A Meaningful Trip

By Sin Lei

While holidaying in Cambodia, I met an old British couple who were on the same one-day tour that we signed up to. During the tour, we went to a village and observed how the Cambodian villagers lived. It was an eventful day.

During our lunch break, the British husband shared that his son used to work in Japan as a part-time worker for a company that produces batteries. As the Japanese boss had a poor command of English, his son went beyond his job scope to help the boss create presentation slides, prepare meeting minutes and review documents in English everyday. 

Then, one day, the boss asked the son if he would like to relocate to the company’s South America branch, to work in a new role. The son was surprised by the offer. He clearly did not expect the opportunity as he was only a part-time worker. Upon hearing the offer, the son’s immediate reaction was: “But I know nothing about batteries!”  The boss, however, was confident that the son would be able to excel in the role and insisted that he take up the job offer. Eventually, the son accepted the offer and went to South America.

I was truly touched by this sharing. This was a real life situation of a young man, who, although was only a part-time worker and not earning as much as a full-time worker, did his best for his boss and the company without expecting any returns.

After I reached my hotel that evening, I reflected on myself. I had always thought that I was a responsible worker, who would occasionally go out of the way to help my bosses and colleagues to complete work that did not belong to me. However, there were also occasions where I could have offered more assistance to my colleagues, but I did not. As such, how could I consider myself as being responsible?  I should treat all my colleagues equally and offer the same quality assistance and responsiveness to each of them.

Apart from going out of his way to help the boss, the son of the British couple must have exhibited other positive traits which the boss liked so much that he would offer the son, who had no prior relevant work experience, a relocation package. I reflected on myself again. Are there any other aspects which I need to improve on? Apparently, yes. There were times when I was not tolerant of other people’s mistakes and I was also mean to colleagues who were a bit slow. Thus, I should learn to be more accommodating so that a more harmonious work environment can be achieved.  

I will definitely need to work on my attitude when I am back to work!