Being Helpful

by Valerie Goh (P6 2021)
        Tommas Reardon was a beefy man with eye bags, red swollen eyes and who was nearly bald. He worked as the chief supervisor at Red Sun Movers, a prestigious company known world-wide for its precision in its deliveries and which held the position for world’s best moving company for the past ten years. All the movers there feared him as he often scolded and yelled at them at least a hundred times per day. Tommas was so fierce and irritable that he would erupt at even the smallest things, such as the shuffling of feet or the length of one’s water break. All of the movers had never witnessed the high level of sternness that their supervisor possessed until the day that they met him. Every time the movers walked by him or talked to him, they would bow their heads and speak timidly while recalling the awful incidents of him scolding them fiercely.
       “Not again!” Tyler Lim exclaimed. Tyler was on his way to the Red Sun Movers headquarters when he had accidentally dropped his phone for the third time that day. It was his first day of work and he was already fumbling over everything. “How am I going to be able to work in this prestigious company if I can’t hold my phone properly?!” Tyler thought while slowly getting annoyed at his carelessness. After some time, Tyler arrived at the Red Sun Movers headquarters where he was greeted by his comrades and the supervisor, and then brought to the first house of the day in a Red Sun Movers moving truck.
       At their destination, Tommas decided that he wanted to test Tyler. This was something Tommas did to all new blood. He instructed him to carry the box full of precious stones and valuable items such as expensive rings, bracelets, earrings and an 18k necklace that was sitting against the wall of the moving truck. Tyler obeyed his supervisor’s instructions without defiance and walked to the box. He placed his fingers under the box and lifted it gingerly with all his strength. Tyler was stumbling back and forth while carrying the box. Given how weak and careless Tyler was, it was natural for people like him to have difficulty carrying the heavy box. Tommas looked at him with his beady eyes and yelled “Move quicky, move those legs!”
       After a few seconds, nearly all of Tyler’s strength had been used up and he wobbled, swaying left and right repeatedly. He was on the verge of dropping the entire box of precious items which would be his gateway to being jobless. Tyler looked left and right helplessly, hoping for a kind soul to help him out. No chance. Besides the enraged supervisor who was staring at him, some of his comrades started to snicker at him while others were focusing on carrying their own boxes.
       Watching Tyler struggle relentlessly and the movers snickering at him, Tommas suddenly remembered when he was a greenhorn just like Tyler, new blood, yet to be toughened by the moving industry. He remembered when he was constantly harassed by his colleagues for his lack of strength. Sometimes, in addition to verbal bullying, Tommas recalled that they had also physically hurt him and he would return home bloody and in torn and tattered clothes. He remembered that he would either cry himself to sleep or go sleepless because of his constant crying.  He replayed the torture and misery in his mind repeatedly. He could never put how much he had suffered into words. In fact, he never wanted to relive those past experiences, nor he did not want Tyler to suffer just like he had all those years ago.
       “Tyler, Tyler, Tyler. Need some help, buddy?”  Tommas asked with an outstretched hand. Without waiting for a reply from Tyler, Tommas swooped in and lifted the back of the box. Tyler’s comrades immediately stopped whatever they were doing upon hearing his question and looked straight at Tyler and Tommas. Tyler’s comrades’ eyes widened. Their supervisor, the man who yelled at everyone mercilessly, was helping one of them move the box. They had never seen this gracious side of him! Tyler’s mouth made the shape of the letter ‘O’. The man who was yelling at him just a few minutes ago was now helping him. Overwhelmed by the numerous questions that started forming in his head, Tyler remained speechless. He stayed professional and, together with Tommas, moved the weighty box slowly but steadily.
       The next day, Tyler arrived at work in high spirits. The previous day made Tyler realize that everyone has some form of kindness in them. He was now determined to work harder during work hours and work overtime to complete his work if necessary. Tyler formed the habit of going to the gym before work to better prepare himself for moving heavy boxes. From that day onwards, Tyler always looked forward to work and put in his best effort in work without fail.
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