Another milestone

April 15, 2010

I haven’t written anything substantial in the past 6-7 months that I have been working.

As many of you (especially people who know me personally) are aware, I have been working as a journalist aka reporter with the Borneo Post.

My first day on the job, I wanted to quit. The second day I planned to quit at the end of the week. Eventually I was determined to finish a month and at least get paid so that I could have some spending money for a while.

When I finished my first month (and got paid), the plan was to quit before my probationary period ended because I could give 24 hours notice during that time.

Why you ask? Well, I am a person who values some structure in her life and I’m sure you know that there are not set hours when it comes to being a reporter. On the first day, I was assigned to cover a function with another reporter until 9.30pm. I have to say, I was not a happy camper back then.

Some days I started work at 2pm, other days I have to be at a place at 8am while the night before I worked until 11pm.

Eventually I received a letter notifying me that the probational 3 month period was over and even though I was not given a raise (I was promised a raise after probation during my interview), I stayed. I was in no hurry to leave. That was December last year.

Although there were a couple of times that certain people in the office pissed me off to no conceivable end, I held on. I was as patient as I could be, even though the temptation to walk out of the office forever kept nudging at me.

I have to honestly say that one of the two things that made me stay were a few people in the office. These people made the office fun and the thought of leaving them for no logical reason seemed to be unfathomable. I actually looked forward to going into the office. We had even more fun out of the office. :D

This past year or so (2009 and part of 2008) was one of the the years that I wish to forget, but it has made such an impact on me that it’s hard to erase it from my memory. The hurt, disappointment, anger, and devastation was just undescribable. Ironically, some of my thoughts can be read here, here and here. Oh and more here and here. :P

I became quite a sceptic. It was hard to trust people and let my guard down. As days passed in the office, I realised that I had quite a lot in common with some of them. As cliche as it sounds, “time heals all wounds” found its way through the wall I have made around me.

These people accepted me, understood me (to a certain extent, because frankly I can be WAY too weird sometimes) and let me into their lives without any ulterior motives (or so it feels that way. See, I’m still a sceptic at times).

Most of all, I felt comfortable with them. I was comfortable to be who I really am with these people. It was like a breathing a breath of fresh air (yes, cliche again I know) as compared to some issues I went through.

The other thing that I enjoy was the writing. I truly enjoyed writing stories/ reports/ articles as stressful as it could be at times.

I knew I always loved writing but the past 7 months have shown me what I could really do with writing. I was amazed at how I could come up with a story in a matter of hours and read by thousands of people the next day. I felt accomplished, I felt contented.

The job has also opened my eyes and given me the experience of meeting so many different people from all walks of life.

When I do street polls, I have to go up to total strangers and asked if they want to be interview. Many times they are reluctant because their pictures and name will have to be published so I would have to convince them in a way. I think the thing that I have gained the most from working as a reporter is knowing no shame.

Yes, that’s right. I now know no shame. :blush:

I think the best experience was the trip to Thailand. Although I’ve been there before, it was a totally different experience. The press were put up in really posh hotels, hotels that I know I would never stay in and paid for myself because the rate was simply too expensive. I would have never eaten all that good food, the gormet meals.

Now I have left this job, the experience and the people whom I have grown so fond of that has made a mark in my life. People whom I can call friends.

I am thankful to have met these people and relieved that I have gotten an opportunity of a lifetime to write for a newspaper.

On my very last few minutes in the office, I left MY mark by pranking a few people.

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I was so happy. (Photo credit to Georgette Tan.)

From the bottom of my heart, I thank each and everyone of you for making a good start out of 2010. You know who you are!

P/S: Most importantly, the one person who has been supportive, understanding and accepted me throughout my hardships is Rob. I love you honey and thank you for always being there for me. :x

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