Dec 1, 2016

Something You Should Ponder If You Are Hiring

When I first started working, it was in 2013.

To be specific, I started working in June. Just a month after the general election was held and cliché which, the incumbent right-wing Barisan Nasional won a second term against the opposition after such rumours that they could not make it. Hence, the cliché. 

Economy in 2013 was moderately convincing. With its constant conducive business environment, the resilient macroeconomic made it justly conclusive for youths to apply for jobs. Malaysia in 2013 was well connected with the world class infrastructure comprising (and promising) excellent transport connectivity. Among the significances, the affordable costs of living did not cause serious anxiety to this one employee with RM2,300 monthly remuneration. 

2013 was when the GST not yet implemented. Corruption was on-going like its usual business but the conundrum was not complicated like how it is escalated on our local and international medias today. Our political agenda was not widely exposed to the world and no international investigation was made on our Prime Minister and his alliances. 2013 for me was understandably stable with attractive governmental support through its policies and of course, minimal controversy.

Even with that sound economic reputation, little did I know that the chance to get a place for a job interview was indeed, hard. As everybody knows and nods, it is the explicit requirement of certain number of experience from companies. 

I remember the times I spent ridiculously for a job advertisement that fit my zero year of experience. I did find few but there were no calls after the application. And some other offers however lenient and interesting they were, either it was at the remotest corner in Malaysia and/or something that did not meet my career aspiration so I had to let them go.

So skills are directly proportional to years of experience?

I doubt so and after so much thoughts and observations since June 2013 to December 2016 now, I have been contemplating on the situation and requirement, which I must conclude that it is an indeed a special group of employment discrimination.

Let me first define discrimination. It is a treatment or consideration by making a distinction in favour of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing is perceived to belong to rather than on individual merit.

So, to relate with the employment history, it is unfair to distinct the zero-experience potential employees from other who can write more than two-pages resume with variant experiences; by judging that these zero-experience applicants have no appropriate skills and potentials to first establish their career platform. I however fathom that the requirement is needed to ensure a smooth running of operation with the least time and money spent for guiding and training, but isn’t that what Human Resource supposed to do?

The most popular question and response I got from this group is, “If they’re not hiring me, how can I get the experience?”; which is true and which I questioned it more than hundred times before.

With the bad economy climate now, I noticed that the creation of jobless generation is actively being made; especially that the experience requirement is still advertised as a vital aspect for job application. As this global crisis affecting both advanced and developing countries, the number of experience represents a colossal waste of human potential and a substantive drag on future economic growth.

So where exactly these potentials are being wasted at?

Hundreds or thousands or maybe millions of them are engaged in part-time, temporary or “zero hours” contracts that offer no security, few development opportunities and little autonomy.

Do you agree with me that; eliminating the discrimination helps everyone to have an equal opportunity to work and to develop their skills?

Nov 22, 2016

To something you thought worth

To something you thought worth
You wrote the unreplied words
You sobbed the unlistened tears
You screamed the uncertained fears
For being worth was an issue
You ended up using a tissue
The words remained unattended
The tears left unpersuaded
The fears stayed uncomforted
To something you thought worth

Later you saw the tissue with stain
You wondered the price you paid for the pain
Maybe twas the time you neglected
Maybe twas the family you upsetted
Maybe twas the you you abandoned
The maybes you wondered suddenly snowballed
With the ugly emotions your thoughts rolled
Justice for the stain was not attainable
Blaming yourself seemed to be reasonable
To something you thought worth
You still thought twas worth

The tissue and stain you kept safe
In a large embossed box like a lonely grave
All the blames for writing too much words
All the guilts for having too much tears
All the loathes for stressing too much fears
And... all the craves for a pathetic attention

When the box is now overloaded
Like a magic you are suddenly aspired
To take one clean tissue with no stain
Just one last piece with extra words you want to pen
With no tears on your cheek
With no additional fears you want to prick
Just one short in a nutshell
To be inserted in that box however not for sell

"This is not worth it."

As you put down the pen you realised
The tissues also have their price
Not just the feelings you hoped lasted
But the money you spent wasted
To something you thought worth
But not worth
Not at all

Dec 22, 2015

Sempit & Tanggungjawab

"Kakak ini hari kena pergi beli barang mahu masak untuk Maulud Nabi. Ini hari kerjanya harus cepat-cepat siap, boleh ke pasar beli barangannya. Kita orang Indonesia, kalau Maulud Nabi kita masak sedikit buat jamuan di surau. Tapi tak berapa banyaklah, dik. Biaya sekarang ini mahal. Kakak kongsi sahaja lah sama teman-teman. Kakak beli pulut, temannya beli ayam, yang seorang lagi beli telur. Asal punya jamuan sahaja dan kita ingat sama Nabi. Tak banyak pun tak apalah. Gaji kakak satu bulan di sini 600 ringgit. Suami aku kerjanya di kolam pancing ikan. Ada juga lah dalam 500 ke 600 ringgit dikira berapa jam dia bekerja. Anak aku dua orang di sini. Mahu hantar belanja sama emak di kampung. Adik, kau tahu? Bil api di kampung kakak satu bulan sahaja sudah 60 ringgit. Kakak bilang sama emak, "Mahal ya, Emak bil apinya? Kenapa begitu?". Emak aku bilang dia tidak tahu sedangkan lampu pun jarang-jarang dia pasang. Minggu lepas aku habis 500 ringgit, adik. Buat belanja beli barang anak aku sekolah. Aku tak punya wang tapi anak aku kena berbaju baru ke sekolah. Bukan apa lah adik, buat dia orang semangat mahu pergi sekolah. Aku tak ada lah beli yang mahal tapi asalkan ada yang baru. Sepersalinan seorang. Aku bilang sama emak, "Tak apa lah emak. Kalau tak cukup wangnya buat biaya, bilang sama Su. Su kerja kuat buat emak di kampung". Emak aku bilang, "Aku doakan murah rezeki, Su. Jaga diri di tempat orang". Aku tak boleh telefon emak selalu. Rumahnya jauh ke dalam. Aku cuma telefon minggu kedua hari Sabtu waktu emak ke bandar. Dia boleh guna telefon dan bawa keluar wang sekali. Rindu sama emak aku." 

Said Kak Su, the cleaner at my office.

I don't want to elaborate more about this. You know what am I thinking and you too must be thinking the same.

Dec 14, 2015

I love everything about me and that includes my name


I still remember my post on the regular headache I had to bear mostly at the coffee shops, how I've had to go for a dubiously generic English name; Suzy. But, I did't tell you about the famous hackneyed Malay name though.

Hayati. That's my mother's name.

I strongly believe that my late grandfather had made the best life decision cum the first responsibility as a newly-titled father when he had to call the iqamat into a pair of little angel's ears; most importantly by not being too excited on the baby's name part. Thank God too unconventional names were't kicked off while having the colonials around them. My late grandfather who I called Tokwan had proven to be a wisely sane man or I couldn't have used Hayati as another camouflage. 

Don't get me wrong, people. Not that I'm saying my Abah is crazy but don't you think that he's a wee bit of delusional? Come on, I'm open for criticism. Or, you don't know my name? Here are some beauts to help the grip.

Exhibit No. 1
"Hi, what's your name?"
"Hi, I'm Sheriel."
"Share-iel. Sheriel Aizan."

Exhibit No. 2
"Hi, hello! You are Sheriel?"
"Yes, I am."
"Nice nick. What's the real name anyway?"

Exhibit No. 3
"Dear Mr. Sheriel. Thank you for your warm reply on this matter..."

Exhibit No. 4
"You don't look like a Sheriel."
"What do I look like then?"

Exhibit No. 5
"Can you spell your name?"
"Sorry. Can you please repeat?"

These are all the boringly monotonous questions/statements I have been dealing with since I was in school. Unfortunate for me is because it seems ineludible. The name is rare, yes. Too rare that I found it offensive especially having people assuming I'm a dude. To be fair with them too, I don't think it's intentional. The problem is the name, not them.

I once questioned Abah, "Kenapa Sheriel? Abah tahu tak nama tu orang susah nak sebut, nak eja. Ada orang fikir Angah ni jantan." He didn't give me the answer but he laughed. Later I found out that his biggest crush when he was young was a singer, named Sheril Aida. Hence, my eldest sister was named Sheriel Aida. He wanted all the kids' names to be homogenous made all of us are Sheriel sisters (except my brother because that would be surreal).

Almost 26 years until now I've been living with 'Sheriel Aizan' and during the tootle, I couldn't help but to consider changing my name.

"Kau gila? Ke mabuk?"
"I don't like my name."
"Tak ada maksud."

According to this friend, all names shall have their meaning in whatever languages all around the world. It doesn't have to specifically be an Arabic definition, could be French? 

So here's another story. My cousin is married to a French guy from Lyon. The moment he arrived at my house, we exchanged smiles and I greeted him, "Bonjour". He laughed. My uncle then introduced us, "These are the Sheriels". Which he replied,

"Nice name."

We were surprised to know that Sheriel in French (not the same spelling of course) is derived from the word "love" so it can associate with "lovable", "beloved" and "loving". I wonder whether he was saying that to win our hearts or it did actually come with honesty but who cares. *laugh


Sometimes though, I stared at the mirror, looking at my face but couldn't find the resemblance of "Sheriel" at it. It sounds complicated, I know. During that sometimes, I was taken aback to reflect myself how a name can bring you a lot of responsibilities to present yourself in what you're supposed to be presented. Sheriel for me is a heavy name ever since I knew its meaning which at every circumstance and chance I can react, I have to act with modesty and loving ways.

It was a lot of hassles to begin with at several points I felt that I tried too hard just to fake everything inside me; so unnatural but by force. Since "love" by its definition is hardly to be expressed by tongue, my thought on Sheriel is a diversity to all the beautiful feelings that everyone wants to fall for it. Physically, I think 'it' requires monetary involvement which I don't think relevantly accommodative at the moment.

So I went with the character maturation. An arduous effort I have to say but my name has been helping me a lot to go through life. For that reason, I have to appreciate what has been given to me as simple as it is, I am fortunate having Sheriel in me.

Every time I wanted to throw tantrum, 'Sheriel' would save me.
Every time I lost courage, 'Sheriel' would ask me to stay.
Every time I let the negativity inside me, 'Sheriel' would object.
Every time I didn't believe, 'Sheriel' would insist.
And every time I felt like hating myself for not being able to be a Sheriel, the 'Sheriel' in me told that it's been there since I was Day 1 and will continue be until God knows when.

Hi, everyone. I am Sheriel Aizan. You can call me Sheriel and I love my name.

Sep 2, 2015

Anti-Depressant Post


Back in May this year, I was in the state of negotiating with God on my death date. I kept on asking Him to bring it forward before its definite time, literally praying, "God, please take my life". 

Instead of praying, I was begging him to consider the idea of pulling out the plague of my body, incessantly after the five times daily prayers like I knew better than Him. I tried to instill that, that idea was totally brilliant so, "God, please accept my suggestion".

I didn't blame Him though for putting me into a hell difficult situation I had to go through partly because I knew I begot the roots. But worse, I didn't notice that I actually have underestimated my God. Not sure if any of you have ever tried to impose the ideologies of "Humans know how much we can take it, better than You (God)" on God because I wonder what kind of facial reaction you are having now. Ridiculous as it may sound, I even wondered the same whether God actually took things into consideration to accomplish the death proposal uttered round-the-clock through this famous phrase, "I have had enough of this, God. Make it easier for me, pretty please". 

My pathetic prayers seemed not entertained (because this is not roh-tidak-berjasad writing a blogpost. Phew much?), hence I had to come out with better strategies to convince God that the death date should be determined by His creatures. But, I was too afraid to kill myself neither used to any physical damages and pain. Suicide ain't cool and it requires a lot of money and efforts. I imagined my death as something so natural, but by request. 

How can it be possible?

I started to play reverse psychology with my God, hoping that one day He would say, "Your time is up, Sheriel". Instead of pushing the God to tick on my death application, I told Him, "It's up to You. You may bring all the tests You want onto me because God, I'll make You impressed". I didn't get any of 'challenge accepted' signs but proceeded with the plan nonetheless. Days after days, I lived my life not including the death proposal in prayers, but it was always in my mind. Several times though, I reminded God on our reverse psychology game, "Just so you know, I'm still living".

Until one day...

It was in the last week of Ramadhan when I drove back home late at night from work. There were so many things to be settled before raya so I had to stay back in the office, screening the computer from 9am to 10pm. While driving back, I once took a glimpse on the dashboard, unfortunately, my eyes couldn't see the clock cleary. My vision was blurry. I started to feel sudden headache and felt the real pain and itch inside the eyes. Tears were running down my cheek and I couldn't see anything but blurry vision that was getting faded in seconds. I was blind. And I was driving.

I didn't know what to do except slowing down. At that moment, I could hear honking from the back but I couldn't see anything. So I pressed the brake immediately and cried. There came the mantra, "God, don't make me blind" countlessly while I was crying, closing the eyes real tight with the palms on my face, not knowing what to do. Then, I re-negotiated with God on the death date.

"You're right. You know the best. The destiny is in Your hand. I can't even bear the blindness, how can I face the death? Give me a second chance. Ya ALLAH, please..."

I swap tears on my cheeks and slowly opened my eyes. I first caught the street lights, some cars moving from right and left while the heads turning to me. Later, I could see people starting to come closer to my car as I stopped on the middle lane and disrupted the traffic. One guy came and knocked on the window. Hesitatingly, I went outside the car and apologized to everyone, told them I was blind for a few seconds. Not surprisingly, everyone looked at me like I was nuts.

But I couldn't care less.

I straight went back home and talked to my God on the prayer mat, "You took the reverse psychology seriously, but I am so thankful for my life now. Thank You for the lessons and tests. You listen to my prayers, that's what matters the most".

That night, I couldn't sleep well because I was too afraid that I would wake up blind once again, or worse, I wouldn't wake up anymore.