There were customers I liked because they treated me as a human being.
The engineers from a mid-size IT company came with their CEO, who was once an engineer himself. One of the directors was a woman who was over 30 but looked liked a teenage boy with her slender figure and pixie-cut hair. She and her fellow engineers wore jeans and a flannel shirt. The hierarchy was more obscure in their relationship. They were funny but never in a vulgar way, and their jokes didn’t depend on the shaming of others. Their kindness extended outside Kubo, and they helped me with my computer issues, treated me dinner, and eventually, the CEO even gave me a translation gig when I was struggling with money. I was sure I did a terrible job, but he paid me what I asked for.
A group of intellectuals came once a month after their meeting. A multinational corporation executive led the economics study group, and he brought his students with him. It was as though their intelligence rendered them dignity. Most salary-men sneered at my naive view of the world. But they took it as an idealism derived from intellectual curiosity rather than inexperience. Once, they invited me to their study group. I shared my petty opinion, which they considered valuable.