Sunday, March 20, 2005

The jobs I had before 20

I was pondering about the small jobs that I had took prior entering to the real working environment and landing myself fulltime employment the other day. It was sort of amusing to rekindle the past really.

At the age of 11, when I was still studying in Sekolah Sri Murni, I sort of took up an employment there and then. Technically the job description is of a salesperson. I was selling shining Dragon Ball cards to other younger kids around the school basically. Those cards were trendy and a hit. I did not have much money then. My daily allowance were far below par as compared to the other kids who, in majority came from well to do families. Naturally I wasn't able to buy my own supplies. Ergo I took my supplies from a classmate named Lemon. He would have a huge stack of the cards including some exclusive limited edition ones and he would pass them to me every morning to do my sales. I would then approach younger kids and sell them the cards. Vaguely I remember the cheapest would be RM 0.40. In order to push for more sales, I will keep the limited editions long enough till they beg me to sell it to them. The catch that I imposed was to purchase it at a rather high price as well as purchase other low demand and unwanted cards from me. I would get a commission and return the other profits and cards back to Lemon as the day ends. Come to think of it, I wasn't that shy when I was young but then again, those younger kids which I approached were not total strangers but friends or of some acquaintance.

Moving on to the age of 12, I was asked to attend for an audition at Arab Malaysian. There were about roughly 50 other kids around and we were formed into smaller groups. The first task was to perform a small sketch. Being the older one in the group, naturally I had to lead the other younger kids. We did a short classroom sketch. Nonetheless it was dull and plot-less. The second task was to conduct an argument with another random participant. It was hard to contain the laughter that was bursting out and put up an angry face with stern and logical argument facts, all at the same time. The third task was the reversal. We were asked to laugh out loud as if we saw something freaking funny. It is easy to guess now that I was only able to muster a loud but totally obvious fake sounding laughter. Anyway, at any rate, I made it through and did the job of a span of 3 days at Filem Negara. It was a children discussion show for 'Kelab Kanak-kanak Angkasapuri'. It was strange then because I sort of stammer a little when Kak Jessica shove the microphone towards me. I remember repeating my answers 3 to 4 times in my head before raising my hand to answer the question. Fortunately Kak Jessica knew what I was going to say and guided me through. And that's how I pocketed RM 300+ inclusive of a bonus of RM 100 for the 3 top best points made of the show.

Fast forward to the end of the SPM year, friends were going all out to find part time jobs at cafeterias, boutiques and data entry jobs at KL. Chiefly the targeted areas were around Bukit Bintang. Midvalley Megamall then was pretty quiet and did not present many job opportunities. It was hard to find a part time job even. The fateful day came when I enquired about a job vacancy at KLCC, one of the shops with a palm as the logo. They hired me and ironically were asked to work at Midvalley's branch. I was an extra staff to help cater for the extra weekends' volume of customers. It was absolutely agonizing to stand for the whole day and I quitted after the fourth day. I was paid RM 90 in total but the irony to that is that I was driving a Perdana to work. How naive.

Flustered with the meager sum, I then gave tuition to a Form 1 kid. I was 18 at that time. Tuition classes were boring to me and to my victim. Funny to think that I had the audacity to claim the answers at the back of the workbooks were wrong when I had made a blunder during the correction of the kid's work. I managed to scheme up a story to raise the fee up to RM 190 per month. However the classes took too many of my time, TV and my yamcha sessions. I called it off after the fourth month when the kid's mom wanted to include her older child into the class as well. I shrug off the job one day with a phone call when I parked my car in front of the kid's car but was totally unmotivated to go in. The last I heard, the kid was doing well in studies now. Straight As in PMR. Definitely that has nothing to do with me.

At the age of 19, I was picked by a club in Sunway College to undertake an application development project. It was a disaster really considering the clients were expecting a commercial CRM database system for tracking their works and customer profiles, but the goddamn club only charged them RM 2000. On top of that, the club wanted to get 20% out of that said amount. It was a one man show basically, me doing the requirements, design, coding, testing, customer relations and so on. I remember spending days and nights coding in my room like I was the most hardworking and potential programmer. I brought my product of sheer effort to the meeting room and sold it to the customer. They were happy and paid RM 500 as the first progress payment. I continued on to make changes and presented them version 2.0 and was paid again RM 400. The project management were terribly poor and I was irked to no end by the project supervisor as well as the client's ongoing calls. I cut all ties then and the client actually used the project as her final year project submission. She even requested me to provide her with all the documentations, data flow diagrams, entity relationship diagrams, source code and also, surprisingly pencil sketches of DFDs. RM 900 was cheap for a final year project as that wasn't the market rate at that time. So both parties remain happy. I was even offered a full time employment there but I have not then graduated yet.