17 June 2010

My Brother Left his Job

Sonam excitedly agreed to work while he waited for his exam this winter. He was lucky to be employed by a private mini industry right away as a site supervisor. I envied his job; he only has to look after the labours and study his syllabus. His employer promised two months exam leave and paid him Nu.6000 for just being there. Housing was provided for free.

Sonam (left) with senior colleague at the work site
It has been over three months he has been working there and I saw my brother brimming with pride as he discussed his work stories with us during his Sundays at home. He was often taken out for lunch by his boss and it was going on so well.

But suddenly he became ill and had to come to hospital. It happened almost every week. And last weekend his back started aching bad. He couldn’t rise easily once seated. I found it out during one of my casual visits to his site. I brought him home and asked him to call his boss for leave but he told me that he had informed his colleague on the site do it for him.

Monday morning he was feeling better and I insisted him to go to work. When he called his lady colleague on site she informed him that the boss has asked him to put up resignation letter and he flatly agreed. I knew it was misinterpretation by the girl and misunderstanding by him but no matter how much I negotiate with him there was no moving forward. His ego was badly hurt.

Later that evening I found out that I was right; boss has just said he may resign if he didn’t want to work. The girl didn’t inform the boss, nor did she tell about my brother illness when the boss asked. She simply said he had gone home. It took me the whole evening to explain to my brother the right meaning of his boss’s words and upon failing to get it through I had to narrate what I had to go through as early as sixteen. He is past twenty and I am there for him but when I was struggling I had no one to help me; I was hungry all my elementary school days, at sixteen I worked in construction as labour and by nineteen I was sending home money as apprentice teacher.

Next morning he was up early and ready to go to work. I dropped him at his site and even gave my piece of mind to the girl. The boss was on his way and I didn’t have time to wait for him. I just said my brother was sick and now he is back over the phone. Toward the afternoon I was told that my brother has packed his thing, and only thing I could do was to go and get him home.

The boss it at the site then, he apologetically shook my hand and explained why he said what he had said. He said my brother was straight forward, shy and a good human being but he being a student may have bigger dreams, he wanted to resign. I thanked him for employing my brother and apologized on behalf of my brother for leaving work in the middle of the work season. He finally told me that he wanted a permanent worker, whom he could train and keep through out. I told him I have bigger dreams for my brother.

I brought my brother back and asked him to focus on his studies. I didn’t let my brother work for money alone; I wanted him to learn how life is like for a half educated man. What he had gone through this time could be his fate forever if doesn’t study well this time; throwing himself at a mercy of someone. He has set up his study table firm and was on it through out this morning. He saw his life, he wants to change it!

1 comment:

  1. It is very touching. It brought me the memories of my brother working as a daily wage labourer long time back. He wasn't paid for the work he had done of heavy power line.
    Now he has completed his Bachelor in Computer science from Sherubtse and will be working as a teacher in one of the private school in Thimphu.


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