Saturday, August 23, 2008

When the rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer...

I am very tired actually. I was about to update my blog on my son Danial but i just cannot put my head on the pillow thinking of what i encountered today.
I went for a spa course somewhere in lembah kelang (rahsia la...) from 10am-5pm. I was supposed to bring with me a model for the hands on session. Initially my biras agreed to come along but somehow trbatal sb she has to make up some artists for a photography sessions. So, cuba teka sape mangsa lain tak bukan...Aisyah la! Sukenye Aisyah kena dimanja2kan body die..hahahhaha. But Aisyah is not the main character in my blog today. Seperti biasa, saya yang memang tak boleh tak bercakap ni, akan bertegur sapa dengan the employees of the spa. One of them was Rina (bukan nama sebenar...).
Rina is an experienced spa employee and has a 3 year working experience in the spa of a local hotel in Kuala Lumpur. As i was having my training sessions with Rina, i observed that Rina is very knowledgeable and proficient in her work. Rina even gave me some tips on how to make a homemade sauna herbs and body mask! My conversation with Rina dari kids to husband to hometown...until it came to a point when Rina told me she will be quiting from the spa by the end of this month.
"eh, kan Rina baru keje sini 2 bulan kan...nape pulak nak berenti?" I asked dalam keadaan yang sangat menyebuk..
"tu la kak, sbnarnye aritu boss saya, Puan Zaleha (bukan nama sebenar...) janji nak bagi gaji rm1000 and dapat commission 30%, tp bile dah mula keje, dapat basic rm600 and commission 20% pulak...". Rina replied. " Saya actually dah dapat offer keje kat spa kat shah alam, orang tu nak bayar saya rm1000 tau tapi sebab dah trmakan janji manis Pn Zaleha ni, ni la jadinye. Mana cukup kak, anak nak sekolah lagi...saya dapat commission 20% je..saya berpengalaman ..." keluh Rina.
I was stunned and terus terdiam. Not because i was running out of things to say or comment...on the contrary, so many things ran through the chamber of my thoughts all at the same time.
To the owner of the spa, Pn Zaleha: Why? Why didn't you keep your words ?If you have promised to pay this much to this person, why didn't you do so? Isn't there any sense of guilt that because of you, the household income of this woman is affected? In today's economic situation when people are working night and day to make ends meet, how could you make profits by taking advantage on others?
Rina eventually told me that she is not planning to go back to her hometown, Kota Kinabalu, very soon or open a business as what she had told her boss the reasons she quits. Rina explained to me further she would rather not continue working for the spa feeling taken advantage of her skills and experiences. Instead, Rina plans to operate body treatment from home. Some questions immediately came to my thoughts. How much can she make in a month? Who would be her target market? Will the income she obtains from this enough to support her family?
The course ended an hour earlier and i thought, emm...why not ask Rina give me a full body massage. I wanted to feel Rina's experienced hands. I wanted to test myself how skillful is Rina in her work.
The one hour massage ended with only one thing in my thought...Rina IS very good and skillful! Why doesn't an experienced and skilled person like Rina open her own spa or salon? The obvious hurdle would definitely be the start up costs. Rina shared with me her misfortune a few years ago when she lost RM10,000 investment to a third party in the effort of opening up a spa with a friend.
"Macam nak gila saya kak, abis duit simpanan saya, duit kwsp saya keluarkan konon nak buat bisness ni, kena tipu!" sighed Rina.
RM10K to a household income of not more than RM2K per month is comparitively the same to RM100K to a monthly household income of RM15K-RM20K....I just couldn't help but felt pity for what Rina went through. But again, i couldn't escape this one question...
"eh, macamana Rina boleh kluarkan duit kwsp? Nak bukak bisness boleh kluarkan duit kwsp?" tanya la saya ni dengan penuh rasa pelik.
"tak de, kluarkan duit kwsp tu cakap nak beli rumah la." explained Rina.
"haaa hahhahaha...tu la agaknye...starting dah tak betul tu..." sambil ketawa mesra i gave comments yang tajam.
"Haahahhaha, tapi rumah tu rumah kedai. Jadik ingat bawah bukak kedai tingkat atas rumah saya la...ok la gak kan kak..." Rina defended herself.
As i got dressed and ready to go home, i advised Rina to be patient and never give up hope to strive for a better living for her and her family. In my own words to Rina...
"Tak pe ya Rina, hilang RM10K tu ada hikmahnya. Fikir yang positive la ya. Allah sayang kat Rina and keluarga. Ada rezeki lain yang lagi berkat Allah sediakan untuk Rina dan anak anak. Tuhan nak duga Rina sikit and sekejap aje tu. Pada akak, lain kali, insyaallah, kalau ada rezeki lagi, nak bukak bisness atau nak buat ape ape pun yang nak generate income untuk keluarga nak cari nafkah buat keluarga dan anak anak, jangan sesekali mulakan dengan perkara negative. Kalau nak keluarkan duit kwsp sebab nak beli rumah maka beli la rumah. Kalau nak buat pinjaman untuk mulakan bisnes maka buat la bisnes. Dalam ape perkara pon jujur is satu titik permulaan yang AMAT penting...bia la we start small but gradually ends big rather than start small but get shrunk immediately...".
For people like Pn Zaleha, yes you gain profit by engaging on a skilled and experienced employee like Rina but because of your inefficiency in managing your employees, the profit is only short-termed as an experienced and skilful employee like Rina can actually find work at any other spa. To me, to lose an employee like Rina, for a spa bisnes which is a client based, is a significant lost.
For those dalam category Pembayar Gaji, jangan lah kita terlalu taksob mengaut keuntungan sehingga hilang rasa timbang rasa dan kemanusiaan dalam sanubari kita. Jangan la kita menjadi kaya dengan keperitan orang lain. Yes, we can get richer by taking advantage on the poorer, but i believe and berpegang teguh to this one principle: Ketenangan jiwa dan keberkatan hidup tidak akan boleh dibeli dengan wang ringgit.
For others dalam category Makan Gaji, jangan lah desakan hidup kita mendorong kita kepada ketidakjujuran. I believe, though money is no doubt, is very important to ensure better living but keberkatan hidup dan ketenangan jiwa dari rezeki yang halal wajib menjadi matlamat hidup seseorang. Janganlah dengan simpanan yang sedikit yang kita ada, in the effort of wanting to get rich fast, we get poorer in a blink of an eye...
This is just my opinion...Till we meet again...Salam.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Of autism and my son Ahmad Danial: The beginning~an unpleasant surprise...

I have started writing or jotting down all these even when Danial was 3 years old, before the advent of blogs or what not...I was not a diary writer but the need to write all these down came to my mind when i found that there were instances when i desperately wanted to talk about Danial's progress or development but sadly, noone was around. It was especially frustrating when you try to talk openly about your son when noone is, sort of, genuinely interested. Why weren't they interested, you ask me? Well, i guess, having a 'special' child was a scary idea one could imagine or they were too scared to give comments; afraid if they would wrongly said things and would unintentionally hurt me. But actually, I was totally open about the whole thing. Hmm, giving them the benefit of the doubt, i would say they just wouldn't want to take the risk.

Born Ahmad Danial bin Ahmad Kushairi.

Birth weight
: 3.17kg

Head circumference: 33 cm

Length : 51 cm

Birth date : 25 January 2003

Time of birth : 10:58 am

Danial was born normal in every way. It was me who was not. I instantly developed hypertension practically right after delivering Danial. Because of my condition, i was advised by doctors not to sleep with baby Danial at night. Consequently, Danial was, most of his first 18 months, being cared for by our, than, maid Siti. Danial was the only child i didn't sleep with,much due to my hypertension. Waking up in the middle of a deep sleep more than twice in a night would instantly cause headaches the next day.

Danial was a well-behaved toddler. My arwah father-in-law always referred to Danial as "baik cucu atok...diam aje..". As far as i could remember, there was nothing unusual about Danial. He crawled, he stood up, he made his first steps...all at the right time. Danial's speech delay was not noticed immediately since i always ruled out that boys are generally late in speech compared to girls. Until one day, when i brought Nuwairah to see our pedeatrician, Dr Amdan. I pointed out to Dr Amdan the fact that Danial was still not talking yet...Danial was than 2 years 4 months old."Dia suka main tayar kereta mainan tak?" Dr Amdan questioned me. "A ah, Danial ni satu prangai tau dr, suka trbalikkan vehicle toys dia and pusingkan tayar tu. And pas tu, dia suka sangat line up kan ape ape la, books ke, toys dia ke...orang lain tak leh kacau tau, ngamoknye macam kite rotan die...hahahaha" I gave a lengthy answer with a laugh."owh really..that is one of the many many symptoms of autism..." explained Dr Amdan still observing Danial from his seat. I looked straight into Dr Amdan's eyes in disbelieve. I was stunned. I was shocked. I gradually moved my eyes to Danial, observing my son in shock and disbelieve, trying to grasp what i ve just accept the unpleasant surprise....My son, my only and youngest son, Ahmad Danial had autism.