Sunday, March 27, 2011

C and D Alike

Upon reading some of the leadership books, I can’t find anything on leaders having to be jumpy, annoying, cynical or even grumpy.

It talks about being influential, walk the talk, coaching, imparting knowledge, role model and all the great traits of a leader. Jim Collins in his book From Good To Great labeled the key factor to leadership is humility. According to him, humble leaders do not need to always get their way, who admit that others may be right, who express expression for insights, who seek to learn and who help others to do their job. Humility helps create a positive work environment of learning, service, appreciation and growth.

I loathe writing about work because life should not be about work only. We work to live, definitely, and when we go to work every day, the office environment has to be appealing. Working 8 hours a day and being stuck in the horrendous traffic jam means one is likely to spend probably half of its career life; being out of home and away from the beloved ones. That is if you spend 8 hours. In my case, I have worked at the average of 10 to 12 hours a day for the past weeks.

Lately I am beginning to ask myself whether is it worth it?

I have worked for Dato' D since the past 6 years. An ex government servant, it explains why he is so bossy. At meetings, he doesn't say much but when you deal with him one to one, he tends to be very demanding and his demands can be expressed with annoying shrieks and shouts. But because he is somebody whom has to be respected within the system, like it or not, I just have to follow the system,

Another grumpy character whom I am serving now is Dato' C. I have only worked with him for the past 8 months. He is the kind who seems to be making others look stupid. I am not sure whether that is intentional or unintentional. I know it is the job of the leaders to probe and make sure there is no stone left unturned, but in the course of doing so, he begins to be cynical, antagonized and scornful. I wonder at times if he is ever fit to be at the helm. I am least surprised when I heard nasty rumors about Dato’ C that he was seeking help from a shaman because some staff were very peeved at him that they had casted spell on him.

Given their respective idiosyncrasies, and because I am an extra forgiving person, despite the “barking” received from Dato' C and Dato' D once in a while, I never felt dented, not until last week.

There were some matters that have been unresolved in connection with Dato’ D. Dato’ D was adamant that his stand was correct and he demanded that I recorded it that way. As this matter has to get the consent from Dato’ C, the boss and I made our way to Dato’ C’s office. Granted that there were some matters that I overlooked and I felt silly for not covering that point. (Note to boss: From the bottom of my heart I apologise. I know you think highly of me and sorry I have disappointed you this time) My omission was an opportunity for Dato’ C to get to me. To me it was ok because he is after all the boss. But what really disturbed me was the root of the problem, i.e. Dato’ D’s predicament was also caused by non-thoroughness of Dato’ C. And here he was shouting sarcastically at me. Ok chill, chill TM … because I believe I am also to be blamed due to my unpreparedness before seeing Dato’ C.

Thereafter, when I tried to correct the whole situation including calling Dato’ D to clarify and explain, unexpectedly, Dato’ D was ready to fire me like a M16. He was lamenting about our inefficiencies, our no respect of him, our incompetencies … bla bla bla…. Over and above that he had the cheek to tell me that although nothing of this is due to me, he didn’t care. Because I am in the system, I too should get the brunt. He screamed and shouted at me. At the end of the tele-conversation, I was speechless, emotional, shocked and just stared at the wall for a good 15 minutes. Wooohh!! This is what I call arrogant leaders who seem to forget about their roots and their existence. I am sure he was not conferred a Dato’ overnight but through hard work and sweat. Certainly he was like me ages ago. Can’t he understand, or is it the case where he refuse to understand?

I am just trying to do my job sincerely and making sure that these two Dato’s are happy with our service. For some unknown reasons, I unexpectedly got the emotional bashing.

I felt very down and disappointed that weekend.

The good thing about being sad was I conquered the kitchen during the weekend. I did not become the kitchen goddess but I feel very much at ease and doing what I love. Now I know the reason why Kitchen Guardian made baking as her core job and lawyering as her hobby.

I shall leave this with a quote; some people aren’t worth your time or happiness, love those who love you, leave those who curse you and pray for those who hate you.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Our Niece's Wedding

Our niece, Safia got married today. Between the Mohd. Noor and Hussain's family, she is the first cucu to get married. Since the past two weeks, I have been busy sibuk-sibuk-ing at Taman Tun to give my support to kak Hah, my biras.

Eighteen years ago, I met Safia when she came to my wedding. I still remember her as the chubby and sweet little girl whom others will instantly love. As a matter of fact, until today, she has this warmth enveloping all over her. No wonder she easily had stolen Afif's heart.

I am amazed with my biras, kak Hah on how she managed almost single handedly with the wedding preparation. Someone quipped today that she may have conquered the whole of Klang Valley to look for suppliers, everything; from the pouch for the bunga rampai to the honey for the gift. The endless energy she had put into the preparation is fantastic!

Today is the nikah where everything had transpired almost perfectly, not to mention beautiful. Alhamdulillah.

Tomorrow will be the wedding reception and it will be the moment to celebrate this happy ocassion, reunion, makan makan and rounds of merry photo-taking sessions.

Since Afif is still studying in Japan, Safia will follow her newly-wedded husband back in the next two weeks. Although he studies in Kyushu, the southern island of Japan, which is quite a distance from the Fukushima nuclear plant, we pray that the aftermath of catastrophic tsunami in Japan will not affect them in any way and that the fear and suffer will come to an end soon.

On a happier note, congratulations Safia and Afif, Selamat Pengantin Baru and semoga kekal ke anak cucu :)

The two mempelai, sama cantik dan sama padan

Women, ladies and girls

My biras, kak Hah and me

Safia and Aunty TM

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Gurindam Nasihat

I was looking for some gurindam and puisi to say next weekend. Beloved hubby and I have been given the task to emcee the wedding reception of our first niece (husband's side) who will be married that weekend. Beloved husband's cousin, abang Sahak initially was to emcee the lovely ocassion but due to his health condition, we do not want to trouble him hence we truly hope he can focus and concentrate on getting better.

Anyway, I remembered some good gurindam nasihat and pantun dua kerat which I encountered during some weddings we attended. I plan maybe to incorporate some in the script. I am beginning to love them and as I think more about them, they shed light to me as to what suami isteri is all about, in particular sharing the responsibilities together.

Here goes:

Adat orang bersuami isteri
Pahit manis sama dirasa
Dalam surut ada pasangnya
Dalam susah ada senangnya
Dalam sempit ada lapangnya


Kalau tebu seruas seorang
Kalau nangka seulas seorang
Payung satu sama berteduh
Perahu satu sama menyeberang

Tikar sehelai sama ditiduri
Selimut satu sama dikongsi
Kalau sempit sama berhimpit
Kalau lapang sama berlegar


Biar teruk asal keluarga elok
Biar berhutang asal anak menjadi orang
Biar bergadai asal anak pandai
Biar tenat asal anak isteri selamat

Such profound meaning, don't you think so?

Thursday, March 10, 2011


It rained this morning when I woke up. I remembered that there would be a meeting on corporate re-structure in SA after lunch and thought I should put on one of my favourite power blouses cum jacket. The V neckline was plunging and as always I had to wear the sleeveless baby tee within. The morning was a bit chill, I guess it is ok to wear two piece.

At the office, there was something wrong with the air condition. With the two-piece, obviously it was very warm. I could not stand the heat thus took off the tee within at mid morning. Tak pe, the plunging neckline can be covered by the paisley tudung Ikin.

Arrived at the target company office about 1 pm. The other key personnel from my office have not arrived. My other two colleagues and I decided to wait at the lobby near the reception area. Waited and waited, there was no sign of them. The secretary to the CEO had requested us to just proceed with lunch with the CEO, yet we insisted to wait for the rest to arrive.

It was already thirty minutes past the scheduled lunch time and we gave up waiting. As we walked slowly to the dining room, saw this guy throwing to us a big smile. He looked familiar. I think he must be the one who always attended our company Hari Raya open house. Yes, he must be the CEO.

I greeted “ Apa khabar Datuk?”

“Jemput jemput. Mana yang lain? Awat lambat mai?”

We exchanged greetings and cracked some jokes, with me addressing him Datuk as a sign of respect. He ushered us to the two tables with white covered dining chairs at each table, all nicely decorated. There were petals of roses on the tables and I said, “Wah bahaya ni Datuk. Mesti nak mandram so that we can agree to this corporate restructure!”

“Mana ada Datuk? Kat sini ada satu je Datuk.”

I didn’t really get what he meant. Not admitting I was “blur”, I continued the conversation with the Datuk.

A couple of minutes later, there was a big laugh coming from the corridor. The other key personnel have arrived with an elderly man. He looked familiar. After a long look at him, OMG, this is the Datuk CEO and not the one that I was talking to. How could I be confused (and blur). The wrongly called Datuk is the COO. I have met both of them before, in fact we had a similar meeting in their office 5 years ago and I forgot who is who. Shucks!!

Swallowing my embarrassment, I didn’t fail to enjoy lunch. It may seem as if they want to stuff us to bodek for the restructure. There was a wide delicious spread; buttered prawns, grilled chicken, mutton, sweet sour fillet, yumm yumm!

As I was enjoying my kuih tako, I didn’t feel nice sitting. Oh no! I swear I changed it before leaving the office and it can’t be overloaded already! Ish, ish why didn’t I ensure that I sat properly just now.

I whispered to K. “Can we leave last when the lunch is over? I think I must have …. Just walk behind me closely as I don’t want anyone to see the spot.”

True enough there was a spot. Pretty obvious as I was wearing a light colored long skirt. K was a bit concerned, “Ada bawa extra?”

“Don’t worry K, just walk behind me to the ladies” I stressed. Aaargghhh, what an uncomfortable moment and satu kerja nak clean up the mess!

The meeting went smoothly. Typical Qs and As for a restructure as such. If I was the Datuk CEO, I would feel as if being bombarded with questions from the press or analysts. After almost 2 hours, meeting ended. Time to disperse, but I had to stay back to check a few things with my counterpart.

As I stepped out from the reception area, outside the building, Datuk CEO was having a puff near the glass door. He stopped me and we discussed some more. The wind was blowing hard and I quickly held my tudung Ikin. Mahu ada yang dapat free show ni. It was obvious that I was clinging to the edge of the tudung with the other two bags in my hands. Haiya… banyak pulak Datuk ni nak berdiskusi in this strong wind !!! &%@#(*&^%

As I related this to beloved hubby just now, he commented “Lagi you pegang tudung tu, lagi dia nak cakap lama-lama dengan you.” As a result of this, beloved husband promised to buy me a tube which is not that warm even if the air condition is faulty. Make sure got or there could be other cringe moments!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Can ah?

Have you ever wondered how a person can be rich? Forget about those who are hard core business men, or those listed as the top 10 wealthiest person in the globe or the country because I am very sure that these people evidently sweat their a** to be wealthy. If we read their road to success or their journey to where they are today, we will be amazed. Some of them started off from a humble kampong boy to a billionaire, the story from rags to riches. We have books to teach us to be millionaires, TV programmes to motivate us and courses to educate us on this subject.

Your rezki is your dugaan (test), do you believe in that? I do. I have seen many people that when they become rich, there could be other happenings related or consequential to it, it could be good or otherwise. An employer of a friend paid a15 month bonus to the employees. According to my friend, if she does not remind herself repeatedly to save, the money will be gone in no time. I am sure every one of us in a way or another may have experienced an unexpected “durian runtuh” and if the money was spent for a good cause, well and good, if not we would again wish that the opportunity could recur. By the way does retail therapy include in the good cause category? *Hiks..

I was in Telok Intan the other day for a khenduri and discovered that one of our sedara mara drives a Hummer. I am not sure whether the Hummer is his or he borrowed it from someone, but the fact remains, he drives a Hummer. (Anyway he owns a company by the name Pemu*ah, and I must say, the company name pretty much reflects him).

A friend who lives within the vicinity, a contractor, other than having built a mansion around this neighborhood, changes his car from a Merc sports to the X6 to the … maybe Cayenne next who knows!

At the rate the people are getting richer by the day, it surely is mind boggling to me. The saying goes that 90% of the rezki in this world can be derived from “berniaga” (doing business) and it is true, the person who drives the Hummer and the friend contractor are successful businessmen.

This leads me to the story I am about to tell.

Beloved husband got a fat pay check recently. After he quit his job , he has been doing training. What he trains, actually I am not too sure myself. I know he does motivational talk. And I also know he does some kind of chicken dance… oh ok, that is during the light moment of the training. Sorry! Ok, he teaches ethics and etiquette, how to eat with knife, spoon and fork, yes… table manners!! One more thing, how to make selling akar kayu enterprising. No, no .. not akar kayu alone, it is anything that could add value to your business or create business opportunity.

Actually that is not my story. The story is about the pay check.

In one of the single sourcing bids his company participated, he was asked to do the pricing. He did it in good faith just like what the boss had asked him to do. Unfortunately, other than the boss’ instructions, someone who organised and facilitated for them the training has told them to massage and cushion the price. It was no big deal because usually their margin is 20%, but in this instance in order to entertain the request, they had to hike the price to additional 20%. 20% for beloved husband’s company and 20% for the arranger. As long as it was accepted by the owner or principal as in within their estimated budget, and since there was no violent objection, I guess that is alright, berniaga mahh..

The training turned out to be a success. To everyone’s surprise (but not the arranger of course) when the monies was paid through the pay check, he claimed for additional $$$ for himself. It was the most uncalled thing to do. Huh!! He was persistent, moody and maybe slightly ruthless at that point of time. As beloved husband did not want any trouble and with the hope that future training at that location will not be problematic, he paid him off. Despite it was not that much of money like with five zeros behind (maybe three to four), it was still money right!! The person claimed that it was his commission.

The BIG question that was playing in my head is, if this one he pow $x, that company $y, another company $z, would not that total up to his current affordability to drive the latest beemer, live in a luxurious bungalow and have two wives? Hmmmm… I leave it to you to answer that question.

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