A manager working at a petrol station in Melaka recently took to Facebook to share about how he came to hire a troubled stranger on New Year's Day
Human Resource manager Les Lee shared his story on the Caltex Bachang Facebook page after meeting a man who faced many difficulties since the first Movement Control Order (MCO) was imposed in March last year.
"It was business as usual at our small petrol station in Melaka on the first day of 2021 when a stranger came by the office asking for job," he wrote.
He shared that his business experienced a huge loss last year but he decided to hire the man anyway as part of the car washing team.
Lee, however, shared that he was very curious about the man he had just hired
"His appearance was unkempt and he looked definitely troubled," Lee recounted.
"Since I told him to start on the coming Monday, I asked him where he was going after this."
The manager said he was taken aback when the man told him that he was going to the nearest bus stop to look for a place to sleep.
It was only then he realised that his new employee was homeless.
Not wanting the man to return to the streets, Lee insisted that he begin work training that day
Lee gave the man a company T-shirt and seeing that he was overtly hungry, also offered him some food.
During the onboarding session, the man began to tell Lee the events in the past year that led to his homelessness.
"I was dismayed by the things he told me," said the manager.
Lee learnt that the homeless man was in his late 30s and from East Malaysia
He had worked as a lorry driver in Kuala Lumpur for a few years but the company was forced to let him go during the MCO last year.
"Later, he found a job as a waiter in a hawker stall. But eventually, he lost that job as well," said Lee.
Lee then found out that the man was alone in Peninsular Malaysia because his parents had passed away and his two brothers were back home in East Malaysia.
"He initially wanted to go to Penang but looking at his wallet, he only had enough money for a bus ticket to Melaka. So, he took his chance in Melaka," said the manager.
Unfortunately, as the weeks flew by, the situation spun out of control and the man said he soon found himself starving for days and also sleeping at bus stops at night.
After hearing the man's story, Lee went home during lunch break to pack any unused clothes he had to give to him
"I also called up some friends who would be able to help find a rented room for him temporarily," he said.
Lee wrote that he personally had gone through hardships in life.
"The horror of losing everything is something most people cannot fully comprehend - living from day to day not knowing whether you will be sleeping on an empty stomach in a cold bus stop or not," he explained.
He also replied to the many that had questioned him for hiring a homeless man with a largely unknown past: "We are aware of the risks, but we are taking a chance on him because he needed help and the best way to help a man or woman is to give them the dignity of work."
Lastly, Lee asked readers who may be interested to help the man to kindly drop by the petrol station in Melaka
"At the moment we have arranged a room for him and he has all the basic needs to go forth for now," Caltex Bachang told SAYS when contacted.
However, they said if anyone would like to know more or help the man in any other way, they may contact Lee at +6012-6571741.
Apart from that, Lee asked those who frequently travel to Bachang to simply keep refueling their vehicles at their humble petrol station to help keep the business afloat.