Knot That Got Unravelled

knot-1110536_1920When I started in the business many years ago, there were many people along the way whom have contributed to my growth. Some in a good way, some gave examples at how I should not be. These people came in so many forms – family, friends, vendors, bosses, colleagues..and I think it is important to realize that “they” are there, at that exact moment to provide you with life lessons – just when you needed it.

Think about it as learning-on-demand. In HR terms, learning-on-demand is a knowledge-based learning and it can happen in real time, any where, anytime, just as when you need it. Cool huh?

And there is a saying that people come into your life for a season, a reason or for a lifetime.

 

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It Is Scandalous!!

I was referring to the attire that I wore when travelling to the two Holy Cities.

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On departure day.

HRB_abaya

The abaya/robe is just soooooooo pretty and amazingly cool to wear despite the outside heat.

However, travelling from KL to Jeddah is no laughing matter. That’s a good 9 hour flight not including idling time before and after. You need something comfortable to wear underneath that hijab and long flowing abaya. Something snappy to go to airplane’s toilet…

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Medina Al Mukarramah as seen from the plane as it descended.

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My phone camera could not capture the beauty of the moon that I saw that night. It was so beautiful.

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Just outside of the umrah/hajj arrival hall.

What’s in the closet?

Lots of long sleeves inner t shirts, tights, track pants, socks, disposal panties, robes that do not have front opening, head coverings or instant hijab. Malaysian and Indonesian ladies use “telekung” for prayers. I had two sets of this for our 7-day trip. As laundry is pretty expensive in these two cities, you may want to bring a few more if you stay longer. It is comfortable and prayer compliance.

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Instant hijab tutorial

Here’s another link

Abayas with front opening/buttons are pretty too but may distract you when it keeps snapping open as you sit on the floor or take long strides. Unless you are apt at wearing the long scarves around your head, bring instant hijab. Beautiful abayas can be bought at the souk. Some shops are offering SAR40/piece for any design. Grab those for you. Maybe a few more for gifts.

Uniglo should be your best buddy for travel t shirt. They are light, comfortable and reasonably priced. It comes with long sleeves too. I wore track pants underneath the abaya for ease of movement. Tights or casual pants from Marks & Spencer or Zara is good too. Whatever brand that you like, make sure it is breathable and comfortable. I had my leopard print tights underneath the cream coloured abaya as I circled the Kaabah 7 times. My running pair of Sketchers was a real great help to move about, travelling, walking the long airport corridors, climbing the various mountains during the ziarah/visits to holy sites. Try climbing Jabal Rahmah in slippers and you will end up with extra pedicure bills when you come back. You will still need a pair of comfortable sandal/slippers to flip flop around.

On some days, I would have a couple of pairs of socks thrown in the tote bag together with a plastic bag. When the time comes to make a quick dash to the mosque, I could just slip on the socks and place the slippers in the plastic bag for hygiene purposes.

Two things you must remember when choosing the correct attire here. It must be loose, covering your entire body (not provocative) and comfortable for walking. Trust me, you will have a lot of walking. Either back and forth from hotel to the mosque, or when you want to explore the surrounding vicinity. The building blocks surrounding the Nabawi Mosque are built in grids. The entire grid is made up of various classes of hotels – from 1 star to 5 star. Medina’s weather was a bit cold at the we were there. It was the end of the year so it was considered as winter. The night could be around 15C and the mornings might be a tad chillier than that especially with the wind factor.

One thing glaring about the area where we stayed was the lack of cafes or restaurants. Not even food stalls. There was only one shawarma stall nearby the hotel. We had a meal at the Movenpick cafe. About SAR99 later of two shawarmas, an Americano and a latte later, we were not very happy with choices of eating places.

Ok. I digress.

 

 

 

The Art Of Finding The Soul Mate

This piece is dedicated to a dear friend, Mohsin who is a game changer, explorer, adrenaline junkie, single & available and is on his quest to look for The One.

All of us grew up watching Disney movies where the Prince and Princess will live happily ever after at the end. The movies are always accompanied with beautiful songs which are so Disney-esque.

And still did not see it in the real world.

Beautiful, I thought. But I never thought that true love would happen to me. Finding that elusive soul mate is just a fairy tale. I grew watching so many loveless marriages and shattered relationships that the idea of true love just eluded me.

The Never Land

Being single at one point of my life taught me a few important things, and I call this my Never Land:

  • never underestimate your own strength of living through life
  • never have the “I am a victim” mentality
  • never “settle” as you deserve more. Psychobitches and psycho bastards are abound and difficult to shake off.
  • never disregard your bull shit detector/gut feels that God gives you
  • never accept “half loaf of bread”
  • never be needy and desperate
  • never compact your life in a small box. The world is your oyster, go explore.
  • (this is for men) never let your dick do the thinking as it has no brain for rationalisation.

Some friends ask me how do G and I achieve a balance in our own marriage. Being so different and yet so compatible. Well, I do not have all the answers but one thing we agreed upon is that we both have had life experiences before we met each other. If we had met years before we were destined to meet, I do not think we will even tolerate each other, let alone being married! Being the practical people that we are, we treated the relationship as a business similar to merger & acquisition. We prodded, examined, asked, validated everything from divorce papers, salary slips to health screens to legal papers. Then we opened up the “closets” and think about whether we could live with all these information with a knowledge and acceptance that history was done. That this person is here, now, present and he/she cannot undo what has happened in the past. The acceptance is important because this is where the trust comes in. The trust that whatever you found in the closets will never be used against you in the future. This is where the NDA (non disclosure agreement) comes in. Next step is to sign the M&A or in this context, the pre nuptial agreement.

But, one of the key things is this – your “customer service” must be opened, 7 days a week, 365 and a quarter – ever ready to serve your “client” (spouse/partner/soulmate). Come rain or shine, this customer service must be grounded, neutral and objective.

Why I Am A Big Advocate of Pre nuptial Agreement

Donald Trump, one of my big time idols advocates pre nuptial agreement. “It’s a hard, painful, ugly tool,” says Trump. “Believe me, there’s nothing fun about it. But there comes a time when you have to say, ‘Darling, I think you’re magnificent, and I care for you deeply, but if things don’t work out, this is what you’re going to get.” It is worth noting that he was married twice before Melania Knauss and both ex wives tried contesting the pre nup with no success.

See what happens when the love is lost? When you are still in love, you want to give and give and love and care the other person. When the love is lost, trust me my friends, even a single sen will be dug out from the past – where was it gone to, what have you done with it, etc etc.

It is also a show of responsibility especially when you have a business to run. Pre nuptial agreements ensures the company’s sustainability which in return takes care of its employees. Do not punish the employees for your own stupidity when the company is split into several ways upon your divorce. Imagine 10s, 100s or thousands of employees who are out of jobs when this happens.

The Check Boxes

Sure, you can create as many boxes as you like as you go along but remember all these boxes must also be a reflection of yourself. Would you check all these boxes for yourself?

So Where’s The Art In This?

Be brave, listen to your gut feel, open up your mind and do not be gullible. It is easy to fall in lust and confused it with love.

What Legacy Would You Leave Behind?

It has been a long day for G and I today. He was busy with his client’s coaching session and I was in a meeting with a client who is now soon fast to be a friend and hopefully, a business associate. It was amazing at how things just happened.

Several months G and I were involved in an exciting project on behalf of a client. The project involved us developing video scripts, both in English and Bahasa Malaysia. The project soon evolved to be like a real movie! The things you learn what goes on behind the scenes were so amazing and we both loved it so much.

Today’s blog was not so much about the video project but it is about how I met about this someone.

The video taping took place at an office somewhere in the city centre. The first night we did the shooting, the General Manager of the company came in to have a look at what we did. It just so happened that he brought his entire family along – his wife and two twins! – as they were on the way out from the city heading towards the East Coast for a short holiday. The one hour he said he wanted to stay turned out to be several hours. He was literally mesmerized (as we did) with the entire major production.

In between the shooting, someone introduced me to his wife. After exchanging some pleasantries, we chatted about the weather, the holidays, the usual stuff. The conversation was not long, could have been about 30 minutes ago. But too long to be away from behind the camera as I was supposed to be coaching the actors with their script.

That 30 minutes chat apparently turned out to be a life changing event for this person. She is now less stress, more relaxed and sure of her daily decisions about career, family and life. She is leaving her current job which pays extremely well but has been giving her grief mentally. She is, in her words, pursuing the greater things in life.

Just the other day, we spoke on the phone and she told me exactly that. What she said, gave me goosebumps. I could not recall what exactly was I said to her but here it was…

Apparent the life changing question was this,” What legacy would you like to leave behind?”

Harassed Over “Sexy Attire”

Looks like the religious police came in another form – school security guards.

Apparently, there was this lady who went to her children’s school was nearly assaulted by a female security guard for dressing in “sexy attire”.

This lady was accused of exposing her body when all she wore was her work uniform. The news also mentioned how the security guard followed her to the school office and was believed that she wanted to her the mother of two.

Read the news here.

This is not an isolated case because I too, had experienced a similar incident. Way back in 2007, I was harassed not by a school security guard but by the Headmistress of the school itself.

Self-righteous, snooty and higher-than-thou attitude lady, she tried to “instill” some nilai-nilai murni (good virues) to me in that quick-flash lecture outside of a classroom while waving and pointing her index finger towards me.

All these happened while other teachers and my daughter were watching in horror.

More “horror” because I did not take it too kindly because I gave her back with a few choiced words that it trailed off to a nicely written report to the nearest Pejabat Pelajaran Daerah (District Education Department).

I was not wearing a mini skirt, see-through blouse with neon bras, white pants with pink thongs or looking like a slut looking for a hook up at the bar. I am sure the mother of two, Fatimah Abdullah from Melaka was not wearing any sexy attire either.

Read my old story here.

This story also reminds me of another incident in Putrajaya not too long ago. I was supposed to have a meeting with one of the Pengarah (Director) of a quasi-government. Together with a few other associates who happened to be all male, we registered ourselves at the counter. All of my male colleagues were allowed to go through except for me.

Now, this appointment was called by this Pengarah for his briefings as well as his team. There I was, the leading team member who was supposed to present the paper, all dressed up in below the knee length black dress and business jacket was stopped at the reception for “not wearing appropriate attire”.

What?

I was brushed off by telling me that it was their “policy on attire”.

Furious with the ridiculous situation, I asked for the blinking copy of the policy in black and white. I also asked to see the security supervisor. By that time, we were like a show with a few spectators wondering what the heck was going on. One of the security guards pointed to my knees.

I asked him what was wrong with my knees when it was well covered by the length of the dress?

He said…”I think I still can see your knees..”

Realizing that talking to a moron was not going to do any good, I promptly called the PA to the Pengarah and had his good office be aware that we were caught late by this silly drama by his security officers.

The incident passed by when the PA himself came down to escort us in with much apologies.

Sometimes I wonder how people see things? These people ought to know what constitutes indecently dressed to proper ones. Are they following a proper policy or they are acting based on their understanding of what “properly dressed” means?

Sick.

 

The Petshop

We were at Tropicana City Mall recently for a meeting with an old friend. It was a great catch up and exchanging news.

Not soon after the meeting, we decided to stop by at a petstore located near the escalators as I saw several rabbits in a rabbit pen placed outside of the shop when we came in.

There were several cages and a rabbit pen placed in between those cages. I was aghast to see the condition of the rabbits. They were sick and with ears badly infected with mange. Poor rabbits! To think that it is a very high traffic area and parents with kids tend to stop by and pet the animals there. What an irresponsible attitude of the store to allow this happen.

I said to George that we need to speak to the store people, which we did. Went in and was met by this blur-case dude who seemed not to understand what was the issue. This Mat Saleh guy and a Malay lady who kept on talking about “rabbit with mange” must have been an annoyance to him.

George called him out from behind the counter and showed him what we meant. He seemed like a blur-case still and kept on insisting that he was not responsible for the inefficiency of his headquarters. When asked whether didn’t he care or feel bothered by the sufferings of the rabbits? He just stared at the rabbits and muttered something under his breath.

I was royally pissed off.

Just what kind of an outfit is this that hires irresponsible, someone who does not have a single shred of passion towards animals and on top of that, cant even speak?

I took pictures of the poor rabbits, mange and all, and promptly emailed it to their customer service department.

rabbit with mange

 

I received their response the next day from one of the staff. I have no idea who this person was but she promised me that “they will take immediate action”. She also said that they “appreciate my feedback, will do improvement at team member training and pets quality management to enhance quality of service.”

No where in the response where she addressed about the health of the rabbits.

A few days later we stopped by again at the store. True enough the rabbits were gone. Blur-case dude was still there. Told us that someone from HQ took away the rabbits a few days before.

But you know what?

The dirty rabbit pen was still there. Right in front of the store for all to see, to touch and to spread germs and virus.

Yeah, after all sharing is caring? Another email is on its way to Petsmore….sigh…

petsmore pen

 

A To Zen Of Life

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Picture credit

Avoid negative sources, people, places and habits.
Believe in yourself.
Consider things from every angle.
Don’t give up and don’t give in.
Everything you’re looking for lies behind the mask you wear.
Family and friends are hidden treasures, seek them and enjoy their riches.
Give more than you planned to.
Hang onto your dreams.
If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.
Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
Keep trying no matter how hard it seems.
Love yourself.
Make it happen.
Never lie, steal or cheat.
Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
Practice makes perfect.
Quality not quantity in anything you do.
Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
Stop procrastinating.
Take control of your own destiny.
Understand yourself in order to better understand others.
Visualize it.
When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
Xcellence in all your efforts.
You are unique, nothing can replace you.
Zero in on your target, and go for it.

~~ Dalai Lama, 1935

 

Origami Condom

I haven’t the faintest idea how a condom could be an origami. But that was what it was – origami condom.

Apparently, some dudes named Daniel Resnic and Ray Chavez had created this revolutionary condom from silicone instead of latex. Most probably a God-sent creation to those who experience allergy to latex, I found this new creation intriguing. Interestingly, they created not one, not two but THREE types of condom namely for male, female and (check this out…) receptive anal intercourse condom(?). Really?

Check out the video link and article here.

The site’s link is here.

This reminds me of an ex contract employee who worked for my company in the hospitality division. She was great at what she did. She trained the junior crew in table setting and all that. But, she was also allergy to latex so that when certain food prep had to be done, she had to use plastic gloves instead.

The one thing good about this is that, I told her, that this condition was a way to be celibate until she get married….hehe…

Now, I wonder how much would this origami condom cost in the market…….wait…I have another question…..would they rig my idea and produce curry-flavoured condom?

Wait, I have ANOTHER question…do they send samples…?