Friday, April 11, 2008

It's final! I collected my last paycheck...


Wah! I can't believe it when I saw the figures. Was expecting like a hundred bucks for 15 years of service. I resigned from my old workplace on Jan 21, took a break till Feb 18 before I started work at my present company.

Officially, my employment ceased on March 31 and in last November, the old company CEO announced gratuity payment. It wasn't paid till April and I was not a part of it. Anyways, no point crying foul over things that are beyond my control.

I never regretted the day I threw in the letter. My bro Eddie was instrumental by advising me on what to do. And so did my ex-colleague Abdul Razak who left the scene as well. I had no hang-ups after one year of mistreatment. From the beginning, I knew it was a trap to snare my career. There are no prospects and I took the fall for someone else's mistake. And the change in hand in terms of management didn't help. Topside promoted an entertainment editor to fill in the vacuum and the feature desk deputy editor is a retard. Can't be help if the said person had parachuted into the job without any news reporting and desk experience. My stint in Johor and Malacca helped a lot.

So, why wait for 15 years? I've got to say that despite all the good job offers out there, I have priced myself out of the market. Solely because of principles. I don't believe in kissing ass, carrying balls and shouting to be heard. The work speaked for itself and for that, ultimately -- there is a price to be paid. I was thankful to my former boss who offered me a passage out of the Malay Mail back in mid-2005. I have to prove myself in a section that was filled with people who had shattered dreams. Has beens, never were and wannabes. A few good writers there had also shown the signs of wearing out thin. Again, I knew it was a ploy to hit back at my former boss in the Mail. But hey, when the survival instinct kicked in, I had to do what I had to do.

Two and a half-years was a good run. I had my spot, re-positioned myself in the business. I've travelled quite a bit. It wasn't till late last year when the old company's executive director had handed me 20sen and said : "Pi main jauh-jauh..." (Go play far-far). It was a sign that I needed. Nine months earlier, his blue-eyed boy, now a player in Public Relations had offered me a position. No black and white which ended up as an empty promise. I was the scapegoat they've used to enhance their resume. Yet, I persevered.

It was a thankless job right from the start. No planning. Eight pages to fill everyday, six days a week. And to rub salt on the wound, none of the primadonnas who worked there were helpful. Everyone was for themselves. I dealt with retards who behaved like the company had owed them a living. Day after day, I slogged. The bitch who cracked the whip had nice things to say. But as resources were depleted, things went over the top. I was blamed for 'not filling the pages'. The assignments became rediculous. Instead of heading to the ground, the deputy was literally lifting leads off the internet. No integrity. And highly unprofessional. The person even lashed out at me and said : "Of all days, why must you head outstation when I gave you an assignment?"

It happened before and it happened again. I survived four Group Editors, three Group Editors In Chief. This was my last straw. For what I am worth (20sen) it dawned at me that there is no place for a Chinese reporter in a predominantly Malay set up. Even the deputy, who is a Chinese person, was a HUGE disappointment. A racist to begin with, she picked on the weak and preyed on the unsuspecting. It was no help when your section head did not stand up for you. Instead, she paraded you to the wolved and stuck a dagger into your heart, then fed it to her masters.

I knew that time was running out. I had to make my move. Negotiations were made and many including my ex-section heads were thrown off track. They do not deserve the privilage of information.

Michelle, my wife understood the entire situation. I confided in her a lot. She told me to end the suffering my moving on. That was the best decision I've ever made. Even the jungle had wanted me gone! I recall the last day at work. At 4.30pm, I packed up and left the building. No farewell party, small talk, well wishes. It was a cold affair. People were distant and hostile. I walked away and never looked back. My detractors can kiss my ass!

Yesterday, after picking up the pay cheque, it was over.. A new chapter begins and I don't want to lug the old baggage and screw things up. Right now, I am fitting in fine at the new workplace. Rekindled with my colleagues whom I have left some 17 years ago...


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