Wednesday, October 17, 2012

reblog: the beggar from starbucks


A couple of years ago, when I was a barista, I used to keep the first paper cup which I used to make my first latte. It was a symbol of confidence; whereby every time I glanced at the tall size paper cup, I would think of the time when I was not as handy or as competent as I thought I was. 

Those days were tough. Prepping the coffee was a privilege. The beginning of my career was filled with the days of sweeping and cleaning. There was no difference between me and the Bangladeshi who worked at the fast food restaurant nearby. Both of us had our degree and were not really stupid or useless.We were just jobless and helpless. Regardless, we tried hard to make ourselves reliable.

I remember the days when I used to change clothes at the boutique where I used to shop. Before I fell into that situation, I used to buy some work attires from the boutique. I was a customer. Later on, I had to work really hard just to get a handkerchief for myself. Nothing was affordable in the boutique even though the boutique belongs to a friend. 

Money, from my point of view at that time, was one of the most powerful tool to make someone weak at heart. If I was not strong enough during that period, I would have succumbed to the cruel facts of life.

But I was lucky. The time when I was working two jobs in a day had passed for 2 years now. Those days of getting up early in the morning, went through the hassle of teaching students in a secondary school where nobody wanted to learn were finally drew its final curtain. Those rushing days of getting to a coffee shop to perform the later-of-the-day-duty have finally taken its toll. 

Alhamdulillah. I finally got a job and eventually managed to expand my career. But never...ever...I would forget the times when I was a teacher, a cleaner, and a daughter - all at once in a day.Yes, I was lucky, folks. I was too lucky. Each time I remember the times when people spat on the floor that I swept, I would feel this huge lump in my throat. Those thoughts made me stronger and wiser:

"We're not always lucky in life and the biggest test will be given to the toughest people."

After 2 years of leaving those days behind, I was still having fears. Fears of living that kind of life again; thinking how difficult it was to be looked down upon each day. Being a barista was not that bad, but being a teacher was worst. 

Some teachers were not human. The term GSTT was too disgusting to them; they thought that what happened to me would never happened to their own children. Well, sorry teachers, not all of you were harmful. My parents were teachers too, but what happened back then - the jeers and leers and the proud exclamation were still at the back of my mind. Some people just thought that life would remain constant like a northern star. They were definitely wrong. 

 This evening, I saw a beggar sitting in front of the escalator at LRT station near Central Market. I have been seeing him for quite some time. He was an Indian man. I was unsure of his own religion and I never bothered to ask. What was so special about him was that he reminded me a lot about my life. The times when leftovers looked delicious. He reminded me about how lucky I was because the GSTT or barista were better than a profession called a beggar. 

He was different. I knew I sounded so naive by saying this. There were several beggars in KL; we would never knew whether that person might be under a syndicate or just lived a hard life. But have you heard this: the eyes were the part of our body which would never lie? Unless he was a good actor, his eyes were different. 

We could tell that some times beggars were not sincere but what he showed me was a plea - either he was begging me to help so that he could survive or he was begging because he would want to survive from those bad people who hurt him. I didn't know, folks. But I did know that he was one of those people whom I never hesitated to help even though it was just a coin of 20 in my pocket.

I was not trying to say that I was kind. I was just...drawn to give. For some reason. Maybe it was his paper cup. Unlike my yellowish paper cup, his was torn and empty. Well, maybe people thought that he was just lying. But for me, he didn't have to be in the same race or religion with me. He was just another human who had worst paper cup than mine.

It has been months now since the first time I saw him at the same spot on the back from work. His paper cup was getting worst. I often wondered whether something could be done for him. He was sick! I knew he'll lose his eye sight - sooner or later. He lost his legs already. My assumption was that he might have diabetic. Things must be really difficult

 ...And there was a man, sitting beside me over dinner this evening; and complained about his job - non-stop! Over a plate of tasty nasi goreng kampung, I was hearing stupid...stupid confession. 
 "Saya malas betul nak buat kerja...buat apa, buang masa..." he said to me once. 

He declined to do any tasks given, bad mouthing his colleagues, lepaking at any time he could, smoking during work, over utilised his leave and medical entitlements...well, what else could I say? And he drank from a glass.

Didn't he realised that the glass could turned into a torn paper cup?

Being a barista was as difficult as being a teacher.
No job was easy.
Keep calm and observe - it's not just about coffee.

26 comments:

Bitt (double IS) said...

pelbagai ragam manusia dalamm satu masa...salut! sebab u sempat memikirkan dan meluahkannya :)

Wak Gelas™ said...

mak mata sepets keje kat perkeso keeeew.. ehhheeEE

Len Inouie said...

Maybe you should give him ur not so favret cup. Or your beloved cup.

I think it means more.
:)

I can't look into those kind of eyes. I got no strenght.

Kesuma Angsana said...

like the quote very much 'We're not always lucky in life and the biggest test would be given to the toughest people.". sgt2 memberi kesan to KA

Rapunzeel Cikilolo said...

betul. paling susah nak puaskan hati orang lain.

yang penting bersyukur :)

wahida said...

betul, takde keje yg mudah...
terima seadanya...

LydSunshine said...

Alamak... saya selalu je pijak lantai lepas makcik cleaner mop lantai. Tapi.... err. terpaksa lalu. Dah tu acaner...

Bersyukur sbb barista dan jd GSTT lebih baik daripada beggar. Dalam masa yang sama, kesyukuran itu juga sepatutnya kerana pekerjaan itu dah memberi pengalaman hidup utk cik mata sepet. Pengalaman yang boleh membuatkan cik mata sepet berfikir daripada sudut orang lain pula. Yang lebih susah mungkin. So, bravo.

Pocket said...

Sha,
here i am trying to comment to your blog tru
google translated page. It seems that the company's
computer wiz blocked 'Blogspot.com' but he could not
block google's link ...'Translate this page'

i too have a friend who's just as positive as u are sis,
we were working our ass up to 11pm, its late and our
mind is no more working on oxygen or sugar from the blood.
We were working from LIVITA energy drinks.
and he said...'pencari katak nak supply kat kedai dan
pemancing sekalian earns RM18pernight...
we got RM10per hour... bertuahnya kita!!'

I guess we have to be thankful, never forget
and work the best we could.

Remy hazza said...

pengalaman byk mengajar kita..... tiada yg mudah dan tiada yg mustahil.......

Rasp said...

bersyukur dgn apa yg kita ada...
never take things for granted...
and do the best dgn apa yg diamanahkan....

* the hairband tu dah lama i beli masa i went to cambodia....

tapi rasanya kat sini dah jual lah sis...i've seen it somewhere cuma tak leh recall kat mana...sorry..

Alycia said...

salam perkenalan.

tq singgah blog Alycia.. do come again ;)

Nizam.Ariff said...

I feel insaf bila baca catatan ni...

thanks

Khalilah MNor said...

Sebenarnya kan... duit sampai skrg pun antara faktor terbesar yg pengaruhi hidup seseorang. Beruntung lah kalau seseorang mampu menilai baiknya sesebuah kehidupan, tanpa mengambil kira aspek kewangan... Sha, sy ralit baca entry sha ni, walau ambil masa yg agak lama untuk fahami. Tersirat makna yg mendalam. Boleh try jd novelist, sy nak beli... ;)

Si Matatajam said...

Bersyukur la dengan apa yg ada ...Tiada kejayaan tanpa usaha..jangan harapkan bantuan org saja..kadang2 risau gak nak bagi derma takut kena tipu..

Nurul Akmal said...

Sebelum nak mengeluh kena fikir org yg lagi susah dari kita.. :)

boni kacak said...

tak ada kerja yang mudah kan.. :)

kiera'sakura said...

hurm betul. kdang kita lebih mudah mengeluh dari bersyukur. sedangkan ada lagi ramai kat luar sana yang kurang bernasib baik dari kita.. kena selalu muhasabah diri

Cikgu Ma said...

so, pengalaman sha lebih banyak dari saya...can i call u teacher Sha ? ^_^

nothing easy...fighting!!

Jna marcello said...

pehh btul-btul buat tertelan air liuq kak sha! tp jna pun selalu je rasa bersalah bila org da nop tp kita mmg kena lalu wht 2 do...tp perasaan bersalah tuu tetap ADA!!! kak sha the best word is "We're not always lucky in life and the biggest test would be given to the toughest people." I Love this word so much!!!

when shall we gonna meet up?

Dinas Aldi said...

My late father told me when I was about to sit for my SPM, "Dalam dunia ni takdak kerja yg senang. Pilih jalah satu yg kena di hati & buat seikhlas mungkin."

There's one teacher who sits a few tables away from me at work. Masa tu dia baru transfer so I pun sembang2 la dengan dia sebab nak dia rasa selesa di tempat baru. BUT then every time we started talking dia asyik komplen pasal kerja..itu tak kena, ini tak kena, itu problem ini problem...aisehman..Lepas tu bila nampak dia, I cabooot! Kehkeh.

I mean, come on, surely there will be bad days in our lives but takkan la hari2 pun teruk sangat kot. Kan :)

~ Cik Azz ~ said...

takdo kojo caghi kojo..
ado kojo tocongang-congang sbb tak tau nak buek apo.. hehe...

Buat je apa kerja sekalipun asalkan halal.. Janji kita dapat pengalaman.. Lagi susah kerja kita tu, lagi kita hargai duit gaji atau upah yang kita dapat tu..

Pengalaman kerja kat kantin sekolah menengah, jadi tukang mop lantai kantin tu paling la memenatkan akak.. pastu kena cuci pingggan mangkuk lagi, kena masak gak sikit2, kena berjualan lagi... huhuhu...

Lady Windsor said...

Sha, whoaaa pernah jadi barista eh? Salute sist because barista is a stylo job and it's challenging I thot..

Well..entry ini buat I rasa how lucky I am...I've been working since 96, travel around the globe and met variety people from all level...tu pun kadang2 I rasa nak memekak lagi not because of a duty but a people who make it worst...and almost fade up.

At least baca entry ini, I became positive for a while...

wantie said...

For me everybody have a hard time of being succesfull. Like me. Before I m having a degree I need to work as operator. Married then only further study. Now I have a better life.

Allah nak duga kita sekaligus mematangkan kita. Supaya kita tak dabik dada bila berada di atas. Pengemis pun kerja juga. Sekurangnya dia tak mencuri.

Kalau tak dak pengemis. Dimana kita nak kutip pahala dgn hanya bersedekah 10sen saja.

KakNi said...

sebenarnya cheryna, orang yang banyak komplen tu lah yang akan hadapi banyak masalah. orang yang tak pernah/jarang komplen pulak, biasanya semua keje lancar jer, seolah-olah x de masalah. so, fikir-fikir kan....

Kengkawan said...

1. Kekadang susah nak bersimpati dengan beggars, atas sebab2 yang selalu ditulis dalam surat khabar dan pengalaman melihat kehidupan diorang sebenarnya adalah pilihan diorang sendiri.

2. Sama. Menyampah betul dengan orang yang suka merungut, bagai baung di bawah bangkar ke sangkar?

3. Ni kali ke2 baca luahan hati Sha tentang cikgu yang jahat. Manusia, kerja apa pun macam tu la, ada baik, ada yang kureng.. Cita-cita akak nak jadi Permaisuri Agung:)

sekian

Rai Ourkizuna said...

realiti masyarakat kita kan.. suka judge orang ikut kerja mereka.. suka look down pada kerja orang..semua kerja mulia..but as what i always remind myself..

when i'm still young..i work just to learn..not to earn..

saya tak kisah kerja apa pun.. promoter ke..penjual ke apa ke.. as long as i can learn something.. a lot to learn tau bila kita kerja mcm tu..tgk sikap manusia..dan boost kita punya keyakinan diri etc..