Last Saturday, Mae and I had dinner at Paramount Garden with Jesse and Roma in tow. Mae and I were busy stuffing our faces with some nice Hokkien Bee Hoon when a lady approached our table and stood by my side, "Would you like to buy some home-made Kaya?"
I turned to look at her but before I could even say a word, she quickly wrapped up her sales pitch, "Okaythankyouverymuch!" and walked on to the next table. I was stumped! And from what I could see Mae, with strings of noodles hanging out of her open mouth, was equally flabbergasted. The poor woman. She must have been turned down so often that her response had become quite automatic. Either that or she just didn't like my face. By the time I regained my composure, she had walked on to the far end of the coffee shop. I waved her back.
"You did not wait for me to answer," I smiled as charmingly as I could to break down her defenses. "I'm so sorry," she apologised, "but some people don't like to be disturbed when they're having dinner." She was right, of course. People do tend to swat off salespeople, as though they were flies. And occasionally, you'll even find the extra-rude ones who just plainly ignore you as if you didn't exist. They're the ones who continue about with their business and don't even turn to look at you or tell you, "No."
Nobody deserves to be treated like that. Especially not anyone trying to earn an honest living.
We bought a small tub of her Kaya. As I paid her I told her, "You shouldn't have to apologise for trying to make a living." That night, Mae and I went home and ate Kaya. And as we did, we realised that the lady owed nobody any apology. For she made the finest Kaya we had eaten in years. Hopefully, she may find success in her venture.