After a week of training away from the office, totally away from work (except reading & replying one or two 'urgent' emails during break), I am a little surprised to find out that I actually missed coming to work. Didn't even know that I LIKED coming to work, what more to miss it. Hehe. Absence makes hearts grow fonder eh?

Ok, so maybe training sucks a little. Ok, not so little if I want to be honest. First day was OK. 2nd day was Oookay-lah. On the 5th day of training, every other sentence was: "It should have worked, by the way. This is the problem with Microsoft bla bla bla" Yeah right, when you can't get it right, blame Microsoft. To think that he has like 5 or 6 certifications from Microsoft? MCT konon!  (That's Microsoft Certified Trainer by the way).

It didn't help that he sometimes writes A and says B. Seriously. Like one time he said the number was three thousand eighty FOUR but he wrote 3082! Or the other time, after doing some calculation he said the answer was thirteen. I spent 2 minutes scratching my head trying to figure out why I had calculated differently, and I was very sure I got the right answer. (Best pulak buat Maths masa tu, haha... nothing complicated, hence explains why I enjoyed it).  So I asked, how did he get his answers, and you know what... apparently THIRTEEN = 30!!! Betula la my calculation. Penat garu kepala 2 minit tau!

Or the other time... he said press TAPE bla bla bla...  I wondered, bila pulak guna TAPE ni? Even if it's for backing up purpose (which was not included in the syllabus), bila pulak masuk topic ni ni? It turns out, he meant press TAB as in the TAB key on your keyboard. Aiyo maaaaa. Somebody in my class actually said.. Press TAB?? Stressing on the TAB word. The trainer answered.. "Yes, yes.. press TAPE!" Tak makan dek ajar betul lah!

At the end of the training, after distributing the evaluation forms, he shamelessly insisted that we should rate him 'excellent' . I gave him Fair. I was tempted to give him Poor actually. But the first 2 days were OK... so Fair lah. Nangis pulak dia nanti, kesiannnnn.

Now I'm faced with a lil problem though. My boss now expects me to be an expert of the subject, which I can't say I am yet. I should probably go get one of those "For Dummy" books eh?

MCT... Not.... (yet).

I'm sure many others agree with her. Our sentiment is obviously the same. Just that I am apparently more pissed off than her right now, or so it sounds. Maybe she's just being polite since it's a published article. Maybe the editor had made her sound polite.  Hehe.

Haaaa.. baru je semalam (in my comment in the previous entry) I said this:
Tu la kan, mmg very double standard. Just because majikan tak kena dera curah2 air panas segala, it does not mean diorg tu baik sgt.

Dahhhh today ada maid bergusti dah! See? See? Bak kata my  mom.. 'tak patah tiat!" (Baruuu sebut je, dah jadi - something like that).

Okay, first the govt wants to impose a 'mandatory day off in a week for maids, then last night on Berita TV3, I heard that employers must return the passport at maid's request.

Isn't that just AWESOME?? I mean, first they're saying, "Go and socialise and mix around, and find yourselves boyfriends and do whatever you want (God knows what people can do in 24 hours, seriously)"

Then, nak lagi syok, they say, "If you want to run away, ask for your passport and larilah! Lariiiii, tak de sapaaaaaa nak marah!!!! Lari dengan pak guard kat depan rumah tu yang dah kawin tu pun ok apa? Haaa Nah passport, gi Siam, kawin kat sana!"

And where does that leave us, the employers? When the maid doesn't return, you go to police station and will be charged RM2 for filing report. (Hey, RM2 is still money). Then you go to immigration department and Walla!! Another RM250 fine. Why? Because the maid  ran off and YOU are guilty, proven or not. Isn't that great? Tu belum masuk barang2 dia curi lagi tu. Ye lah, I don't have 4 Million, kalau bawak lari dengan rumah2 sekali pun, tak sampai 4M, but still! kalau 4-5 ribu pun, duit jugak tu. Ada sesapa nak bagi free??

And what the heck is I-Kad for then? For those yang tak tau, I-Kad is a similar version to our MyKad for foreign workers. Dah sah sah it's for identification purpose kan, so if they ask for their passports before going out, tak ke tu dah terang lagi bersuluh menunjukkan diorg tu nak lari? And how are we supposed to react? Buat2 bodoh, bagiii je la passport tu.. kot2 la maid tu nak balik negara dia for one day and come back the next day kan. (Tak bersyak wasangka, podachit!)

And then, dah la bagi cuti sehari dalam seminggu, that totals up to 52x2 = 104 days in 2 years, bila contract diorg dah habis, who's going to pay for the tickets for them to go back to their country? Diorang bayar sendiri? Haha. Sangat kelakar kalau ada maid yang bayar sendiri.

Let's see nanti statistics maid lari dari rumah naik mcm mana hebatnya. Lepas tu nanti, baru terhegeh hegeh nak amend law sana sini. Usik sikit, melatah. Ni lah dia!

Who's going to protect OUR rights?

Yes, I am bitter. Not without reason though, kan? Sakit hati tau bila dah terkena!

Sangat marah!
Someone commented that ever since I moved to wordpress, I have not uploaded any pictures. So, just so I can say I have pictures on my blog, here they are. Nothing too recent though, since my camera kan dah kena curi oleh orang yang keji itu, maka nya recent pictures are gone with it.

[caption id="attachment_60" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Taken at MidValley Komuter Station sometime in January 09. It was a practice session in our preparation for our trip to Labuan & KK later that month. :D"]Taken at MidValley Komuter Station. It was a practice session in our preparation for our trip to Labuan & KK later that month. :D[/caption]

Nothing much has changed since January actually. Except that maybe Afiq has gotten even thinner and a few inches taller (obviously that's Shahril's gene, hehe) and Mariessa's hair is now shorter and somehow a LOT curlier! I honestly don't know who she gets that from, but since her hair is sooooo much similar to Kitreena's, we (Ngah and myself) are forced to assume that it's from our side of the family. Although I don't know how that is possible, since our hair is as straight as.... errrrr... lidi? Hehe

[caption id="attachment_57" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="My life, my heart, my soul."]My life, my heart, my soul.[/caption]
This is the most recent picture that I have. Probably 2-3 weeks ago. We took the children jalan2 @ Putrajaya. Note how curly Mariessa's hair has become (especially time berpeluh - they had a great time lompat sana sini at the playground)

[caption id="attachment_62" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="The reason Shahril had to hold them like that is because 1. They were afraid of the fountain kat belakang tu. :) 2. They wanted to run around some more."]The reason Shahril had to hold them like that is because 1. They were afraid of the fountain kat belakang tu. :) 2. They wanted to run around some more.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_65" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Kitreena back in 2006. See the similarity of the hair to Mariessa\'s?"]Kitreena back in 2006. See the similarity of the hair to Mariessa's?[/caption]

While there are sad stories like what happened to this maid, let me assure you there are also stories of the total opposite. A story I can now say I have experienced. An experience I hope never, ever have to go through again.

Tri- my maid fled last Friday.

The whole week last week, I felt uneasy. I could not put my finger on anything, but I constantly felt fear whenever I called home to speak to Mariessa and nobody picked up the phone. I do this a few times a day. And whenever the phone is not picked up, it's always because Mariessa (and Tri) are at my neighbour's house playing with the neighbour's children. I'm ok with that.

But last Friday, when I called at 3 pm and the phone was not picked up, I felt instant fear. I called the maid's handphone, it went to voicemail. Adikki (my brother who's currently staying with me) had gone out to sent Alang (also my brother) to Pekeliling. So I had no one else to call. I kept on calling non-stop until 5 pm. I stopped for a few minutes for solat Zuhur and a few more minutes for Solat Asar. I prayed hard that whatever happens, pls God,  protect my children.

At 5pm, I called Adik asking him to please go home and check. I was starting to feel anxious. Adikki said, he was already almost home anyway. 5.15- still no calls from Adik. 5.30 I called home, and Thank God, Mariessa picked it up.

The story? Well, Adik went home to find the house are all locked! Only Ummi was home. Adik kata, roti berterabur atas lantai, a sign that Ummi was probably hungry and tried to eat. It breaks my heart just imagining it. Adik then went to my neighbour's house. The neighbour's maid (Teti) said No, Mariessa's not there.

Then some kids told Adik that maybeTri and Mariessa were at Afiq's school to pick Afiq up, since they saw Tri and Mariessa walking there earlier. Adik then went to Afiq's school and found Mariessa there, with Afiq. Tri is nowhere in sight. Adik took them home.

When I reached home, I found that tri has taken some of her clothes with her, and had apparently found out where I had kept her passport and took that too. My wedding ring, my engagement ring (I took them off since my jari dah bengkak now due to pregnancy) and Mariessa's gold anklet (that we bought when she was born) were missing as well.

Talked to the nursery's owner on Monday and found out that tri told her she was going to get married in Thailand. The best part is, she is marrying one of the security guards at my area. He's Malaysian, and he's married. His wife is now frantically looking for her husband too, who had disappeared as well. (Of course!)

Talked to the Teti who claims that she doesn't know of Tri's plan to flee (betul ke tak, is irrelevant in my opinion - i'm doubting everybody now though), and she told me so many heartbreaking stories. Like how once Mariessa was left at home when she was asleep and tri pegi entah ke mana! Mariessa woke up crying, opened the sliding door and that was why Teti heard her crying. (Mariessa tak boleh keluar since ada grille). Teti & Aida (neighbour's 10 yr old kid) ended up consoling Mariessa from the other side of the grille for hours before tri came home! - Malas nak cerita detail lagi, sakit hati! Patah hati mengenangkan Mariessa. Makes me feel guilty, makes me feel that I failed, as a mother. Makes me want to quit my job. Makes me want to strangle someone's neck (someone on particular, of course). Makes me angry. Makes me sad. Makes me fuming mad.

Another time, Mariessa was left at Teti's house from 9 am to 4pm. Teti had to give 'air sirap' to Mariessa when she asked for milk. - Pun malas nak cerita detail.

Teti apologized for not 'reporting' tri's behavior to me earlier. I don't blame her. Things we do for our 'friends'.

We found out on Saturday that tri had also taken our Sony Handicam and our digital camera.

We filed a police report on Saturday. Filed a report to the immigration on Monday. (Kena bayar RM250 ok to immigration, kalau maid lari! chis! - but the lady said we only have to pay the fine when we're taking another maid next time. I told her, there will be NO next time for us. So we didn't pay. Ntah apa lah rasionalnya kita pulak yang kena bayar.).

I was on a roller coaster of emotions since Friday, to say the least.

First it was intense fear. Then anger. After that, it was sadness. Then I felt angry again. Then macam2, i don't even bother sorting my feelings out anymore.

You would think that after 2.5 years you can trust someone. I did and I was proven wrong. You would think that after 2.5 years of being nice to someone (I had never, never, even raised my voice at her. Always tegur baik2. Close an eye on how imperfect her work is, as long as the children are taken care of - which I now find out tak jugak lah kan?), the person would be as nice to you. Well, apparently not.

But I still believe that buat baik dibalas baik. Buat jahat, kita tengok nanti balasannya mcm mana. I won't play god to balas jahat to orang jahat, no that's not who I am. I don't even want to see if one day, her jahat dibalas jahat yang macam mana. She's out of my life, and she'd better stay out.

Took leave for 2 days to sort things out. Adik brought Ummi back to Temerloh. Spent 3 hours ironing on Monday. Spent more hours with Shahril cleaning the room tri used to occupy. Habuknya, MasyaAllah. What the heck I paid RM500 for all this while, I dont know lah! Got rid of all her things. Puas hati.

All in all, good riddance!

At the end of the day, I am grateful that my children are OK. I am thankful that this is happening now, than later. Bersyukur dengan hikmah di sebalik musibah. It's a lesson. And we've learned.

Need to get this out of my system.

Ummi was discharged from HUKM yesterday, which came to me as a surprised because I don't think she was well enough to be discharged. Her health will never be OK again, I've accepted that. But it was obvious to me that she was way from being fit to be discharged. But hey, I'm not the one to decide.

So my brother took her home petang semalam. She was weak (jalan pun terketar2). And her mind was wandering God knows where to. Tri (my maid) cerita, as soon as she was home, she went straight to her room. When asked, she said she wanted some water to drink. She then took one of the pillows, yes pillows, and hold it like it was a water bottle and pretended she was drinking from it. :(

During dinner, I asked her to join us. She did. One suap.. and then she said, dah takde selera.

This morning, I woke up and found out that she had peed on the floor in her room. And the thing is, she was wearing a diaper! She must have taken it off, and thought that after one or two steps she was already at the bathroom, and peed there, at the door (of the room). That's what happened (a few times) before.

And just a few minutes ago, Tri said Mariessa had announced to her that Opah had peed again. This time at the living hall, in front of the TV. And this was only after 10 minutes Tri had betulkan her diaper and went to the back to sidai baju.

Oh before that, she had gone to the front door and said she wanted to go to the airport. I have no idea why. Maybe because she remembers that Akak is coming back from her Europe trip today?

Doctors kata, it's her liver yang buat dia macam ni. it's called "hepatic encephalopathy", if anyone is interested to find out. And the severity has 4 'grades':

* Grade 1 - Trivial lack of awareness; Euphoria or anxiety; Shortened attention span; Impaired performance of addition. 67% of cirrhotic patients may have 'minimal hepatic encephalopathy'.
* Grade 2 - Lethargy or apathy; Minimal disorientation for time or place; Subtle personality change; Inappropriate behavior; Impaired performance of subtraction
* Grade 3 - Somnolence to semistupor, but responsive to verbal stimuli; Confusion; Gross disorientation
* Grade 4 - Coma (unresponsive to verbal or noxious stimuli)

If I'm not mistaken, a doctor mentioned that Ummi's at Grade 3.

I don't know why it's affecting me (emotionally) badly this time. All these had happened before. I lost count of how many times, really. Not that I should be keeping count pun kan?

Entahla. As I said, I just need to get this out of my system. For now.

Last 2 nights, after watching a late night movie on TV with Shahril, we woke Afiq up for his nightly pee pee. He hates this routine though, so it's not always easy to wake him up. That night, Shahril had to carry him to the bathroom.

I waited for him at the bathroom door for him to finish. While toweling his legs after that, in his grogginess, he suddenly gave me a hug.. and said, "Afiq rinduuuuuuuu kat mama".

I went to bed that night feeling sooooo loved, so contented, and sooooo syahdu.