Sunday, March 22, 2015

Work life and giving back to the society.

Dennis mentioned that I do not really update this space.

So here I am on a Saturday spilling some verbal diarrhea instead of doing the truckload of work that I am supposed to do.

As you all know, I have recently started work and it has already been three weeks. So far, everyday I am learning something new, but there is still so much room for improvement as I still feel quite lost at work. Talked to a few of my more experienced friends who have worked longer than me in an audit firm and they said that its a norm to feel this way. Hopefully I can pull through the challenges that are about to be thrown at me, and hopefully, I would be sure of what I really want to do soon.

I chose a work place where there is a people culture, mainly because I was always the social awkward girl and I certainly wish to step out of my comfort zone. So far, I have met the most amazing people at work. Everyone is really friendly and helpful on things that I wasn't so sure of, and it was really easy to have a conversation with everyone else.

After two weeks of orientation, got invited to attend Amanda's 21st birthday party, someone who is also from Sunway and also my current colleague.

Batchmates, all from Sunway. There is Kah Vong, Pei Ying, Amanda, Yan Yan and Kok Way.

So lucky to have them in orientation and training with me hahaha, and I got to know them better as well. One of the more memorable moments together was helping Yan Yan jumpstart her car and visiting Amanda at the hospital.

People who are from Sunway and are colleagues at the same time. There are a few people in this photo who aren't from Sunway though. Haha, I do not know everyone in this photo but  I got the opportunity to talk to them more.

Actually, have seen most of them in class before but we don't talk to each other because everyone already has their own clique. On the first day of orientation it's like,"OMG YOU'RE FROM SUNWAY ALSO!!"

So far I have met really nice people and I do regret not opening up my mouth to start a conversation earlier on during my days in Sunway.

The sad part is that we are all on our own engagements right now in each of our own different departments.

People who are from Sunway!

Also met up with my tam jiak bunch from Sunway. Great catch up with them familiar faces after work.

Another thing I realize among us that are working in the same company is like we talk about work all the time. Lol got to stop doing that so that people who are not working here do not feel left out in our conversations. 

The above happened at both Amanda's party and going out with the tam jiaks. Hahaha.

Going to work also made me feel very self conscious. People are so well groomed and dressed up at work. Got excuse to spend more money on buying new shoes and working clothes now sigh.

I was so enthusiastic about putting on make up to work for the first two weeks, but now its like not a single shit is given because:-

1) Extra sleep is important. Been back home really late lately and waking up really early.
2) I am too lazy to remove my make up by the end of the day.

Also posted to an engagement in the city centre of Kuala Lumpur.

We often say that Penang drivers are the worst drivers, but have you tried driving to Kuala Lumpur in the morning? People cut lanes as they like and drive in the middle of two lanes. Also the traffic in the morning is just horrible and parking is so expensive!

If I arrive near my workplace late, I do not even have a proper parking spot. I have to double park my car and give it to the parking attendant which I am not too fond of sigh. Paranoid if they will scratch my car or they will take anything away from my car or they will take my car for a spin.

Also, the amount of gerais outside the high rise buildings are uncountable and they sell every Malaysian's favourite nasi lemak and kuih muihs. Also didn't know about having lunch at Menara Cosway, Weld or Menara Hap Seng. 

But so far, I am glad that I am beginning to know parts of my city better. I got to see the hustle and bustle of the city, and also what happens after all that hustle and bustle.

Tonight is one of the more life changing experience.

Years ago I have read about the Kechara Soup Kitchen society, or KSK for short, who give food to the homeless. You can read more about it at Timothy Tiah's blog here or at Kechara Soup Kitchen's website

I have read and got inspired to do so. I remembered at that point of time when I asked my peers around me, they didn't wanted to do so... And me being me did not ask further because I was afraid of going to such an experience alone.

I always told my parents I was keen on going to this KSK thing and I explained on how it works. Parents were obviously worried for my safety, mainly concerning being robbed or being stabbed with a AIDS infected needle.

So I didn't get the chance to do so until quite recently where I found out that my friend was a frequent volunteer there.

Had to go through a two hour long orientation of what to do and what not to do first before being briefed on where to go and which is our team. The two hour orientation is only a one time thing, so if we want to go to volunteer next time, we would just meet up there later. 

We were tasked to give food at the Dang Wangi route, if not mistaken. All the food was divided and packed into boxes and put into our cars. 

When we went to the first station, immediately there was this man saying, "Saya mahu makan."

So I was curious as he looked like a man who wasn't homeless. 

"How do we know if he's homeless or not homeless?"

"It's actually based on our gut feeling. If he looks like he has a smartphone and wearing a decent watch, he shouldn't be homeless at all. But even if he insisted on getting the food after being pointed out as not homeless, well, if he is really homeless, then good that he gets care from us, if he is not then, maybe he would feel bad somewhere inside him to be taking free food meant for the homeless."

So we started giving food to the homeless people, some were asleep, or what looked like they were asleep. When we put down the food beside them and walked off, and when we turned around after that, we saw that they got up to eat their food.

The ones that are awake, some of them, when we give them food, you can feel how sincerely their tone is when they say thank you to you. 

Hard to imagine these people live a proper day job during the day, for example as a security guard that earns below RM1000, and when the night comes, they have no home to go home to. 

Some of them refuse to get help because they are so used to being "homeless". Their home is now the streets of Kuala Lumpur where they are comfortable with having freedom instead of being confined into an old folks home or a rehabilitation centre where they are being subjected to tons of rules and regulations.

Others refuse to get help because, well, they don't want to expose their identity I guess. They are afraid that their family members will come looking for them and they are in such a state where they would feel very ashamed if their family members were to see them in that manner, and they would not want to feel like a burden to their family members.

Well heard a few stories from the facilitators there and also from my friend.

One of it is that there is this little kampung in Kuala Lumpur called Kampung Bellamy where KSK will do daily distribution to the residents of that kampung who mainly comprise of people who are quite old. Most of these old folks are left behind by their children who have decided to migrate overseas or to other states. They are so old and some of them do not have enough money to buy food to cook or to go out to buy groceries, it is a major inconvenience as they have limited mobility as an old folk. 

Well, you can't blame the old folks if they got so used to the lifestyle in that kampung and do not wish to move, but I do wonder about their children. Don't they feel anything after doing so? Do they even remember who brought them up to who they are today? Do they even think abou their parents nowadays?

Another one is my friend saw this guy, whose leg was seriously injured. Well I don't really remember what my friend told me but it was roughly like that. The guy's legs were bleeding and his son, was sitting beside him pleading him to go to the hospital. The Kechara ambulance was being on standby but this guy insisted on being a homeless man because even if he were to go to the hospital, he had to undergo an operation to amputate his legs, which he does not want.

He said to rather leave it to God's fate and he would accept it if he had to die this way.

There is also another one where whenever the city has anything major happening, for instance, international events, all these homeless people will be rounded up by the cops or the city council, only to be thrown to places inaccesible by public transport so they wouldn't come back to the city again.

I mean, if we see a homeless guy, standing by the road, trying to flag a car to get back into the city, would we pick them up?

But all these people, as you know, treats the city as their home already, and have proper jobs during the day, and have relied on organisations such as KSK to provide them with food. To start again at a foreign place, would be a disaster again... So all these people have resorted to walking back into the city centre, say from Batang Kali back to the city. How far is that?

What I can say is, just imagine ourselves in their position. Having a job in the morning and having no place to go home to. To make matters worse, you have to sleep on cold, hard floors which are infested in cockroaches and rats. You earn barely enough to feed yourself, and for all you earn, you only can afford a meagre meal per day, and perhaps if you are lucky enough, you will be able to afford some mosquito coil for yourself, so you can sleep more comfortably on the streets. And then  when you find a comfortable spot to lie on and claim it as your bed, you are afraid of being robbed of your very own basic belongings left, so you hug it to sleep hoping to see it still being next to you when waking up in the morning. 

There is just so much I would like to write here but then again, I don't know how to put it in words, to make it sound less offensive.

Well, this experience was a very humbling and eye opening one, and there would definitely be a next time, because I do want to give back to society, and also I am interested to hear more stories as a homeless person, and to learn more from it.

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