Saturday, January 24, 2015

My Airport Comrades


Still on my airport comrades between 1985 to 1989.  I was in my early 20s, fiery and was quite a jackass myself.  As I was still new, I tried to learn as much from the senior colleagues.  On whole, I got along well with them though most of them were much older than me.  Before my memory fails me, I will describe some of them here.  

Andrew Lim who was our deputy Station Manager interviewed me for the job and he was the one who eventually chose me.  There was another candidate, a friend of mine too but I think I probably impressed Andrew during the interview stage.  I can still remember he tested me on current affairs too.  He asked me to name some ministers and the headline news in Strait Times. Fortunately, I provided the right answers I think.  Andrew is a slow and steady guy, never buckle under pressure. Even major flight delay won't stumble him.  He would just go one corner, puffed his cigarette and think of next move.

Mariam who was my supervisor during the initial period of my employment.  Mariam drove a BMW, wore big diamond ring and she certainly looked more like a rich 'tai tai' than an airline personnel.  However, she has no air despite her wealth.  I felt intimidated by her presence initially but gradually, I can joke with her.  We got along well at work.  She never raised her voice or authority over the junior staff but alas, she left shortly after.  I can still remember that she promised to let me use her 7-series BMW if I ever get married.  I did not have the good fortune to use her car anyway.  Her car plate number was 8844, prosper or otherwise in Cantonese.

Simon Sim who took over from Mariam as supervisor.  Simon is another slow and steady chap at work.  He is careful with his words.  He was still single then but soon, we realised he was dating another of our colleague, Jennifer.  They got married not long later.  He is also another one who does not lord over the junior staff.  I enjoyed working alongside him.

Shariman is the assistant supervisor.  I heard he has passed on some years ago.  He was a former national footballer and on the strength of that, he joined KLM together with some.  I heard a Dutch manager of KLM then was a football craze, he recruited some national footballers and rest is history. Another jolly good fellow to work with.  I will remember him and cherish the good times we shared.

Anwar was also a former national footballer.  He is a diligent worker and a family man.  He was not brash like me when put under pressure especially during flight delay.  We used to joke a lot, taking swipes at each other.  He was still very fit then and maybe now too.  I remember we had a football tournament organised by CIAS and boy, he was the one who ran up and down the field trying to organise the team.  We still lost anyway.

I was quite close to Rebecca at work.  She was a fast worker and pretty efficient too.  Eventually, she had to leave the company as she was planning to get married and had to migrate.  She is now back and sometimes, we do catch up with one another.

The one whom I called "'mom" at work and she is Farida.  She is a very kind woman and she will extend any help to anyone in distress, strangers too.  She genuinely wanted to help others without seeking for any recognition.  She is certainly a rare individual.  She lives in the US with her family now.

Simon Oh is about the same age as me and he joined the company some months earlier than me.  Sometimes, I do feel there was some kind of 'competition' at work between the two of us.  I won't say we were best of buddies at work and outside of it but we do not have bad animosity for each other.  If any, we have had a mutual respect for each other at work and best of all, we are now very much connected via Facebook.  He is residing happily in Australia with his family.  

I worked for 4 years at the airport before I was transferred to town office where I worked for one year till my departure.  Those years were special and I will cherish the good times we have had.