Tuesday, February 5, 2013

An offer I could ultimately refuse

I am writing this from my hometown. I'm not back for a holiday, I'm back for good. I've said my farewell, cleared my last few tasks at the office, cleaned my office, packed up my things, and moved back, one year and one month to the day I first started working in Jeli, Kelantan. I guess that their offer was something that I could refuse, in the end. Just to recap, the deal was for me to come work there for a maximum of one year, then further my studies abroad under their full sponsorship, before finally returning to continue working for them for seven more years.

So what made me change my mind, after spending almost a year there? After all, it's not everyday that you're gonna run into such a lucrative (although one which requires a huge sacrifice) offer. 

First of all, Jeli. I have lived there for almost a year, in what amounted to almost total seclusion. It's a small town to begin with, and I have always kept mostly to myself, even before moving there. A typical day would consist of me waking up, eating brunch at the least busy stall, going to the office, locking the door behind me, doing work until it's quitting time, then back home and to my room. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Now living there might sound like a suitable arrangement for me, but I ended up wanting both company and even more privacy, strangely enough. On some days, I would intentionally avoid going to the grocers with the better service for my groceries, just to avoid having to make small talk with the friendlier grocers. and when I ate out, I would almost always pick a place without too many people. I don't know whether it was just me, but I always got the feeling that the people there were eyeballing me when I was around. I only wanted to be ignored. During weekends, I would get my supplies beforehand, and then shut myself in for the next two days. Nothing to do, nowhere to go to. The nearest cinema is 200km away in Ipoh. The people I considered friends were not in visiting distance. I would surf the internet on the very slow connection the whole time until it's work day again. God it was awful. 

Secondly, I started feeling that the place I was working at wasn't a good place for me to advance my career. I had my primary job scope, but I found myself tasked with doing things that are not my responsibilities a little too often. Now I don't want to sound like your typical entitled, fussy, 20-something, I understand that sometimes that's what having a job is about; doing things that you don't like doing. But the thing is, the unrelated and irrelevant tasks popped up quite often, to the point that they got in the way of my primary tasks. And most of these secondary tasks had to be done near the city, 100km from Jeli. So having to fulfill these secondary tasks almost always meant losing a full day's work. So what's the big deal? It's not like I can't do my actual work on the next day, can I? Well, the nature my job was somewhat time-sensitive, because it also involved other people. I know it's kind of vague, but what can I do? NDA and all that jazz. Just to make it clearer, imagine that my job was to dig out holes in the ground. But I can only move the soil out of the holes with a torn sack. And worse still, my immediate superior's official job is to kick the earth I had just dug up back into the hole. He is not being an asshole, and he sure as hell doesn't like doing it, but somewhere higher up, either through a royal fuck up or just sheer ineptitude, a higher authority figure had decided that holes need to be dug up with a torn sack, but someone also needs to kick the soil back in.

Dear lord, I sound like a little bitch with all this moaning. Boohoo.

Well, now I am back home, trying my darnedest best not to get on my parents' bad side, doing my best to toe the line and playing at being a model, religious, clean-shaven, first son. So far so good. The thing is, now that I am back at home, I feel a lot better. I always have things to amuse and occupy myself with, and I don't feel cooped up anymore. It's so nice just to be able to drive around in my car with the window rolled down, a cigarette in my hand, and my favourite tunes playing on the radio. It feels so liberating, it makes me feel five years younger, and somehow it makes me feel invincible, like I am going to live forever.

But of course I am still jobless at the moment, and my savings are running out, fast. So I have to find a suitable employment soon, although I have turned quite anxious at the thought of holding another nine to five job. But that's for another post.

Talking about future posts, what's going happen to this blog? I imagine that I'm going to update it with two or three or more posts, with an epilogue of some sort thrown in to wrap some loose ends up, before its quittin' time. I've never been one to kiss and tell, especially on the internet, except when I think that what I'm going through is a unique experience that some people might be interested in reading about. I mean, another vague post on missing your ex? That almost makes your kitsch, poorly-Instagrammed pictures of overpriced food seem professional by comparison.

Aaaaaanyway, the decision to start writing this blog was made after I had realised that uprooting my life to go live in a rural part of this country is a somewhat unique experience that not too many people can relate to. But now that I'm back home in Klang Valley, I'm just another nondescript 20-something who's trying to find a gainful employment, make himself and his parents proud and find his peace of mind. Nothing worth shouting about. Now I can get back to reviewing movies on my other blog, which has been left unattended for quite some time.

Until next time.


  1. No March posts?? Oh do write something ! Oh btw, if you're really a writer and haven't seen the 2012 movie Ruby Sparks, you must. Happy Mondayy :)

  2. Awww thank you, adoring fan. Been busy these days with non-personal writing. I do want to write, but I'm still without an idea for a name of my new blog, since I'm not in Jeli anymore. Any ideas? My first son as a reward.
    BTW I can't call myself a writer yet, I merely dabble in writing ;-) . Sure, Ill check out the movie.

  3. Dabble? Nooo. You were greaaat. Maybe you can start write adult short fiction stories instead of diaries. It could be science fiction or fantasy.. Fine, if you still want to keep you diaries, ok what about “Mr Up Yours’s rants and chants? Bluerghh lame. Don't use that. Uh why you care so much about the title. As long your posts are honest and funny, people will love it. hawhaw sorry.

    Anyway, if you plan to write fiction stories, it could be abt animals like cats. You can start with hm cats started to talk and rule the earth. Boom ! Planet of the Paws. da da da. Who knows someday it might turn into an epic movie. Or sports. like football. Have you read Cerita Malaysia tidak ke Piala Dunia? Something like that. But pleasee write in English. For instance, Malaysia went to the final of World Cup 2020 against Spain. Malaysia won. In slow motion, tables & chairs were flying at mamaks :O and and you continue. You know what my ideas are really dumb. I gtg before I start talking like a complete idiot. Hope to hear from you soon. Have a terrific Tuesdayy :)