Being a Boss


Written on 5/28/2009 02:24:00 pm by sikapitan

It’s been a while since I last updated my blog. AND it’s been a while since I talked about something else other than Dani (who’s doing fine by the way, and is on his way to becoming a bona-fide heartbreaker…make Daddy proud!).

In case you didn’t know, I’ve quit from my post as a Management Associate at Maxis. So please don’t bug me about how terrible Maxis’ lines are, because I can’t help you anymore. Now that I’m no longer an employee I can tell you that – (a) yes, the network sucks big time, but seems to be improving (b) yes, it’s because of their stupid push for Mobile Broadband and (c) yes, I think foreigners don’t understand the local market.

BUT, and this is a big BUT (like JLo’s but without the T), they will bounce back. There are too many great people in there, there’s too much pride in the team, there’s too much talent at their disposal that things will only get better. ONLY if they’re willing to admit their mistakes and move on.

I’ve moved on though. I’m running my family’s business right now. It was supposed to be a gradual transition of power. But being a natural power-hungry Machiavellian disciple, I’ve disposed of my mom and dad within a fortnight of joining…hahaha.

The most important thing about taking over an organization is to establish clear goals and work principles. Communicate these goals and work principles to your employees. Example, when I first came in, I immediately re-established our core purpose – to be a leading Network Marketing company in Malaysia. Just by establishing this purpose, we’ve managed to realign all our business activities to grow the network marketing portion.

Next is to establish credibility. Being 26 and leading an organization with 50000 distributors and revenue in millions every month is not easy, especially in a Malay-centric membership base like ours. So I had to prove myself which I did as soon as I joined by being a part of a Business Preview and making presentations to the general public.

I also have to prove that I can strategically grow this business. So I set about, with the aid of my team, to refocus our attention on Business Previews. We were slowing down, with only 20 participants every week. But thanks to the collective effort of the team and a strategic campaign, we’re now averaging 100 pax every week (which is the most we can take anyway). And this happened all within 2 months.

With success, comes jealousy. That is the only drawback of my business.

I’d love to write more about my experience as the Boss of a Network Marketing company, but my schedule’s a bit packed. Right now, I’m rushing to interview a new employee for my corporate communication department.

So until next time, See You at the Pinnacle of Success!

My First Month as Daddy


Written on 5/04/2009 03:02:00 pm by sikapitan

“Nooooooo…he’s been out for a month and all he can give us is another Daddy story…” Sorry folks, there’ll be a bit of this because Dani has become a huge part of my life, so it’s only natural that I talk a bit about him.

The first month has been great. Dani and Mommy have been nothing but superb. The only challenging part is trying to raise Dani my own way. It’s not as easy as it seems, especially considering that everyone has Dani’s best interest at heart.

For example, I want Dani to be breast-fed. But in the beginning, he can’t seem to connect with the nipple well enough for the milk to be pouring, and if the milk is not pouring, he gets frustrated and hungry. The first 2 days, he was a screamer. We tried feeding him but he just can’t connect. The nurses said that it’s okay if the baby doesn’t get any milk, as they’re conditioned to last about 2 days without it. They recommended we stay patient and steadfast in trying to breast-feed the boy.

Unfortunately, both our parents can’t stand to see him cry (and again, he’s a screamer) so they (in particular, Tok Nani aka my Mom) started saying how we’re torturing him etc2. Finally, we caved in, and fed him formula milk. Guess what happens? He gets used to easy milk, so he won’t work hard for breast-milk, so the milk stop coming out easily, so he can’t get the milk, so he gets frustrated, so we have to feed him formula. It’s a chicken and egg thing.

It’s hard to be mad when your mom or dad wants to pamper the baby because they can’t stand to see the baby cry. I mean, they have a point. Why let the baby suffer? But the consequences will only be felt later. Dani developed rashes after a few weeks of having S-26 Gold (cow-based formula claimed to be closest to breast milk), and he now has to take soy-based Isomil Eye-Q. His antibody will not be as strong as a baby that drinks breast-milk.

It’s the same thing with cradling him to sleep. If my baby has been fed, and his pampers are clean, I would honestly let him cry until he falls asleep, as he has developed this habit of wanting to be hugged and cradled until he sleeps. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with cradling him, but as my nephew Adam proves, it gets difficult for the baby to part ways and be independent even after 1 or 2 years.

Dani and Danny thinking how much
we can milk Tok Nani and Tok Wan of their money...heheheh

It has been good every time I used this technique. He’ll cry about 10-15 minutes then fall asleep naturally. But when our parents come into the picture, they’ll immediately want to hold and sway the baby to sleep. Arghhhh….

And I can see it now. How every time I don’t want to give something to Dani, someone will come and give it to him out of pity. How every time I’d want to discipline Dani, there’ll be a rescue angel (most likely Tok Nani) who’ll come and spoil everything. Not spoil per se, but you get my drift.

I wonder if all grandparents are like that. Or if yes, why can’t they remember when they were having us, how they have to deal with THEIR parents.

Hahaha…anyway, Dani loves Tok Nani so I should be cool with that.


Something about being a dad...


Written on 3/28/2009 12:22:00 am by sikapitan

Here’s a brief chronology of events leading up to the birth of Putra Dani Nashrin:

Thursday, 19th March 2009

0900 – I was supposed to go for site visits when Rinie said she couldn’t stand the pain anymore. My mom panicked, of course, and we all went to Sime Darby Medical Centre – Subang Jaya (I much prefer SJMC)

1130 – After monitoring Rinie for one hour, at a charge of close to RM 200, the nurse said her dilation’s was only 1 cm, and her contraction wasn’t severe. The doctor examined her and told us to go back home. At the rate we’re going, she says, Dani may even exceed the estimated due date (22nd March 2009). She was expecting us to come see her on Monday morning to discuss other options, including inducing labour. Lesson No.1: Don’t trust your doctors 100%

1930 – We went out to KLCC. Doctor said she must move a lot more to speed up the process. I went up to finish up some work, because I’m leaving Maxis by the 2nd of April. Another entry, another day for that. Rinie bought another bag. Sigh.

Friday, 20th March 2009

1030 – We went to Sunway Pyramid. Needed to switch my Maxis line from Employee Rate Plan to a normal Value plan. Rinie was in pain, with contractions coming in every 5 minutes. I was a bit worried, but she said it was okay. We had lunch at TGI.

1430 – Contractions getting worse according to Rinie. My mom made the executive decision to bring her to the hospital, so off we went again.

1600 – After another hour of monitoring, they still gave us an option of whether to stay or to go back. Are they crazy? I said, screw it, we’re gonna sleep here tonight. Rinie was in a terrible mess by this time. Her dilation was only 2cm, but her contractions coming in at a shorter period, but according to the nurse, not intense enough.

2130 – She tried to watch One in A Million, to catch Tomok. Apparently, he’s pretty good. Unfortunately, the pain was too much for her to enjoy the show. Parents came over, but can’t visit her. There wasn’t an empty room, so we had to stay in the labour room (Delivery Room 3A to be exact), and they don’t allow anyone except husband to be there.

2300 – Took the painkiller that the doctor said would help. I just wanted her to sleep well as she needs the energy to push Dani out.

Saturday, 21st March 2009

0300 – Painkiller no longer effective. I keep waking up every 3 minutes as Rinie suffered through her contractions. Called in the nurse, decided to get the epidural. Epidural is a form of painkiller that is delivered via an insertion in your bone marrow or something. Anaesthetist was called in, signed a few papers, and Rinie underwent the short procedure. Immediate relief, wished she got it earlier

0900 – She can’t have breakfast, she can’t eat. She’s been fasting since 3 a.m. Dilation’s only at 2.5 and opening very slowly. In fact, contraction seemed to have slowed down. This is another side effect of epidural. You don’t feel the pain, so your muscle won’t contract, so it’s harder to open up. Oh, the Doc decided to break her water-bag as a way to expedite the contractions.

1230 – Still no difference. Dilation at 4 cm. But Rinie looked really weak. She hadn’t had anything for the past 13 hours at least. I’ve had Nasi Lemak, 1901s and I still feel weak. Damn, it’s hard being a mother.

1530 – It was getting worse. Somehow the epidural’s not working so well. It’s either the nurse messed up, or Rinie’s contraction getting worse. I don’t know, because the nurses have trouble communicating. They’re nice people, but I wanted to know what’s going on. They’ll just waltz in, jab a few things, poke their finger, smile and leave the room. What the f*c*?

1730 – Still no food or drink for Rinie. Just sips of water. Why? Because if she has to suddenly go for caesarean (ie. open surgery to remove baby), then she must be clear of food or water. But it has been going on for almost a day now, and she was so tough to ride it out. I’ve got marks on my hand where she pinched and scratched during her contractions. It hurts, of course, but you’ve got to imagine how much pain SHE was going through. Lesson No.2: Wrap a towel around your hand

1900 – Tried watching Akademi Fantasia. Doctor came in and examined Rinie. Dilation only at 5 cm. She said if things don’t improve by 2230, she’ll have to perform a caesarean. It’s risky to keep babies for longer than a day when the water-back has been broken.

1930 – Inform the family of this news. They were worried, and my father-in-law started saying how weak Rinie is, and how he always knew Rinie would finally have to opt for a C-Section. I told Rinie about it, and it was like she was motivated to deliver this baby naturally after being challenged like that.

2230 – Doctor came in, said that dilation was 8 cm. Wow. She switched off the epidural, and said they’d monitor for another ½ hour. Rinie was by then fully dependant on the gas mask for pain relief. It was so discomforting to see your wife suffer by your side. Every few minutes I would have to cup in the mask for her to breathe in the “laughing gas”. Lesson No. 3: Eat, because you have to keep up your energy level to support your wife

2300 – Nurse came in, and started to move things around, and put in new equipments. Asked Rinie to spread her legs, and push. WTF? Who was going to deliver my baby? What the hell did I pay for anyway? I was just pissed off that they weren’t telling me much

2315 – One annoying nurse came, poked around, gave some stupid advice. It’s not their fault actually. Now, I just realized that we’re probably the gazillion couple they’ve given birth to. For them, we’re just another couple. But for us, this is our first they could certainly improve in this area

2320 – Doctor came in, started getting ready. I didn’t realize it but by then I was part of the process, prodding my wife to push as hard as she could. I couldn’t believe that I was there, because I’m the squirmish kind of dude. Even my parents said I shouldn’t be a burden to Rinie. Lesson No. 4: This is a true life-changing moment of discovery. Not some summer camp crap...

2335 – Doctor said she was trying hard to help, but if Rinie can’t push along then we have to go for emergency C-Section. I think she was just trying to scare Rinie, and it worked. Rinie pushed and pushed and out comes the baby. Can you imagine that the baby’s been stuck in a tiny area for so long?

2337 – Baby came out just fine. Not like in the movies, crying immediately. It was eerily quiet for a brief moment. Dani was like a squid. Seriously. I was asked whether I would like to cut the umbilical cord. I said yes, and it felt weird cutting it. Nurse immediately put him under a warmer, and that’s when I first heard his cry. Damn, he’s loud. Lesson No. 5: Life is not like in the movies.

2345 – Dani was placed on Rinie’s lap. Rinie was glowing, despite the fact she was still wide open with the doctor doing some weird stuff between her legs. Luckily, she was a woman. Lesson No. 6: Guys, go for female OBGY...hehehe

2400 – Family was standing outside Labour Ward, looking all excited. I came out and told them everything’s okay. Putra Dani Nashrin, 3.45 KG, 11.37PM. I was immediately mobbed and hugged and congratulated. Heck, it’s great being a dad. She does all the hard work (and it was freaking hard work) and I get all the applause. Lesson No. 7: Be the Guy

Officially, doctor said Rinie underwent 17 hours of labour. But she started counting only in the morning of the 21st, when she broke her water-bag. But she was on epidural since 3, and painkillers since 11 the night before. She didn't eat or drink for close to 24 hours. That's crazy!

I have a new found respect for her. She's tough like hell, and I'm gonna make sure Dani knows it too.

Btw, don't panic if your baby comes out looking like he's a track cyclist. The helmet-like shape of the head is only temporary...

More on this later! (Sorry to bore my mates. Football pun tengah International break kan?)



Written on 3/17/2009 09:05:00 pm by sikapitan

Accepting a Loss

We lost. Yes, I was disappointed. Surprisingly, I took it quite well. Why? I’m not sure myself. I’ve had more disappointments losing 1-0 before. Maybe it was the scoreline. I watched the replay again, and I still found the whole experience surreal. Even my Liverpool mates were too shocked to even rub it in. They were more upbeat when we failed to beat Inter at the San Siro! I hope it was what everyone thinks it was – an anomaly, an off-day, an outlier.

Too little, too late

Ali Rustam was “dropped” from the UMNO Deputy-President race, thus saving Malaysians from having a Deputy Prime Minister who can’t really converse in English, has no experience at the Federal Level, and looks a lot like Datuk K (which for some might be a compliment).

The fact that UMNO top echelons took to the Disciplinary Committee to save them from the potential embarrassment of Ali Rustam winning just goes to prove one thing – it is the shrinking UMNO grassroot, not its top leaders, who are disillusioned and out of touch with reality. Why?

Because brilliant young minds no longer join UMNO like before. It’s left to Putera’s Rempit generation, that’s why Khir Toyo still has a chance, and people like Norza Zakaria are still supported.

One day, it’ll be a little too late for change, and the only natural consequence is the demise of UMNO. I thought it’s going to take some time, but now, I think my soon-to-be born son would not even get to hear about UMNO. That’s how bad it is…

Just waiting and praying for the best

I’m going to be a dad soon (EDD 22nd, but we’ll just have to wait and see). I’ve never written much about this, despite my wife being pregnant (she positively looks pregnant now!) for the past 9 months. I can’t describe how excited I am at the prospect of raising another human being. It’s a great responsibility, and I love challenges.

But at this moment, all I want to see is my lovely wife and child have a wonderful and healthy experience, albeit painful. Pray for the best with me, and God willing, we will see the latest addition to the world’s burgeoning population to take just a little bit more of our shared resources…ahhahahaha…

Tree of Hope, or Symbol of Mess?


Written on 3/08/2009 10:36:00 am by sikapitan

Is this another Malaysia Boleh moment? Seriously, a freaking tree assembly? How low can we go? It becomes evidently clear from the whole Perak fiasco that all politicians, regardless of political divide, will do whatever is necessary to gain or remain in power.

Some may argue on the legality and merit of the actions. Regardless, it seems rather obvious that PR is trying all it can to cling on to its hold on Perak. People may ask why it was so critical for Sivakumar to call for an emergency assembly. It’s quite simple.

He doesn’t want to wait for the court to declare his suspension of the BN assemblymen as ultra vires (ie. illegal), or Zambry as the lawful MB, or to give an injunction order against any state assembly sitting.

They all may have a reason for wanting power. From Anwar’s futile attempt at taking over the Federal Government, to Pak Lah’s last-minute ditch to remain as UMNO President. But who is actually doing their job of moving this country forward?

Although I don’t always support PR, I thought it was inherently a more honest organisation that BN. However, I’m starting to hear things recently which has made me re-consider this belief.

A close confidant, one whom I believe, recently shared of the conversation he had with a Member of Parliament from Pakatan, specifically Keadilan. This person is a high-ranking leader with close association with the present de facto (why still de facto?) leader of Keadilan. He casually admitted there’s lots of money to be made when you’re an MP. When asked why he didn’t want to be an ADUN (in a state where PR is in control), he brazenly claimed that when PR overtakes the federal government, he will become a minister, and there’s more money to be made there!

A contractor also told of this PAS state assemblyman from another Pakatan state who is asking for a monthly payment of around RM60,000 to support a project.

Hey, these are only rumours, and I’ve not even started with the shit I hear about BN leaders. But I only expected better from PR, and unfortunately, like my uncle said, we are all only human. I personally think that there’s two groups of Politicans – the older breed who are used to this corrupt practice as being part and parcel of politics, and the new breed of young, idealistic leaders who have not yet succumbed to the dark side.

There must be more of this new breed, because as long as politics are dictated by those at the top, the old-timers, the longer it takes for change to occur. Unfortunately, with time, no one can resist the dark side, not even idealistic, young, educated leaders.