Monday, October 01, 2007


She: “I tried to persuade her to get a real job but she said if I put too much pressure on her she will jump from a building. What can I do?” “Mr. Lee (apparently her husband) said she was just bluffing. But how can I be sure? My friend told me just last week a teenager jumped to her death because her parents said she was useless.”

Her friend: “Yeah, nowadays the young people are so fragile.”

She: “She is only eighteen and just out of secondary school. What kind of work can she do? She is doing direct sales now, with a real small base salary. Her income depends on how much business she can solicit, and she is not doing well. But she likes the job because there are no fixed office hours. I tried to get her to register at the Labour Department. She told me to go myself if I was so eager. That she does not have the time.”

Her friend: “She should learn a skill. This may be an opportunity. The tourism industry is blooming. Here it says it only requires a secondary school qualification and basic English. She does not even need to be good at English.”

She: “Yeah, it is worth a try. I have been so worried lately. I simply tried to talk to her and she threatens to jump to her death. I said to her I am your mother. I just want to talk to you. How can you say something like that. I don’t now what to do.” “I asked her what she wants to do but she said she doesn’t know.” “I said she has to decide what to do with her life and she said she was fed up with my nagging. And she said if I keep pushing she will jump. What am I supposed to do?”

What can you say to this mother?

I did not make this up. This was an actual conversation I overheard in a bus just this evening. For all I know, this is not a rare exception. It is actually quite common in Hong Kong.


Helius said...


StephenC said...

You are welcome! Please drop by again some other time, and share with us your thoughts.