On priorities…

These past two weeks, I encountered two people who could not be more different than each other, than the earth is different from the sky… As my thoughts lately have been swaying to the progression of my currently non-existent career and the options and/or priorities that arise from it, I have been giving the current subject matter much thought.

The first person put his (they’re both men) career or job above everything else – family, loved ones, friends… Nothing would ever get in his way of work – may it be meeting a deadline or ensuring that a client downs another pint tonight at the pub. Nevermind the home is just a place to shower and change and sleep. Nevermind if his girlfriend has to wait three weeks for a glimpse of the dude. Nevermind anything else, work work work first. (Or at least, it seems to be a convenient excuse to go gallivanting, but that is for another musing, no?)

The other fella, on the other hand, isn’t willing to change jobs so that he can stay close to his young son and wife. Nevermind he’s grossly underpaid. Nevermind he’s treated badly and work environment isn’t the most conducive. Nevermind the drive to work is over 40km from his current residence. Nevermind the menial jobs that he does, certainly not fitting one that comes from a prestigious university, and he’s a degree-holder to boot… Nevermind the zero career progression. (Or at least, it seems to be a convenient excuse to explain laziness or fear to change, but that is for another musing too…)

Now, coming to the point of this post, I’ve decided that growing grapes aren’t exactly my cup of tea, and have started the tedious process of looking for another employment. The good news is, I have secured an employment at a company that was high on my list, and will start work in a fortnight…

A gamut of thoughts are running amok in my mind – they range from worrying about my job scope and whether I am able to cope with them, to worrying about what to wear and if I’ll be able to fit it… Among the many thoughts are interspersed with my worries on finding the balance of priorities…

To be able to move up in any establishment requires hard work and dedication. This might or might not mean – endless hours at the office, and not having as much time on my hands to spread for the home and family.

On the other hand, I am a woman fast approaching my biological sell-by date (according to some people). This means that the clock is fast running out for me if I ever want to have children. Yes, I do want to have children. And yes, I want to have a career and progress up towards bigger and better things, and would like to manage my family well. I wouldn’t wish to be back in the rut that I grew up in… I would want my children to be comfortable and loved, and not left to grow like wild weeds on the roadside.

The question that begs answering is – Is there a middle ground between these two people I encountered this past weeks? There must be a way to do it without burning myself out, and not straining my marriage to breaking point. I suppose God works in mysterious ways, and He would show me the way. Otherwise, why have I only crossed paths with these two specimens at this point in time? Sometimes all we need to do is open our eyes and the answers are there for us to see, no?

Balancing priorities isn’t an exact science, and it certainly isn’t easy… Hoping I’d bump into the manual sometime soon – Jasmine.

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On growing grapes…

The Malays call a jobless person a ‘penganggur’, which literally translated to English means a ‘grape-person’… I guess I fall into that category now, as just three minutes ago I was told to find alternative employment. Just the kind of thing I think that would happen to other people, but we are all ‘other people’ to someone else, isn’t it?

I am so screwed. I suppose I’ve spent all these years taking what I do for granted and settled in to the grind too comfortably. I probably ignored the warning signs looming, and thought that I could weather it out. I guess I’m not indispensable after all.

What I will miss most is the benefits I have from the job – medical coverage and expenses, flexi-hours for work and the travel. I will certainly not miss the stress. And I will not miss the horrid parking… Did I mention I would also miss my paycheck? LOL

With quite a substantial commitment on my back, I should be worried. I’m thinking I should try my hand at freelancing, but my skill sets aren’t exactly unique, and writers are a dime a dozen. Currently, I’ll jump into any job that would pay enough just to clear my monthly liabilities, and I’ll be thankful for that…

Thank you, darling Giraffe for being so supportive. It’s a tough time for me, and it will only get worse – Jasmine.

On the value of life…

With the economic ‘difficulties’ being faced globally, it is inevitable that crimes rates increase at the same rates. From personal observation, I’ve noticed the kinds of crimes that increase are the kinds that relate to monetary gains – petty theft, robberies, breaking and entering… that sort of thing. The reality is that people, from all walks of life, need pecuniary means to survive. And driven to desperation, or perhaps by promises of easy rewards, they dabble into crime to eke out a living…

But reading this particular piece of news on the Star today, broke my heart…

Pregnant woman dies after thieves pull her off motorcycle

JOHOR BARU: The killers on motorcycles have done it again — this time, snatch thieves took two lives when they tried to rob pregnant Jamilah Selamat.

Jamilah, 31, suffered severe head injuries after falling from her motorcycle on Sunday. She died at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital at 7.30am yesterday without regaining consciousness.

Her husband of seven months, trader Razali Ahmad, 41, was a distraught man yesterday.

For him, the tragedy was harder to take because he had just started to taste happiness again after five years when his first wife died of cancer.

The tragedy also leaves Jamilah’s two children from her first marriage — Norasyikin Salleh, seven, and Mohd Khairi Ridwan Salleh, five — without their mother. They looked dazed and clung to their crying stepfather.

Razali said he was told by an eyewitness — his older brother’s friend — that his wife had hit the pavement face first and did not move after that.

“The witness told me that he saw two men on a motorcycle flee the scene immediately after Jamilah fell, and her bag was nowhere to be seen,” he told reporters at the hospital mortuary yesterday.

Razali said Jamilah, a handicraft dealer, was on her way home to Taman Mekar after work that day.

Jamilah had lost her handbag to snatch thieves last year but escaped unharmed. A friend advised her to twirl the handbag around the rearview mirror for a tighter hold.

That move may have been fatal.

When the snatch thieves grabbed Jamilah’s bag, they pulled her motorcycle, causing Jamilah to fall.

“I never thought that I would lose her this way. We were expecting our child, we have only been married for seven months … I lost my first wife to bone cancer and now, I have lost Jamilah and baby,” he said.

Razali has two teenage children from his previous marriage.

Jamilah and the unborn child were buried at the Ayer Hitam cemetery yesterday.

Batu Pahat OCPD Asst Comm Ibrahim Arif confirmed police received a report on the incident.

Eyewitnesses are urged to contact the police hotline at 07-2212999.

In 2004, a Nanyang Siang Pau clerk, Chong Fee Cheng, 37, died after she lapsed into a coma following a snatch theft in Taman Molek, Johor Bahru.

In December last year, snatch theft victim Lim See Nya, 58, was run over by a three-tonne truck when she lost her balance and fell onto the road, after a motorcycle pillion rider grabbed her handbag in Bukit Mertajam.

How does one justify ending another’s life, so that they can maybe earn RM200 from it? How much is a woman’s handbag and its content worth? One life? Or in this case, two lives? A woman from Batu Pahat, no less. I doubt she was walking around with a Birkin and a bundle of cash…

Imagine the grief and pain faced by her family and loved ones… Unbearable, I imagine. Senselessly died just because some gangbanger wanted to earn some easy dough. And her unborn child? Truly an innocent lamb, no? To add salt to the wound, the perpetrators of the crime was not caught.

*sigh*

I suppose the only way to stop these idiots from committing such crimes is to penalize to the point that it becomes a deterrent… For ending lives like that for the sake of some small change, ohh, maybe we can poke one eye out? I certainly think that is not harsh enough.

I wonder what goes on in their piggy little heads when they do these things. Are they so down and trodden that they are unable to find a proper job in McDonalds or KFC? Or are the rewards too good to pass up? And don’t they believe in God, retribution, karma whatever?

As I write this, I’m looking through my handbag to see how much my life is ‘worth’ – Longchamps Le Pliage handbag RM790, Kate Spade purse RM1250, xPeria handphone RM2700, Cash in various currencies and denominations RM345.00, Oakley limited edition sunnies RM780, Surefire light RM380, Leatherman multitool RM460, various knick-knacks and other hubris RM25 – Grand total of RM6930. Take a 50% discount off, because everything second-hand is worth maybe half of the original, my life is worth approximately RM3.5k…

Sad isn’t it? To a snatch theft, that is all anyone is worth. Forget about the person. Just take the dollar value and be done with it. Disregard the person – family and friends, worth of accumulated knowledge and skills, job contribution, and the resources spent on making a person who he or she is at this day and time…

Maybe taking out an eye is too kind after all – Jasmine.

On neighbours…

The Bible says “Love thy neighbour as thyself”. I’m guessing Jesus didn’t have neighbours that hail from hell like we do… God is kind however, its only one crazy nut – the rest of our neighbours are simply fantastic.

Anyways, the story about the neighbour on the left-hand side of our house began one fateful day when they bought the house and started renovating. The construction sounds and groans and creaks and dust went on and on, day and night for over three months. We thought, what the hell, we’ll just be good neighbours and endure it – after all, this is hopefully they’re one and only time renovating, right?

They then proceed to build their extension sky high, and block the wind and sun and everything else under God’s green earth from our unit. On top of that, we nearly went to arms trying to get them to do a proper job on the renovation – they had wanted to leave the wall facing us literally bare – seeing the bricks and mortar in the morning isn’t exactly my cup of tea. They finally gave in when we threatened to complain to MPAJ…

Next came the horrendous bits of stainless steel they choose to deck their house in – it looks like a spaceship from the outside! Then came the golden lions on top of their gate… Are they trying to imitate Stargate here? Then the tiles came enroaching into our side of the driveway… Most nights, we don’t need to turn on our lights, the spillover from their place is enough to light up two houses! Still we put up with them…

Then they got two dogs.

That was when it went to hell. The dogs are literally barkers. They bark day and night and don’t stop for bats zooming out of hell. At all hours of the day. To make things worse, they don’t particularly take care of their dogs – they are full of fungus and ticks – one fella even has a bald patch at the top of the head! And they are chained up day and night. And they stink! The poo, the pee, the smell and the general upkeep is miserable…

No… I don’t hate dogs. Don’t get me wrong. Yes, I’m a Muslim. I love dogs, cats, tarantulas… all manner of furry things… But not when they’re treated badly, behave badly, and affect me and my family. And to make things worse, the owners seem to think that its perfectly fine for their stupid little yappy dogs to terrorize the street and give everyone sleepless nights. Its gotten so bad, I now give them “Shushhh!” commands from bed! They eventually shut up someone tells them off, but the truth is, they shouldn’t be yapping in the first place… And it should be the damn owners giving commands, not me!

My furry kids, who are about three times bigger than the neighbours dogs, by the way, think its fun to try and snap their little heads of their shoulders when they poke it through the fence.  I really don’t want to end up as the German Shepherd owner with a dead neighbours dog’s decapitated head in my compound. Especially not when its their dogs who taunt mine and think its good fun to poke at a working-line German Shepherd who can literally bite their heads off.

And honestly, after spending the whole of last night sleepless, because the two idiots refuse to stop barking, I might just let my kids have a go at those two mangy, fungus-ridden arseholes masquerading as guard dogs next door.

Please, if you want to own dogs, be a responsible owner. Train your dogs. Do not keep them chained up 24 hours a day in the sun and rain and moonshine. Give them adequate care. Keep them quiet and don’t let them become a nuisance. Don’t let their excreta roll down your driveway and piss people off… Would you keep your children the same way? Keep them tied to the yard, let them cry all night and change the diapers once a week… Would you, really?

Other people have dogs too… And some of them have bigger dogs than you, that can do serious damage to yours, simply because you’re not bothered enough to take care of them. To make things worse, it is your dogs who instigate, but it will be my evil, big black dog that will get the blame.

I suddenly understand and emphatize with those people who poison their neighbours dogs. I see the point too –  I don’t want the ticks and diseases jumping over the fence to my place, so now my kids are kept as far away as I can from these two clowns. But for how long it can be done, its a different story… I’m already at the limits of my patience, and if it doesn’t stop, I will call MPAJ. Don’t forget we know you don’t have licenses for the two dogs… But that will only make the dogs the victim… I would love to let my kids bite you, really, for letting it go to the dogs literally…

After this post, I will be writing a “Dear Neighbour” letter, and hope that the idiot can understand it – Jasmine.