Chapter 6 Nianwu
The next morning, Situ Zhang, who had been ghosted the night before, visited just to deliver a grand scolding to Xiao Nanzhu.
Xiao Nanzhu crawled up to open the door, still half-awake. Before he could open his mouth Situ Zhang’s flurry of anger was enough to shut him up.
Knowing he was wrong, all he could do was sit there with his hands around his head. Honestly, he wasn’t even really listening. Seeing that he finally stopped yelling, he assumed that he’d finished. After a slow yawn, he finally spoke.
“Ah, I mean, I’ve found a job now so don’t freak out about me. Um, about yesterday, that was my fault. I’m sorry, all right? Is there another drinking session tonight? I’ll go, I promise…”
Curled up and almost snoozing off on the couch like a stray cat, Xiao Nanzhu was glad he’d solved the issue of finding a job. His friend’s nonstop chattering alone was going to kill him if he didn’t find an escape from it.
Hearing this news, Situ Zhang stared at him, then ran over to sit next to him. He grabbed Xiao Nanzhu and shook his wobbly body from side to side.
“Oh! Really? What kind of job? Just recently? It’s the new year, how’d you manage to find work? Are you babysitting or something? What’s the salary like? Oh, our little Nan has finally managed to find a job of his own…hahahaha…”
In the midst of being driven crazy by Situ Zhang, Xiao Nanzhu finally managed to mumble through some half-hearted explanation of his job that didn’t reveal any of the actual details.
In the short term, he wasn’t keen for people in his life to know what he was doing. After all, a Chinese Almanac Master sounded nothing like a legitimate job. So to Situ Zhang all he would say is that they were going to wait until the actual new year to give him the position.
His attitude made it hard for Situ Zhang to ask any further, although even he could see clearly that Xiao Nanzhu wasn’t acting like a depressed old man anymore. Of course he was genuinely happy. Plus, the fact that Xiao Nanzhu asked to be part of his social circle full of old clients and foot/back massages made him more excited than ever.
“You really wanna come? Now that your job situation is resolved, you don’t have to trouble yourself with that. I thought you didn’t drink…but we do have a dinner planned for tonight. That dude Cao is also coming…”
“Just treat it as me going to bum a meal off you. I don’t have a place to eat anyways.”
He said this with a flippant expression, but he had his own ideas.
Yesterday, while lying in bed, he was trying to figure out how a Chinese almanac master would expand their own business. No matter how you put it, it’s a difficult job to work in modern society.
This kind of superstitious stuff was good for scamming old people, but it was hard to get anyone normal to pay much attention to you.
But now that he’d already said yes to the gig, there wasn’t much point in regretting it. Plus, after thinking for a while he actually did manage to come up with an idea.
He’d heard about Situ Zhang’s friend who was in the insurance industry, who sold package deals.
Apparently he was a sales guy at a big insurance company. A guy like that must have a ton of clients. Most people who bought insurance were afraid they’d encounter some kind of mishap, so anyone who was more prone to accidents than usual was probably also more likely to buy insurance just in case.
Chinese almanac masters had the ability to predict the future and turn fortunes. If he could start from these insurance customers then maybe he’d be able to open up a path for his own old-fashioned career. If someone was buying car insurance he’d be able to look up which day was bad for travel. For accidental injury insurance, he’d look up which day signaled misfortune. Even if they wouldn’t be able to get the insurance money, of course people were more willing to stay healthy and fortunate. If he could push his name out there like this then he wouldn’t have to worry about not getting clients.