DP Daily Prompt:Sixteen Tons

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How do you feel about your job? Do you spring out of bed,looking forward to work? Or, is your job a soul destroying monotony of pure drudgery, or somewhere in between?

I asked the same question to a cook who earns his livelihood by frying fish and selling them to passers by,he took exception to my question,he thought I was making fun of him.

At first he couldn’t quite comprehend what I was getting at, he took a few moments and threw the question right back at me,he began “would you like to fry fish by the road side and hope someone will kindly buy this?”

I was flabbergasted, at first it seemed someone had sealed my mouth, then gently I said, “I am not asking you to make fun of you, I do sympathize with you,it doesn’t seem you like your job, why are you unhappy,it’s obvious to me you couldn’t find a suitable job,rather than stay at home and watch your wife and children starve you decided to do something to feed your family.”

The man realized I was not joking, he started telling me his story, he was one of four brothers in his family, he was the youngest,as a child he spent time playing in the neighborhood,he had a few friends, and they all liked to play and didn’t think one day they’d be older and would have to work for a living.

His three older brothers finished school and they all had decent jobs. He was the only one who wasted his time. He got married thinking he’d do something, there were plenty of jobs he could get. One thing escaped his mind the fact that he had no skill and no one was interested to hire him.

A time came when people sneered at him  and showed him the door when they saw him.In the meantime his family was growing, his brothers refused to help him, dejected he chose the path of frying fish to sell so that he could feed his family.

I felt bad for him and bought a few fried fish as I was eating he opened up to me, he said he hated his job,there are a lot of unkind people they make fun of him ,he tries to ignore them, but he is a human being and it hurts him to hear them calling him names. He finds it difficult to get out of bed, he does not look forward to frying fish yet another day. He is bored and wishes he had followed the path of his brothers,got an education and like them got a decent job.

He said his life is not going to change but he’d make sure he’d send his kids to school and get a proper education,so that they’d have a better future than him.


27 thoughts on “DP Daily Prompt:Sixteen Tons

  1. Pingback: Daily prompt: Work | The Wandering Poet

  2. Dear Ranu,

    Thank you for sharing this story. We must all do some form of work to support those who depend on us.

    All good wishes,


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  7. I think, the fact that you cared enough to ask him, assisted him a lot. Sometimes just being heard, listened to and understood, like you did can make a huge difference. I hope he gets a chance to read your post. I think he would be pleased.

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  10. Seriously thank you for this post. I am taking away these lines for thinking about them over the next few days: “How do you feel about your job? Do you spring out of bed,looking forward to work? Or, is your job a soul destroying monotony of pure drudgery, or somewhere in between?”


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