Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Jom Jimba!!

I've decided to create a brand new blog that will be the place for me to publish posts that are related to my personal life. My old blog kopibugis.blogspot.com still exists but it has been recategorized as my technology/socio-political/etc blog. In corporate speak, this is what we call blog streamlining. Haha :p.

By the way, I'm sure some of you may not know what jimba is. In the lingo of my wife, 'jimba' means fun and correspondingly 'jom jimba' means let's have fun. Life is short so live it fully. Don't be stressed out all the time (easier said than done ;) ). Let's jimba!!

Life is kinda sucky at the moment...

Yes!!! This is my 2nd post of the year. Muahaha, I finally beat my own record of 1 post per year.

Anyway....A lot has happened in the past few months. The company that I was working for decided to cease operation in Malaysia and move to the US to run their business there. And, the sucky part was, because of that, they decided to let go everything, including their employees!! I never thought that this would happen when I decided to join them just 8 months ago. Everything looked dandy then. How things could change in a blink of an eye :(. The writing was on the wall months before the announcement but I guess everyone was in a state of denial. We kind of immersed ourselves with the work, all the time naively thinking that we can turn around the situation. All the while believing that we will ride the wave together. Alas, it was not to be. Business is business. What saddens me the most was the fact that this company demanded so much from the employees in the name of passion. We worked late hours, we made the product our life. We went above and beyond what was required of us 'contractually' hoping that the effort we put in will result in a return that is many fold.

So, when the company decided to let us go, with one month's notice, everyone felt betrayed. Disappointed. Let down. We were discarded just like that.

Honestly, at the time of the announcement, everyone kinda empathized with the company. The explanation given was that the company was running out of fund (slightly true) and couldn't afford to pay us salary beyond January. But, little by little, we realized that it's not that they didn't have fund anymore. It's just that with the fund they still have, they did not want to spend it on us. They'd rather go to the US and spend the money there so that they can be closer to the market (bah!!). One of us found out soon after that they put up an advert in Craig's list for an engineer with compensation of >USD75k per year. That's more than RM200k per year, enough to cover the salary of most of us at least for this year. Imagine our shock and disappointment when we found out about it.

To add salt to the injury, even in the last month, we were still required to work like nothing was happening. There's this so called work plan that was given to each of us, outlining the things that we had to deliver during the last month. And some of us had to work late hours just to deliver these items. Shouldn't we be focusing on our future during the last month, especially in light of the fact that they're not giving any of us any compensation whatsoever.

Another cheeky act that the company did was not confirming some of us even though we've been with the company for more than 6 months. I for one was not confirmed even though I am confident that I should have been. I didn't ask for the confirmation letter because well, I trusted the company!! And we were all busy focusing on making the dream happens. So without confirmation, the company can terminate us with 1 month's notice, as opposed to the 3 month's notice required of them if we are confirmed staff. In my humble opinion, that's a little bit underhanded.

It hurts me at a personal level because I really thought that these people were my friends and were above this kind of maneuvering. But, I guess to them, business is business. And their business must survive regardless of the cost.

I remembered on my first day in the job, the company's advisor had a chat with me to make sure that I'll stick with the company through thick and thin and will not bail out at the first sign of trouble. Well, who's bailing out now, Mr. Advisor??

Phewww..What a rant! I finally got it out of my system. This experience was a big lesson's learned for me. I know now better than ever that in the game of survival, you have to always be wary of your environment and react accordingly. And definitely, most definitely look after your interests first. Help your colleague as best as you can all the time but don't ever expect the company to put your welfare above theirs. There is no free ride in this world after all.

Such is life.

Headache and high BP

This is my first post after many many months.

Today, I'm working from home because of this terrible headache I'm having since a day ago. Woke up yesterday after a short afternoon nap with a throbbing pain in my head. I initially thought that it will go away after a while, but it did not. It got worse.

I ended up at the doc, where I found out that my blood pressure was at a whopping 160. Definitely not normal (I think) for someone my age. The doc said the high BP could be caused by my headache, or it could be the other way round. There's no way to tell for sure. So the only course of action was for me to go home, switch off all lights, and sleep it off.

So here I am today. The headache has not cleared yet. I can still feel throbbing pain in my head, but it was not as bad as yesterday. I'm due at the doc again later today so that he can take my bp reading again. Hopefully, the pressure goes down because if it stays at 160 or so, the doc may have to get me started on high BP medication. At this age, that's truly something I'm not looking forward to.

Maybe it's time I really get started on the lifestyle-change grand plan I've been contemplating for the past so many months. Hmm, let's see how it goes.

New job..Atrocious traffic..

Recently, I've joined a Java-based IT company situated in the heart of the city, KLCC (Wisma UOA II to be exact). I'm staying somewhere near Ikea currently, and during normal day, it will take about 40 mins for me to get home from work.
So far this week, 40mins no longer cut it. Rain in the late afternoon would ensure that I hv to spend at least 1.5 hours to travel back home. Nonetheless, there's something good that came out of this mind numbing, body torturing daily exercise - I've discovered more ways to get home.
In order to get home faster, I've experimented with 3 different routes to find which one provides the smoothest path. Here's what I found.
  1. KLCC -> Jalan Tun Razak -> Lebuhraya Mahameru -> Jalan Duta Exit -> Penchala Link -> Mutiara Damansara Exit

    1. Normally, this is the fastest way. However, when it rains, never even think of taking this route as Jalan Tun Razak will be massively congested all the way until Bulatan Pahang and after PWTC. To make it worse, the Jalan Duta exit will also suffer congestion due to traffic merging from multiple directions.
  2. KLCC -> Jalan Ampang -> Jalan Sultan Ismail -> Dataran Merdeka -> Jalan Duta Exit -> Penchala Link -> Mutiara Damansara

    1. A friend told me about this route. Turned out, there are a lot of stop and go traffic due to the traffic lights. The routes are consistently congested but it's definitely not as bad as option 1. Plus, the route provides the shortest way to get to the Jalan Duta Exit so in the end you'll end up with more or less the same travel time. I would recommend this route over any other during really bad traffic day due to its consistency.
  3. KLCC -> Jalan Yap Kwan Seng -> Kampung Baru -> Jalan Chow Kit -> Exit to The Mall -> Bukit Tunku -> Jalan Duta -> Penchala Link -> Mutiara Damansara Exit

    1. Heavy jam to get to Kampung baru. Heavy jam in Chow Kit. Fair jam at Bukit Tunku exiting to Jalan Duta. Again, during super-duperly bad traffic day, this can be one of the option. It's definitely faster than option 1 and more or less equal with option 2.
Ok la. Let's hope that today, somehow, traffic will cooperate and I can get home sooner :).


The faces of my family. The one sticking her tongue out is my daughter. She was only 6months old then. She's 2 1/2 now, talkative, has endless energy, and really know how to bully her dad.

The other pic is of me and my wife, taken many months back.