Thursday, October 29, 2009

The spokesperson

As I've said before, several people come by to read my blog each day, and expect to see some nice pictures. One of my friends, Kim (name changed for anonymity) comes by to read expecting something different. She compared my blog posts of today compared to two years ago, eg. 2005-2006, and noted that I have been progessively becoming less personal as the years go by.

Anyway, today, I'll shall talk about Kim, and how her story imparts something different into my life. I've asked Kim to start writing a blog about her own life, but due to her shyness and her self-consciousness of being inadequate in the English, this is not going to happen so soon. Hence I am going to take the liberty to write something about hers and how it inspires me, hopefully without any reprisals.

Anyway, Kim is your typical Chinese girl born and raised in a small town somewhere in Malaysia. Being the second child in a family of 4 girls and one boy, she was a talented figure in primary school. She joined numerous competitions singing, storytelling and debating competitions, and won many prizes. Ah.. innocence is pure bliss, isn't it?

Things took a turn when high school came along. Compared to her siblings, she wasn't very bright, and instead of going to a bigger school somewhere else, she went to the school in her own town. Her dad had a patriarchal character, and seldom allowed her (and her sisters) to participate in co-curricular activities. It was a segregated school community where the Malay majority did their own things and the Chinese minority hung out with their own bunch too without really knowing much about each other.

As a result of not being academically gifted, Kim was limited to a semi art-science education stream where most students would choose to be an accountant or basic blue collar worker. She took life easy, and skipped classes whenever she wanted (to a certain degree, of course). She struggled in most subjects, eg. Additional Mathematics and barely scrapped a pass in Elemantary Math. The pass was thanks to her dutiful father, who coached her everyday from 7pm in the evening till midnight, with the rest of the family paying attention to him.

When Kim graduated from high school, she didn't have much of a career path, so she went to a typical private college in Kuala Lumpur and enrolled in accounting. Without much guidance, Kim struggled through college. Her classmates had the typical Asian kiasu (fear of losing) mentality, which didn't help her much at all in her studies. So naturally, she failed her first semester.

Confounded with that stark reality, she had two choices; to study until she passed, or to quit college and get a job. She chose the latter, and left her college quietly without ever speaking to any of her friends about it for a few years. She now says she's in a better situation than her friends though - some of them are still struggling to graduate, while she has already 3 years of working experience.

Back in town, when she offered herself to work in her dad's company, he was overjoyed. Now he would be having a family member to help him with the business instead of doing it all alone.

If you're thinking at this moment that things would all go smoothly, it didn't happen that way. Some of her colleagues thought she was ditzy and tried to stab her in the back. One of Kim's superiors ill treated her and even brought the case in front of her dad. The backstabbing employee fortunately resigned, but it was too late to prevent the bad word from spreading all around her small town. There's never any justice in our society today, isn't it?

I was perplexed why Kim had to work long hours everyday including weekends. Well, she explained that her lack of education, and slowness in doing work had forced her to work longer hours in order to make up time for lost productivity, and she's fine with it. Life has been going on like that for her for the past 3 years.

Surprisingly, Kim isn't stopping there just yet. Despite persevering on with her job, accounting isn't really her thing, and she's successfully been given permission from her dad to go for make up courses in Singapore. She ultimately wants to start her own business and not depend on spoon-feeding from her dad anymore.

All of us have our own career gurus in the form of the rich and famous in the business world; those who've already "made it" and are now happily enjoying their lives many years after retirement. But all too often, God has granted people around us who're nobodies in our society, trying everyday to make ends meet and getting ridiculed at the same time.

In my case, Kim is one of them. She doesn't have a degree to rave about, beautiful looks (compared to her sisters), a relatively job which goes easy on finances, and alot more. Alot of guys in her town (and sometimes even elderly clients) try to hook up with her, and ultimately will get turned away.

I admire Kim for her passion to get what she wants, despite all the difficulties she's still facing in life. Hopefully this would be an inspiration for you to write about your fellow nobodies in your society. I guess once in a while, it doesn't hurt to give them some recognition, don't you think so?  ; )



dan said...

Good, good post...

SHEOUNZ leong su wei said...


The Skatemusicianer said...

That's a wonderful story. Kim!


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