Posted by: Ibrahim | 14/06/2010

Fifth Business

I barely watched Oprah Winfrey’s Show. Not that I distaste her, we just didn’t have an ASTRO at home. However, I happened to watch an episode at my sister’s house.. Due to numerous house chores, a wife whined that she had no time anymore to hang out with her girlfriends. Oprah pitied her, and would like to gratify her needs by asking one guy to take her role as a housewife.

I didn’t know who that guy was, but I could guarantee that the episode had become my own (with totally different incident and, ahem, more handsome person, apparently). My sister texted me asking whether I would be available this weekend. She planned to go to KL as she had received their break. However, she wouldn’t be able to bring her husband together as he needed to take care of their family business at laundry shop. If only I could..

I was thinking that it would be more meaningful if my nephew and niece could have a vacation with their father as well. So, without second guessing, I said “YES”. So, this made my 5th work after working at Petrol Station, 7-Eleven, Tuition Centre and as an Editorial in the past semesters. She wanted me to go there sooner, so that I could start my training earlier, but I only arrived two days before the charge date due to my so-called hectic schedule.

I didn’t know how you liked this, but my brother in law left me alone in the shop after only 1 hour training. I thanked him, though, for trusting me and giving me the golden opportunity to really experience it. If he was around, I would feel restrained and stressed of fulfilling his expectations. I always believed that in order to be competent, making mistakes (and learning from it) is a must.

By the day I started working, I believed I was skillful enough. I felt like a boss already with no one watching. But I kept praying that nobody sent me their clothes for dry-cleaning! That was the only technique that I have not been trained. I was lucky that nobody did.

I was nervous, still. Very nervous to think that I had never sent my clothes to any laundry shop, and I didn’t know what to expect. The only evidence I could remember was when my friend said, “it smells good” after he received his dresses from a laundry shop. But my day was a complete tragedy. There was this serious auntie provoked me whether I had actually washed her bedclothes. I was like, “didn’t you see how clean they were, folded nicely in the plastic bag?” I wish I could say that but she continued saying, “they didn’t fragrance.” And by that, I knew I’ve failed. Later, I doubled the softener.

And there was another incident where I accidentally put someone’s garments in the wrong plastic bag. The guy didn’t come back, yet he sent his friend instead to pick up the clothes. He must be really mad to pick on his own. I was so confused because there were about 3 pants, yet he only asked for two. You know what he did? He sniffed the pants, rationalizing that he knew his perfume. I was amazed that these Arab people had a strong brotherhood between them, that they even know each other’s odour! Now don’t imagine the fat, hairy sweaty Arab. They look good and smell good, though. Must be the elites.

And some people also put me in wonder. They had nicely washed and dried their shirts. But they sent theirs to be ironed at shop. It’s a big wonder that the man has never turned up. It’s either his mother, or wife who sent the shirts. And last time I noticed that they had a maid, too!  They didn’t seem to look like career women either. Afterall, they only sent man shirts to be ironed. And why they didn’t iron it by themselves? Yeah, their rights.

The title is a novel by Robertson Davies.



  1. it sounds like a hectic day at work dear..

    by the way, i understand how it feels when u said…

    “Now don’t imagine the fat, hairy sweaty Arab.”

    Back in UUM, we have these Arab people which are very annoying. I stayed in a hostel where many foreign students residing there as well.

    One thing that I hate about this people is how they jemur their stuffs. They never bother to squeeze their clothes properly and let the water spilled on our baju. The best part is they are staying on top of the hostel’s building.

    Another thing is, I remember I was in rush answering the call’s of nature. (i hope u undertand that..) so, i’ve no choice at that time but to go to the top floor and did it there. I haven’t even reached the toilet’s door but i can smell awful smell from far. And imagine how i felt when i went inside the toilet. These Arabs left many “chocolates” for the next person to “enjoy”.

    I was swearing but i’ve no choice.

    Apart from that, these Arab people seems to think that they know more about Islam. There’s one guy who came to me and my friends questioning about why we pray (i mean berdoa) after each prayers and we do together it with other people when we have jemaah prayers. at that time, me and my friends were like… WTF!!! Berdoa ramai-ramai after solat pun jadi masalah ker?

    Then, this Arab says that this is not the practice of our prophet, Nabi Muhammad S.A.W. This is bidaah.

    We didn’t bother to explain coz we know that we would end up defeated coz that Arab came up with all the verse from Quran. furthermore, i dont think this guy understand about Bid’ah hakikiyah dan idhafiyah. (bidaah baik dan buruk, u know better i think.) Why bother rite?

    We even came up with jokes when he said that berdoa after prayers is not our prophet’s practice and we should only follow what he did. one of my friends was saying…

    “Abis tu nabi tak g universiti, kite pun tak payah nak g universiti la!!!”

    We were laughing when he said that.

    Well, those days are over.

    Terkomen panjang plak..

    Hope u dun mind dear..

    • Hectic? My job was heaven. I didn’t know whether I’ve been cursed, but there was not many customers for the consecutive 3 days (even for Saturday which was usually a bit money maker day). So, I kept ordering foods next door while waiting for the next customer to send their clothes.

      These Arab people, like you said, can be annoying at times. But let’s just forget the uncivilized and kampong type of them. I’ve met many wonderful people, and I envied them because they’re tall, handsome (thick eye lashes with fair smooth skin) and RICH! Let me tell you a secret, I want to get married to an Arab.

      I love reading your comments. The longer, the better. It makes me feel appreciated and loved? 😉

  2. Huhuhu.. Funny things happens when u least expects it. 😛
    Sounds like a fun holiday. 🙂
    Can’t imagine how you can juggle up more than one job. ^^
    sounds like a work of a ‘Super-Human’. hohoho

    • Well Dewi, thank you for entitling me ‘Super Human’. I appreciated that a lot.
      Those were, actually, my past part-time jobs. And it’s so ordinary that I only did 1 job per break (for the sake of gaining experiences, I would say).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: