I work with a 63 year old Aussie man. We perform same duty- cleaning. While I work for 5 hours, he works for 7.5 hours. When I first joined this work, the contract manager showed me around the facilities that needs to be cleaned on daily and weekly basis. Then he introduced me to my work mate.
“Dawa, this is Laurie. You will be working with him. Should there be any problem, ask him.”
“You will be fine.” Said Laurie, and that made me comfortable from the moment I met him.
Now we have been working together for more than four months. We have developed into a good team- when he goes to buy his lunch, I substitute him, and when I run late for work he saves me from trouble.
Well it is extremely hard to make friends in a country where everyone is busy or at least acts so. I have worked in different places- from warehouse to retail giant like Coles, but on personal level, Laurie is the only person whom I can share my frustrations and jubilations with. He is my second non-Bhutanese mate. First one, known by an initial MJ was bit messy. And this is my first time being friend with a man of 63.
This man is a gem. He comes with full package of wisdom and experiences- mostly bitter experiences that made him strong and resilient to many harsh surprises of life.
One fine afternoon, out of curiosity I asked him.
“For how many years have you been cleaning?”
“Oh…I can’t remember, may be more than 30 years.”
It was strange to know someone- especially native Australian citizen doing an odd job. In my 9 months stay, I have discovered that immigrants are Ninjas in performing any kind of odd jobs.
“Wow! You are a legend. I have been doing this for months and I already thought of quitting,” I said.
“Don’t do it. Arrange something before you quit.” He said.
“I have an interview next week,” I said.
“Well good luck!”
I have this bad habit of changing the tone and topic of conversation abruptly. This time I asked. “In your 60 something years of life, you might have learned many lessons, so what would be your one-sentence advice to me?”
“Don't trust anyone.”