Common Sense is Uncommon

October 16th, 2013


I was reading an article on CNN that we need to limit the human population for us to survive. Link here. 

I feel that we need to look closely at our lives and see whether they are going to last for the next 100,200 years or more. I have even thought of a few possibilities in terms of transport, business and food 

Just have a read and give a thought to it. Where will we be if we do not make a change?

Sorry for the short hiatus, been down with a bad flu and had lots on my mind the last few weeks.... 

How many times have you celebrated your birthday at work? Doing your job, getting stressed, sometimes getting acknowledged it is your birthday, and sometimes not?

I learnt many years ago that it is better not to work on your birthday as it is a day for you to celebrate how you want, with who you want. A day for yourself to relax and ponder of the past year and what you have done. 

So, just take a day off when it is your birthday. Relax and enjoy yourself instead of stressing on work.


How to recycle?


You know... everyone tells you to recycle. It will help save the environment, it will help reduce pollution and reduce our dependencies on fossil fuels.

Here in Malaysia, it is no exception. We all are encouraged to recycle and the government has spent millions on advertising campaigns in order to encourage us to recycle.

However, my thoughts are that it is pretty much a complete failure. Not many look at recycling for a simple reason... it is too difficult to do so. I myself admit I am not much at recycling but the way I look at it, there are no amenities to do so.

I don't buy newspapers so there is no need to recycle that. But when it comes to bottles and cans, I am unable to find a place to recycle. Except maybe at a couple malls, there are no recycling bins available at all! On top of that, at the condo's that I stay at and have visited, there are no provisions to recycle. There are no places to separate the trash out and also to dispose of them properly. Even at public places, I have not seen any places with recycling bins. 

Maybe we should start a movement to increase the installation of recycling bins around the country, Get shopping malls to have them to encourage everyone to throw their cans away separately or even paper cups. 

Today, the Malaysian health minister said that sugar subsidies should be reduced in order to reduce the number of diabetic cases.

Article here

But if you think about it, where do we consume sugar? In Malaysia, it is mostly from our drinks at the mamak and all food outlets. Also it doesn't help that most of us have a sweet tooth as well...

It took me a long time to reduce the amount of sugar I take in my drinks. Just cutting down on coke to once in a while has actually helped me maintain my few KG weight loss. And during this time, I get to notice that there are very few and cheap alternatives to soft drinks alone. Majority of eateries in KL alone serve fountain soft drinks and if you want a non-sweetened option, you usually have coffee or tea as an alternative. The worst case is that when you want water, they only have premium bottled water at an extremely high cost. 

To me, Mr Health Minister, please ensure that all restaurants serve filtered water to all patrons for free in order to encourage a healthier lifestyle. Please encourage the reduction in prices of healthier foods like fruits and vegetables in order for us to eat healthier. In my opinion, when McDonalds can serve you a meal cheaper than the nearby 'chap fan' shop and still make money, then how is that encouraging people to eat healthily? 

I was having some drinks with a few friends at the mamak store the other day and we started talking about work. One of my friends was telling me that the HR of a company I used to work with said I am banned from returning because I worked there for just a few months. 

Mmm... banned... so be it. I have been told that quite a few times and I don't care.  But this is a problem that I notice in many HR and hiring managers. If you leave, you are at fault. It's your fault you didn't stick to it and you wouldn't take the pressure/shit/problems etc. 

But how is that being true to yourself? Just working for the sake of ensuring that your resume shows you were at a company for a few years? Wasting your time not learning anything new or growing yourself as an employee? 

Well, I am classified as a job hopper. I change jobs more often than others and you can check my LinkedIn on how many jobs I have had over the years. And I always see that there are so many HR/Head Hunters/people that tell me I am stupid for doing so. I however have a different opinion. 

If goes back to one of my first jobs where my manager gave me some career advice. He told me that since I was young and have a long way ahead of me, always update your resume every 3 months. It's not to find a job but for you to know if you are growing. If you have nothing to add to your resume in 3 months means you have not done or accomplished anything in the last 3 months. And if after 6/9 months you can't add anything useful, you are wasting your time at the company. 

I believe that we need to constantly grow in order to become better. We have to be better than the previous generation else we will not be moving forward. I practice what my old manager taught me and I look at my resume every 5-6 months to see if I am growing and if I am learning anything at all. And if I find I am wasting my time, I will look to move on to be able to learn more in order to grow myself.

It's kind of weird that managers are scared of people like me. It's not that i will leave in a short period of time but I will leave if I am not able to grow. I don't plan on taking over their job but it is important that we all continuously increase our knowledge and skills. 

So, lets see if anyone will be willing to hire me again as it is not just about work but also about improving myself. 

I am sure many HR and managers will not like this but in the end, in this modern world we must be loyal to ourselves first. Loyalty to the company comes later as companies are no longer loyal to you.

If we read the news these days, many companies in the US are downsizing and they look at us employees as cost, no longer an asset. Gone are the promises of retaining talent as those with talent would have moved on to other jobs that would be more stable! Many companies these days are so worried about the bottom line and share prices that they treat their employees as just a number, a cost that they have to pay and how can they reduce these costs.

There are numerous articles on CNN, LinkedIn, New York Times etc that have said this. I am not the first but just deciding to write my thoughts on this down. 

It's sad actually as just a few years ago, companies were rapidly expanding, looking for the best people around to work for them in order to grow and expand. And the slightest hint of instability causes them to retract back into the shell and hide. It works well for the bottom line and stock options but is this the culture that is being taught?

So that is why I say, we must be loyal to ourselves first. Do what is best for yourself as when the time comes, the company will take care of itself first before taking care of you.


A Book?


My wife has always told me that I should write a book, about my thoughts, my management style and recently, on relationships. This is partly the reason why I have this blog, which is to help me write about things and get more thoughts written down instead of being spoken.

But maybe I should look at writing some things down on relationships. either personal or work relationships. :) I do talk about networking and relationships next to networking is important and it is something that we need to look at during our working and personal lives. 

Personal relationships are also important as they do affect our working efficiency. When we are happy, we work better. When we are sad, we won't work well. So it is important to ensure that our personal relationships are also on track if we want to ensure we are able to do well at work. 

I will probably continue on this later on. :) Hope to write more posts on this later on. 

Was looking at my FB feed and I found this interesting. I don't think that this is 100% accurate but it gives us a general way to look at how things are going and what we do 
I always wonder if i am the only one who does job research and focuses on what I need to improve on to become better at what I do. It's not just a simple what do I want to be in 3 or 5 years time but actually looking for those who do it and ask them about the job itself.

Just felt like writing about this today as for many years, I have usually been the youngest in whatever post I do and I do feel I am pretty well compensated for what I do. Or maybe it's just because money is not a major motivator for me. 

But anyway, what do I do? Well, it's simple... I just observe and ask questions. Lots and lots of questions. I ask so many questions until some people get sick of me. Well, I am trying to achieve my objective!

I just look to ask on a few basic things
  1. What do you do
  2. What do you need to qualify
  3. What do you look for when hiring a replacement
  4. What do you think about me
  5. What are the skills that are must have for the job

It's easy right? But it's more than just that. You need to know how to ask questions and also to get the information that you want. You need to think on your feet and have an objective. 

So as you think about moving up the ladder and look for better jobs, you need to do some research on your target jobs and talk to the people who do it. A skip level 1x1 is a really great tool to ask how to become your boss but most people take it as a time to complain about their bosses. 


It's Just a car!


As I sit here listening to some music and reading on Facebook, I came across this which I feel very strongly about. 

In my life, I have had friends make fun of me for driving a small car and not 'enjoying' what I earn. But to me its about prioritization and I just want to owe less in my life and focus on important things like buying good food and toys for my kids. 
Have a read and hope you share with others. And if you don't understand Malay, is your friend!

Kekayaan ‘Bocor’ Kerana Kereta. 

Biasa dengar org gaji 5k, tp pandu kereta yg instalment 1.3k-1.5k ?? biasa dengar kan....? gaji 4k pandu kereta 1k per month. pun biasa dengar kan?? biasalah darah muda. darah muda akan cari kereta yg downpayment paling rendah, loan yg paling pjg. janji kereta best, harga diri seakan meningkat sama. dlm fikiran graduan yg baru dpt kerja ni cepat jer ternampak kereta2 spt honda civic, elantra, forte, cerato, golf, accord, sonata, jetta dll kereta yg nampak ada 'standard' supaya imej bertambah di mata org sekeliling. tapi apa yg ramai tak nampak bhw 1.5k instalment tu tak abis di situ saja. angka yg sebenar dia akan spent tiap bulan ialah 2k ++ per month. iaitu separuh dari gaji dia jadi habuan utk kereta, eksesori keta & pakej2 lain yg dtg dgn kereta tu.

instalment mmg la 1.3k. tapi petrol? katalah petrol 400 sebulan (melainkan dia pakai keta hebat tapi most of the time keta tersadai kat parking keta, jarang2 drive tak cukup duit utk petrol.. he he he). keta mahal dah tentu minyak injin pakai fully sentetik, brand elok ...takkan nak pakai minyak injin hak murah ye tak? sayang la injin keta tu. 

keta hebat takkan nak pakai brand tayar murah right? keta injin laju ni bahaya pakai tayar brand murah. gamak ke nak pakai brand tayar yg teksi pakai. jatuh la stendet. or takkan drive Camry tp pakai tayar seken hand? malu la kat budak2 kedai tayar. hehehe.... kereta2 hebat ni biasanya tayar rim 17 or 18. satu tayar jer dah rm350-400 ikut brand. So byklah 'kebocoran' sana sini angkara kereta nak hebat & nak maintain pakej yg datang bersamanya.

kebocoran tanpa sedar. kerana bila motokar hebat, takkan gamak bagi duit raya 3 ringgit letak dlm sampul ye tak. malu la kaum. malu la kat kwn2 yg pakai kereta perodua bg duit raya sama mcm yg memandu Civic/Accord. so bila dah berkereta 'hebat' ni, secara otomatik mcm2 lagi tekanan sekeliling yg meminta supaya keluar duit lebih utk sustain gaya mutu keunggulan. keta mahal kena hantar car wash selalu, keta dah ler mahal takkan nak biar comot. kena hantar polish kasi kilat. service keta mesti kat designated service centre keta tu, mana blh service kedai sebarangan. so caj pun mesti la mahal sikit dari kedai biasa. bila keluar dgn kwn2 or ipar duai takkan yg pakai proton nak kena belanja makan ye tak. malu la sikit. hehe... maka byk la benda yg menyebabkan kekayaan 'bocor' angkara kereta... sbb nak jaga gaya mutu & keunggulan. 

ramai org suka kereta. sbb utamanya ialah keperluan utk bw dari point A ke point B. sbb2 yg lain ialah kereta represent tahap ekonomi seseorg, imej, hobi. namun utk keadaan hari ini, jenis kereta blh mengelakkan dari dipandang rendah oleh org sekeliling, terutama masa balik raya & masa nak attend reunion dgn kwn2 sekolah & kwn2 uni. walau mcmn sekali pun kita nafi, kereta tetap 1st impression bila org tgk kita sampai. bila attend reunion kwn sekolah cthnya, amat berbeza penampilan bila seseorg tu sampai dgn brand new Accord berbanding Pesona. cash byk, saham byk, emas byk, rumah byk org tak nampak. cerita pun org tak caya. dan sikap segelintir masyarakat... ada rasa hormat bila sembang dgn org2 berkereta besar bbanding dgn mamat berkereta saga BLM.

cuba tanya mana2 org muda, majoritinya target nak pakai keta hebat bila grad, bila dpt kerja krjn or swasta. buat hutang 9 thn sudah pasti, so terperangkaplah for the next 9 yrs. kereta tu selepas 9 thn akan jd besi buruk, susut nilai 90%. hilanglah potensi investment sepanjang 9 tahun tu krn cashflow habis ke instalment kereta & pakejnya. byklah opportunity lost for the nx 9 yrs. lepas 7/9thn mesti nak tukar kereta lg. sbb keta lama dah hilang gempaknya. berhutang lagi 9 tahun. klu dulu mula2 beli kereta umur 28, lepas pakai dua kereta umur pun dah cecah 46 tahun. masa tu baru terpikir berapa lama lg nak kena kerja, umur patut pencen tapi saving ciput, simpanan tak cukup utk tanggung family, utk sustain life style yg ada. org lain dah boleh pikir utk relax di umur 50-an, kita masih pikir tpaksa kerja utk tanggung hutang.

dan yg paling malang..................................... byk kes berkereta hebat tapi hujung bulan pinjam kwn2 opis. yg tu tak pulak rasa malu. pakai Pesona seken hand malu, pinjam duit merata tak malu. sanggup skip duit yg sepatutnya bagi org tua tiap2 bulan. malah pinjam pulak duit org tua. pinjaman yg liat byr balik. selalunya buat lupa nak byr balik. 

ramai sanggup spend beribu sebulan utk kereta, tapi tak sanggup bagi org tua hatta rm500 sebulan. rupanya kereta hebat lg penting. kerana nak kereta hebat tinggal tak byk dah baki duit nak share dgn org2 tersayang.