In the fall of 2013, my former-boss, Mr. Li came to town. He, his wife, son, and brother-in-law didn’t know a single word in English. They were to enroll at the school I was employing at the time and since my mom and I were the only ones at the school that spoke Chinese and English, we had to helped them to get their son enrolled.
After that, they came to us for everything and I mean everything. We helped them set up and install everything in their rental home from utilities to phone to TV to internet. They even called us once to ask how to eat a pie. They spent a great deal of time over at our place too. Chatting and just about interrupted every aspect of our daily life.
Then he offered me a job. $15 an hour, just interpretation and running, even reimburse for gas in case of travel. At the sound of it, yeah, it sure sounded great but it was an offer I wanted to refuse, horribly. I knew it would be incredibly demanding and with school and work, I don’t have time for other demands. So I refused.
But my mom went on and on about how Mr. Li was handing money to me and how I was so stupid not to take the job and then she called China and made me talk to both of my aunts who too lectured me on my stupidity. It was a never ending battle and it was one I cannot win. I mean three against one, how can I? I had to surrender and take the job.
So I was working two jobs while completing my last few classes at the University. It was ridiculous. During my work time at the school, Mrs. Li would randomly stroll into my classroom and demand I take her shopping. I mean didn’t she see me working?
After school, I was a tutor for another student and my mom was to provide additional help to Mr. Li’s son but eventually that turned into my job too.
That period, September 2013 to March 2014, was most likely the hardest time of my life. I worked three, sometimes four jobs while squeezing time in between to catch up on my homework. I was barely home except for sleeping. It was a wonder how I passed my classes.
The thing is, when I first met Mr. Li, I kind of knew he wasn’t the kind of person I want to associated with. I guess I just have the ability of reading people, to know whether they can be trusted and whether it will be good to be associated with them.
Of course, Mr. Li is trustworthy. Unfortunately, he’s not association-worthy and as usual, my mom ignored my suggestion and as usual, I was completely right.
Because Mr. Li came here on a business visa, he had to gather enough employees to keep his visa. So he dragged my mom down too, made her his employee and handed her a couple of paychecks. Now, it’s tax time and she is in trouble. Because of the extra income from Mr. Li, she now has more taxes to pay. I do too because of Mr. Li’s unethical practices. He claims he’s helping me but in fact he’s hurting me.
And our W-2s still hadn’t arrive and Mr. Li is nowhere to be found. So is it too late to rub it in her face and say I told you so?