Chapter 43: Guo Yan Lost Her Job
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
On Saturday the 19th, during lunch, He Li said, “Son, go to the Lotus district if you’re free in the afternoon. See how clean the four apartments are. You haven’t been there for two months.”
Chen Jin raised his head. “Mom, why don’t you let Dad go. I don’t really want to manage those apartments anymore.” His allowance used to come from the four apartments. It was his primary income as part of the Elderly Devouring Generation. Now that he had his own business, he did not really want the rental fees from the apartments. It was because he said that he wanted to be independent and not take a single cent from his parents anymore, or else he was a dog.
For example, he received more than $20,000 in rent last month, which was deposited into his AliPay account. He gave it all to mom.
“Son, your Dad has never gone to those apartments before. You’re still more familiar with this aspect. Just make a trip there.” She added, “As for the rent that had been collected, you can keep it temporarily. Take it as a loan from me for your startup fund. You can return the money back after your startup is successful and profitable. How about that?”
Chen Jin looked at mom, and saw that her eyes were turned up to the heavens. She did not seem to mean what she said.
He impatiently forced a smile. Mom, you definitely have the final stage of “pamper the son” disease. After a period of time where one did not give some allowance to her son, or even just some random thing, one would feel as if her son would be living a hard life or starving. One would not have peace of mind unless she forced him to accept something. She would feel empty and lost.
Chen Jin’s lazy nature admittedly contributed a part to his past development into the Elderly Devouring Generation. However, it must also be said that mom’s overindulgence contributed partly to the problem too. “Ok, I’ll make a trip to the Lotus district. In the future, I won’t transfer the rentals to you every month; I’ll transfer it every six months instead. Is that ok?”
He Li nodded repeatedly. “Sure. Receiving it once a year would be best.”
Around 3pm, Chen Jin arrived in his car at the 1st story of building no. 6 in the Lotus district. Taking the elevator up to the 8th story, he opened the door of Room 801 to conduct the first inspection of the most worrisome apartment.
After opening the door, he found that the reality was much better than the scenario his mind had thought up. The floorboard was rather clean. The rubbish in the room was on the lesser side. There were no topless strange men lying on the living room sofa. Besides an empty fruit plate and some stacks of books related to programming, there was nothing on the glass coffee table.
Chen Jin’s expression became much better. He gave a rare praise. “It’s ok. You’ve maintained a decent level of hygiene.” He need not call the housekeeping company.
Lee Kai smiled, “Landlord, we came up with a duty roster. There’s someone cleaning everyday and going down to dispose the rubbish.”
Chen Jin nodded. “Hmm. Continue to maintain this.”
However, Lee Kai held him back. After some hemming and hawing, he said, “Landlord, there’s something that I still need to discuss with you. My friends have not yet moved out. They’ve only moved into the bedroom. Now the three of us share a bed…. I don’t know if you’ll agree to us sharing the rental together.”
Chen Jin’s eyes grew wide. “How does anyone sleep with three people squeezed onto a bed?”
“When it feels difficult, I’ll sometimes sleep for a bit on the sofa in the living room.”
“I don’t oppose to what you guys are doing. There is nothing on the contract that says how many people can stay in a room. But, you must be alert of your safety, especially when it comes to electricity. Don’t bring in too many electronics that use a large amount of power. If there are hidden dangers that compromise your safety, I’ll still require two or three people to leave.”
Lee Kai repeatedly promised, “We’ll keep a strict eye on it. I promise there won’t be any problems!”
Chen Jin shook his head. He realized that Lee Kai was a very loyal friend. There were frequently friends of various sorts who all came to throw themselves upon him for help. Lee Kai was never afraid of them, and would try his best to arrange things for them such, as driving them around for free, treating them to meals, and introducing jobs to them. He took care of all aspects.
Recently, the rent in the city center was still rising. In order to help them save money, he would rather sleep on the sofa at night than suggest that they should look for their own rooms. People like this were a rarity in today’s society.
In Room 902, located a story above, the same five girls still lived there. Cleanliness and hygiene were well-maintained. He could not pick on any issues. Chen Jin nodded, and with a couple more glances, he got ready to leave for home.
Suddenly Guo Yan stopped him. “Brother Chen, can I discuss something with you?” She bit her lip. The expression on her face was awkward and distressed.
Chen Jin looked at her with confusion and asked, “What is it?”
“I….. I’ve not paid this month’s rent. Can you give me a few more days’ allowance? I’ll pay you once I have money.” Guo Yan pinched her fingers uneasily. She lowered her red face and didn’t dare to look directly into Chen Jin’s eyes. She seemed hard pressed, as if this was something embarrassing to talk about.
“It’s ok, there’s no hurry to pay the rent. You can pay anytime. I don’t lack that bit of rent money.” Of course Chen Jin knew that Guo Yan did not pay her rent this month. She had always been the most proactive in paying her rent. On the 15th of each month, she would actively transfer the money to his account without him having to send any reminders. She was always the first one to pay rent. She seemed to have met with some financial difficulties recently and was hard-pressed for money to the extent that she did not even have $700 for rent. She had taken special note to send him a message regarding this matter, and today she mentioned it again.
“Thank you, thank you Brother Chen.” Guo Yan thanked him over and over. Her eyes rapidly became red and her shoulders trembled as she could not help but cry softly.
Chen Jin asked, “Guo Yan, what’s wrong? Did something bad happen?” Although he had only interacted with her a few times, his impression of her was that she was a cheerful, positive, hardworking, and thrifty girl. She was a good girl. However, she was crying today. Why was she like this?
“Guo Yan lost her job. Recently, she’s been searching non-stop for jobs…” Liu Xiao Xia, who was standing off to the side, came over to explain that Guo Yan met with an unforeseen circumstance at work and was dismissed by her company.
Guo Yan was in the business of real estate sales. Her capability was not too bad. For a few months in a row, her monthly salary was over $10,000. However, there were sudden cataclysmic changes in the property market in September. The government announced many various policies to limit the buyers so as to cool the rapid bubble that was forming. This caused the traded volume to fall steeply. All occupations related to real estate sales immediately entered a tough period.
The real estate agency that Guo Yan worked in suffered from bad performance. As the future of the property market looked bleak, they firmly decided to reduce their losses by dismissing a number of staff. Unfortunately, Guo Yan was in the list of staff marked for dismissal.
Chen Jin asked with concern, “So you lost your job and you’re unemployed right now?”
Wiping the corners of her eyes, Guo Yan said with a thin voice, “Yeah, I’ve been searching recently. I should find something within the next two days or so.” She had started working full time without even finishing high school. In fact, she had six to seven years of working experience, and changing jobs was like changing clothes to her. Being unemployed no longer had an emotional impact on her. What really made her anxious was the situation at home.
Her Dad had diabetes and was unable to work. However, he could not control himself and loved to eat sweet things. Last month, he had a sudden onset of complications from eating a small bite of honeydew melon. He was sent to the hospital and it cost her more than $15,000. Mom had no proper job and was at the gambling den the entire day. Not to mention the monthly allowance for her younger brother who was currently attending university. Recently he got himself a girlfriend and his expenses went through the roof. The last time she saw him, he said he wanted to buy a Fruit mobile phone as a birthday present for his girlfriend.
“A Fruit mobile phone! That cost $8,000 to $9,000. I use inferior brands that are only $400 or $500.”
Her younger brother explained, “Sis, our mom has already said, as compared to the money that will be spent on betrothal gifts when I marry, this is nothing. I’m spending a little more now so that I can save lots more in the future!”
“Ok!” Guo Yan gritted her teeth and impatiently transferred the money.
All the pressure from work and family were weighing on her shoulders. She was so burdened that she felt suffocated. As she had worked for a few years and lived a frugal life, she should have saved at least $200,000, if not $300,000. However, it was all spent on her family. Recently, she was pushed to her limits. Not only could she not pay her rent, she also had a credit card debt of more than $10,000, and was unemployed. Many times she had hid under her covers and cried, not knowing if she could continue to endure this. The landlord’s reply of “it’s ok, you can pay your rent anytime” seemed to touch her.
Chen Jin suddenly said, “Guo Yan, if you’re not picky, I do have a job that I can introduce you to.”
“What kind of job?” Guo Yan raised her head to look at him with surprise.
The landlord not only allowed her to postpone her rent, but also introduced her to a job?