A few years ago before Raya came in, I went back to Perak as I needed to prepare for the holidays. Upon arriving, I was jonesing for an Aik Cheong Teh Tarik. Yup, i kid you not. That instant Teh Tarik is a pretty good thing to have.
So, I went into this small little retail shop at the small little town my kampung was at. Hospitality was plenty around these parts. So I was bound to have a shopkeep to greet me and ask me on what I was looking for.
Who I met was no ordinary shopkeep at all.
Enter a 3 year old girl who has successfully attained the title of Awesomest Sales Girl the world will ever meet. “Mau cari apa?” (What are you looking for?) The line was delivered in the highest of girly pitches you can think of.
Kyo: Aik Cheong Teh Tarik ada kah?
I figured maybe this 3 year old girl knows her stuff and the ways around the store. Heck, she might even have a stake in it! Best not to assume.
Adorable Girl: Ada! (high pitched still)
The funniest thing then happened to me. Her father immediately scolded her (he was there but just wanted to see what happens). “Dey! You sumer pun you cakap ada!” Yes, the family was a Mamak family, Indian Muslim indeed. But while he did scold her, her bright little spirit was still there.
Adorable Girl’s Father: Sorry dik. Barang tak ada.
It didn’t end just there. The girl, after hearing her dad, had this to say to me:
“Owh sorry. Barang tak ada.”
There and then, I really wished I had just kidnapped the little girl and make her work for me instead. I pay good amounts of candy!
It helps that there is a vigor in her that I liked. It’s a vigor that wants to help her father, and at the same time wants to lessen his burden. It’s funny that children find awesome things to do in life at those tender age. They just grow up older and older and start losing out on passion.
It does affect me too ya know. Sometimes, I’m just tired at entertaining people. Not that it’s a bad thing, but, here’s the thing. I put up a nice picture of the product I want to sell, the price is all set and done, website implementation is ready, contact info is ready as well. But, what happens instead is…
“Boss, best price berapa?”
“Boss, PM me.”
“Wassup me Boss. (IT’S NOT EVEN CALLED WASSUP)”
“Boss, PM laju laju. (WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT EVEN MEAN)”
If I had this small little girl as my assistant, I would be laughing all the way when she gets me into trouble. Haha. But she reminds me of something very important. As much as I would like to educate my customers to be better able to respond to me instead of giving me replies such as what you saw earlier, it is more important that I keep a steely heart. Always is going to be more important than ever.
That vigor that the little girl has is in all of us. Not just sellers, but customers too. And I know the same vigor I had when I was younger was wonderful too. I wanted to help, I wanted to sell, and most importantly, I wanted the Malaysian market to do better than what it was. 8 years later, well, Malaysia has definitely grown.
Now I just need to keep on building the next generation for it.