Ice Cream and ProsPek  

Posted by Kamelia

Every semester there will be a course that makes it's way to the confines of the Mass Communications faculty. Specially catered for the final year students of UiTM, ProsPek has a lot of good intentions, and every semester, we'll hear talks conducted from the very people of the industry. It can be boring, riveting, exciting...depends really on your attitude towards it.

When we heard about the seminar, somehow or rather we all started talking about our past jobs. I related my experience working at Diary King. *Gasp* Yes, I know. That second rate ice cream parlour. That's the one. The one you don't really notice. Especially when you're in Midvalley Megamall, and the 31 flavours of Baskin & Robbins is a much greater lure than our humble plain vanilla and chocolate.

Yes, THAT one. Don't even ask how did I ever have the guts to work in an ice-cream parlour, and in such an un-glamourous one at that. Or how I could stand working from 9AM to 9PM everyday for a meager RM700. Or how I could stand being the only non-chinese in a very much Chinese environment.

Despite the austere conditions I was working under, I told myself it was a good experience for myself. But what I couldn't stand after working for 2 months was the blatant racism that I felt in that place. And I don't just mean from my co-workers and supervisor. They were nice to me at times. It was the customers that I couldn't stand. I quit about a couple of weeks after this woman I encountered.

Without even pausing to determine whether or not I might know Mandarin, she started jabbering away in Mandarin and pointed at this and that.

Politely, I told her, "I'm sorry, I don't know Chinese. What was that again?"

"What do you mean you don't speak Chinese? You are Chinese what?!"

Ah...that little snag. How am I suppose to tell a prefect stranger that I have a Chinese mother who fell in love with her Malay lecturer and had me, the very image of my own Chinese grandfather, but in reality is really a Malay, and have zero skills in speaking in any kind of Chinese dialects?

"Well, that's because I am not Chinese, aunty. What was your order again?"

"Then go and learn lah!!" said the annoying and rude woman.

It wasn't my only encounter with subtle or obvious racism. My supervisor gave all the major responsibilities to my much younger Chinese co-worker who came to work with us much later than I did. She later tried to hire an Indonesian boy to work on weekends and fridays, but quit after finding out that he was not allowed to go on an extended break for Friday prayers. And later when I told her my friend Rubern was interested in working there, she exclaims that all Indians were thieves and refused to discuss any further.

Needless to say, my stint there was rather brief. And they closed down about a couple of months after I left, and our lot is now rented by Beard Papa - premier cream puffs.

So there, that is about the only working experience I've had. Short, embarrassing and an eye opener. I shudder to think of the other horrors the working world may chuck at me in the future. I pray that's going to be about the worst it can get. Wishful thinking eh?

This entry was posted on Saturday, August 04, 2007 and is filed under . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .


Try being a mamak then :p

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