Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Weight of a Straw

i tendered in my resignation today.

Have i really thought things through? Not really. But i am not the breadwinner in the family, and as such, impulsive behaviors can be accepted. In the letter, i did not state why because i don't have one good reason why i must leave, i have plenty, or do i?

As per the norm, i submitted the notice to CEO, cc-ed to my immediate superior and the Human Resource Dept's head.

The HR called me immediately. She laughed and i laughed. She asked me whether i have received an offer that i couldn't resist. No, no offer. In fact, i have not even been looking. So why? Are you angry at anything anyone? Did i sound angry in my email, i asked her. No she said. Then i am not angry.

Her call got me thinking the kind of questions that i would ask if i were her.

A camel can take a lot of weight on its back. Infinite number of straw (and a nomad and his herd of goats and an eager pilgrim too perhaps). So why is it that one extra straw can cause the camel's back to break? Focusing on that straw which broke this camel's back is wrong. It is not the entire picture. I can easily tell her about the straw. There was this meeting i attended today that totally frustrated me - it was absurd and impossible, i didn't get the support i needed when i needed it the most. But despite all that, the whole episode is just one blooming straw. On its own, it wouldn't have broken my back. Comparatively, i have taken worse belting before, that was certainly not the worst. Nope. It is never that one piece of straw, it is the total accumulated straws (and a nomad and that eager pilgrim with pointy camera).

So why did i quit?

Now that i have in fact quit, now that the camel is broken and of no use, i will have the time to rummage through the load (including the pilgrim's camera) that once presided over its back and figure out why ;)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Antarctica and the car

I attended an all-important event at UTM KL yesterday. It was launching of a book on the then Agung’s expedition to Antarctica. They had this musical play, staged in the Dewan Besar. I thought it was a bit off because the hall was not meant for plays. And plays were not really suitable to be enjoyed over lunch on a workday. The hall was fully lit and so was the stage. I don’t know about you but I feel stage shows should be in a dimmed hall so you could play with lightings on the stage. When the whole hall is lit like Christmas, everything will feel, well, very staged – if you know what I mean.

The lunch was quite good though.

By the time my job was done, it was close to 4pm.

Hez, my colleague was with me. And we went to the car. Her car. The car is only 3-month old. Brand new. Not a scratch, not a dent. She pressed the buttons of her key but the car ignored her. No ‘ninnit’ sound indicating that the car was unlocking and doors could be opened!

You must know that the days are awfully hot here lately. Her car is Dynamo-detergent kind of whiter than white.

Sun was bright and this was in the middle of an open-air car park.

The car wouldn’t go ninnit.

She tried again many many times but the car refused to respond.

I realized that the headlights were on. Ahah, battery problem. You think I don’t know cars? Well, I do. The car was so dead it was frozen cold.

But, Hez argued, the lights are small ones, they wouldn’t have drained the battery so fast.

Press again. Still no ninnit.

Call your mechanics, I said.

But she couldn’t because we couldn’t open the door - the number was in the car! And it was such a hot hot day to have to stand in the car park under the brilliant Malaysian sun.

We can jump-start the car. Do you have the cables, I asked Hez. No, never. But even if we did have cables, how to jumpstart the car if we couldn't open the engine hood? Duh!

Luckily, I have a friend in Mindef. An air man. Hopefully he knows cars as well as he does planes.

I sent him an SOS message and he arrived within 5 minutes with a battalion of two soldiers. By that time, my make up has already melted and formed a puddle in which I was standing in – so hot was the day.

I explained our problem to him and he asked for the car keys.

And lo and behold, he inserted the key into that tiny hole on the door and opened it! No ninnit required, the door could be opened! Oh!

And that was when I prayed real hard that the car wouldn’t embarrass us. If he could start the car, I would really bury my face in the ground. Luckily, the car was really truly dead. This friend then opened up the back and front part of the car, (you know the engine compartment and the luggage compartment - I think I know the specific names for the two but I wouldn’t risk using them in case I got them wrong) and found the cables to jump start. She had it in her car all along!

Hez whispered to me that that was the first time she saw the guts of her car (the car being new and all) and she didn’t know she had those cables.

In a matter of minutes, the car went NINNIT in the loudest of voice and the engine wailed to life. Real loud. The whole kawasan DUN Titiwangsa could hear it.

This friend then explained kindly to Hez how her battery is not the dry type and she needn’t go buy a new one and stopping at traffic lights after this wouldn’t kill the battery again.

I know Hez and I probably are the reasons why women drivers are always stereotyped. I am also very aware that some lady drivers out there know cars so well that they could do the whole minyak hitam routine by themselves and show you the finger when you drive too slow too. But I am guilty to have shamed the Women Ministry.

And so I hereby publicly declare that I am ignorant about cars (but I am not the only one, Hez is too, ok?) and I am sorry, sisters.