Friday, February 24, 2012

Suicide Note

What if things were so bad (or that you think things were so bad) that you feel like there's no way out? Like the only escape route you can see is killing yourself?

Suicide is and always will be a sensitive subject to me. I will not delve further, but let me just say this first. In no way am I condoning suicide. I am not saying that if things go bad, killing yourself is an option. It's just that, I can understand how fragile our state of mind can be, how vulnerable our state of faith can get, that we would consider it. Suicide.

So, what if things were that bad? And you decide to end it all? Please don't think of me as morbid. I am merely thinking about what my last thoughts would be. And inevitably, the writer in me, pondered about what I would write on my suicide note.

Should I be apologetic? Should I justify my actions? Or should I just tell everyone I love them but this is just too big for me to handle?

What would you say?

Is this truly food for thought, or am I being morbid and emotional today?

ps. Iye, aku tahulah murtad seorang muslim yang bunuh diri. Apa yang aku cakapkan ni bukan pasal bunuh diri per se, I am talking about that note. About the thoughts that's running through one's mind when contemplating and even committing the act.

Friday, February 17, 2012

You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry

I think it's fair to say that most Malaysians, especially those well-connected to social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube (which is what, easily 60% of Malaysians? :P), are now aware of the brouhaha surrounding a certain customer who got punched by a KFC worker. 

Apa? Semua dah tahu dan dah blogged all about it? I am slowpoke indeed. Oh well. 

Due to this incident, cliched, vomit-inducing, unimaginative writings galore ensued. Gems such as "Instead of getting his fried chicken, the customer got a zinger instead. TO HIS FACE" or "the hot and spicy situation was witnessed by no less than 20 patrons who were also queuing up for their food" cropped up, oh, here and there (nope, not gonna give them the pageviews). My question is, really writer, did you go to school for them shit? -__-

Okay, les get back to the story at hand, shall we?

Here's my recap. KFC. Minimum wage workers. Long queue. Night time. Ciken finis. Kastemer anggeri. Kastemer shout (?). Worker responds. Shout some more. Worker came out from behind the counter and punched kastemer in the face. Shout some more. Ah, malas lah recap (padahal dah habis recap pun). This is what I am talking about.

As per normal in Malaysia, APA-APA HAL sekalipun, kalau ada terkena-mengena dua kaum berbeza, mesti ada yang sedikit shallow melabel isu tersebut sebagai isu perkauman. Akan ada yang judgmental dan cakap orang tu racist dan kita-perlu-memperjuangkan-maruah-bangsa-kita.

Sebenarnya, aku tak nak 'kupas' pasal isu ni dari perspektif itu. I believe there are two sides to a story. So far, we have heard the kastemer's side. I have a strong hunch that the KFC guy(s) will not have his (their) 15 minutes, not because they don't wanna share their story, but if KFC hires any sort of PR or communication unit worth their salt, a gag order on the worker is probably in place, in accordance with Crisis Management 101. KFC will (and should?) assume responsibility and apologise and let the vouchers the kastemer wanted to redeem to still be usable even after the vouchers have passed their expiry date (oh, didn't you know? The customer wanted to redeem some vouchers that was expiring on that particular date. No wonderlah sentap ciken finis. Kire burnlah voucher diorang tu kalau tak dapat ciken malam tu jugak -___-). Oh, tapi mungkin tak guna jugak, sebab kastemer tersebut sudah 'emotionally distressed' dan mahu menyaman KFC. Oh well.

Thing is, we hear a lot of  'budak KFC tu kena provoke.' This is here-say. Unless there's another video floating around showing what happened prior to the fist fight. Unless we can find the smug-faced guy in the blue t-shirt or the Mat Saleh or any other patrons in the i-City KFC that night who can give the down-low of what happened, we won't know for sure. Even then, diorang boleh tipu kata diorang ada kat situ sedangkan saja je, nak jugak tumpang 15 minit tersebut.

Kembali kepada 'tapi, budak KFC tu kena provoke, customer tu maki hamun family budak tu.' Now, let me be clear (and be a parent). A fist fight is not gonna solve anything, son. Aku faham, emosi (dan syaiton) mungkin menguasai budak tu. Tak termasuk penat ngadap ayam (boleh tahan lagi) dan orang  (yang INI hehehe, Allahu'alam) satu hari. Tak termasuk faktor-faktor lain yang mungkin ada di sekeliling mamat tu. But I am telling you this. Violence is never the answer. 

Aku tahu, easier said than done. Kalau aku dalam situation tu pun, tak tentu lagi aku tak react dengan cara yang sama. So, it is with a heavy heart that I must say, budak KFC tu sepatutnya, personally, minta maaf. Gag order or not. Kalau betullah customer tu maki hamun keluarga awak, then that stands as a bigger reason for you to apologise. I mean, you don't want what the customer allegedly say about your family turn out to be true, right? Be the bigger person. Be a better man. Minta maaf. It won't solve anything, I know, dan customer tu mungkin akan terus dengan keputusan beliau untuk menyaman anda dan KFC but believe me when I say yang meminta maaf tu bukan untuk customer tu, meminta maaf ni untuk diri awak sendiri. 

Minta maaf di sini bukanlah admission of fault or guilt. Apologies are not about whose fault it is or feelings of guilt. Apologies is actually about moving on. Like it or not, we're humans and guess what? We make mistakes. Some mistakes are costlier than other. Some mistakes are sillier. Some mistakes are... well, you get the idea. Thing is, apologies are not about making things right, even. Apologies are about acknowledging our flaws and being responsible about it. Apologies is about moving on by learning from the mistakes we've made. Dalam kes ni, like I said earlier, I doubt it will deter any 'legal' actions that are probably already underway. Apologies might even be damaging (financially and even physically, in cases where the other party wants to exact revenge). But what it takes away in cash and in terms of physical harm, it gives and molds into character (<;-- Ini, anak-anak, baru cliche namanya. Learn while there's still time, you fools!)

Thing is here, aku sebenarnya kesian kepada frontliners. Kepada orang yang perlu deal dengan customers face to face. You think your desk job is hard? Imagine having to deal with hundreds of people day in and day out. Hubs kerja frontline and it never ceases to amaze me how incredibly dense some people can be. True story. Pernah ada DUA kes assault di tempat kerja hubs (yang dia pernah ceritalah). Not by the staff. So far, staff tempat kerja hubs belum pernah assault customer (that we know of). Salah satu kes assault ni, melibatkan staff (perempuan) yang kena tampar oleh seorang customer (lelaki) bilamana staff tersebut meminta customer mengembalikan sesuatu yang customer perlu letak balik kat tempat sepatutnya. Fact 1: Sesuatu tu memang diketahui PERLU dikembalikan ke tempat sepatutnya. Fact 2: 'Tempat sepatutnya' cuma beberapa depa daripada customer sahaja, customer tidak perlu ke Felda Taib Andak atau Kerteh untuk mengembalikan 'sesuatu' tersebut. Campak pun boleh. 

Jadi kenapa tampar? Entahlah. Food for thought kan? Apalah yang customer tu fikirkan agaknya? Emosi? Syaiton? External factors? Tapi kita jarang sekali dengar cerita seperti apa yang staff tadi alami. Kan? Pernah dengar cerita Call Centre Exec kena maki bila diorang call client? (ni akulah yang buat. Bukan maki, tapi aku pernah marah sorang mamat telecentre ni. Dia carik laki aku, aku cakap, laki aku kerja retail hours, malam tu balik pukul 12. Yes, mamat telecentre tu call nombor phone RUMAH pada MALAM hari. You know what he said bila aku cakap hubs habis kerja pukul 12 malam? "Eh ye ke, Puan? Mana ada orang habis kerja pukul 12 malam..." Logik tak kalau aku amukan puaka di situ?)

Okay, dah cukup, aku dah banyak cakap dan digress. In short, I just wanna say that in reality, there are horror story from both sides, in this incident, in many incidents before and even after this one. Capiche?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Hijrah Resolution

The list. OMG. I am making a list for 2012. Not so much the whole 'new-year-resolution' and all that, and you should now that I started this list way before December 2011. I think this simple list is just a reminder for me, of the things that I should focus on more (not 'achieve', achieve is an overrated word in this sense) this year and the years to come.

Yeah, yeah, lambat sangat buat list, ni dah masuk bulan February 2012, bla bla bla, yadda yadda yadda. So what? List aku kan? Target aku kan? Suka hati akulah nak start bila and nak end bila (eh, napa tiba-tiba sentap entah).  

So here it goes...

1. To be more involved in Little Miss' school work

I was involved, like, the night before her exam. Seriously. I am teaching my 7-year-old how to study last minute. How to burn the midnight oil. How to cram. Amazingly, she got number 1 in her class last year (proud mummy, sniffs) and she's now moved up one class for Standard 2. Understably, the competition is stiffer (like any Standard 2 class in any primary school in the whole wide world should be *___*) so being a kiasu mummy, I will make sure that Little Princess will spend at least 4 hours a day studying for her end of year exams. 


Yeah right.

I can't do that, can I? I can't, in good conscience, let my child go through all that. Hantar tuisyen? Paksa buat latih-tubi ala Kumon? It goes against all the rules I set out as being a parent (ceh, macam lah ada black and white set of rules pun, selama hari ni aku pakai formula redah je pun...). 

But one thing for sure, I want to be more involved in her learning process. I will try to enrich her learning experience. And so, to this end, 1433H/2012 will see more of:
  • Trips to Petrosains
  • Trips to Pusat Sains
  • Trips to Planetarium Negara
  • Trips to Zoo Negara
  • Trips to Muzium Negara

I am also contemplating enrolling Little Miss in Math/Science classes, not the kind where you listen to lectures, but the kinds where she gets to do the experiments on her own. But so far, the ones I've come across quite the bomb, so we'll see about that. Susah-susah, aku google je, pastu carik tutorial via youtube and just have it DIY-style at home. Welcome to 21st Century parenting, yo!

2. To teach my kids how to ride a bicycle

Little Miss is 7. Little Hero will be 4 in February. Little Miss have yet to learn how to ride a bicycle without training wheels. Little Hero rides his cousin's hand-me-down Zebra Little Tykes rider-thingie. I don't want my kids to be fat, bratty kids who cannot even ride a bike. Come on lah, nama pun duduk kampung (walaupun tak berapa nak kampung). Takkan tak pandai naik basikal?

Ironically, this (hmmm.. apa ye? point ke? resolution ke? ape?) activity is actually also for me. Teach my kids to ride a bike = me being more active = me losing weight. Huhu. tak sah new year resolution kalau tak de lose weight somewhere in the mix. Cliche, I know, but dammit, I do wanna lose some!

3. To travel to 2 more SEA destinations

Before getting married, I had this grand idea of backpacking through SEA. How hubs and I would take train rides and boat rides to explore our neighbouring countries. I only get to visit a handful of them. Sedih. Been to Medan a twices ages ago. 2010 off to Vietnam. 2011 was Thailand's turn. So for 2012, I am aiming for Singapore (been there, but AAAAGES ago) and maybe, Cambodia? Or the Philippines? Singapore's a definite, the rest is still unwritten. 

4. To introduce ABC and 123 to Little Hero

As I mentioned before, Little Hero will be 4 soon. He's yet to hafal his ABCs and 123s (*gasps*). Actually, he does know the numbers at least, because he knows (as in, can say out loud) the numbers of the TV channels he's changing to. For example, I'll be watching Law and Order: SVU, he'll come scurrying into the room, grabbed the remote and say, "Umar nak tengok... anam... satu... three" while pressing the remote. The right numbers with the right sequence. Maknanya dia tahulah nombornya, just that dia malas nak kira bila-bila mama dia suruh dia kira 123. 

Okay, so this year, I want him to be able to relate that one = *, two = ** etc. Tahu nombor dan tahu bilangan adalah dua benda berbeza. And I think I'll also introduce him to colours, since he seems to really love colouring. 

some of you might go, eh, dah empat tahun baru nak introduce number, letters and colours? Well, I am not gonna lie. Sebelum ni, whatever concept of numbers or letters and names of colours that my kids learnt are all learned from thei daily interactions. I have never sat them down in a teaching and learning session, lepas tu tunjuk flash cards one after the other of "F for Frog" and "G for Gargamel."
Click for image source
Seriously, that's the first example I can think of when I think of words starting with G. Sadis. What kind of a mom am I?

Yes, please berate me all you want, because I didn't start teaching my kids the alphabets since they were 1 month old. Yes, I am a borderline negligent parent for not exposing my kids to all these early childhood education thingie-majiggie. Thing is, I believe kids should learn from playing. And even then, learning should not be the main outcome of their play sessions. Kalau belajar, it's great, kalau tak, then it's still great, cos they're just playing. 

So okay, enough with the ranting. Umar, pas ni kena belajar ABC, okay? Kenapa? Saja, sebab Mama nak dengar Umar nyanyi... ;)


Okay, that's it for now. Maybe I'll go through with all of them, maybe I'll follow through only one of them, maybe I won't go out and do ANY of them. But one thing's for sure, I will TRY.

Wish me luck, and please doa for me as well.
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