Friday, 13 April 2007

A very misleading document

Much has been said about the toll concessionaire agreements, about how they have led to bias treatment of highway users. But if you think toll concessionaire agreements are very misleading, then you’re wrong! Not to say those documents are perfectly and wonderfully drafted but that’s not the notion today.

Do you know what is the most misleading document existing today? Friends, bloggers, readers… may I present you… the most misleading document ever exist…




















Your employment letter!

It’s the document that grants you entrance into the slavery working world, the document that breaks your career virginity, it’s also the document that blatantly lies to you. I know a majority of my readers are still students, and still a career virgin, but before you get screwed… let me highlight some dick that may eventually screw you.

In the employment letter:
“Annual leave = X days”

In reality:
You will only allowed to take leave if you manage to clear all your assignments, or you are able to find a sucker to baby-sit your work while you’re away. If you somehow miraculously managed to finish your assignment, your leave is still subject to the approval of your boss. If you somehow need to take more than X days in a year, you will not be paid. But if you happen to take less than X days in a year, your leave may be burnt.

Some companies may allow you to carry forward your leave, but you will probably have to clear them by a certain deadline. Again, your application is subject to conditions mentioned above. Also, if you take (e.g.) 5 days off, rest assured you will have 5 days of work (or more) waiting for you when you return. This will most probably result in you having to do 10 days work in the next 5 days to make up for your “annual leave”.

In the employment letter:
“Working days = Monday to Friday”

In reality:
Mondays to Fridays are your official working days, but you are unofficially required to work officially on Saturdays and/or Sundays if you are unable to finish your official work on Fridays, particularly if your deadline falls on the following Monday (which is very often the case). After spending your first year working unofficially on Saturdays and/or Sundays, Saturdays and Sundays will unofficially become your official working days.

In the employment letter:
“Public holidays”

In reality:
Public refers to the common community at large. Being an employee of the relevant company means you are now part of an elite group of people, which makes you special. In the eyes of your employer, you are officially separated from the “common” people. As such, when the need arises, your employer may consider you not part of the public during public holidays. I am sure you know what it means. But always remember, you are special.

In the employment letter:
“Working hours = X a.m. – Y p.m.”

In reality:
You are highly encouraged to arrive in the office before X a.m. If you do so, you’re just doing your job. But should you intend to leave your office at Y p.m., a valid reason is required. You are unofficially required to officially leave work at Y p.m. + 4 hours. And mind you, that is considered early.

In the employment letter:
“Over-time meal/transport allowance”

In reality:
Claiming over-time allowances may result in long ‘lecture’ by your superior. If you insist on claiming, your appraisal may be at stake. Also, if your colleagues of similar level are not claiming those allowances, you are unofficially disallowed to claim. In any case, please refer to “working hours” mentioned above… over-time?

In the employment letter:
“You will be paid performance bonus on xxx date”

In reality:
Performance here does not only mean your performance. Even if you work till Y p.m. + 10 hours, you don’t take your annual leave, you don’t claim your over-time allowances (naturally since you don’t have over-time), and your work is excellent, but if your company is not performing well (which is usually the case particularly near bonus paying time), your performance bonus is in jeopardy. But always remember, you are special because you are an employee of ‘that’ company.


Those are some of the ‘dicks’ in the employment letter that will screw you up in all work-masutra positions possible as soon as you pen your name. Sounds pretty sad isn’t it? Worry not; there’s one thing in the employment letter that is absolute truth. It is your…

Salary – you will be paid EXACTLY what is written on your employment letter.

52 comments:

TTL! said...

wow.. what company are you working for? i think maybe not all companies are the same haha my brother is damn relaxed.

Acrelaine said...

hmph.. pharmacists dont count hor?? cos we really got shifts... if not, i'll be working for the gov' newayz... which means i do my job their way... kekeke... slow job.. wtf

angel said...

Errrmmm... would you mind being a househusband? Haha... just wondering...

april said...

ur post has discouraged me from looking for a job after graduation. I want to shake more legsS!!!!

Huei said...

i so totally totally TOTALLY agree on the bonus part!!

actually even if the company is performing well, they'll still tell u it's not lar!! >.<

Cirnelle said...

Seek employment by prioritising in the following order:-

1. Amount of leave leftover after taking into account encouraged/ mandatory long-stretch leave (normally, this benefit is available for the bank teller or your civil servant or an officer at the municipal authority)

2. Work at a company that has 3 or more headquarters situated at three different parts of the city (or country, if possible), preferably within areas that are unreachable between 9.30am to 4pm. There's a reason for this: If you insist on a higher position than suggested in the first part, then, you're likely to report to 3 heads at these 3 locations - oh, very important ingredient, the email system must suck big time so as to justify your having to travel to and fro. Your bosses will quite likely not be too in touch with each other, giving you plenty of leeway on leaving one location after lunch for a 'meeting' at 4pm at another location (home). (Dress as casually as you can, so that if you bump into anyone at work when you're actually shopping, just pretend you're on leave)

3. Ensure 'masyarakat muhibah'-ness in the company you plan to join and is not predominantly ruled by one race. Reason: they will not be justified to keep the company open during Raya or Deepavali because the company will grind to a halt when its not dominated with Chinese personnel.

4. When you fill in your application form or personal information to divulge to the company, keep the "Religion" column empty. You should be Muslim during Raya, Hindu during Deepavali, Chinese during CNY an Christian during Christmas season.

5. Pay. Advise the company in your expert capacity (say, your expertise is tax) that certain charges are required by law to add on to your pay. For instance, tell them you will be charging GST for your services, so, they will need to top up the salary.

sengkor said...

nola.. we dun get paid exactly what is in our employment letter.. we only get paid the nett after minusing all the epf, sosco, pcb etc.. :)

PurpLe~MuShRooM said...

Aiyah... don't be so pessimistic.
My employment contract says the following:

1. Working hours 9am-6pm
But i go to work at 9.40am and leave at 6pm sharp!

2. Annual leave xx days
But i go MIA most of the time and didn't take leave. Hahahah!

3. Co has the right to relocate you to other project site.
My co wants me to go somewhere far in shanghai... i said "NO. I don't wanna do that project!". So, they let me stay put in shanghai city area. Muahahaha!

See... not everything side employer... we, employee gets some benefits too.

Jessica said...

Hey, you're describing my company. Not bad..word by word...good..good..
Heheheh!!!

Economist said...

wah zewt...that bad ah...BIG 4 maybe all like that hahaha....

eh look on bright side...my fren in data processing centre PUBLIC HOLS also takada....that really sucks big time!!!

Tiuniasing said...

It's a nice article. But where you copied it from??

zeroimpact said...

Yup
Can't really doubt it
LOL

me said...

u know what's an even bigger misleading document?......your resume! hahahahaha! fair enough, don't you think? you exchange one lie for another. *grins*

Winn said...

haha so true. but lets say u are the boss would you do the same to ur staff ( as in follow the HR law of msia or something) or are u gonna double up their benefit for their 'just enough' contributions?

business is reality not charity. if the boss is nice working environment is good..we must be grateful for the job. they invest and pay for our livings ..

angel said...

Yo, Master Zewt, I'm not a designer lar... nah, you want new skin/baju for your blog, go here Pannasmontata Templates. YAATTTAAA!!

Bujang Skrang Ulu said...

wah .. scary. how la like this??

Terra Shield said...

Hehehe... quite true, but your post makes my place look like its not too bad!

zewt said...

TTL - it's generalisation la... nothing specific hehehehe.... your bro work for which company? haha

Acrelaine - pharmacist... hmmm... not too sure how the career of a pharmacist shapes up. but if you're a doctor... then working for malaysian govt hospital... err... i am sure you know the stories.

angel - errr... i dont mind actually since i am quite into cooking lately hahaha... ok ok, i shall check out al the skins therel later.

april - didnt mean to discourage you... just opening your eyes.

Huei - or... when the company is performing well... they will say "save for the rainy days"... but when the rainy days are here... all the money will be gone.

cirnelle - you know, all the comments you put can actually be very good blog entries :) but i dont really catch your point no.2

sengkor - hahahahahahahaha.... that's a blardy good point !!! not to mention some companies actually deduct certain payments that goes to the company... like sports club, etc etc.

zewt said...

purple mushroom - aiyah... i am referring to employment in malaysia la. you fellas getting expat package in china... then it's good la.

Jessica - i was generalising... must have been a co-incidence.

economist - your friend the other side of the public... not elite team but lower than a common public person... hahahahaha....

tiuniasing - i spent 2 hours writing it and then let my fiance read and then have to incur the her wrath for not talking to her and you come and say i copied it from somewhere?

zeroimpact - i guess you signed on one already huh hahahahaha....

me - thanks, you just gave me a good idea on what to blog about next.

winn - have to agree with you. when you and i become bosses, our mentality will surely change. but let us remember what i wrote and what you read today...

Bujang Skrang Ulu - sigh... i also dunno.

Terra Shield - not that bad huh... but i guess it's still bad enough to begin with? :P

kenninaz said...

(sorry for diverting from topic)

sei yan tau tuck... i was too late in picking up on your post about the riddle... but i won't let u get away with it!!! take this old and si Q riddle over to your blog and try to con all these nice ppl! tsk tsk tsk...

those who are still cracking your brains, dont need to laaaa... u dont get rewarded in the end ler. :P

there have been many versions of this riddle (eg. 3 friends buying a book/a pair of shoes) but at the end of the day, the solution remains the same - there is no "direct" solution. it's just from which perspective u see it.

i will be monitoring your site more oftten now for more attempts at conning your innocent readers.... coz u know why? I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE. HAHAHAHAHAHA.......

see u sunday on the pitch. :P

Hor ny Ang Moh said...

So true what u write! Ur Boss pay u RM10-00 as salary but u have to work RM20-00 worth of work to him. BTW welcum to the married world whereby u have to pay attention to ur wife 24/7 ( according to my married friend ).

nyonyapenang said...

***sighsssss...** i think i go sell nyonya kueh, easier lar.

Anonymous said...

u r so right mate....guess what heck it i mc99 for 3days this week, i lost my voice for my job...was okay in the morning....come noon when i start talking to my bosses can puke blood.....strike noon gone my voice...poor kid, now pathetically sick daisy duck reading ur blog....aw...man.....must really revise those employment letters signed.....sold myself to slavery....slaps*

Anonymous said...

hoi asking sick ppl to fill in the survey, how come gender is only F/M what if im....then again occupation....im not manager not student not free lancer....where to fill? difficult to answer....meaning info provided also inaccurate =p......have no options anyways...

Landed_Angel said...

This just sounds like my company.. they force you to clear your remaining days of leave (SUBJECT TO BOSS' APPROVAL) or they get "Burnt"..

So, at the end of the day, we all get 'screwed' out there.. hahahahaha

Calvin's Wife said...

Ahahahaha, good one, but the best employer i've heard so far is HSBC. They give you damn long leaves..So good!

Cirnelle said...

Its meant to be that confusing so that people don't really know what you do, when and where you do it.

me said...

my commission lehhhh?

bujangsigat said...

hmm, i have no problem of any above, because i will stand up for my own rights bwahahaha! i will take my leave when i want to, i will make sure i leave office after 6pm. I seldom come back on saturday and sunday unless it's really necessary. you are given 8 hours to do your work, why need extra time? so inefficient :P

i think, those you put 'in reality' is what the workers think they should behave/act in order to please the boss. so when everybody doing the same thing, it become a norm. It's normal for you to stay back because most of your colleagues do so, or come back on saturday, sunday because most of them do so... follow the herd mentality.. sad..

Seok Thong said...

After reading this post, i must call you genius zewt. How true is that!!!! It's exactly like my old company!

1 thing this company makes me wanna puke is, whenever they want to advertise job vacancy in newspaper, they told me i must put the words "member of MESDAQ bla bla bla" in the ad..So what lah??? Salary still very low! (sorry, out of topic, hehe)

may said...

I should be thanking my lucky stars that my current appointment letter has some truth in it... and I do get to go home on time, sometimes... yay! :P

angel said...

Woei, tell me which template you choose and I'll try on mine and see can preview or not... cannot be you can't preview wan la... I tried a few, all also can ah...

Kenny Mah said...

Darn, it's true, isn't it. Only the SALARY is absolutely true, and then also sometimes ha...

zewt said...

kenninaz - i already said someone else asked me when i was working in starbucks la. this sunday break your leg!

Hor Ny Ang Moh - damn right!!! those that get high pay... they just sold their soul away.

nyonyapenang - sell, i buy ok? gimme discount though.

annonymous - thank you for doing the survey thing and you better go rest la. later doc tell you one month cant talk then you know.

landed_angel - yeah... and the best part... some of us are actually happy being screwed.

Calvin's wife - really? i have 30 days... and i am not from HSBC.

cirnelle - ahhh... sounds like what we do in our industry eh?

zewt said...

me - wahhh... so kiasu wan... like that also wan commission.

bujangsigat - hey there, welcome to my blog. you're damn damn damn damn right... ppl just want to do the norm... dont dare to rock the boat, end up all become idiots. i am glad you are not one of them.

Seok Thong - hahaha... i can sense your bitterness. you should be happily living in germany already. those working in the malaysian labour scene will suffer the above ler.

may - well, like i said, the above only applies to malaysian working environment. you are in aussie mah... of cos enjoy la.

angel - it's the one where they have a car overlooking a moon and my second choice is the sunset version.

Kenny Mah - well... actually, they do deduct some sort of contributions shite in come companies... sigh.

baby sa said...

this is bad...
to avoid this, I shall be my own boss in the future :p

zewt said...

baby sa - then you can employ me :)

narrowband said...

Damn now this is relevant to me and I should take note of em!

hikazew® said...

Sigh just grad about 2 years ago and having 2 jobs. I feel like becoming a housewife or start my own business. Working is sapping my life out. it does not help if work 'works' u to death and no leave and no increment and no bonus.. nada.

zewt said...

narrowband - you should. but i think it depends what kinda industry you will be in. having said that, it tends to be relevant in all industries in malaysia.

hikazew - hey there, welcome to As Zewt As It Gets. 2 years and you're feeling it huh. well, someone worked here for 10 months and already see the reality. hahaha... you can be a housewife... but i cant... i wonder if i can be a househusband.

aSstHa said...

OMG... LOL

I remember when I came in for my interview with my current company the Finance Manager asked me if I was willing to work on Sat, Sun and P.Holiday. My reply to her was I will only work IF I'm unable to complete my work during the normal working hour.

Hving said dat... unfortunately the workload has slowly, but surely increased but not my salary.

I try not to stay back TOO often but being in an accounting line there's really no choice specially come month end.

Thing is, when I stay back (unpaid) at work there'll be only about 3 other people working with me (2 of which stays back EVERY single day) and working time normally ends at 11pm during that particular deadline (and no excuses for coming late the next day)... and after that I jz hv to do my numerous reports which I can finish during the stipulated time frame w/o resorting staying late...

But... whenever I get to leave early, the entire (and I do mean ENTIRE dept is still working when I walk out that door (5.30pm sharp)

-_-"

You can imagine the other depts looking at me and wondering why I'm the only person in my dept leaving early when everyone else is still hard at work (their closing comes after mine).. Succumb and stay a while more with them? I say sod it and just breeze out the door ;)

It's really hard to leave sharp when CFO have the mindset that if you leave early you're a bad employee... *sigh*

Modern Slavery? Join the band-wagon

zewt said...

aSstHa - oh!! you're in the accounting industry? hahahahaha.... looks like we are in the same boat. and by far... the accounting industry is the worstest-rest sector in the modern slavery industry.

couldnt agree more on the CFO part. we are judged not by our performance but rather the quantity of our time that we are willing to put in. i am going to blog more about this certainly. but am also thinking whether i should put all into a proper book and get it published. predicament...

aSstHa said...

hey zewt,

i hv good news (on my part at least)... with the intergration taking place (d company i'm working in) those earning RM1500-RM1800 are entitled to OT.. those who are drawing a salary higher than RM1800 (does NOT apply to managerial level) can claim the following...
1st 2-4hr: RM45
2nd 4-8hr: RM90
(but we don get anymore replacement leave or meal claims but i'd rather take the ka-ching)

suddenly am totally motivated to work AND this means that I don't hv to feel guilty leaving sharp 5.30 (after all CFO will be held responsible for the amount of $$$ being paid out) if I can finish my work on the allocated time...

at least there's some good coming out from the intergration (trust me there's a lot of benefits cut out too but it's on a TBA)...

a silver lining in my line of work...at least the slavery is somewhat more bearable... hohoho...

aSstHa said...

p.s. - i'm not ACTUALLY in the accounting ind. more on logistics really but assisting in interco account... (but life is hell when u hv to liase with BOTH destination and origin countries and they treat u like a ping pong ball throwing u back n forth)

H.C. Tan said...

sounds very cynical..but true. lol..now a bit wary of signing my employment contract larrrr

zewt said...

aSstHa - any vacancy in your company? :P .....

i reckon you will be claiming RM90 on a daily basis.... take it easy... work is not everything...

HC Tan - well, that's the way it is ... particularly in malaysia.

wkhai said...

"bujangsigat said...
hmm, i have no problem of any above, because i will stand up for my own rights bwahahaha! i will take my leave when i want to, i will make sure i leave office after 6pm. I seldom come back on saturday and sunday unless it's really necessary. you are given 8 hours to do your work, why need extra time? so inefficient :P

i think, those you put 'in reality' is what the workers think they should behave/act in order to please the boss. so when everybody doing the same thing, it become a norm."


that's the right kind of EMPLOYEE mindset to have! good on ya!

as for myself...
when i was an employee...

i get in to work later than the official time, and i don't feel the least bit guilty about it cos i usually work until official time + 4hrs and i wan not entitled to OT claims... so as long as i don't get in later than 4hrs, i don't give a damn...

i submit my leave application without waiting for approval (everybody should get a copy of the Labour Law and know your rights)... i told my manager and/or HR : "you can reject my leave application, but i won't be coming in anyways..." The thing is, the company cannot unreasonably reject your leave application. and they cannot give u any warning letters 'cos you did not MIA from work (you've already submitted ur leave application)... and they cannot fire u 'cos it's not that easy to fire an employee (know your rights according to Labour Law)

i'm not encouraging anybody to do the same as me... but please know your rights as an employee, and stand up for your rights.

employer's hands are tied once they hire you... and challenge them to court if they bully you... chances are they've violated every act in the Labour Law if it ever comes to that, and you'll have plenty of ammunition, and plenty of witnesses.

employees actually have more rights than employers... Labour Law is designed to protect the employees, and tend to side the employees more than the employers :)

oh... and one more thing... if your employment is one-sided... pay attention to the "rights of dismissal" for probation period... you should have the same length of notice... if your boss can dismiss u with 24hrs notice, then u can resign in 24hrs... if it says they can dismiss u in 24hrs, but u need to give one weeks notice or anything more than 24hrs, ask them to amend it before u sign. And even if you've signed it, not to worry... u can always argue that in court.

Remember that signing an unfair employment contract doesn't mean signing away your rights... your basic rights are still protected by law, despite u being naive or inexperienced enough to know the contrary.

zewt said...

wkhai - haha! where do you wok bro? i am sure you are of great value of your company, else, the company will screw you!

the problem is, if we create a big scene, the company can destroy our career. i am sure u know what i mean. but you're right, we should all stand up for our right which is something i am moving towards in my entries. need to do it step by step la...

wkhai said...

zewt - hmm... true also...
but then again, those ppl who dare create a big scene have what it takes in them to advance and go far in their career regardless whether the company try to destroy their career or not ;)

zewt said...

wkhai - that's a very good point. but unfortunately... not in malaysia. that's what i think at least.

Alex said...

now i'm thinkin twice about comin back. lol

zewt said...

Alex - hahaha... you better not only think twice... but thrice!