A Fish Out of Water

…that’s how I feel today.

I think it’s mainly because of the non-break in between job changing and of the sudden change of job scope, job nature and environment.

I’m not really used to it yet. There’s nothing bad so far. I wouldn’t need to wake up that early to get to work as I used to because it’s nearer to home. I wouldn’t need to think of what food to pack to work because there are eating places nearby.

However, I missed answering phone calls and talking to my customers. I miss the fast paced environment.

Now, it’s another world altogether.

I know I need time to re-adjust. One cannot have everything.

Tomorrow is a Saturday and I’ll be working. I’ve never worked on Saturdays before so I’ll see what it feels like.

On a side note, made friends with the receptionist. I think she’s the friendliest person around. Or maybe because her name is quite similar to my toilet buddy’s name and before this, she was helping out at the reception as well. They share some similarities.

Another similarity is that another person in my department shares the same name as my ex-manager to took me in. I like to dwell in the past, don’t I?

I just feel nostalgic today.

๐Ÿ˜

Back to 1, Starting from 0

I woke up today and I didn’t feel like going to work.

I want a break. Don’t ask me why I’m not taking one. If I have a choice I would but then situasi tidak mengizinkan.

I’ve accepted it and was doing alright in the new place. Colleagues are nice and helpful. I think I can work here.

Received a SMS in the morning from my toilet buddy.

“Grace, I miss you” she said and I felt a tinge of sadness in my heart. The tears are so tempted to visit the border of my eyes again but I didn’t let it.

I emailed to my ex company to report the first day of working here. I even told them in my email that I cried. Dah lah, certified ham bao. But then, I’ve never once cried in the office. I only cry at home, in the toilet, in the car and once in a cafe, which was the most embarassing moment for me and my entire family.

A colleague took me out for lunch.

Then, they had a meeting and I tagged along.

My new job has some similarities with my previous job. I will still have a phone but it will not ring all the time but only when there’s problem. Instead of taking care of people, I’m taking care of the systems now (but you could say I’m taking care of the people too because they are the ones using the systems).

I’m happy and thankful that they are willing to teach me from scratch. Today, even though I had nothing to do, I learned a thing or two.

Came home, watched a little bit of TV and wanted to go to bed but in came a call.

“Guess who’s this? I’m calling from Singapore!”

At first, I thought it’s one of my customers but then I remembered that I didn’t reveal my number so I thought again. A name came to my mind and I was right. It was him.

He’s an ex-colleague of mine, based in Singapore. We’ve never met. Have never spoken on the phone but I have always emailed him to do things for me and my customers.
And when people are helpful and are kind, I remember them. That was why, he was one of the recipients of my farewell message yesterday.

He told me today that he got a shock.

It’s really nice of him to call me, all the way from Singapore. I’m so very touched.

So, if you ask me if I ever regretted working in my old place, I would say no. The people, the people are just so very wonderful.

It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye

“You look happy today!” The new girl replacing me said to me.

“Really?” I was quite happy but I know not when it comes till the end of the day.

Worked as usual.

Lunch. Went out with a few colleagues. We went some place near because we would need to get back in time within an hour. When you work in a call centre, you have to be punctual and you must eat fast. It was ok with me to go back a little later since it’s my last day but my colleagues had to stick to their schedules.

Even though it was just a simple plate of nasi campur that a colleague spent me, I was very happy.

My toilet buddy walked to my desk and gave me a packet of kacang kuda. I feel sad to finish it that there’s still half a packet left and I brought it home.

In the morning, I was just looking at time passing by. In the afternoon, time seemed to fly a little more faster than it should. A customer called and I informed her that I am leaving.

“Nasib baik saya call. Kalau tak, tak jadi say bye bye. Boleh Grace bagi nombor telefon?”

I gave it to her.

“Eh, Grace ni tipu.”

“Tak tipu. Ini nombor saya. Saya orang Sabah.”

I actually wanted to call a customer in Singapore just to know if his problem is solved because if there’s any issue left not solved fully, it’s this. And to tell him that I’m leaving but I didn’t. Oh well.

It was 5:14pm and I made my way to the counter.

I met the first person there and said goodbye.

“Grace, why aren’t you crying?”

I didn’t know what to say because I actually felt like crying. To cover up, I just said, “This is the first place I’m coming to say goodbye you know?” to tell her in a way that the crying part is only just about to start.

The 2nd person was still on the phone but she put the caller on hold and talked to me.

Walked all the way back to the office again and started saying goodbye to people that I know. A few hugged me.

One asked me, “How do you feel?”

I get this question a lot and though it’s just a simple question, I find it very hard to answer.

“Sad.”

And you could see my tears hanging around my eyes but I was trying to control myself because I didn’t want to cry in front of them.

I went back to my department and bid them farewell. My boss gave me a card and he asked me to open it. I opened it and it says, “As you leave, we want to thank you for everything you did around here. Goodbye!!!”

It continued inside the card with the following words “Wait a minute. You did everything here. You can’t leave!”

Surrounding those lines were writings of my colleagues. The one that really made me cry was from my toilet buddy. She wrote, “Grace, don’t forget to sms me ok? You are my best friend here and I will miss you.”

My hati like want to tumbang already.

Accompanying the card was a RM50 MPH voucher. I’m going to take this as a birthday gift because if I were to stay a little longer till my birthday, I”ll get a book as a gift. But then, this is good enough and it’s really nice.

Then, I approached my boss and he said the same thing he wrote to me the other day, “You know that I’m going to miss you a lot.” My tears, they are about to roll down. The person that I find it hardest to say goodbye is my boss. Still, I tried to hold on and I didn’t cry.

I packed my stuff. Wrote a farewell message and sent it out to people that I know and have helped me.

Another manager told me that they are buying dinner for me tonight so that completed my 3 day event of farewell lunches and dinners. On the way to the eating place, I cried. I cried when I was driving but I told myself I cannot cry too much because I would still need to meet people.

After dinner and before I left, the colleague whom I helped to cover for that short 3 days gave me a gift. It’s a pair of socks. Really cute and it comes with a note,

“Grace,

It’s a waste for the company to lose an asset like you. Feeling a little bit demotivated when another colleague of yours, your boss and you are leaving.

Me too, enjoy the time you were taking over my task for a short period. You may be surprised but I learn also from your end. I respect your attitude of work and learning.

Hope you found your career in your own specialised field. All the best and keep in touch.”

I cried some more.

The best part is I’m starting my new job at a new place in a whole new environment TOMORROW!

No time for crying now though I would very much like to have the tears still rolling, I’ll need to sleep and get all prepared for my first day of work tomorrow.

1

“What happened to you?”

“What did you do last night?”

“Why are your eyes swollen?”

I looked really horrible today because I cried last night. It’s tiring too, after a cry, especially when you wake up in the morning.

Bought her lunch today.

Some other colleagues treated me and another colleague who’s leaving to Japanese food for dinner.

It’s like a three day event. Tomorrow’s my last day and I’m going out for lunch with my two other buddies from my previous team.

1 more day to go. 1 more.

2

After someone took me out for lunch, me and the people of the department went to Dome for dinner to celebrate 0% dropped call performance, welcome dinner for the new girl replacing me and farewell dinner for me and another colleague of mine.

Before I left for dinner, my toilet buddy, who’s 18 years old, sitting in front of me now, who happens to be just a temp staff knew that we were going but then she was not invited and I guess she felt kind of left out. And I don’t like it when people feel left out, especially for a young girl like her. In order not to disappoint and to cheer her up again, I’ve decided to take her out for lunch tomorrow.

“Grace, janji ya? Saya tunggu kamu esok. Saya teringin sangat nak makan dengan Grace.”

I’m going to miss her a lot when I go. I seriously am. Am crying again now.

Besides going to toilet together, we go bancuh milo together too. Tell me how often would there be someone who would go bancuh milo with you in the office everyday?

During dinner, boss was telling us that he’s got another replacement who’s going to take over another colleague of mine who’s leaving.

“She’s going to join us end of next month. Her background is in IT.”

“Oh man, she’s going to end up like Grace!”

We laughed.

“That was why I asked her if she’s sure she wants to go into shipping. She was saying she’s not interested in IT and she wants to do something different.”

“Grace, did you get that question when you attended the interview?”

“Nobody asked me that question also.”

They laughed.

Boss then said, “HR told me you didn’t want to come for the interview, right?”

“Yeah, I didn’t want to come at all but they told me to try so I try.”

“You’ve been here for one year plus, that’s an achievement isn’t it?”

I nodded.

I’m known as the girl who didn’t want to come for the interview. Whenever the HR executive bumps into me, she would remind me of the day I turned down the interview invitation. I don’t know what she sees in me but she was the one who helped me in. I know I didn’t do really well in the interview because the first stupid thing that came out of my mouth was “I don’t know” when she asked me if there’s anything that I would like to ask.

I mean “I don’t know” is not the kind of answer you give during an interview. Instead of me looking for a job, she was actually talking me into going for the job. The manager itself wasn’t convinced to take me in, telling the HR executive that I’m quiet.

But she managed to convince the manager and so from being very reluctant, I tried to give myself a chance to do something I’ve never expected myself to do. I was scared but slowly I started to enjoy it. I thoroughly enjoyed my first few months. Learning curve was quite steep but I like it when I get to learn something new. Learning something new everyday excites me.

Even though now that I’m leaving, I think I’ll always remember that interview, the HR executive, my boss, the colleagues, the people that have helped me and the people that I have helped.

There is so much joy in helping. There are many shits out there for you to clear and for you to solve and the joy doubles when you manage to clear these shits. And I know not everyone is willing to clear those shits. People may be rough but there is always a reason why they are rough. But it doesn’t matter what the reason I guess for as long as you’ve played your part to make their life a little smoother, they will remember.

So, who knows? I might be doing Customer Service again in a different way, not the Call Centre kind but I don’t know. We’ll see. One must only work in a call centre once. For me, once is enough.

“Grace, when you start work at the new place on the first day, send us an email to tell us how you’re doing.” Boss said.

Why are people so nice one? Want to make me cry only.