The Spaces Between Your Fingers

Click the image to flip

Flip
 I interviewed my dad, Jason. I asked him that what his first job was and he said that in 1983, China had a large population. Residents of both the countryside and the city were struggling to find work, and sixteen-year-old Jason was one of them. He longed to be an independent young man, free from parental restrictions, and as luck would have it, he was able to get a constructional job and was very satisfied with it; He worked at a building site towards the beginning of his career. Through this experience, he learned how to negotiate with others and benefitted from the added bonus of expert work experience.

It was a bright and sunny morning as Jason, who was as thin as a rake, and had a pair of black eyes with dark brown short hair, and sharp face, arrived for his first day of work. He was twenty minutes early and walked in with three of his co-workers, all of whom wore black suits and had neat hair. On the contrary, Jason just wore his casual attire. They introduced themselves, and engaged in small talk, asking questions such as "where are you from?", "Is this your first job?", and so on. 

 The work site was in the center of the city, an area that a lot of people were passing by constantly. Suddenly, a fat man wearing a hard hat and business casual clothing, walked through the crowd and stopped in front of them.

“Hi, are you the manager here? We are employed by your company” Jason said in a low voice.

“Oh, I heard about you guys from my boss. I am the manager of this building site and if you have any other questions, let me know. Right now, you four can follow me and get ready to work” he responded in a loud voice.

 The manager then led them into the building, asked them to put on the work clothes, which were made out of some sort of yellow linen, assigned them each a separate task.

 “You four are going to move all the bricks downstairs to the second floor today. Lunch time is at 12:00 o’clock and dinner time is at 5 o’clock. We will pay you twenty RMB (equal to three dollars) per hour. Oh, and we are not going to be responsible of unexpected casualties” the manager shouted impatiently.

“Wait, what? We are going to move all of them upstairs today? Are you serious? It looks like there are more than 10,000 bricks downstairs. It will be impossible to finish it all today” Jason protested.

 Jason tried to argue with the manager with the hopes that he might change the amount of their compensation but, the other three men just kept quiet as they were feared the potential results of upsetting their manager.

Jason kept bargaining with the manager, despite the fact that the manager looked rather unhappy. His blue veins stood out on his temples.

“Alright, I will pay thirty RMB (equal to four dollars) per hour and you don’t have to finish all of them, but half of them will be necessary,” the manager said.

 Thus, Jason successfully made more money than the other three men together and had a lifelong friendship with the manager.

 

First Job

Flag as Inappropriate
1975
China

I interviewed my dad, Jason. I asked him that what his first job was and he said that in 1983, China had a large population. Residents of both the countryside and the city were struggling to find work, and sixteen-year-old Jason was one of them. He longed to be an independent young man, free from parental restrictions, and as luck would have it, he was able to get a constructional job and was very satisfied with it; He worked at a building site towards the beginning of his career. Through this experience, he learned how to negotiate with others and benefitted from the added bonus of expert work experience.

Tags: working
Decade: 1970s
Rating:
Recorded by aihua Wang on December 4, 2017
×
×
4
×
Alert IconAre you sure you want to permanently delete this postcard? You cannot undo this action. Delete
×