Monday, March 27, 2017

Waiter! Waiter!

When Andre finished his 'O' levels last year, we knew he was in for a long holiday, since the poly academic year only begins in late April. One of the things he's been doing during his free time is volunteering at a nearby community centre, giving tuition to needy kids.

Once, he arrived there only to find that the week's sessions had been cancelled and the coordinator had forgotten to inform him. Some of the kids must not have known too because about 6 kids turned up. Instead of telling them to go home, Andre took the keys from the cc office, opened up the room and helped all 6 kids with their homework. Sometimes, this boy really surprises me.

However, since this tuition gig is only once a week, Andre has been enjoying himself, lounging around and basically doing whatever he wants (which is often nothing). By January, I got tired of seeing him either playing on his phone or watching TV, to the point that I was sure his brain was going to rot to nothing.

So I bugged him to find a job. He resisted at first, protesting that he deserved a break, but reluctantly caved after a bit (I can be very persistent, doncha know it). Taking the easiest way out, he walked to a row of restaurants situated right behind our home, found one with a 'Help Wanted' sign, talked to the manager, and ta-dah! Got a job as a waiter.

Even though I know he got the job primarily to get me off his case (I know this as a fact because right after getting the job, he told me, "Ok, I've a job! Can you stop bugging me now??"), I couldn't be more pleased. It gave him something useful to do and some hands on experience while earning some pocket money. 

The restaurant turned out to be a great environment for him. He learned some useful skills, such as packing food for takeaways, and serving customers. Having done this job, he's now very sympathetic to waiters. When we eat out and sometimes a waiter gets our order wrong or forgets something, he would insist that we not make a fuss. "It's very difficult to remember everything, ok!" he would say.

The funny thing is the chef only speaks Mandarin and I'm sure you all know by now how brilliant Andre's Chinese standard is. The first few days, instead of telling the chef "兩份湯" (2 portions of soup), Andre would yell, "兩分湯!" (2 cents of soup). Luckily, the chef finds this terribly amusing so he would just laugh and nod his head.

As a bonus, the staff seem to like him and are very patient in guiding him. The chef, knowing that Andre loves fried chicken wings, sometimes fries a few extras just for him to take home!

On his part, he ended up enjoying working more he thought he would. It makes him feel useful and it gave his confidence a boost when he realised he could do a good job. See? Mummy does know best 😁

Upon receiving his first pay check, Andre surprised us with a couple of slices of cake from a nearby bakery.  Pretty sweet and I'm not talking about the cake  😉


Rachel Tan said...

What a lovely not-so-little-anymore boy.

Coincidentally, I was just reading about Brooklyn Beckham who has been working part time as a waiter at a cafe for the past 2 to 3 years :)

monlim said...

Rachel: yah, not so little any more! I think there's great value in holding a part-time job. You learn so much real-world stuff.

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