to get behind me on my scooter.

The voting station was close to where he lives, but quite a distance from the drink shop, and finally, as the voting station was three minutes to closing, we’d, made it.  Liang, with trembling hands, carried his identification, got in, and, with the local police and the man in charge of the borough, escorting him, he’d, successfully, cast that vote.  That year, the man whom he’d voted for got on: every man is equal, the worth of that vote of his, valuable.

Later, I’d, left that street, and from time to time, I’d, gone back, and bumped into Liang, bought a lotto ticket, said hi, and he’d asked me, if I could print out the business cards for him again, or maybe, that time voting gave him a brand new identity.  Recently he’d shared, he won the drawing for the operation right of a lotto shopfront, but he’d still wanted to go into the streets to sell the tickets, and, transferred the right to operate the shop to a man who’d looked out for him a lot, the man is his fans, and, named that shop with Liang’s Fans Page on FB, I’d heard, and started laughing, I so loved it, when the world’s like this.

And so, this is a story of ordinary people, ordinary interactions with the world around them, and, how there’s still hope to find in this world, how there are the lights that shine brightly, despite how dark the world’s getting here, and, these are the stories we’re in need of right now, of how people help each other, without expecting anything in return.

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Filed under Interactions Shared with the World, Life, Observations, Perspectives, Properties of Life, Translated Work

The Air, My Friend

How fears can, spread, too fast, through a crowd…the column by Jimmi Liao, translated…

There’s a Shark in the Oceans,

Someone’s Leg Got, Chewed Off

After a Few Waves, the Blood, Vanished

The Warnings on the Announcer Kept Playing Loudly

the artwork of Jimmi Liao, courtesy of UDN.com

how we may, influence each other without even knowing it!

People Gathered on the Beach to Watch……………

The Sun Shone Down Hard, the Breezes, Stopped Blowing

We’d Just, Changed, Out of Our, Bathing Suits and Swimwear

The Worries, Uncertain if They Should

Change into the Bathing Suits Now.

And so, this, is how the fears can spread so easily, because there’s that precedence of something bad having happened, and, we have the tendencies to think that we might come across the same things, so we started living, in fear, and that’s, no good!

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Filed under Awareness, Interactions Shared with the World, Life, Observations, Perspectives, Properties of Life, The Observer Effect, Translated Work, White Picket Fence

The Care & Concerns that Came Like a Surge of Warmth

The cares shown to us, in our, day-to-day interactions with the outside world, translated…

Awhile ago, my mother wasn’t quite well, she needed surgery, the period of recovery afterwards, she’d rarely gone to the marketplace she used to go to for her shopping.

like this

shopping for the groceries, the produces from day to day…photo from online

that day, she’d finally made it out to shop.  As soon as the cashier from the supermarket saw her, she’d greeted gently, “haven’t seen you in a long while.”, as she got to the marketplace, the stand owners who knew my mother, inquired her, “is everything all right with you?”, my mother kept to herself on her physical health but toward the inquiries of those whom she’d interacted with from day to day, she’d felt the warmth, and the kindness, and, it’d added more courage, gave her the boost of energy she was in dire need of from being ill, lifted her spirits up, quite a bit too.

and, this

photo from online

The genuine care and concerns came like surges of warmth, something that we can feel, and it can give us the boosts we are in dire need of, in a lot of places, these connections are accumulated, through our interactions from day to day with others, and that, is how we are, connected to each other in this world.

And so, this is on, making the strong connections with your day-to-day life, interacting with others in your lives regularly, sharing that care and concerns for one another, continue to socialize with our, external, environment.

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Filed under Interactions Shared with the World, Interpersonal Relations, Life, Observations, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Social Awareness, Socialization, Translated Work

I Will Be Your Eyes

Helping a stranger out, translated…

One morning during the outbreaks, I stood in line at the side entrance of the hospital, waiting to get my national health insurance card to register so I can clock in for work.  Finally, when it was almost my turn, a middle aged man with a guiding cane came out of the taxi, carefully, prodded with his guiding cane around his environment; I’m guessing that he’s in an unfamiliar place to him.  Because of how there weren’t the volunteers stationed there, and the pandemic was at an all-time high, nobody was there to offer him assistance.  Seeing how there were the steps that he was about to bump into, my “nosy sense” came over me, I got out of line, walked to him, told him, that I’m a volunteer here, if he needed assistance?  He’d looked relieved, nodded his head, and he’d told me he was headed to the massage station of the hospital to work.  I’d had him put him hand on my shoulder, and, I’d originally thought I had to get in line from the back again, but the man who was originally behind me let up his spot, told me to get back in line, to stand in front, and told those behind him, that helping someone out is a good thing, that everybody should allow us to cut in line.

And so, that middle aged man, with his hand on my shoulders, and, I’d become his eyes, telling him, we’re entering the doors, then, stopping to get the temperatures read by the guard, using the alcohol spray to sanitize ourselves, then, we’d turned left, to the hallway, that there was a small bump about five steps away, that I will stop so he can lift his feet up, he was glad and told me it was no problem, and asked if I was trained in guiding the visually impaired?  I felt bashful, and told him that I’d watched a video on how to help the visually impaired person cross the roads.

like this???

photo from online

A bit later, we’d arrived at the massage station, and his partners came to get him in.  He’d told me thanks, said that it was only a short time before he became visually impaired, that he was still a rookie in it, that it was his first time working at this location, that it wasn’t easy for him to know which way he was going, that he was glad to be helped out by me, and I’d wished him a good day at work.  Actually, I’m more blessed to have met him, he’d let me see several surprising things: first, how the visually impaired, despite their predicament, still positively live their own lives to the fullest.  Secondly, this was the very first time I’d ever assisted a visually impaired person, it’d felt like I got out of my own, comfort zones.  And, there was also the man who’d let up the spot in line for us, it’d showed me that there’s still a lot of kindness in this world.  More importantly, I feel that I am amazing!  Not recognizing the ways as I, I’d not lost the way to get him to where he was going, in a large-scale teaching hospital.

And so, this showed, how helping out brings something positive, not just to the ones you’d helped out, but yourselves too, and it would drive you to help other people in need out more, because, it makes us feel good about ourselves, that we can, offer assistance to someone in need, to make their lives, a whole lot easier.

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Filed under Helping Behaviors, Interactions Shared with the World, Lending a Helping Hand, Life, Observations, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Translated Work, Values

Flirtatious

No more than just, that thirty seconds of fame, is what we are all, allotted, no more, but, maybe, less for some, and that, is how the world, goes!  Translated…

The windowsill started chatting up the with the wind on the flowers, it’d sounded like the whispers of secrets, freshly baked, and right out of the oven.  The flowers cared a whole lot about being gossiped over, and they’d cared even more when they’re not talked about; the flowers invited one another to show off in full-bloom, while, the withering, the flowers were left to dealt with, alone, on their own, separately.

This showed, how when you’re happy the world is happy WITH you, but when you’re upset, I’m sorry, you’re, ON your O-W-N there, because that, is how cruel and cold the god damn world is, it only cared about the flash and the thrills, and all that light, but when everything’s gone, you’re, all alone, and NOBODY will remember, who that guy or gal was, but, s/he does, seem, familiar, we just, can’t recall you, and that, is the short split-second attention span that the world has here!

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Filed under Life, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, STUCK in a Cookie Jar, Translated Work

Keeping that Heart of Gentleness

Doing his job, offering assistance to others, he deemed it to be his job description, but for someone who is immobilized, the individual’s actions of going that extra mile to offer the services means, a hell of a lot!  Translated…

Seeing Chen walking out of his office, I’d gotten up, out of my seat, pushed the elevator button for him.

Chen was carrying a bag of something, walked slowly, smiling, grinning, but this time, he’d not taken the elevators, instead, he’d, handed me the bag, told, “I’m truly grateful toward you all, a bag of food for you and your colleague to share!”, I’d immediately pushed the bag back to him, didn’t feel right getting a reward for what I was paid to do in the first place.

But Chen insisted, then, turned and left, I’d caught up with him, because I didn’t know his full name, saw the name printed on his identification, made a mental note, thanked him for the foods.

like this, just, doing his, job…photo from online

Awhile ago, the restrooms on the first floor was being renovated, and those who worked on the first floor had to go up to the second floor to find the restrooms, but, for someone with a handicap, it was a bit more difficult, after all, that’s, an extra way to walk, and had to, get into the cramped elevator with the crowds.  As a first line worker, I’d shouldered the responsibilities for pressing the floor buttons; it’s work, but it’, something I do every day as is, it’s not considered lending someone a helping hand, just empathy is all.

I think, it’s because, of all of these situations I’d bumped into at work and in life, I’d, trained my heart to be softer.  In other words, I should be the one thanking him.  Even though my term of work is about to be up, I’d had to leave this work environment, and, as I find work elsewhere, I shall, also, take this heart of gentleness with me there, to treat everybody I meet there kindly, to keep this heart of mine, gentle.

And so, this is what you learned, from your interactions with others on the job, what you do, pushing the elevator buttons for those who entered into the elevators may be ordinary for you, but, for someone like the man who’d especially came by to thank the individual, because he wasn’t mobile enough, it’s something big, and, this individual will take this heart of helping others, of serving others, to her/his next job, because s/he knows, that what s/he does, makes a difference, no matter how little, to another human being.

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Filed under Helping Behaviors, In the Workplace, Interactions Shared with the World, Interpersonal Relations, Lending a Helping Hand, Life, Properties of Life, Translated Work, Work Ethics

Days I Became a Tag-Along, a Treasure Map of Memories

The meaning of hard work, the legacy of love, is what this father had left behind, for his own children, as his children watched him, working hard away, to provide for the family that he loves so much, translated…

As My Father Was Still Living, He’d Worked in the Small-Time Businesses, as I Grew Older, I’d Started, Tagging Along……….

My Father’s Brashly Telling the Families that He Was Switching Careers

Awhile back, due to the side effects of the vaccines, I’d started falling drowsily asleep, and I’d dreamed about my father who’d been gone for all of, forty plus years, and, as I woke, I started missing him a lot.

My father and I are of the same zodiac sign, he’s thirty-six years older than I am, passed at the age of fifty, which meant, he was only by my side, for fourteen short years.  When my father was alive, for the sake of household economics, he’d done the odds and ends businesses, and as I grew older, I’d started becoming his, “tag-along”.  And now, all the memories of him I have, are of those days I’d gone to work with him.

At around five, or six, my father started selling the pickled, the salted vegetables.  He’d gotten himself a cart, placed the assortments of salted vegetables in the cabinets of that tricycle of his, and as the skies turned light, he’d gone out, pushing his cart along, and sold off of the cart on the streets.  I wasn’t in preschool then, and I’d gone to work with him from time to time, the streets of early morning is quiet, and there was, only, the two of us, father and daughter.

Once, he’d returned home early, and, his cart had been, emptied, the families wondered how he’d sold everything off so soon?  He’d jokingly said, that “there was a rich guy, who bought it all from me.”  In truth, it was a day of the typhoons, and the wind flipped the cart over, and, everything shattered, and my father wasn’t able to salvage anything, this showed, how trying the lives of the small-time vendors are.

Not long after I got into elementary years, he’d announced that he was switching to selling the fish paste fried foods.  My father said, he had a friend in the business, that he believed, that the key to selling it well, is to have the good soup, with the items in the soups.  But, my father told of his trials too, that this friend refused to tell the secrets of what he’d put into the soups to him, as well as the recipe for the dipping sauce.

And, because the soup and the sauce were the keys to the success of fail of the food item, my father would go from time to time, to his friend’s stand to dine, and, bugged this friend of his, to tell him his secret.  My father took me there a few times too, and as I was, working on the foods, savoring the soups, he’d gotten busy, trying to get his trade secrets from him, and, secretly jotted down the ingredients for the dipping sauce too.

illustration from UDN.com

After my father got home, he’d experimented continually, and after multiple busts, he’d finally, developed a flavor that he loved, and finally, his business was, up and, running then.

My Father Who’d Set Up the Stands at the Local Market Places, Started Developing His Faithful Clientele

Back then, my parents woke at three, four in the morn, to cook the daikon soup base, using the pork bones, then, with the dried fish pack to add in more flavors, then, made all the dipping sauces on their own, and selected all the ingredients for the soup with care, and finally, made into the best served, tempura.

My father who’d set up shop at the local markets started gaining a set clientele, then, he’d started selling the cold tapioca snacks, which he’d made by himself, and slowly, he’d gotten into making the other foods for his business venture.

During the time, every weekend, I’d gone to help as his cashier, cleaned the dishes, in the evening, as we set out for home, I would always, fall asleep from the fatigues of working on his tricycle, my father kept pedaling hard away, and kept turning my head to see if I was asleep, worrying that I may, fall off, and called out to me all the way home: “young one, don’t fall asleep, we’re, almost home”.

My father’s food business was almost all-year-round, especially during the New Year’s, as some of the stands would take time off, my father’s business would be better than ever before, and he’d needed all hands on deck, all of us to help.

During those days, his hand that clamped up the fish sauce pieces never stopped moving, all of us girls, would serve out the foods, to prepare for the takeout for our customers, taking the money for the customers’ ordered foods, doing the dishes, and we were all, busy at work, and we normally were able to, close down shop by early afternoon.  To us, a family who relied on the small businesses, being able to sell all the foods we made, earning the money for a good New Year’s, it was more pleasing, than anything else.

And maybe it was because of how he’d worked himself too hard, shortly after I got into middle school my father fell ill, and, he’d stayed ill for two years, then, passed away.  Although the family still continued operating the food stands, but, without my father as the pillar of it all, we’d eventually, close down the businesses.

So many years passed and finally I’d, dreamed about my father, he was already with hair all white, but was still, selling the fish sauce snacks.  Before I’d asked him if he was tired out, I’d, waken up.  I wanted to tell him, “I missed my time as his ‘tag-along’, and I hope that in a future life, you won’t and don’t, have to work as hard anymore.”

And so, this, is how this man, provided for his families, by using his hands, by working hard, by showing them, that so long as they’re willing to put in the time, the hard work, be honest in dealing with others, then, they will be able to succeed in whatever they do, even if it wasn’t in business, because, business should be based off of honesty, and yet, nowadays, business only cared about making the money.

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