Friday, July 30, 2010

How Dubai Stole The New Job's Thunder

*Warning: Whiny and jiwang thoughts ahead.*

I think it all started about a year ago when SRB started to receive gradual hints from his boss about possibly getting an overseas work assignment. Unexpectedly, the boss would casually dropped questions like, "Have you ever discussed with your wife about you going for an overseas assignment? Would she be okay to leave her current job?". Then a couple of months back, things got more serious when the boss started to come to his office, close the door (this usually means - it's time to have a little friendly/unfriendly, depending on what kind of shit you're in, one-to-one talk buddy!) and share things like, "I have discussed with the management and there seem to be opportunities out there for you" or "I can't disclose the full details yet but the progress looks very encouraging and promising."

But it always stopped there, no specific info being offered which pissed us off a bit coz it just felt like at the end of 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire', when the contestant has already picked the final answer for the million dollar question and the host would pause, smiled smugly to the camera and said "Jawapannya ialah...kita tunggu selepas ini!" and then the commercial came on. It's like, farking hell laa kan?

Now, I should also mentioned that this 'I-can't-tell-you-everything-but-I-can-only-tell-you-this-much' tarik tali game that SRB's boss was playing with him happened around the same time when I was having a shitty time at my previous workplace and when I was miserably waiting for response on any new job opportunities. So we both had our own dilema kehidupan going on at the same time, so many what-ifs lingering in our heads and huwarrgghh it was no fun at all, people. It's like we're both running out of breath, trying to compete who has the greater, much more significant misery and insecurity. Memang boleh dikatakan the whole house dilanda PMS lah hehe.

Then, some of my questions were answered when I got the new job offer Alhamdulillah, so my positive outlook on life was restored and I became a happy person again yeayyy! Tapi Tuhan masih mahu menguji kami nampaknya when exactly one day (as in 24 hours later) after I handed in the new job's acceptance letter, dear husband was called in for a meeting with his boss and big boss uh-ohh! At that time, we're pretty sure this was when we're finally gonna know the verdict OMG! He was freaking out at his office, I was freaking out at my office, even some of my workmates joined our awesome 'freaking out' party hehe.

A few hours later, with just a simple SMS, "So dear, you wanna know?" (Hell yeahhh, I wanna know! I'd go into a bloody cardiac arrest if I had to wait any longer!), our world was forever changed chewahhh! My heart leapt with joy when I heard the words 'base in Dubai' but it sank to deep darkness when the words 'occasional trips to wells in Iraq' were mentioned. Seriously, one bomb after another, memang sakit jantung beb! Today, I accepted a new job, the next day, I found out that I have to move to another country and let my other half work in Iraq. Apekahhh?

The next couple of weeks were of course such an emotional turmoil for us. I remember us sitting on the bed, one minute we're talking calmly, the next minute we're crying, then we're laughing at the absurdity of the situation (Dubai? Iraq? PwC? Wtf?) and then we just sat there in silence, lost in our thoughts and worry. I mean, the timing of everything was just ridiculous!!! I was really looking forward to work in a Big 4 company and felt that I just couldn't leave everything and move. I felt that I have so much in me to contribute to, if not the world, then at least some kind of corporate organizations. I was terrified of feeling stupid, useless and lost if I'm gonna have to just stay at home and be a housewife (no offense to all housewives out there ye, this is just me). Not to mention, sitting at home while the husband goes for work trips to Iraq - ni dah macam citer Army Wives ni hahah!

Maybe it would be different if we already have kids but the fact is, we don't yet. And no matter how many times you people ask us; "When? Why not now? What are you waiting for?", I'm sorry but the answer will still be the same - only God knows what's best, we can't decide on the timeline. And I'm sure you all know that so why don't you get over it and move on okay? It's not like we can order a baby and have it couriered to us asap via FedEx or something (hahaha I've always wanted to say this!). Sorry dear, I know you taught me not to be rude and be more sensitive to other people's feelings when I'm writing but this time, I just HAVE to say it =p

Of course, at the end of the day, we have to count our blessings and remind ourselves that these are both rezeki and dugaan dari Allah so we just have to work things out dengan rasa redha and syukur. I realize that I'm gonna have to make the sacrifice this time eventhough I really like what I'm doing in this new job and how often can you find a job that you actually like, right? But yeah, I'm willing to give it all up out of my sheer love and utter respect for the husband =). No matter how much I hate to leave this job, I think I'll hate myself more if I'm not there for him, to hold his hands and offer him comforting hugs whenever he's having a hard time at work - you know, that 'Behind every successful man, there is a woman' kinda thing hahaks!

So the plan is, I work here for a few months so I can have a 'beautiful' resume hehe, he takes his one-way flight to Dubai some time end of August and I'll join him latest by October (or probably earlier depending on how long I can stand being away from him hihi) Insya Allah and then straightaway start preparing the guest room for the girls to come visit =D. What exactly I'm gonna do over there, tungguuuuuu for the update hehe.

In the meantime, we'll just cherish each other's company, plan our move together and prepare ourselves physically and mentally for the big change ahead. Iskk I foresee some crying-to-sleep moments during the temporary separation (you think that I'm stronggg, you're wronggg - Robbie Williams) so help me dear friends, help me dear God, during these trying times Aaamiiinnn...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

My life is you

Dear, nanti bila you kat sana,
you janganlah asyik keja keja keja je.
You gotta have a life jugak, you know.
SRB: But my life is you! So while you takde kat sana nanti, I camane?
SRS: ........... *Teary-eyed*

Although I'm usually good at domestic arguments,
but once in a while, words would just fail me eheh.

Friday, July 23, 2010

THE Big News

To Production and Functional Managers, Bulletin Boards MEM,

We are pleased to announce that effective on or about August 16, 2010, MOHAMAD SHAH REZA BAKRI, currently Subsurface Engineer, Operations Technical - Subsurface, ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Malaysia, Inc. will assume the position of Subsurface Engineer, Operations Technical, ExxonMobil Iraq Services Limited Company. Shah will be located in Dubai and report to BTPO Operations Manager.

Please join me in thanking Shah for his past contributions and wishing him well in his new assignment.

From, Subsurface Technical Manager

FINALLY, the official announcement came out today. Congratulations dear!!! You know I am soo proud of you just like you are of me hihihi! Now I have the green light to reveal the secret hehe.

So yeah peeps, WE ARE MOVING TO DUBAI!!! Can you believe it?!!

More details on that later coz now I'm tired and my brain refuse to function unless I have some doses of The Big Bang Theory first. Hahaha anti-climax tak? =p

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Kakne's Karipap

I haven't been immersing myself in any cooking experiments lately due to our current house-sitting responsibilities. (The parents flew off to UK last Monday for lil bro's graduation so as usual we have to stay at their place, become Kakne's sort of 'bodyguards' and hold the ground until next Thursday.)

My closest encounter with cooking recently was helping Kakne prepared her famous homemade karipap as a little 'Welcome Home!' gesture for Pojie. Yes my friends, I may fail miserably at menganyam ketupat, but I can kelim the karipaps manually and rather beautifully chewahhhh hihi!

Many of our friends and families have offered and some even begged to help Kakne start a business out of her karipap-making expertise, but none has actually succeeded in converting her into a businesswoman hehe. Plus with cheeky little Khayra around, where got time maa.

Maybe someday when I have the option to become a housewife and dah bosan sangat kat rumah, this karipap-making skill can be put into a good/profitable use =p

Friday, July 16, 2010

The New Job

First day at the new job today fuuhhh! I'm sure you're wondering, "Apsal laa they buat 1st day on a Friday. Baik buat next Monday terus." But you know what, starting a new job on a Friday worked perfectly well for me coz at least I now have the weekend to absorb all information shoved to us during the induction and to get over the nervousness and awkwardness of being a newbie or as they call it there, a 'joiner'.

Coincidentally, the dept was also having its monthly meeting today so I ended up going home at around 8.15 PM. I must say I was not surprised and in fact was prepared for this hehe. I'm not gonna say too much now coz I don't wanna jinx anything, but as for the first impression - the place, the people, the environment; they were definitely giving off good vibes.

All in all, it was a bit overwhelming but exciting at the same time =). So I am hopeful for the future, Insya Allah, Aminnnn...

P/S: To answer one of the most popular follow-up questions from some of you upon knowing about my new job: No, I am no longer bonded with PETRONAS. I received the precious release letter in 2007, after about 2 years serving PETRONAS through iPerintis. God knows why I stayed for another 3 years before finally walking away hahah =p

Monday, July 12, 2010

How I Got The New Job

It's already Monday and I have only 3 more days left to proudly remain as the unemployed *sigh*. I have been meaning to write about my job-hunting experience; the trauma of interviews, the waiting, the ray of light that came in the form of a phone call, etc, but was either too busy or too lazy to do it. So now that I have all the time in the world to spare, let's do it bebeh! *Warning - I might get carried away with the details, so this could possibly be one of my rare long entries.*

I've been working in the same company since I graduated in 2005 and was generally happy with things at work up till the last 6 months of my 5th year there. I mean, it's not all sunshine and rainbow throughout the past 5 years, what with the working on weekends, on ungodly hours and what not, but the good, fun days sort of drowned the bad days when you have great colleagues/friends and teamwork. However in the beginning of 2010, due to many reasons I shall not disclosed here for fear of my safety (chewahhh macamlah ada rahsia kerajaan sgt pun, just malas nak citer panjang actually hahah!), things in the office has become figuratively and literally toxic that I just HAD to get out of there asap.

So I updated my resume, emailed it to all ex-colleagues who were still in my radar hoping that they could get me something good, dropped it to as many companies as I could find in the cyberspace, even went to some career fairs (first time ever - sgt jakun and pening okk) to try my luck. It was all emotionally draining, plus it totally messed up my self-esteem, "Why didn't I get any reply? Am I not good enough or am I over-qualified for that job?" that sort of stuff. This went on for about 2 months until that one fateful Monday afternoon in April 2010, I went into this particular company's official website, clicked on the 'Career' section, typed in my profile, answered some background questions and uploaded my resume. And then I sat and quietly waited, just like I did for the previous couple of months.

Then miracle happened and it happened so fast, on the same Monday to be exact, that I honestly didn't have enough time to process everything. On Monday evening, approximately 3 hours after I deposited my resume in that particular company's website, I received a call from their HR who said that they had looked over my profile and would I be interested to come in for an interview? Okay, that was super-fast. Of course I'd be interested! Are you kidding me?!! On Thursday, they called again to confirm that the interview would be on the next Monday.

That weekend, I was literally a nervous wreck. I haven't been to a job interview in almost 5 years so of course my 'jual diri' skills were a bit rusty. So I googled all possible interview questions and the corresponding bombastic answers, practised with dear SRB to make the answers sounded more natural than rehearsed, completed some mock-up IQ, analytical and even statistic tests just to be ready coz gotta admit, nowadays I could no longer count without a calculator or excel sheet.

So how did the interview go, you might ask. And I will answer you my friend, in my definition, it was a DISASTER!!! I came on Monday all psyched up to ace some aptitude test just to find out that nope, there's not gonna be any pick-one-from-the-four-available-answers-below test before the interview. Just the plain, old "Hello, here's a case study for you to read and please prepare a presentation on your recommendation in 40 minutes, thank you very much". Say whaaattt???

I did not expect this AT ALL, so of course I was not ready to calmly read some case studies and come up with a creative solution to present to an audience. And I had only 30 minutes! (The first 10 minutes was unproductively spent hyperventilating, recovering myself from shock and reading the first line over and over again). So once again ladies and gentlemen, I found myself in the nervous-wreck mode; my body shaking, heart racing, palm sweating and all that. I couldn't really remember what happened after that coz I think my brain subconsciously blocked the whole interview nightmare from registering into my memory hehe.

Then four days later, a bigger miracle happened. I got a call from the same HR lady and jeng jeng jeng, they offered me a job woohoo!!! And then three days later I received the official offer letter, Alhamdulillah. Okay, maybe I exaggerated a bit on the interview being such a disaster and all (but I honestly thought it was!), I guess they saw a potential in me somehow, somewhere in between my stuttered presentation.

I was thrilled and excited at first but then it dawned on me that working with one of the Big 4 companies would possibly require long hours and hard, hard work. Can I survive? Can I cope? Am I making one of those keluar-kandang-buaya-masok-kandang-harimau mistakes? See I told you, this whole finding-a-job thing could really mess you up, man.

After a series of sembahyang istiqarah and self-reflections, I decided that yup, I was up for the new challenge and I was sooo done of feeling like shit at my previous job. So I accepted the offer, tendered my resignation, served and completed my 3-month notice period and I am.

I have no idea how demanding the new job's gonna be - people always say that auditors from Big 4 companies work like crazy, but I'm not gonna be an auditor. I have zero expertise in that area. From what I understand, I'm gonna be a consultant, giving advisory services in IT implementations, whatever THAT means. I'm not gonna bore you with the specifics of my job, no worries.

Nevertheless, I've decided that I'm not gonna give up before I try. No matter what people say, however hard or easy it'll be, I've decided that I'm gonna try to do the best that I can, in whatever challenges thrown at me, for as long as I have to, Insya Allah...

Gambatte to me huyeahhh!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Temporary Unemployment

Greetings from the currently unemployed!!! Thehehehe. I won't be working till 16th July 2010 so I'm now enjoying my freedom by being the ultimate couch potato, watching downloaded TV series from friends, playing with little niece and contemplating whether I should open a Facebook account or not; resist Rina, resist!!! Hahah!

A thank you shout out to Kirah for introducing me to Greek, the TV show I'm presently obsessing about. Cappie is the cutest frat boy everrr!!! Plus he's a real life rockstar in a band called Siren's Eye - 100 million pointsss woohooo! Okay, you have to watch the series to understand how comel this Cappie person is. The hair, the attitude, the smile, the blue eyes - total hotness!

I'm also at the moment overdosing on Barney and Upin & Ipin series, together with little niece. Seriously, we both dah nak sampai hafal dah the whole script of Upin & Ipin tu. And just like I can't get enough of Cappie in Greek, Khayra can never get tired of Barney's "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and "I Love You, You Love Me".

And oh bad news, Twilight Saga is just maybe 2 steps away from losing me as a fan. Watched Eclipse last night (thanks Kirah & Yamin for the free tix) and Goddddd it was just soooo cheesy and corny and filled with ohmygod-somebody-please-kill-me-now moments! I think some lines should just remain written in a book and should NOT be said out loud in real life nor in a movie ever due to their barf-inducing nature. But red-eyed Dakota Fanning and shirtless wolves still rock so Eclipse was borderline acceptable lah for me.

Right, I'm off to watch the tear-jerking Brothers & Sisters series pulak. Aircond - check. Snacks - check. Tissues - check. is just beautiful =)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Thanks and Sorry For Everything

As some of you are aware, today is my last day with iPerintis. Just want you to know that I am truly leaving here with mixed feelings; happy to be joining a new venture, but at the same time sad to know that I am leaving a place that has given me many friends and fond memories.

Before I leave, I’d like to thank all of you for making my tenure at iPerintis so wonderful. Thank you for your support, guidance, patience and friendship over the past years. I have learned a great deal here and worked with many amazing people with whom I am sure I will still remain friends for a long time. You are a SPECIAL group of people and I will definitely miss all of you.

Please also accept my sincere apology for all my wrong-doings and inconveniences that I have caused throughout my time here.

My very best wishes for the future go out to each and every one of you.

Signing off for now…

And oh yeah, thank you thank you thank you for the GORGEOUS pendant!!!
I REALLY LOVE IT muaahhhss =D

More pics of the farewell makan2 can be seen here

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Moving is easy. Everybody does it.
But actually LEAVING somewhere is difficult.

- Nick Laird, Utterly Monkey -

Tomorrow marks my last day with iP, after 5 years of service. I have no idea how I'm gonna feel by the end of the day...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa, formerly known as Burj Dubai, the tallest man-made structure on Earth.

Picture taken from Burj Khalifa, a view of Dubai City covered in a layer of fog.

It just looks...surrealll!