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Part-Time All The Time

Ever since I was young, I have always been rather entrepreneurial in spirit. Where there’s money to make, that’s where I will go. :-) Maybe it’s because I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth, I’ve had to work for pocket money. If there was a NKOTB CD I wanted to buy, I had to work and save for it. Therefore, it’s not a surprise that I’ve held many part-time jobs in the past. Sometimes, more than one part-time job at the same time. At one time, I was so hungry for money that I worked three jobs at the same time which worked out to be like this…. 8.45am – Kindergarten (Chim Kindergarten) 1.00 – Shoe sales person 7.00 – CD shop Here are some of the past part-time jobs I’ve held in the past and what I think about them now. Tuition Teacher Not as if I was exceptional in my studies but it helped me earn a quick buck here and there ever since I was in Form Four. I taught students as young as Std. 2 how to spell their own names, make sentences and do simple math. I don’t remember how much they paid me but it was, well….let’s just say it paid for a burger. This is a vocation I kept until the last month of my first pregnancy. Eight months pregnant, lugging around a bag and files all over the place in my little white Kancil from student to student. When the weather is particularly hot, I would feel like fainting. I remember having a student who had A LOT OF TROUBLE reading. I got so annoyed at him because one moment he would be reading ‘of’ as ‘of’ and then the next, he would read it as ‘for’. Most of the time, he didn’t make a blardie ounce of sense when he reads! But now, I realize that the child was dyslexic! Aish….if only I’d known. It was tiring and tiresome because I went as far as to come up with my own worksheets…which at the end of the day, the accounts didn’t tabulate up right. Kindergarten Teacher Oh, this was the most horrifying experience I’ve ever had. Not that I didn’t like children but the kindergarten hired temp teachers to help out because it was beginning of the school year. If you’re a parent, you’ll know that January, February and March is often like a war zone in a kindergarten because ¾ of the kids would be bawling, crying, stomping around, trying to open the gate, and kicking up a fuss or peeing in their pants/skirts! By the second month, things got better…thankfully. Nurse in a Dental Clinic It was a horrifying first day because (I have this fear for anything gory) the first day, I stepped into the clinic and I came face to face with a tooth extraction! Aiks! I kid you not! I was asked to hold the Indonesian woman’s head while the Doctor twisted and turned until the tooth came off! Oh God. Worked there for some time and the Doctor was nice most of the time, granted, he was quite prone to mood swings. Other times, he was flexible and nice. Selling Shoes Need I say more? Customers, one after another, came in just for the heck of it, cannot make up their minds, change the size, change color, put in, put out, wear for them, take them off, kids refusing to cooperate, fickled women who cannot decide which color is better, men complaining about the fit of the shoe…etc. Urgh! Selling Music CDs By far, one of the most enjoyable jobs ever! I get to listen to music all day long…ANY music I like. And there was a mamak right outside the shop so there were lots of friends coming in and out of the shop, chit-chatting with me all the time! But I don’t get to go out and join them, that’s all, but never mind, sometimes I ask them to ta-pow (pack) some roti canai for me and I sit there, reading, eating and listening to music. Hee hee hee…. Selling LCDs For those born too late to know what an LCD is, it’s called a laser disc and they’re the gigantic version of our normal CDs today. Anyway, they pay a meager basic but we earn some commission from the discs that we sell so the customers would ask, “So, what is this show about? Nice or not?” and you’ll find yourself lying your butt off about how ‘nice’ the show is and how brilliant the actor is. Well, can survive lah. Secretary I worked in this small-small company as the director’s secretary, typing out nothing, inhaling the smoke coming out from under his door. Most of the time, I had nothing to do…well, nothing particularly important, anyway. The company deals with trading, import and export. At one point in time, I went home packing about ten condoms without knowing what to do with them. I also packed some rubber gloves too…which I gave to my mom…I think. Condoms….er….my bag was stolen one time and there was my phone number on a card or something. The thief called my phone and harassed me about the sheer number of condoms in the bag and asked me, “So, you suka main-main ah? You datang sini, saya main-main dengan you lah”. (So, you like to play around. Come here and I will play with you). Bastard. Oh, I had this habit of drawing stuff on paper and the chair in the office. I think the director was going through a divorce from her husband. She had a share in the company or something like that. So, one time, I was chit-chatting with my friend on the phone and absentmindedly drew circles on the chair I was sitting on. It was a yellow chair so…. Ahem. Well, the soon-to-be-ex-wife found the circles, called me on the phone and gave me a piece of her mind saying that it’s HER CHAIR and it’s HER MONEY, it’s HER OFFICE and I had no business drawing circles on the chair…. I went home crying. House cleaner No, seriously. I wasn’t paid for this one but my mom did. You see, my family went through a very tough period of time during a recession period. My dad was out of a job and the only thing we could think of was for my mother to work outside of the home – with her std. 3 education! Hah! Anyway, from recommendation, my aunt said that there was a house of expatriate bums living in TTDI who needed a twice-a-week cleaner. My mom said ‘yes’. Do you know how it feels like to see your mother clean her own house, cook, babysit kids and then have to clean another person’s house at the same time? No? Well, it’s painful. So, occasionally when time permits, my siblings and I would cycle, walk or run to the house to help my mother clean the house. It is always filthy and the expatriates wanted their t-shirts ironed wan. Thankfully, she didn’t have to do it very long because I think she found another child to babysit.
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