Remuk Redam by Christian Simamora

Yes, I didn’t preorder this one and I had to get in and out of bookstores for 3 consecutive days before I finally found one (and bought it without thinking).

Display Buku Remuk Redam [Edisi TTD + Bonus: Notes Jatuh Cinta]

This book is a “spin-off” of the previously released “Burn Baby Burn“, which you can read without reading the predecessor. In Burn Baby Burn, the main character loved listening to a band named “Expectation”, for their single “Tsundere”, to be exact. Here in Remuk Redam, the main character is the vocalist of Expectation, Lucas Wolff. He is best friends with his manager and another YouTube hit, Mahir Siregar.

There once was a young woman who owned a man clothing label called “Gentleman 1995”, which was on the edge of bankruptcy. This woman, Olivia, inspired by her gay best friend, Fendi‘s spontaneous words, came to an event to approach Mahir with an expectation that he will be attracted to her, be her boyfriend, and promote her label for free. The most effective way to boost up a company’s profit this day, really.

Never came to her mind that she will instead attract Luc – the short of Lucas, a typical rocker who once broke her heart: a playboy with a lot of tattoos on his skin. Regardless of how hard she tried, she always failed to reject Luc – this includes not putting her heart in a relationship, the one thing she’s always proud of. In the end, it was proved that Luc broke her heart, just as his image says. ‘It was never a good idea to be involved with a rocker,’ she thought as her world was falling around her.

All in all, I can say Bang Christian Simamora is back with his romance style that I always love. Good job on this one too, Bang! I only needed 3 days (after office!!) to finish the book. 🙂 You should get 1 for yourself too.

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on getting out of my comfort zone

The key persons to my getting-out-of-my-comfort-zone are none other than my parents.

Thanks to their minimum control over their children’s life (apart from not letting me and my sister come home after 9 PM when we live at home), we are now considered (at least among our friends) tough, independent, and highly adaptable.

While other (my friends’) moms insisted on putting their children in a school close to home regardless of the school’s qualities, my mom instead learned to drive and picked us up from school every single day (and took us to our extracurricular/after school activities when we had them).

While other (my friends’) moms prohibited their children to go to a university in other city regardless of the university’s reputation (“as long as it’s not too bad,” they said), my mom encouraged me when she knew that I was interested in applying to (what she believes) the best institution in Indonesia. I received the same support when I enrolled to a university abroad for my master’s, because “it will enrich your experience and widen your knowledge,” she said.

While other (my friends’) dads bought cars for their children while they were away from home and didn’t have enough yet to buy one themselves (including when they just started working), (I begged for a car also a lot of times but) my dad told me to ride (various) public transport and earn my own car because he didn’t have spare money to buy me one.

It’s not that they don’t love us; we always get the love we need from our parents. I just understand this now, that instead of feeding us with everything we need, they have always prepared us to be ready to face the world on our feet. Not the food, but the bail. Including sending us to (what is considered) the best schools, not overly restraining us to do things, and giving advice instead of orders.

All in all, my parents have always encouraged me and my sister to get out of our comfort zone if we’re sure what we’re doing is the best for us. I would not be who I am today if it’s not because of them, and I wish I would one day be a parent like them. 🙂

how to survive Jakarta’s traffic: patience is key

Yet another post about Jakarta’s traffic. A complain from a regular driver.

According to our new governor, the number of motorcycles in Jakarta is now 13,000,000 and cars 3,000,000 out of total 100,000,000 people living in Jakarta. 1,000,000 of the motorcycles are used for online motorbike-taxi (‘ojek online’ a.k.a. ‘ojol’); the number keeps increasing by day and the ‘labor unions’ are getting stronger and more solid.

Cars in Indonesia are mostly right-wheeled, so the normal rules are for slower vehicles (including but not limited to heavy trucks, buses with frequent stops except Transjakarta, bicycles, and motorcycles) to be on the left and faster on the right lane. However, it is clearly not the case in this city which is nominated one of top 10 cities with worst traffic in the world. As mentioned in the title: patience is key to survive Jakarta’s traffic.

Image result for worst traffic cities jakarta

The realities/road rules today (illustrations taken from kompasiana and si.mbot’s instagram):

  1. The poorer is the pity one, hence needs protection/immunity from the laws (including when laws are violated). The order from the richest to poorest: car drivers – motorbike riders – pedestrians. Whenever a case arises on the street, the richer is always the guilty one.
  2. As an addition to rule no. 1, it is not necessary for motorcycles to be ridden on the left lane. They are free to look for the ‘quickest’ possible lane, especially in the middle of traffic jams, because why bother joining the congestion when you are slim and able to slip in between cars?
  3. Even when we’re free from motorcycles, in toll roads another rules apply:
    • Heavy-loaded trucks, the slowest vehicle on the road, are necessarily on the left
    • Lighter-loaded trucks/vans/buses, which are obviously faster, are free to take any lane they want – including the most right lane during ’emergency’, regardless of the speed limits the vehicles allow
    • Private cars are left only with with the most right lane, hence blocking occurs when slower cars are in front. Faster cars are forced to overtake from the roadside.
  4. On a 2-lane roads, (I also don’t know why) slower motorcycles and cars really like to take the middle lane (neither left nor right), blocking both lanes and won’t slide even when dimmed.pacman
  5. Crossroads, U-turns and roundabouts are the most dangerous of all parts of the street. Cars and motorcycles are free to drive at any possible angle to turn to any possible route, creating chaos and deadlocks now and then.

 

 

Shadow [Whatever]

Dear Leaders, admit it. The most effective way in training new employees are by assigning them as ‘shadows’ to existing employees in the same position. The new recruit might be there to either replace, be a subordinate or even a manager to the existing employee. The advantages of implementing this shadowing technique are:

  • The existing employee, which nowadays is typically overloaded, gets the assistance s/he needs
  • The company saves cost for professional training, which normally are not so effective if not followed by real world problems
  • The new employee gets the experience, learning, and a new ‘friend’ s/he definitely needs to adapt to the new environment, without being burdened with full responsibility (yet)
  • (In case the existing employee is resigning midway from his/her position) the company gets the replacement right away

When we’re talking about shadows, there are actually 2 different approach with 1 similarity: the shadows are hidden from the outside world, i.e. other organizations doing business with this organization don’t know that these shadows exist.

  1. First approach, which is also commonly done, is putting the shadows as advisors/consultants to the company. This approach is normally used when an organization has to work on a big, complex project like it has never done before, and they don’t want to bother existing employees other than the ones assigned to the project but also don’t want to hire/contract professional consultancy service.
  2. Second approach is putting new employees as shadows of existing ones, the one we’re discussing in this post.

I might not be a good example when it comes to career path, but my many experiences have somehow enriched me to share. Please note that I’m a project manager, basically an individual contributor to a company, i.e. we work on our own with our own style at our own pace (hence we’re an ‘artist’ to our customer), without hierarchical subordinates.

  • I’ve been in a company where in my first months I was assigned as a ‘co-PM’ to other PM.
  • I’ve been in a company where I shadowed my assistant in my first couple of months before I was able to go on my own.
  • I’ve been in a company where I was ‘tried and tested’ to handle my own projects, closely controlled by my manager, followed by several formal training.

Out of all 3 experiences, I can say that all methods are good, depending on the nature of the company. If the industry allows, then training is the most constructive way to sustain and develop the employees. However, the quicker way to ‘use’ the new employee will be the shadowing technique because it is super hands-on.

*Confession: the title’s been there for more than a month now, but I was too lazy to update the post even though it’s been on my mind ever since. The original title is ‘Shadow Project Manager’ until I realized that this is applicable for all positions.*

hello, world! (2)

I can’t even remember if I actually posted something with the same title. I just want to let everyone know that finally after 7 years being with WordPress, I decided to change the theme. The theme change is in harmony with myself – from the cheerful, playful me to the more mature (older, of course) one. Hopefully everyone will be happy with the change as much as I am.

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Highlight of the new face: my initial 😀

about marriage (part 2)

Recently I revisited my old post ‘about marriage‘ and, realizing I wrote that back in 2013, my first response was grateful. Apparently I was mature enough back then; I’m now 30 and preparing for my wedding day without any single thing from that post changed. Of course, even more friends and colleagues have been asking me every chance they got (about when I will get married) in the past 4+ years, but as I got older, I tend to ignore others more and enjoy myself more (to show it, I would have smiled instead of answering the questions).

I’m proud to say that in 4 years, I have achieved a lot of self goals and not ashamed to admit that I made mistakes/failures too.

For those of you who are in hesitation of whether or not to marry, please keep these things in mind:

  1. Marriage is the matter of ‘who’ will be your spouse. Everyone has to admit that your partner is the most important factor for a successful and happy marriage. Nobody can define your happiness, but living with someone you can’t stand for the rest of your life will surely give you hell.
  2. Marriage is not the end. Instead, it is the start of a new life. Several years ago, I used to share a meme with my friends. Most guys believe that marriage will be their end. The fact is (and my guy friends corrected me at times) marriage is the start.
  3. Marriage is not the only way to happiness. Many people, especially in Asia, believe that you will be happy after you’re married. Having lived for quite some time being single (not married, I meant), I have to say that everyone has to actually build happiness within himself, with the things he achieves, before he can be happy with anyone else. Hence, marriage is not the only way of happiness. Being single doesn’t make anyone lack happiness.
  4. Marriage should be a union of two people who are ready for commitment. If you hesitate now and then, then maybe you should ask yourself if you’re ready for marriage. This readiness doesn’t depend on how old you are, but certainly on how mature you are. I’ve seen some friends happily married since they were 23, while at the same time seen some getting married at the age of 23 only to find them divorced at the age of 25. In my case, I become ready when I found the right guy (hence, back to point 1).
Image result for marriage is the end meme
One of the memes I used to send to my guy friends who were about to get married

Activity Tracking: Fitbit Flex 2

It is my 3rd month of wearing Fitbit Flex 2, an activity tracker, after some 6 months of hesitation (of whether to buy or not, remembering the price is not so cheap) and regret (for not having the time to look for it when I was in Singapore). Since I joined my current employer, I drive to work, meaning the amount of walking has significantly decreased. With that concern, and the self consciousness that I had gained weight, I decided that I need to monitor my daily activities. I don’t want to replace my beloved watches, so the smarter tracker with screens are out of options.

Image result for fitbit flex 2 lavender
As seen on http://www.fitbit.com

So far, I have to say that this Flex 2 is the tracker I’m looking for.

Pros:

  • Cheap (compared to other Fitbits, still more expensive than Xiaomi Mi-band 2, which, by the way, I cancelled buying because it doesn’t sync with iOS). I bought it online for SGD 160 in Indonesia (unfortunately they only sell certain, more popular Fitbits in stores), where in Singapore you can get for SGD 108 or USD 60 in US.
  • Simple and small, just like regular bracelets. Unlike other bulkier trackers, this one is really like bracelets and comes with 4 color options (black, navy, lavender and magenta).
  • Waterproof. Yes, I don’t swim, but yes, I tend to wet my wrists during my daily activities. Or even worse, forget to take the tracker off and take it to the shower after workout.
  • Reminder to move. This is the most useful feature (which I tend to ignore after 2 weeks of using, but still it’s useful). You can adjust the reminders according to your needs. For example, I have the reminder every hour during working hours. And it will vibrate every hour (for you who are too lazy to read the manuals, when it vibrates to remind you to move, the LED will turn magenta with 2 white LEDs on).
  • Long battery life. As advertised, the battery can last up to 5 days with normal use. I tried synchronizing Flex 2 with my phone for calls and text messages alert (yes, this includes WhatsApp messages alert), and the battery only lasted 3.5 days.
  • Bangles and pendants available for purchase, making it fancier to wear.
Weekly Stats
Weekly Stats sent by email
Image result for fitbit flex 2 bangle pendant
As seen on ebay.com

Cons:

  • No Heart Rate sensor. The ones with HR sensor are approximately $100 more expensive, so I thought, why would I need one? But then today I feel like I need it during exercise.
  • Only recognizes walking and running, despite the claim that it can auto-recognize 4 types of workout (walking/running, swimming, aerobic, yoga).

All in all, I’m satisfied with this tracker, because it’s definitely what I need. I can set my own goals and get alerted when I reach my daily goals. I don’t, however, input my calorie intakes anymore after 3 weeks. Too lazy to do that. LOL. It will be a great help if the app can automatically calculate the calories after I upload a picture (of food).