Sunday, August 29, 2010

what ramadhan brings me back

Bagian terbaik dari sepotong nyali saya ini adalah mencoba kembali ke masa lalu. Meski banyak orang yang mati-matian bilang bahwa untuk maju kita harus beranjak masa lalu, untuk beberapa hal tertentu masa lalu itu tidak selalu menjadi hal yang diharamkan untuk ditengok.

Ramadhan bagi seorang saya waktu kecil adalah upaya keras untuk bangun lebih awal membantu ibu saya menyiapkan makanan untuk seluruh keluarga. Saya uring-uringan atas perlakuan diskriminatif ibu saya saat itu karena semata-mata saya anak perempuan, jadi harus bangun lebih pagi, sementara kakak saya yang tergolong gender berbeda bisa asyik tidur dan baru bangun 10 menit sebelum imsak.

Beberapa Ramadhan kala itu saya uring-uringan tak ada habisnya. Hingga datang waktunya, satu demi satu kakak saya pergi meninggalkan rumah. Kursi yang kosong itu tidak pernah terisi lagi. Sampai satu waktu ortu sayalah yang pergi dinas untuk beberapa tahun. Meninggalkan saya sahur sendiri. Ada rasa yang menggelegak mengingat seberapa sepetnya mata bangun pukul 3, di masa sebelumnya, paling tidak ada upah tawa dari para penikmat masakan yang disajikan. Selebihnya, hanya kentongan hansip dan nyala televisi yang menemani suapan demi suapan menu sahur.

Dan bisa saya bayangkan, bagaimana perasaaan ibu saya sekarang bangun sahur. Tak ada anak-anaknya. Berdua saja dengan ayah saya yang selalu bangun lebih dulu tapi tak pernah menemani makan atau bicara sepatah kata pun. Ibu saya yang maha cerewet itu, akhir-akhir ini pun baru saya perhatikan tidak punya lagi repertoire sebanyak dulu.

Baru saya tersadar. Kemarin saya sibuk dengan teman-teman untuk berbuka dengan para anak panti asuhan. Sibuk beli ini-itu untuk sembako karyawan. Saya lupa, membagi kebahagiaan saya dengan orang tua sendiri. Lupa, lupa, lupa. Tiga minggu sudah saya absen menjenguk mereka. Ahhhhh...

Saat saya sudah tidak bisa kesal lagi karena harus ekstra bangun untuk memasakkan makanan, tidak usah lagi mendengarkan omelan, tidak lagi merunduk karena tidak diberi uang untuk membeli buku kesukaan saya,paling tidak, tidak seharusnya saya membuat mereka berharap sampai tak berani meminta untuk dikunjungi.

Hari ini, ya,'mak. Maafkan saya baru tersadar hari ini.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Into the light

When I was younger, my dad often said that the philosophy books are not sold on the street. And he also said, that if you did find one, it doesn't teach you any philosophy at all. I was like 7 or 8 years at that time and did not understand what he was trying to say. I did not even bother to ask, as I was always amazed about things he said, stories he told, even though I did not understand what went between the lines.

Lately I found a book that said if you found the Budha on the street, then he is not the Buddha at all. A wise man says that the state of enlightenment, stillness and total liberation cannot be described because it can only be understood and realized. When some body claimed she/he was enlightened, it is most possibly that she/he is not at all. Worst case is that when somebody say that other people are lost souls. What makes them think they know about all of those?

Many would consider me as a lost soul. Some even claimed seeing my soul turning upside down most of the time. Maybe they are right. I wonder if any saw me not possessing one.

I do believe every single person brought to the world to live for a reason. For sure, it's God's reason. A damn good one, for sure. A very customized one. The thing is we have to find the reason on our own. Such process requires journey. If during the journey we dare to question God what we are dealing with, how these things happpen, there will be no easy answer.

Then I was also inspired by the Linkin Park
I tried so hard
And got so far
But in the end
It doesn't even matter
I had to fall
To lose it all
But in the end
It doesn't even matter


Thursday, August 12, 2010

the team in need is the solid team indeed

Adapting to new organizational culture has never been a piece of cake. What works for people in an organization may not work for those in another. A leadership style implemented in one department may not be effective in another one. I remember one author wrote "dealing with people is like dealing with a cat. If you kick them, you will never know whether they will go away or bite you".

I grew up in an educational business which has never been really purely business oriented, nor educational oriented. I started my career in academic ground then somehow along the way swift to the world of marketing and sales. What I have become is really reflected where I came from. Where many books claim that all marketing are liars, and to me I still can be a marketing person without having to lie (note: to exaggerate is not equal to lie. LOL). I still live up to my idealism and personal belief. No matter how hard it is.

Then there was a time when my leadership integrity is challenged. First case, one of my subordinate continuously presented inaccurate manipulative data even before I arrived. As I believe people can change, I gave him a chance to prove to improve. I was not given enough time to show the progress as the top decision maker was at the top of his toes to kick this guy out of the team. Without any warning letter or certain procedures, he was asked to leave.

If you think that was the only thing that color my life, you are completely wrong. Secondly, I got another guy who test your nerves by claiming that he needs one month to complete one single project. He said that the management is totally a chaos. I did some talk and offered my personal guarantee to improve the system while asking him to support the process by being cooperative. I was almost there, but then it was the time to evaluate his annual performance to decide whether we should extend his contract. Again this time, I believe I still can change him and change how people perceive him.  I never got there.  The top man viewed that poor attendance in the last month represent the whole year performance. Instead of improving this staff' attitude, the top guy pushed him to the edge. This time it was the staff who decided to take the initiative to resign.

Oh how I wish I could just manage the team just like a scarecrow does the birds. I wish I could just raise my hands and keep them hanging without having to feel anything to keep the farm field safe. I guess God has his own way of showing people how to gain strength.

One day, another member of my team decided to resign. Concerned about the high turn over of this year, I personally approached her to find out what happened and possibly how to stop her from leaving. She said it was something personal that she could not share. Then a day later, I found out that she felt being unfairly treated as I could not show my full affection to her as the former leader did to her. And she raised the issue that she was boycotted, cheated, not fully supported. The worst is she said something bad really happened to her and I did not try in anyway to rescue her. I did not try to defend myself nor find excuses. Perhaps I began to be weary of all these things.

I just tried to clarify with a hired staff, H, who happened to witness the real incidence she complained about. H said, my direct subordinate, E, cut the name of the staff of a database. I asked the person in private what actually happened, who did it and why it happened. E was silent and could not tell me in the eyes. I should have been able to corner him and shoot him right before my superior's eyes, but I did not. In disgrace, I said to my boss, " I knew who did it but I want the person to admit it". The proprietor remained silent and saved his own ass. So I wore all the blame and humiliation for not being able to lead the team.

What I felt did not matter to me, but I felt that the team should be solid as the target still has to be achieved. I have been practicing being a scape goat. Many give me bad names. That would not stop me to get where I want to go.

I still put the whole team in a meeting and made it sure that we will try our best to achieve the target. Then I left for another meeting so that I could divert my attention from those puzzles. Then I went to the HRD making statement that I was ready for a go. Before I finished explaining why I was planning to leave the post, the top man texted me asking to see him. I got my letter ready and got my chin up foreseeing what worse to come.

It never happened in the history of the company, the top man with the biggest ego would extend his apology. But he did, and said he was wrong about me. He said all my team member came all way up to him to prove that they were on my side. They said good things about me that I never expected I would hear from people that I lead in only 3 months but seem to know all good sides of me. I was almost choked to hear that they defend me from all accusation. Even the hired janitor daringly said  " You can just fire me instead of firing Ms. Kenny".

I do not know what to say. And my tears keep flowing when I found the letter from the janitor on my desk
" Miss, Maaf kalau saya bicara terus terang sama boss, walaupun miss melarang saya. Kebenaran harus ditegakkan".

I could not stop the tears from falling. I could not thank God more. I could not value the team work more than this team of mine for trusting me and protecting me.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Penganten Sunat

Sejak 3 bulan lalu, Wisnu punya masalah setiap kali buang air kecil, yaitu air seninya tidak bisa mengucur deras karena lubang keluarnya menyempit. Setelah dibawa ke dokter anak, sang dokter menganjurkan agar Wisnu disunat saja karena bagian atas genitalnya ternyata mengalami perlengketan sehingga kotoran-kotorannya menempel dan air seninya tidak lancar.

Maka mulailah kami memberi pengertian bahwa anak-anak laki seumurnya pun banyak yang sudah disunat. Upaya memberi pengertian ini dimulai dari dialog, membujuk, mengiming-imingi, sampai memaksa. Biasalah, Aji kebagian jadi pihak negotiator dengan segala bla-bla mengenai alasan kenapa harus disunat dan menawarkan metoda sunat apa yang Wisnu setujui . Riset internet, sms teman-teman yang anaknya sudah disunat, menelepon beberapa rumah sakit adalah porsinya Aji karena tokh ada konsekuensi finansial yang pastinya harus dipertimbangkan merupakan hak perogatifnya. Sampai-sampai sempat ada wacana layanan sunat di rumah, yaitu si pemegang profesi pesunat ini bisa dipanggil ke rumah.

Ibu kebagian mengantar Wisnu ke tempat perayaan anak yang sudah disunat dengan harapan memberi gambaran seorang anak yang disunat akan baik-baik saja (berdiri tegak, berpakaian lengkap, tersenyum lebar menerima ucapan selamat dari banyak orang dan mendapatkan amplop). Kesan yang bisa membingungkan untuk seorang Wisnu karena di situasi lain, melihat anak lainnya yang disunat dan terkapar di tempat tidur dan sulit begerak dengan penisnya yang terkespos sementara orang-orang berdatangan memberikan salam dan pujian serta amplop berisi uang. Hey, paling tidak ibu berusaha memberikan gambaran utuh  mengenai kejadian sunat itu !Neneknya Wisnu tidak mau kalah partisipasi dengan caranya sendiri : memperlihatkan amplop yang sudah ditulisi : Untuk Wisnu; Rp 100.000 karena berani disunat. Setiap kali datang kami datang berkunjung, amplop itu diperlihatkan Wisnu seraya bujukan maut sang nenek,
Nih bli Wisnu, lihat, nini sudah sisihkan Rp 100,000 untuk bli dan nini simpan dalam amplop, di dalam dompet nini. Nanti nini berikan kalau Wisnu sudah selesai disunat
Ujaran si nenek berimplikasi kepada Andhika yang berseloroh, " wah, asyik banget! Andhika mau juga disunat!'.

Awalnya kami tertarik dengan metoda clamp yang tersohor itu dan disinyalir tidak sakit. Sempat juga sepakat mau pakai metode laser, tapi kemudian berujung pada pengakuan seorang teman yang memakai dokter di rumah sakit tempat Wisnu lahir, Duren Tiga, dengan azas sederhana : murah, dekat, metoda dokter, bius lokal dan aman.

Tibalah saatnya pada hari minggu, pukul 6 pagi kami sudah stand by di rumah sakit. Awalnya Wisnu sudah siap mental dan setuju bahwa selama proses sunat dilaksanakan dia akan main game saja di I pad. Tapi, pada saat akan dilaksanakan, arahan dokter yang berupaya sabar pun tak sanggup menghalau rasa takut dan panik Wisnu. Menangis, menjerit histeris, memohon dan mengiba agar tidak jadi disunat hampir membuat kami mengurungkan niat. Kemudian, dalam hitungan detik, kami sepakat tidak akan ada hari atau kesempatan lain untuk sunat selain : sekarang. Ibu memeluk erat Wisnu sambil menutupi muka Wisnu agar ia tidak melihat prosesnya, sementara Aji menjadi saksi peristiwa itu dan memberikan semangat.

Wisnu menangis beberapa saat, pada saat jarum suntik membiusnya. Teriakan dan tangisannya mewarnai ruang praktek dokter ditemani sumpah serapah sang dokter yang mengeluh tak bisa tenang karena Wisnu tidak kooperatif. Ibu cuma mau tutup kuping dan berharap proses cepat selesai . Dengan berbagai cara, Wisnu perlu ditenangkan karena kalau dia meronta bisa fatal akibatnya. Sebenarnya setelah dianastesi lokal, tidak ada rasa sakit yang dirasa, hanya saja Wisnu panik karena merasa ada beberapa alat yang tengah beraksi. Sensasi sakit yang sebenar-benarnya dirasakan adalah setelah sunat selesai dan ia minta buang air kecil. Yah, rasa sakit yang mungkin harus dilalui ditambah dengan imajinasinya terhadap apa yang sudah terjadi karena melihat penisnya dalam kondisi dramatis : berlumuran betadin dan mencuat karena ditahan oleh perban. Sepanjang perjalanan dari rumah sakit sampai rumah, Wisnu masih menangis dan tidak bisa menerima kenyataan dia harus disunat. Sempat terucap, " harusnya Wisnu tidak usah disunat, ibu".

Untuk beberapa saat, bahkan amplop sakti isi uang dari Nini tak mampu menahan isak tangis Wisnu. Setelah minum obat penghilang rasa sakit, Wisnu tertidur. Sejam kemudian, barulah dia minta makan dan minum.  Dan akhirnya bisa tersenyum dan berkata dengan bangga, " sekarang penis Wisnu seperti punya Aji". Oh , man! Ibu jadi

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Birthday is always a happy day

 This very year, Andhika is now 4 years old.  He does not look happy at all with the candle to blow.

                         Akira, a week later, celebrated his 5th b'day. We let him blew the candle before school.

Two weeks later, three of them, still eager to blow the candle, represent the 45th grandpa and grandma wedding anniversary. Wasn't it fun to blow candles many times like this?