Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dilemma Orang Melayu

One Malaysia is a myth?

Kenapa agaknya orang Melayu selalu dikaitkan dengan kerja kerajaan? Orang Cina pula mesti jadi businessman and orang India jadi peguam atau doktor. Adakah itu satu kemestian jikalau kita dilahirkan sebagai seorang Malaysian?

Tak lama dulu aku diterima bekerja di sebuah syarikat swasta. Syarikat itu milik seorang warganegara Australia yang dah menjadi penduduk tetap Malaysia. Walaupun aku 'excited' dapat masuk syarikat tu tapi tak sangka la pulak ramai yang memberi respon negatif dan memberi amaran agar berjaga-jaga. Kata mereka sektor swasta ni susah lebih-lebih lagi jika boss bukan orang Melayu. Ramai berpendapat kalau nak kerja senang, mesti cari syarikat yang majoriti pekerjanya sama kaum dengan kamu. Pada pendapat aku, pemikiran begini macam ada unsur-unsur perkauman je. Setiap bangsa seolah-olah dikategorikan dengan perangai tertentu maka kaum berlainan tak boleh 'ngam'. Tak boleh bekerjasama.

Yang paling mengecewakan apabila majoriti yang berpendapat begini adalah orang Melayu. Ramai yang sanggup menolak peluang pekerjaan yang lebih elok semata-mata ingin mengelak daripada bekerja dengan orang berlainan kaum. Jika ditanya kenapa meraka berbuat demikian, semua memberi alasan mendengar terlalu banyak 'horror story' mengenai bekerja dengan mereka yang berlainan kaum. Inilah orang Melayu kita, baru dengar 'horror story' je dah give up terus. Jikalau korang give-up lepas korang cuba bekerja kat situ, itu lain cerita. Ini cuba pun tidak, tapi dah give up awal-awal. Isk... isk... isk...

Tapi takleh nak salahkan orang Melayu je. Kaum lain pun selalu juga bertanggapan negatif kat orang Melayu. Ramai boss-boss bukan Melayu yang tak suka mengambil pekerja Melayu. Pada pandangan diorang pekerja Melayu adalah pemalas dan tak boleh diharap. Sesetangah syarikat swasta hanya mengambil pekerja Melayu kerana perlu memenuhkan kuota pekerja bumiputera. Jika diberi peluang mereka langsung tak nak mengambil pekerja Melayu. My supervisor secara terang-terangan mengaku yang dia berfikir 2-3 kali bila kena interview orang Melayu. Bukan kerana dia tak suka orang Melayu tapi disebabkan reputasi orang Melayu yang konon-kononnya pemalas dan tak suka cabaran dalam pekerjaan. Nasib baik juga aku berjaya meyakinkan dia yang aku bukan orang sebegitu, jadi aku pun dapat la kerja tu. Tapi bayangkanlah situasi interview di mana kedua-dua pihak, majikan dan pekerja, masing-masing ada tanggapan negatif terhadap pihak yang satu lagi tu. Macam mana nak bekerjasama kalau dari awal lagi dah takde kepercayaan langsung.

Sampai bila la rakyat Malaysia nak hidup dalam stereotaip negatif ni. Kalau pekerjaan setiap individu dah ditentukan buat apa ajar anak-anak Malaysia untuk ada cita-cita. Baik cakap je terus "Aiman, nanti bila dah besar nanti takleh kerja selain daripada kerja kerajaan tau. Kena kerja situ sebab orang Melayu semua kerja situ." Rasanya dia akan jawab "Aiman tak kisah" tak?

Konklusinya setiap orang ada kehebatan tersendiri. Jadi tak kiralah bangsa apa pun orang tu, peluang mestilah diberi tanpa sebarang prejudis. Walaupun aku seorang berbangsa Melayu, namun aku bukan hak milik kerajaan.

For once I wanna be ugly

Please click on image to enlarge

Friday, July 09, 2010


1. Driving behind a guy who’s in no big hurry for anything, so he drives like ten km per hour.

2. People who don't wait their turn and squeeze their way into a turning/ junction

3. Tailgaters and High Beamers.

4. People who honks at every single opportunity

5. People who does not use the signal to turn.

What are some of your driving pet peeves?

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

It ain't nice to be nice?

I'm suddenly hit by this sudden urge to expand on the topic of 'niceness' from my previous post. These questions keeps going going round and round in my head. Is niceness truly overrated nowadays? Is it old-fashioned? Has it become redundant?

I don't see that many people giving up their seats on the LRT anymore nor do I see people helping out a neighbour who's moving out. People in trouble are now entertainment where its fun to gawk at their difficulties.

The world today has become selfish, self-centered and indifferent. We no longer live in the days of chivalry and manners. Its every man for themselves. You snooze, you lose. Being nice is no longer a part of life. It needs to be reminded with posters and signs and even TV advertisements. It is an afterthought. Something you entertain when you have time to spare. Being nice is not considered a virtue. Merely a time filler to while away idle time and to boost up your image while you're at it. Why do you think all acts of kindness are highlighted in newspapers nowadays? Simply because true acts of kindness are rare. Why be kind or nice if you have nothing to gain from it?

I still remember my conversation with my CEO, "Shan you're too sweet. You need to be more assertive. More forceful. Then people will respect you. If you're too nice then people will walk all over you. You need to erase 'May I'... 'Can I'... 'Could you'... and 'Please'... from your vocabulary." He then proceeded to demonstrate a "professional" call. Basically it was just him bullying a poor PA into releasing her boss's telephone number. My reaction to that was whaaaa???

If niceness is like an asset only to be used when it best suits you then why teach kids to be kind in the first place. If they're just going to grow up to be cold-hearted and unfeeling then might as well teach them from the very beginning that being nice is not the best way to go. So what if they're bullies when they're just gonna grow up into bigger bullies.

But me being the oddball of the 21st century, I still believe that a little act of kindness will go a long way. To this very day I still remember and how a kind young man gave up his seat for me simply because he saw that I gave up my seat for an elderly man. If me, one little person, can propel another individual to do an act of kindness than I'm sure 10 other person can do the same.

William Wordsworth once said that "the best portion of a good man's life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love". So be kind and nice people, because niceness is NOT overrated.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Chronicles of a Job Hopper pt. 1 - The Producer

Job hopping can literally suck the life out of you. I've only been at it for only a month but after going through the endless cycle of personalising resumes, interviews and adapting to new workplaces I'm literally turning into a non entity. Belonging to neither here nor there. Forgotten in a blink of an eye. So if you get the sudden urge to start job hopping, clamp down the feeling. Hard! Trust me. Don't learn the hard way.

After woefully ending my teaching stint at the university, I decided to stretch my wings and see where the winds of change would take me. The first gust of wind landed me on a surprisingly cushy job at an events management company where I'm in charge of researching and putting together business conferences. It was my first real job (outside the university that is) that if people were to ask what my designation was in the company, I'd (literally) puff up my chest proudly and say "I'm a Conference Producer". Bangga siot.

I looked forward to the job just like a fresh grad would. All this while my whole world revolved around the university but now I'm a newbie in the corporate world. The corporate world was everything that I thought it would be: exciting, fast-paced, time-oriented, business-oriented and of course money-oriented. Those people were easily excited by the sound of ka-ching! I knew that it was a dog-eat-dog world but the truth was I was way in over my head. I should've known just how tough this job could be by the number of people who had quit before I came in. One girl actually lasted for a record of 3 days before she up and left. I consider it a personal record when I actually lasted a whole month before I called it quits.

I was thrown into the job almost immediately. Everyday was a barrage of phone calls and random conversations with completely rude or brusque strangers. It was bad enough that the workload was horrendous at the office itself but the job also requires you to literally bring your work home. And at every step and every turn I took I met with constant criticism. "You're not forceful enough". "The data is crap". "You don't have enough numbers". "YOU GOTTA STOP SAYING PLEASE!!" Not only was I deemed not efficient I was also too nice. How can I be too nice? There's no such thing as being too nice. In fact, people nowadays needs to be nicer. Sheesh. Seems like humility was not welcomed in the corporate world. It was a sign of weakness. Being nice would mean you'd end up as a pushover. But seriously, what's wrong with being nice. Just because the other company is making money through harassing and bullying people does that mean you need to harass and bully people back? Where does the corporate world's integrity lie?

The cherry on top of the cake however was when the company was so nonchalant on the idea of lying. What kind of employer would actually encourage the employees to lie? Sure you need to think creatively to achieve your goals but does thinking creatively mean lying? And since when lying became a legitimate mode of business? Call me a Utopian idealist or call me stupid but I believe that a company, no matter how money minded they are, should maintain a certain amount of dignity and go about their business with honesty. I may not be the most religious person in the world but I really cant work in a company where lying is encouraged and being a bully is appreciated.

Immediate notice given. My measly things packed up. I walked out of there free and feeling as if a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. No more late nights trying to find phone numbers of strangers. No more angry yells from your CEO, or your Supervisor or from strangers on the phone. But most importantly no more lying. The only regret I had were the new friends and a thermos I left behind. The friends I dont regret leaving as much since Facebook keeps everyone connected these days but the thermos is now as good as lost. A damn good thermos it was. I'll miss it greatly.

So all you job-seeking people out there, if you ever come across a job as Conference Producer then just beware. Unless you're one of those people who loves calling up random strangers by the hundreds then just turn around and walk on by. Best to keep your sanity intact.

*Next up, the interview monster. Watch this space.


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