Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Consider this

“They are very laid back”…

That is how many Malaysians describe the Caucasians; particularly the Europeans and Australians. Most of the time, we are referring to their working attitude. To be more specific, the notion is about how they tend to leave work early and will not stay back to complete their task. Because of this, we brand them as “laid back”.

Indeed, many Malaysians take pride in working excessive overtime. They will proudly claim that they are hard-working, dedicated, passionate and so on. Further, they have the I-am-ambitious mentality. Also something to be proud as apparently, not being ambitious means your life is somewhat directionless. I refer to these people as “they” as I certainly do not consider myself within this group of people.

Beneath all these proud claims are of course, sacrifices such as working till10pm or 11pm; bring work home and having to work during weekends amongst many other things. Hence, with all the hard-work, dedication and passion, it seems they have the right to brand the Caucasians as “laid back” or worse… “lazy!”.

To me, being hard-working or dedicated or passionate is just a big load of shite. Branding others as “laid back” and/or “lazy” is nothing more than a self-consoling act to preserve that remnant of self-worth.

Why? Well, consider this…

If the salary of your current job is sufficient enough for you to pay for a BMW 3-series, pay the mortgage of a RM500,000 house, allows you to fine-dine everyday, allows you to employ a maid, allows you to go 2 overseas holidays in a year, allows you to shop every weekend with cash and still have enough money to put into your savings account (so that you can upgrade to a 5-series and a RM1m house in the future)… and…

Your boss honestly and truthfully does not require you to work overtime where you actually get a well-deserved increment and bonus at the end of the year by just working in your official working hours……

Do you think you will still be as hard-working, dedicated and passionate to stay back till wee hours of the day and bring back work and work throughout the weekend?

1 year ago…
When you think you are thinking the right thing


day-dreamer said...

Definitely not.

Cindy Khor said...

actually, the "laid-back" not only points out thost that you mention above,but also the attitude the caucasions have while working. most of the time, they seem to stand around, chatting with each other while the asians normally do all the excess work (not working OT though) during office hour. that certainly happens in the place where i work.

Bee Ean said...

ok. A colleague didn't do his job and when I asked for it he said he was going to be on holiday in one hour. Do you not consider this as lazy? Of course going for holiday is important but I have known of people who try to get everything done first before leaving.

bosscat said...

they are laid back because they are efficient enough to finish their work on time!!

Fi-sha said...

I agree with bosscat. Unfortunately, malaysian organisations measures our performance under different light...

Scientifically, you are almost brain-dead after 6.30 pm.

iamthewitch said...

zewt! Is there such a job! I want one! :)

Actually, it's not only us who perceive Asians as hardworking or dedicated to work. I was in Sydney more than a year ago and I met this manager who's an Australian (my mom's friend). In fact, he told me h preferred hiring Asians as his employee because of their dedication and willingness to work extra hours. He actually made this Filipino guy as his right hand man, you know. So I'm saying, it all really depends on the line of work you're in. If it really requires long hours, then Asians would have an advantage. Oh, that is if your boss expects that of you! :)

Anonymous said... come the image of blonde white king vs black yellow slave keep spinning in my head...funny how some jerky ridicule us as stupid to be colonised by PRC to learn mandarin

Huei said...

ahhh! so next time ppl call me lazy..i refer them to ur post! =P

i come in early..leave late..have been here 7 mths..probation was suppose to be 3mths..n yet i'm not confirmed! how comeee??? ahahaha ok la..not complaining la..i dun bring work home to do..can't find myself facing anymore text when i reach home..i just wana relax then sleep!!

Alex Yap said...

In general, being good and smart boss, you shall never never and never require your sub-ordinate to work extra time.

When you plan your project, you should take into account of holiday, sick, low productivity and etc. Hence, typical project planning effort shall be times with a scalar factor of 1.5. For instance, if a project need 30 days, the actual effort would be 30*1.5 = 45 days. This is the safest planning. If wanted to squeeze a bit, 1.4 is the minimum that you need to go for. If I don't remember wrongly from my CMMI knowledge lar.

In the even if your boss need you to work extra time, he/she is poor in planning. We the worker need a life too...

Chong said...

As Alex said, it boils down to who you are reporting to (i.e. your leader/boss). It is deemed that one should work late in Asian working culture. Sad, it is...

Anonymous said...

hi, it is not reasonable just consider one side view, but should go thru the reason too.

I'm currently fighting for my own labour right regarding this "Overtime Issue".

My superior ask me to do thing according what they told to, no need to bother what advice given by the ex-colleague.
Now the problems has occur, the software which old and new version is not compatible, the things getting worst, due to "I follow the instruction".

I work almost everyday to 10.30, to just correct all the messy things. The problems is once I click "save", the things will go to messy again, I need to edit it page by page, line by line for 300++ pages.

My ex-colleague has told me this problem that she faced it before, but my superior told me don’t follow what my ex-colleague said, she is bluffing you, cause she is cheating OT.
As a staff, I have to followed the instruction, right?
if I according to my ex-colleague advice, 95% wont get this kind of messy shit.
Now the situation is 150% that the problems will reoccur, except I manually modified it by line.

So is it reasonable for me to claim OT?
I'm just at staff level. The executive level push all the things for me, some time that my boss said it is too heavy to me, I'm not enough experience to do it. What can I say? I have to finish it also what….

They give all the admin things for me to do, and mention it is urgent, such things likes highlight the differences, photocopy document, sending the documents, searching hardcopies of files and documents, which they can do their self, but they are not willing to waste their time. So waste my time??
What can I do? Can I say NO?
Cannot, what they will say is" I don’t want to listen Excuses. Just complete it."
What can I do. Just finish it and come back for own job lah~
So this is whose fault to dragging the time?
They can back about 7p.m. cause they finish their work.
I cannot finish at time cause my time already been use my them.
Fair?? NOT. Of course.

They are not approving my OT which will cause me at least RM200.
When we have a discussion with the management, I'm asking them, is it my fault to follow the instruction?

Is it wrong for me to just do the things correctly? Or you want me to passed those figure overlapped, words alignment run, or corrupted blank paper to the president?

And I stress on I already tell them the problem before, you ask me don’t bother it, now problems cause, am I the person be blamed?

You know what the Assistant manager said, some time is not the software or hardware problems. Some time is the operator problems!!! What the shit she is talking about!! Now she know that she dint have the stand talk with me cause I'm just listening instruction from her, so she change the target. Is the person wrong, but not software, although you can easily know and understand this is the software problems.

Software problems, now belongs to "you are not efficient enough to complete in the normal time length" but do they think before, this is not my problems, cause by the software, which I ALREADY faced it out to you. If I don’t want to claim OT, why I work OT?? Free? Too much time?
If you are my situation what you will do.
Be blame, without any reason.

And most of the whole department, know the whole file corrupted, know the things run messy with the cause of the software. But what they do? They pretend it is all as usual. So their cost-centre will stay in the normal level, dint lead any adverse variance - NOTHING HAPPEN in our department.

Luckily I'm not the staff there any more.Heheheheh

In my department, nothing call "work performance", but something called " human nature performance.

If you good friend with executive, when you are wrong, you are correct.
If you are not good friend with the executive, when you are correct, you are wrong.
It just based on how they want to see you.
Are you a good friend to them? The main point.

My boss just said, those hard working people, is hard for us to see it, this is human nature, as people just see the bad things of a person, they wont see the good things.

Due to the human nature, I'm the one to be blame, cause I dint polished their shoes??

Now, what I'm fighting is not just money.
My friend ask me to give up the case, he is willing to reimbursed me the OT.
But this is not just OT issue, this is also a reputation issue.
I'm really working to solve the problem cause by the superior.
If I'm giving up now, what people will say about me?
She is trying to cheat on the OT, but let the executive to find out.

They already say you should complete it within a period, if I can't complete it, can I go off?

For the official working.
My manager told me, our officially working hour is 8.30-6.00, but unofficially they took more than 10 hours per day, they also dint claim for OT. But she already forget that management level and the staff level the salary range is a big big different!

And she also told me, the job is assigned to you. You work until 10p.m., 12.a.m., stay overnight, take back home to do, it's up to you.
BUT, YOU NEED TO COMPLETE THE JOB!!!! And the OT will approved to you is based on normal circumstances. So any incident happen like what I face, is I'm bad luck!!!

You know I'm been "ask" by my senior executive to find a file, it takes me about a day.
You know that I'm asking a document, which I don’t know where it put (I'm new for yearly task) A direct me to look in Book A, I've looked into Book A, A1,A2,A3... for whole day , event confirmed with her is in Book A. The next day I ask another executive, she told me should be find in BookB, and I use less than 15 minutes to get what figure that I want.

Is it my wrong to take so long time?
New people who ask senior to get information, or senior which give wrong information.
Now they say that I'm taking too much hours for the task, and cut my OT claims our, which cost about RM50.

Who is wrong?
Some time I also want to go back early, like those executive, they back very early.
But what can I do?
Nothing what.
I just can go for OT, complete my job.
I'm entitle to get it.
So, mine is mine.

HR is still investigate, and found my department have few problems which cause staff leaving so regularly.

I already plan that internally cannot settle, I'll go for labour office.
I know what my right is, I'm not your staff anymore, I'll stand for my own right!!
That's why when I spoke to my high level management level, I very stable, and may be my words is sharp, few times they have to agreed to me!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

We do brand Mat Salleh as that but think u know that most of them get dole or gov money ie pensions, student loans, etc and live in cheaper countries where their monies are king. This allows them to live the life they have always dreamed off (but not with their own money).

Asians do work hard to afford to live a life they want (this not applicable to all). We do not have the luxuries of the west in being given free cash so we gotta work for it. Well, some do get free $$$ and you know who they are.

For me, I live a simple life I can afford and still save. Live simply so when u have luxury, u can enjoy but when times are hard, u can adjust/adapt better. Never live a life beyond your means. This way you can be proud and not worry so much. ;)

neno said...

totally agree wif

i dun mind being branded long as i dun waste time bringing work back home..

super reluctant to do my duty during weekends n public holidays too..but wat to do..

missironic said...

Not me! I'll go back right on the dot! hahaha...

zewt said...

day-dreamer - that's honesty.

cindy khor - like i said, if you do that and still receive your bonus and get all the good things in life... will you do the same?

bee ean - lazy may not be the word... i call that irresponsible. but hey, why worry about responsible if your job guarantees everything else? that's the point here.

bosscat - that is also true.

fi-sha - yes, malaysians are bunch of dumbass when it comes to modern slavery. hahaha... i am braindead almost the whole day!

iamthewith - but if you can find a job like the above, asians will naturally be "laid back" too right?

anon @ 9/4 10.12am - i didnt get your second sentence.

zewt said...

huei - hahaha... come come come... eh, how come you're not confirmed?

alex yap - unfortunately, when a project kicks off... and the timeline is say 1 week... it includes weekends. that's how malaysian function. even singaporeans are beginning to change.

Chong - not asian... malaysian.

anon @ 9/4 11.39am - seriously my friend, you should quit immediately, unless you cant live at all without this job. it sounds like a big big big hell hole.

pinknpurplelizard - exactly my point. so it's not us being hardworking and them being laid back... it's the need of the society... the structure of the system we are in. being asians or caucasians has got nothing to do with that.

neno - what to do... hmmm... look for new job :P

missironic - hahahaha... now, that's exactly what i am trying to say.

~aSstHa~ said...

I really feel this post Zewt. Too many a times I've heard from my former superior that I'm not proactive. I don't have ambition. No drive.

Simply because I will not stay back after office hours if there's no need for me to. I'm not saying that I don't stay back. I will stay if I know I am unable to complete a given task by the deadline.

If my reports are all done. Why should I stay back to "show" I'm hardworking? To me extra hours put in means that I'm not efficient enough to handle my deadlines and reports within the stipulated time hence I need the extra hours to complete the job.

My motto is "I work to live, not live to work" so it was quite abnormal when I don't want to stay back I was being viewed as not productive even though all my reports and figures were always given a few days before the deadline even without eating up into my personal time.

Go figure... hahaha...

zewt said...

aSstHa - hey, heard from huntressmoon you sorta had a bad time with the job thing, hope everything is fine.

~aSstHa~ said...

all i can say is dat d dust has settled but am waiting for it to clear up my vision...

will blog abt it very soon... cheers mate

zewt said...

asstha - good... the end is a new beginning :)