Sunday, October 11, 2009

Splashing Syawal

Back from a relaxing 2-week long Raya break and straight into a hectic first week at work, LOL!

I utilised my break fully to re-connect – menyambung 'Silatulrahim'. The imam's ceramah after Raya prayer was inspiring. After a quiet, low-key Raya celebration, my mother and I visited 3 of our Haj roommates. One in Nakka (near Thai border) – her daughter's wedding where we ate authentic kampung dishes under a tent facing the paddy field. The other was our oldest roommate at 75 and her daughter in law in Kodiang (near Perlis). My parents and I spent a weekend in Hatyai. I loved the nasi lemak ayam and unique teh tarik served by a Muslim couple at a roadside stall near our hotel.

After that we took off for Penang and I had coffee with an old acquaintance whom I have not met for 5 years. Shocking revelations which I would share in another entry. I also met blogger Rad for the first time. We had lunch at the airport while waiting for my flight. Too many topics to talk about and not enough time, obviously. LOL!

Mr Designer fetched me from the Subang airport. He called to say he would be 30 minutes late but ended up being only 10 minutes behind. Luckily, I hadn't ordered a cup of coffee at one of the cozy cafes yet. I was so excited about my new job and revived by the fact that I didn't have to go back and face my immediate superior aka the idiot anymore that Mr Designer became the last thing on my mind. Yeah, I'd stopped missing him.

I only texted him once to inform details of my arrival, not even a Raya wish or anything. He agreed to have coffee but suddenly his ex-wife called and asked if he could fetch the kids. Her car broke down that morning and could not be repaired on time. I took it as a 'reminder' from God to forget about him. During our last outing in Ramadan, I told him flat out that I won't be outsourcing my new company's design jobs to him. I'd need a stable, reliable and tip-top supplier.

Unfortunately, the job interview he attended just before Raya didn't come through. He was quite sure that they had offered him a job and was going to revert with formality and details. He waived another job interview after that.

It struck me then how he had wasted his unemployed period and not go all out to look for a job. I had forwarded him suitable vacancies on Jobstreet and he kept on delaying creating an account that would enable him to apply online. I had also written him a sizzling reference letter. All he needed to do was sit in front of the computer long enough. He didn't even have the initiative to edit his CV as per my suggestion. I know ever since he wakes up at noon daily, his time was filled with his mother and sister's family activities and visiting his kids but... he doesn't work and he doesn't have to do housework, so...???

On Saturday, I had a nice dim sum lunch with an ex-colleague from the hotel. Dropped by at the main kitchen and caught the men in white at the end of their Chef's table. And then, delicious lamb and chicken briani dinner at my uncle's spacious bungalow. The kids ended up in the swimming pool.

On Sunday morning, I had an unpleasant surprise. A friend was supposed to have breakfast with me at La Bodega and shared useful contacts for my new job. But I arrived 5 minutes late finding that she had bumped into a Chinese family that she knew and expected us to sit at the same table. Excuse me, I didn't sign up for breakfast with strangers and time is precious.

I excused myself saying I needed to go upstairs and use the plug point. I finished breakfast and was online for an hour before she finally came up bringing this Chinese guy with her. She saw my comment on FB and tried to cover up with a lame excuse that she was introducing him to me as a contact. Wrong person too, he was the designer and didn't have a clue what the PR team did. She insincerely & discreetly apologised after that, and I said I've got to go, my parents were leaving for the airport. I got a window into her core character, reminding me that my first impression is always correct. That would be our last outing, for me at least.

I did a lot of preparation for my new job, especially in terms of dressing. Went on a shopping spree just the week before going back to my hometown. Bought jubah, blouses, long skirts, tudung, handbag, eye shadow palette and 5 pairs of shoes (before that I've only bought like 3 pairs in the last 4 years). I went back to my hometown and ordered 4 pairs of dark trousers from an old Chinaman tailor. Bought another 3 tudung CT from Pekan Rabu.

And during the weekend in Hatyai, I found the ideal briefcase, a black blouse, hair bands and eye liners. Finished that off with final shopping spree upon return to KL – foundation, powder, mascara, more eye shadows and blushers. Having to tie up my hair neatly in a bun also means new fashionable hair accessories – hairnets, hair clips and glittering hair combs to push my fringe back. Okay, that is a lot for someone who does not occasionally enjoys shopping, LOL!

What triggered that? First of all, the dress code requires the female employees to wear head scarves (of any type – includes transparent ones and selendang ). That means I have to choose my outfits carefully to match. And then, the HR clerk at my former company suddenly lashed out a long advice to me on dressing well. It seemed that the employees there were bitching about my dressing.

Sure, I had gotten uninspired, but their (gomen) definition of well-dressed is something else - “Baju dia serupa dengan baju aku ja...” Yeah, they expect a manager to wear a material of superior quality to the others, probably with those glittering artificial stones as well:p. She also stressed to me about making a strong first impression at my new work place and dressing well (to counter off the negative things my former colleagues have been spreading about me).

When I returned my office handphone on Friday last week, I found myself stepping into a pressure-cooker. The staffs were preparing for a politically-motivated outstation Raya event. My 2 former senior executives were roaming around like little Hitlers, power crazy and out of control. Apart from the mualaf, a senior clerk and an executive were brought in to replace me. Still no manager. Staff were being transfered without plan and customer service became short-handed again. The driver turned librarian was the main person in-charge. Several people wanted to talk to me 121 that I spent like 3 hours there. The best news of all - an external candidate was hired to fill in the post that the idiot had been eyeing all along, yeaaaa!!!!

Shall write about my first week at work in my next entry:)


MULAN said...

eid fitri greetings to u hazia..!!!

Ms Lavendar said...

I'm a bit left behind. But I'm sure I will have lots of time next year to read up all that I have been missing.

Miss you girlfriend!

Hazia said...

Mulan, belated greetings:)
Lavender, have visited your new blog and left comment. I have 3 months of entries to update :p