Wednesday, December 31, 2014
It is the last day of 2014 to a start of another year ahead. It is a "ritual of sorts" for me to post my last thought for 2014 on the last day of 2014. How did 2014 go for me? For starter, the year did not augur well for the aviation industry, most particularly Malaysia Airlines when the world received a rude shock on hearing the missing MH plane in the early part of the year which has yet to be found. The sombre mood worsened further when another MH plane crashed from the Ukraine internal war conflict some months later. While the world has yet to fully recover from the double whammy, days before the year is over, AirAsia Indonesia plane crashed while enroute to Singapore from Surabaya. Like many I do empathy for the affected families and hope they will recover from their grieves soon.
On a personal note, I do find year 2014 not that bad a year for me though not fantastic to say the least. However, I do get to know more nice people through the many events I have had organised. One in particular is the cycle and cruise event with Star Cruises and since our inception, we have gone on to do three trips and still counting.
I have gone another year without a full time job and admittedly, I have to be very watchful on unnecessary spending. Somehow, I am confident I can get by. I am very excited going into 2015. Why so? There are few exciting events in the pipeline and I am collaborating these events with some like-minded partners and with some stroke of luck, I am hopeful that we can deliver a good show together - fingers crossed. I reckon event organising is the way to go for me now and hopefully, I can carve out a niche from here.
What has been my most satisfying moment in 2014? I find that I can help more despite not having a full time job. Our annual "Ride For Rations" cycling fund raising event has raised a record sum for the needy families in 2014 - all thanks to everyone involved. On a personal note, I am also glad that I have managed to form a volunteer group to visit Baan Dada Home in Thailand in the middle of the year and the fund that we raised did help Dada Rama in the nick of time. Some friends pledged monies while I pledged my time and some effort. I really hope I can help more. It has been great knowing some of the people who come together for a cause.
What is my wish for 2015? I hope it is going to be a peaceful world and everyone can live harmoniously together. Wishful I know but nothing is going to stop me from not wishing for that. 2015, bring it on...I am ready for it!
Sunday, December 21, 2014
I joined the airport team of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in 1985. I was the latest recruit and was the youngest. I was 23 then. Aside from Simon Oh who is of the same birth year as me and he joined some months earlier, the rest of our colleagues are more than a decade older than us. Added to that, they had already worked more than a decade with the company. For some, two decades. It was just a beginning for me. If I can remember well, Simon was few days older than me. We even share the same birthday month in February. He was a 'little feisty dragon' at work. He has a fearsome Chinese name called Oh Kim Leng and in Hokkien, it means golden dragon.
I remember Zohri who used to work as office messenger running errands. He was later promoted to handle simple passenger service tasks. Zohri spoke with a unique slang, almost like an ang moh but not exactly close. I liked to call him 'Zorro'. Yes, I was quite a rascal sometimes. Guess being young then, I can afford to tease around. I remember once Zohri was about to leave office to handle a flight. He was engaged in a conversation with someone in the office and on one hand, he was holding a walkie-talkie. I managed to take out the battery in his walkie-talkie he was still holding without his knowledge. When he was done talking, I called him on the walkie-talkie to get him to do a sound test. It was in the office, we can still hear each other even without the walkie-talkie. Guess what, he can respond back without realising his battery was gone. I had a good laugh at his expense though. Bad, I know I am.
Another bubbly person was Jaalam whom we affectionately called Jack. He has already passed on for many years. Jack was a rotund fellow and enjoyed his cigar. He was one of our company's drivers. He had a waist that measured more than 40 inches and easily weighed in more than 200 pounds. He will always demonstrate to me that he can still touch his toes when he bent down. Boy, indeed he could. I was really amazed.
Peng Choon, our office messenger who used to work alongside Zohri but the latter got promoted, he didn't. Peng Choon was quite a laid back person and he was one fellow who does not speak or express much. He was a small fellow but one heck of a heavy smoker. Given his care free nature, we used to call him 'Peng San' (lost consciousness in Malay).
Ali, another of our company's driver. He was a very hardworking employee. I cannot recall a time he will nag about too much work. He simply went around doing his errands going from airport to town office and back. I liked his work attitude.
Johari, also our company's driver. He was a friendly chap and liked to mingle with us. Johari sported a thick moustache and he had a stout built too.
The one I remember too well has to be Tay, also our company's driver. He was the opposite of Ali. He will nag and nag when he was asked to go for more errands. When Peng Choon and him were at the pantry, it was always so smoky to the point of setting the place on fire. Both will smoke non-stop. Admittedly, I do find Tay quite a pain in the butt sometimes.
It has been more than two decades and recollecting back now, I do enjoy working with them all. Once a KLMer, always a KLMer.
Monday, December 08, 2014
During my airport days, I used to have this colleague who will not hesitate to extend help to strangers in distress. As far as I can remember, she is always overlooked by the management when it came to promotion or perk of sorts. Perhaps, she was not the complaining sort and therefore, taken for granted by the management then. When I joined the company in the mid 80s, she had already spent more than a decade with the company but still stuck in the same position. She is one who will not complain about too much work or went around gossiping. Most of all, she will not pull rank to the junior just because she was more senior, rather the other way around is more true. Quite frankly, I have never once witnessed her losing her cool while handling difficult passengers.
Once there was this elderly lady passenger who missed the flight, had to stay in Singapore for few days and had no money on her. My colleague could not bear to see her stranded high and dry in a foreign land, actually brought her home. She even provided food for her during her stay with her. In fact, this was not her first time helping out strangers in distress but happened few times after I have left the company. If I can really recall, I don't think her effort was even recognised by the company then. Only in recent years, Changi Airport started to run this publicity campaign to award airport service staff for displaying excellent service to passengers. If I can nominate, my colleague should deserve one too. My colleague has since left the company and now residing in the US with her family. 'Mom", if you you are reading my blog, I want to recognise you for going the extra mile for people whom you don't even know. You are one of the few people I know who do not clamour for recognition but prefer to remain anonymous. It has been great having you as my colleague once.