After I quit the nightmare job in
One day, after I had been with Exzone for a year, I was told to report at Euston, an American owned contract manufacturing plant. (The owner resided in
I just knew that I wouldn't be short of anything to do with the rest of the time. While looking around the factory, I met a supervisor who was wringing her hands in frustration. She was struggling to meet a deadline to deliver some painted toys but the Tampon-Printer broke down and she had no replacement–part available. The replacement part had to be ordered from
Then she asked if I could help her with another problem. She was short of some spray paint of one particular shade. To order it from
Euston's temporary canteen was in bad shape. The original canteen was turned into an office after a fire burned out the factory office and store earlier that year. Andy suggested that we built another canteen. He wanted it built like the attap huts he saw at the beach hotels in
I asked, "What's that?"
He said, "Oh, it's something soft and brownish and smelly..." I laughed. He then said he poked on his thumb with the sharp end of the split rattan string.
He asked me what to do if a piece of split rattan string ran out. I said to join it with another length of string by tying it in a weaver's knot. That way we get the smallest possible knot. After that I kept hearing him swearing away at weaver's knots until we ran out of split rattan strings.
We did not finish even one-third of the roofing when we gave up and he called in a guy who could do it professionally. He used rafia strings and a big needle and finished the job two weeks later.
Before the end of that month, Andy asked the secretary to make out a check for me. I was told that the company's cash in the bank was in limited supply. There was also the guy who repaired the canteen waiting to be paid. As soon as I got the check, I said to Andy, “I’m going to the bank.” He remarked that I seemed eager to get my money first before anyone else got it. I laughed and said I got a wife, a 3-year-old kid and a new born baby at home. I needed the money. Andy followed me to the bank. He helped me to get the check deposited into my account. It was the first time I used an ATM card. He followed me to the house and I showed him the new baby, our second daughter.
On what was supposed to be my last day, Andy said to me. “How would you like to work for us permanently? We seem to get along pretty well”. I thought he was joking, especially about the 'getting along' part, but I said I'd love to. We discussed my salary and he said I’d get whatever Exzone was paying me. I said it would be an insult to my current boss. He raised the offer by another RM100. I took the job. I was to learn later that it was a colleague, who suggested to him about taking me on. But a few days later, before he could give me an official appointment, he resigned as GM. I was left without a post but he told me not to worry about my job status.
One day the Managing Director came over from
Three months later, I had the good fortune of accompanying a colleague who wanted to ask the MD for some extra benefits, and I raised the fact that my probation was up. He immediately promised that I’d be confirmed in my appointment. The next day I received a confirmation letter stating that my pay has been raised by another RM350. For the second time in my working life I was earning a four-figure salary.