A Grieving Daughter

I got a phone call from my relatives. The voice on the other side of the phone told me that my dad’s blood pressure went high. He was hospitalized.

I was still working by the time he told me. Soon I asked permission from my direct supervisor and drove my car to the hospital. I, my mom, and my little brother were waiting anxiously. Praying to God asking for miracle. But fate said otherwise. My father’s life can’t be helped.

He died.

Don’t ask me how I felt. Obviously I was broken. I cried and yelled. I cried so hard. Tears just couldn’t stop running out. Even if I asked it to stop flowing, it couldn’t. I didn’t believe it came so sudden. My father left no goodbye, either to me, my mom, or my little brother.

He was so healthy the day before. He cooked me meal, prepared hot water to me, waiting for me in front of the door knowing that I was working overtime. He is a loving father. It feels so sad to know that God called him this fast. We never knew His plan.

Since then, I never stop crying. I cried to the point my eyes lost its water. It couldn’t flow anymore. My eyes stop shed the tear, but it became so puffy. My heart was super broken.

Some days after it, I remember I was sleeping. Suddenly I heard a super familiar sound, sound of my father’s motorbike! It woke me up happily.

I ran to the door excitedly, got ready to hug my father. It was ruining my heart so bad to see the fact that the one riding the motorbike was actually my father’s brother.

Joyful Great-Grandma

This is a story of someone I look up to. A great-grandmother of 3 great-grandsons, a grandmother of 8 grandsons, and a mother of 4 kids.

She is 80 something this year, but she has such a youthful spirit. Let’s call her HG.

Let me tell you how she looks like. Heels will be her choice of shoes, followed by black short pants and blue jeans shirt. Then at the corner of her collar, you can see white sparkling brooch. During this pandemic time, she always put her shocking-pink yet cheerful mask on her face. If she open her mask, you can see her reddish blush on. Look her in the eye, there is a sparkling light green eye shadow followed with eye liner and fake eyelashes.

Her style is beautiful, livelier than mine, the writer. I’m just 20 something but I had never found a grandma this unique.

She brings smiles anywhere.

She says thank you with love, a very sincere one, comes from the deepest part of her heart. She would look in the eye of the person and speak it from the bottom of her heart.

She is one of the most romantic lady. She would loyally accompany his husband, bring him walk, feed him food, serve him physically and mentally. She is a very good companion. Her act of kindness towards his husband and family shows her affection.

She has traveled almost all around the countries. She had a lot of fun and gratefulness. Sometimes she got lost too on her way back to toilet or hotel. She sometimes forget things easily, which I can really comprehend.

She is one of the loveliest human being. Her love to others is awesome.

Why could she be this happy, healthy, and long life? What is her secret of live?

God.

She is God’s disciple. She reads Bible every day, after and before bed. She speaks words of God, praise and worship Him. Her love comes from God, that’s why it flows naturally.

Investor Relations

I have a friend in funding division. She is tall and slim, a mixture of Chinese Indonesian, an investor relations.Let’s call her VR. Her job was my dream job. But I think it is one of the most wanted job by a Public Relations Officer.

How come it is not being wanted? Working as an Investor Relations of a start-up company in Indonesia, VR needs to meet investors from other countries. She can’t only rely on Indonesian’s investor.

Imagine her wearing beautiful earrings, classy necklace with smart casual outfit, with natural make up, blazer, a little perfume, pencil pants, high heels, elegant yet smart professional make up, meeting investors from other countries, mostly handsome. Isn’t it a dream job?

For an extrovert or those who love to scale up their negotiation skill, yes may be.

But sometimes it’s uneasy too. Sometimes there will be 50-year-old grandpa asking to go for karaoke together, then ask VR to sleep with him. Sometimes the handsome investor will ask VR to have wine together, then push her to sleep with him.

But VR isn’t that kind of cheap woman. She will reject. If the investor do so, then, “Good bye, Mr. Investor.”

That’s how VR find 2 tips now. The first one is called call and call. If the investor asks to meet at night, she will secretly invite her CEO, a man, then 3 of them will negotiate together. Or she will jump to the second tips, that is to meet the investor during afternoon somewhere in a coffee shop. These 2 tips work for years.

She has been doing this for years. She loves her job. She has ever fallen in love with one of the investors too. They were dating, but they are not anymore. It breaks her heart, but she still love her job.

Cancer Fighter

Hello reader, can you imagine there is somebody who can tell their amputation experience while laughing happily? I got a special friend like this.

Ten years ago when the doctor said that her leg needed to be amputated, she cried and shut herself in her room above the hospital’s bed, not wanting to be visited by anyone. Even she was reluctant to lift the blanket to glance at half of her feet.

Today she sits by the pool, a little bit jealous to see other people can swim, but at least she is laughing while telling me this story and we are even drinking premium ice chocolate!

Let’s call her VN, a-quarter-century-old woman, independent, design expert, and of course beautiful.

The first time I met VN was in a small group gathering held by our church. We were both new comer. I was curious of her way of walking, looks like she was having strain wit her leg. Then I asked her. Apparently my guess was wrong. She told me that was because of an accident years ago back when she was studying in Russia.

It took her years of becoming my best friend to finally admit that it was not because of an accident, but rather occurred due to a bone cancer.

At the very first time there was a small bump on her knee. She told her mom. It was assumed as a common bump, so VN was taken to a massage therapist. The massage was so painful, she was screaming out loud. Days after it, it didn’t get better. At the end, they decided to brought VN to hospital.

The bump got a radiology diagnosis (X-Ray). They can’t get the result immediately, needed to wait for several time. VN and her family were waiting anxiously. At the end, the result said that it was a malignant cancer, stage 2 bone cancer.

It was a very terrifying announcement for a junior high school student. VN took a package of chemotherapy. Slow but sure, her hair began to fall out. Once she run her fingers through her hair, it caused hair loss on her scalp.

Keep this brief, the chemo worked. After attending several sets of chemo-therapies, VN was stated cancer free. Finally, she could be free from chemotherapy. Sadly, this good news wasn’t last long. The next year, the bone cancer re-attack VN’s knee.

The treatment for her second episode of bone cancer wasn’t enough by only conducting chemotherapy. This time, VN needed to get a bone removal surgery. Luckily, it was not her big bones which needed to be removed, only the small one below her knee area. After this operation, she could walk was usual again. Praise the Lord.

Another 1 year passed again. Episode 2 was not the end of the story, there were still the third episode. This time, coincidentally, the cancer was returned again when her father was about to be transferred to Russia. After considering here and there, they finally decided to brought VN to Russia, with the main consideration was Russia’s advanced technology.

There in Russia, VN’s medication was repeated again. VN needed to re-drink the medicine she had took in Indonesia, same with the chemotherapy, it was needed to be re-conducted. Pity on her. Something that was obviously inconvenient. But since she believed that she would be healed, she retook the treatment.

The doctor in Russia scanned her feet and found out that apparently the small bone below her knee had been removed. According to them, it was a wrong decision by Indonesia’s doctor. It was an inappropriate action because they took off the small bone without substitute it with any other bones. There were body weights which needed to be lifted, sooner or later would gave a bad impact to the remained bones.

In Russia, after reviewing the best treatments, it was lastly decided to put in an artificial bone. In short, after they put in this artificial bone, VN didn’t feel comfortable with her way of walking. By the doctors, it was thought as something okay, VN was asked to get used to of it. Her parents also asked her to keep being patient, but one who was able to feel her feet was her own self. Another year passed again and there was no meaningful change.

At that time, another bump re-appear on VN’s knee. In this episode of bone cancer, the doctor hardly decided that an amputation is needed. The first person to cry wasn’t VN, it was her dad.

When did VN cry? It was right before and after the operation was carried out. Woefully, the operation was carried out on her birthday. It might be one of the worst birthday she could ever had.

Since then, VN was unwilling to be visited by anyone. Let alone be visited, just looking at her own feet she did not want to. If a nurse came to check on her wound, she always asked the nurse to cover her scar. Do not stop there, VN was also unwilling to obey doctor’s and or nurse’s order to learn to walk on crutches. She kept refusing till the doctor get mad on her.

It took her approximately a week for her to accept her amputated leg condition. Times passed. Years after it, today, VN comes to the day she is finally able to move on, reminisce and recount the story you read above, is retold funnily, with a lot of laugh.

Lawyer

Let’s talk about lawyer’s profession today.

I just finished a conversation with a Lawyer, let’s name him Jack.

I told him that before I got to work in a law firm, what I know about lawyer’s profession is only by what I saw in television and or Korean drama. The image of a man wearing a black cloak in a courthouse, pulling his suitcase or cart filled with hundred pages of civil documents is the only thing I know about lawyer’s world. It’s the only scope of work a lawyer have to do in an eye of an innocent junior high school student like me.

A lawyer is someone who will often say, “Objection, Your Excellency, based on proof XX, the suspect YY and any other lalalayeyeye.” And in my childhood image, a lawyer is a man job only.

Probably you who are reading this writing is also thinking the same way or were also thinking this way?

It it appropriate to blame the television for this stereotype created towards this issue?

Okay, keep calm, dear TV, I won’t blame you. Surprisingly in fact, Jack, this friend of mine, an ex-Senior-Associate in one of Top 10 Law Firm in Indonesia, even just knew deeper about Lawyer’s world after he has graduated from his law faculty and worked in a law firm.

Funny, isn’t it?

So, I just knew that scope of work of a lawyer is wide since I worked at a law firm and or a company. Lawyer isn’t only someone who work to win a case in a court.

To make it short, there are 2 kinds of lawyer, a corporate lawyer and a litigation lawyer. A litigation lawyer’s job description is something similar like what I have explained above. But what I explained is just a very tiny part of it.

In this writing I’m going to share a story of lawyer which you seldom watch in TV, another point of view of lawyer which I get by months of working with some lawyers. So, this is it, a story of Jack, a corporate lawyer.

A corporate lawyer has so many things to do. What are their scope of works?

Reviewing documents, drafting agreements, drafting SOP, learning the legal aspect of a company, analyzing and interpreting regulations, conducting due diligence, acquiring a company, managing right issue, and many more.

We haven’t talked about compliance yet. Sometimes, a corporate lawyer’s scope of work is also including compliance. Wow, there is even more checklist to be fulfilled if we talked about compliance.

Last but not least, I’d like to end this article with another fun fact which you might not have the privilege to know if you don’t work in a law firm or if you don’t work intensively with a lawyer.

Most of Indonesian lawyer dislike using Micosoft Excel in managing data, they will 100 times prefer Microsoft Word.

That’s all. Wasalam.

Data Analyst

Who doesn’t know Excel? A green application to tabulate data, quite popular in any working industries, right?

I used to think being able to manage Excel has already been great. But, it is not really. Talking about Excel, we are only controlling around 1 million rows of data.

Did you know? There is a tool to tabulate number with infinity numbers of rows, one of them is… A friend of mine, MI, is an expert in this tool. He is a data analyst. Excel? I think it is just a piece of cake for him.

Then I wonder, why would a data analyst need a tool with infinity limits of rows? What do they need to cound?  What kind of information do they need to analyze that they need this kind of tool? Why does Excel is not enough for them? There are millions of rows there.

Then his story impressed me. He needs to analyze financial report, comparing company A to other companies in the same industries. He would check on the total amount of loan for example, has 12 zeroes, checking how many active accounts at that bank, 3 million for example, then apply ‘one to one’ and or ‘one to many’s rule, listing it one by one, checking the due date, date of payment, interest rate, rest of payment to be deposited and so on. If he or the other data analyst have to use excel to process the data, that one with only around 1 million rows. He can’t imagine how inefficient it will be because they are going to Copy Paste the date to different tab. Possible but it gonna takes a lot of time.

Now that I usually only use not more than 100 rows of Excel, I am amazed there are people in this world need to use the one with infinity rows.

Confident Walker

It took me several years to admit that my amputated leg is because of a bone cancer, not an accident.”

VA


New Normal just started at Jakarta, Indonesia. Parks begin to open. I and VA, a 25-year-old multi-talented yet beautiful woman, a used-to-stranger and now-sister made an appointment to leisurely strolling in the morning. 


Firstly we stop to eat instant noodle, then walk for 5 minutes, then sitting and talking for the whole day. So that is our kind of leisurely strolling after being caged in our own house for around 3 months of quarantine. 


“I met a new boy in a dating app. We talk about so many things. I think I like him,” told her to me. 


That’s how we started our love updates this morning. Since then, everything flows naturally. 


“The first man matched with me was a Chinese Indonesian, handsome for me. I am attracted to him. We texted intensely. Then he asked to meet me after the quarantine has been over. I told him that I am someone with disability. It doesn’t take long for him to went ghosting after I told him about my fact. It’s like he couldn’t accept my physical deficiency.


Then I try again. Now I’m texting the second man. He is a Korean. He asked me out too after the quarantine has been over. Do you think I should tell him about my amputated leg or just let him find out by himself later when we meet?”


It took me several seconds to think of the answer. “It’s a difficult question, sister. If I were you, I will… “


Then I stop again, thinking but still couldn’t find the answer. 

Then she interrupted, “It’s hard to think of the answer. What if every one whom I tell suddenly walk back? They even don’t see me personality. But what if I let them find it out when we met, then that person can’t accept it and feel that they have been trapped? It’s so normal, out of so many normal people like you, why should they consider to have a disability person like me?”


Suddenly I feel like I got a whisper from my mind,  “Dear VA, you don’t have the obligation to tell him before you met him, even after you guys met, if you are asked of your condition, you have the right too to refuse to answer.”

“I think there is no such a totally correct answer to answer your question. There are so many factors, every case is different. Different man different result. But if I were you, because I have tried to tell about my condition prior to my condition, then I will do it differently for the second man. I will just let him find out right at the time when we meet and let him value myself based on my personality, not of my physical condition.”

Cyclist

A friend of my friend died inside a cliff, tragically.

For some of you, cycling might be another kind of fun activity to release stress. But for a friend of my friend, let’s call him AZ, cycling was not just another funny action of pedalling a bike’s wire, it’s an ambition. It’s a live goal.

His dream was to travel all around the world just by cycling. How did you think? Was it possible? In my point of view, it was quite impossible.

But as for a cyclist, he could manage to make it happen. Because all he needed is a pair of strong legs, padded shorts and cycling jerseys, water bottle and bottle cage, sport shoes, helmet, and obviously a bicycle. His dream sounded impossible for me at first, but slowly he tried to make it happen. At first country A then B then C and so on.

Till one day he reached Nepal, a plateau. Before he reached this country, his family has warned him to be careful. It’s a challenging route, the longest downhill route on earth. Fate was fate. Destiny was destiny. We could never predict.

His family suddenly lost contact with him, didn’t get any message reply from him. The next day, a corpse was found at the end of the cliff near his cycling area.

I’m feeling bad for his death. At another point, I’m glad that once in my life I have that kind of friend. He might have left this world, but his dream stays, at least in my mind, waiting for the next cyclist to make it come true.

Waitress

I don’t think I’ve ever been dreaming to work as an waitress in a restaurant. Surprisingly, 3 months spend my time at a red brand hotpot restaurant with a long queue worth a life learning experience.

There are days I would have training, even during weekend, just to memorize a bunch of menu name in Mandarin and how long does the customer need to cook to get the vegetables or meats cooked perfectly.

There are days I would go to work before the mall’s escalator has been turned on, it’s still quite dim, get off of work after the mall has been closed, the escalator has been turned off. It’s a wow working hour. Restaurant is my house, I spent more time here rather than at my home. I don’t have that motto “Work Life Balance” because my motto is “Working is my life”

There are days I try to understand how to give the best service for customers, what aspects do I need to put attention to, so many little details. By the time the customer passing in front of our store, to the time they ask the receptionist team, arrange their table number, accompany them to find their seat and get their food, service before during and after the dine in, it is all have its own SOP about what to say and what to do. I have to remember it all, every tiny items. It is all does matter to our restaurant’s grade because a random guest will be assigned to audit our restaurant.

There is even a study-case material. The managementhave plans for handling the complaints or questions if the customers ask how long they need to wait, want to be prioritized in waiting area, have gastric pains while waiting in the waiting area, find a strand of hair on the plate,the color of the meat changed, the stove is broken, kids are running at our restaurant, accidentally leave their stuff in our outlet after they dine in, and so on. They have all the plannings! Even I also learn how to deal with a couple customer, how if I saw them celebrating birthday, anniversary, about to break up, got drunk, have a company meeting, and so on. It was all common to particular things which are very possible to happen.

We also have our own dance. This is one of the things I love the most. This dance unites us. We would gather in the morning or after a lunch break to do this. This signature dance is shown to public too when our customer is having birthday or have any other special occasions that suits this performance. It was so funny and memorable. We are singing and dancing and laughing happily.

There are training about appearance and behavior too. It is a training which is repeated over and over again. I memorized it all. What to wear, how to wear, how to put my hair in a bun properly, how many times do we need to wash our socks, what kind of lipstick color I need to put on, what kind of long trousers which is allowed to wear, what is allowed to be done during working hour, how to deal if we see something falls to the ground whether to wash it or to throw it, what tools to be used to clean or do something and the consequences and the score, work violation which is absolutely prohibited and many other things. I remember it all.

There is even a theory on how to do plating, how to arrange the tables and dish racks neatly and many others. There is tight and symetrical theory which I find still very useful for my daily life up till now after I have resigned. This theory has been successful to guide me to a nice-looking interios.

Working in service industry, I have to get used to of customer’s complaint although it is being the last thing I expect. I am trained on how to manage it. There were moments I got so exasperated but can do nothing except smiling and apologize.

Most of the days I would get back to my apartment feeling that my bones were so shattered inside, but I was so grateful to have some room mates who share the same experience with me, we would talk and laugh until our jaw so numb. It’s a little pleasure which only be able to be felt if I work here, super precious.

Since I work here, the experience of getting into another restaurant has never been the same again. Before I joint, whenever I want to eat, I just come and eat. But now, I become more critical about a restaurant. Automatically I became an auditor. I willcheck whether they have a hygiene restaurant, welcome the customer in a warm way or not, have knowledge about the restaurant, know how to treat the customer, serve the menu in a good way, how they hold and arrange the plate. I just automatically have the sense and try to filter every thing from A to Z.

Really, it is a very precious experience to be part of this family.


Grateful Person of Hot Water

It’s a weekly community meeting. Ten of us are sitting together. We are asked about one of the things we are really grateful about. 


One says A and B, about job and families and health and any other general things. This one impresses me the most. 


“I’m so grateful of being able to have a shower with hot water,” that’s what AR, a 28-year-old man tells to the entire people in the room. 


We are all seeing him silently. Our mouth might not say a word, but our eyes do asking why, staring curiously. 


That’s how the story starts. 


“Once I lived in a village which water derives from the rain. The water was… It was bad. It got sticky to your skin whenever you try to rinse off your skin. That kind of feeling you get when there is remaining soap which couldn’t be rinsed off no matter how many times you try to rub it. The only way to deal with it is by convincing your mine that the water is clean while it was not. That’s how I finish my shower all the time.


Long story short, some months after it I moved to another place. This time, the water was not sticky as the previous one, but it had wiggler! Well, I got no idea whether this is better than the previous one or not.


Then I moved again to another place, this time to a little bit slum area of this city. Hmm, maybe not slum, maybe just a suburban area. I had less working experience, less money as well. That’s why I couldn’t afford to rent a good living place. Working up until night and wake up early in the morning. One of the hardest thing to deal with after stepping my feet to the bathroom and before going to sleep is, cold water. It’s the kind of cold which made me shivering. My bones can feel it. I dislike showering with cold water. And I did it for several months. 


But today, I’m so thankful that now I get a better job. I can rent a room with hot-water shower. I don’t need to take a deep breath before showering. No more winter season during my cleaning time. I am happy, so grateful.”


That’s how AR impresses me, and maybe others in the room as well. Showering with hot water might be something ordinary for several people, but for some others, it’s a type of luxury.