Everybody is a VIP
Yumi Kamio loves Brunei. She explained that her favorite part of her job was taking Japanese tourists on the boat to see the proboscis monkeys tucked right behind the mangrove forest 30 minutes away from Kampong Ayer. She would plan the trip with precise timing so that when they returned back to civilization, it would be at sunset, when Brunei’s skylight turns yellow, just as the flocks of birds in their thousands travel back from Kuala Belait, with the Royal Palace on the left and the endless settlements on Kampong Ayer on the right, perfected with the sunset as a backdrop. At the end of her description in the Japanese-Brunei-English accent (one that is unique only to Yumi), I wanted to go to Brunei!
If you take a walk with Yumi to the wet market, you will feel rather ashamed that a foreigner commands much more popularity amongst the local storekeepers than you do. Everybody knows Yumi! Yumi’s work is unique. She is the only person who does what she does. Of course, there are a few Japanese tour guides that she trains, but no one even comes close to her understanding of the tropical nature and mastery of the local culture.
Sometimes, she entertains the elite Japanese visitors who fly into the country in private jets and sometimes she entertains ordinary Japanese retirees who want to catch a glimpse of this magical kingdom. Yumi treats all her clients the same, with utmost dedication and professionalism.
A rule that Yumi refuses to break is, she has never enquired what the client does for a living. To Yumi, it doesn’t really matter at all. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. If you treat all your clients as VIPs, their background and status should never matter to you.