The death of a Canadian business owner
Frank Sept. 11, 2014 in Waterloo, On. Ca.
Birth, sickness, aging and death is the law of nature, it may be the only equality and fairness that can be enjoyed by every human member on this chaotic globe, whether Easterner or Westerner, the Rich or the Poor.
I often think of my Grandpa(s), Grandma(s), Dad, and Mama, though they have died in decades or years ago, however, their figures and faces are still able to clearly show in my mind.
The saddest was the death of my Mom. My Mom has been in stroking hemiplegia for 25 years, and died in a sudden large area of myocardial infarction in China, at that time, I live in Canada and had years not meet my Mom besides phone calls about twice a week..
For my mother's death, at the first, I was no strong feelings of sadness with the hallucinations that my Mom is still alive, until about two years later, the fact that I have lost my Mama was fixed in my mind and since then I am easier tearful, even when facing a slight sad matter that has no any relation with me.
I miss them, I tear for them, because they once paid me a lot of love and I loved them very much also, which is with kinship that can not be separated.
However, there a figure and face of a foreign man is also often showing in my mind and also making me tearful.
He was Jerry who was an Armenian from former Soviet Union and died years ago in Toronto.
Jerry was my first boss of my first job after I newly landed in Canada as an independent technical immigrant with a senior engineer background.
I miss him, I tear for him, am not due to the kinship reason, but, is he, the tough life, as an immigrant and a business owner of Canada. And also, I never forget that, in the fourth day of my working in his business, we met each other at first time, he increased my payment initially based on that has been settled in job interview days ago. I guessed that might be due to we were both immigrant in sharing same feeling of difficult life. His hard experiences made him easily understand the difficulty of me as a new immigrant.
My grandparents and parents died due to irresistible natural aging at their age of about 80 with enjoyed their later years. But, Jerry died due to psychological pressure from business operation at his prime age of about 60 without enjoying his later years.
His kindness and hardship in business operation induced me long thinking for the meaning of the enterprises and entrepreneurs.
This is why that I mentioned him again and again in my articles, and today, I specially recall him with a special title.
Now, I am tearful again.
Jerry was the big boss and was too busy to see him in the workplace; we were rare chance for chatting, so that I can not tell more about him directly. However, from some of my experiences we can imagine the hardship of his life as a Canadian business owner.
April 11, 2013, in my article the corporate management, there sections relates with Jerry, I excerpt some as follow.
Jerry and Adam were the owners of Auto Parts Company in Toronto, after landed in Canada, my first job was in their company, and Albert was my supervisor.
Jerry was the big boss, and Adam was the second boss. Jerry was too busy on business running to see him in workplace. Adam was aged with full head of white hair and all day busy in the warehouse.
One day, I heard Adam scream loudly, I looked toward the place of he was working; found that he sat down on an Auto Parts box. I ran to see him.
His right arm was lifted, and his left palm was under the right elbow, which seemed to want to touch but dared not touch. The pain made his face grimacing with sweating profusely. I did not know what should I do, and froze there with scare.
After a while, Adam recovered from the pain. He asked me that, have you scared, right? I nodded my head as answer with tears in my eyes.
He said that, 30 years ago, he and Jerry escaped from Armenia, former Soviet Union to Turkey and Iraq in the period of the reign of Stalin. Then they moved to Canada. In order to make livings, he and Jerry started to make auto parts. At that time, the most of the jobs were heavy physical one. He and Jerry both suffered arthritis on the elbow of the right arm. After said that, he rolled up the sleeve of his clothe and untied wrapped gauze on the right arm, to expose the elbow. I found that the water of joint effusion caused the skin falling; it looked like a light bulb. His joint bones were heavy deformed.
He said that he was old enough for retirement. However, he could not stand without the smells of lubricants oil and the noise of CNC Lathe. He had to work in the warehouse every day, otherwise, he would sick.
He continued, when his working, he often forgot the arthritis on the elbow to use right hand, and repeatedly made painful as that of today.
I said: “in the future, if you have something to do, please call me, I am your right arm and hand.”
Since then, we became good friend. Also, since I worked with full heart, and became good friend of my supervisor Albert. Until now, I left the company for more than 8 years already, but, we are still in contacting each other, and concerning each other.
It was the experience in this company, especially the hard experience of Jerry, Adam and Albert in business running; I began to focus on the business management in Canada.
Apr 11, 2013, in my article Family Business and Management Board, also there some relates with Jerry, I excerpt some as follow.
Some employee, though, are not the family member, but, because of there is merit or great contribution for the business, will be produced in the same trouble as that of the family members.
A supervisor makes trouble for business owner.
In the Auto Parts Company, there was a supervisor John who was taking charge of shipping, receiving and a group of people of packaging. he said that he worked with Jerry from the business' starting on his 15 years old in 30 years ago.
He came to work at around 10:30 - 11:00 am every day, some times did not show up. Some operators had to do his job temporally.
The reason for John dared do so, I thought, it was that he thought himself to have contributed too much for the foundation of the Company, so he should enjoy the treatment as that of the father of the owners.
Maybe, as the same reason, for the preposterous behavior of John, the owner dared say nothing besides had to hire another supervisor - Albert to take part of his job, especially for some important jobs, such as, the shipping and receiving when John did not come.
At that time, I worked with Albert. John told me that he was big supervisor, and all people there should follow that what he said. He always made trouble for Albert. Such as:
He often placed the received auto parts on the walkways of the area that was my supervisor taking the responsibility. Of course, that had badly affected the normal work of many others. They mis-complained that it was the faults of my supervisor. Some times, my supervisor was even tearful.
Finally, John was fired due to that he sold auto parts privately on the way for delivering.
Years ago, when I visiting my supervisor Albert, I learnt that the big boss Jerry died. With the business decline helplessly, his health condition was also declined helplessly and finally on an operation bed he never stand up.
I will never forget the scene that day my Supervisor told me that Jerry has died: he was pointing a big photo of Jerry and the president of Armenia that hangs on the wall at entrance where was as the office and a retail store also. His red eyes with moist, we kept silent for many minutes.
On the photo, the two gentlemen were smiling with closely holding the hands of each other.
The President of Armenia might only know that his compatriot successfully running a business in Canada, but he might never know that what hardships of his countrymen has experienced in Canada ......
Now, I think of a shocking experience in years ago, when driving, I saw a duck in the middle of the road in my front, after closer, I found a pile of squashed feathers with similar color of the duck. The duck was just wandering around the feathers with a low voice tweet. Obviously, not too long ago, a duck was killed by a car and then, there were a lot of cars rolling again and again.
What was the relation of the duck with the duck of the feathers? Was husband? Was wife? Was child? Or just was the companion......
The grief for dying is not limited in human.
I knew that the death of Jerry was a huge psychological blow for Albert - years of friendship, peer’s farewell, forever......
Here, it is worth to mention that, when I worked in the Auto parts Company, the most people who worked there were Jerry's fellow man from same country - Armenia, former Soviet Union. Thus, the Auto Parts Company played a role as a refuge for those displaced compatriots to survive in Canada. As a normal human sense of morality，those had to replaced people from the same country should thank Jerry.
However, I felt that, for the great help of Jerry, his compatriots had no sense of gratitude for him at all. Especially supervisor John, at the time as a 15-year-old child, if there was no the help of Jerry, how could he live a decent living. I thought, it was due to that those Armenian believed that Jerry was making money by exploiting of their labour.
For this point, that deliberately made nonsense of supervisor John was a good example.
It is the common sense for majority of the people world widely, that operation of company is for making money, with failed to recognize the social significance that the company plays - to provide jobs for people making livings and revenue for social governance.
It was such a absurd ideology that resulted in supervisor John's absurd behavior.
There were two things that I never forget.
In the fourth day of my working in the auto parts company, when I taking two auto parts with two hands to go down on a metal ladder, maybe the loud sound caused by my fast step hitting the steel ladder, Jerry suddenly rushed to my front from the back of the parts shelf and pointing the parts in my hands to ask me: “which number?” After I showed him the papers with the parts number, he went away immediately, and just after several steps he turned back again, and told me that:”Give you one dollar more pays, keep in mind don’t tell others”, and then he went away with fast paces immediately.
One dollar more pays meant additional expenditure of 40 Canadian dollars per week. At the time, I guessed, maybe he heard that I was a new immigrant, once a senior engineer with a good educational background, and a lot of award certificates......, which I have showed to the third boss who interviewed me.
Anyway, as an old immigrant, jerry have experienced tough life, and understood the hard of me as a new immigrant.
Months later, my supervisor Albert told me that: Company can not increase your payment any more, your payment is higher than others who came company at the same period; I knew that you need money as a new immigrant. Please come in Saturday morning to work half day and to get four hours over time pay, and please tell me what you would like to eat and drink, I make phone call to order for you.
He also proudly said that: there are so many people in company, only I have right to sign for ordering foods and drinks. At that time, I came to understand why that at the lunch time, often there some people pulled and pushed him to go out with loudly laughing.
From here, we can feel the trust of the Jerry for Albert, and the sudden death of Jerry was a big blow for Albert.
There was still one thing that I must talk here.
After I left the Auto Parts Company, I moved to other city where my son entered college. I have to send resume looking for new jobs. Each time, the phone call to ask my reference, Albert have told me in detail.
The enthusiasm and concern of Albert deeply inspired me and gave me courage to overcome difficulties in the new city as new immigrant.
Please remember that Jerry and Albert was both Armenian, from former Soviet Union, and I am from China, we never met each other before I work with them.
I am tearful again.
This is probably the reason of my greater concern in business management in Canada with many articles to discuss about such issues.
My first writing in English on corporate management was discussing how to reduce psychological pressure in the workplace - Canada's Corporate Management & Reducing Psychological Pressure in Workplace in Dec. 21 2010.
Now, to review back, the motivation for writing the article might be inspired by the death of Jerry. Follow is some excerpt of the article.
"Many modern studies have shown that stress or psychological pressure is the main inducement for most diseases."
"Pathogenic role of stress can not be changed, however, the stress can be reduced even avoided. This article is try to discuss how to reducing the psychological pressure."
"Nearly 1 / 3 of the prime time of our life are spent in the workplace, and that's where a lot of psychological pressure comes from. Therefore, there is necessary to consider seriously."
In June. 25, 2013 article My view on Entrepreneur and Enterprise inspired by Peter Shoore, I comment with that:
"A two times heart attack sufferer by the pressure from business running, after sold his 20 years running business, wrote on company's news letter with that: 'Now that we have been delegated to the back pages, the pressure is off to be profound, witty, and entertaining at the same time. But that still doesn't stop us from wanting to have something to say, that will inspire and be interesting to read. We can reminisce, about the old days, like your grandfather carrying a bucket of water up hill, in a snowstorm without shoes.'"
"Enterprise is the important organization of social production to create material wealth for human survival, and the entrepreneur invests their money to run the enterprise with a frugal living and risk taking, to provide employment for public living and revenue for social governing."
"The entrepreneur is the best social servant and the communist in the reality."
"However, historically, in worldwide, it has been lacking of concerning and supporting for Entrepreneurs, even, until now, there great many people are with hostile attitude toward them. The law seems to have ignored this group also, but tended to protect employees without updating of the outdated concept from the times of Industrial Revolution with ignoring that modern society has provided thoughtful social welfare and comprehensive legal protection."
"The outdated ideology and practice has badly affected the work ethic of employees and to have made Enterprises difficult for managing, even, encouraging some mindless employees' pranks boldly in the workplace without the fear of being punished. It not only badly affecting the production efficiency, but more terrible, it even caused the closure of some Enterprises."
In Feb. 09, 2014 article Management is the Art of Playing Human Nature, I comment with that:
"Essentially, the Enterprise is the lifeboat to be sharing by owner and employee to struggle for survival in nowadays hard time."
Feb. 2012, I learnt that my supervisor Albert and his son had left the company together. I worried about very much and contacted him by email immediately. He returned me a new address in Toronto. I drove there eagerly. He has his son Sasoun as the manager opened an auto parts retail store.
Best Way Auto Parts, 416 499 2378 email@example.com
25 Glendinning Ave. Unit 5, Scarborough, Toronto.