Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Cobbler

I always repair my shoes at this particular roadside cobbler nearby my office. He does his work efficiently and cheaply too. Sometimes he would crack jokes, though not very funny I would still smile at it. Being polite yet still keeping a distance, a very common practice these days. Though some forgo the former part altogether.

Anyway, my shoes need new soles. It's my favourite pair of work shoes, and after a few weeks of wearing my alternate pair I've decided it's time to get it repaired. It is one of those shoes that's a bit long-ish (not as long those worn by ah bengs, mind you), so he had some difficulties with it. His replacement soles were precut to size and he had none for long ones like mine.

Listening to him engaging in a monologue with himself, I realized something about him. He actually cared about the shoes and how his work will affect it. Since he didn't have any long soles, he patched two soles together and tried to make it look good. Took him quite some time adjusting and readjusting until he got it right. Even then he would still be apologizing since the shoes won't look as good as it should.

"Sorry dik, tak elok sangat nih. Esok datang balik, saya buat balik"

For him, probably it's a testament of his workmanship, which in his opinion is not good enough. He kept asking me to bring it back if it doesn't feel good later, and I kept telling him that it's fine. Probably as a sort for consolation, he even shined the shoes for me.

When it's all done (though he's adamant that I return tomorrow), I asked him for the price of his services. Eventhough he did more work on it, he quoted me the same price as always. I did not agree with him, so I paid him double. He protested but I told him, "buat beli rokok", and walked away quickly. He deserved it for the love and care he showed to this old pair of shoes, and the least I can do to repay his sincerity.

I wonder if he was given the same kind of opportunity as I was, where would he be now?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


I find it incredulous that even now some bugger would leave the toilet unflushed after use. What is so hard about pressing the damn knob?!

Luckily I have the privilege of using the Executive Toilet. Yes sir, we have an Exec Toilet which is just for use by us execs. It is damn spacious you can roll around on the floor (though why would you want to do that is beyond me), and most importantly clean. I dunno if it's because of the cleaning lady doing her stuff there more regularly, or it's the mentalset difference. Whatever it is, it's a small perk that I am enjoying very much, thank you.

You want more office drama? AV whom I mentioned in the previous post resigned yesterday, another 24 hour notice. Today he's back, because he got a counter offer. But that's only a small part of the story.

It started when AV wanted to get married a few weeks back, to a divorcee colleague who is 16 years his senior. Someone decided to tell their AV's parents about it, and a heart attack later the wedding is called off. Soon enough, he tendered his resignation. Then due to the high attrition rate, the bosses decided to try and retain him so they offered him a deal. He rejoins but in a different capacity, be under probation for 6 months and if things go well they will make him an exec. Hence him coming back like he never resigned.

This however leads to disgruntlement amongst other officers more senior than him.

"Apa bagus sangat dia sampai dapat counter offer macam tuh?"

"he got no experience yet can get an offer like that meh?"

"So good ah that guy that they're promoting him so quick?"

Honestly, I don't think he deserves the deal. I think the bosses are dealing with the issue badly. Yet again, what do I know right?

It's fun to sit nearby chatty officers who would always fill me in with the latest gossips. OK, back to work people!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Take Five

Somebody please shoot the rowdy arabs in the unit below mine. Every damn night they will start blasting some arab music very very loudly. How loud? Well, even if I closed all windows I can still hear it and feel the vibrations from the floor. I'm gonna slip them a note later giving them a piece of my mind first, if no change then I'm gonna keep quite like all Malaysians do, hehe. Not!

No way Jose (or Jaafar?), a showdown is on the cards if they decide to ignore my note.

Anyway, on an unrelated note, I pity one of the managers in my department. She has seen numerous resignations in the last 6 months. It used to be her, NY, SY, FL and SW in the team. SW left first, 24 hour notice. Then FL left, 24 hour notice too. In comes NA and SB to replace them. SY left to join another team, replaced by AV. Then NY left for another team, replaced by KL. Then KL gave 24 hour notice too (replaced by CK who just joined), followed by SB whose last day was yesterday. So now the team consists of her, NA, AV, CK plus 2 trainees to fill the gaps. Heard that she was a bit teary when SB left. I would understand I guess, it would reflect very badly on her. But I don't think it's her fault you know, the team's workload is like mad and Big Boss really should look into adding more headcount to lessen their burden. But what do I know, right?

But hey, it's Fridayyyyyyyy~

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Whore Of Salford

I guess by now most of you have read about Sufiah The Whore. I think it's a shame, she's got brains to make it big but then probably too much was expected of her too soon so she just broke. Not that it's any excuse to make a living by selling herself like that. Dignity is something wholely removed from hardship and such, IMHO. A poorman with dignity would work crappy jobs rather than beg, which is easier and (I think) provides more money. Why can't she just start working like normal people do, is the lure of dirty money too good to resist?

Anyway, today I read something even more apalling in the papers. Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi launched a campaign spearheaded by Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim called 'Selamatkan Sufiah' or Save Sufiah. Read his quotes, which I requote from Utusan Malaysia:

"Kita kasihan. Sufiah gadis bijak. Kita akan bincang cara menyelesaikan isu ini secepat mungkin"

"Kita mahu Sufiah dibela. Kita akan fikir caranya. Membawa pulang atau mencari dana menyara pembelajarannya"

"Kita tidak mahu kehidupannya terus dibelenggu dosa. Apa yang terjadi kepada Sufiah sepatutnya boleh dielakkan"

Sure, noble intent. But how come noble intents only come forth during a high profile case like this? She's not a Malaysian by nationality, and she's only half Malaysian by blood. Forget Rukun Negara, I don't think she even know Negaraku. Why is it that we're going to spend time and money (and I bet copious amounts of both, and all Malaysian) for this effort exactly? It's just for the publicity isn't it? We have hundreds or maybe thousands of 100% Malaysians who are in a similar predicament, plying their trade in dingy motel rooms and back alleys. Just because they're not accepted to Oxford at 13 does not mean they're not worthy of attention. Most of them did not have a choice, forced by necessity and circumstance. Sufiah chose to do what she is doing, no one is pimping her off nor is she starving under a bridge somewhere. For all I know, she might actually be happy doing what she is doing now.

Please, help our own first. Stop this foolish publicity game. We've been wasting too much money, time and energy towards ego masturbation (Angkasawan,anyone?), while many more citizens could do with some help here and now. Datuk, you enrage me.