Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Cobbler

I always repair my shoes at this particular roadside cobbler nearby my office. He does his work efficiently and cheaply too. Sometimes he would crack jokes, though not very funny I would still smile at it. Being polite yet still keeping a distance, a very common practice these days. Though some forgo the former part altogether.

Anyway, my shoes need new soles. It's my favourite pair of work shoes, and after a few weeks of wearing my alternate pair I've decided it's time to get it repaired. It is one of those shoes that's a bit long-ish (not as long those worn by ah bengs, mind you), so he had some difficulties with it. His replacement soles were precut to size and he had none for long ones like mine.

Listening to him engaging in a monologue with himself, I realized something about him. He actually cared about the shoes and how his work will affect it. Since he didn't have any long soles, he patched two soles together and tried to make it look good. Took him quite some time adjusting and readjusting until he got it right. Even then he would still be apologizing since the shoes won't look as good as it should.

"Sorry dik, tak elok sangat nih. Esok datang balik, saya buat balik"

For him, probably it's a testament of his workmanship, which in his opinion is not good enough. He kept asking me to bring it back if it doesn't feel good later, and I kept telling him that it's fine. Probably as a sort for consolation, he even shined the shoes for me.

When it's all done (though he's adamant that I return tomorrow), I asked him for the price of his services. Eventhough he did more work on it, he quoted me the same price as always. I did not agree with him, so I paid him double. He protested but I told him, "buat beli rokok", and walked away quickly. He deserved it for the love and care he showed to this old pair of shoes, and the least I can do to repay his sincerity.

I wonder if he was given the same kind of opportunity as I was, where would he be now?


NoktahHitam said...

such heart warming story...

Perky said...

You are a good & kind-hearted person. God bless you! :)

The Banker said...

perky: thanks! i do worry that he might feel insulted or something by that, but i hope he take it the right way lah. i'm simply rewarding his good service, and i know how hard it is to get good service around here.

Anonymous said...

Very sweet story that i found for my Friday.
You put this piece so warm that I felt close even with the cobler
You did it eh
like always.
Have a lovely weekend ahead.


silent reader said...

aih banker.. amat sweet la cerita ni...

it's v rare to find ppl who put their heart and soul in kerja-kerja yg diorang buat.

cheers to the cobbler, and to the rest of us, may we be sincere in whatever we do.

Mlle Linie.. said...

itulah my dear sweet boyfriend as always.. perky, his kindness also shows in many parts of his life (jgn kembang sgt tau dear.. :P)

Miss Aida said...

A testament of a person's character sometimes shines through, regardless of whatever line of work you're in.

It's a good reminder of character.

Anonymous said...

where would he be? i think he's the best as the cobbler.

such passion. how rare

aishah said...

once potong tali jam for my mum at pasar. i gave him rm2, for seeing him took a lot of effort doing that. usually the charge is only rm1. but bila tengok cara dia buat kerja, i know, he deserves better.

The Banker said...

aida: character is the thing that often lacks at work. people tend to become drones and grunt our way though it. by people, i include myself.

khairul: i envy him for the passion that he demonstrated, something that i, again, lacked in doing my own job.

aishah: indeed, let's reward those who deserved it rather than being coerced to pay top dollar for shoddy handiwork.