第一個「外省仔」——顧成棟的故事

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1993 / 11月

文‧胡珍妮



創立於日據時代的和成企業,是一個老字號的台籍公司,在營運的前五十年,從老板到基層員工,清一色都是「台灣鄉親」,直到民國七十年,才由一個看來憨直老實的「外省少年仔」打破了省籍的界線。

目前在和成企業管理處擔任總務部副理的顧成棟,正是企業省籍融合的時代縮影。

父親是江蘇人,母親是客家人,他回憶起當年以一個「外省仔」進入百分之百台灣人族群的過程時,忍不住流露出得意捉狎的神色。他表示,當時他應徵的工作是基層的法務專員,面試時主管知道他是外省人,就用國語問他會不會講台語,他鼓起勇氣,用蹩腳的台語回答「會講一點點啦」,還秀了幾句日常問候話,怪腔怪調的,沒想到後來竟被破格錄用。「其實我當時根本只會講那兩三句而已,真正的台語能力是進公司才拚命學的」,他笑說。

外省人進入台灣族群,是否有格格不入的適應過程?在他進入公司之初,確曾敏感地察覺到,工廠中有很多老幹部對「外省人」採消極漠視的態度,公事公辦、私事不談。

「但我有法律的專業知識,常熱心地幫同事解答家務上或私人的法律問題,也入境隨俗地參加同事聚會,喝酒乾杯都很『阿莎力』,所以在年輕一輩中人際關係建立得很好。」久而久之,他的親和實在,使公司裡很多「歐吉桑」漸漸修正了「外省人都是脾氣不好,品德較差」的觀念。

剛進公司時,他的「國語腔台語」也的確曾引人側目,成為大家開玩笑的對象:「喂!阿棟,你講台語看看。」當他臉紅尷尬地擠出幾句破台語時,常逗得大夥哄堂大笑,省籍的隔閡也與日消弭。開會時,往往滿場台語,他也被特別照顧「聽不懂可以隨時發問」,還有人會熱心地主動翻譯。

但也不是沒有挫折的。在進公司的第一、二年,他被派到全省經銷處出差,必須跟各地口操生硬國語的本省人比手劃腳時,才更深切的體會到台語在工作中的重要性,自此勤練,直到第三年才對答如流。如今,由於他標準的雙聲帶,已經成為企業中重要大會的當然司儀了。

現在的顧成棟在與新人面試時,同樣會問一句:「你會講台語嗎?」

〔圖片說明〕

P.109

顧成棟(中)以努力工作及懇切的態度,博得本省籍吐的認同。

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近期文章

EN

The First Mainland Lad--Ku Cheng-tung's Story

Jenny Hu /tr. by Christopher Hughes


Established during the period of Japanese occupation, the Ho Cheng Group (HCG) is an old, well-known native Taiwanese company. In its first 50 years of operations, from the boss to the lowest level of workers, all were pure "fellow Taiwanese." That is up until 198l, when a seemingly rather naive "mainland lad" broke the provincial circle.

Presently working in the management section of HCG as an assistant in the general services department, Ku Cheng-tung is truly an image in miniature of the age of provincial integration in business.

His father is from Zhejiang and his mother is Hakka. When he recalls the process by which he, as a "mainland lad," came to enter into a 100 percent Taiwanese ethnic group, he cannot help but exude something of a proud and mischievous air. He says that at that time the job he applied for was a basic level legal clerk. At the interview the manager knew he was a mainlander, and used Mandarin to ask him if he could speak Taiwanese. He summoned up his bravado and used faltering Taiwanese to answer "I can speak a little." He even used a few daily greetings, with rather unusual pronunciation and intonation. He never thought that he would actually be employed, against all the rules. "In fact at that time I basically could only say two or three sentences, that is all. My real ability in Taiwanese only came through working in the company," he laughs.

Do mainlanders entering into the Taiwanese ethnic group face an integration process in which they are basically incompatible? When he first entered the company, he was actually very sensitive in feeling that many of the older managers in the factory adopted a very negative and contemptuous attitude towards mainlanders--working together on what had to be done, but keeping quiet about their private affairs.

"I had an expert knowledge of law and would often enthusiastically help my colleagues solve domestic or private legal problems. I did as the Romans did and took part in all their group activities, drinking and toasting generously. So I made very good relations amongst the younger generation." After a while, his friendliness and practicality led many of the company's old hands to gradually change their view that "mainlanders are all bad tempered and poor charactered."

When he had just joined the company, his Mandarin-Taiwanese accent actually drew quite a bit of attention and became the object of much mirth. "Hey! Ah Tung, have a go at speaking some Taiwanese." When, red faced, he spluttered out some broken sentences, everyone would burst out laughing; the provincial barrier was daily reduced. During meetings, when everyone was talking Taiwanese, he would be given special attention: "If you do not understand, then do please ask." Some people would even enthusiastically offer to translate for him.

But that is not to say there were no setbacks at all. In the first one or two years at the company, he was assigned to go out of town to negotiate with distributors throughout the island. He had to work alongside native Taiwanese from all areas with very bad Mandarin, which made him realize even more the importance of speaking Taiwanese at work. With this steeling, in his third year he was able to give answers fluently. Today, because of his bilingual standard, he has become the natural master of ceremonies at all the company's important large meetings.

These days when Ku Cheng-tung interviews newcomers, he asks them: "Can you speak Taiwanese?"

[Picture Caption]

p.109

With his attitude of industriousness and sincerity, Ku Cheng- tung (center) has won the acceptance of his native Taiwanese colleagues.

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