Mom, Can You Talk To My Manager?

George and I were at the Dr Hasnul’s clinic on Saturday to send Zeus and Spot. Zues needed to be looked at by the vet as he was having this runny nose for the past week or so and Spot needed her vaccine. By the time we were done, it was lunch time and I wanted to “tapau” (take-away) some nasi lemak for The Teenager.

I stepped into the well known nasi lemak restaurant and ordered my take-away. While waiting, I sat at one of the booth sipping my tea slowly. Couldnt help but to notice the loud conversation at one of the tables towards the back of the restaurant. There was this senior looking restaurant staff, probably the manager or supervisor. She sat there, nodding her head slowly as this late-age lady explaining something to her. Next to them sat two teenagers, one boy and the other a girl; and they seemed to be engrossed in texting some friends. The teenager were wearing an all black ensemble and the girl had nose pierced with 2 rings dangled from the loop. Eyebrow pierced and looking disinterested with the adult conversation.

Then, I overhead the real conversation. Couldnt help myself but having to listen to them as they were just a table away, and the topic of discussion make me think, “This will go into my blog….”

Apparently, the girl teenager was working at the very same restaurant but she was dismissed after not turning up for work three times with no reasonable excuse. The elderly lady was there to plead for her daughter’s job from the restaurant manager. She was clearly upset and tried her best to convince how the teenager is generally good but sometimes having problems waking up in the morning when she is over at her father’s house. Ok, I thought. Her father’s house? My house? Divorced parents? Hmm…

The mother went on to plead her case by explaining that the daughter didnt know there are such work rules too. All the while this negotiation takes place, this girl was there, busy texting, looking bored and allowing her mother to do all the work.

On the way home, I told George of what I just saw and heard. I remember there was a time in my life where I had to do some serious negotiation with The Teenager’s school Principal about her attendance and absenteesm. I will get her to sit in all these negotiations and even sign a pledge to demonstrate her agreement. Yes, I was negotiating for my daughter as she was in no position to do so and me being the parent would be able to do something about it.

In the case of the teenager and her mom in the restaurant, it was a classic example how some parents refuse to learn the boundaries of when to stop bailing out their kids.

Maybe the restaurant should hire the mother instead of her daughter?

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Anywhere But Here

That was the afternoon movie that The Teenager watched the other day. After watching, I think she found the movie so moving that she posted it on her FB profile, saying something about the movie that reminded her and myself. I hardly watch the afternoon movie on Astro unless I am on leave. Besides, sob stories or stuff that doesnt involve sci-fi, thriller or action are not really my cup of tea. I have never heard of this movie before.

Anywhere But Here by Fox Movies were starred by Susan Sarandon and Natalie Portman. It tells of a story about mother and daughter who moved to Beverly Hills where they live to chase their dreams.

I guess the story line has striked a chord in her (and maybe mine if I were ever to watch it). For a few good while I was raising a teenager on my own after my divorce. Our lives changed dramatically. At 16 she was at the age where she would feel as if the world was against her. And I was fighting my own demon while trying to keep everything together so that the ship will not sink. It was not an easy journey.

As I lay down in my bed at night, exausted from the whole day working, I sobbed quietly lamenting on what would be next happening in my life. I was sad, angry, confused and lonely. Just months before I shifted to a new place. She didnt like the place. Her room was too small, too far from her friends, in a location where she didnt like, too many staircases to climb. I couldnt afford a bigger or closer place to the city as where we were residing before. And I just started joining the blue collar again after an absence of a good 12 years.

From that day, we both were forced to learn about how to live with each other better and relying on each other. She learnt how to cook, clean, take the public transport, manage her own small allowance, chase away the monkeys who came to the apartment (we lived near the forest). I learnt how to work under a boss again, managed a small salary, making decisions on bills and whatever else that came in between.

But in between the laughter and cries, we did some soul searching trips together. She didnt like the jungle that much. Too much mosquitos and bugs, she said. Ok, to the beach then off we go. We love the beach so much. We drove in the middle of the night just to watch the pretty lights in the city too. After payday, we would go for some fancy makan-makan knowing very well it will take another few weeks till the next payday before we could afford to do that again.

The Teenager will start working at a pet store next week and she is terribly excited about it. I know she would be happy there for a bit. She is a bit squirmish of the thought about handling the reptiles but the thought of working with cats and dogs make her excited.

We both have come a long way. I am just thinking what sort of a birthday that would be appropriate for a wonderful teenager who would be 19 this year?

Mother’s Day 2010 And Everything In Between

Mother’s Day came and went quietly this year but not without having something really nice happening at home. The Teenager came up with a lovely shout-out on her FB profile. I was so touched and ended up crying. My husband, the ever caring man that he is insisted I go out and have that long pending mani/pedi.

It has been a long life journey thus far. But worth the experience. All the things that I have never gotten before, I cherish them now that I have them. It makes me appreciate the kind of love that I didnt get before, or the care and attention that I felt only happen in other people’s stories.

It is so liberating knowing that the life cycle has come to a great loop and now I just need to move forward from here. The Teenager has become a smart, spirited, pretty young woman whom I can identify with someone that I knew a long time ago…..(and that was me). George who came to my life when I thought I was content with how I ran my life. Being married to this man is one of the greatest things that I have ever done.

Move forward, move forward, Hanie

My heart says

Dont look back too long

Look back but just long enough

To glance and reflect

On the things you dont have

And appreciate the things

You have today.

Employees Stay For A Reason

There are bosses and there are Bosses. A boss doesnt also mean that he is a leader. Employees stay for a leader, they say.

And I saw one perfect example of good leadership displayed by one man today.