Flash Fiction #157
He is handsome, competent, diligent, polite, and educated. He has a good life, working for a big corporation for a decade. Then his boss leaves the company and finds greener pasture elsewhere. He thinks he should be promoted to the position that is vacated by his boss, but the company thinks otherwise and promotes somebody else. He can’t stand such a slight and his relationship with his new boss is tense and problematic. Several months later, it becomes worse. So he decides he just quits and starts his own business, which he has dreamed for a long time. So he quits.
The economy is good and everybody seems to be making some money. He has connections in the field and he also works hard. He can hire people; he can buy low and sell high. He can plan his budget wisely and make his products appealing. He should be able to thrive–so he thinks.
Years later, he is still laboring in the small business–he can make ends meet and can support his family, but he can’t do more. People who are less handsome, less competent, less diligent, less polite, and less educated have done better than him as a small businessman. Why?
He is my Uncle D. And let me tell you my interaction with him.
I don’t enjoy using past tense. So I am going to tell this story using present tense, in which I am a teenager, even though that’s a long time ago.
I am a teenager at the time and I often feel sorry for Uncle D, who tries so hard to run his own business, but he just can’t succeed because other people keep on “sabotaging” him. Whenever I hear him reciting his stories of grievances, I am quite indignant. How can the world be so unfair to my Uncle D? Why? Sometimes it is a story of other companies sending spies, disguised as people looking for jobs. My unsuspecting Uncle D would hire a spy like that and eventually reveal secrets to his rivals. Sometimes it is a story of Uncle D dealing with lazy employees, who can’t even keep his cubicle tidy and clean. Sometimes it is a story of Uncle D fighting greedy customers or corrupt officials.
Then one day he is detained by the police. A business deal goes sour. A customer has paid money but received bad quality goods. Actually the customer and Uncle D’s partner join forces and both accuse Uncle D of being a swindler. I think that’s so outrageous and the world is so unfair to Uncle D. I really want to go out there to fight the world for Uncle D’s sake if I know how.
Several months later, Uncle D finally comes out of jail and tells us all the “bloody” details of mistreatment and false accusations.
A year later, Uncle D is so desperate to find employees that he hires my cousin’s friend Kyo who’s barely finished high school.”Kyo is so lazy that he can’t keep an appointment.” “Kyo is so dirty that his files are never tidy.” “Kyo is so incompetent that he mixed two clients’ files together.” “Kyo is so immature that he is very rude today.” My Uncle D routinely keeps us posted of Kyo’s misdeed. Actually Kyo is so unqualified and unmotivated that Uncle D is really doing him a favor to keep him employed. That’s what Uncle D tells us and that’s what I believe.
Time passes and Uncle D continues with his struggle against the world. His business is barely sufficient for him to support his family. The growing and thriving of trade that Uncle D has always dreamed of never comes.
Now as I am reflecting on my narcissistic grandmother and my narcissistic mother, I can’t help thinking about Uncle D, who’s my mother’s younger brother. My mother and Uncle D are my grandmother’s golden children, and needless to say, my mother and Uncle D are more narcissistic than my other uncles and aunts.
I think Uncle D’s narcissism prevents him from becoming a good businessman. Let me retell his story from a different angle and analyze his behavior. This post is getting quite long and I will continue my diagnose of him tomorrow.
(To Be Continued Here)