26 July 2009

Halfway Point Conclusion

Fazlin and Zain's birthday, the same day we joined them

Referring to the title above, it is my sincere intention to…hang on, why is this all so formal? Hmm, I guess working in an office really does get to your mind sooner or later. As for me, it has truly been an eye opening experience. From the first day of meeting the MD of Pharmaniaga, Mr. Mohamad Abdullah (who is a really fatherly guy, I must say), all nervous from not knowing what lies beyond our (Amie and me) 1 month plus stay in the company. Then, there’s this other guy named Andrew Loke. Another interesting figure really with a knack of inserting his experiences from time to time just to make things interesting and really clear.

The first day was rather troublesome. My mind was not in the office because of thinking of many stuff such as where am I gonna stay for the next 6 weeks and also how am I travelling to work on a daily basis. My parents took the initiative to look for accommodation in UITM which I did not find all that appealing. In the end, I had to turn to the one friend I hope most not to burden again, Haqqa. In all honesty, I did not feel particularly comfortable the first few nights, knowing that I am really burdening them by staying at their place (till today really). Hmm, I just hope that my KFC treat the other day will make it up a bit for their troubles. Haqqa on the other hand, seems to appreciate the company, much to my amazement. I guess the holidays can really make you so lonely. All I can say is, Thank You Haqqa.

Regarding transport, I am thankful to have Amie to willingly let me come along in her car to go to work. In all honesty, I feel rather ashamed sitting at the back (even though it was at her request) because it feels as if I’m treating her like some kind of a chauffer. The fact that she’s the one driving, and not me, only makes it worse. I hope the amount of cash I gave will go a long way in making up for her troubles, not to mention the oil and toll fares. No wonder it’s so expensive to live here! On another note, I really enjoy the religious discussions we had together and despite the troubles regarding the car, it certainly taught me to be a lot more patient and get to know about car mechanisms more in the future. All I can say is, Thank You Amie.

So, it’s back to the office. My office (haha,”MY office”) is located on the highest floor of the A Block in Bukit Raja, in a nice glass box. There are 3 main people in the department I’m attached to, Mr. Andrew, Mr. Fazlin and Mrs. Azlina. Explaining the latter two, one is a quiet but very engaging fellow once involved in a conversation while the other is a very organized and motherly like lady. And of course there’s the other staff. Kak Maziah and Ika are both pregnant, the latter expected to be around early August. Both are really helpful to both of us in terms of settling in the office. Don, Zain and Syafik are really smart guys. Don prefers to be the strong, serious type while the latter two are the practical jokers of the office, with the joke occasionally on me, but heck, I don’t really mind! Kak Sel is a quiet type, regularly helping Amie out in her tasks and me too sometimes. One practical note, Syafik, Zain and Kak Sel have at least sent me back to Putra Heights at least once!

The lessons I’ve learnt here…hmm, guys take my word on this. If you’re gonna be working in an office first of all, be prepared to have a VERY, VERY REPETETIVE life. Chances are you’ll be expected to end up in office by 8.30 till 5.30 for the next 6-7 years. And it only gets more taxing higher up the corporate ladder albeit the occasional trips abroad. As such, it is of the utmost importance you build a strong relationship with those in your office with the fact that they are gonna be the faces you see on a daily basis in you life, possibly even more than you’re wife and kids!

On the plus side, I learned that it takes some time to get used to the acronyms used in the office. During our first weekly meeting, with everyone using acronyms in making their point, we we’re literally lost for words. The fact that we we’re of pure science background certainly didn’t help much! Nevertheless, assistance was always around when we needed them for they too realize the position we are finding ourselves in. After all, we are rookies! Note to myself, KPI means Key Performance Indicator…

Besides that, I have also got the chance to experience division of labour in practise. When you wanna get information regarding the market, use the marketing personnel. Well, use is a rather harsh word really for they are really nice people especially 2 blokes called Paramme and Mahendran. Again, understanding my position, they did a lot to help me identify the market size of certain medications. In the end, I got all the necessary information I need to finish my presentation albeit with some difficulties along the way.

To be honest, I’m not used to being scolded at. In fact the last time was probably during Bangsawan because I didn’t act the way Pok Chek wanted. But in office life, sometimes a kick in the back is probably all you need to make yourself alert again. This particular incident happened when Zain was rather disappointed in me for not getting the prices data that he really wanted. Sure data from the US is good but what are more important are the prices in the LOCAL market. Criticized me on the spot too for what happened. Not pretty but essential, just a pinch of what office life is all about.

And another thing, lateral thinking is very much encouraged in the workplace. For example, there is data on pieces of paper regarding the Indonesian market. The task is to transfer the data to Excel. Option one is to scan the sheets and save them in PDF Format and later copy text into Excel. Option two would be to write down each and every data in to Excel, the manual way. Unfortunately for me, I did the latter one until Haqqa’s dad made me realise that the former was possible and really is the better option. Although I learnt it the hard way, it definitely made me realise the need to think more and from a different approach next time.

On a final note, take time off to walk outside with your friends. It helps to get your eyes away from the glaring computer screens and not to mention is a really good time to have a chat with them. In essence, I learnt a lot regarding many stuffs such as the reality of Malaysian football (from Fazlin), the exquisiteness of The Phantom Of The Opera play, the best tips in buying a house in KL (from Fazlin again) and finally the experience of childbirth (from Kak Maziah, not that I needed it really!)

All in all, I think it has been a very wonderful time in office for me. I learnt so much these past few days to the point that I may consider spending some time of my working life in the business area someday. Sure the traffic jams and occasional stale food may be a bummer but it really makes this whole journey the more interesting. Looking forward to the next 3 weeks here! Thank you for this opportunity, my sponsor Khazanah!

Cheers everybody! : )

1 comment:

Farquar Haqqani said...

Blah laa lonely!Aku memang jenis manusia yang appreciates company laa.Coz I'm like that yo!Haha