Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Imagine me looking 5 years younger..no wrinkles, no spectacle,cheerful face,
slimmer like "tiang gol"..

Workplace has this initiation rite which I like to call the 'Surprise! You're Working This Weekend!' ritual. It consists of Boss giving you an assignment which needs to be (surprise surprise) cleared by Monday Morning which culminates in her piercing you with her beady eyes while saying,"You can come in to work tomorrow, right?"

What I'm trying to say is not that I hesitated a nanosecond before giving her the expected "Yes, of course!" in a chipper please-don't-cut-my-bonus tone while thinking of possible implications of my saying "No, I have a LIFE Goddamnit!" (E.g., dismemberment, being thrown out of her window, being dismembered before being thrown out her window).

No, what I'm trying to say is that I like being stuck in the office on a Saturday morning during which I should, in a Fair Universe, still be in bed.

Sans Boss who can, very very occasionally show glimpses of human parentage, I like my job. I've still got enough new-blood-fresh-meat enthusiasm about it. There are times when I can fool myself into thinking that what I do will really affect how things go in this place we call home.

Then, eight years later, the sharp fangs of reality bites.

Talking to a couple of friends over lunch and my other half over dinner, we all concurred that working in Malaysia's keparat sector has somewhat exposed us to information that proves ignorance is really bliss. Sure, we sort-of knew in a way that this was the way Things Are Run in Malaysia, but that was like knowing that your Mom was once a hippie. You believed it, you've seen the pictures, but you weren't actually there.

And now things happen at work which lets us know that yeah, this is the way it works in this country, and no, there ain't no way you can change it. Contracts get decided on the basis of who you know and rules and policies are bent and sometimes ignored because somebody made a call to someone high-up. And sometimes, believe it or not, the way things are will affect you, sooner or later. And not just in some high-concept this-will-never-happen-to-me sort of way. It's like living in a building whose foundation you know is completely rotten, but the architects keep on adding floors and beautifying the facade in the hopes that you'll be lulled into a false sense of security.

Get it into your heads, people. Just in the case of patrotism, loving your country does not make you blind to its faults. And please, lets not equate this wonderful land we call home with the people we supposedly elected to run it.

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