Softly & Slowly

A fast-mover who successfully do her things slowly!

Been Here Thirty Years

Just now I was in the meeting. I hate that meeting. Even an hour after that, I still feel infuriated and annoyed. It’s been a while since she always makes my life difficult. Criticizing everything that I did, with the same line over and over. “This is never happened in the past.” or “She is just here for two years when I had been here for thirty years”

So she always think what she done is the best and perfect already. She is think too mighty of herself even 6 years after retirement she still thirst for the same position. She won’t give her position to anyone. Even she getting forgetful, can’t really follow the flow, she insisted that she did well. Perhaps, in the past. But situation changed a lot.

When I hired two years ago, the teachers are not happy because their house wasn’t take care appropriately. When I hired two years ago, the landlord are not happy because they properties rented in a very low price and allowing them no profit of anything over the repair they should make. The Facilities office not happy because each time a landlord turn down a proposal they have to do something on their own unbudgeted cost. The bosses are not happy because there are lots complaints. So my first role and responsibilities is to be a liaison to ensure everybody is balanced in happiness and responsibilities.

I think I did it right. Less complaints. Less work order (that means either complaints or request). Happier people, landlord, faculty and office staff, but not HER. She is really sharp saying “This is never happened in the past” referring to whatever I did, referring to returning houses *that is deteriorated and damaged so bad of the ages, referring to how I did the negotiation outside the office *though I paid my starbucks myself and referring to how NOBODY wants to work with me.

I wonder what awaiting her in the end of this. But I am tiredly worn out of her speech, her judgement, her staff isolation and all.

Few Words Before Birthday

Menjelang akhir-akhir taun saya sering ga konsen dan banyak pikiran.

Satu, kebutuhan natal mendadak di depan mata. True this is a most wonderful time of the year, but it is also true that this is the most spending time of the year. Dulu saya membiasakan diri membeli beragam hadiah kecil, ga mahal, untuk semua kerabat dan teman dekat. Lalu saya berhenti. Memang dompet cepat menipis tapi juga saya mengganti strategi ke hadiah ulang tahun saja. Jadi bergantian, ga sekaligus semua spending hard.

Dua, di bulan ini saya ulang tahun. Ulang tahun supposedly moment yang menyenangkan untuk saya. Tapi entah mengapa saya selalu merasa hari itu cepat sekali berlalu sebelum saya benar-benar merasakan maknanya…

Tiga, saya punya kebiasaan kontemplasi berlebihan. Saya sensitif, karena itu saya bolak-balik introspeksi dan ujung-ujungnya kecewa pada diri sendiri dan merasa gagal total. Apalagi di akhir tahun begini, kumulatif kegagalan sudah menumpuk.

Anyway, I feel this is a good year to grateful about.

I am generally healthy. Amit-amit, tapi tahun ini saya berhasil menghindari opname. Selama summer saya agak kuatir penyakit kronis menjadi akut akibat aktivitas lapangan yang meningkat tajam, eh, ternyata saya baik-baik saja. Saya masih ingat summer 2013 saya masuk UGD dua kali akibat muntah-muntah di kantor. Tahun ini saya cuma sekali ke UGD karena gejala dehidrasi akibat diare. Walaupun intensitas pertemuan dengan berbagai dokter lebih intensif, tapi saya lebih sukses menjaga kesehatan. That’s something I want to thank God for. Health is the number one blessing for me.

Belum kepingin masuk ruang operasi, karena itu saya harus lebih menjaga makan. Makan terlalu sedikit salah, kebanyakan sedikit juga salah. Benar-benar harus dijaga kualitas dan kuantitasnya seseimbang mungkin. Perhaps next year, tapi amit-amit jangan sampe akut dulu seperti seorang rekan sekantor, yang medivac ke Singapur :P

I am generally in good shape. Walaupun saya cuma pelari kategori 5km dan tidak pernah maju, tapi saya berhasil menanamkan kebiasaan kepada anak semata wayang. He does like to run now. Januari tahun ini, setiap kali dibangunkan, ada omelan-omelan kecil. Sekarang, bulan Desember, dia yang ngajak saya lari.

Yang bikin saya sedih, walaupun makan dijaga, olahraga teratur, tidur nyenyak, tapi penyakit tetap suka berada dalam sistem saya. Hiks.

Di bidang kerja, sesungguhnya pencapaian saya juga tidak jelek. Saya berhasil menembus batas-batas kasat mata yang dulu dibangun orang dan menginovasi sebuah sistem yang lebih tangguh. Walaupun perjuangannya berat, bete nya bolak-balik, tapi hasilnya sepadan.

Yang bikin saya sedih, segitu senengnya bos-bos saya, segitu bangganya mereka kepada saya. Orang-orang yang tadinya mengganggap saya rendah sekarang lebih bersahabat. Guru-guru yang tadinya pada galak sekarang lebih manusiawi. I made it! Tapi, saya malah dikucilkan oleh satu divisi khusus. Ah, benci sekali saya mengingatnya. Mereka menganggap saya sampah sehingga tidak perlu dikirimi email, atau email saya tidak perlu dibalas, request saya tidak perlu ditanggapi, dan kesalahan saya dicari-cari dan dihembus-hembuskan ke seantero yang mau mendengarkan. Hiks hiks. Terus terang saya tertekan. Benci pada bully.

Tahun ini untuk pertama kalinya sejak melayani *about 15 years, saya dan suami boleh dibayarin untuk pergi conference di Bangkok. Buseeet. 15 years kakak. But still I am grateful. Selama 15 tahun saya merasa tidak dihargai apa-apa, mau saya berkorban tenaga, uang, apapun untuk jemaat dan gereja, tanggapan organisasi datar saja, sebelah mata saja. Kalaupun dikirim konferensi, paling ke Bandung, tidur di asrama mahasiswa. Ihiks. So,this year is a grateful experience.

Tahun lalu, bulan-bulan seperti ini saya sudah nekad beli tiket ke Hong Kong. Dicicil. Memanfaatkan buy one get one. Kapan lagi? Saya sudah beberapa kali ke Hong Kong, tapi anak saya belum pernah. Saya tidak mimpi mengajaknya backpackeran ke Eropa. Mending dana nya untuk kuliah. Tapi sungguh senang bisa mengajaknya menginjakkan kaki ke daratan China, yang jaraknya hanya 4 jam terbang dari Jakarta. I felt so grateful, that I can be his anything. His teacher who taught him piano and violin. A coach who train him swimming and running. A friend who bring him along in a backpacker experience. Saya dan ortu saya tidak punya pengalaman demikian.

So, dear God, as I step in into the length of this month. I would like to thank you for the wisdom given, strength given, and love given. In next year, though I don’t know what you prepare for me, I want to keep believe that it will be the best one and better than this year.

I ask for strength to cope with the bully in the office please. I don’t know how to deal with them. But, You know. You are the mastermind and can teach me easily on the method.

Again, thank you. Thank you and thank you.

Bully

Kenapa saya menulis dalam bahasa Indonesia padahal judulnya in English? Karena topik yang mau saya bahas, Indonesia banget. Eh, Indonesia bingits. Gitu deh.

Katanya menteri yang baru dibully di sos med karena ia hanya lulusan SMP, bertato dan merokok. Saya ga cek twitter, tapi begitu buka fesbuk, healah, foto ibu menteri ada dimana-mana dengan berbagai caption. Berita tentang pidato nya, masa mudanya, cerita tentang pasangannya, diposting dan direpost bolak balik. Saya baca-baca dikit, ternyata komen-komennya positif. Jangan memandang jenjang akademiknya, jangan memandang kebiasaannya merokok, jangan memandang tato nya, tapi pandang prestasinya. Huaaaa! Setuju. Jadi, kalau semua postingan ini adalah pembelaan, siapa yang membully sebenarnya? Mungkin di luar sana, di tempat yang saya ga baca, ada orang-orang yang menulis tentang keburukan-keburukan ibu menteri. Kalau keburukan itu memang sesuatu yang perlu diperhatikan dan ditindaklanjuti mungkin it’s okay. Sometimes the walls talk. Tapi kalau keburukan itu diulang-ulang padahal tidak penting, itu memang bully.

Jamannya masih kampanya pemilihan presiden, saya melihat ada banyak bully terhadap capres. Bukan hanya satu kok, dua-duanya. Yang satu dibilang dipecat dari militer. Saya tidak berminat mengecek kebenarannya, tapi bolak balik meng higlight topik yang sama ya iyalah bully. Yang satu dibilang Cina. Nah, kalau ini saya lebih sebel lagi bacanya. Kalau Cina terus kenapa? Selalu komunis? Kurang gaul berarti tuh si penulis. Yuk saya ajak jalan-jalan ke Cina. Hehe. Saya memang suka banget jalan-jalan di Cina. Alamnya sejuk, berbukit-bukit, cuma orang-orangnya aja yang saya sulit berkomunikasi. Wajar lah kalau saya diterima dengan sebelah mata, cuma mesen mie semangkok aja saya ngomongnya salah melulu. Tapi filosofi hidup yang tertuang di huruf-huruf nya itu jelas bukan ajaran komunis.

Kembali ke leptop. Salah satu tokoh yang sering kena bully adalah bapak gubernur Jakarta. Karena sukuisme sangat melekat erat di jiwa banyak penduduk Jakarta, mereka menginginkan pemimpin yang anak betawi dan tidak kafir. Again, healaaaaaa. Satu hari saya mendapatkan update dari konsultan keamanan. Email itu berisi informasi tentang demonstrasi-demonstrasi yang akan terjadi di seputar Jakarta. 4 demo bertopik menolak bapak gubernur karena dinilai bukan suara rakyat Jakarta. Heh? Saya langsung sedih. Manusia luar biasa yang tidak takut mati demi membela kebenaran mau didemo remeh temeh begini?

Begitulah. Bukan sok sok an, but I feel you ibu menteri, bapak presiden dan bapak gubernur.

Because, dalam skala yang sangat mini, saya termasuk orang yang sering di bully.

Why? Because I’m different. Because I stand for the right.

Bertahun-tahun yang lalu waktu saya masih jaman sekolah, saya sekolah di SMP dan SMA Negeri. Untuk lingkungan gereja saya, itu pilihan yang tidak populer. Komentar yang sering saya dapatkan adalah: “Kenapa ga sekolah di sekolah gereja saja?” Sampai hari ini saya tidak menyesali keputusan Daddy saya dan keputusan saya untuk sekolah di sekolah negeri. I got many friends and lots of wisdom. Salah satunya adalah, don’t judge people by your difference.

Sampai sekarang saya masih ‘aneh’ di kalangan saudara-saudara seiman-seperjuangan. Sementara kebanyakan ibu-ibu sudah tidak mau memperhatikan penampilan dan nglomprot dengan sukses, saya tidak mau ikut arus. Sementara ibu-ibu seusia saya menghabiskan waktu habis kebaktiannya dengan ngobrol (dan bergossip of course), saya tidak mau ikut arus, dan menciptakan kegiatan untuk anak-anak. Apakah hasilnya baik? Saya dihargai dan disukai? Ih engga! Percaya deh. No matter how much time, energy or money that I spent to create a better activities, ujung-ujungnya cuma ditanya: Kok Ibu engga pernah muncul pertemuan? Kok ibu rambutnya masih di blonde in? Kok ibu masih pake make up? Heaaaaa? Lalu karena saya cuma senyum doang dan melenggang, dalam forum-forum mini saya disebut sombong, ekslusif, ga mau gaul dan lain lain. Begitu saya muncul di suatu acara, semua mata ibu-ibu memandang saya sambil senyum-senyum penuh konspirasi. Bully.

Di ruang kerja, sampai hari ini *dan se senior ini, saya masih sering mendapatkan bully. Yang paling sering adalah omongan : Orang nya aneh. Lalu email saya tidak dibalas, telepon ditutup atau dijawab dengan judes, requet tidak dikerjakan, berpapasan melengos dengan alasan “habis orangnya aneh”. Yeeeee, plis deh. Banyak kaleee orang yang lebih aneh dari saya. Seorang senior saya bolak-balik bilang “kalau kamu tidak banyak senyum maka kamu tidak akan maju-maju” Ini pattern nya mami gw banget, bahwa segala sesuatu di dunia ini, baik jodoh dan parkir ditentukan oleh senyum. Saya coba jelaskan bahwa bukan karena saya tidak senyum maka telepon saya ditolak oleh ajudan pak menteri *ya iyalah, liat muka saya aja engga, bukan karena saya ga senyum maka saya tidak bisa konfirmasi siapa yang di disposisi pak dirjen, tapi sang senior kekeuh bahwa saya tidak berprestasi karena tidak senyum dan dituliskan di performance evaluation saya. Setelah lima tahun berlalu, saya malah naik jabatan dan si senior terpuruk karena bos nya aja males kerja sama dia.

Yang kedua sering adalah, kalau saya ngomong keras dikit, dikatain itu karena suku saya. Heaaaaaa. Pengen komen: move on dwong.

It is hard to be different. It is hard to be right.

But, it is not right to bully. Heran saya dengan sikap mengulang-ulang berita tentang keburukan orang, menghakimi, memaksa orang untuk mengikuti filosofi tertentu, apalagi membawa-bawa soal agama, soal suku, soal hobi, soal pilihan-pilihan hidupnya. Don’t judge. Don’t bully.

Pretty

Let’s define Pretty. I never feel pretty nor beautiful.

First, because since I was little I believed that I am ugly. The reflection that I saw in the mirror doesn’t show that I am stunning or something. Not like the other mother in this world that usually praising their children excessively, my mom never praise my beauty or appearance. All that I remember she said was that I was ugly. I was smelly. I was fat. Nobody will likes me. No man will take a look on me. So, though years after I grown up I can see someone that is not so bad reflected I still not believe the mirror.

Second, because like my mom’s said, nobody likes me. I remember when I was in High School, the boys send their greetings towards the girls through some gesture like cookies, chocolate or letters. I never had one. When I was in the university. I remember few nights of prom-like party when the girls are so full of excitement being invited by the the boys. I want to be invited. I never invited.

Because of tha, I always want to looks pretty. All means. I want once or sometimes people praising me for my looks or appearance. I glimpse the stunning girl with envy of how they attracted people’s attention to them though sometimes their brain stuck. I always sensitive of people’s comments about me of my weight, my hair, my skin or so. Still, though I am getting far from my youth, my mom and relatives gave negative comments. You are so big. When I was at your age I was not that big. You are so ugly. Be careful your husband will run away from you.

Now, I am 43. Supposedly not to be obsessed by looks anymore. This is the era when we can manipulate the looks with gadget. There is 360 cameras apps installed in almost every smartphone. There is Photoshop. DLSR cameras comes with filters and eventually just by playing with it I can produce a better picture. In this era various social media also exposing people to show off about their daily life. People posted their selfies in their various timeline. Then I realized *I’ve been shaken by this reality once but then forget about it*….

In this age, when most of women started to have wrinkles I am still free. When most of my age women’s metabolism clogged I am still okay. Not slim but hardly said fat. Not stunning but hardly said ugly. When I and my BFF took pictures together, I didn’t look less. I don’t need the 360, I don’t need beautification camera. I can be myself and looks just okay.

I am pretty.

Allegation

I spoke to my superior because I am sad.

In the meeting, I felt so humiliated. There are four people in the side of the landlord, they denied that they sent the nasty texts and called me liar. They looked at my direction in hatred and underestimating attitude and reject all my statements.

There was sit the finance manager who doesnt say a thing but nodding and the notary that more focus on the agreement. They didnt take my side yet cant find a better solution.

Then I took sometime to find more evidence in my files or so. When I came back the situation is changed.  The landlord rudely said: I am not talking to you, I have no business with you while the finance manager hushed me off to side to something with the computer. I feel humiliated being isolated but cant really do anything heroic.

That’s what I report to my superior. I cant accept that humiliation professionally.

Then she said something thats shocked me.

That nasty landlord report to big boss that I was asking for money. Commission or whatsoever asking whats-in-it-for-me? WHAT? I knew some people are unbelievable but meet a person that purposely lie and then tell another lie to bring me down was shockingly unimaginable. Not only jaw drop, but back and forth I just cant believe God let an evil person like that to be alive healtily and gain alot of money.

That day is the first time ever I meet him. I didnt know his number or email. How I ask?

Worse to that the finance manager believes him. She said to my superior that she heards the rumor. She heard that I am asking for commission and receiving tip, landlord is not happy (one prove but heard lot of rumor of unhappy ones), but basically she doesnt trust me and doesnt think I am doing a good work (rather believes in rumor).

Sigh

She reminds me of the black lady that fell hard few years ago. Same pattern. She doesnt believes good people, humiliating good worker, underestimating anyone and so bitter. The fallen was so hard and sad. She left a bad name.

I guess it doesnt need a genius for same prophecy towards her.

By Half of This Year

Half of the year went by already.

By January, I knew that this semester I have to work hard. Accomplished about 80 leases to houses, not only its agreement but also its repair is a good amount of work to makes me real busy. Not saying mentally challenging too. Talk to different people, owner, agents, vendors, faculty and staff is enough to makes my mind running, even in the middle of the night when I sleep.  But I was prepared well.

Unfortunately by April, something unexpected happened. My place of work, the international school faced some allegations. We had really challenging situation. Supposedly, I have to handle housing matters only but this time I have to face immigration officers, talked to faculty of their situation, work in team to provide bundled of documents and provide help to the legal team. It was so hard to balance the workload and makes everyone safe. My days are really long sometimes until midnight.

My days without the crisis are usually long and hectic. Add the crisis and it is become unimaginable. Hence God helped me so I can accomplished all goals well. I only have small support from my superior as they already handsfull with the crisis. Yet, I reached here.

A few note that I want to take during this period

Most people outside are really bitter about my workplace. They called it paedofil nest refer to the freedom in dress code and open attitude. Some students organization *though I doubt a real students can have time for this, rally in front of our gate said the school had to be closed. People’s comments in online media are unbearable accussing our school as a place with no moral as we dont teach Religion.

Watching and reading were mentally draining. I come home every day exhausted. I dont believe teaching Religion made the people. I studied it in every level since elementary yet I saw many people walk carelessly without integrity and respects to others. I dont believe western culture all about sins same as I dont believe revealing clothes caused rape. But it shocked me that a lot of people dont think so.

Because I was mentally tired, my attitude changes. I was easily irritated over small things and cant really handle wishy washy person. My email language become too strong and irritating the receiver. Fortunately my boss understand that thought I may looked allright and strong, beneath I was exhausted. He doesnt really think as it was a big deal. Worrisome but okay, and I appreciate it.

I took three weeks of leave out of country. The vacation help me to be balance again. Now I more relaxed, knowing that things are under control or, if not, let the storm passing by. Simple. But, I have to keep recharge myself as draining and exhausted wont help me to perform.

Another half year to go.

I Am Different Too

Meg asked me, do you not missed your old days when you are travelling around the nation and backpacking out?  I said, even thinking about  going to Singapore already exhaust me.  Gee.

I remember those old days when I spend morning and evening on flight.  Morning one hour or two hours flight to some place than evening return flight to home.  I travel to airport almost everyday.  I remember those old days when I spend two or three months away from home due to works.  When I looked into some picture that I took with those old pocket digital camera, I remember that I can spent whole day exploring the city or the rural and sleep on the bus or train going to another place.  Somehow I want to go back bring my new camera to redo the picture.  But, no, just thinking about it already makes me feels uneasy.

How I can be change like that? Dunno. 

Last year I carefully talked into my husband to send my message to the church committee.  I really don’t want to be the children ministries coordinator.  Back then, taking care of children is my passion, I taught them craft, I taught them sing and music, I told them stories.  I can understand them easily and communicate with them, talk to them and laugh with them.  I was well known for my skills to teach children, even the younger ones. I just enjoy it and like to do it. 

 But now, thinking that I have to just teach them to sing already painful to me.  Something is wrong with me.  I don’t teach them lots of craft anymore. Before I will compile files of craft to do anytime. Lots of material.  Now, I just taught them to draw and color it. Geeh. No imagination. Rite. That’s how bored I am now. 

How I can be change like that? Dunno.

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