Chapter 1: Unemployment
“In the bustling city of Shanghai, inside a small fly-infested restaurant, a thin young man, wearing an apron covered in grease, was squatting on the wet kitchen floor washing dishes.”
Plates were constantly being handed to him, piling up beside him.
He poured the leftover food into the waste basin, put some detergent on the plates, and washed them in the already dirty water basin using a loofah.
“Hey, how many times do I have to tell you not to put so much detergent? Haven't you heard me?” A fat man with a big head and ears walked in and started to yell at him.
Yang Feng was stunned.
“There is too much oil.
Without detergent, the plates won't be clean.”
The fat man spat out a mouthful of thick phlegm on the ground.
“Ha, detergent isn't free! If we use too much, the bonus for this month will be gone.
Come and cook some dishes quickly.
If the dishes are returned, you won't even get paid.”
Without waiting for Yang Feng to respond, the fat man continued, “After cooking, go and deliver the take-out from Peach and Plum West Street.
Hurry up! It's almost past the time limit.
If we get a complaint, I'll deduct your salary.”
Yang Feng took a deep breath, clenched and then relaxed his fist, quietly took off his apron, picked up the take-out, and went out.
It was a scorching August day, and it was as hot as fire outside.
Apart from the delivery drivers shuttling back and forth, there were hardly any people on the street.
Riding the fat man's old bike, Yang Feng delivered the food according to the address.
However, the bike chain kept slipping off, and he had to stop and fix it several times on the way.
When he arrived at the destination, Yang Feng called the number on the order slip.
“Hello, your food is here…”
Before he could finish speaking, he was met with a roar on the other end of the phone, “Look at the time! Eat it yourself!”
The phone was hung up.
“Ai.” Yang Feng sighed, looked at the order slip, and realized that the amount was not small.
He had ordered 95 yuan worth of food.
If the customer returned it, he would have to pay for it himself.
His monthly salary was only 1500 yuan, plus a bonus of 300 yuan, which made it 1800 yuan.
The bonus had already been deducted in the morning, and if he lost another 100 yuan, he wouldn't even be able to pay the rent this month, let alone his living expenses.
Thinking of this, Yang Feng gritted his teeth and went upstairs with the take-out.
Yang Feng politely knocked on the door of Room 302.
“Hello, I'm the delivery guy.”
After trying twice more, the man cursed him in a rage.
“If you don't leave now, I'll kill you!”
There was nothing Yang Feng could do; he was already past the delivery time.
The customer had every right to reject the order.
He could only take the food and leave.
Looking up at the scorching sun, he felt a little lost.
Back in the restaurant, the chubby boss looked at him as if he wanted to eat him alive while there were still customers around, so he couldn't vent his anger.
But once he was in the kitchen, he was met with a torrent of curses and threats of pay deductions.
The two chefs and the server who was carrying plates all looked at Yang Feng with sympathy.
Meanwhile, the boss continued to berate him for being useless and taunted him about his family.
As the boss's insults got worse, Yang Feng's body trembled, and his fists clenched and unclenched.
When the boss insulted his family, he finally snapped and pointed at the boss, shouting, “What the f**k did you just say? Try saying it again!”
The boss, who was in the middle of a rant, was suddenly silenced by Yang Feng's outburst.
He stared at Yang Feng with disbelief, not expecting his usually timid employee to stand up to him like this.
The boss was the owner of the shop, and Yang Feng was just a small employee under him, yet he dared to curse at him.
Yang Feng continued to demand his pay and spoke to the boss with no respect.
The other staff members, including the chefs and server, were secretly pleased to see the boss getting what he deserved.
They had all worked long hours for the boss and had received little pay, no salary increase, and sometimes, even had their meals rationed.
Most of the staff members were only working there because they had no other choice.
Some of them had to pay off car loans or mortgages, while others had to support their families.
If they had a choice, they would have left a long time ago.
Most of the people who work here are forced to do so because they have to pay off car loans or mortgages, or they have families to support with expenses.
Otherwise, they would have rebelled and quit a long time ago.
Yang Feng is now only doing what they have always wanted to do but didn't have the courage to do.
If it weren't for the fear of losing his job, some people would have applauded him.
After listening to Yang Feng's words, Ma Fei was so angry that he jumped and cursed: “Get out of here! How dare you ask for a salary!”
“Fine, don't pay me.
Just wait for me to sue you,” Yang Feng retorted.
“Do you dare?!”
“You'll see if I dare or not.”
With that, Yang Feng kicked the plate on the ground and started to walk out.
Suddenly, Ma Fei became enraged and charged at him: “You dare to kick my plate! F*ck!”
“Ah!” The chefs and waiters who were silently watching were shocked.
Hearing the commotion, Yang Feng instinctively ran forward.
Ma Fei's fist hit his back, sending him forward a few steps.
It was originally aimed at his head.
“F*ck! I'll kill you!” Yang Feng was furious, his eyes red, and he rushed at Ma Fei.
There was a clattering noise as the already small kitchen was filled with flying vegetables as the two men grappled with each other.
Ma Fei saw that all of his dishes had been destroyed, and he was furious.
He kicked out at Yang Feng.
Yang Feng grabbed his leg and lifted it up forcefully.
Ma Fei's 200-pound body crashed heavily to the ground.
After leaving the police station, Yang Feng walked aimlessly through the streets, feeling lost as he looked at the neon lights of the big city.
There was a look of confusion in his eyes.
This big city, which seemed so vast and full of opportunities, had no place for him.
Something fell to the ground next to him, startling him.
“Damn! Who threw something from above?!”
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