Moving On, Bon Voyage!

My time in Australia has come to an end. It’s pretty tough these days, especially the last couple of weeks. I knew for sure that I have to pack up my stuff, yet I still want to spend time with my friends and would still love to go on another adventure and also to visit the familiar places I’ve been too.

Been juggling things around, I still needed to come to work and after work, I will try to clean up my stuff a bit and pack some more then attend another gathering. Once the work has come to an end, I spent the time to unload my shelves and gather things. Create another section for donation, another to be put in the bin, and another box for me to keep my stuff and bring back.

I cherish things a lot as a result of being taken for granted in the past. Even a letter from years ago I still keep. Friends and family matter the most to me. It’s as if they are messing around with my loved ones, then they are messing with me too – meaning you are messing with a wrong person my friend.

In the past years, I changed a lot. I created my own wall, I become tougher and stronger. I learned how to be a professional in my work field. Despite building my own wall and train myself to become the person I am today, deep down I still care for people. There is a burning soft heart inside me. Finally, I really understand the meaning of don’t judge the book by its cover. I worked as a Teaching Associate in a reputable university who is included in the top 100 universities in the world while also working part-time at the local post office. Who says only those who don’t have work experience, who don’t have the knowledge, who are not professional are the ones working part-time? Maybe working at the post office is not as fancy as working in THE BIG FOUR, but hey I truly enjoyed it.

True that retail and customer service field made me put a lot of effort to keep the smile on my face when dealing with irate customers and to keep on giving the best service, to answer and serve the customer professionally. I tried and failed sometimes when the emotion overpowered myself.

I learned and am still learning to control my emotion, to have a better anger management every time. You know that’s not easy yeah? Sometimes a different approach would be better than fire up another argument.

Life goes on, the time is ticking, night turns into day, people are graduating, and I need to move on too. Australia is my very first adventure. I still remember the time when I started my college degree I asked my mom about what’s next after uni? She said well that’s up to you. You gotta do whatever makes you happy my dear.

From the time we were born, we know that there are some clear stages that we have to go through. Alrighty, I’m looking at it from the education perspective. We entered pre-school or kindergarten, and the primary school where we learned basic stuff. A bit older and still not wise enough, we struggled and had fun in junior high, and a bit wiser this time maybe while we’re finishing our high school. We fought to secure a good place in the university we chose with a major that we like (this applies to most of the people).

After we earned our bachelor degree, the next thing to happen is to get a real life or the industry exposure. We started to join the workforce and learn that things are not working the same way as what the textbook stated. Made mistakes and that what sculpted us to become better and better.

Some people after a few years of working would give up and started to study again. Maybe this time they know for sure what they want to study. They have the passion to grow and gain more knowledge, the scholar type.

Some other would love to stay forever and ever in the same particular company where they started if they landed in a very nice company there! Others would move from the first company they worked for because like what happened in the real world, it’s a stepping stone.

Another people would loveeee to explore another field. Keep on jumping around here and there to learn about different industries and how it works. This is interesting! I’d love to learn great stuff and the mechanism of the industry but would love to move on to another field only if I have mastered the previous industry where I landed my career on.

Mostly for women, after working for a little while they would get married and become a full-time mom. That’s not going to be the case for me. I’d love to stay in the workforce as long as I could, would love to use my brain more. And would love to learn how things work even more! Not that I don’t like kids but it’s my passion to learn new things is greater, at least at this current moment.

Talking about taking different pathways makes me nervous sometimes. I mean can’t we all just walk hand in hand and support one another while taking the same road? Sure we are not taking the exact same road, but we can still communicate and meet each other yeah?

Moving on is kinda scary but it is thrilling. I don’t know what kind of adventure that I would have soon. Being in a different country or even in different state scares me the most. What if I won’t be able to meet and hang out with my friends again? I’m so used to meeting them at least once a week. We have a meal together and just talk nonsense and enjoy each other’s company. We grow up together. The men have become my brothers, and the girls are all my sisters.

hand-painted-thank-you-design_1095-239

In my family, we always walk together hand in hand and support each other because we are one. Even though I moved to Australia to study, I brought my family together with me though they are not physically moving to the land down under. I want to bring them to the same road I’m taking.

It’s the same thing like friendship. Especially after I grew close to my community friends, I feel like bringing them to the same road and pathway. That’s not possible I know. Everyone has their own interest and way to overcome things. To me taking another road means being separated and that also means that I might have left my friends behind.

Actually, that is a wrong thinking. Sure we are not on the same path, but if we keep our pace then we are moving together.

Like tunnels. I may have chosen tunnel B instead of A unlike my friends do, but if we keep our pace while driving and being in touch with a walkie-talkie or social media in real life, then we will arrive at the destination at around the same time (given that the length of tunnel A and B are the same)

And like the old man I know said, I may have to move out and explore different things before coming back to meet my fellow friends. There must be a legit reason behind why am I heading to a different tunnel. Sometimes it is a blessing in disguise. We will never know what will happen next.

While I’m taking a different path, to all the friends who read this post:

I will be back soon. Don’t lose hope on me. We have our own fight but we will win in the end. Keep your head held high and keep your thinking straight. Keep in touch while we are away from each other. Always support one another even though we are not living in the same environment.

To my family: I’m always waiting for the time when we can gather together and have some good fun!

Until the time we can gather together again, Goodbye and I will be back.

Move on and BON VOYAGE sailors!

bon-voyage-air-balloons-clouds-collection-white-vector-ballons-people-to-fly-sky-observe-city-view-flying-mean-85880592.jpg

Advertisements

Happiness In Unity

You may skip to the TLDR section down there in RED (just after the line) 🙂

Even after I graduated from uni, I still able to spend time with my friends after work. The usual case would be those fresh grads usually busy finding a full-time work and after landing themselves on their very first (proper/full-time) job, they would have less time to socialise with their old friends. It’s because they would be occupied from 9-5, and some of them on the weekends would like to get some more rest, or the rest they are going to have fun on Friday and Saturday night and sleep the whole day on Sunday.

For immigrants like me and my friends, we were not born here. We did not grow up here, and most of us came to Australia to pursue our bachelor degree. Lucky I found this community. We started to gather together twice every week to have choir practice and to serve in every Sunday mass. Other than that, we sometimes meet up just to have lunch together at uni, or to have dinner after the mass. We used to meet every Monday to play sports.

The time when we are preparing for special occasions such as Easter week; Christmas Carols; singing at the aged care; and some other special events, we tend to spend more time together.

I grew close to one of the choir member, who came to finish up his study in Australia after being transferred from Malaysia. We have lots of similarities and he is someone who I already consider as my own little brother whom I can talk to without really have to filter everything. We know each other’s weaknesses and weirdness as well as the good points as well. He lives in Koonawarra street with another um maybe 16-19 people – that’s a normal size house FYI.

I visited the house maybe 5 times already and most of them are from Malaysia. From the internet over the years and when I looked back in the history between these 2 countries, we do not really have a smooth diplomatic relationship.

In the past, some individuals in Indonesia burnt the forest and that created a massive smoke and affecting the air in Singapore and Malaysia as well. If we are talking about soccer, then Indonesia and Malaysia are rivals, they are like nemesis of each other. Malaysia claimed batik. To be very honest if together we look back at the past from thousands of years ago, all of the lands were connected to one big land where the humans can live in.

It is also the same case for Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. We have at least one similarity where we have one ethnicity (if I’m not mistaken) known as Melayu people. They have 1 language which is called Bahasa Melayu, and sometimes it’s hard to tell where one person came from as the physical features are very similar. Then because of the separation of the land (I guess this is because Earth is moving, something must have happened, here and there – unfortunately I forgot everything about year 11 and 12 Geography), these separated lands created  their own country and their own languages, but still the ancestor came from the same place.

Okay, should be enough with the history/geography stuff which I am not good at. I mean, well it’s only natural for these people to gather together and have fun. To combine and mix the culture. True in modern days we were from different countries, but hey we still have lots in common! Why do we have to separate things?

Some things are different, yes that’s true. Chinese Malaysian tend to speak Chinese or Cantonese (and again, unfortunately, I cannot understand) but also some of them could understand Bahasa Melayu even though they don’t speak that frequently. Chinese Indonesian on the other hand don’t speak mandarin anymore and we use a lot of slang and Bahasa Indonesia.

We can still communicate with each other using English. The most interesting part is that Malaysian seems like they are more willing to blend in with Indonesian, which Singaporean is a bit different. These Malaysian people who live in Koonawarra house also are very friendly. They talk in Chinese and put some slangs as well and now I understand a few their terms and they also understand some Indonesian words as well.

When talking about a gathering we shall not forget talking about food! Our food is also similar. Mostly maybe because we are basically Chinese – yeap our great great great grandparents came from China but along the time passing I don’t know how many centuries already we have different facial appearance from those who came or are still living in the mainland China but unfortunately we are not recognised as Melayu people because our features are different. We lost our identity, but we still have a good standard of nationalism.

Yup, now this story has widened to the topics which I should not discuss. I was just thinking maybe it is necessary for you to understand this as the background story (?) hahahaha.


 

TLDR – So yeah long story short even though we came from different background, different island, different environment, we were united to become one community. The community of South East Asian people who love to eat and to hang out. What interests me the most is these Koonawarra people usually cook together (not the whole 20 people), but they spend a lot together, like A LOT. They play board games too!

As I am slowly closing my chapter, I can say for sure that I am very grateful to have met these people. Even though I don’t live under the same roof as them, whenever I visit them to have a meal and play games afterwards, I always feel content.

With Koonawarra
Koonawarra Club – 2017 + Shu Kai and other people who missed the photo sesh hahahahhaha

 

In this post, I am not only going to talk about these Koonawarra peeps. I met lots of people who came from different countries too! Just because Malaysians and Indonesians are dominating the community, people who came from another country now starting to adopt our culture, they eat what we eat. They understand our behaviour, and I am still amazed by the fact that we are united as one community. We are willing to learn other’s culture, language, and behaviour. That’s very interesting!

And like I mentioned in the previous paragraphs, I always feel content to be surrounded by these people who came from different culture, background, and society. We are willing to learn, willing to share, willing to understand each other.

I consider myself as an extroverted introvert. There are times where I just want to be by myself reading books entering the fantasy world or just to watch Korean drama or movies. Also, there are times where I really want to be surrounded by these people. Simply not to run away from problems (if I have one), but to share our happiness and knowledge. Sharing a good time together. For that, I am very grateful!

Also to conclude this more than 1000 words post, I will say the happiness in unity does exist!

In The END, It’s All Fine

For privacy protection, I am not going to mention the university name.

The second semester has come to an end. I am so glad I applied for the job I currently have. To work at one of the universities in a group of eight was my dream job.

On the day when I was contacted by the unit coordinator of this uni, I was very delighted. Finally, my day on getting my foot on the dream job has come! Being accepted to work professionally along with great staffs is another level of experience. To this day, I am very grateful for the door that was opened to me.

Starting out was very exciting and put me on my nerve. What if I do something wrong? What if I don’t know how to explain it? What if I need to debate with my students? What if they don’t like my teaching style?

Lots of ideas came to my mind. I did not know how to handle it. I still remember the very first week joining the team, I was very scared. Attended the team meeting was a good idea for me to start off. Then came the day where I need to be the main actress for the show! I was nervous, I did my prep but it was not enough….

I read a lot from the cheat sheet, I could not express myself properly – not in the way I wanted. Having a young face people thought I was a student and some of them came to me asking if I would like to join their group for the semester.

Started talking some words, did my brief intro and I saw a strange look from some students. Who is this little girl talking? Plus I’m Asian. What is wrong being Asian? I am still a human being.

The first semester was crazy. I was constantly marking the internal assessment. The arrangement of the assessment was so intense. Almost every week we have to mark, and the number of students I needed to mark was about 160-180 students per assessment. I slept for 3-4 hours when it was due, also because I was doing another two different jobs to support my life.

Then comes marking the final exam. It was my first time seeing lots of unreadable handwriting. I gotta finish that in about 10 days or so. Some other staffs were even started off marking at 7 in the morning, go for lunch and break for say about 3 hours and come back just to mark the exam until 10 at night.

Tired and pressured to finish up asap, I did not have any good night sleep on the marking period. I looked tired and also ended up marking it slowly and was talking a lotttt of my time. I just wanted to finish it soon (who likes marking anyways).

I kept going and I cheered myself up by saying “hey you can meet your family soon! hurry up and then you deserve to get the holiday!”

It did not really work.

An older staff was there to the very end and kept on encouraging me. She was so helpful, she kept on saying that I will do well, I will go home and sleep soon, though I was tired I would get my well-deserved break.

We passed the finish line together! We shouted for joy and was very very happy to have finished all the marking for the semester. Sounds very cheesy and cliché but hey that’s what I felt at least!

I came back fresh for the second semester. This time I got to work with different people in the same unit. More prepared than the first semester, I came to the class with a happy heart just to be questioned if I actually could teach, or if what I said even make any sense. Again they were questioning my skills and ability.

I was hurt and a mental breakdown. Why are you doing this to me? What have I done wrong? Am I really not qualified to teach you? Or are you actually doing this because you are forced to take the unit by the faculty just because it is a fundamental subject?

More problems arrived entering the quarter of the semester. More and more until the very end of the semester. I had lots of trouble, had lots of feeling I had to hold as it won’t be professional if you’re letting everyone knows about what’s your problems are.

Applied for sponsorship and yet it was rejected. I guess it really is not my path to take on. The door has closed yet another is opened and will lead me to a different way I suppose.

I thought I had a good and fun class every Friday just to close off my week nicely. There is this one particular person really likes to mess around with me. We parted our ways on good terms, and hopefully, that would stay like this. A group draw an angel and said it was me, all people gave an applause for the work me and my colleague have done this semester, and some people even said a proper farewell.

Before ending this post, I would like to say thank you GOD for letting me in taking this path. Thank you for molding me into a stronger person. I learned a lot. For my supporters, the biggest ones are my family and for my friends and the students who really appreciate my effort – THANK YOU!

I know thank you is not enough to express how thankful I am for your support. Thank you for cheering me up, thank you for lifting me up when I fall, thank you for BELIEVING in me. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I survive and at least am leaving on a good note. In the end, it’s all fine.

 

A Pair of Hand

Humans are given two hands to operate and live the life. However, not everyone is perfect. Some of them are only given one hand by God, and some lost their hands because of an accident or disease or other reasons, not given any.

Given the pair of hand given, it does make everything easier to handle compared to having only one hand or no hand at all. BUT, it is not a solid answer to say “those who are not ‘completed’ cannot do anything and are weaker than those who are completed”. Hey! I have seen a lot of people do even a lot better than normal humans! They created amazing artworks using their mouth or other parts of the body. Some of them even entered a Paralympic and won! They are great athletes, great artists, great human being. They inspired others through their disabilities and it is AMAZING!

These people even have a higher living spirit and strive to do even better and better and better. They keep on improving and keep on overcoming their challenges. I know everyone has their own story, has their own problems they have to encounter and solve. Unfortunately, most of the people take things for granted. We have two hands and a complete set of the human body but we are still complaining about life and give up easily.

Speaking of a pair of hand, I recently talked to my good friend that has been living together with me since 3-4 years ago. She has completed her bachelor degree, so CONGRATULATIONS to you girl! In the past, we argue a lot because both of us have a strong character. We had different opinions and when we look back to the first semester when we met, we are completely different persons now. We have changed, we grow together, we improve together, and we overcame our own problems too. We collided a lot and naturally, it just fell to its place and we became good friends.

We are both international students that came to Australia to study. Now both of us are graduated (she definitely passed the study requirements!), it feels different. We are having a different path that we have to take. We have to part our ways. It does not mean that in the future we cannot meet up or be involved in each other’s life. It’s just a bit hard because we are originally not from the same country and with a different environment, it will be hard to relate to one another and tell the stories.

I learned a lot from her and she also made me who I am today. Just recently we had a good late night talk and discuss where life would take us. I told her I wish we all could stay living near each other (and she is just living in a neighbouring country – not like she is living on the other side of the world LOL) and share stories and do what we’re currently doing. I know it’s unrealistic and I know it’s time for us to take a different route.

So here we are …

I asked her what it would be like in the next 5-10 years? Would our friendship still be the same? Would our current close friends in 2017 still be around in 2027? What our life would be by then? And she said, well it takes two hands to clap. If the other one is not making an effort to clap the other hand, then you are not able to make a clap. It’s the same as having a high-five.

You are there offering your hand to your friend to make a high-five but if you’re ignored then your hand will not be welcomed and your effort will be wasted down the drain. It’s the same as friendship. Good friends will stay no matter what. I can prove that. Another college friend went to the same uni but in a different country and up till now, we’re still friends and still share things. True it’s not as intense as before but both of us make the effort to keep the friendship and so we are still here.

No matter where life takes us if you are still making the effort to stay in touch with your mates, family members, and (ex) colleagues and the other party is also making the effort then clap together. Get that high-five! Pat each other on the back and say “hey friend, well done”.

*This post is dedicated to a good friend of mine. Thank you for the friendship. Lessons learned. Keep on improving. Keep on striving. Keep on smiling and enjoying the life like the way we are currently doing now. Goodbye is always hard and so here you go: Goodbye. Stay in touch and take care! 🙂

 

That’s How You Treat People?

I have been working in the customer service field for approximately a year now. I did different kinds of stuff and have encountered a different kind of customers as well.

Back in my home country in Asia, the customer service role is not a prestigious role in which those are working for the position are considered to be “no-brainer” people. Usually, those who are working behind the counter are those people with no degree. Well, that’s wrong!

I have seen some of my friends working behind the counter and what’s wrong with that? Each one of them earned their bachelor degree and it does not mean they are not smart right? Maybe they are starting their career journey in customer service field and will move on to the next stage when they are ready later.

By working behind the counter, it also does not mean that you only can do simple stuff. They must be proven as the real problem solvers. Based on my experiences, every single customer has their own unique problems and enquiry. They have different traits and how they treat “us” is also different from one to another.

Some customers, especially those from Asia tend to not really appreciate the work of customer service people. They come to the counter with their money to pay the bills and all, but remember, if the officer is not going to serve you then you will have the trouble as well.

tips-to-deal-with-bossy-people1
Pic from: The Brunette Diaries

 

I have some customers where they just threw the things they are buying towards me, not because the distance was big but because they want to show their power. Lack of appreciation was shown.

Some other customers even yelled at me without me knowing what I did wrong. We are also human, and we are all having the same right to be treated fairly. Not because we aren’t professionals so you can treat us that way.

Every problem the customers gave us, must be solved quickly in order for us to serve our customers and to run the line. Even when you are having a rough day, you cannot mix your personal life with your working life. You might be angry at customer A but after he/she finish his/her business you must be ready to welcome customer B with a big smile and treat them with the right and fair standard.

Just recently when I was doing the balancing by the end of the day, one customer came and she missed the cut off time for one of the application and so I asked her to come on the very next day, especially if she was in a rush. She rolled her eyes at me and sighed. Well, I couldn’t do anything. She missed the cut-off time and I needed to do the balancing as well. She might have had a bad day herself, but yeah I wasn’t supposed to be one to put the blame on.

On the very next day, almost near the cut-off time she came again and met me. I guessed why she came and she said “oh you remember!” and gave me a huge warm smile. I processed her application and while I was doing it, she said “I’m terribly sorry for what happened yesterday. I did not mean to blame you but I ran from the other side of the building to get it done so I was angry at myself when I knew I missed the cut-off time.”

That was touching, to me at least. Not everyone can admit their mistakes and say sorry for the treatment they did. It is a good example of how people could change after one event, and how people actually CAN treat others the same way as she/he treats her/himself.

I also learned, if you don’t want to be treated badly by people, you should not start to treat people badly as well. It will get back to you eventually.

Another time, a lady came to me and said thanks for the other day. I couldn’t remember her face and what she meant so she told me that I gave her an advice of what to do and she was so grateful for that. Being grateful because of a simple thing is not hard, eh?

I’m not saying that all customers treat the customer service officers badly, I have met some people which they are very nice and really thankful for you assistance.

I also learned to treat others fairly. You might not know what kind of person he/she is, what kind of life they are living, what kind of day they have been going through. Maybe they even have earned their degree in one of the most popular educational institutions. Who knows?

Also how people dress up should not make you have a particular image. I saw people dressing up casually and end up buying luxurious items. I think that’s the definition of not judging the book by its cover.

So yeah, starting from now on everytime you treat people other than your family and friends, you can try to treat them fairly and see how things could change to a better way 🙂

Remember, people will treat you the same way as you treat them. Appreciate even more and be grateful for what you have, even for the simplest thing you have. A simple hello and thank you will do!

hand-painted-thank-you-design_1095-239