Friday, 29 February 2008

Some general modern slavery comparison

It is something I have never felt before in a very long time. When I woke up in the morning in the last few weeks… I actually look forward to going to work! But as soon as my assignment here is complete (yes, work here can actually finish!!), the e-mails from Malaysia began to flow in… I am brought back to reality that… work sucks.

This is probably stating the obvious but here are some of the general comparisons between here and back home…

Work here also starts at 9am. If you walk in 9.30am, you can still shout ‘good morning’ across the room and everyone shouts back to you in a happy mood.
Work starts at 9am back home. If you walk in at 9.20am, you will get ‘the stare’. If you do it frequently, you will get ‘the lecture’.

On one occasion here, one of my colleagues has to catch an early flight for her holiday and she was allowed to leave at 3pm.
On many occasions back home, one of my colleagues has to “ask for permission” to send her daughter to see the doctor at 7pm… and was denied on several occasions.
On a few occasion here, people can go on leave in the middle of a peak period. If you have to go, you have to go…
Back home, the only reason why you cannot work during peak period is when you’re dead.

Here, when I am given a week to do something, it means the work requires about 35 - 40 hours to be completed.
Back home, when I am given a week to do something, it really means… ‘a week’. Go figure.

Here, meetings are always scheduled latest 3 hours before office hour ends. There are people who will walk out of meetings as they ‘really need to leave on time’.
Back home, meetings can be scheduled as late as 1.5 hour after office hour. And you are ‘expected’ to go.

Here, having lunch with bosses is extremely enjoyable. Conversation usually comprises of 5% work, 10% holiday and 85% about English football.
Back home, you just try not to have lunch with your boss.

Here, the weekends belong to you.
Back home, the weekends belong to you only if your company give it to you… occasionally.

Here, work ends at 5pm and you are free to leave. No one will say a thing. They will even gleefully say ‘goodbye’ to you.
Back home, work ends at 5.45pm. The boss will think you are very free if you leave at 6.45pm. Do that regularly and you are deemed not committed to your work and not a team player.

Here, you can safely say ‘bye-bye’ to your boss and go home.
Back home, you can not say ‘bye-bye’ to anyone until your boss go home.

Here, the days I worked until 6.30pm, my boss here call them ‘late nights’… and we all hate it.
Back home, working till 7 – 8pm is considered normal… and we are supposed to be proud of it.

Here, the boss sometimes asked me to go home early… at about 4.45pm.
Back home, the boss also sometimes ask me to go home early… 7pm.

There are many more other differences which I will blog in details in the very near future. When I am back in Malaysia, I can only dream of such working culture. And I know a lot of Malaysians will conveniently brand those in the west as ‘lazy’. Well, is it a case of them being lazy? Or us being stupid?


61 comments:

myop101 said...

It is not called lazy! It is called working effectively and efficiently within the time allocated.

Here, because we are supposed to be grateful, we are supposed to work till 12 midnight and come to work at 6 am everyday until the day you retire. Afterall, how to maximise the cost of paying the salary?

Sucks man! sucks!

lisenielle said...

Hallo! A (usually) silent reader from Sabah here. I'm quite shocked to hear abt your working life in West M'sia...here in Sabah (private company too!), we go home on time (if you go back late the others will be shocked!), meetings are held during office hours...:)But the workload is quite heavy, however we somehow make time to relax. ;)

However, whenever colleagues from West M'sia come here, they tend to hold meetings far past the working hours, and expect it to be normal for us. NOW I know why....

Anyway -- just want to say, come here to Sabah and experience the working life. But I can't say if it's the same for all companies.

boss cat said...

*pack bag*

ready go UK to work.

LOL...

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

its been awhile since i commented..the last few posts were too heavy for my heavy worries haha..

well reading thru..i realise although my job isnt the best despite it being a big 4..i can still catch lunch with my bosses...talk abt things other then work..still dun giv a shit and ciao at 3 to catch a flight at nite..

so i guess it does exist in m'sia after all..but super rare!

Huei said...

i must be blessed with a UK big boss. well..my boss incharge here's a msian..and she's cool..anyhow..she's just an employee like us..so..i guess i have things easIER. we have lunch together everyday..all of us

and it's so true..comparing my last job n this one
"Here, when I am given a week to do something, it means the work requires about 35 - 40 hours to be completed"

and i get encourage to go home sharp at 5:30..and IF we have to come back for the weekend, we get replacement..though i've never needed to work in..or maybe..this job just focus on inhouse software..so there's not much deadline

ok now i'm giving 2nd thoughts about changing jobs..hmmm

i wana change job scope!!!

mumsgather said...

Good one Zewt!

Economist said...

surely more comments on this than the last few posts eh zewt

PurpLe~MuShRooM said...

Well, I don't really go through those bad working culture even when I'm in Malaysia. I guess it applies more to financial industry, thats why I left them early. I really don't get why Asians adopt those unhealthy working culture. Is it in the Asian or Chinese blood for working late or what? Really don't understand.

Anyway, I am really happy with my company and working culture here. :)

_butt said...

not lazy at all! I could only dreamed of working in that kind of health-friendly environment. mental health, I mean. :)

Klaw said...

>>On many occasions back home, one of my colleagues has to “ask for permission” to send her daughter to see the doctor at 7pm… and was denied on several occasions.

Friend, what kind of company you and your colleague work for? And you're still there?????? Sounds like you guys signed a contract with the devil.

wuching said...

hehehe..dunwan to brag but usually I get to work after nine & leave at 4.30 but lately its quiet so 3 or 4 & fridays is a must half day usually! thats australian culture!

wuching said...

but don't get me wrong, when its busy we work!

Yvonne Foong said...

Shoot me! I did not know you write so well. This post is simple and easy to understand. You should write more like this. People here in M'sia often don't see out of the box. The box they live in is the coolest and bestest.

j or ji said...

hahaha.
aku gelak2 depan PC.so true!

Here, you can safely say ‘bye-bye’ to your boss and go home.
Back home, you can not say ‘bye-bye’ to anyone until your boss go home.

aku selalu balik curi2 blakang boss...senyap2 je keluar opis.and lunch with boss? aku rela skip lunch!

jlshyang said...

Hahaha. I love the comparison. NO wonder my friends totally enjoyed the working life here. The internships are even better, everyday get gaji buta. Sit in the office facebook-ing. lol.

Hor*ny Ang Moh said...

They r not lazy! just efficient! Over here for RM20 worth of salary u r expected to work least RM40 worth of work!!!

Hor*ny Ang Moh said...

They r not lazy! just efficient! Over here for RM20 worth of salary u r expected to work least RM40 worth of work!!!

Lucius Maximus said...

work to live

OR

live to work

Elizebeth D.L. said...

hehehehe... I can only say that I am very lucky in my career life - so far, none of the job I had requires me to stay later than the official office hour:) There is rare occasion of OT, perhaps 5 days a year I would say. Other than that, I get to go home on the dot! kekeke...

BUT i know what u mean. It all depends on the company's culture though.

PabloPabla said...

White man culture :-

When it is time to work, you work. When it is time to eat, you eat.
When it is time to go, you go.
When it is holiday, you holiday.

Asian culture:-

When it is time to work, you work.
When it is time to eat, you eat and talk work.
When it is time to go, you take work along with you.
When it is holiday, you think of the work you left behind.

Sigh....

kennymah said...

This, for me, has been the most disturbing thing you've posted this year. I actually printed the whole entry out. Bears thinking, esp. since I've been guilty of going home at midnight more than a couple of times this week. Sighs...

Lynnwei said...

oh man..that is a BIG difference. i guess it's obvious when u start working overseas...as in european countries....
i've heard lots too..especially in hospitals..the working hours arent tat long and stressful....

u see, we can only perform at our best if we haf enough rest...cant push too far or we'll break! aha...

^^

bongkersz said...

more like we are stupid and they are efficient. well, i try not to work extra time. in this new company, 5.30pm sharp cabut. who cares? people just no balls to stand up for their rights. serve them right if they are screwed upside down to work their ass off.

angeles said...

Gee... I also wonder why your company liddat geh... O.o

But really, western working culture is indeed very best! ;)

Daily Nibbler said...

Love the graphics.

Work lor...what to doooo...

Winn said...

some things in life shouldnt be compared. u must learn to find peace in things u do. not piss.

i must say usually those in accounting/IT/advertising field work like slave lor.others still can lepak a bit. 3.30 tea time! ;p.maybe u are in the wrong field?...if u are a proud chain stores owner SenQ do u think u will still complain like now?

Susu Kacang said...

here in US, when recession hits, you get fired.
back there, when recession hits, you are still hired (right?).

Yvonne Foong said...

This reminds me of my short stint teaching at the kindergarten. I was only 19. The headmistress reprimanded me for going home at 5pm sharp. She said it's not right. She made it seem that going back late was the only right and acceptable conduct. The timid me listened to her! If it was today, I'll surely talk back. haha! U know me.

Maverick SM said...

I love the way you represented the two sides of the globe; it's profound and truthful.

Stay there for good, if I were you.

mrbherng said...

It's the Human Rights Legislation in EU that forced this culture out. The boss will have to make sure you don't over work otherwise they might get into some trouble.

In fact, working overtime all the time will mean one is inefficient in his work and is really bad at time management.

marg said...

Don't work so hard...no one notices anyway. (Remember that Zewt? :D) Anyway,thank goodness that where I work, we go back on the DOT everyday, except when we really need to OT la..

zewt said...

myop101 - too true... but i have to say.. we can be stupid in some ways.

liseneille - hi there... haha... i dunno about east malaysia but it can be quite bad in west malaysia. but to get a better pay... u have to be west malaysia so...

boss cat - go go go ...

constant craver joe - u mean u left at 3 to catch a flight? i think only applicable to the bosses la.

huei - i asked before... waht company is this... want an accoutant or not?

mumsgather - hehe...

zewt said...

economist - proven correct.

purple mushroom - yeah... i think it's more to financial industry. but most of all, it's the malaysian way... a very bad way.

_butt - damn right... it's all about balance.

Klaw - i think it's the present of a particular individual who is heartless.

wuching - i cant wait to go down there mate... opps... i mean travel ok!

yvonne foong - hi there... well, it is a case of stating the obvious but i guess... it's just simple plain truth.

zewt said...

j or ji - kena curi curi... sigh.

jlshyang - so you better make sure you find a job there ya... trust me, u will nto regret it.

hor ny - hahaha... we are slaves!

lucius maximus - dont work at all hahahaha...

elizebeth DL - sigh... not everyone is as lucky as you though...

zewt said...

pablopabla - OMG... tat is soooo sad!

kennymah - hahaha.. best post in the year... i think i have move entries abotu working here...

lynnwei - oh yeah... housemenship in KL... will kill you. so... choose wisely.

bongkersz - yup... it's all about no balls... no balls at all. sad but true.

angeles - damn best... i just told my boss here and i would love to come again haha.

daily nibbler - hey... where have you been?

zewt said...

winn - nope... not wrong field... not wrong company... it's the wrong country.

susu kacang - hahahahaha... hey, that is a good one.

maverick SM - i will try... anywhere but malaysia.

mrbherng - well, i dont think they will ever have such thing in malaysia... unfortunately.

marg - hahahaha... yup yup... only show that you work in front of the boss...

gina said...

Yeah.. I thought my work here is okay and very unlike other chinaman company. My happiness was short lived when the MD came out with a new sets of rules - nobody goes back before 8 pm. I foresee a lot of people resigning in the next 6 months. People just don't understand there is something call - LIFE.

MeLiSsA said...

I have to say you are absolutely right.

you really ought to migrate to ozzie man!!

btw, which city are you going too?

Daily Nibbler said...

Like you, been traveling. Been reading your blogs from afar...you sound less frustrated now. Anyway, enjoy your travel!

elvinado said...

Wah, they are true...I really learn something today...

drumsticks said...

You're not exaggerating, are you? eee..

mob1900 said...

Even in China, my friend who's there for the last 5 years told us, the worst Bosses are the Malaysian Bosses working there! Not the China bosses but the Malaysian Bosses who owns factories there squeeze and push everybit of the employees to the brink. So take note if you're thinking that China's the place to bank your future, check who are the bosses. lolx

mr jp said...

Thanks for this post, I'm reminded of how it was to work back in Malaysia.

I'm working here in Brisbane now, and I find the working conditions much more humane.

Something's just not right when your boss overpromises clients and squeeze employees to the max ...

we should start a union I say ...

suituapui said...

In the first pic - that shows the evolution of (1) an addicted blogger OR (2) a blogger at work, blogging on office time OR (3) an addicted commentor making a nuisance of himself in everybody's blogs??? LOL!!!

muststopthis said...

Zewt, time for change! Remember all these points when you are the boss!
I really miss London......

drasnia89 said...

That's something new. I really hope I get to experience that life after graduating.

Pauline Yap said...

we are stupid. They are not lazy:)
of course we need to give our best in our work, but we must also know when to rest and balancing our life.

xoxo

IkHui said...

everything you wrote is so true!
haha!!

3POINT8 said...

man...i'm starting to love a country i've nvr been in...

Cenni said...

another good post and a reality check *cheers*
Btw where do you usually get those funny images? I really like that image of calendar saying always give 100% at work.

Enjoy your trip to Italy!

Jermayne said...

What you blog about is soooo true!!!!
In my company; almost everyone works 7 days a week...!!!

And if you dont work on Sat or Sunday, people will look at you on Monday and said "So nice la you...take leave for the weekend"

I was like "Leave?????? Hello...in my contract/agreement: i am hired to work only 5 days a week."

And yes, the other day a section manager scheduled a meeting at 5 pm to 6pm on Friday...and everyone HAS to attend. :(((((

Often in my work; i meet my European colleagues who are always amazed how late and long hours we have to work over here.

One very good mantra by a Greek colleague of mine:
From Mondays to Fridays; i belong to the company
On weekends; i belong to myself.

How true!!!!

kyliemc said...

that's so true.my friends colleagues who are being sent to western countries to work say that their boss believe in workers' efficiency and quality of work. and working late means inefficiency plus you will be draining your energy in the long run thus it also means it'll affect your work performance.if only that concept is being applied in malaysia working working culture

zewt said...

gina - what???? what kinda rules is that?????

MeLiSsA - should be melb :)

Daily Nibbler - hahaha... you have a good trip too...

elvinado - good eh?

drumsticks - absolultely not...

mob1900 - hahaha... wonder what will happen when i be boss!

mr jp - union here.. and your career is dead. but i hope to see a change.

suituapui - hahaha... all of the above!

zewt said...

muststopthis - change is on the way now :)

drasnia89 - hi, welcome to AZAIG. which one?

pauline yap - indeed... when the new generation takes over.. we will over run the bosses! haha...

lkHui - hahaha... damn right!

3POINT8 - come here and u will love it more!

Cenni - hello. i get them from my forwards... if they are nice.. i keep them... and use them accordingly.

jermayne - leave???? on weekend? those who said that are morons.... stupid morons!!!! we must make a change... just like election!

kyliemc - it will apply... if we, the workers act now... just like how the election works.

Anonymous said...

looking forward to coming home then ;) Btw, i've found an apartment nearby to where you live... tho most prob will be lookiing for a "better" place ;)

Enjoy your adventures man!
Waterfall

zewt said...

waterfall - hey! i stay with my wife now... different :)

Huei said...

they need a programmer and a marketing/sales person! but junior la =P

sigh..things r not perfect..there's no benefits at all..and..their double standard is quite obvious how they pamper the UK staffs more

but..who am i to complain..as long as i get paid..can lah! ^^

and certainly no opportunities to travel overseas like ur work!!! wana hire a programmer? ;P

zewt said...

huei - unfortunately no. even if we do... i dont think IT people will travel... hehe. well, if you are happy with your pay and working hours... good enough. now hope the country will turn for the better, then we wont feel so shitty.

KEF said...

THe things you were typing, is exactly what I am experiencing now.

Very enjoyable work culture. I might never be able to work in Malaysia anymore =)

FriendFromShanghai said...

Found a way to post using a browser proxy!

Malaysian has the shittiest working culture in the world especially in the financial sectors.. all the things you mentioned are so true, i experienced them myself so many times. Working in a malaysian office is like the worst of all the worlds business cultures rolled into one, the long hours of the japanese without the japanese sense of community within the company, trying to keep to British working etiquette without any of the fun that the british have after work. Malaysia really just sucks as a place to work in every way.

zewt said...

KEF - i understand how you feel... like totally!!! i am trying to deliver that message to my boss!!

friendfromtaiwan - brilliantly spoken.... the japanese and british disconnection is just so damn true!