December 17, 2014


Over the past weekend I lent my time and energy helping at SJBA's Youth Buddhist Camp (YBC). Similar to the Youth Dhamma Camp I joined 2 years ago, but now they've dropped the Dhamma aspect and have taken a new approach to organising their year-end camp.

I didnt actually join it as a participant or a committee due to working commitments, but after Guan Sheng (of GuanyGuan TV) and Pei Hao called me to drop by and boost manpower, I happily agreed to it even if it was only for a day and a half. 

Upon reaching the Srijayanti Temple in Sentul I received warm welcomes from all those I knew. That made me happy :) Not too long after their lunch break I was already called away from camp to help a new friend Leon whose car was having engine problems. I accompanied him to the service center, had it fixed, and there went half of the afternoon. Not that I'm complaining.

After that we went to a nearby field where I stood aside and watched the participants play Quidditch....

 Later at night I helped the committees set up the place for their Cryana Mitra activity which lasted well into the AM, and by 3.30 my eyes couldnt keep open anymore when the the others were (seemingly) well awake and energized~

3 and a half hours later and we're all up again and ready to leave for the camp's KL Race finale.
As luck would have it, Guany's car battery was completely flat that morning. Me and Pei Hao spent the best part of 2 hours searching for a shop that would open on Sundays, and finally buying a new battery. If only I had my jumper cables with me.

With that out of the way me and Pei Hao then drove over to KTM Kuala Lumpur station to standby our leg of the KL race. We made participants search the station for locations/landmarks and have them take a group photo with the marks.

Once all the groups had finished and left I had a 5 minute panic episode when I couldnt find my car keys. Thankfully Pei Hao found them hanging on the door keyhole. That pretty much was my story in YBC.....

*Might be continued*

October 31, 2014

The year of many things

I got my first job.

I left my first job, even before my probation ended.

But I dont regret that decision.

I rejoined my apprentice company at Mercedes Benz.

I lost my phone (a long wait finally ended for some).

Fell out of love. Again.

Discovered a bunch of special bros to go to in hard times.

Joined my first ever Youth Fellowship Games.

And recently in this past two months:

I experienced my first job transfer.

I experienced my first company appraisal.

At the beginning of September I was given marching orders to pack up my things in PJ and move to the Batu Caves office. That's right, Batu Caves. My new office is literally a 5 minute drive from the sacred temple cave. On the back of one of their consultants suddenly going AWOL, higher management decided the newbie would be the best replacement there.

Over in BC, I've been placed in the bodyshop/ accident insurance department. This means my job now pertains only to accident cars and insurance claims. Its a new and interesting world with so many things to learn and discover. I've been quick to settle down in my new place, although the traffic jams after work at times is.... lets say seriously uncool. At least I'm getting allowance for it.

That said, I quite like working here, or at least the honeymoon phase of it. My new manager seems to like me to. He persuaded me to stay on and even offered me a decent remuneration once 2015 rolls in and I get my first increment.

When I weighed the factors, it was quite hard for me to turn it down. And even without actually saying yes, the deal was already done.

So then, here's to a new year, a new start, renewed motivation  *kaching* and new challenges.

September 9, 2014

Dear Home.

For 25 years you were our shelter, our warmth, and more recently our getaway from the bustling city life. You witnessed the growth of two little boys,  now young men out in the working world with a decent income. You may not be the biggest, most luxurious, or nicest looking, but we would always be happy to make the 3 hour drive to feel the comfort that you never failed to provide us, and which could not be felt anywhere else. After all, you're our one and only true home.

But now, the landlord would no longer let us enjoy your coziness. That's the problem with renting. Living at the mercy of somebody who can ask us to leave at anytime and there is nothing we can do about it. Your warmth and comfort will soon be at the pleasure of his son.

Back in 2010 my English SPM essay was about home. 4 years on, I dont think I'd be able to write an equally-long 350-word post about you. But that's okay, because now I only need 11 words :

Thanks for everything.

We'll miss you.

We'll never forget you.


August 30, 2014

Life Updates

It hasnt been as long as I thought since my last write up here.

Ten days after my previous posting , I lost my phone at work. I suddenly realised it wasnt in my pocket anymore, and a frantic morning's search wasnt successful. By lunch time I had conceded that my phone was no more.

Which was somewhat.... I dont know, a silver lining of sorts because shortly before that the phone had trouble maintaining a steady signal; fluctuating from zero to full coverage almost anywhere. Then one time the alarm didnt ring, and another one time it suddenly turned off by itself. On the side, I've been consistently poked fun at for "not having a smartphone".

I got a replacement Lumia 525 the next day. I've always been eyeing the Lumia series as the next step, although I didnt think it would come in this manner.

Yeah, the Nokia family photo will never be complete now sadly.

That being said, I'm quite happy with the 525 so far. Lack of camera flash to double as a handy torchlight my only gripe at the moment, and even that's not a major issue. :)


Yesterday evening I was called to my boss's room. I was told I would be temporarily transferred to Batu Caves to assist with the lack of service advisors there. 

It had to be the new guy eh.

I dont mind transfers but the sheer distance is more than enough to make me cringe. I will be reporting there starting Tuesday. So I was told that temporary transfers there would wind up being permanent.

I hope they have something to help balance out the traveling costs.

July 15, 2014

Mid Year Updates

Hello everyone!

It's been quite some time I know. Been busy with my new job at Mercedes, but not (yet.) as overwhelmed as at VW. Mainly because for this 2 1/2 months I've been attached to my senior consultant, helping him with his work most of the time. From time to time I did attend customers on my own, but starting next Monday I'll be officially out on my own two feet once again. And with Raya just around the corner my gut tells me it'll be a crazy week, but as I have experienced here so far, it's not a daily situation. So I should be able to (hopefully) hang in there for a longer time.

Next up in my updates is my 16th Teen Dhamma Camp which was held last month. Similar to my YDC21 camp but for the younger age group. I joined as their security committee (just like YDC21), so more of the same of first aid treatment, controlling participants and backing up in activities where needed. It was something new to be around a bunch of teens 5-7 years younger than me; a whole different generation. I did get along with a some of the kids during the camp, and a few more during the recent camp reunion dinner.

The thing I noticed from both camps was that, in YDC21 the impact of the camp mainly came from the end because of all the new and wonderful friends I made. In TDC16 I felt the impact, also at the end of the camp, but mainly because the whole journey from planning to executing the camp strengthened my bonds with the other committees.  (Jeeves, Tung and Rylee, here's to you (; )  That being said, I still have fun with the new bunch of kids I've met. All in all another great program from the folks as SJBA.
Sadly I couldnt stay till the very end of camp because it clashed with....

 Graduation day.

Seeing my family walk into the registration hall was the moment where two things hit me:

1) This is it. I'm finally officially ending my college years. a 2 1/2 year journey is finally ending.

2) I've been very fortunate to have a family that loves and supports me. Especially seeing my mum who came all the way up from Sitiawan just for those 4 hours of the ceremony. That really hit me in the soft spot.

My bunch of goodies for being one of the outstanding students of the 2011 batch. :) Loving the Ferrari mug and keychain, although I wished the keychain was thinner so it wouldnt make such a bulk in my pockets. But still. :D

And so.... that's about all my updates for this two and a half months. Till then!

April 29, 2014

Dear Datsun...

You've been my main means of transport since I moved down to KL in 2011, effectively being handed over from dad. You're officially my first car.

You've been mechanically solid and reliable during these 2.5 years; your only malfunction was the fuel pump, and that wasnt changed since it came out from the factory 31 years ago.

We've been through some interesting times. You had your battery stolen, your window smashed, and how can I forget that accident that left you with a broken door. Or that time dad ran you over the curb and ruined both right-side tires.

And yet, you carried on rolling, day after day, getting me where I want to go, when I want to go and never put a foot (or, wheel) wrong. I'm most happy and thankful for that.

However, your moodiness in refusing to start during cold weather recently became the headache of the family. How would I go to work? Its so troublesome to get help in the wee hours of the morning from others, especially on short notices. And with the rainy season in full swing, you've been giving that problem easily once or twice a week.

Sure, if I were back in my hometown I can just use my bike. But what about in KL? When my workplace is some 15 kilometers away? Am I going to be riding a bike along highway?

Eventhough you've been 99% fail-free under my use, your troublesome starting has become too much for us to  handle. Today, I hand over your keys to mum. She's still learning the technique on trying to get you started and warmed up in the mornings. Do give her your best co-operation and keep the breakdowns clean-sheet going for many more years. 

You may be slow, noisy and creaky and have some minor niggling problems, and have side mirrors on the front instead of by the door, yet you've positively appealed to a number of people and even my friends (I think). And I liked that; it sort of gave you a character, a personality. I'm gonna miss that. I'm gonna miss driving you.

Goodbye Datsun, thanks for all the miles you've served me.

And hello....

April 18, 2014

Post #200

I mark this blogging milestone, with my official resignation from -----.

Exactly 2 weeks ago I received confirmation of my offer to rejoin Mercedes as a frontliner (whoa). That same day I printed out my resignation letter which I had drafted another 2 weeks earlier. Presenting it to my manager, I saw the look on his face and hearing the tone of his voice saying "Oh shit this cannot be happening".

Despite needing only to give 24 hours notice as I was not a confirmed staff, I offered to clear off as much outstanding jobs as I can. I didnt do much clearing for the first 1 week or so due to the massive pile of paperwork I had to go through before closing the jobs. It was only on Tuesday that I managed to close off the bulk of my work, totaling about RM40,000 or so.

So, on my last day.  I parked a customer's car too close to the concrete curb (holyshit). The bumper (which was very newly painted) just barely cleared the height of the curb but the exhaust pipe took a little scraping. And to think I'm handling cars 2-10x more expensive next month. Gugh. Thankfully I have liaised with the customer several times before so I hope he lets us off without needing to answer to the big bosses.

After shaking hands and exchanging well wishes with the workshop guys, I went out for a farewell drinking session (first time everrr!!!). We had a bottle of Johnny Walker Black Label (!!), some beer, pizza and potato wedges. I actually felt the buzz in my head after about 3 small glasses, so I decided to go easy after that. Good thing I could still walk straight and drive home safely.

My manager was full of praises for me. From my punctuality to my inquisitiveness, my attitude to being able to ask solid, logical yet unanswerable questions (i.e having intelligence), he expressed his regret how he was not able to retain me in the team. In fact, I was claimed to be the first ever departing employee from the branch under his charge to be treated to a farewell drinking session, because that was how much he valued and appreciated me.

However, amongst all the words he said to me last night, one phrase will forever be engraved in my memory; a confidence booster, a symbol that I am worth more than I thought. This, from a manager to his 3-months short subordinate:

"I know, that you will make it big one day; and when you do, I will be very proud enough to say that I had worked with you."

April 6, 2014

Ferrari Racing Days 2014

This post has been overdue for over a month. Gosh.

So on February 21st to 23rd Ferrari S.p.A (as in, the main Italian company itself and not our Malaysian dealer) organised a weekend trackday event at Sepang, called Ferrari Racing Days 2014. The event was mainly in conjunction with the Ferrari 458 Challenge Asia Pacific championship with round 2 being held here, but Ferrari decided to bring many many extra toys along.

March 23, 2014

And then there were two...

Saturday morning.

A week after my formalities interview back with C&C, I decided to just call up Mr Chung and asked how's the process of my application.

"Yeah, I was just speaking to Abang Muz (overall aftersales manager), he says he would want to put you in the frontline (service advisor)."

"Oh okay
(In my head thinking omgwowwowwow), but... it's not confirmed or final decision yet right?"

"I'll let you know next week"

So, the wait continues then.


Two days earlier, I called up the manager of another company, +++++ which interviewed me at the end of last year, but by the time they said they wanted to hire me, I was already taken by -----. During that phone call I asked him if he still had the vacancy, to which he said yes and still looking for candidates. When he asked why, I said I was just asking........... and looking at my options.

That second phrase set off the alarm bells in his head and on Saturday he dispatched his assistant to talk to me about what their company had to offer, how the work life is better than at -----, and so on. The service advisor over at +++++ still carries almost all the responsibilities as those in -----, albeit less overall workload, and also being located quite near to where I stay.

If you've read these two recent posts you should be able to tell by now I'm almost set to jump ship.

 Which ship though, not even I can tell right now.

March 15, 2014

The Call

Thursday, 4:52pm. My handphone vibrates to an incoming call. An unfamiliar number, which almost never do I receive, and almost always I feel semacam before answering. I answered anyway.

"Hello Deric?"
"Yes speaking?"
"Chang here."
"Chang ah, PJ."

"PJ branch, Cycle and Carriage"

And so the plot thickens. There can only be one reason why your former internship company would call you 5 months after you left. Indeed, they've approached me with an offer to rejoin them as a technician. In a heartbeat, my mind was screaming to say yes. But of course thats not how things are done. So I told him I'd consider it. And to help with my considerings, we arranged for a formalities interview which took place this morning.

Formalities interview? Yup. No testing on technical knowledge this time, since I already went through it before my internship. Instead it was more of a sharing session of my current work life and comparing it with C&CB. As the "interview" progressed, hints were dropped of me possibly being placed as a service consultant just like what I'm doing now. 

I've been with ----- for 2 and a half months now, and to be dead frank with whoever is reading, I have not been happy at all working here. Not once have I had a day where I put a genuine smile on my face, but many a nights and mornings I get anxious, racy thoughts and unusual heart beats. Unhappy customers lashing complaints left right and center. Workshop still overflowing with cars, many of them not being touched at all, some of them being mine, and its very not nice knowing no work is being done at all. 

On top of all the various responsibilities we advisors are carrying, feelings of being overwhelmed are getting increasingly noticeable. Besides earning upwards of RM2,000 per month, I dont have much good to say, no matter how positive I try to be. I feel my goal being to just make it through each day more than anything else.

It might be just the stress or the overload, but at times I've wondered if this is the path I actually wanted. And almost all of those times, my answer wasnt a solid yes.

If C&C never called me, who knows what I would want to do next. I can sense sooner or later I'll snap if I carry on. Now that they've come into the picture, that might not be the case.

If they offer me as a technician... well. Taking a step backwards in every aspect from the career headstart I already have, yet going through the vital foundation of this field which I skipped. That's something like going straight for college without SPM/Pre-U/O-levels/whatever. But this foundation which I were to go through might just be what I really need to propel myself towards where I want to be.

If they offer me as a consultant.... well. Maybe the different/hopefully much better work life there will correct my negative thoughts and perhaps show me something much better than what I originally wanted.

I'll be waiting for that call.

February 22, 2014

The end of the storm?

It's almost 2 months into my first real job. 2/3rds of the way through the roughest, toughest, most punishing period of this position, or so my manager says. Considering I havent broken down yet, I supposed I'm doing fairly well right?

February has been rather testing. Overflowing customers, warranty department suddenly dumping their work onto us, customers making fusses, the list goes on. I dont know how I managed to put up with all this, and how much longer I can.

Well, hopefully I wont have as much rubbish to handle from next month onwards, as we will have our game plan to control the workload and give us some breathing space. I really look forward to this strategy and seeing it benefit us.

But before that, I have an issue on my hands which may cost me 1/4 of my salary.

Wednesday, a customer went to our body-and-paint department supervisor. Lets call him Mr Piah.

Mr Piah was asked to provide a quotation to replace a front windscreen, inclusive of parts, labour and tinting. So give the quotation he did, the customer left.

Thursday, the customer came to my desk to check the car in to replace the windscreen, without tint.  And so I registered the repair order as such, complete with stipulated price.

Friday, I went to Mr Piah to check on the progress. Mr Piah told me the job was done and I can send the car for tinting.

"Hah? Tinting?"

"Yalah, faster go make appointment for tinting. Faster faster!"

Confused and blurred, I went ahead and sent the car for tinting.

After the tinting was done, I rang up the customer to come and collect the car. When he asked how was there an increase in price, which so fittingly was the price of the tinting. that was when the lightning bolt struck me hard. Mr Piah had tried to persuade the customer to pay for the tint (which would eventually be reimbursed by his insurance company), but he insisted not to pay for it.

Fortunately I removed the charges from the billing system, which has bought me some time to sort out how to cover the cost for the error. What doesnt sit well with me was that Mr Piah refuses to acknowledge his part of the error, and pushed away the topic of considering both of us bearing the cost of the tint in the worst case scenario. In fact, he had told me that I'd have to bear the costs if no other solution works. Seems to me like he's trying to get rid of any accountability he has in the case, even if he peppered me with his nice words of trying to help me and other unrelated things.

 I smell something fishy about the way he's behaving in this situation. But I wont care if this can be settled without any of us having to pay up. At least this time.

January 22, 2014

My baptism of fire

Working life.

Its been 2 1/2 weeks since I've forayed into the big man's working world. I find myself in the biggest service center in Malaysia for ----. ---- is the name of the company which I've decided to censor to keep myself free from people who are hunting down our company. 

My job involves receiving customers, recording their service/repair requests or problems and relaying them to the workshop. After that I would have to keep track of the jobs and update customers when necessary, preparing invoices, then finally delivering the cars back to them once its done. This is the bare basics of my job. But of course, that's only the basics of it. Some jobs are simple, straightforward servicing. Some require all sorts of documents and paperwork. Some need to have a test drive arranged with the customer.

In between, there are warranty claims, answering random calls which come in a myriad of enquiries, figuring out what to tell customers when work has been delayed, and so on.

Each day I handle 6-10 cars, not counting pending jobs from previous days. This doesnt seem like a big number and it probably isnt. Some of the managers I've talked to used to do double that amount. And yet, on some days I find myself dragging my feet through the door at the end of the day, energy sapped to the minimum. The earliest I've reached home from work is 8pm. Handling unhappy customers, having multiple customers waiting for you to attend them, . They say if you can survive working here, you can survive pretty much anywhere. This is about as pressuring a workplace can be.

Probably all this pressure is what's making me be short of words to blog now. Hmm. While other young 20ers are still enjoying uni life, here I am in the one of the biggest pressure cookers in the country...