Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rahmat Ramadan

It's the 20th day of Ramadan. My search is finally over. On Friday last week I got a phone call on a great job offer from a Middle Eastern company. And instead of 3 months, I'm getting out with less than 2 weeks' notice. My future employer is paying for 2 months of my notice period and I still have 10.5 days of annual leave left. Which means my last day at work is Thursday next week and I won't be coming back after Raya. I've dreamed of leaving by Ramadan for so long that I couldn't believe that it would actually happen, especially at this late stage. It is fate. Alhamdullilah!

And the best thing is that they are offering me the exact salary that I requested for, much higher than my present job. In my new job scope, I will only be in charge of a section of PR, reporting to the head of PR. Yeah, not even a department head post. They are really paying a lot there. I am kind of nervous too, considering that they are also buying my notice period. Expectation is going to be really high with them investing so much in me. In comparison, here I had to oversee 2 departments at monkey salary (before my transfer*). And I didn't even know I have to handle customer service on top of PR until I got my appointment letter.

On Monday morning, I took half-day emergency leave and rushed like mad from 9am onwards to settle my medical check-up. The clinic was packed, it was Monday morning made worse with the H1N1 scare. I nearly had a hick-up with my eye test of all things. The woman was so 'kelam kabut' and I misread the letters, hence she concluded that my left eyesight was very bad. Hello, I just had a thorough check up and bought new glasses 3 weeks ago. Luckily, the doctor got another person to test after that and she said it was normal. I then collected my appointment letter and arrived at my office at 11.58am.

Shortly after, I was in the HR Manager's office. He was a bit surprised, despite knowing I was all geared to get out for so long. He asked me to re-write & attention it to the MD instead. I might as well get the HR exec to review first considering the company's strange practices. And then, I had to wait for an hour to see the MD. He was stunned when I handed him the resignation letter. He opened it in record time asking, "Pasai apa nak berhenti pulak ni?" I decided to keep my gripe for my exit interview, I just wanted to clear it asap. So, I just said, "I got a really good job offer." He asked 'Where?' but didn't pursue after that. Apart from having people waiting to see him outside, I think he knew that my future employer is unbeatable, he was from the same industry. So, it was quick. He said he noted my request for early release. Well, I'm not like some people, the muaalaf in particular, who used resignation as a stunt to seek attention. I take it very seriously.

This has happened really fast. I only attended my second interview with the Acting CEO and Head of HR the Friday before. I was dressed in a black jubah with a bit of white, a black jacket & my mother's tailor-made black tudung with a bit of beads. Yeah, a real tudung which covers all my hair. And that was the first time I have gotten new clothes for an interview, LOL!

I had taken care to dress extra carefully based on the feedback that I received from my first interview 2 Fridays before. That was conducted by the GM, Head of PR (my future boss) and a HR rep. I was dressed in black top and trousers, jacket and short peach tudung. The first one was tougher as the questions were general. It was informal too, I couldn't tell when the GM was kidding and when he was serious. The second was very much focused on expertise. Thank God.

From my previous interviews, I have learned to be relaxed as normally they don't expect you to know much about their industry (for an outsider). And none has conducted an interview as tough as I do. LOL! I have interviewed like almost 100 candidates here & hired only 2. That gave me a really good insight into HR and the hiring manager psyche.

My exit interview form was 4 pages long. HR people said I could really write, LOL! Normally, when employees give negative feedback, they would ask to re-think and re-consider. But in my case, they didn't. Even they agreed with me. I've said it all, clearly, an advantage of being a writer. LOL!

*Note on my transfer: I was transfered to business development on 10 August - yeah, the exact post where the GM tried to move me before but the MD refused to sign the letter. The transfer order letter sounded like a termination letter. There is a major re-structuring going on and many have been moved, some to suit their academic qualifications. Come on, some of us decided on a career path away from our Degree a long time ago.

The worst thing was that I still have to report to the same GM. Neither of us have expertise in this sub-area, which was really stupid. A few days later, a request came in and I had to handle the development of the industry blueprint. That would have been challenging except that a blueprint was already developed by a consultant 4 years ago but was never implemented due to the frequent change of management. In fact, the current MD is finishing his contract this November. So, it's hopeless. The only positive thing I can say about this whole exercise is I have my own spacious office upstairs and lots of privacy, LOL!