Friday, August 22, 2008 

Yet Another Practical Story...


After the completion of my 2-months classroom training, GREEN programme now continues with the practical session for about 10 months. I am currently assigned at Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad (MRCB) at Shah Alam, just beside Plaza Alam Sentral. I am under the Prasarana (Infrastructure) Department.

Originally, I thought that I was located at the HQ somewhere at KL Sentral (specifically, the One Sentral tower), as written in the offer letter, so I didn't bother to find any rental home. My plan was simply to stay with my family, and I would only need to take the Komuter from Serdang to KL Sentral, one shot. A couple of days before I started my 1st day, I got a call from Khazanah to check in at Shah Alam. So basically, this is my longest journey ever from my home to my workplace. There are many options, of course. The most important thing is that I have to get up really early, as abah will send me from home around 6:45 am and will reach Serdang around 7:00 am. By schedule, the train should arrive around 7:11 am. I can either go directly to Shah Alam station (RM4.00) and take a cab to MRCB (another RM4.00), or stop at KL Sentral, and take the U80 RapidKL bus (RM2.00) which will bring me to PKNS building, near to MRCB (obviously better, and for the fact that I could reuse the ticket on my way back). Timing is crucial, and I also need some luck for the bus to come at certain time so I could arrive at my office before 9.00 pm. (Actually, I’d already late once, but more on that later).

About 16 GREEN trainees are sent at MRCB, with various departments, mostly at KL Sentral, like Admin, HR, Building etc. 4 of them are located at Shah Alam, the Prasarana’s (me, Fety & Mid) and the 1 and only Environmental Dept, Ery. Mid had been transferred to KL Sentral recently, so there are only 3 of us now. So far, we haven’t been getting some real task just yet. Maybe this is what we call ‘belum panas lagi nih’, and to get used with the surroundings. But really, so far, I am virtually doing ‘nothing’, and without a PC at my desk it didn’t help the situation. So I am doing some reading on the company profiles and their projects involvement. I don’t want to mention all of it here as you can read it yourself at their website. Currently at Prasarana, we are handling the Eastern Dispersal Link (EDL) at Johor, so sometime next week they said that they will send me there to look at the site. In fact, I might have to stay there for the whole time of my training starting from this mid-September. Hmm…

On Wednesday, we had a briefing at the HQ at One Sentral. We’d got the chance to eat at almost the peak of the building with the outside surroundings of Kuala Lumpur, together with MRCB’s General Managing Director. After some detour at the KL Sentral itself in the evening, the Shah Alam-based trainee were given an early leave, so I took this chance to go to my previous working company, GRB, to (finally) take my final month salary. So I’ve got a bit of lifeline here, huhu.

I was very late on Thursday (minggu 1st dah buat perangai?). It was only 15 minutes, so I arrived to Serdang at 7:15 am. But I missed the crucial train of 7:11 am before all mankind ‘reincarnated’ themselves to a pack of ‘sardines’. Yes, you know what I am talking about. People had seized the station, and the train itself also been hijacked. I could not get in TWICE, so the 15 minutes late had been extended to about an hour. There was a surprise that morning. If you read the Friday’s newspaper (I noticed this at the Star), the headlines was about our PM, Pak Lah went to the Serdang station himself to taste the fresh sardines, err I mean, to feel the congestion of people, waiting in agony. I was there at the time he came, but unluckily I was standing at the furthest of the platform while he was near the ‘jejantas’ with some bodyguards and cameramen, and a few people. If not, you could see my face in the newspaper. :p The astonishing part was while we all wait for about 30 minutes each and every time for the next train since the early morning that day, only for a pack of sardines to arrive, Pak Lah, who came around 8:10 am, took less than 10 minutes after he missed his 1st (the one I finally got in. The newspaper said it was 15 minutes). I knew this as when I arrived at KL Sentral, just as soon as I crossed to the next platform to wait for the Klang train, I heard the announcement that ‘train to Rawang will arrive in 5 minutes’, with Pak Lah inside. That was really fast. I thought that those Komuter guys were really ‘clever’ and well-prepared, even though Pak Lah visit was supposedly a sudden one. In fact, between 8:30 am to 9:00 am, most of the sardines had dispersed a bit. Hopefully, in another time, if/when the PM is doing another spot check, it should be even earlier in the morning, say, 7:30 am, and see the ‘real’ sardines in action. Nevertheless, since Pak Lah himself had felt the ‘suffering’ of the people, hopefully there will be a drastic improvement of the Komuter service. It’s already tiresome to curse them all the time.

Where was I? I was supposedly talked about my late-comings to the office, right? Nothing more, just that I arrived at around 10 am. So there you go, another boring entry of mine. Wassalam.

Sunday, August 10, 2008 

The Grass Is Always GREENer On This Side

Well, everything that begins will end someday. In a blink of an eye, I've completed Part I of this GREEN programme. After one week of break, I'll be continuing Part II, which is the practical training in a GLC compny.

It seems that time flown too fast to comprehend life underneath it. 2 ½ months was a VERY short stint. We haven’t really enjoyed everything, do everything, and feel everything. But we have to move on. *sigh*

Okay enough with my antics. I think a lot of you still do not know what was all this GREEN stuff, and why did I joined it. I never made a specific entry on this, so I guess it is time to write it to clarify things.

GREEN stands for Graduate Employability Enhancement Programme, endorsed by Khazanah Nasional Berhad, and conducted by the fascilitators of Irshad HR Consulting Sdn Bhd. The main objective is to increase the chance and the probability of graduates to get a job, although not promising the job itself. It opens to a degree holder with a certain range of age, and supposedly for fresh graduates who were jobless for at least 6 months. We were the 4th Batch, with the 5th (rumours said that this is the last one) will start on this November. This programme almost similar to INSEP that I joined last year, except that:

1) It has twice the allowance of INSEP. You calculated that yourself.

2) It takes 1 year versus INSEP of 6 months of courses.

3) Unlike INSEP which is specialized to specific courses, everyone learns the same 13 modules in GREEN.

4) Hostel and foods are provided during Part I (although some of the allowance had to be cut).

5) Activities are held almost EVERY week and we, somehow in some ways, have to manage it.

Mama and Abah were the ones who ‘promoted’ me into entering this programme, in hoping that I could work in a ‘Government-Linked-Company’. I was at GRB at that time. They asked me to fill the online form at the Khazanah website, just in case if I was lucky. I was thinking, “Why not?” so I filled it. I thought that I wasn’t really ready for the real, working environment just yet, and I kinda missed the ‘classroom’ surroundings. Yup, you got that. I remembered clearly during my second extension year of UTHM. I chatted with my friends about their working life, and they said that they would rather be back in classroom as the mood, the feelings, was so different. I said “pejadah, org kalau bleh nak cpt blah dari U, dah bosan dah nak blajar…nak keje pulak dapat gak duit…”...haha I ate my own words. In fact, I told this reason during my interview for the programme. I thought that everyone qualifies; the interview was just a formality IMHO.

So exactly I checked in on the 31st May, one day after my last official day at GRB. The hostel was at Kompleks Darul Puteri, Cheras, in front of Flat Seri Sabah, almost near the Maluri RapidKL Station and the Stadium Badminton Cheras. Approximately there were 250 participants, and each of them was divided into 8 groups, or better, companies. I’ve been grouped with the guys and girls of Group 5, 32 people in total, eventually known as Sigma Corporation after some brainstorming sessions. The logo was a bit of my idea, so I’m proud to get to contribute something. Koley, our ‘drawer’, did the rest of the design. Our company was more on handling travelling and tours. For the rest of the company, here it is, together with its logo and their activities.

Group 1 – Amphibious Telecommunications : Public Speaking (8th – 10th July 2008)

Group 2 – Synergy Green : Sports Day (19th July 2008)

Group 3 – Greenity Travels & Tours : Motivational Camp (2nd August 2008)

Group 4 – Warcreavers Consultant : Musical Day (27th June 2008)

Group 5 – Sigma Corporation : Retro Night Dinner (6th August 2008)

Group 6 – Golden Synergy Corporation: Team Building (2nd – 4th July 2008)

Group 7 – Paradigm Holdings Sdn Bhd: Visit to Nur Salam at Chow Kitt Road (*)

Group 8 – 8 Empire Corporation : Tele-match (21st June 2008)

(*) This was a very special activity which was held every weekend, either Saturday or Sunday until the end of the part I of GREEN programme.

Each of the above activities were handled by the respective companies, and also helped by committee members from other companies as well.

For the classes, each module will last for 2 days, and there are about 2-3 modules per week, although there is also one module per week. The rest of the day will be filled with Business English or some kind of other official activities. There will be pre-test and post-test for each of the modules. And of course, there will be tons of in-class presentations and assignments. The 13 modules taught were: Developing Personal Success, Business & Financial Appreciation, Customer Service, Effective Time Management, Interpersonal Communication, Negotiation Skills, Office Management, Operations Management, Personal Grooming and Social Etiquette, Presentation Skills, Problem Solving, Project Planning and Coordination, and finally, Business English (CEFL). However, to officially acquire the coveted Khazanah certificate, some other criteria also need to be completed, which includes: Orientation, Team building, Community Services and Values Programme.

So, come back to the original paragraph, I’ve completed the 1st part of the programme, and so, I am leaving Darul Puteri, and all the GREENians, specifically, My Sigma Corporation’s ‘staff mates’. And I’m going to miss them all.

The ending speech will always be the most emotional part in any final gatherings, although I had to control that a bit. We had gone to Times Square and Mamak’s stall together and enjoyed our meal. We could have gone to karaoke and bowling and possible movies, but we had a very limited time to do anything, especially for the fact that the checkout day was only 3 days after the Retro Night Dinner, which our company handled. Nevertheless, the more I think about it, the more I felt this ‘gloomy’ feeling. I wished that this programme was even longer. I am regretting of not to get to know my friends even deeper, although the nicest thing was, I thought I’ve got easily assimilated with them early on, especially with the girls. They were the one who made me very comfortable, and even more, I’ve got to see some ‘templates’ of girls that I like, haha. (I did mention names. I'm not gonna said it again here. But someone asked me again in SMS, so I mentioned about 7 names that had some nice criteria). However, being a shy guy like the usual, I didn’t not attempt any ‘move’ whatsoever. So I am still who I am what I am for the past 26 years. *sigh*.

But, I’m proud and glad to enter this GREEN programme. It’s my fate to be there, and even better, be part of Sigma Corp. By looking and observing each and every unique characteristics of individuals here, I am able to define myself better.

I didn't upload my GREEN photo collections at Picasa or whatever, as it was too much, (UPDATE: I've uploaded all of it finally here) so I just show some of what I've been through here (not in chronological order):

See? The shy guy in front of the camera in the Telematch activity, with Kak Niza & Faizah, while Tnie was snapping our shots. We were entering the 'Banana-what-the-heck-you-call-it' activity where we have to jab the toothpick to the hanged banana using only our teeth.

After 'The Amazing Race' around Darul Puteri, we had collected enough materials to make our own flower decoration. We were also the first to reach the hall (but we didn't win the competition).

This was my very 1st presentation, the 'Office Management' module taught by Mr Razali. Ms. Nurul & Ms. Tnie were the girls above. I was still wearing my INSEP jacket that time, until later on during Business Appreciaton module if not mistaken, someone told me that I looked better without it. So I stopped wearing it right after that.

During 'Problem Solving' module, I thought that I'd created more problems than solving it!

LMT v2.0. huhu (",). This was during Musical Day rehearsal.

I handled the Technical part for my group's Musical Day performance, helped by Ms. Bedah (seated) & Ms. Imah. Bro Wan (actually, he's younger than me, and rumours said that he already married!) was the Darul Puteri's technician.

The guys and gals that did the 'Spongebob' acting and dancing scene during Musical Day. We've got 4th place, which I thought was okay. Great!

Emm, can I upload this? I thought the kids were already 'concealed' enough, so I believed it's okay. Being the head of CSR, I had to visited each of the floor every time to see the progress. Here, 'The Mummy Returns' was one of our activity at Nur Salam, Chow Kit. Other activities include Paper Tearing & Snakes and Ladders. The gal shown here was Ms. Iza. I kinda like one of her long term vision involving kids, so I think this activity suited her very well.

Azura (middle) was the 1st from Sigma to leave us to become KPLI teacher, so this was basically a Farewell photos. Good Luck to her.

THIS IS NOT SIGMA CORP! During teambuilding at Genting Resort Hill, we had been redivided into different groups, mixture of other companies. Introducing Zoidberg (group name by Mr Nik, sat at middle), our 'crappy' crabby antics won us 3rd place overall, after enduring all those hardships for 3 days. Pup pup pup Crab Can Grab!

Inspector Luthfi (my right, your left) was the 2nd person to leave, joining the Police squad. He made a bit of 'kenduris' to feeds our monstrous appetite. He's Sigma's first in-class couple declaration with Ms. Suhaiza (at his right). hehehe.

Arghh! nervous! This was a couple of minutes before I had to make my public speaking, representing Sigma Corp on the preliminary round part I. Ms. Fadhilah (Yellow scarf, making peace on my head) was also presenting that day. Of course, none of us (including the 2nd day participants) qualified for the final round :p. I think I'll upload my public speaking clip here when I had time.

Ehem2...WARNING, excessive boredom ahead...My losing speech about keeping your videos short and sweet, 3 minutes max. Can it be done?

We were having some fun, training for our futsal competition on the forthcoming Sports day. Unluckily, I had to pull out as I had my INSEP convocation that weekend. If I was there, surely we could go on straight to the finals (bajet skill abes)..

We also had our training session at the futsal court itself. We were looking forward to glory. Ms. Ain (next to me) was the 3rd to leave after getting her PTD.

The guys were treating me with chocolate sponge cake for my 'belated' birthday. Awww, I really couldn't thank enough all of you, and I never even expected this. Ms. Seena, Mr. Ise and Mr. Zul were anxiously looking for my 1st munch.

I thought I was the only one with this hobby. Apparently, Ms. Lina, the cameragirl has even more sophisticated miniDVD video camera. Grrr, maybe I had to wait another 5 years to get a cam like her.

A photo with Mr. Shukri, fascilitator of 'Customer Service' module. This was our LAST module with Sigma Corp together in class. The next will be English, which each of us were seperated into our own tiers. sob sob ;(

We were on our official Dinner rehearsal at Prince Hotel. These '3 dara pingitan' were Seena, Jun & Lina huhu..

I save the best for last. A company photo of Sigma Corporation.
TOP LEFT: Pali, Zul, Koley, Asri I, Bob, Asri Y, Ise, (guess), Sofri, Azami. MID LEFT: Seena, Sue CI, Lina, Yati, Iza, Ida, Wanie, Bedah, Maz, Tnie, Nurul. BOTTOM LEFT: Siti, Imah, Dayah, Ain, Jun, Sue I, Niza, Ina, Faizah.

Thursday, August 07, 2008 

Retro...Relive Your Past

Assalamualaikum…As time passed by, the final activity of Khazanah’s GREEN programme had come. It was the Retro Night Dinner, and it was handled by our company, Sigma Corp. Yes, it was a big occasion, the most important activity of all.

Originally, the theme ‘Retro’ wasn’t the first choice. Early on since we entered GREEN, the secretariats wanted us to do the ‘Arabian Nights’ theme. A later on, it was suggested that ‘Masquerade’ should be chosen. There were several other themes that did not fit the likings of ours and could not achieve the mood or feelings of the theme. In the end, Retro was selected since there were tons of materials that can be used, like the selection of songs, the costumes and other add-on materials. Our Project Director for the activity was Mr. Azami, which was our CEO as well, and was helped by a couple of group members from other companies.

I could sense the pressure of handling a major activity was unbearable. The theme was finalized around 2-3 weeks before the event, which was held on the 6th August. Even then, there were numerous changes of the date itself, as well as the place, which in the end, it will be held at the Prince Hotel & Residence. The committee members who had their kick-off meeting before the theme had finalized will have to scrap some of the ideas involved. What made it even worse was it will be held only 4 days after another big activity started, which was the Motivational Camp for the children of Nur Salam.

(In case you need to know the list of activities handled by which company, read my next entry above.)

I was actually involved in TWO committees (which I shouldn’t, if I knew the workload wasn’t that easy :p). I was the Performance Coordinator, and in the same time, the Multimedia Unit Committee. For P.C., I was led by my compatriots Ms Suhaiza from my company (which I actually led her as the head of CSR for the Nur Salam trip. Everyone should have a chance to lead and follow, and vice-versa huhu), and also Mr Ardi the talented ‘artist’ from Paradigm. Mr Rahimie, the CEO of Greenity heads the M.U.C., and with its subcommittee leader, Mr Azhan, also a ‘Greenitian’, handles Videography.

I couldn’t tell from Azami’s part; the pressure was too enormous “Kalau ade dinding kat depan aku, maunye aku langgar je, dah xnampak ape dah”… So let me just specifically tell about my task scope. It was supposedly to be ‘easy’. But yeah, I always wondered, “What the heck a Performance Coordinator does?” They told me that we had to make sure the performers who will use the stage are prepared and get ready when the time comes. We also had to collaborate with the Protocol Unit and Technical Unit for the timing, sound and positioning the performers. But I could see that they themselves knew what to do, where to stand, when to come up and off. And both Sue and Ardi made a very good job in handling them that made me as a P.C., ‘redundant’. Yes, I had to admit this one. Even at the dinner itself, I dare to say that 95% of my time, only as a spectator as the rest can handle themselves. But of course, an additional helping hand was always welcomed, and I did a little bit of my part.

But then again, one should always able to manage their task. We had learnt Project Management here, so it should be applied in this case. Apparently I was out of hands when dealing with the other committee, the Multimedia part. I was supposedly to edit every activity video, convert it to a proper format, and burn it into DVD so that it could be given at the dinner as a gift. (Of course, the rest of the committee members can help). The problem was the lack of manpower (specifically, the ones who actually knows about video editing), machineries (like computers, notebooks and related softwares) and time. In the end, all of these had to be ‘shelved’, and I felt a bit guilty for unable to complete it.

Besides the DVD, the committee had to do some video presentations for the dinner night. This was superbly done by Azhan and co. (esp. Zaki, the video expert from Greenity), and they also had to endure a couple of sleepless nights. There were 3 videos, the ‘CSR’, which shows the activities done at Nur Salam, accompany with the song ‘You Raise Me Up’, sung by Ardi the artist himself; the ‘Excitement’, which was the main video, showing all the activities that have done at GREEN, and ‘Freelance’ which only served as an extension for the ‘Excitement’ video just in case if it was needed (which in the end, it wasn’t). I think I’ll upload the ‘Excitement’ clip here when I had time.

But I still had my chance to do something to show. There were ideas of have some slide shows before both of the major awards, the Best Male/Female Participant, and Best Group Award, so they assigned me to do it, especially Faizal, my room-1.10-mates and the CEO of Amphibious, who was the head of Technical. I was a bit ‘stumped’ at the time, but luckily, a lot of ideas contribution came from Yatimi of Synergy Green. He suggested a lot of things for either of the slide (although I did not take his idea completely), and even helped me to finish it during the dinner day itself when I was partially ‘given up’. Actually, we started the Best Group slide on the previous day and completed on that day. But on the Best M/F, I did not pickup how to visualize his idea of certain part, and much of it has to be omitted. The time was already 7 pm (the ceremony starts at 8pm, and I had to prepare myself). He offered to prepare the slide while I’m off to Asr prayer (very late!). When I came back, much has already done and I was surprised (and get excited), and I took over from him and finish it. Had he didn’t help me, there would be no slides on Best M/F, or not as what we intended. I was thinking of uploading here as well, after I figured on how to convert the PowerPoint slide to video.

This poster designed by Kak Umi. Nice!

The rest of the night was simply awesome. All those dancing, P.Ramlee gimmick by Warcreavers (led by Safarudin of Protocol unit), Vespa gimmick, Nur Salam children performance, Synergy Green’s “Mr Grasshopper” show(*), Choir speaking by Ms. Sabarina of Amphibous (article wrote by Raifudin of Paradigm), Ardi’s singing etc. was done brilliantly.

(*) – Supposedly, it should be Greenity to perform as they were the winners of the Musical Day. However, the GREEN secretariats and Khazanah’s representative felt it was too…emm, kiddy?

You could see ‘rainbows’ that night. I mean, it was very colorful, with the guests wore all those striking colors and various patterns, stripes and polka dots, fancy glasses, bell-bottoms, hats etc. The performers also wore the Afro ala Alleycats. Possibly our CEO had the most outstanding outfit, he deservedly so after all those ‘kusut’ moments. Me? I only put on Abah’s 80’s shirt. Abah said he used to wear it at the functions during ‘his’ days, so I guessed this shirt qualified as a Retro shirt. I did not have any additional stuffs, just that I changed my hairstyle a bit.

Junita Jumadil of Sigma Corporation was the winner of Best Female Participant. IMHO, she deserved it as she had this curiosity and need-to-know attitude, and she ALWAYS ask a lot of questions to the facilitators, and she will try to improve herself by frequently giving speeches and presentation in a group activity.

Rahimie A Rahim of Greenity. Emm, I think Greenitians could tell his merits of getting the prize.

Greenity won the Best Group award. I always thought that they were the favorites to win it, so it wasn’t surprising to see them getting it. They made their very early impression since the Tele-match when they were the only group with a cheer songs and gimmicks, which caught the eyes of the secretariats and Khazanah’s ‘up there’ person.

Sigma Corporation, with the VIPs. Notice my conservative style compared to others.

Well that’s it for now. I would say that it was the perfect ending and closing for the GREEN programme.

PS – I still feel obligated to complete the GREEN DVD. In fact, when I’m extremely free, I would continue doing all the menus and drafting some transition videos using After Effects. On the main menu, it will look something like this:

However, I still do not have enough materials, like photos and activity videos, and more importantly, the full profile of each and every GREENians. Hopefully, I get to contact those who have it. My target is to finish it by the end of this year the earliest, or before our supposedly upcoming GREEN reunion, something like that.

About Me

  • I'm Shah-Azz, Inc.
  • From Putra Permai, Selangor, Malaysia
  • Excellence Forever...
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