Friday, April 30, 2004

Ah Pek

I was asked to introduce myself to the client who apparently was waiting at the lobby ala reception area. After I gather my stuff, the client's document and the signoff letter, I hasten my pace and head straight down so I won't offend the client for waiting too long coz he's the Dato's friend and the Dato is the Managing Director. I better not bury myself today I promised myself else I will break Rule 1.

I saw a chinese man in his fifties or maybe even sixties. Just to confirm whether he was the guy I'm supposed to meet, I asked where his name is "Mr. Lim". Ok now let's call him Ah Pek. Ah Pek then look up at me and was in a paused / dumbfounded / stoned / couldn't get his senses right yet / brain not functioning / brain hang kinda way. I patiently waited for him to regain his composure and introduced myself.

Immediately Ah Pek asked: "You engineer ar?"

Me: "Erm.....yeah"
(Basically my title is Software Engineer but then I'm more like....erm...heck it. I am then)

Ah Pek: "Where is T?
(T is the Manager in charge for handling this client)

Me: "Oh..He will be coming down shortly"
(Actually he is not. Only me. You won't get anyone else)

I told him I'm the one who will do the work for him and he started to brag about his ingenius idea that will make him, erm, rich. Well he did not say that but he did say there is a big potential market for his idea. So I tried to talk to him about what I've done and after a very short exchange of sentences, I realised he can't talk technical. I then changed my style into rojak-chinese-layman style in hopes that he will be much more comfortable and I won't get screwed.

As you know, Ah Peks like to tell stories. Ah Peks have many stories to tell. This Ah Pek does not fall into the exception category. So he tells story about what he did when he was young and security and cameras. After that, I changed my mind, he's quite a techie Ah Pek actually. After the talking has been done and the papers signed and contacts exchanged, Ah Pek said this.

Ah Pek: "You are very nice..."

Me: "...."
(*kembang kembang* was my first attempt negotiating with customers in this company)