TIAN HE GUANG: When I was a little boy, I used to visit my uncle quite often, and every time I would get into fights with my cousins. I often dreamed about them, too. In my dreams, I was fighting with them but they were always stronger. Then my father told me to go out into the world and earn my own money and have a career. He taught me to be an honest person.
I often think about what my father told me. Even when I was still a child, he always told me that when I grew up, I should find myself a good job. I had been thinking about this even before I had the accident at work, but since then I’ve been thinking about it even more. I’m thinking a lot about my future now. The thing is, if I’m poor, the people from my hometown will look down upon me. So I often think about how I can earn some money. But now, after the accident, I won’t be able to earn much money, at least not by working for other people. I want to do something to protect myself and my rights. But right now, I haven’t got any money and I haven’t got any rights.
Before the accident, I tried to earn money and to learn something so I could make a living for myself. Otherwise my relatives would look down upon me. When I talked to my father, he always told me I should earn some money and not let other people look down on me.
Now I’m afraid that my relatives from my hometown will despise me. I don’t know how to live on, I’m constantly thinking about my future now. Even when I was in the hospital, that was all I could think about. It was my first big operation and I had heard that it was very dangerous. I was afraid I might lose my hand completely, so I was very nervous and constantly thinking about what I would do without my hand. I kept telling myself “Everything will be fine, everything will be fine”, and in the end I managed to calm down a little. The operation lasted more than three hours. When I came out of the operating room, there was a manager from my factory waiting for me. He asked me if there were any family members accompanying me. I said, no.
That day in the afternoon, my father and some other relatives called me. I started crying when I answered the phone. One of my fingers had to be amputated and I saw no hope for my future. I didn’t want my family to know that, I didn’t want them to worry about me. But they reproached me for that.
I’m trying to get my compensation but it seems completely hopeless. The company never arranged a social security or commercial security policy for me. Actually, they never even signed an employment contract with me. So now the company doesn’t want to give me one cent. And I can’t get hold of the boss. Since I’ve started working at the factory, I’ve only seen him three times.
I asked the company to pay the costs of my operation but they told me only the boss can decide that. So I waited for him at the factory several times, but he never showed up. One day I finally met him. He said he had no money because of the economic crisis. I insisted that he should do something to help me because I had lost my finger and now I had trouble finding a job. I said: “If you pay me some compensation, I will never bother you again.” But he refused to pay me anything. Then he simply walked away. He only comes to the factory once a month. I called him a few times but he didn’t answer the phone. One day he did pick up the phone but he told me he was busy. I said: “My hand is also important!” He told me to wait until he came back to the factory. But I’ve already been waiting for a long time and I haven’t seen him at the factory yet. When I talk to the managers at the factory, they always pass the buck to someone else, or they say they have no money. One day I got really furious and started shouting in the office. But they just said: “There is no other way, you have to wait for the boss.”
I wonder if anyone is ever going to take responsibility for this. I’ve lost my hand, I’m disabled now. How am I supposed to make a living? I hope I can finally get some compensation when I have the industrial injury certificate. Then I would go back to my hometown and build up my own business. But I’m not sure that my boss will pay the compensation. I asked him about it and he said there is no proof that I had an accident, so he cannot pay me anything. I don’t know how to deal with that now.