Gentle Bamboo Solutions

Is it #1 or #2?

One of my most interesting discussions has been with someone who used to work at a public toilet.

He started out life with lots of dreams and aspirations just like you and me. And then his life took a completely disastrous turn. One thing led to another, and he found sitting outside a public toilet.

His job was to ask people entering the toilet, “#1 or #2?”. Imagine the amount of frustration and shame that come from a job role where you have to collect ₹1 or ₹2 based on what business your “client” does in the toilet. Imagine the ridiculousness of having to keep a track of how long a person was inside the toilet, and then to call them out and ask for more money.

I’m not trying to be funny here. I’m genuinely trying to point out how much such a job can affect your morale, mental health and self-confidence. 

It was my fortune to interact with someone who suffered at such a job, kept his dreams still in his sight and remained hopeful of the future. He also had enough sense of humour left in him even after working in that job for almost 5 years.

That person has now joined a security agency and is on YouTube during night shifts to learn new skills. This is when most of his colleagues play games like Rummy and Poker on their phones for a get rich quick attempt.

His target in his life is to learn more and do better, and he’s working hard at it. He’s already come a long way, and wants to go even further.

I have no big moral to share from this story. I just want you to be aware of and acknowledge the presence of people in such difficult situations. 

We all face difficulties from time to time. Sometimes those difficulties seem insurmountable. The pandemic might seem just like that right now. Our only option is to stay focused on our goal, and to work hard at self-improvement.

Also, we have to believe things will work if we’re willing to work. That there’s always hope to be found, if we are willing to not lose it.

I hope this story gives you some perspective and some direction. Forward it to someone else you know who’s struggling a bit, if you feel it’ll help them.