career shadow/shadow career (i don’t know which is the correct term) is a project by the Rotary Club of my small town, Sitiawan. as an Interactor, i feel that i should grab the chance to learn more about one of my ambitions: to be a doctor!!!!! who gives a damn about being called “doktor haiwan” (vet)?? they are doctors too, right??? without them, your pets will receive no medical attention. i think they deserve respect. but attending to animals is not what i have in mind. i want to be a surgeon like Preston Burke or Derek Sheperd of Grey’s Anatomy (minus the sex in hospital or affairs that come with them…all i want is their skill…they have a 2-million-dollar-contract with Seattle Grace hospital..how cool is that??). so i put a tick on medicine and lawyer (you are supposed to have 2 options…i marked lawyer just to “Chui” air-con). but God has other plans.
one day, Weijian called and told me that he has just finished his career shadow with Rtn.Ling Leong Chong (boss of LINGBENA). i was scared. weijian had the same primary option as me :medicine; and he didn’t got it. terrified, i asked Daryl. he told me to have a word with Rtn.Val Allan and gave me his contact numbers. thank you very much, Daryl. the next morning, i called Rtn.Val. speaking to him is like speaking to myself: polite, clear, patient (except for the “bless you”-s at the end of the conversation). the highlight of our conversation is :”you said your name was Sachin?? hold on for a minute. let me try to remember your face. (after 10-15 seconds)……….sorry, i could not remember your face…” “it’s okay”. hahaha. i didn’t mind. to be honest, i did not do anything good to be remebered for. i would not mind if he said he does not know my name. who wants to?? through an unexpected twist of events, i end up becoming a shadow for Rtn HarMingEe (PKM boss).
the first thing he taught me when i entered his shop is “the customer is never right”. he gave me an example: an indian man (pity him) had problems with his computer. he could not access the internet. “apa pasal saya tak boleh connect?? bila saya try sana ada tulis Error 69…err..691 atau 692.” “yala. itu tulis nombor pun ada cakap apa sakit ma?”” you tengok a. saya connect kasi you tengok.” error 691: a connection could not be established because the password/username is invalid. “you tengok. apa pasai?” “awak punya password atau username salah. lagi awak save. tiap-tiap kali you tekan, tiap-tiap kali salahla. type lagi sekali” and it was true. he typed the wrong password. “you see. you must show the customer what is wrong. or else he will say you add something funny to the computer or you try other sorts of stuff. you must show that you are always right” wow, he had a point there.
well, he taught me a lot of stuff. he told me that in the field of repairs, you must not wear a suit. “you wear expensive suit then clean printers or repair sure get dirty. no need to wear”. it’s true. he even told me that with computers, you must not use force. “don’t use force. sure rosak one. look, every part of the CPU got screws or clips. take them out gently”. and i got to learn about jumpers, motherboard, RAM, and how to deal with some cases of problems concerning computers. Aunty Jenny also taught me stuff. “in the field of service, you must learn how to deal with fussy customers. if you did a bad job and did nine good jobs out of ten, they will remember the one bad job and screw you wit it (she didn,t say anything about screwing. she said it in a longer nad more polite way. but it means the same). so, you have to learn how to deal with them. PR skills are important. that’s why you have to study hard. if you are smart in this field, you can make money. there is no limit to the charge on service”. wow, she was right. i took a peak on their invoice and they made more than RM16000 on that particular day.
for lunch, Rtn Har took me to Sitiawan’s best fast food joint, Restoran Bei King. i’m not kidding. the food arrived approximately 5 minutes after placing our order. i was stuffed and he kept forcing me to eat more. i made a friend there. he is one of PKM’s workers, Jason. although he speaks slower than LingKeeCheong, he speaks clearly. under that nerdy look lies a cool dude. “hey, do you play games?? i tried to play Quake 4 on my PC but it cannot support it. so i upgraded my computer and changed the graphic card. if you plan on upgrading your video card, i recommend nVidia 256 MB RAM. if its lower than 256, it will not run the best games”. he is a nice dude. he taught me about the jumpers. if you don’t know the password for the BIOS system, you adjust the jumpers to remove it. see, that dude is a cool man. and he is a nice one too.
Ian, Chiaching and gang came and tried to disrupt my “work” but they failed. Ian just came and watch me (and laughing) but he learned some new stuff. Rtn.Val and Rtn LimKeeMun stopped by and i had a chat wit Rtn Val. LeongChickSeng aldo made a brief appearance but he did not notice me. when i’m supposed to go home, he arranged a transport for me. Rtn Har is a nice boss and a good man.
i can actually see myself work there during the holidays if it wasn’t for the presence of a combination of nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide and carcinogens (a.k.a cigarettes). Rtn Har didn’t smoke that much when i was there (the 1st 3 sticks only lasted 10-15 seconds each whereas he enjoyed his fourth but his friend enjoyed 3 sticks in his shop ,making me having difficulties in breathing). but still, he offered me an to be his apprentice on Sunday mornings. i’m still thinking about it.
the working life is very challenging. like Aunty Jenny said, we need good PR skills and education to make it in the working world. thank you Rotary Club of Sitiawan for giving me this oppurtinity and PKM for their lessons