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.

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.

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. 

Commuter

Hi, reader! Are you a commuter? If yes, which level are you? One who spends minimum 1 hour on the street? 2 hours? 3 hours or even more?

Well, no matter how many hours or minutes you spend on the road, I hope you enjoy the whole commuting time of yours. Please find below my personal point of view of commuting. If you have any other perspective, please feel free to leave your comment.

I was amazed by commuter’s way of mobilize. How could they spend hours on the road, standing up, waiting to reach their destination? How could they willingly waste their time doing nothing?

I might have lived at Jakarta, a-busy-metropolitan-city for more than 5 years, but up until today I am still learning to enjoy traffic jam and polution. I hesitate I can really love them.

Currently I get not better option than commuting for minimum 1.5 hours from and to my working place. This is something I used to avoid, but currently I have to deal with this.


It took me several days to finally like my new status. Instead of only walking or standing up or sitting in a bus, I choose to study while commuting. You are might be wondering how I do it not, let me tell you.


Podcast is my new best friend.

Thank you Google Podcast. Thank you Spotify. I would lying on my bed and scrolling at them the previous night, exploring which episode of podcast I’d like to have the next day. What kind of food I’m going to feed my brain the next day?

Sometimes, Ted Talk or Korean Class got me a bit overwhelmed, so I choose to listening to a podcast which doesn’t require many focus, such as funny short stories. Sometimes I would prefer music too.

Thank you to my Bluetooth headset too! I don’t need to deal with messy cable. Listening becomes so much fun.

The reason why I can enjoy commuting is, funnily, the activities I plan to do which makes me forget that I’m actually commuting. And some people were doing it too!

As I listening to my podcast, I notice that some people are listening to music, talking to their parents or friends in a phone, liking Instagram pictures, watching Korean drama, and any other actions which could distract their attention, which is great.

If you can do two or three things at once, why not?

Stay-At-Home Citizen

It’s March and a viral virus named Corona just entered Indonesia. Known as a virus which rapidly spreads, public health professionals requires the citizen to do social distancing, our movement need to be limited in order to flatten the curve of this virus deployment.

As an obedient citizen, yet a full-of-awareness human being, I obey the government’s recommendation, stay at home for at least 2 weeks.

For a super extrovert human being like me, I finally able to feel how a panda and or a bird actually feel when they are in a cage all day long, how a fish swimming here and there in an aquarium. I finally understand too how Rapunzel felt in a movie.

So everyday in a morning, I open my curtain, feel the sun light, see swimming pool and trees and table and chair and bird and high buildings outside my apartment, no one is there. It just stuffs.

And I just realized that it is super relate-able with the lyrics of “See the Light” Song in Disney Edition of Tangled movie. I truly appreciate every single words of the lyrics.

All those days watching from the windows
All those years outside looking in
All that time never even knowing
Just how blind I've been

And so on.

So there comes a day I open youtube and dance and do the workout, open instagram and do yoga, open podcast and hear a financial education session, grab a drawing book and a brush and start to paint, click on my Whatsapp and dial a video call to my friends and family, download a game in my playstore and do online battle with my friends, open Smule and do virtual jamming with my peeps, then I realize I started doing the things I used to play when I was in senior high school. And it is not difficult to admit that…

This is fun.

This is more than fun!

Actually I was planning to take some days off for the sake of job changing, planning to save the date to travel abroad or any other places I wished I have gone. Bu the disease made me have to cancel the trip.

It’s good.

While the offices, mall, and so on limit, postpone, or even stop their operational, people are warned to stay at home, mobilization is limited, no air pollution, the earth is resting!

There is beauty in everything, it depends on by which point of view we want to see it. And at the end it is like our mother earth wants to say, “Hi human, I’m okay without you living inside me and destroy me day by day with your air pollution and daily rubbish.”

Teacher – Educator

There are 2 kinds of teacher in this world. The first one is a teacher only. The second one is a teacher as well as an educator. I love to be the second-type one. A friend of mine is.

He was a teacher in a school of character, let’s call him SN. The first period of the teaching for him was not easy. The school had a high standard. One of them is in the aspect of politeness.

All the teachers would be asked to respect the security guard and cleaning service. Saying god morning with a warm and lovely tone, followed by a welcoming gesture. This has to be a habit for all the teachers. Well for some teachers, this is not easy.

If there is a teacher who wasn’t wiling to do so, the Principal will call this teacher and rebuke him. This has to be a habit embedded in the teachers.

Long story short, someday, a student of SN asked SN, “Sir, why do I have to respect them? They are filthy. I don’t want to. Their cloth and skin is always full of sweat and or any other dirt.

Then SN asked the kid, “Hi kid, do you think they are a human?”

Then the kid nodded.

teacher

“Okay good, are you human too?”

The kid nodded again.

“Okay, smart kid. What do you eat?”

The kid thought for a while before he finally answered, “Rice most of the time, Sir.”

“Okay, then do you think they eat rice too?”

The kid thought for a while too before said yes in the end.

SN told them, “If both of you are human and eating rice, then why there must be a reason for you not to respect that man? He is just earning not as much money as your parents did. But we are all the same, we are human, God’s creation, born and being loved, born to love as well. We both eat the same rice, breath the same air and drink the same water, even praise the same God too. If you can respect me as your teacher who didn’t earn as much money as your parents did, why can’t you respect the cleaning service and or security?”

Freelancer

How do you think life as a freelancer is?

Let me share you a story of life of a Food Blogger, Public Relations Officer, Digital Marketer, Advertisement Campaigner, Social Media Specialist – Freelancer.

His apartment is his office. From table to chair, sofa to floor, television to bed, anything anywhere he could sit at and put on his laptop, it is his working area.

Here it is, story of FS! A creative-young -adult, good in reviewing and designing, working everywhere. Everywhere is his office. And nowhere is his office.

“FS, it is nice to know you. I always wanted to be a freelancer, I think it is cool working for some companies and becoming boss of my own time. How is it living as a freelancer?” asked me to FS.

Man looking at computer code on a laptop while working from his small office.

He smiled. “Yes, it is good. I’ve been working as a freelancer for around 3 years, and sometimes I feel lonely. Sometimes I get a kind of feeling to sit in a office like I used to did. There are moments I’m losing my motivation, and bed just make me wanted to sleep. Hahaha, for me it is the hardest one to be controlled.”

“Wow, so I can say sometimes you missed … kind of office atmosphere?” asked me to him.

“Yes, yes, kind of. You know, sometimes when you are overwhelmed a little bit, you just need to stand up, find people and talk for a while, laugh, eating something, sharing something, do whatever it is to make you relax a little bit. And a good point sitting in front of a laptop in a office is, you are not allowed to sleep. But as if I worked alone, I can sleep anywhere I wanted too. I just need to fulfill the deadline.”

“Oh I see. So the temptation to sleep and managing your own time is kind of … challenging? hahaha” asked me to him laughing.

Accident Victim

Story of BB, 18 year old student, a victim as well as a rescuer. 

“It was a sunny day at Yogya when our government launched Transyogya, a public bus operating around the city, connecting almost every area of my lovely town. 


I was standing up, holding the grip, until our bus almost get into the station. When I looked forward, I am confused why the bus didn’t stop or slower the speed whereas there was another bus in front of us. 


Seriously, not long after that, our bus hit on the bus in which was in a stop position located in front of us. My body was moving forward in a very high speed, as well as everyone in the bus. 


Not long after the accident, I get myself back. As I looked around, every one was hurt. Some officers helped some of the passengers to get out of the bus. I tried to rescue them to, especially the old men. 

I helped them one by one. From grandpa to grandma, adult to kids, ladies and men, till I became the last man standing in the bus. When I was about to get off, an officer looked me in the eye and said, “Hey young boy thanks for helping! You are such a kind-hearted man.”


Not long after that he looked down at my red elbow. Then that man said, “Wow you even bear that wound while rescuing these people?”


Furthermore I look at my hand and just realize that my hand was hurt. There were some glass flakes pierced. I was surprised and just able to feel the pain.


Then I laughed to him, “Hahaha thanks for letting me know.”

Then I was frozen. Speechless as well. He pulled me out of the bus and brought me to a hospital together with dozens of other patients.

Long story short, my hand was bandaged.

Weeks later, I was healed. My hand was recovered, I could use it normally. I took off the bandage and put it inside of a photo frame and hang it on my sleeping room’s wall.

Every time I feel bad about myself, I will look up to that bandage and remind myself that once in my life I’ve ever been a hero without wings or spider webs, and it makes me feel more than great.