Sunday Conversation between Father and Daughter

This picture should be taken when my younger sister was some months old.

- Like Father, Like Daughter.
My Father and I when I was 1 year old.

It has been a long time since my last post on WordPress. Due to the freaking busy schedule of final exams I have to take these days, I have to put aside my time to brush up on all the contents written in the textbook, which in turn stripped me of time for blogging. I also have a test on Management tomorrow, which is about to account for 80% of grading assessment and I have 10 chapters (equivalent to 500 pages of textbook to cover).

This post, however, comes out on impulse after my conversation with my Father during lunch. I can’t not help thinking of harboring this post any longer but try my best to write down all inspirational things that I have gained after short conversation with him.

Father: What happen to you recently? I am a little bit worried when you sigh a lot during dinning time. Something have not come up to your expectations, right huh?

Daughter: (Keep silence) (Keep on eating).

Father: Well. Stay relaxed, please. You do not need to assume all kinds of onerous burden at such a young age. You are still 20. Take it easy. Worry about the future is necessary but don’t take it to the extreme.

Daughter: Nothing. I am just a little bit worried. But I’m still OK. Don’t worry much about me.

Then a moment of silence continues. Daugher moved on eating and eating…

Daughter (After letting her mind be screwed up with a chaos of ideas, raising her voice): What do you think about your current job? As an interpreter of the embassy?

Father: (surprised) You ask for what? You are trying to find another job for me?

Daughter: I wish I could. Well, but please answer my question. Holding other things equal, I mean, assuming that they treat you well, salary is satisfactory, other benefits are of good conditions, what do you think about your job. Do you love your job, I mean, the nature of your job.

Father (wondering for a while): Well, I’m too old to think much about my job, to think if I love it or not…

Daughter: (dummy face)

Father: Well, you know my job, it is not limited to translating Russian into Vietnamese. To accomplish all of my task, I also need to have understanding about economics, business contracts, sometimes, I have to search terms relating to military techniques, chemicals, and so on…

Daughter: I know all about it, but do you love your job now, holding other things equal?

Father: I think I am fine with my job. I have chance to utilize my advantages, although the salary is not adequate in comparison with my counterparts at other embassies, this job is quite stable. Recently, I have been invited to apply for a Korean company, its office is in Keangnam…

Daughter: Really. What’s next? Keangnam is nearer our house than the embassy.

Father: It is a Korean company specializing in manufacturing auto-mobiles. They work in Vietnam but they also have connections with their Russian partners. Therefore, they need someone to work with Russian ones. I have sent them my CV and stated my ability in Russian and English, as well as some experiences in business. They have contacted me through a Vietnamese secretary. The salary they offer is a little bit higher than my current salary. But I am worried about the job security (Haha Maslow model comes into place here). Because the business relationship with Russian is not firm enough, once this link is broken, what happen to me? I am not young enough to accept this challenge because I really need some security. (It is due to the financial burden the daughters bring to him when they chose to pursue High Quality class. A sense of guilty runs in my vein, seriously) Work in the embassy sometimes drive me frustrated, the bosses seem to lack knowledge relating to motivating employees, however, it is much more stable. Regardless of my age, 50 or 60, I can work and earn money.

Daughter: High risk, high return. Principles of investment can be applied here. The compensation of Korean ones is not attractive enough to make you leave the current job. Well, it seems hard to have a job with both high salary and high job security.

Father: Another thing that makes me wonder is that I have to work through Vietnamese instead of the boss if I work for this Korean company.

Daughter: Could you make it clear?

Father: It is a Vietnamese secretary calling me on the phone. She said that if I work here, I will work through a Vietnamese. I asked her if I could work directly with the Korean boss by using English, and I am totally confident  with my Russian to work effectively with the Russian partners, can I have a better salary? You know, working for a foreign company, thing that I hate the most is working through  a Vietnamese. Because honestly speaking, not every Vietnamese is decent, especially in workplace. Almost every one wants to benefit himself, wants to make himself important. Therefore, the flow of information between you and your boss may be interrupted. It is the style of Hanoi people. In Hochiminh City, people are much more open-minded. How to say, they are not kind of selfish. (Well, father, don’t you know, you just make my desire to have an intern trip in Hochiminh City much much greater.)

Daughter: How did they respond?

Father: She has not contacted me any more. It is not out of my expectation. It is characteristic of Vietnamese people, especially the ones living in Hanoi. They try to conceal information so as to benefit themselves as much as possible. (I wonder about it. My friends surrounding me are not of this kind. I wonder if the world of people is too diversified and I have not had chances to know all kinds of good and bad people. I wonder if it is characteristic or of instinct of people living in Hanoi and I am not the exception. I wonder if the good people have been transformed in this negative way after struggling at the workplace. I’m still young and I have some kind of faith in the good nature of people. So scary of growing up and I have to discover the rainy side of people)

Daughter: I really want to have a trip to Hochiminh City, want to meet all of them, to understand why you prefer that land to Hanoi.

Father: You remember Aunt Van, the wife of Uncle Vy?

Daughter: She works for Canon. You have told me about this.

Father: She has worked for Canon since 2002. After 10 years, she earns USD800. You see, it takes her such a long journey to have what she has today. I just want you to graduate, find a stable job and get married, lead a simple but happy life.

Daughter: Well, it is not the matter of salary. I just wonder about where my passion lies. Now I know that I cannot rely on the fact of being FTU student to bury my mind in kind of thinking that I must be rich, I must be talented or something like that. I just want to find where my passion is, want to do something different and enjoy the gratification of doing a good job. Recently, one sentence that makes me think much is: “Don’t be overproud because you are talented regardless of your poverty, but ask yourself the question why you are still poor regardless of your excellence”

Father: Well, it is right to some extent. A person has the right to be proud of his academic achievement, especially when he has overcome the financial difficulty to reach it. However, it is also critical to think of making the best from the academic excellence. It is not only the matter of studying well. Even you perform well in your work, there’s nothing guarantee that you will obtain financial success. Society in Vietnam is quite complicated. Nepotism, bribe, self-complacent, mutual compromise happen regularly. They live in kind of compromising with each other, burying themselves in the complacence of their own welfare. They do not act on the benefit of the society as a whole. (Well, to this part, I am lost for words, but I do believe that friends I know and the young generation of Vietnam won’t be like this, is that right huh?)

Daughter: Well I don’t think that far. I just want to find my passion, actualize it and do something different.

Father: Oh, it is just my opinion. Life has changed much and not everything I say is right. But stay relaxed. It is a crippling journey to grow up. Enjoy things you have rather than thinking of taking the short cut.

Daughter: (Eating…eating… But she felt more and more relaxed after conversation with Father and thought of writing down all of these things on her blog. Thanks Father for this meaningful conversation. She wishes that she had not missed any details in the conversation)

Well, conversation is the best means of solving problems. Exchanging the idea instead of screwing your mind with it. You may not find the solution immediately but you will feel relaxed. I have not had much idea of getting out this identity crisis of 20-something but I am better.

Today  is the day of Mother. Best wishes for every Mother all over the world. My Mother on the heaven would be reassured that her daughters are loved, and are cared by Father. Have a nice day with your family, and talk more with your parents. They are truly a huge mine of information, of advice and inspiration of yours.

This picture should be taken when my younger sister was some months old.
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12 thoughts on “Sunday Conversation between Father and Daughter

  1. I find your youthful idealism charming. Don’t lose it, even if it is a little difficult to live in Vietnam at the moment. Only with such idealistic young people can Vietnam become a better place for everyone!

  2. I would love to meet your Dad and listen to his words of wisdom! Lately I find myself wondering what my true passion is, what I really want to do with my life…
    I’m not a freshman anymore, only two more years before I finally have to graduate and start looking for a job and take care of my own life. I start looking around and asking people about their interests and if they have decided what they want to do in the future and they all seem puzzled, just like I do. *sign* I can’t help thinking we’re like a bunch of looking-like-adult kids :-<

    By the way, about the part when you wonder if people really are that bad. Well, they are :D
    Last year's summer, I had the chance to work as a full-time office assistant at a Japanese office, with both VNese and Japanese colleagues, and they are all above 25, a lot older than me :D. During my first days, I found the atmosphere at the office really strange, not in the sense that it's unfamiliar and I couldn't get used to it, I mean I sensed something ungenuine. People were somewhat cold. Not like reserved, because they all tried to be friendly and nice but they didn't seem so sincere, it seemed like they were just pretending to be nice to each other.
    Then later, when I started making friend with a Vietnamese girl there in the office, she told me that the atmosphere at the office used to be even worse. No one liked each other. Everything seemed to be at peace, but actually, a war was going on underneath. Lol sounds dangerous doesnt it? Everyone tried to be better than others, tried to please the bosses, talked bad about others, played tricks on others, etc. Even the bosses were not so nice either. The atmosphere was always tense and stuffy :)) I really hate it but I guess that's what we'd have to face one day when we eventually grow up and start working! :D
    2 or 3 months ago I talked to a friend of mine and I asked about her work-life because she has just started working for a few months. And she complained about how fake people in her office were, always competitive and tried to take advantage of others, how shocked she was and how much she wished she could go back to her student life with dear and genuine friends.Well, life is harsh :D

    Before I became a FTUer, people warned me about FTU students who were competitive and cunning :)) But I have never met any one like that. I always meet nice people and have nice friends. Esecially. EC where we all live and love sincerely and wholeheartedly. I guess I'm just lucky. But a friend of mine explained that When you treat people nicely, you will be treated likewise. Whatever ways, it's a good thing to get yourself alert and learn about this bitter truth before you entering "the real life" :D (But I'm like super gullible =)) )

    1. I started my afternoon shift at work and the notification of your comment really took me by surprise. Thank you very much for the longest comment I have ever received on my blog. On looking back my FTU life, I find myself extremely lucky to know my classmates and ECers, where we believe in each other and willing to share everything. It is not the classes, not the subjects but the students and the love shared among each other would be things that I missed the most when I leave this wonderful university.

  3. Thanks for your post. it’s truly meaningful for not only me but also a variety of people who visit your blog. I’m not lucky as you because I’m not able to conside with my father about these kind of problems. I often keep all of them in my mind and tackle them by myself. I am a NEUer, and I am on a difficult journey to find out my passion. I take myself for granted that I virtually have enough ability and luck as well to find out my passion. I agree with your father as welll, But sometimes my passion and my dream are clearly more important than verything.

  4. Reblogged this on Fragriver and commented:

    A comment of a reader came up, which makes me read this post again. Hardly could I imagine that more than a year has passed since the day of this conversation. I have graduated, finding a decent job up to the society’s standard to a certain extent. I still thought about creating impacts but I thought that I am not as confused as I was at that time. My passion, at the moment, as far as I know, lies in writing and business and I suppose that I would like to be a professional business case writer in the future, to record all nice business cases on Vietnamese business. Hope that I can figure out and map it out much clearer soon.

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