Career · life

Rant & Reminisce

Today is a particularly mendak day at work. It’s like as if no one is doing work because I have not been receiving ANY work-related emails for the past two days.

Haiyah, I am quite crap la haha. Bila tak ada kerja, complain. Bila banyak kerja, complain. LOL but I complain less la when I have more work to do… ‘cos more work = no time to complain!

Time flies so fast, seriously. Feels like just a month ago or so that I just started at this new job but it’s been a year. It was exactly mid-Ramadhan when I started last year. Funny story, I didn’t even realise I applied for this job; I just remember seeing the ad once and going “Oh! This looks like something I can do!”, saved it and went on my merry way. I don’t remember crafting a cover letter/email, I don’t remember panicking about my resume, I don’t remember anxiously checking the email before sending it like I usually would… Maybe it was one of those direct apply type of thing, but honestly, I don’t even remember which job portal I was on haha. Tahu tahu, I got a call from the HR for the interview.

My interview also very funny. I didn’t realise my then-future bosses knew my old boss/es (I mean like hello, they are all in same industry right), so quite some time was spent on them asking about where so and so boss was now at (because NLB is infamous for its constant reorgs, so the directors kept changing and changing). Then I remember they were asking me for the names of the bosses because they know who they were talking about but cannot remember the name; and my mind went blank and I panicked because I also cannot remember the names hahaha! LOL I felt like an… imposter hahaha. How can you work at a place for so long but cannot remember your own bosses’ names, especially when you kena scream at by them every month at department meetings?

Here’s why. Because we so lazy to call them by their names, we call them by initials. And these initials are not even initials of their names LOL. Like the CEO, they call “CE”, the assistant CEO they call “ACE” or “TAC”. How to remember like that alamak.

And then these two men on the interview panel who are now my bosses also asked about one director who has now been seconded elsewhere (first time I heard that word ‘seconded’ being verbalised and I only knew then how to pronounce it LOL). But this one director kan… He is a ‘he’ who neither looks, sounds nor acts like a ‘he’ or ‘she’. Truly gender-bender type. But the skin, masya Allah, his skin, so flawless and luminescent and glowing. So anyway, one of the men kept referring to him as a ‘she’ during the interview. LOL I was trying sooo hard to stop myself from laughing because, well… my ex-desk buddy kept referring to him as a ‘she’ too… even in emails! One one-liner reply she received once was “XYZ is a man.” That’s it. HAHAHAH kekek please omg.

Truly it was hard trying to adjust to this new job because the workplace culture is so different. The work environment is very solitary and quiet, and there really is a large volume of work to do. Not like as if my life at NLB was not action-packed; it was too but we were also so loud and boisterous, running here and there, talking to everyone and everything. The lunch hour is a lunch-45minute, whereas when in NLB we spent 1 hour eating and about 15 minutes to walk to and from the office because lunch time in Marine Parade is paradise. There’s also not many Malay staff here, as compared to NLB which literally has a kampung Melayu at every library branch. I also miss the mussollah in my old office; so convenient and cozy.

I gave myself three months to adjust to the new workplace. I allowed myself to make mistakes, to continually embarrass myself, to find out how to do things the difficult way, all in the spirit of learning as much as I can about the conditions of the new workplace, before I decide.

To be honest, I didn’t really want to decide to leave, because it was quite hard to find work in the first place. Yep, uni grad with honours with 2+ years of experience in civil service and still took me half a year to find a job. Every time I might think about leaving again, I force myself to remember how hard it was to find a job in the first place.

I actually even took a low-paying job typically for ITE grads before this current one because I was partly bored, partly desperate and partly just thinking that I should try to open my own doors of rezeki rather than waiting around for one to drop from the sky dunno when. Even that, I learnt quite a lot about the nature of that job and the type of people who work there and I am very glad I don’t have to go back there anymore. Nope, I did not think the job was beneath me even though to many, it is considered many, many steps beneath. And they were very vocal about it. I just took the chance to see it as an opportunity, and I learnt how to take naps on the work desk in the middle of the day, and come to work to do nothing. HAHAHAHA. That was where I discovered about myself that I do not like not having work to do (like now). If there is no work, I want to go home and sleep. Not stay in office and sleep (like now, actually not really la I am just waiting on some people before I can get my work done).

Anyway, back to this job. I guess after a year of working here, I can somewhat see myself staying here for the long run. Publishing books (my current job scope) is quite a different experience from promoting books thru programmes and outreach (my previous job scope), and I pretty much know I love working with books thru and thru.

Although there are some instances which make me want to pull my hair out. Dealing with professors is not easy. When some people assumed my work is like that of an English teacher, they said “Why don’t you become a teacher? So much better!!”

LOL. No. 

I have my own opinions about “becoming a teacher” and “teachers” that I shall keep to myself. Haha boy, do I have a lot to say on the topic but I shall keep mum. You cannot imagine just how many people have said very offensive and borderline insulting things to me just because they think being a teacher is the greatest occupation on the whole of the planet Earth, and I do not want to join them (and no prizes for guessing what these people work as). I mean, I have very strong words to say but I can’t be bothered to, so don’t go all up in my face about it OK.

Haha kan dah marah.

Anyway, back to this job. Till today, I continue to make mistakes, embarrass myself and ask stupid questions. Yes, this uni grad with almost 5 years of working experience with all sorts of people imaginable can and will continue to make mistakes and make a fool out of herself. I don’t care because this is all a learning journey. I don’t care if people get mad at me, get angry with me, make things difficult for me. I take it all with a pinch of salt as I have learnt to distance my emotions. Of course la who doesn’t get angry, I get angry all the time. I found that it is just about taking a step back and realising it is not about you.

I know I have only been in the workforce for about 5 years, which is not a lot, but from my sharings with others, I feel like I have gone through quite a lot in terms of types of experiences, dealing with different types of people, going through many types of situations at work both good and bad (more bad than good unfortunately), or even situations where things are “complicated” because I am a hijab-wearing Malay/Muslim woman. I like to discuss these issues with my friends as well because the lot of us are not in jobs that Malay/Muslim women typically go for either (i.e., not in positions of nurturing and care-taking). All you corporate world hijabi Malay/Muslim girls, I feel ya.

Okay lah. One more hour to end of work and 2.5 more hours to iftar. Tak sabar ni. Haha suddenly reminded of when my ex-colleague would send us photos of food every hour, like countdown. Then we would all rain down our fury on him like hell hath no fury like a woman scorned type hahaha. Kalau buat kat sini, I’m sure my colleagues won’t mind but aku yang merana nanti hahaha. #nafs #sabr

P.S. baru sebut, dah this colleague buat… hantar gambar laksa…. astaga HISHHH

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3 thoughts on “Rant & Reminisce

    1. Yes it’s been amazing so far since I get to see a lot of aspects of the “books” industry, but which job doesn’t have its annoyances and challenges eh haha.

      If you want, you can try looking up job vacancies for national library board, national book development council singapore, national arts council, or publishing companies etc. they all deal with different aspects of books/publications.

      1. That’s true. But it might be more bearable if we are working in an industry that we actually like, kan?

        Thanks for the tips dear ! Will do 🙂

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