20120106

I Should Not Laugh But I Do

I just found a blog called "Stuff Korean Moms Like", which contain posts like "#38.  Child Labor".
When you were born, your Korean Mom fired an employee to even things out. If a Korean Mom ever asks you to work at the 'gah-geeh'/store...she is not asking, she is telling. It may sound like a question, but it is really a demand. It just sounds like a question because she is trying hard to be nice. Just nod and say 'neh'/yes. Do not ask her how long you are supposed to work. It will always be longer than you would like. Do not ask her how much you will be paid. You will work for free.
I laugh because it is true.  I once got a talking to at my grade school because I was able to name over fifty brands of cigarettes during a health quiz to show how prominent advertisements for cigarettes were.  I had broken down the cigarettes on my list into manufacturer and whether they were a generic or retail.  By the time I was in eighth grade, I was faster at punching lottery tickets than any of my mother's other employees and I worked for less than a dollar per day.  When I would ask my mom if I could have a Coke from the store, she would loudly sigh and tell me about how she didn't eat all day and all she drank was water so she could save money, but I could have that Coke because I was her daughter and she loved me.  It would just take me working for two hours to really make up for the cost of it.  She would loudly mock me for not being able to work twelve hour days, often stating that it was ridiculous that I needed a nap in the middle of the day.  When I was thirteen.  That same year I once told her I was tired at eight in the morning after having worked for two hours.  She gave me my first coffee and I've been hooked since. 

The whole blog is fairly funny if you are Korean.  I wish it was currently updating, but it's still good for a quick laugh.  I mean, check out "#47. Arguing Over The Bill".  No lie, my mom once checked me like she was a professional hockey player en route to the cashier while I was attempting to pay.  All while screaming at me.  I think I managed to pay that bill, thus pleasing her, but I'm pretty damned sure she injured me.

3 comments:

Angie said...

Ha! I remember arriving to the US and thinking to myself (after reading/finding out about child labor laws) "wait, you get paid to do work? and wait, you don't HAVE to work when you're 10?" and the best one..."you don't get spanked for saying no?"

Have you ever heard of Russell Peters the comedian?

Kitten said...

Angie, my mom made me work at 11 for hours and hours and I assure you no one ever reported her to the US government. I can say the same for my cousins, I bet. My mom would generously, when I was in high school, pay me a dollar an hour.

Now, to be extremely fair to her, she supplied me with a car and insurance when I was old enough, but the day I learned to drive she sighed happily and said, "Okay, come drive here now. You can work today and I don't have to send someone to pick you up."

I have never heard of Russell Peters.

mermaids said...

I am not Korean, but I can identify. I started working in the family business as soon as I was old enough to hold a broom. If i wasn't at school, I was working... afternoons, weekends, summers... Paid?!?! My father said I was lucky to get food on the table. BTW, I had to cook that food when i got home from work because I was the only girl and we all know cooking is "women's work." Can't expect a man to help in the kitchen. My friends were so impressed when I left home at 16. They couldn't understand how I could work and still go to school. I worked a full time and part time job while going to college full time. I guess the one good thing that came from my child labor years is that I can work circles around most people and not break a sweat.