Thank You, God, For Good People.

(Moi blogging from the “comfort” of a hot room, sans aircond and thinking of the nice cool reading room downstairs. Why not blog from downstairs, you may ask? Because, dear readers, there are only a few spots on the house that can receive YES reception….)

I do not believe in coincidences. Everything happened for a reason.

And with that, thank you God, for good people.

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The Day I Acted In A Video

What a blast!

The latest project we did for a client was totally awesome.

The projects started off about 2 months ago when a friend referred us to one of his friends for a new project with one of these local government agencies. One thing led to another and one day we were called to join their team to do the actual pitching. The project was to develop a certain human resource content in a video format which is meant for the SMEs in Malaysia. The real acid test came in as a form of pitching for our ideas to the approval committee who happened to be consisted of several wet towels….

No pressure there….

Move forward to several pitchings, endless meetings, sleepless nights and mugs of coffee, finally we were told that the pitch was successful!

Next many weeks were spent with endless meetings, sleepless nights and mugs of coffee to actually develop the content, and translate them to meaningful script – both in Bahasa Malaysia and English version.

Ok, again like I said..no pressure at all……(gulp!)

The “real” work came in when the creative crew started assembling to shoot the video. It was amazing to see how these creative people behind the scenes work. A dedicated bunch of people, professional and fun to be with – these are the kind of clients you really want to work with again, and again and again. Thanks, Shatish and crew!

The video shoots were planned as 2+1 meaning they plan to shoot the entire scenes within 2 days with 1 extra day. The Project Manager had managed to secure a site for the shoot. It was at this beautiful office of a property development somewhere in the city.

When we arrived on site, the crew were already there. Breakfast buffet was beautifully lined up. I discovered that food is always an important aspect when filming. As you tend to be on site for as long as 18-20 hours, seems that if you have crew with happy tummies, you will do fine. The day started REALLY early. The filming just went on and on and we wrapped up around 2 am. Everyone was exhausted.

The second day started off really early as well. The day went longer but lunch was one heck of this great spread!! The fresh mackerel was cooked with love in this lovely masak asam Melaka style.

We wrap up late…it must have been about 5 am when we did…Now, the thing is, one of the talents was not approved as the HR Manager and the Director had asked me to jump in. Errr….excuses were not working.

So, there I was, acting with the scripts that George and I wrote together….

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Well…what can I say…..it was an awesome, awesome, awesome experience! Nothing beats seeing whatever you wrote came out so visually stunning and fleshed out as what you had in your mind….famous actors acting out your script and you were there to saviour every moment….

Did I just say, “Awesome!!!”?

film shooting 1157387_10152303216015947_4720878428537456945_n 1912068_10152303216215947_9047406662821164419_n 10006923_10152303216835947_7220918862654618479_n 10351333_10152300042550947_9015548560242706369_n 10462616_10152303216800947_3316283759726058702_n10613076_10152303217045947_1524861729372032803_nme and nadiame and tony

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Cover Your Ass Work Culture

Perhaps the word “ass” captured your attention. I dont know. Maybe the word “culture” did. But then again, I wont know either.

Have you ever step into someone’s office and feel welcome and great? People’s faces are cheerful, doors are opened, you see people around the office and the aura are just so good. Makes you think that you want to sashay into the pantry and make yourself a cup of coffee from that snazzy-looking coffee machine. Then, your mind starts to wonder whether are all these are farce and it is only a facade? What lays behind the great wall,  you start to think?

A couple of years ago, my team and I had the opportunity to work with a construction/developer company for a project. A mid sized public listed company that generates around RM500 million turnover every year. Total population of about 700 odd. The job came about after a simple brief that came from the General Manager who wanted to revamp the performance appraisal form to make it look “sexier” than it was.

The brief came in a form of a piece of paper – literally a very brief piece of paper -the performance appraisal form – that they have used for the last donkey years. A supposedly simple brief turned to be a 5 months engagement. We literally camped in their office. Ate their food, breath the same air they did. Loved every minutes of it.

Staff turn-over we were told, was less than 5%. No one wants to leave. Pay scale was not even up to market standard. I thought who in the world wants to stay? But they did. They stayed, and stayed. And the rotated jobs all over the departments, they changed bosses; bosses transferred them to another department to find the right fit for their staff (or better boss?). Some have worked for the company from Day 1 and that was 25 years ago.

Amazing.

I started talking to the drivers, receptionists, cleaners (they are all local makciks I tell you…), then moved up and right across – executives, secretaries, managers, engineers, site surveyors, Quality Controllers, Workshop guys. You name it. I spoke to them.

And they spoke of the same language.

It is the culture of the company that they like best. When asked exactly what they meant. No one could really tell me exactly what they are but from what I could gather – just some stuff where everyone is happy about which exists in the company and accepted by everyone. It could be from the free daily lunch the company provides, to the very active sports club they have, or the dance class every Wednesday, Monday breakfast with the CEO and top Managements, or could it be the minimum 6 months bonus they enjoy every year. To top it off, some have gone on umrah or haj, thanks to the company for rewarding them for being loyal.

And yet, some companies are just odd….I have observed where there is this culture…where I shall call it “the cover your ass work culture”. Everything is confrontational and the end game is to win. Of something. Of what? I dont know. Recognition? Or facade? Putting face?

Odd.

Like I said.