We meet a lot of people everyday, but we never know when someone will walk in and leave a mark on our lives – even if it was a small gesture.
Fellow Malaysian, Aaron Tang, recently shared his encounter with a makcik and her boy. His post on Facebook is a little long, but we highly recommend you finish the whole story!
So, he described how he was in Melaka for a SL1M roadshow to run a CV clinic – where he and his team check young graduates’ resumes for free and provide advice on how to make it a more solid resume.
During one lunch time in particular, a skinny young guy approached their booth with his kurung-clad mom by his side.
“I’m sure you have opinions about kids who bring their mothers to interviews, and so do I. But I see it pretty often now, so I don’t really mind if the youth takes charge and the parent reads newspapers at the waiting area. But Makcik sits down right in front of me, beside her son,” Aaron writes in his post.
The boy asked if they help make resumes for people, which Aaron clarified:
“Oh, sorry dik — kat sini kami hanya tolong check saja. Kalau you ada bawak resume, saya boleh tolong.”
“Oh… Diaorang bagi tau sini boleh buat…” Makcik replied.
“Sorry makcik, sini memang kita orang tolong check saja. Tapi mungkin saya boleh tolong ajar macam mana nak tulis. Kemudian nanti Abang ni boleh sambung buat kat rumah.”
Aaron got down to it and started trying to explain to the both of them about what makes a good resume. After awhile, he realised his explanations were going no where and switched to a more effective Q&A style.
“Hafiz (not real name), dekat Uni you belajar apa?”
“Hafiz tak habis belajar dik. Dia sampai PMR saja. Makcik suruh dia habiskan SPM, tapi dia malas.”
When the mom said that, Aaron mentioned how this is quite a typical situation, “the 3rd party shame moment” he called it.
“It’s the moment where a loved one (usually a female) uses a 3rd party to hammer home their intended message. And because I usually happen to be the situational “trustworthy big brother” nowadays, it happens to me a lot. It’s awkward and I hate it.”
Instead of Hafiz rolling his eyes, he surprisingly kept quiet. That was when Aaron first realised that ‘there’s something a bit uncommon about Mommy’s Boy’. He also noticed that the boy was shivering quite badly, that at one point, makcik hushed him and and held his hands to give him warmth. Upon further questioning, Aaron was shocked to find out that the mother and son braved the heavy rain on a motorbike to get to this place.
“At this point, my respect for Makcik is at an all-time high. But I have some doubts on whether she’s spoiling her son by taking charge so much. I can tell she’s a hustler — but is she the reason he’s a slacker?” he thought to himself.
Wanting Hafiz to take charge of his own life, he told the boy, “Okay, nanti Hafiz sambung buat resume sendiri dekat rumah ya?”
However, Hafiz asked if Aaron could help him do the resume instead. That got him annoyed. He said,
“I’m irritated. As every frontliner knows, there comes a point where you’re just wasting your time, and need to get back to your core clients. It’s opportunity cost. Every moment you spend layan-ing a lost cause, is time you could have spent making your core customers happy.
“Takpe, mak tuliskan. Tak susah sangat pun. Tulis nama, alamat, sekolah saja kan…”
Aaron was brought back to his table by the makcik pulling out a white A4 paper and starting to hand-write her son’s resume.
“Makcik, untuk company sini semua — kena print resume pakai computer,” he plead. “Lagipun, company-company sini perlukan at least Diploma atau Ijazah.”
“Takpe, tak susah sangat pun,” she tunes him out. “Makcik dah tanya tadi… company XXX cakap boleh. Tapi kena hantar resume. Diaorang cakap sini boleh buat.”
Admitting defeat, Aaron decided to help the seemingly stubborn makcik with the hand-written resume. Later, he asked Hafiz about the “co-curricular activities part”, whether he was involved in anything outside of school.
The makcik resplied, “Dia pernah main bola untuk Melaka. Untuk pelajar istimewa.”
It then dawned on Aaron after he realise what and how special “istimewa” meant.
As they finish the resume, and makcik put down her pen, Aaron thought,
“It’s the ugliest resume I’ve ever seen. It’s also the loveliest.”
Determined to help them out and bring at least some decency to a Leaderonomics-checked resume, he brought the two to a neighbouring booth to have their handwritten resume printed out.
While Hafiz left to get his passport photo taken for his resume, and the two observing him awkwardly take his photo, he couldn’t help but pry further in hopes to understand their situation further.
Aaron later discovers that the makcik doesn’t work. She said she used to ‘berniaga’ but she stopped because she had cancer. How she said it so casually threw him back in disbelief that she had to repeat herself.
“Makcik ada apa!?”
“Makcik ada kanser ovari.” she says without any emotion.
“Oh, tapi Makcik dah sihat kan? Sebab boleh bawa Hafiz datang sini?”
“Tak, sebenarnya dah merebak ke hati makcik. Tapi makcik tabahkan hati. Dan fikir positif. Sebab nak teruskan perjalanan hidup ni.”
Her answer got Aaron speechless and close to tears.
“I don’t know what to say. So I just help them complete their mission for the day. I hope it’s enough.”
Aaron ended the post saying that no matter how bad things may seem, remember, there’s a cancer-stricken mother out there who will fetch her intelligence-challenged son through heavy rain via motorcycle — to fight for a chance in a world where he’s severely unqualified.
“She will brave the cold, not take No for an answer, and do absolutely whatever she can for what she loves and believes in.
“And if she can “tabahkan diri and fikir positif” then maybe you can too.”
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