Thursday, June 15, 2006

Ayi situation

Well, we did it yesterday, told Yu Ying and Mr. Li that they would not be working for us next year. And it was hard and I feel pretty crappy about it.

Mr. Li took it like a man, I guess you could say. “Okay, mei wenti {No problem}. If you can help me get another job, that would be great.”

That’s sort of what I figured would happen there. I also think he may have suspected something in part because I really thought his food stepped it up a notch in the past month.

Yu ying was upset. She looked stricken really. I had Kathy there to translate for me and she was a great help. Despite what the other chinese say, I think Yu Ying is nice, honest and very loyal. I know that she and her extended family depend on her salary.

So all of that makes it really hard, but it is definitely the right thing to do. Don’t bother writing in saying don’t feel guilty, because I don’t really. I just feel sad. We will give her a good severance and I’m pretty confident I can help her find a job in here. But there’s no easy way to fire someone, particularly someone you consider a nice person who is so dependent on the job.

I was really dreading telling my chinese teacher, Wang dong about this. He and Yu Ying are friendly and I really like him and respect him and consider him sort of a moral exemplar, an ascetic, monk-like almost. Anyhow, he came in this morning right when Becky was leaving, and Yu Ying sort of looked at Becky and started crying and Becky was trying to comfort her and Dong walked in and asked what was the matter. And so the conversation commenced, with all of us standing in the front, near the door.

And Dong was talking to her and she was crying a little, holding back tears and she was saying how we were such good people with such good hearts and she knew she could probably get another job but so many treat ayis so badly and how would she find people like us. And this was not making me feel good.

And Dong, who was a chinese philosophy and history major, starts talking to her in ancient parables. “The moon can not be full every night.” “Everyone has fun at a party but no one thinks abut the end , but all parties must end.” And so on. He was wonderful, managed to make everyone feel a little less crappy. He is a really a great guy, very unusual. He wants to try to come to America in two years and I would like to help him get a job and therefore visa.. it’s early, but think about schools which would like a great Mandarin teacher.