26 August 2016

After using birth control pills for so many years, my wife and I decided to try a new method of family planning. We’ve tried that implant under the skin thing and that didn’t work out well for my wife. Her period became unstable, on and off intermittently which also suck for me. This time we decided to try IUCD and I paid just RM130 ringgit for the procedure at Klinik Jameaton.

The first 2 months, this contraception method worked great for us. Linda continued her menstrual cycle normally and there were no apparent side effects from the device. However from the 3rd months onwards, she started to experience prolonged menstrual bleeding. First it was over 2 weeks long. Then lately in the past 40 to 60 days it didn’t stop at all which is worrying for us to say the least. We returned to Klinik Jameaton to seek advice and the doctor prescribed some medication to stop the bleeding. It worked for a week or so and the bleeding continues. That’s when we made an appointment at PPUM (University Malaya Medical Centre) to see a specialist. Yes we tried to get a guarantee letter for one of Linda’s panel specialist hospital but they rejected it because of the word IUCD because that wasn’t covered under the list of illness. So PPUM it is, a semi-government hospital in Petaling Jaya. At least being a semi-private institution it would be more efficient and less expensive than specialist hospitals, or so we thought.

During Linda’s first appointment, the doctor tried to remove the IUCD device from her ovary but somehow she failed. Actually we went to see Dr Jameaton first and she tried and failed to remove the device as well. Hence why we went to PPUM. After that, the doctor set another appointment for hysteroscopy removal of IUCD in which they will insert a tiny camera into her ovary to look for the device better. Naturally this procedure won’t be cheap and Linda had to go for another appointment with the anesthesiologist. Plus the actual date for the procedure is more than a month away and I don’t know how Linda will cope with the incessant bleeding. When Linda could not stop bleeding for more than 24 hours, we decided to pay the emergency department of the PPUM one Friday evening.

Fortunately for us my mom was around to look after the kids. We arrived around 6:00 PM after work. The trauma & emergency unit is still bustling with people, a few patients but the bulk is made up of of family members or friends. Being a first timer there we went straight to the registration counter where the staff rolled her eyes and directed us to the triage counter. Okay she didn’t exactly rolled her eyes but we could sense the annoyance in her eyes. At the triage counter we explained our predicament and shortly after that we went to the secondary screening area. After that only we went to the registration counter.

From the registration counter we went to the waiting hall and waited for 3 hours or so for our number to be called. Yes it is that long. To be fair there were a lot of patients that day, around 30 numbers before us to like 3 attending doctors maybe? When our number finally came up the doctor interviewed us for like 10 minutes before sending us off to do a blood test. The blood test we were told is going to take at least another 2 hours to get the result. We took that opportunity to get supper in the form of nasi lemak at our favorite old haunt at Warung Rindu in Pantai Dalam. That was already midnight and when we come back 2 hours later our blood test was still not ready. I managed to doze off at the bench for a while until our numbers were called an hour later. The result says her hemoglobin count was low at 9 but not that alarmingly low as requiring admittance to the hospital or something. The doctor prescribed her some medications to stop the bleeding which was exactly the same pills that she had earlier. However this time the pills actually worked in lessening the bleeding and a week later her period almost totally stopped.

We got home around 3 o’clock that morning having spent over 7 hours at the hospital. Although I must admit the doctor’s service was top notch and on par with other specialist hospitals, it’s the waiting that I can’t stand. Would we get shorter waiting time at a fully private hospital? Probably. But the consultation and medication fees would be 4 to 5 times more than the RM68.90 that we paid at PPUM. I suppose the painfully long waiting time is the price we have to pay for the affordable fees at the hospital. Should have we avoided this situation had we invested in a medical card or something similar? Probably. But since we have our very own respective health benefits from our companies, paying for extra insurance seems like a waste of money. I’d like to put the blame squarely on PM Care who refused to release the guarantee letter for us causing us quandary in the first place.


12 August 2016

Remember the time I went for an interview at Sasana Kijang but didn't get the job? No? Well that's because I didn't exactly shout it out to everybody. Looking for a job while still working at another company is usually a secretive and hushed affair so I didn't tell it to anybody save for my closest family and friends. Actually I stumbled upon this job opportunity from Twitter, of all places. A guy I am following announced that he has an opening at his company for an IT executive so I thought why not give it a try. It's a prestigious company, an organization affiliated to the central bank of Malaysia. The minimum requirement they wanted was a degree in IT or Computer Science but my friend said just try anyway sending my resume and application letter. Who knows they might still consider from my decade of experience in the IT industry.

So I brushed up my dusty old resume that haven't been updated in 3 years and sent it along with my application letter to the company. Later that afternoon, the HR personnel called me up an arranged for an interview 2 days later. It all happened so fast. So in between the call and the day of the interview I watched a crash course on ICT and computers in general from Eli The Computer guy. Of course I already know much of what he's talking about but you learn something new all the time, especially from an industry expert such as Eli.

Come interview day, I made my way to Sasana Kijang at 3:30PM. I was dressed in my regular interview attire - long sleeve shirt, a tie and everything. With my bulging waist, I positively looked like a muffin top that day. Was I nervous? Absolutely. But at my age and experience, going for an interview is not really that intimidating compared to say 15 years ago. I just wing it and get it over with. The Sasana Kijang building is huge and spacious. After registering with the auxiliary police I waited for a few minutes for my Twitter friend to escort me to his office. I had to fill up some forms and 10 minutes later my interview began.

My friend did most of the talking and questioning. His soon to be retired Manager didn't ask much question although they were tough ones like do I know CMS or MySQL (which I must admit I didn't know much). They asked mostly about my experience and my knowledge and after like 20 minutes, the interview ended. I thought the interview went well but I didn't exactly have high expectations about securing the job. I'm certain they have also called other prospective candidates with better experience and qualifications. My chances are I think 50-50. Either I get it or not LOL.

They say they will let me know next week. 10 days passed and when I didn't hear anything from any of them, I DMed my friend on Twitter and soon enough he broke me the bad news. I didn't make the final shortlist. Like I said, since I didn't have much expectation in the first place, I wasn't exactly crushed for not getting the job there. Sure my ego and self-esteem took a little beating but its nothing I can't handle. This is not my first work rejection anyway and I've had a few of those in my life. I wasn't really actively looking for another job in the first place. It's just so happens an opportunity presents itself to me and I decided to grab it. It would have been nice though to be working at Sasana Kijang as an IT Executive compared to say a lowly Technical Assistant. But what's in a name? Nothing and everything.

As always I'm keeping a positive outlook in life. Whenever I missed an opportunity, it just means something much better is waiting for me in the future.


5 July 2016

One of the downside of having an all-malay colleague is when Raya is near, they all want to apply for leave at the same time. Last time we had a vacancy in IT support and guess who they hired? Yep another malay. It’s either they have a soft spot for malays or there’s nobody else qualified for the job. Fast forward earlier this month when the boss asked everybody to submit their leaves, everybody applied for the same 2 days before Raya. Me I would have applied for for the same dates as well but since my wife can only apply for leaves after Raya I relented and let the boys have their fun. Even then I thought my boss would reject one or two applications but surprise-surprise she approved everybody’s leaves. That means for the last 2 days before Raya which happens to be the last super-busy two days of the term it will only me and my manager who will be working in the entire ICT department.

And since we don’t hire any helpdesk person yet, I’ll be manning that position while my boss deals with all the tech support calls. At least that’s what she envisioned. In reality, she had to man the ICT office because a lot of the teachers will be returning their laptops and ICT equipments before leaving the school for good. In the end, it was me who was attending all the tech support calls and also manning the helpdesk. To add salt to injury, I was down with cold the entire two days so imagine my suffering at the office. Even then when all things are said and done, I survived the two days ordeal intact especially since they let us out early at 1:00PM. Seriously they should really hire more ICT staff especially for helpdesk. I mean how hard is it to get somebody from JobStreet really?

We left home around 2:00PM that afternoon. Our kids were already back home with their grandparent and uncles who took them along last Saturday. My wife was kind enough to drive for the first part of the journey since I was still sleepy from the cold and medication. I expected some heavy traffic the day before Raya but fortunately the road was surprisingly smooth with occasional bumper to bumper traffic here and there. We had dinner somewhere in Gua Musang and reached Tanah Merah after driving for 8 hours and 25 minutes. On a regular school-holiday or festival-free traffic we could reach home in 6 hours so that’s pretty fast considering it’s Raya’s eve. Two years ago it took us 12 hours to reach KL from Tanah Merah.


25 June 2016

My brother-in-law who recently finished his studies from UIA have been working in UTM, Johor Bharu as a research assistant. Apparently his final year project piqued the interest of a lecturer there and he offered him the position and to start immediately. In the meantime he’s also been looking for a job at different companies which is a sensible thing to do because you know, he might just get a better offer somewhere else. You know how it is with government jobs, especially contract jobs, you get paid peanuts these days. So he moved to JB and rented a house with his friends there. Last week however he was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance after complaining of severe stomach pain. Before you know it he was scheduled to remove his appendix.

He was made to understand that they’re going to do the procedure immediately at the Sultanah Aminah hospital that day so he didn’t trouble himself to go to a private hospital which should be covered under his insurance policy. So he waited and did not have anything except water in preparation for the surgery in the crowded hospital ward. Hours turn to days and on the second day he asked the doctor again and he casually said actually he’s 4th on the waiting list and the doctor had to fix somebody else first. All his waiting and fasting for nothing. They should have the courtesy to inform him earlier instead of torturing him like that. So he asked for a friend to pick him up and then transferred to a private hospital. The removed the appendix and stitch him up within hours.

There was a debate recently on social media where people were comparing government and private hospitals, how government hospitals are good if not on par with private hospitals. The truth is they are miles apart in term of service, especially speed. Sure you don’t pay much at government hospitals but normally they would make you wait a long-long time before attending you, let alone performing operations on you. Not to mention super-crowded wards and substandard hygiene in their toilets. Therefore it’s no surprise that many people prefer private hospitals over public ones whenever they can afford it or use their medical insurance card. For some, government hospitals are only as a last resort when they have exhausted all other options. Personally, I would like me and my loved ones to get the fastest and best possible service when they are unwell. Hence why it is important to get yourself some sort of medical insurance for rainy days or at least find an employer with good medical benefits.

So after the surgery, I drove all the way to JB last Sunday to pick up my brother-in-law from the hospital. It is a long and tiring drive, especially when you’re fasting but it’s one of those things you have to sacrifice for your family. Lucky for me I left for JB late in the afternoon and since I’m driving alone, it took me slightly over 3 hours to reach my destination. After getting my BIL discharged from the hospital, I drove another 3.5 hours home including a quick stop for buka puasa. This week, I went to JB again this time with my family to send my BIL for the follow up. Somehow the doctor failed to show up and if my BIL didn’t have to go to JB anyway to pack up his stuff and move out, my long drive there would be for nothing. So that’s twice in a week I drove 600 kilometers to JB. Since it’s Ramadan and I don’t have much funds to enjoy ourselves we didn’t go anywhere much except to UTC to renew my wife’s driving license.

On the way back we stopped at Nilai 3 to buy myself and Adam our baju melayu for Raya. To be honest I don’t mind wearing the same old black baju melayu that I wore for the last two years but then, I thought it would be nice to have the same matching colours with my wife and kids again. We had dinner at the crowded Marrybrown outlet there and head home shortly after.


7 May 2016

I get to catch Ada Apa Dengan Cinta 2 with my wife over the weekend, the sequel to one of our favorite movie of all time. To be honest I'm not exactly all that excited to watch this but since my wife kept asking me to take her to see it I thought why not. For old times' sake. We caught the midnight show at IOI Mall in Puchong. It's been a while since managed to sneak out for a date just the two of us. My in laws were in town so they could look after the kids while we're out.

So how was the movie? Only so-so if you ask my honest opinion. It's a continuation from the first movie and explains how and why they got separated from the last scene at the airport. I didn't want to spoil it too much for you but suffice to say they head into their separate ways after that incident. Cinta had her own little art exhibition in Jakarta while Rangga opened a little café in New York apart from writing stuff (books and poetry I think). Cinta had actually moved on after being dumped by Rangga and got engaged with a decent, rich & young businessman. Only for Rangga to swoop in on the pretext of reuniting with his mother in Yogyakarta where they dated at the chicken church. Okay that's enough spoilers for you. To see how their story conclude go and buy their DVD at the stores :)

The first AADC was good enough on its own and if they've never made the sequel I'd be happy with it. This one lacks the romance, chemistry and the general sweet factor of the first movie. The first movie had a killer soundtrack while this one pales in comparison. Still it's a good night's date for us. No more sequels please.