The past two weeks of work has been incredibly draining. Dread is overwhelming and four hours of work or seven or ten hours just feel like time burning in hell. From the very first day of work it felt like I were a palace maid (奴婢) entering a palace to serve. A prim manager, a proper attire, a headband that covers the hair on your face – seems to cover up your identity and individuality too. Reduced, reduced, reduced.
The lady manager has been quite a nightmare to me, perhaps a monster even. Literally, because it sure scared me on that one time where I dreamt of work. And right now, I’m pretty sure all the dreams sum up to be sweet. Despite a supposedly short four hour shift, I end up coming home eleven-ish daily and by the time I crash it is in the wee hours of morning. Sleep feels really good, it is waking up and waiting for time to pass and work to end that gave dread voids for filling. The past two weeks since I came in, I have always been picked on. “Slow!”, “Hurry up, I’ve got two people coming in!”, “Can you open your eyes?!”, “Even though your eyes are very small you need to open them and look around you”, “Have some common sense”. Oh come on, this is a ‘mindless’ job, what sort of thinking does she want? Well, if making my life miserable was her objective, congratulations, she’s done it in the shortest time span ever.
Amidst sailing on a sea of negativity, I find myself breaking down and drowning in her malicious nagging. Each time I enter, all I ever think of is to look at the clock – counting down the hours, and minutes to kill, before I can knock off and go home. Each time I am reprimanded, it seems my mind has been programmed to tune it off. Maybe that’s why I never learn. Just five minutes before I could knock off yesterday, she decided to carry on with her ramblings again. For the record, that’s how I started my day at work and ended it with – being scolded for any, and everything.
Yesterday was terrible – so much spite and annoyance building up within: When i look at the customers my age, or younger than I am who were there to eat and to catch up. There I stood, thinking how biased life is, because this seems like a role inversion. Youth decked up in fine clothing who can enjoy a nice, warm, hearty bowl of ramen – They have it easy. They didn’t have to sweat it, or ‘werk it or care how they derived this luxury at all. I think about people around me who were more fortunate than the average, those my age in local universities especially: 20, still receiving pocket money from their parents, and living that carefree sort of life. What was I doing? Working my butt off, burning myself from the inside and wearing out on the outside, and worst of all: failing. Disappointing, huh. I cannot help but to think of those closest to me too, who have their lives a scale less complicated and a ton of things less on their mind. Living on landed property does formulate your identity: it does not necessarily mean you are more well to do than the people who live in flats or apartments.
We aren’t even talking about looking forward to coming in for work, we are only talking about feeling the minimal worth. When we were having the talk, I felt like I were a domestic helper being told off by her employer. I guess the only sort of reassurance is that I am on home ground, and home is not so far away. But with all the boiling frustration within, it seemed like I was going to plunge into yet another low. Simultaneous to her never-ending voice goes on and on like a bullet train crashing the barricades, I was formulating the time to quit working in a place that filters out your worth and dignity. As teardrops came crashing, my face became open as book and she read it quite well, very accurately in fact.
“仇” – Hate/Vengeance/Offended, indeed.
As we the dreadful conversation goes on, a couple of customers enter. We are standing at the back of the shop, but the customers can see. Pointed fingers at, pushed, and insulted; continuously condemned and condescended by, how do you expect someone to pull of a pretence so great as her own, and carry on laughing, as if it all never happened?
I have certainly tried, to be as humble as i can. But in the process of doing so, I realised my confidence was clipped off, and slowly beneath the wearing of a river bed of it, I guess the dignity and worth began to erode away too. How dreadful of a nightmare, isn’t it?
“For the money, I am here for the money,” was all she could use to console herself.