THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Excuses, excuses...

Seeing that we still had 3 boxes of milk powder at our center reaching expiry date in May, I figured I'd give one box to Zainab. The milk powder, which we got for free, is for growing up kids (3-6 years). Zainab has 2 daughters around that age. Yes, we do have a few others with kids around that age too, but I haven't really had the time to visit them lately (most of them are staying out of Ipoh). Zainab stays in Ipoh, so it wouldn't be much of a problem for me to go to her house.

The only problem is I don't know when Zainab is on day shift or night shift at her work place. If she's on night shift, I can visit her during the day. So far I've never visited any of my clients at night since I am the type who don't like to go out at night unless I have to. Night time for me is to relax at home. Going for my NGO's board meetings is one of the few occasions that I'd go out at night - and my NGO center is only about 5 minutes drive from my house.

I intended to visit Zainab last Friday, and to make sure she'd be home, I sent her a text message on Thursday, asking if she'd be home the next afternoon. I didn't call her as I remembered she had problems with her hand phone - the line would get cut off every time she answered calls. Well, this time she didn't even reply my message.

Thinking that she was on day shift, I decided not to visit her on Friday. But even by Saturday she had not replied my SMS, so I figured her hand phone had gone totally kaput. I decided to drop by her house on Sunday morning. If she's in, lucky me. If not, that's just too bad, I'd have to come back later.

When I got to her house, I saw a perempuan bogel at the door. Oh don't worry, it wasn't Zainab. It was Kakak, her 7 year old daughter who just had her bath. Adik hadn't had her bath yet, neither had Zainab nor Zaki. Did I visit THAT early? Uh no, I don't think so... I think it was already 10 am when I got to the house.

True enough, Zainab's phone had gone totally kaput. She can't afford to buy a new one, especially now that she no longer gets to do overtime at the factory where she works - which means she's off on Sundays.

What about Zaki, her husband? Didn't he work as a security guard the last time I blogged about them? Well yeah, but as I had expected, he didn't last long with that employer. Am not sure what his excuse was that time, but after that he did manage to get a job at a mamak restaurant. He didn't stay long there either. His excuse? Almost all the workers at that restaurant were Indian nationals whom Zaki couldn't get along with. According to Zaki, they would make themselves busy when their boss is around but relax whenever he's not.

Am not sure if all that Zaki said was true. At a time when it's hard to get a job... at a time when Zainab no longer gets to do overtime, Zaki is still finding excuses to quit his job?!

From the first time I met them, Zaki always came up with all sorts of excuses to quit his job.

The first time he found out about his HIV infection, Zaki used to cook at a restaurant. He used HIV as his excuse to quit. "Takut kalau terluka nanti, darah masuk dalam makanan." Duh! Hello? Even those without HIV need to be careful not to let their blood drop into any of the food they cook lah! We don't want to create too many Raja Bersiongs, do we? (as it is, I think we already have too many bloodsuckers around. Ooops!) Besides, HIV don't spread through the food we eat.

Then after some time he got a job as a security guard. In less than a month, he quit. "Jauhlah, susah nak pergi. Kena naik dua bas."

Then he got another job as a casual staff in another town. I think this one he lasted about 2 months or so before he quit again. "Leceh lah, nak ulang-alik tiap-tiap minggu. Banyak keluar belanja." (of course, buying cigarettes is not a waste of money to him... only traveling to meet up with his family is)

Next, he got a job as security guard again. He quit in a month. This time one of his fellow colleagues whom he didn't like became his excuse to quit.

Ahh, excuses, excuses! There's always an excuse, it's never his fault.

I think he's just plain lazy. Oh, he wants a job alright. He wants an easy job where he can goyang kaki and still take home a fixed salary at the end of each month. At least he can use his salary to buy his supply of cigarettes.

Zainab's the one who has to kerja bagai nak gila to pay for all their household needs.



Anonymous said...

Teringat pulak one family kat Subang Jaya. Lama dah cerita ni. Laki dia teruk teramat sampai buku sekolah anak pun dia pi jual. My friend kesian, ambil the Mom jadi pembantu rumah. Ajar perempuan tu suruh cakap kat laki dia gaji RM50 je sebulan (Semua laki kebas). Yang lain bayar 'in kind' i.e. anak-anak dia balik sekolah terus pergi rumah my friend, makan kat situ and buat homework kat situ. Balik sama Mak dia petang lepas dinner. Buku sekolah anak tinggal kat rumah my friend. Bebudak sama sekolah dgn anak-anak my friend. So pagi-pagi bebudak tu ambil beg sekolah dari kereta my friend. Cakap kat bapak bebudak tu cikgu suruh simpan buku pinjaman kat sekolah. Actually my friend bayar gaji lebih, tapi masuk akaun isteri tak cakap kat laki dia. Nasib baiklah laki tu bangang sikit. Nak cerai, rumah kos rendah yg dia org duduk tu atas nama laki dia. Bila anak bongsu dia masuk sekolah asrama je (yang lain dah masuk asrama), the lady minta cerai and duduk dengan my friend. Sekarang, the lady dah senang. Anak-anak dah berjaya. Laki tak malu tu siap minta duit kat bebudak. Bebudak lak kalau hulur paling tinggi RM10. Selalu they all buat dono je. Dia dah kawin lain dan ada anak kecik. Gilo!!!

Pi Bani said...

I think the guy you're talking about is much worse than Zaki. Bukannya jadi pelindung, tapi jadi beban pada keluarga. Tapi alhamdulillah akhirnya anak-anak berjaya. Bab tak malu minta duit kat anak tu, ish, jenis-jenis ni memang tak tau malu!

IBU said...

Kak Pi,

Are their tolerance level for 'job pressure' typically very low?

Naz said...

It is suffocating to deal with people who have 1001 excuses.
What surprises me more is the fact that men like these (yg menyusahkan anak bini) always end up getting another wife. Ada pulak orang perempuan yang nakkan dia, eh?

Pi Bani said...

No lah... Zainab pun HIV +ve jugak, kerja lagi teruk - 12 hour shift some more, tak pulak berhenti kerja. Initially masa baru dapat tau ada HIV maybe lah terlebih stress sikit, but after some time when they get past the "denial" stage, they'd be ok. Si Zaki ni je saja suka cari excuse. Nothing to do with HIV... aje nye maleh...

Pi Bani said...

Nasib baik la si Zaki takde pasang bini lagi satu (at least not yet lah... but I hope he won't even think about it!). Tapi kalau macam yang anonymous cerita tu, my guess is dia pandai mencairkan hati perempuan (yang belum jadi bini dia lah). Macam cerita Mr Darling in my blog - sampaikan Yah jadi tidur tak lena, mandi tak basah, ubat tak makan... ;)

madam gold said...

Salam kenal,It s good that you dont reveal the names of those HIV infected.I have a friend involved in this area.Maybe you know her, it s Lina...quite famous and sometimes came out in paper.Good work she does,I pun tak boleh buat like her.Tapi yg tak berkenannya,she always brings along her HIV kids where ever she goes and introduce to people, and she even exposed their pictures in the newspaper and her book.So,I was asking..are these things supposed to be confidential although they are still kids?I cant help questioning whether her intention is sincere and genuine or not.Her next move is to make film out of the kids'story!It s like she s making money out of this.Well, only god knows.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

as the saying goes, beggars cant be choosy. obviously not to zaki. abis, macam mana nak senang sikit?

Pi Bani said...

Madam Gold,
Welcome to my blog.

Yes, I've seen your friend on TV and newspapers etc. although I have never met her personally. She's doing a wonderful job with the kids. As for her intention, not for me to judge. Being involved in this kind of work, sometimes it can be difficult for us in the sense that if we keep such a low profile, susah dapat support. Kalau high profile, confidentially issues pulak timbul. Maybe in her case, what she's trying to do is to show the public that we should treat the kids just like any other kids.

As for me, I'd welcome it if any of my PLHIV clients are willing to open up to the public... easier for our public awareness campaigns. But so far none of them are willing, so I shall respect that.

Pi Bani said...

Zaki dok tunggu duit turun dari langit kot?