Thursday, May 16, 2013

Feeling Thankful

I know I know... I have abandoned this blog for long.

I have been wanting to write, and write lots, but never got to do it.

To blame on my poor time management, I guess is not fair because I know that I really work hard, be it in the office or at home juggling my time for the family sake.

I wanted to write about my experience and journey as the Head, how tough of becoming a leader and whom the 20 staff looked upon, and how sometimes I wish my staff could understand my needs as the superior, like they don't mind working for me and to make me feel proud of them. I really appreciate them, in every single way and I hope they do feel the same way towards me.

Anyways... why I decided to pen in the blog today is because I would like to relate something which will be etched in my mind and tagged as "Gratitude" ever.

I met one of the tea ladies at the office late today. She used to sew the beads for my baju kurung. I totally forgot about her for some time. So the other day when I bumped into her again whilst she served food in one of the meeting rooms, it dawned on me... "Hey... She is the one who jahit manik tu! What happened? Why have I forgotten about her? "

One of my bajus which she beaded

Maybe because my ex-secretary has resigned and that previously all arrangements of these baju maniks have always been arranged by her. (See betapa sebuk nya lah Kak Lang ni!) I only saw her briefly because I was always on the move to go to meetings, outstations or even just hibernate in my room to focus on pieces of work.

There are at least 5000 people working in the twin buildings yah, and not to bump into her for months is pretty normal.

After I texted her early today if I can send my baju kurung for beadings, she requested me to meet her on one of the floors she was working. It was already half past 5 pm. She was elated to see me again. After giving her the necessary instructions and when I was about to leave, she struck a conversation, deep one, which we never before had.

From then, I knew that she is 3 years younger than me. She worked as a tea-lady in the company for 13 years. The starting pay was only RM600, now has been revised to RM900 for starters. Her income now is around RM1100 only (!) She stays in the flat in Wangsa Maju, with friends and she has never been married before. She is from Kelantan; parents are still alive and she hardly goes back to the hometown because going back to hometown means giving money more than the usual "gift" every month to the parents and siblings. With that meagre income, it is difficult to make end meets, the transport (she takes the train to and fro), the rental of the flat, utility bills and food. God.. at this point, I felt like hugging declaring my empathy. She is thankful that she is able to do the beading although it is some way limited because she could only do it at night and during weekends.

She asked a few things about me; asked about my secretary and why she resigned and some other stuff. She was surprised to know that I have a 20 year old daughter and have 5 children. She also told me that she regret that she is not married yet at that age, she once had one or two "friends" whom she thought could be a life partner but things didn't turn out as planned.

I wish I could lend my ears longer but with profound regret I had to excuse myself as it was already passed the start of another meeting which I had to attend.

We bade farewell whilst she chipped in to say that she was very tired today. She was grateful that she didn't have to worry about dinner showing me a wrapped halved O'Brien tuna sandwich that one of her friends gave. Instantly I knew that was the sandwich I had for lunch today and they served them more than the number of attendees of the meeting. Yup that sandwich must be the same correct one!

To cut the story short, on my way back home just now, albeit at 9 pm something, although it was late by a normal person's standard, I am so thankful that I was going home to my own comfortable house, my lovely Aces and an understanding husband (I do feel neglected these few weeks but I am the one to be blame cos circumstances happened whereby I had to work harder than him).

Despite my endless complaints and laments about the enormous amount of work, the challenges, the stress, the push, the unnecessary worry, I should be grateful for what I have, for who I have become and for the love around me.

All thanks to Allah.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Keeping Up With Trying Times

My heart goes to the family of our heroes who died in Lahad Datu and Semporna whilst fighting against the rebels and the  invaders from Sulu. It is difficult and challenging time for them and hanya Allah yang mengetahui semuanya. Semoga roh mereke dicucuri rahmat dan mendapat syafaat Nabi. I saw the remains of the arwah Supt Ibrahim and L/Kpl Azrul arriving in Subang this evening. I cannot help but shed away my tears as I watch how devastated the widow and the mother of the deceased respectively.

There is so much writeup, suspicion and accusation on this Sabah standoff. What I can say is from what I suspect and gather, many of the Sulus have been in Sabah for some time already. Hence the militants rebels received assistance from inside. To have the illegal immigrants stay in our country and later created bloodshed is definitely cruelty. Why did we allow the immigration laws to be flaunted?

If we are not careful, one day the same will be applicable to the illegal Indonesians who live here. There are millions of them I think, like my ungrateful maid, and a whole more men from Seberang. If this goes uncurbed, God knows what will become to our beloved country… God help us. They may not be militants like the Filipinos, but you can never be too confident.

As I face the challenging times of being a full time mom, wife, boss, lawyer and later in the evening changing shift to the most industrious bibik, I cannot complain. If I think and compare the trying times of the widow of the heroes who died fighting the battle and upholding the justice for the country, I am nowhere near them.

So last weekend was penuh with the activities of cleaning the house, washing and ironing the clothes, etc etc…. For a moment, all my urat and sendi were terkejut demam because of the sudden surge in the work load. To stop, will make the work even mount higher. 

A few things I realised in the Janet-of-trades-mode:-

No 1
I suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder.
I want to complete every single thing until the end. I made sure that ALL dirty clothes as at 1pm are washed on the same day. This also applies to clothes which are not ironed. ALL have to be ironed on the same day.

No 2
I want the kids to taste the cooking from my air tangan regardless when I am bibik-less. Although I can buy the food for our meals, I still insist to cook at least one dish, even if it is goreng telur or sambal udang. Yup, these were the dishes I did cook for the weekend.

No 3
I cannot sleep if I am stress. I am stress over the fact that there are so much work to do in the house. Therefore, when there is opportunity to take a power nap, it became "powerless" nap. Instead of an hour nap, I cut it short to half hour only.

No 4
When I am so kiasu to finish the house chores, I forgot that I can be very disoriented. Hence, I lost a parking ticket, I chipped my ring and I accidentally forgot my handphone pincode which resulted in my line being blocked!

No 5
I have lost 3 kgs at least with the amount of sweat I drained out.

No 6
The connective tissue disease has gradually disappeared. It must have been the chi from the ironing!

No 7 (I will make this the last one or otherwise I will be like a zombie tomorrow)
Alina really knows how to take care of the dishes. She is my life saver.

I badly need a hot chocolate now....

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Maidless in Puchong (not again!)

I was away in Kota Kinabalu yesterday and today. Luckily I was there for one night only. Had a call from beloved husband before I joined the 2.30 pm meeting.

It was about my 40 something year old maid who went kabur as in missing. She ran away just before noon. She took her belongings and luckily none of ours. The gate was left ajar when Alina and Alim came home and they suspected something not right. They opened the main door which obviously was only closed but not locked and the maid was gone!

I don't know what to say. I regretted that I was not that vigilant. There was a hunch on my part due to some indications that she will run away soon.

She asked for all her money to be sent home, I refused, I told her I should retain 2 months. But the beloved husband who seems to be in a state of mantra when it involves the maid retained only half month! Fine, that is her money and we should not be keeping it, but to retain a reasonable sum would be one way to deter her from leaving, right?

She has a phone since she arrived. We fought many times on this issue and as a matter of fact, I have told her many times that I want to take it away from her but she left it pretty guarded. Half of the time she spent in the house was talking on the phone, even when she was ironing or doing the laundry. At times after being reprimanded, it ceased. A week later the bad habit resumed. One day the phone went kaput. She became very the very restless. She persuaded beloved husband to buy her a handphone for something which cost RM 200 to RM 300. I scolded beloved husband when he was window-shopping for one. It discontinued. But after she persisted to nag the male majikan, beloved husband relented, you believe or not. Confirmed, he has been mantra-d! The best part was the beloved husband's mother sanctioned it. She said "Oooohhh ..... It is so difficult to get a good maid. You must not be too strict. She may not like to work with you if you do that. That is the little freedom that she has. When she worked with me at times, ok je! " I gave up!

I saw her luggage being nicely packed in the cupboard the other day. I was looking for something in her room. It occurred to me that she may hide something, but I brushed it aside.

She was allowed to eat what she wanted, she even watched TV at nights and even when she was doing the ironing or cleaning the house. She slept during the day when I was not around, this I got from the kids who were home. We brought her to Emak's and MIL's houses whenever we went there, and she got extra pocket money from these two houses. I wonder what else does she want? She was given the comfort she much needed, ate the same food we ate ; apalagi???

For being dishonest I wish when she stepped out of the house just now, she had a tummy ache that she had to go to the toilet. She could not stand it, that she made big business in her pants. She didn't know what to do but asked for help. The next person who saw her thought she had gone cuckoo and brought her in that state of mess to the clinic nearby. The nurse washed her and called the police who later came and brought her to the detention camp.

Or if that didn't happen, I hope that as she was making her way out from our housing area, she accidentally kicked a stone and the stone went flying off to the bee hive nearby. The bees were angry and  chased after her. She got stung all over her face, hands and legs. Someone saw her and called the ambulance. The ambulance came some time later and brought her to the hospital. She is warded in the 3rd class now with no friends, relatives or majikan to help but has been registered to be the next illegal maid to be sent to the detention camp. Padan muka! By the way she is too old and too ugly to work as a GRO.

Life will still have to go on for me. I pity the 5 Aces especially Alim and Alina. I have not thought how to tend to them when they come home from school in the afternoon until I finish work starting from tomorrow. It is heart-breaking for a working mom like me to be at the cross-road.

Emak will go to Baitul Maqdis from tomorrow onwards for a week. I know she wish she could come over to help look after the kids. I don't want her to cancel the trip even if she insisted to.

This is a test that Allah has put on me. I do not have any choice but to brace this. I will not set myself as a good example to the children if I give up or be in the intolerable moods.

Breathe in breathe out breathe in breathe out... think.. slowly but surely, some solution will come.

To worsen it, my face is still infected with connective tissue disease. I broke my spectacles on my way back just now. And my current boss is not as condescending and sympathetic as my former boss.

One thing for sure, I will have tireless (not to mention lack of sleep) nights and days doing the house chores, beating the traffic jam; trying to be early to the office and in the evening back at home on time to attend to the 2 Aces left. I will lose weight again, and a haggard worker but possibly a satisfied mom.

*singing I Will Survive!*