We Love The Story Of This Makcik And Why She Was So Determined To Make Her Son A Resume
While running a CV clinic in Melaka, a man came across a mother and son who inspired him enough to share his encounter with the world
As part of the SL1M roadshows, Aaron Tang and his team from Leaderonomics had a booth set up that was dedicated to helping young graduates check and polish their resumes.
The work is described to be draining, with many of Aaron's colleagues ending up with sore throats after spending all day talking. However, the team finds comfort in knowing they're helping young people.
And every now and then, they meet someone that gives them a good story to tell. And that's just what happened to Aaron, as he chose to share his story on Facebook.
One day, during a time when the booth was a little quiet, a mother and son walked up to Aaron's booth
The son was a skinny guy who was wearing a "Lejen" t-shirt while the mother was wearing a baju kurung. She looked to be about 50+ years old.
Aaron said that he had gotten somewhat used to seeing young people bringing along their mothers. He didn't mind so long as it was the youth who took charge of the session while their parents sat in the waiting area. However, this Makcik had taken a seat right next to her son.
"Kat sini boleh buat resume ya?" said Hafiz (not his real name). (Can we do resumes here?)
"Oh, sorry dik -- kat sini kami hanya tolong check saja. Kalau you ada bawak resume, saya boleh tolong," Aaron says. (Sorry, we only help check resumes here. If you brought one, I can help.)
"Oh... Diaorang bagi tau sini boleh buat..." Makcik replies. (Oh, they told us we could do resumes here.)
"Sorry makcik, sini memang kitaorang tolong check saja. Tapi mungkin saya boleh tolong ajar macam mana nak tulis. Kemudian nanti Abang ni boleh sambung buat kat rumah." (Sorry Makcik, we only help check resumes here. But maybe I can teach you to write one. Then later, your son can continue doing it at home.)
Hafiz and Makcik didn't object, so Aaron began to help them.
He could tell Hafiz wasn't very well-educated, so he kept his explanations simple
Aaron asked Hafiz, "Hafiz dekat Uni you belajar apa?" (Hafiz, what did you study in university?)
"Hafiz tak habis belajar dik. Dia sampai PMR saja. Makcik suruh dia habiskan SPM, tapi dia malas," his mother responded. (Hafiz hasn't finished studying. He's only done up until PMR. I told him to finish SPM, but he's lazy.)
Aaron calls this the third party shame moment; the moment where a loved one uses a third party to hammer home their intended message. It happens to Aaron a lot, which he hates and finds awkward.
He expected Hafiz to roll his eyes or show some sort of dissent towards his mother. But he was surprisingly quiet. This was when Aaron realised there was something a little different about Hafiz.
He also realised that Hafiz was shivering pretty badly. At one point, Makcik held his hands to give him some warmth.
"Sejuk ke?" Aaron asked. (Is it cold?)
"Ah ah... time kitaorang datang tadi, hujan lebat," Makcik said. (It was raining heavily when we came.)
"Macam mana datang tadi?" (How did you get here?)
"Naik motor dik." (Rode a motorcycle.)
Hearing this, Aaron had immense respect for Makcik. But he did have some doubts on whether or not she was spoiling her son by taking charge so much.
Aaron could tell Makcik was a hustler -- but was she the reason Hafiz was a slacker?
"Okay, nanti Hafiz sambung buat resume sendiri dekat rumah ya?" Aaron said. (Continue doing your resume at home, okay?
"Boleh abang tolong buatkan tak?" Hafiz asked. (Could you help me do it?)
Aaron was irritated. He felt like he was wasting his time.
"Takpe, mak tuliskan," Mak cik said. "Tak susah sangat pun. Tulis nama, alamat, sekolah saja kan..." (It's okay, I'll write it. It's not that hard. You just have to write your name, address and school right...)
Makcik pulled out a while sheet of A4 paper and began to write her son's resume by hand.
"Makcik, untuk company sini semua -- kena print resume pakai computer," Aaron pleaded. "Lagipun, company-company sini perlukan at least Diploma atau Ijazah." (Makcik, companies here require you to print your resumes. Furthemore, they require at least a diploma or a degree.)
"Takpe, tak susah sangat pun. Makcik dah tanya tadi... company XXX cakap boleh. Tapi kena hantar resume. Diaorang cakap sini boleh buat." Makcik said. (I've already asked, company XXX said it's fine. But you need to send a resume. They said you can do it here.)
Aaron gave in and helped the two complete Hafiz's handwritten resume. When they got to the co-curricular activities part, he asked Hafiz if he was involved in anything outside of school.
"Dia pernah main bola untuk Melaka. Untuk pelajar istimewa." (He's played football for Melaka. For special students.)
It took Aaron a while to realise what and how special 'istimewa' meant. And then it started to make sense.
They finished the resume together.
It was the ugliest resume Aaron had ever seen. But it was also the loveliest.
Aaron brought Makcik and Hafiz to a neighboring booth with computers and printers for rent. They also had a photo printing service. He was determined to complete Makcik's mission.
As Hafiz left to take his passport picture, they watched as he awkwardly posed for the camera.
"Makcik masih lagi kerja ke?" Aaron asked. (Are you still working?)
"Oh tak, dulu makcik berniaga, tapi sekarang makcik dah berhenti sebab ada kanser." (No, I used to do business but I've stopped now because I have cancer.)
She said it so casually that Aaron had to make her repeat herself.
"Makcik ada apa!?" (You have what!?)
"Makcik ada kanser ovari," she said without any emotion. (I have ovarian cancer.)
Aaron still couldn't accept it.
"Oh, tapi Makcik dah sihat kan? Sebab boleh bawa Hafiz datang sini?" (But you're healthy now, right? Since you brought Hafiz here?)
"Tak, sebenarnya dah merebak ke hati makcik. Tapi makcik tabahkan hati. Dan fikir positif. Sebab nak teruskan perjalanan hidup ni." (No, it has actually spread to my liver. But I've got to be strong and think positive. Because I need to continue my life's journey)
Aaron was close to tears and didn't know what to say. So he just helped them complete their mission for the day.
Aaron went on to encourage his listeners to stay strong and positive no matter what
He feels this story contains a lesson for anyone going through a difficult time in life.
"Whether you have an asshole client, you're missing your targets by 65%, or you think you're absolutely horrible at what you do. I want you to know that somewhere in this world, there's a cancer-stricken mother who will fetch her intelligence-challenged son through heavy rain via motorcycle -- to fight for a chance in a world where he's severely unqualified, and she cannot understand. And she will brave the cold, not take No for an answer, and do absolutely whatever she can for what she loves and believes in."
If Makcik can “tabahkan diri and fikir positif” then maybe you can too.
Inspire someone, share this on!
Aaron Tang is also a contributor at SAYS. More of his stories here.