Thursday, May 21, 2015

Crossroad

The crossroad.
I knew this day would come - Standing at a crossroad of my life.
Career-wise, it has been smooth sailing for the past 5 years. I always give my best, but many a time, it seems that my passion and interest lie away from a combined-cycle power plant. I seem to have some major differences between the rest of the flock. Well I am quite sure that my immediate boss doesn't think too highly about me. But you can’t force a cow to drink water if it’s not interested isn't it? Sometimes I wonder if being different is good for me.
But I’m my own man, and I take and own-up responsibilities. Come 1st of June, my 5 year scholarship bond will be up. I need to thank GSP for supporting me financially during my 5 years of undergrad. I still remember how proud I was to get a scholarship those days. I can still remember where I was, what I was doing, when I received the call from Miss Olivia Intan, and subsequently the day I walked to Residence Hotel UNITEN to sign the contract with her. It meant that I was financially independent when I was 18, and that my parents could channel the much needed savings to my siblings’ education. My parents were really proud of me (and they stilla re). Being financially independent meant that I made my own decisions during uni days. Towards the end, I started traveling with like-minded friends. When the rest of the class were studying hard, I joined societies and student movements, but still managed to (thankfully) make the grades. I graduated from UNITEN being Best Graduate for Leadership & Extra-curriculum. I became like a multitasking-superman, where nothing is impossible.
I started working here on 1st of June, 2010. It’s a 5 year bond.
Unfortunately, like my fantastic senior FCM (whom I’ll be forever grateful to), we were always motivated after we started working (or maybe it’s just me), and rather toned down a little from the limelight. I suppose it’s a common symptom of GSP (underpaid) scholars who serve bonds? I suppose it’s different when you’re a student, and when you’re an engineer. It seems that, a power plant engineer (operation) does not need to learn management skills, finance or economics. You just need to repeat the operation and maintenance cycles, and do what you are told. You just have to excel in your boundaries, within the vicinity of the plant. If you have the initiative, you’d go and walk around the plant, and learn from the operators and technicians. And if you are smart, go try take steam engineer cert.
Well, it’s only partially correct.
I somehow took a totally different approach. I never saw myself working in a power plant for the rest of my life, nor letting my future flow together with a plant.
In contrast to the folks here, I like meeting new people, learning new things, and challenge myself. Together with my batch-mates, we enrolled in part time Masters in Engineering. It was July 2010, and I could still remember the shock in my then-manager’s face, having 3 just-joined young engineers going back to study part-time… Soon, the rest of the engineers started studying part-time too. I duly completed it in 2 years, where my friends found it really hard to clear the final hurdle of Thesis. I believe my friends found other priorities in life, and studies are just mere icing on the cake. Just look at Steve Jobs and Bill Gates~
I took a 5-month break (Jan to May 2013) before I continued my second Masters – an MBA, which I duly completed it last month (after 2 years). I was always someone who could speak, and lead (though much improvement are needed). I continue to volunteer with The IET, which would later bring me far. Undeterred, I struggled, studied, worked hard and drove to classes religiously after work. I knew I had to develop myself, walked the extra mile, and identified what’s best for me. The appraising system at the work place measures only tangible outcomes and KPIs, and I must have been the first casualty of convenient prosecution back in 2013. It hit me, and I realized that I needed to first equip, enrich and upgrade myself, failing so, I’ll be at the mercy of my superior’s pen.
Learning and acquiring knowledge, though intangible, is something permanent. In the near future, it may not bring immediate return (my superior numerous times told me it’s not required), but in the long run, knowledge and capabilities bring out the best of me. I have strong interest in learning, and I learn fast. I thought it was what I could manage, to multitask, and chose my priority in life is. I cut-down on entertainment, and I unfortunately drifted away from my batch-mates and colleagues slightly. Due to the never ending assignments, tasks and voluntary work, my social time diminished, and it sometimes strained relationships. Nevertheless, I still treat everyone sincerely, and wholeheartedly, as my buddies and friends. It came as a rude shock when I got aware that the whole flock wasn’t too happy with me. Words hurt, and it’s a way of life.
Anyway, we manage to put our differences behind. Honestly, my friends and colleagues are great to me, always covering me when I am away, traveling.
Come 1st June, it will officially mark the 10th year I left home for KL, for a better future, and to make a name for myself.
Time awaits for no men, and I’ve got only one life, and am only 28 once. It’s now or never.
I need to thank my past and present bosses for the guidance, opportunities and understanding for having a rather unique engineer. I am confident that I performed to my best. And I think I’ve no regrets looking back at the 5 years spent. Need to thank my supervisor and subordinates, who are always diligent, and helpful.
~~~
Last night I had a long chat with D. 3 months and 11 days ago I made the fateful phone call and broke your heart. I’m sorry. I thought it was best for us, but I’m doubts about that. I know it may be too late, and that’s why, I passed you what was meant for you.
Nevertheless, I am glad that I’ve met you, and your parents.

Made me a better man. 

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