The Tale of the Great Fermat's Successor; All the Detergents and Softeners in Between

Ever went shopping and had some flyer-like bunch of papers flapping under the supermarket air-cond? The colors, the design....wasn't that attractive. But wait a minute. Is that a SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE?!!! You reach for the flyer and voila! How hard can it be?

So I asked my sister when I saw that.

"OMG! You think we can win this?!"

I was practically drooling on the SAMSUNG GALAXY CAMERA. 

"Sure. Why not? What are you supposed to do?" 

Count the stacks of products in the picture. Hah! Easy peasy. Even a kindergartener could do that. Oh wait. You gotta buy the product and provide the real receipt.

Well, why not? I need softeners anyway. So I counted the photo of a pile of cleaning products nicely stacked together with a cartoon of a family of four; mom and dad wheeling the hilly shopped items in some wobbly shopping cart, a boy (for reasons only God knows) holding a softener and a girl holding a dish wash (understandably). Bought some toilet cleaner of the same line of product, confidently stapled the receipt, photostated the whole form to be sure (just in case they might cheat; as if) and posted them. That was a piece of cake. Well, I waited and waited for the fateful call where I have to answer a question and win the weekly prize I chose. Just in case, I memorized everything there is to know about the company producing the cleaners and softeners. I even by heart the measurement of the products' bottle and stuffs. I'm surprised to know that the company was actually initiated in Indonesia. The wait remained until the last day of the contest but there wasn't a call. I was frustrated beyond believe. 

"How is this different fromm some hippy lucky draws? Oh right, you were reminded on how to count," I wailed one rainy afternoon while my mom was sweeping my room. She literally kicked me to move aside so that she could sweep under my bed. "Why is life so unfair to me?!!"

"Well, nothing is in this world. Stop rolling all over the floor! Amin just got out of the toilet," she warned. Blech. "Get over it. There are tons of other contests you could join. Like this!"

She pointed out some contest to win a pack of rice.

"Yeah right. The probability of winning just sized down to 0.0001%. Everyone in Malaysia eats rice kiddo," raising hand to stop her before she could interject "and yes, housewives and aunties above 60 years old are the only people wolfing after packs of rice but what makes you think they won't make 27 entries per head?"

When she scowled, I was beaming at my cool deduction. I mean, that's just really elementary maths to understand the probability of winning. Eventhough I embellished a little, but I think I got my point across crystal clear. She took the photostated contest form that I was clutching for the past few weeks from the table and scrutinized the A4 paper.

"Forget it. I'm one in a million. No, one in gazillions. It's only understandable I lose,"

Man, I was in the Fermat...numbers here and there and everywhere. You know, you can't blame someone who suddenly feels smart when they thought they discovered the reason for their failure first before anyone else. It's like a triumph beyond discovering the integration formula for general polynomial. Heard that? Another Fermat reference.

"So you wrote 31 detergents here?" my sister asked.

"Yeah. Nevermind, Di....it's ok. The world is a place where undiscovered gems are lost and not ever found and polished,"

"Shouldn't it be 38?"

That kind of stopped me in mid-sentence and after I snatched the paper away from her, I recounted the detergents in the photo.

"It's 31. Why would it be 38?!" I cried.

"Well, how about the detergents in the shopping cart?"

I never did glanced at that paper again. Why should I when I've been staring at the thing for all these time, dreaming of a new SAMSUNG GALAXY CAMERA? Never in my entire life, have I ever shredded a printed paper with my own teeth till the day I discovered that I really do have to learn to count again.


The Lotus Flower

The Lotus Flower


Friday 13th; There is No Such Thing As A Jinxed Friday....

There were times when I've thought of making a career shift. To drop myself into a different field of expertise to change my confining way of thinking or make a difference in the world. But get real. I just want to make a few ringgits more than I do right now. That thought zapped me back to the past, waaay back to the time when I thought I had the worst job in the world; that was back in 2011. Don't get me wrong, I still have the worst job ever, only that I enjoy torturing myself more now. The differences back then and now? Well, simply put, I'm paid less to tolerate worse case scenario any lab-working employee could ever encounter. And the source of discomfort was downsized from a full-house of a restaurant to just a single person.

I used to work in a franchise restaurant where the customers are forever complaining. In Malaysia, you don't wanna pay extra 16% tax and not complain. It's just not. When customer's rights are flagging their red flags proud and loud, we do more so in Malaysia; no pun intended. I am, after all, a Malaysian through and through. And a girl, to add the drama.

So, working at a franchise restaurant isn't easy. Telling someone that their pizza will be ready in 17.5 minutes is just a way of volunteering to place your neck at the hanging gallows of doom. The minute you turn your back on them, a dedicated thrifty housewife; who just recently retired from her work at the World Bank and decided to settle down in Kuching since the environment suits her children's personal development, literally whips out a stopwatch on you. And you haven't even swipe your ID to key-in their orders.That particular species of customer is rated Orange in the Danger Scale. They are like slow Internet, Stephen King and loan payments notice combined; frustrating, crazy and plain horror. It was at that moment that time decided to move faster and without fail, cause the pizza to be 5 seconds late and to her convenience, it didn't look like the pizza in the menu. Let's just say that, she got the free Personal Pizza she had been aiming ever since she set her foot in the restaurant.

But I feel her thoughts. It's called female instinct. We know when our orders will most likely be forgotten. I still don't get why Pizza Hut insisted on being a fast food restaurant when you only get to eat your pizza 20 minutes after you've ordered. On the fastest record. And if you're extremely lucky. You can write a simple essay on the Periodic Table within 20 minutes. Or finish reading 4 or 5 pages of Twilight; if you're the kind that literally imagine every crease of Edward Cullen's face while he's talking and being gorgeous and stuffs (blech). 20 minutes is too long to be appeased with the basic meal of garlic bread sticks and instant soup-of-the-day. Seriously.

Now, instead of dealing with swarms of hungry customers, I deal with only a single person who compensates for the whole population of 'important' people in the world that is set to make a difference. One toilet at a time. Haha. Not funny. Not when all that is wrong in a human psychologically is housed in one brain that resides in an office labeled 'Director'. There are many types of bosses. Most common are the 3 mentioned here; Nice, Invisible and Plain Evil.

The Nice categorizes bosses that occasionally buy you lunch, turn down your ideas nicely, strict but encourages self-development waaaaay too much and sometimes, might be a little too friendly to the point of convincing that you and him/her are on first name basis. This is a rare species. Most of the time mistaken with being creepy but really, they just want to be your friend. When you find one, don't let go. Literally. Don't let them leave until retirement. Yours....them...whichever comes first.

The Invisibles are bosses who are constantly traveling around the world; one week in Estonia, 2 days in USA, 2 hours in KL, 8 hours in China, 3 hours in Iceland....and the list goes on....There are the ones you have to race against time to meet. They are the ones whose timetable you should be aware of especially with the holiday season nearing by since the fate of your leave application rests in their hands. Usually, they only suck when their PA sucks. Cause messing up their schedule screws up most about everything else in the office. Monthly meetings maybe the only audience you can get with them. Haha. it depends actually with the agency you're working with. The Invisible bosses are most of the time decent if not always available.But just cause they're not there, doesn't mean they're not around. Think again. The walls....they talk.

And the last one....is the most simplest one to explain. They are just plain Evil. The say crappy stuffs about you personal life, rejoice in embarrassing you in front of a full spectator, are always right even when they're wrong, making your face their dart board and could suffer from various stages of OCD. The only way to survive is being a strong person at heart, being great at dodging bullets and if you dare, hone your social skills with conversation to appease their ego without coming off as an apple-polisher. Everyday is a challenge but you'll manage if you've handled children who bully, you can handle this.

There goes the rant for this wonderful Friday 13th. No. I didn't write this cause I hate my boss.Yeah right.