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Location: Penang, Malaysia

March 14, 2005

Just One More Time

"Lai-mah* thrown letter liao!", exclaimed a good friend of mine in efficient and precise Malaysian English. This buddy was telling us that lai-mah* had already tendered her resignation letter. The company we worked at is no longer competitive in terms of employees retention. Many years ago, people who left the company were those poor performers and those having serious communication problem with all levels of people. The scene is different today. This is mainly contributed by the ever stagnant stock price. All employees are given stock options as part of the so called total compensation plan. In the past, the stock price was doing extremely well, options was splitted several times, and millionaires were created. In this part of the world, a new BMW 318 costs around 100 times the monthly salary of a new graduate. With stock options of "company name withheld", an employee who had worked for 5 years, and had accumulated enough options, was able to pay cash for such purchase. Wow!

However, things had changed. This company has lost its shine. Everyone who joined "company name withheld" since the past 7 years keeps telling that the stock options are just worthless toilet papers. I have never tasted a single cent from those "under-water" stock options. Some are above the water level, but still, they are not worth selling. People are leaving for better opportunities outside. The management, on the other hand, is trying do "something" to keep employees. They are doing everything, but the only thing they are not doing is addressing the competitiveness of the total compensation package. Hey! You are going nowhere! Do you understand???

On the other hand, this company keeps hiring people. You can see the advertisement on local newspapers and also on the Internet now and then. Well, this company is really expanding, but besides this, they have to hire replacements too. No worries, employees of Taiwanese companies here have no problem coming over. Their only ambition is "Someday, I will 'get into' 'company name withheld', and make my father proud". Of course, not everyone is like that, and again, this is just a generalization. Note that the phrasal verb "get into" is used instead of the word "join". Go and ask you friends. By the way, someone in the lousy movie Bloodsport also said, "Someday, I will fight in the Kumite, and make my father proud".

Me? Yes, what about me? Am I planning to jump onto another bus? Hmm... I am one of those who are still "staying put", with hope and faith. I have a story to tell. Call me stupid, and call me names, and here is the story anyway.

"Just One More Time" by Hanoch McCarty.

I am not going to put it here but someone had already put it up on the Internet. You may read it from this website. I believe this story is taken from the "Chicken Soup for the Soul: 101 Stories to Open the Heart & Rekindle the Spirit" book. I have the book and would recommend you to buy it as well.

*lai-mah = literally translated from Cantonese as milk-mother, which means a woman who is breast-feeding her infants. It could also mean someone with huge spot lights, but this is not the case here. There must be something else.

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