Monday, November 27, 2006


My writing finally paid off…for someone.

A flight attendant for a major airline visited our house. She was up for a promotion to purser (I think that’s kinda like deck boss). The problem was she had to do six short essays in English and her English wasn’t that good (she was Thai). Being the resident (only) person in our soi (lane) who possessed a fluency in English, she came to me for help.

Each of the essays related to different aspects of her job. She had no ready answers and I knew little about her job so we began an intensive interview session.

For each of the six sections I had to cross examine her to find out all about it and then summarize it all into 150 words or so. It wasn’t cheating. The knowledge of the job and the attitude towards the job all came from her and she knew the subject thoroughly. All I did was squeeze it out of her and distill it into a short essay.

As I have often said, I am a mentally lazy man. You can ask all of my teachers who gave up on me. But this required intense concentration for two solid hours. It was exhausting. It usually takes me six hours of lazy thinking, casual drinking and musing to grind out 300 words. Here I did more than 900 words in just two hours.

The product though was as good as anything I have ever written. I felt satisfied with it.

Oh yeah, she got the promotion.


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