Clocking out

I have been in this industry since 1995 and to tell you the truth, I do get tired of this job sometimes. But in other times, I really do enjoy it. In a nutshell, who else would pay you to drive and go around the whole of Malaysia just to play with systems and chat people up?

Yeah, OK, so the pay isn't that good but the perks that made up for it. I mean, for a young turk like me back then, I had no motivation about getting more pay or higher positions. Here are some highlights I could remember:

1) While I was at Metrovision, I get to see the CEO, get free Cokes, see the video tape archive room robots in action.

2) At one of the prominent cosmetic company, I get to sit next to Miss Malaysia (at that time) Ariana Teoh, and record her voice.

3) As I was one of the 'stable' Engineers working on software solutions, I get to screw my Boss and put things into perspective (i.e. My Way)

4) I get to go to Singapore for training and was the only guy who was not 'bonded'.

5) I get to participate in Company projects and a member of the Annual Dinner Committee.

6) I am the Company's (forced) cameraman and get to escape a lot of team-activity functions.

7) I get to go to a lot of restricted areas such as customer's CEO's private rooms, mistresses houses, etc.

8) I get to go to outstation trips a lot and made many toll claims

Reasons for Leaving
Sometimes, things are not as rosy or fun as it seemed. For example, my ex-Boss would try a lot of ideas and schemes to get me back to the Department and humiliate me. This was because I was finally transferred up to Sales as a Product Consultant which opened up a whole World for me. I no longer see things in Black and White. But I was very bitter because I found out later that while I was one of the few who 'got away', my ex-Boss withheld my transfer for three years while I slaved and solved his problems. And so, I was very thankful for the (then) Sales Manager who helped me 'escape'. Even after we moved to Shah Alam, things did not stop there until he got his break by taking over my (second replacement) Sales Manager's place. And so, things got so bad that I had to see the CEO almost every morning which really puzzled me. On the bright side, although everyone pitied my situation, deep inside, I was happy because when the CEO is very interested at you, there is a bright future ahead. Alas, I chose not to stay on because of three things:

1) My ex-Boss inherited the (second) resigned Sales Manager's prized for achieving a Sales Target, which is actually a trip to Hannover Germany for the CES Show. And what he did there was to take a three week leave after the show. Fine, but when he came back, not only did he not get the brochures we needed, (saying they're too heavy to take back) but the selected ones he got was used to put the parent company in Singapore in a bad light for not giving our company (which is just a Main Distributor) better brochures. This soured the relationship for a while.

2) After he came back, he ordered us into his room for nearly an hour so he can show us his holiday shots on the LCD projector. After that, I was chided for still being in the office when I continued getting my things ready before that interruption.

3) During one of the meetings with the CEO, when I answered one of his questions, he called my ex-Boss immediately stating that what I answered is not what HE told the CEO. You can see his panicking face as he rushed up. From then on, everytime I see the CEO, he rushed up with me as well. In other words, I have found the source of my 'troubles'.

4) Then shortly after that, he told me that my current position is no more (even though other Department's are still have Consultants) and I have to choose between going back as an Engineer or a Salesperson.

There and then, I know that this is last and final move. I could not get a cross transfer to other Departments without jeopardising my other friends who are starting to be successful. And after being married for a few months, after talking and convincing my Wife, I decided to leave rather than play his game. So, I told him to give me a month to decide and secretly wrote my letter, taking my excess leave into consideration. Knowing his style of keeping those letters in his drawer as a means of delaying things, on the calculated day, I gave the letter to him, then to the CEO and the HR Manager. And you can tell the CEO was in a very bad mood after that.

Reasons for Joining
And with that, I tried other avenues from being a partner with my pet sister's husband but left quickly after as there is no MOUs or proper documentation for the partnership. A short stint with my Brother in Law also ended with a simple tea ceremony as he prefers to be his own Boss. By then, whatever savings I had, was almost gone. And so, at this time, I was starting to panic since my Wife told me the baby was on the way.

And so, after nine years, I moved on to another company, this time it was (already) set up by my Boss (and also a friend). Was it luck or fate? I am not sure but another ex-colleague, told me to look for him but after sometime, I'd forgotten all about it until he called me up instead. And so, for five years, I worked with him, learnt from him about dealing with people and saw through a lot of changes from failed partnerships to almost family fights. It was him who told me that I should never hold a grudge against my ex-Boss but be thankful instead for 'showing' me other challenges and arriving at another path. Here, I also realised that however hard I worked, I can see the results and also be responsible for them, a privilege I did not have in the previous company. And not only do I get to fly to Sabah & Sarawak, drive like mad to Kota Bahru, Rantau Panjang, Grik, and took boats to Langkawi, etc. I get to be a Manager too.

A lot of people thought I was a partner which I was not and after experiencing these, I told my Boss that I only want to be an employee instead since I need all the money I could get for our first baby. And so, time passed very quickly for us. However, problems are starting to crop up, which was the result of the past Director's actions (or lack of them) and loss of businesses to a main clients are starting. Not only that, there are cracks in the relationship as well. What with the Economic Crisis, its getting harder for the company to collect monies due and pay our salary on time. Even with the sale of my Boss's only car, it was still not enough. And with my two girl's future at stake, I had to make the decision. It was very sad not because I like the job but this would affect a lot of people and in turn, affect the company which is already on uneven ground.

I did tell my Boss not to announce it to everyone except that I am going on a long holiday, from my Techs to our vendors to our clients. This is because (and I am not boasting) my existence as a technical personnel ensures clients know where to turn to for services, competitors are kept at bay and more importantly, our vendors know who to seek for solving their technical woes. Ultimately, I left it to him to make the decision.

This is my spot in the technical office. This spot has
been changed almost yearly. In the first office, I was
at the 1st floor, along with the stocks all to myself.
Then, after the 'flood', I went down while the whole
office shifted up. And finally, everyone was back on
the ground floor. By the time we moved to the new
office, I had my own space again. And last year, it
was partitioned to what you see today. Behind me
is the air-con and test bench, while on my right, I
have my personal wall note pad. Heh.

There you go. Its a bit messy at the moment as I
was busy teaching my tech on the finer things of
how to use a Notebook to program an Automated
Attendant which was hooked up to a PABX system
And last night, I was testing some serial data with
a software vendor until seven in the evening.

And so, without much ceremony, I did what was
necessary. Gave my Boss back the tools, and
explained the stuff in my drawers, plus the stack
of papers on my desk. But I get to keep my, uh,
uniforms (OK, so it stinks after a while)

For me, the hand-over ceremony is very simple.
I returned the company's SIM card.....

Upload my last customer data to the network archive

Take some last minute photos.....
Nothing special. No ceremony. No fuss.

And then clock out. But it does not end there as I
still have two customers (Sg. Buloh & PJ8) to go to.

After performing my last two service calls, I melted
into the Friday evening jam and into my family's
loving embrace.

As one chapter closes and another will be opening soon. I am happy this time I left with friendship. And I hate farewells and ceremonies. We know this had to happen sooner or later and it was no one's fault in particular.

And so, for the next six days, I really have to sit down and plan for the future, whatever it may be. And I hope I will be up to the challenge.

And what happened to my ex-Boss? Five years ago, I heard he unsuccessfully tried to pass my work off as his own to the CEO, who knows about it since he worked with me on it. Three years ago, he was transferred to another Department as the Sales kept falling. Last year, he was again transferred to another department as there were a lot of customer complaints. And three weeks ago, I found out that all his 'friends' have been promoted except him so he cannot have lunch with them anymore.I am not sure but one of the factors was the result of his threatening a young Salesperson with gangster talk (at that time he wanted to resign) who was so scared, he made a Police report instead. There was also an ongoing Industrial Court case in which an ex-technician (also my friend) is claiming for wrongful/constructive dismissal. There are also rumours about being investigated too. The reason for all these? I am not sure and I don't care anymore (but its still a nice topic over a cup of coffee) but as they say about karma.........