14th of January, 2004 was my last day at XM Malaysia. I have had a
great time here, met lots of interesting people and most importantly
learnt a lot about the working world here. This is my first job (well,
first job that’s related to my degree and legit) and it has indeed
provided me with valuable experience and lessons that would be very
helpful in my career. I highly recommend anyone who’s just entering the
workforce to join the wonderful people at XM – the corporate culture is
great, the people are great and you will gain an appreciation for
deadlines and timelines here. ;)
Unfortunately, due to personal reasons, I decided to move to another
city and thus submitted my resignation letter with a heavy heart. I’m
not just saying that, XM is really a great place to work in, and the
high workload teaches discipline. There is also frequent dinners,
parties, events and even an annual company trip. I hear the destination
is somewhere in Phuket this year…I would have loved to go had I been
able to, but the trip is slated in late February/March.
One of the shortlisted destinations was Koh Samui and I would have
kicked myself had that been the final destination. But then I wouldn’t
be able to go anyway, even if I were still at XM. My gf placed a
restraining order in regards to that particular island (and Koh
Phangan) after I used the name of this popular tourist destination and
certain psychoactive fungi in the same sentence…places like Amsterdam
(obviously) and Japan (research chems) is also on the “Entry only under
her supervision” list for related reasons. Strangely, I am free to
wander crystal clear Jalan Alor, but I digress…
I’m going to miss the frequent company wide events and all the
people I’ve come to know in my time at XM Malaysia. Congratulations for
the recent pitch win, and all the best in everything! The photos for
the pitch was one of the things I did that I will remember fondly – it
was great to see the storylines turned into photo scenes and then
compiled and made into a cohesive strip. It was an enjoyable experience
to work in Creative for a change. Every single person at XM has left an
impact in my time here and I enjoyed getting to know every single one
of you. Take care everyone and thanks for everything!
Ng Jit Hoong – General Manager a.k.a. The Boss. I was surprised when
I first knew that he was the GM since he appeared younger than most
people holding a similar position. I like the way he manages the
company – it promotes employee loyalty. Unlike most managers, he knows
how to have fun and that makes XM a great place to work in.
Yusnita – She was the one that called me for an interview when I was
in Sibu and I kept caling her Nita coz that was what I heard on the
phone, but it turns out to be Yusnita and everyone calls her Yus, so I
had to switch. :) It was my first interview and I found her very
friendly and approachable, which made me felt more comfortable. Ever
since I lost my Palm stylus with an integrated pen, I either go to Yus
or Rozana for something which produces ink.
Taryn – I remember working on a project till late once and she
kindly offered me a ride home. We were talking about all sorts of
things when clubbing came up and she presented her views about drugs,
which wasn’t exactly similar to mine. :) She’s one of the few people I
feel comfortable talking to though. Thanks for having the faith to
select me as the pitch photographer, I really appreciate that!
Prem! Great guy who manages some of the projects I work on and he’s
one of the most patient people I know (though I would let him have his
morning coffee before talking to him). I met him at Chili’s in Bangsar Shopping Center (bsc)
[sixthseal.com] early on and was surprised that he recognized me and
stopped me. He was drinking with his friends while I was having dinner
with my friends to celebrate my first paycheck. I didn’t even recognize
him at first due to pre-loading at home before the dinner and thus the
Intoxication Factor was fairly high and Prem noticed that. Friendly and
easy to talk to, you just gotta love him (in a completely heterosexual
way of course). Which reminds me, IMHO “brb” is much safer than “gimme
a sec” to type in Yahoo! Messenger due to the proximity of the ‘c’ and
‘x’ key, especially with the high key density of notebooks. It may save
considerable consternation on the recipient’s part. ;)
This is my department.
Rozana – She’s one of the people in tech that I’m closer with. She
sits beside me (right) but unfortunately has to use the BUZZ!!!
function despite the physical proximity due to the admittedly
excessively loud headphones volume setting I like, which renders me all
but oblivious to ambient sound, unless I take it off. It does not help
that the music I listen to help me concentrate is feng tau music (the
cheesy Ah Beng kind). Rozana likes shopping and I like to say “Just put
“QC OK” enough laa…” – a phrase said in jest which I picked up from
the other tech guys. I imagine hanging out with her bf would be a lot
of fun, never got that chance. ;) I’ll love to be your wedding
photographer if I’m in KL at that time.
Wai Hing – Senior programmer who interviewed me when I came in. He
probably knows more about me than anyone else in XM and is a good
friend from the beginning. I had thought that my dismal attempts at
tackling the ASP problem in the interview meant I had blown it, but
thankfully it didn’t. I remember him saying that if he had known about
my blog during the interview, I would probably not have been hired due
to veritas’s all too controversial content. :) I used
HuaiBin.Poh@sixthseal.com as my resume address, I reckon if I had put
firstname.lastname@example.org I would not have had the chance to work in this great
company. He’s the only person to have ever stepped into my place,
though several people have fetched me home before. This is a level
headed and great guy who manages to be a friend and a superior at the
same time. I would consider him a good friend though I must state that
there are more tactful ways of saying “There must be something wrong
with your code”. ;)
It was funny though, the first time went:
Me: Hmm…there’s something wrong with qForms.
WH: There’s nothing wrong with qForms. There must be something wrong with your code.
Still makes me laugh up to today. Heh.
Thanks for all the advice and heads-up mate!
Loh – An email from him means you’ve got work to do. I found him
unapproachable when I first came in, but he’s a really nice guy after I
got to know him. The only person I know who can stay awake for days on
just Marlboros. Patient (most of the time ;)) and doesn’t mind
explaining a procedure several times, something which would personally
drive me crazy if I had to do that. Easy to talk to and I’ve learnt a
lot about career decisions from him. Trustworthy and discreet, I’m sure
he’s seen me drink coffee in an unorthodox way (to use a euphemism)
especially during late nights when mental clarity and concentration is
required, but never mentioned it although I’m sure his position
regarding the use of certain cognitive enhancing substances is very
different from mine. He has a good attitude towards work too, doesn’t
mind doing grunt work or staying back late. He has covered for me a
number of times, thanks for that! He reminds me of a “brother” (hia ti
in Hokkien, no blood relation) I know from way back in NZ and then
Kuching who you can trust to cover your back (literally, not in the
workplace context). Someone you can trust to get things done and always
willing to help out.
Azli – The quality manager that can spot errors that won’t register
to mere mortals. I fear his extensive bug tracker returns. I once made
a mistake that involved mass mailing out a HTML email from an important
client several weeks before it was due – with a wrong table tag! It was
a big client so the email went out to tens of thousands of people.
Nelson, Ivan, Wai Hing and Azli had to stay back and help me do damage
control by living the site promoted in the email. Azli was due to balik
kampung that night, but he stayed back without a single complaint. I’ve
always felt guilty about that incident since he had to call back home
and tell his family he’ll be late. Thanks Azli!
Strangely, I’ve never been asked to do the email blast again. ;)
Soffian – Our IT Manager, he’s the network administrator and
troubleshooter. The first time I asked if I could install my own copy
of software, he promptly admonished me and said (I love this phrase)
he’ll have to “Balik kampung, goyang perahu”. :) XM has a strict policy
of using only licensed software and every copy is tracked so I was
stuck with Dreamweaver 2 and switched to EditPlus (the multipurpose
editor I use at home and when I was in uni) instead. I once asked him
if there are any extra licenses for Photoshop and he asked me why I
wanted graphics manipulation software. I couldn’t very well say I was
planning to use my lunch hour to update my blog so I mumbled something
incoherent and he was kind enough to find a copy of Photoshop 5 that no
one was using and thanks to him, there was a period when sixthseal.com
was updated during lunch hour, until word came down that I shouldn’t be
updating in office hours.
Thee Heng – The leng chai of tech department. He knows a lot, not
only about programming, but about entertainment as well. The person to
ask if you want to know what a song that’s playing is called. He has an
unorthodox desktop layout that seems confusing, but surprisingly he
works fast from it. Thee Heng is also prone to sudden outbursts of
song, a trait I like because…er, I’m susceptible to this as well. ;)
He’s another member of the “Weekend Club” together with Wai Hing, Azli
and sometimes Loh.
Janet – This photo was taken last Friday (all the others were taken
today – notice the different color shirt) because she’s on her annual
leave for Chinese New Year. Friday was when the people in my department
knew about me leaving because it’s a bit strange to be taking photos
when she’ll only be gone for a couple of weeks, so I said I won’t be
here when she comes back. I believe she’s the only one who’s seen me
take photos and eat two Trebor 24-7 mints before heading to Warp to
meet my friends. It was a Friday night and I just finished my
outstanding work at around 11 pm and I figured I might as well take
photos since there was no one else before heading down, since at least
lighting conditions is somewhat controllable here.
Chang – A fellow LRT commuter, though her line is the opposite of
mine. She taught me basic math…I didn’t think the monthly tickets
were necessary until she pointed out that I had not included the return
trip into the equation. I’ve bought monthly tickets ever since. She
will be leaving XM soon too – on Friday, two days later than me. I
believe there are still valid openings for positions in XM Malaysia
though, since the interviews are still ongoing, so sign up if you’re
interested. It’s a great place to work in.
Wang – My compatriot. He came in at the same time as I did
(technically one day later, but anyway) and is usually one of the early
arrivals in tech after Loh. I actually saw him during my first
interview, and remembered him when he came in for work. :) He sits
beside me and we were both stuck reading a ColdFusion 5 book on the
first day because the workstations were still being set up. My eyes
glazed over that first day from holding a thick book and slogging
through it. I should have read the other one on the table called Code
Security – I read that during the blackout yesterday and it was much
more interesting. He probably suspects coffee is not my performance
booster of choice as well since he sits besides me.
Huai Bin – er…this is me. That’s my digicam bag in the foreground
which only contains the Nikon 5700, a spare battery, a USB cord and 2
extra CF cards. I seem to be holding something in my hand, shall we
zoom in a little?
It seems to be a blister pack of something.
Xanax – 1 mg alprazolam tablets! =D Some people keep Panadol beside their desks, I keep Xanax.
Fast relief is just an arms reach away! ;)
Thou shall not use profanity when something goes wrong.
Thou shall not get into heated discussions with either your coworkers or project managers.
Thou shall definitely not resort to violence or react in any way deemed unnecessarily aggressive or appear agitated in any way.
Take one (or two, or three, or four, or five) for rapid relief from stress, frustration and violent ideations.
Xanax – the choice of working professionals when your personal bullshit threshold is reached.
Alprazolam has been used successfully in uncooperative, agitated and
angry people, turning them into docile, contented and agreeable human
resources within minutes.
Accept no substitutes! ;)
Mandy Chan – She’s probably the person I talk to the most in Creative.
Kelvin Gan – My gf says he looks like a paikia. I told her he lives
in Setapak, the Springvale of KL (for Melbourne visitors) or the
Foochow Road of KL (for Sibu visitors). ;)
Yunus – He told me it was the first time XM had a blackout and to
take a photo yesterday but I didn’t because I thought it was isolated
to XM and didn’t want to create any negative publicity.
L-R: Suzanne, Jae Sern, Huai Bin, Sherry. This is the best decorated
corner of the Creative department. It’s amazing. Suzanne is the web
designer. Jae Sern is the popular guy who everyone knows from what I
see in the previous postings on the blog (my favorite comment from him
is “erm..which ex girlfriend might u be refering to, booboo?:D”).
Classic. :) Sherry has the job I want. :p
L-R: Rashidin, Huai Bin, Felicia, Vijay. Rashidin is the Art
Director. Felicia spent most of her time in the states and was one of
the first few people who knew about castitas.com when it was launched.
VJ is a great guy and leader of Geng69 (the XM sports team I’m in) with
the unfortunate tendency to call me soya bean. ;)
This post only has the people I managed to take photos of yesterday.
I wanted to take photos of everyone but there wasn’t enough time. My
apologies for not covering everyone that has worked alongside me for
the last few months. I would like to extend my thanks to:
Our Technical Director with visionary plans. He puts the tech department first and he defends his team. I respect him for that.
Chia = A really friendly and nice guy
We’ll keep in touch, I’ll be coming over to KL once in a while, and we can meet up then. [Edit: My apologies, didn't know the circumstances. Hope everything goes well!]
Thanks for the fast and hassle free processing of the paperwork!
I enjoyed working with you on the pitch.
I heard you were the one that found my blog. :)
Thanks for your help in the mass mailing error.
I thoroughly enjoyed working on the well scripted pitch…especially The Silent Uploader. ;)
You look like someone I would enjoy hanging out with, too bad we never got the chance.
Micracles do happen, eh? I like how you always manage to smile even under crushing deadlines and pressure.
You’ve been very patient with me on the IP-VPN project. Thanks for that!
I appreciate your concern and I will definitely stick to my guns. I will get in touch in six months.
My apologies, I didn’t have time to get to know you better.
Thanks for your help in the pitch, I couldn’t have thought up good scenes by myself.
I didn’t see you yesterday, would have loved to take a photo with you.
Sorry! I totally forgot to take a photo with you, I thought I had covered Creative already.
Goodbye everyone and take care. I have enjoyed my time here and learned much.
Other XM Malaysia posts: