Wednesday, May 2, 2012

101 Stories From My Job Training

"Who wanna present their speech, 
raise your hands up!"

Higurashi Chief
during the last 3-minute speech session

"Calvin!"

Yeah, that was arguably my worst nightmare. There is this ice-breaking session at the beginning of each morning, called the 3-minute speech. We are given a topic the previous day and is required to present our speech the next day. It started with talking in front of all 46 other trainees for one week, and followed with internal presentation within our group for the next two weeks.

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Getting down at Tokyo Station every morning for three weeks to attend our IT training in a building near Otemachi.

However, on the final day of our training, as the finale, the chief decided that he would make things a little bit interesting. It was the last day of the training, and there would be a presentation session by each group about the system we have developed for the past five days. Therefore, the big bosses and supervisors from all the companies came to see the presentation. As such, the presenter for the 3-minute speech will talk in front of not only all the trainees, but also the tourists that visited us that day.

Earlier that morning, as I was walking to the training center, I told Suzuki that I didn't do any preparation for the speech, not even a note because I believed it was the final day and I wouldn't be that unlucky to be picked out of 47 trainees. But there's a saying that you sometimes get surprises when you least expect them to come to you. That was exactly what happened to me.

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This is roughly how I look like from Monday to Friday.

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Outside Tokyo Station, surrounded with towering skycrapers.

My name has been called, and there was no point regretting for not making at least some preparation. I admit my face went blank for a couple of seconds, and my heart shouted the f-word haha! I don't understand why for the last 14-consecutive days, when I'd prepared for my speech, I wasn't called. Instead, on the one and final day when I didn't do any preparation, I was picked by the chief.

I have the feeling that he has been targeting me for some time already, and decided to 'award' me with the chance to talk at the biggest stage lol! So, yeah, I consider myself lucky to get that 'golden opportunity' haha! Yup, that is just an excuse to make myself feel better I guess.

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Bus commuters making a long bee-line for the bus at Shinkoiwa Station. Notice that the queue stretched all the way to the background.

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Tokyo Station at eight in the morning. I have no idea where these people come from! Only if these people wears yellow; 
then I would get to join Bersih every morning haha!

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Although the place was crowded, rules remain rules. Except for that one sesat guy, the narrow lane is reserved for commuters 
who gets down from the upper floor, hence it's empty.

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Seen this anywhere before? They line up even when they are taking the escalators!

Equipped with nothing, not even a pen and a notebook (I was too surprised to be called that I forgot to bring them along; luckily a friend in the first row lent me hers after noticing me putting my hands into my suit but came out with nothing lol!), I stepped to the front. I took a deep breathe and began my impromptu speech. The theme was "My refreshment and stress relieving method". Sounds easy but I was shivering like hell throughout the 3 minutes, which felt like 30 years haha! In fact, I stopped for more than 30 seconds halfway through, but managed to continue after that by adding come extra crapping to wrap up my 3 minutes lol!

Amazingly, I got more positive feedbacks than I'd expected. And those comments were given when I did zero preparation for my speech. Kinda proud of myself actually haha!

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Untidy whiteboard, as we work on our project.

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This is how the working place looks like.

Talking about the chief, there was one day he revealed some of his personal stories. He told us about the beauty of traveling to new countries oversea and learn about new cultures and lifestyle. Whether it was a coincidence or not, his first oversea destination was Malaysia, where he went to Tioman Island and Kuala Lumpur. The most interesting thing about Malaysia, was unsurprisingly, the amazing food. Satay and roti canai were among his favourite. His once crush used to work in Sri Lanka; therefore he feels a little uncomfortable whenever he sees Samitha, who is from Sri Lanka haha!

Back to the 3-minute speech, there was one day where the topic was "Risk Management". What the rest of us had in mind was how to manage risks in our working environment and daily life. However, one of our creative friend came out with a rather interesting idea. He talked about risk management when a guy considers whether or not to confess to a girl. He has to equally consider the risks involved if he confesses to the girl, and also what thing he will risk on if he doesn't do the confession.

Actually, it is quite simple here. It is only gonna be a risky move if you don't have cash in your pocket. If you have the cash, the risk of getting rejected by the girl will ultimately disappear by its own. Girls, correct or not?

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Dropped by Auntie Anne's pretzel again. I just recently found another shop in Akihabara. Sweet!

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My random dinner once upon a night haha!

Among the 47 of us, there is a variety of AJKs among us, mostly set up by themselves. At first there were the speech AJK, where they will have their speech practice during lunch hour. Then, we had the alcohol AJK, the ones that organise nomikai. Next was the smoking AJK. Everytime we had 10-minute break, these group would be the first to disappear to some unknown spot, holding a packet of leather case.

As I'd mentioned in the beginning of this post, there was a presentation from each group after we'd developed a system for five days. On the very last day when we had to hand up our project, the chief came out with this 'smart' idea by projecting super huge countdown timer onto the whiteboard. That ultimately make us damn cuak but fortunately, we managed to beat the dateline. We handed up our project with 2 minutes and 13 seconds to spare. We worked like crazy on the final hour before the dateline, to make sure that each required documents weren't missing from the folder. Never in our life that we shivered that much, I tell you!

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It was pay day on April 25. ATM machines suddenly gets more visitors than normal days.

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My first offical pay in my life! Mom and Daddy, this is for you :)

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It comes with our company's monthly bulletin and see who made it to the front page haha!

Nevertheless, it was well worth the effort. The result came as a surprise as our group finished in second place, just 2.1 points sort of the first-placed team who got 158.1 points. We would have overtaken them if not for our decision to work overtime for two days, which caused us a few vital points. Anyway, our group was voted the best several areas, including the system efficiency, presentation skills, project documentation and the construction of the project as a whole. Very satisfied with the effort from each of our team members, although as the Quality Assurance leader in my group, I never give our group much chances to be among the top three.

At the end of our three-week training, a small group of us went out on a Friday for a nomikai session. It was my first time going for a nomikai since I started working but I bet it's definitely not the last. Here, nomikai session is just what mamak session like in Malaysia. We were supposed to join the big group at half past seven, but we arrived at the gathering spot an hour earlier. As we were wandering around the place, some clearly drunk guy used his umbrella and hit mine with full force, which shocked us. If it wasn't for my umbrella, I might had gotten injured. Suzuki was kinda traumatized by that scene and quickly suggested that we find a safe place to hang out first before joining the big group.

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Stopped by this bar for our first session, after the crazy moment with the drunken guy.

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Officially our first time to drink together. Having the 2 S's in between myself; Suzuki on the left and Samitha on the right.

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With the girls, Tajima a.k.a ketua darjah (left) and some sesat guy behind lol!

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With the guys. Some sudah pening lalat already lol!

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Somebody is high already hahaha!

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The whole gang who was at the nomikai.

I ended up joining the group until the second session, but some went for the third after that. On my way back, I saw some distasteful scenes. Drunk guys were leaning on the walls, some trying to catch a breathe as they waited for the train at the platform, some had to be guided by their colleagues to board the taxi. Those scenes makes me wonder why do they have to torture (although 'torture" could be a bit heavy term here) themselves in such way. Why not hang out for a glass of teh tarik and some roti canai? But well, nomikai is one element that revolves around the life of a salaryman in Japan.

I digress.

Last Friday, there was a day off from training; hence we returned to our company. Besides being brought to visit the company's warehouse in Kitasenju, we were shown a video presentation about the yearly plan from the CEO and each departments. The head of the management department then explained a bit about our company's budget and account. And that is when I did something silly. I was super sleepy at that time. There were only three of us, plus Mr Shimohata, in a meeting room. As he explained the budget and account thing, I was 'fishing' away. The interesting part is, whenever he finishes a few sentences, I will response by giving a "haik" reply out of a sudden, although I was busy fishing haha wtf!

Die-lar this time, that fishing-so-terang-terangan-in-front-of-him thingy surely had given him a bad bad image on me lol!

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New base for the rest of our remaining training phase; in Ginza 1-chome!

Beginning this week, our training base has moved to a new place. Guess where? We are now attending our job training in Ginza. Sounds very classy and cool kan? For two days, the course name was "Logical Communication". At first, I wondered what the hell that means. Does it mean that there are communication which is illogical? I think our Malaysian government knows that the best. It's very common to hear them giving ideas that are tak logik right? The less logic they speak, the more popular they become.

As usual, new course in new place means we get to meet some new trainees from other companies. During the first few hours after knowing each other, the same question came to me yet again - they asked me for my height. That is when Suzuki suggested a brilliant idea. She told me that I might as well write it on a piece of small card and hang it around my neck next time.

On that card, I shall write it with the words "192 cm desu!" haha wtf!

2 comments:

Wan-Ning said...

found ur blog by random. you have interesting stories. :)

calvin said...

@ wan-ning:
hello wan ning! glad to hear that you like my random stories *hehe*

stay tuned for more of them haha!