Black and white peppercorns
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Pepper tree in Kolli Hills
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My dad told me about a friend he had who carried his own pepper bottle with him wherever he went. I love pepper and what it does to food. Pepper colors the taste to food, from a personal perspective that is. I use it, when I have it, on almost anything. Well, except ice-cream and coffee. Speaking about pepper, or rather writing about pepper it reminds me of sometime back in my life.

It was 1999 and when I was still young. I still am, well, wiser I guess (probably, I hope). I worked for this company producing pepper both black and white. I guess they come in only two colors.

I was paid 10 bucks a day (Malaysian currency that is) and on the first month of me working my employer said, “I can’t pay you in full this month.” So I though OK. It was my first job anyway and i thought he probably had a good reason for not paying my wages.

I got to know from this other guy working together with me, only earlier, and he said that, “That guy’s a f***er.” And I thought, “He seems OK to me.”

Anyway, this guy turned out to be a “f***er,” to borrow the phrase that my colleague made of my boss. Well my ex-colleague after a few months of me working. This boss delayed 3 months of my paycheck and that spells it out for you.

I quit after 6 or was that 8 months of working for him. I forgot the length but I did remember how I quit.

There was a day that my boss came late for work. The keys were to the shop were with him. We were supposed to open shop at  8 a.m. but he was nowhere in sight. I waited till 11 a.m. and waited no more. I went back home.

I got a roasting the next day on why I didn’t come to work. I explained and the guy was like a “f***er” alright. He went on to tell me how incompetent I was and all that shit about how I should be disciplined and all that. Talk about a hypocrite.

I wanted to quit the next day but he told me to use the pickup truck back and pick him up the next day. That somehow diminished my intentions of quitting the next day.

I arrived home frustrated and all gloomy. I didn’t want to go to work the next day but I was supposed to pick this guy up with his pickup truck with me there was no way of me doing it.

I woke up the next day, grudgingly and pick him up. He took awhile to prepare and again we were some few minutes late for work. His fault. Not mine.

There was a large order that day and I was supposed to work off my ass. Being demotivated and all, it was not a good sign for me to work with a guy who payed me like I was some slave.

Well, there are situations where one gets these light-bulb popping moments where ideas just come up just like that. This was one of those moments.

I went up to him and asked him if he wanted coffee. I could get him a cup from the coffee shop just around the corner. He said, he wanted one. So, I said ok and went out, wrote a note that I was sorry and stuff and asked him to pay the remainder of what he owed me to my dad, who was working next door.

I never got that 3 months worth of wages paid to me.

So coming back to my plan. After I wrote that note, I went past the coffee shop and proceeded to the bus stop and I was gone.

I never heard from him since then but a few months after I left, he closed shop.

And every time, I think about pepper, I remember the time I bailed out from my first job.

Tell me about your first job. Are there any funny scenes that you remember about it?