Thinking of Others First in a Furniture Factory Kitchen
(Minghui.org) In the spring of 2012, I accepted the position of cook in a furniture factory. During the first few days, only an elderly doorman and a contract worker came for lunch. I wondered why so few people came to the cafeteria.
The doorman said when he found me looking lost, “The cafeteria has opened and closed three or four times, and each time the cook lasted only a few days. It is difficult to run a kitchen.”
The father of the general manager of the factory told me, “Preparing meals for many people is a tough job. The workers gave the previous cooks a tough time and drove them away. You need to let the management know if anyone gives you a hard time. Don’t spoil them.” He added his opinion, “If you come to eat in the cafeteria, you have to take what is available or just don’t come.”
After hearing this, I had no confidence, but I thought, "Now that I am here, I will just give it a try."
According to the factory rules, the cook was in charge of the meals and the cost was deducted from the workers' paychecks at the end of each month. The cook had to shop for vegetables and meat every day. The items purchased were weighed and signed off on by a designated person in the factory. The cook then took the signed expense sheet to a department manager for his/her signature for reimbursement. It took a lot of time to do that, since oftentimes both people were not available.
From day one, I went to the market early in the morning and tried to buy fresh vegetables and oil for relatively lower prices, and then I chose high quality meat.
I did my best to prepare good meals, and I tried to take care of every worker, some of whom might have forgotten to submit their orders for lunch and had other special circumstances. After the workers left, I usually checked the leftovers in their bowls to figure out ways I could improve for the next meal.
The number of workers that came to the cafeteria to eat started to increase. Not only that, after the accounting at the end of the month, it only cost each person about 4 yuan for a lunch (very economical).
The next month, more workers came to have lunch. News of good food in the cafeteria spread throughout the factory. I was also asked to prepare meals for guests of the factory. The general manager always encouraged me with a smile on his face, “You make good food, and the guests all have praised you for the good food.”
Summer came quickly. The factory had stored some radishes, which had grown long roots. I stewed or fried the radishes a few times, and several workers got tired of it and complained that the factory gave them radishes too often. Some radishes went to waste if they were not tasty. I thought that the workers might like to eat buns with stuffed radish. But making buns with stuffed radish for several dozen workers was not an easy job. However, I thought I would rather work harder to make better meals for the workers and at the same time avoid wasting the radishes.
The next day I went to the kitchen early and I was so busy making buns that I was soaked in sweat. Finally I was able to make enough buns with stuffed radish before the workers came to the cafeteria for lunch. They all were happy with the lunch and left their compliments.
I quit at the end of the year because I needed to take care of some family issues. A few months later, I ran into a worker from the factory. He told me, “The factory hired another cook after you left, and the price of lunch went up to 6 yuan, and the quality is bad. Now only a few people go to the cafeteria for lunch, and it is soon going to close again. Please come back. If the factory doesn’t give you a raise, we workers will compensate you from our own pockets.”
I was very touched to learn I had the respect of the workers. I would like to thank Master, who taught us to always think of others.
A few days later, the factor manager called me and said, "We miss you. Please come back, and we will give you extra vacation days. Please let us know if you have other requirements, and we will try to meet your needs."
I didn’t promise him anything, since my family issues were not resolved. A few days later, the manager called me again with the same request, so I went back to the factory. The workers were happy, and the news quickly spread that I was back at the kitchen. The next day, so many workers came to the cafeteria to have lunch that there were not enough tables!
I cherished my days at the factory and the workers. The elderly and the young befriended me. The majority of them learned the truth about Falun Gong that I told them. They trusted me, a Falun Dafa disciple, and many of them quit the Party and its affiliated organizations.