Mar 27, 2014

Dear bosses,

“Make the best of what you have.”

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade with it.”

“You are who you chose to be.”

“Fresh grads nowadays are basically useless brats.”

I am aware of these wise statements. I truly am.

But today I am jittery and moody and I want to RANT. (disclaimer done; here we go)

Over lunch, a friend just relayed her incredible disappointment over a pay raise issue. 

She was depressed for a month. 

Apparently the firm has promised a pay raise after a year but paperwork mistakes and empty promises by mouth don’t actually hold up to the actual deal. 

She wouldn't have reacted this way if she hadn’t been led on at the beginning; so it’s difficult to hold back the crushing let-down when the news came.

Here’s the deal:
My friend basically won, hands down, the ‘most hardworking student’ vote in our class. Her work ethic is unparalleled and I’m constantly put to shame by her dedication.  If she doesn’t know how to solve the problem, you can bet that she will have asked ten seniors and googled the shit out of it before the day is over. I have no doubt of her performance at work.

Kangkung debacles aside, this spiraling economy isn’t a fit situation for anyone.
I’m perfectly clear that fresh grads are supposed to suck it up and grit their teeth and work their asses off when they enter the workforce. It’s expected of them.

We know that too.

We’re working hard.


Why make things so hard? 

Why begrudge that few hundred ringgit for your company's talent?

A few hundred can make a huge difference to your employee’s life. 

That extra few hundred can pay for her car loan or sky-rocketing petrol or the RM2.60 milo at the local kopitiam. 

She can afford to make healthier meals for herself instead of having cancerous instant noodles and artery clogging nasi lemak to save every penny. 

She can actually afford the pots and soil and organic vegetable seeds to grow her own food, damnit.

My point is, a simple pay raise or benefit can give her something money can’t buy  -- peace of mind, and that basically goes towards the quality of your company’s output.

Now now, I’ve never been the boss of anyone and I lack experience in managing a whole firm. 

But from what I see right now, is the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. 

The bottom ranking ones are easily starved dry and replaced. If you can afford tens of thousands of bonuses for yourself, why not spare a few hundred bucks for your employee instead of giving them unclear promises then trying to dissuade them from leaving?

It’s a terrible cycle.

I love my job. A lot. A lot.

It’s the best job one can wish for; and I don't plan on leaving any time soon. 

But I'm definitely doing a disservice to my company when a lot of my time is burdened to thinking about making more money on the side, stressing out about making ends meet, working on side jobs, and feeling guilty about my ageing parents. 

I’m not talking about wanting more money for the next It bag; I’m talking about basic needs. For a sense of security, health... ... Maslow’s, remember? 

If you just calculate the basic rates for rental, food, transport; you’ll realize that the current minimum wage is grossly insufficient to survive in the capital city. We youngsters need to survive too. 

Well, you can either 
A. spend on rental for a shorter commute to work, and skimp on meals by having disgusting instant noodles for every meal 


B. stay far away for the city for a more affordable rental but arriving at work with the batteries drained after surviving the massive traffic and impossible commute.

I do try to sleep as early as possible to go to work bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, but sometimes the stupid ktm is one tardy rumbling soul-sucking machine.
The world is not a wish-granting factory.

But I sure do wish that bosses would just take the leap and increase the minimum wage without waiting for the legislation hoopla or union protests.

Higher salaries and better benefits, in turn, attract top talents to your firm. End of story.   

Bosses, I admire the hard work and grit you've put in to reach where you are today. 

But when you can afford to stay in this luxurious penthouse in the heart of the city, be chauffeured everywhere, and invest for your children's private school fees; please spare a moment of silence for your employees on the bottom rung who, while harvesting their organic kangkung, might also be heavy-heartedly planning to leave the beloved company for greener pastures. (boss, if you're reading this, that's not me. yet! haha)

I'm seeing this happen all too often. 

Among my wonderful colleagues, among my friends. 

This unhealthy cycle isn't doing anyone any credit. 

It's not that we want to change jobs often. 

It's the whole system that's doing it to us. I remember reading some article somewhere, where the author proudly proclaims that he has been with his gigantic firm for all his professional life and never worked anywhere else; then proceed to condemn gen-Y-ers in his article. 

BRO. I would love to be you too. so would my gen-Y friends. but uh, i'm pretty sure your public listed company takes good care of you. 

Bosses, be brave, go ahead and make everyone's lives better! We'll be so unbelievably loyal to the company and work hard and give our all to show our gratitude.

There. Rant over.

Thanks for reading. 

Fresh Grads.

p.s: One very interesting read on Wall Street which is also partly responsible for the above thoughts. 

Anyone watched Wolf of Wall Street yet? 

pause and rewind: a trip to the beach!

'literal translation'

'not me'

'three girls'

'the art of slimmer legs'

'party time' 

'hong kong tourist with superman delusions'

'three girls II'

'flotation device close-up'

'megagigablastic foot-long sea cucumber'

also known as

'the thing that freaked us out'

also known as

'the thing that poor liz unknowingly carried on her back'

'sunburn in process'


'sunblock selfies'

'three girls' shadows and some feet'

'hong kong tourist mimicry'

'prepare for takeoff'

'compulsory jetty closeup'

also known as 

'the sky isn't blue enough'

'whee hee'

'sien han's abs & friends'


'truck tracks in sand'


'hoiiiii yak!'

'from left: quidditch. owl. perfect 10. almost there'

'mom's not home!'

'toes and has-been waves'

'whee ha'
'high jump'

'bomb's away'

'incredibly reflective shades and coconut fronds'

'the definition of holiday
floury sand-encrusted toes, blue blue skies, coconut trees & a pending beach volleyball match'

'opens fist. closes fist.'

'my dream job'

'singlet uses 101: headgear'

'shades reflection part II'

'heng dai ji mui'

'too excited with a gopro - the bread that was left behind'

'heng dai ji muis part II'

'red tropical flower that smells really good'

also known as 

'google couldn't give an answer'

update: it's a rangoon creeper! it has a really nice scent and it feels good when you pass those blooms to enter our rooms :D 


'the art of slimmer legs II'

'the ocean is full of gorgeous things'

also known as

'not supposed to put this online due to conservation reasons'


ah. what a beautiful trip. 

for the uninitiated, there's perhentian besar (the one for old people) and perhentian kecil (where all the young good looking foreigners party on the beach and french dudes somersault off the jetty during sunset). 

we stayed on perhentian besar. which was alright. 

at least we got to play monopoly the board game all night long. 

perhentian kecil seemed really happening and crowded (read: polluted) in the Coco Bay side,

BUT the Long Beach side of the island is really good looking in the day. all fat waves & listerine waters. 

in conclusion, i'd like to visit Long Beach again, but in all probability, sign me up for future Redang trips! it's all cleaned up now!  

also, it's time to get a diving license. 

serious good fun to meet up with former team mates to grouse about sunburns, back off from giant eels, pee in the sea, sing songs in the roller-coaster boat, and discuss deep questions about life and MH370. Out of the twelve of us, five had graduated and entered the workforce (except for sing han who might go for his masters) and the other seven are in their final semesters. 

we actually dragged them out for a trip in the middle of a semester. hahahah sorry guys. 

also. this trip couldn't have come at a better timing than this!
we managed to escape the eye-watering haze and water rationing for three full days! 


my canon 100D died on the second day (cause i didn't think to bring battery charger i know i know LESSON LEARNT GUYS) so the pictures end here. 

Other activities include trying ice cream pulut at the jetty (it's colorful and full of stuff like bits of bread, jelly, cendol, red beans, etc), a belated and rather fail birthday celebration for the March babies (nian fong, sing han and ah heng) in the airport KFC, nasi kukus in Kota Bahru, tried steamed keropok lekor for the first time (it looks absolutely disgusting but essentially it's fish paste rolled in sea cucumber shape. it's very fresh and heavy! unlike the empty puffy ones we get in kl. seems quite suitable to throw in steamboats), and a tour around the changes happening in INTI.

hope this annual VISIT ALL THE BEACHES thing keeps up. we still have a lot of islands to go