Month: May 2010

Graduation? No…Unemployment

Posted on Updated on

When I was a student and an older friend of mine would graduate I used to call them with the normal, “Mabrook, so how does it feel?”

Normally, they’d say, “What? Graduation?”

Considering my high level of nathala-tude, I’d answer, “No. Unemployment.”

So yesterday, I finally gave in my resignation letter alhamdullilah, and my friends couldn’t help asking me the famous question, “So how does it feel?”

To be frank with you, unemployment feels like graduation all over again. You know that feeling when you’re wearing your black robe, the music starts, the doors open and you’re walking down the steps…I felt exactly the same. The apprehension, the uncertainty….It was as though I was going back in time to that one moment in my life when I felt school was done for good and my career was about to start.

And I find it ironic, how I really thought school was done for good, until my career began and I asked myself, “Oh my God? This is it? This is why I killed myself at school?” It’s similar to the way somebody explained it, “Jobs nowadays have become such a routine, it’s like you wake up on Monday morning, drive to work, put your brain into the computer, do your job, go home, put your brain into the TV, go to sleep, then you wake up on Tuesday morning, take your brain from the TV, drive to work, put your brain into the computer, do your job, go home, put your brain into the TV, go to sleep, then you wake up on Wednesday morning, forget to take your brain from the TV, but since you don’t use it at your job anyway, it doesn’t really matter.”

There are those who call me weak for not being able to weather the storms of a corporate job, but then there are those who understand that I value myself more than the paycheck I was receiving. There are some people who think I’m going to regret it, exiting the job market with no experience, but after everything that I went through in my workplace, I don’t think I’ll regret it. I might regret not making a move earlier. Personally, I really don’t see myself applying for another job again, and the only thing I really want to do is break out on my own and start my own business.

And I really believe I would start out on my own insha’Allah, because after all, we don’t just live in the age of change but we live in the age of transformation, and to start out on my own, I wouldn’t really need the money, I’ll only need that one single idea…or what I like to call my “Million Dollar” idea.

And you never know…maybe one day you’ll be working for me.

*Evil laugh*

Yesterday, a friend reminded me of a quote, “Life must be lived forward, but can only be understood backwards.”

That’s it for today….


Business is Business

Posted on Updated on

Hola people. Yet another day sitting in front of a computer. Let’s talk business, shwai.

Someone once said, “Why do nerds end up in lousy positions?” Personally, I wouldn’t have discovered I was a nerd until things ended at the undergrad stage, and my lovely ‘filing-printing-optimization-by-copy-edit-pasting-career’ began. I realized I missed three things, reading, challenging my thinking, and asking why.

So for those graduating students who can’t get jobs, seriously, don’t cry over it. This is what you’re saved from:

a) Dirty toilets

b) Facing printers for hours (sometimes the whole day)

c) Filing (See sample below)

d) Also to file sometimes you need to cut labels

e) Discovering dead rats and birds around considering how inhumane corporations are.

f) Watching cockroaches walk across your chair. (Apologies for not providing a picture)

g) Endless policies and procedures. The only thing missing is a procedure on how to blow your nose.

h) Having someone burp in your face while giving you instructions. Yes…*ewwwwww*

i) Getting terminated when business is slow

Seriously, our employers seem to forget that we studied ENGINEEERING not Filing Management or Arts and Crafts. What’s even funnier is how they are giving us engineering salaries for secretarial work…illi huwa why are they even wasting their money this way when they could get secretaries for one third our salaries?

When we get together during alumni gatherings, this is how conversations go.

AH: “How’s work?”

“It’s getting on my nerves lately.”

AH: “You too?”

“By the way, I’m surprised you’re still there.”

It’s funny about our three-year training program; how there are so many trainees who left it straight to grad school for the same reason as myself, “I’m suffocating in this environment. I miss my thinking.” When I graduated I remember the number of people who used to ask me, “Will you still be there after three years?” I guess a lot of my friends guessed that I would be the first one to leave, but surprisingly I’m still there, even though I can feel that my days are a bit numbered to tell you the truth.

Then there was the friend who wasted her international phone credit on me to say,


*Thank you very much. I discovered that myself at some point in my career*

Another conversation with a friend, “How’s work?”

“I got terminated :). Can’t see myself in engineering again.”

*Note the smiley face*

Then there’s another female engineer in industry, “I can’t keep on living like this. I’m going to be a professor, it’s a better profession.”

*Thank God I’m not the only crazy person to think this way*

Then in the question of “Money vs. Freedom”, note the number of people who are voting freedom =

So for those who are asking about the real world. The real world is not as fancy as we thought it would be. If you want the Prado and the Land Cruiser, you’re going to have to tolerate whatever comes your way. Now when new grads call me to tell me about their offers, my only comment is, “Good luck surviving the real world. As for me, I’m probably exiting the job market for good.”

After all, in the real world, business is business.

Oh don’t you just love me when I give you my VERY OBJECTIVE (not), (non) sarcastic (not) view on matters 😉


A Heart’s Echoes

Posted on Updated on

They say a baby always knows

Its mother from her heart beats

With every day her love grows

Despite the angst he learns from the streets

She gives him hot lemon tea when his nose blows

Enrolls him in school despite his endless repeats

Even when he doesn’t return her calls

She walks the distance to make sure he eats

No matter how far he goes

She knows how he is from her heart beats

Because a mother’s heart echoes

With love, with which nothing competes

Image courtesy of


Overheard At AUS

Posted on Updated on

So it’s been a while since I vented on this thing. Thought I would stop boring you with my work rantings and shift to the funny side of life for a while. You know how it used to be at AUS; sometimes you go to university wanting to sleep on your feet but funny things happen or people say things that make you explode in laughter. Well, I compiled a list of those for entertainment purposes;

Story 1:

Advisor meets freshman student in the middle of the semester; “So, how is it going? Are you acing it or just surviving?”

Freshman, “I’m dying.”

Story 2:

Student copies homework from homework solution, then goes upstairs and drops it in the box outside the professor’s office. When she goes downstairs, she starts searching for the homework solution (so she can get rid of the evidence), but can’t find it. She goes upstairs to check her homework, only to find the homework solution stapled to the homework itself. What is the implicit message? “For your reference, doc.”

Story 3:

Professor posts past exam on ilearn so that the students can revise and come back to him for any questions. Two days before the exam, he keeps on asking them, “Any questions about the past exam?” repeatedly. Naturally, students don’t know what on earth is on ilearn, so they answer, “No.”

When exam time comes, they discover that the professor had changed the title of the past exam from Spring to Fall, and given them the same paper. Students fail…naturally. After grading the paper, the professor says, “It seems next time I’ll post the exam and the solution on ilearn, so the only thing you will have to do during the exam is match the answers to the questions….and you will still fail.”

Story 4:

Student asks professor to postpone the deadline of an assignment, and the professor says, “Okay, but why do you want so much time? Just go to google,and get the answer from google.” (So much for a research-driven-educational-institution).

Story 5:

During an exam, professor starts playing on his iphone and says, “I’m posting the exam solution on ilearn right now.”

Student at the back of class starts laughing, “He thinks he’s the only one with an iphone? I’m downloading the exam solution right now.”

It’s funny how students spend more time and effort trying to find innovative ways to play the educational system when they could have put the same amount of time and effort into studying.

That’s it for today.