Save the world

Work has been great so far. Not just good, but great. It has been five and half a month, nearing the end of its honeymoon period yet I still love it, so I take that as a good thing.

I love what I am doing. I don’t necessarily love the cause (we’ll talk about that in another post), but I love the job. To be able to write every single day as my life’s work, just bettering my craft, is a dream. A dream I’m living right now.

Of course I miss TFM. I miss the individuals that I was surrounded with. Overachieving, intense, politically correct, opinionated, thought provoking, sincere, full of warmth. All driven by the same mission. Even though we didn’t work directly together, their amazingness were contagious.

But here in VLT, I have a team. MY team. For once in my career I feel like I am taken care of. I have my leaders and my comrades, and we are all in this together. We are going to take care of each other. I learn and execute much more leadership in this advertising agency that I ever did back then in that corporate backed, education driven, non-profit organization.

Fortunately I’ve been blessed to be in places that practice clean politics. Or maybe it is just me because I noticed my peers always have something to complain about. Maybe it is just me, then be it. I have limited resources and energy as it is, to be spent on collaterals.

Life is about choices and sacrifices, this I figured out as much. At least at this particular point in my youth, I need to be good at something, to be proud of myself first before I can go out and save the world.

Talk

If we only stopped talking about other people’s work habits, oddities, and weaknesses. If we stopped talking about other people at all, what would that left us?

Only things that matter, I hope. Only meaningful conversations between you and me.

Tous Les Jours

So I stopped by Tous Les Jours this morning to get some food. I only wanted to pay for ONE bread but this hipster Malay couple in front of me were taking their sweet sweet time looking through the menu. The girl noticed and nicely asked me to go first, but then the boyfriend looked at me one kind and said:

“Eh Khairul, ko kat sini. Lama tak nampak?”

To which I answered, “Ya man, I work around here now” and hurriedly left because I couldn’t remember who the guy was and didn’t want to be awkward.

#chooseUberMy

I ‪#‎chooseUberMY‬ because I don’t have to put up with things like:

“Situ tada pigi, itu tanya teksi belakang punya.”
“Eh duit kecik takde ke.”
“Tambah dua hinggit boleh dik, kat sana jem la.”
“Ni nak ikut LDP ke BBQ?” (How do I know, I’m not the cabbie!)

…and many other bollocks including rude cabbies, reckless cabbies, sexually (verbally) assaulting cabbies, gangs of cabbies in Kelana Jaya refusing to use meters, etc.

Instead, with Uber, I only need to tell the driver my street address and he will send me home, safe and sound. With no extra midnight charges.

A memoranda

Sometimes you bend yourself to the environment, to fit in. To get through life with least resistance, so you can go about your daily tasks.

Sometimes you compromise, because you don’t want to be that hard-headed, opinionated prick that keeps shoving beliefs down everyone’s throat.

But I don’t wanna compromise anymore, I don’t wanna be yet another agent of sexism. I don’t want to add to the amount of bullshits that women have to face every single day at work, at school, when they are walking down the street.

I won’t use terms such as ‘bitch’ and ‘frape’ because they are insulting, derogatory, even desensitizing an otherwise a very serious issue. I won’t make a “that’s what she said joke” because it just cheapens everything, and come on, you could do with a better sense of humor.

I won’t reduce any individual that I see on first sight to their physical proportions and abilities to perform in bed.

You can’t imagine how it feels like to be a woman. I know I can’t. Having to conform to a certain image that society expects them to be. Being prosecuted for holding on to their beliefs. Every single minute of the day.

So this is a memoranda to myself. If you are a friend and you catch me violating what I promises, please do give me a good slap in the face, thank you very much.

Every person

Every person is a collection of stories. Where they come from, their upbringing, what they’ve been through. Each with their own routines, hobbies, best friends, hopes, and fears. If you could only see a human being inside, you’ll find something beautiful. Then there would be no hate.

Favorite books

I was tagged by dearest Syakirin and Becca to list the books that have profound impact in my life. So here we go:

1. On Writing Well, William Zinsser.

Much of how I write today, I owe it to this man. The essence of non-fiction writing is rewriting, it is more about letting go of the words rather than adding more in, all without losing your voice.

I still have a long way to achieve that, as such I will always remember the words of Thoreau, “Simplify, simplify, simplify.”

2. Masters of Doom, David Kushner.

I read this book three times when I first bought it. It tells the story about John Carmack and John Romero when they first teamed up to create Doom, a video game that revolutionized the industry for years to come. It is a tale of passion, friendship, betrayal, and a portion of a lifetime spent on tabletop RPG.

And I tell ya, Kushner’s storytelling is just superb. Even the technical bits is explained masterfully, I came to appreciate how important gaming is to push the boundaries of technological advancements.

3. How To Talk To Anyone, Leil Lowndes.

I was socially awkward as a kid (okay I still am), but I did crave for that love and attention. I needed to talk to people. BAM, enter How To Talk To Anyone, the chick-flick version of How To Win Friends And Influence People.

Most of the techniques explained are corny and don’t even make sense, but that doesn’t matter as much because Lowndes is just hilarious and charming.

4. Do Tampons Take Your Virginity?, Marie Simas

I bought this memoir on Amazon merely to test online shopping, yet it turned out to be one of my best purchase ever. The humor is as crude as it is genuine, and by the end I just felt glad that I’ve met this woman in all her stories.

5. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

Although I’m extremely disappointed by how self-absorbed the author is in his later works, I make an exception for The Alchemist. So many life lessons packed into one little novel. It actually moved me to apply for my first passport, such strong CTA.

*

I’ll stop at 5 for now. Consider yourself tagged!

Uber

Uber solves a few problems:

1) They empower more people to serve the community. A driver doesn’t have to pay for car rent or gas money.

2) Drivers are commissioned by the amount of rounds they make, not by distance. So they are less likely to cheat customers by using a longer route.

3) You only specify your destination once you are in the car, and the driver is OBLIGATED to send you wherever it would be. Even MyTeksi couldn’t solve this problem because some drivers tend to be picky.

4) All drivers belong to Uber, so there’s only one entity responsible when shit goes down. Even with MyTeksi and their filtered drivers, I still got shady characters, occasionally. Once I was sent to Seksyen 15 instead of SS15, and MyTeksi while sympathetic, didn’t provide any refunds.

5) Credit/debit card system. This is obvious. I don’t need to argue with drivers that don’t have change.

All these accusations on Uber are things that can be solved. They don’t pay for insurance and license? Then make them, simple as that.

Businesses, stop being such a whiny little brat, being threatened just because you don’t keep up with the innovation. Seriously, get on with the times.

Swiveling chair

I have a swiveling chair at work.

Every time I swivel to the back, there’ll be the designers and their Photoshop screens, performing some sort of maneuvers akin to NASA mission control center in the movies.

Then I swivel to the front, there’ll be the writers with their distinct personas: the grammar Nazi, the idea bank, the down-to-earth leader, and my dearest fellow juniors.

I do love my swiveling chair. More so, my team.

Small choices and sacrifices

Do things that make you happy, they say.

But there’s the short-term happiness: the gaming marathon, the late night social hangouts. There’s also the long-term ones: creating something, being better at your craft. One time too many I choose the former because it’s comfortable. Because I give myself excuses that I would start tomorrow, for real this time around. But tomorrow never comes.

I’m not asking myself to bleed or to be unreasonable. I’m done with being on either side of extremes, wishfully thinking that I could turn myself 180 degrees and succeed overnight. No, it doesn’t work that way.

I’m asking myself to make small choices and sacrifices. Linger a little longer before I leave the office. Write one hundred and some words before I go to bed. Incremental change, hey.

Yep.