When A Stranger Wished Me "Good luck"

I just remembered a good deed I encountered two years ago.

After my earlier appointment from another application that ended at 9:30am, I was asked to show up to another office by 1:30pm. Thinking that the latter's office is far from the former's (Manila to Quezon City), I decided to travel quickly so as to avoid traffic and look for the office along Quezon Avenue.

I was dropped off "near the office" by 10:30am. Two and a half hours early, I stayed at a convenience store for at least 30 minutes before going to the publisher's office. My GPS told me that the office was just five minutes away from where I was at. I left the store and followed the showed direction on my phone, looked for the building whose name was noted by the administrative assistant that called me a day before. I was lurking around the area but had not found the office building; my shoes were breaking apart and my mouth was giving up from the strenuous heat of the sun.

And then I came by this corner at Panay Avenue. I asked the condominium laborers if they are familiar with the office building that I intend to go to, no one knows. And then they referred me to that one man sitting just across the street, "Yun oh, tanungin mo, taxi driver yan (Ask him, he is a taxi driver)," said one of them. I crossed the street and interrupted the daydreaming of that one guy who enjoys the cool air and the shed of the tree above him. It is already 12 noon, and I have not found the office yet.

Me: Hi Manong. Magtatanong lang po. Saan po ba dito yung ________ building?

(Hi Sir, I just want to ask where this building might be .)

Man: Naku hindi ko alam yun. Ano ba address?

(Oh, I do not know? What's the address?)

Me: >says the office address<

Man: Kung Quezon Avenue, dun lang yan sa bungad.
(If that is somewhere in Quezon Avenue, it might be just be one of the buildings facing the highway.)

Me: Ayun nga po eh, kaso naikot ko na 'tong buong area umabot pa ako dito wala naman, wala ring nakakaalam. Pabalik-balik na nga po ako eh, bumigay na yung sapatos ko. (I've been walking around the area but I did not see the building. I asked but no one can point me there. My shoes have already given up because of walking here and there.)

(I literally showed him the sole of my shoes and took an adhesive out of my bag to repair it :'-p)

Man: Nag-aaply ka ba?

(Are you applying [for a job]?)

Me: Opo eh.


Man: First time mo [mag-apply]?

(Is it your first time?)

Me: Hindi po, kakaalis ko lang sa dating employer. May payphone po ba dito?

(No. I just resigned from a previous job. Is there a payphone here?)

Man: Wala eh. Ganito na lang, alam mo ba yung number nang opisina? Gamitin mo itong cellphone ko at tawagan mo.

(No. But do you know the office's phone number? Use my cellphone and call them up.)

Me: Naku mataas po yung charge yan, landline number po yung meron ako.

(That will incur a big charge [when calling from mobile] because I only have their landline number.)

Man: Hindi, nakalinya ito kaya pwede sa landline.

(It's okay, my phone plan allows landline calls.)

(I dictated the number because he insisted, he then gave me the phone)

Me: Naku parang fax tone po yata yung ring.

(The ring sounded like a fax tone.)

Man: Ah, nakakonekta yan sa fax machine nila.

(Oh, their phone is connected to their fax machine then.)

Me: Naku manong sige wag na po. Ayaw talaga eh. Kapag hindi ko po nahanap itong opisina na ito, hindi ko na puntahan.

(Thanks Sir, but no one's answering. If I could not find this office, I'd not pursue the application instead.)

Man: >laughs< and goes to his motorbike to check on his box. (He's not a taxi driver!!)

I approached him and said my thanks. And then I told him I'd try to find the office until my scheduled appointment and if I would not be able to do so, I'd give up the application. He nodded and said "[Have a] good luck."

The gesture of lending me his phone was already a surprise. At this day and age, it is hard to trust anybody, especially a stranger who randomly pops out of somewhere and talks to you out of the blue. But what made it more surprising is that he managed to wish me a good luck despite his unfamiliarity to me.

Eventually, I was able to find the office, reached it before the schedule, chat a while with the security personnel and then proceeded to the initial interview.

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