Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A drama and a lesson

I bumped onto Mary in KLCC yesterday.
Mary was my ex-staff from Clinique. I remember when I employed her 8 years ago for Clinique, I got a earful from both my MD and GM. "How can you take such an ugly duckling to stand behind a cosmetic counter? Are you blind or what?" I was asked.
Perhaps I was at that time. Honestly, I forgot all about her looks when I interviewed her, I just sympathized her. I took her because her husband passed away and she needed the job desperately.
"Look, Ms Yap Wai much as you want to help her, this is not a charity house! You'd better do something about it." was the instruction I received.
I was put in a dilemma cos' I had just given her an employment, it was unfair to tell her that my bosses thought your face is not suitable for the job and therefore..
Dissatisfied and feeling frustrated, I got John and a few of my male friends to take a glimpse of her at her workplace and give me their comments. They had all expected to look for a sweet young thing but it turned out to be 'ugly betty' instead. I was sure that they were disappointed, "Aiyoh. She's a Beauty Consultant but she's certainly not a beauty lah!"
I guessed it must be because she is still recovering from the lost of her husband and still mourning. Being stubborn, I counselled Mary and encouraged her to groom herself in order to further progress if she is serious about the job. Basically she has got to help me to help her.
I negotiated with my MD and GM to give her 3 months to improve. She secured the job within the stipulated time. I was glad I didn't give up on her. I was glad I fought to give her a chance. I was glad that she took the trouble to prove herself. I was glad she did not let me or her children down. Today, she is still with Clinique - a Counter Manager - and doing well. Well done, Mary!

As we haven't met for sometime, we just stood where we met (in front of the Himalaya shop in KLCC) and talk non-stop until I suggested that we should sit somewhere for a cuppa. But Mary said, "Mun Cheh (big sis), I'm already drinking this can of Nescafe." I told her it did not matter.
As we were walking to the Cafe, a lady bumped onto her and droplets of Nescafe from the can flew out onto the lady's pants. The lady was furious, made a scene and scolded Mary for being so careless. Mary apologized eventhough I thought it wasn't really her fault. But guess what was that woman's reaction : "You know, this is an expensive pants. What are you going to do about it?"
Remarks like that make me sick, I was absolutely annoyed and on behalf of Mary, I put it bluntly, "So? Is there a price tag there to tell me the price? Even if there is - so what? who bothers? If it's so precious - don't wear it out, keep it at home. Moreover it's white and it's bound to get dirty any way. Besides, my friend has already apologized to you when in actual fact, you are the one who knocked her. Otherwise, there's no way the coffee can flew out from a can with such a small opening! No point wiping it off with tissue, the stains will not come out, you've gotta go to the ladies and wash."
She further answered, "What if it doesn't come out?"
"Then that's your problem, not ours!" was my final remark to her, and I walked away.
Mary still in a daze and perplexed over the whole drama just stood there until I dragged her with me.
Yes, that is the other side of me which it found still difficult to change and improve. Outspoken, impulsive and sarcastic at times, I'm still very much a 'chilli padi' as my bosses used to call me.
But people like these upset me. They like to show off to the public that they are rich (maybe they are not?) by wearing expensive, exclusive designer label clothings, yet they are afraid and worried that it might get dirty or damaged. What rubbish is this?
Recently, I shared with John, Gary Goh and Lee Woon Khau a documentary (On The Road)which I came across in Astro, where Eric Tsang shared his own personal awakening on how material wealth eg. his Porshe, Mercedes or Armani shirt which were all once a luxury to him became a burden or excess baggage now. He talks about his experience on a retreat where he checked in a monastery in Taiwan and spent a few days there. It was truly an eye-opener for him. It touched and stimulated his soul and he decided to live simply from then on...bringing some cheer to the world. That was how the famous game show The Movie Buff Champion Chip (Chew Kap Moh Tik Cheong Moon Yan) came about. It's about having fun, being happy and laughing loud!
Many times, we need to learn from people's experience in order to grow. Watching a short documentary like this or reading some inspirational books could help motivate and enhance our lives.

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