Monday, November 28, 2011

labour pain to money

" Due to over-population concerns, 'living time' has replaced money as the standard currency and people must acquire more time through labor and commercial means after turning 25 years of age, or die within a year..."
- synopsis of In Time starring Justin Timberlake

Last fortnight, I had a hugely satisfying day. After 2 years of working here, I have finally received the ING Medical Card with good coverage! It was even better compared to the ones that I've used at the companies that I worked with before. Well, they used ING too, but it was not as good as this one.

I mean, being single made it indifferent. But, who knows? With the policy that I held few days ago, I could foresee myself receiving benefits out of the medical and insurance implementation. I was happy enough to prepare the announcement of our medical benefits; my smile was getting wider when my superiors signed it and it was at its best when the team came out with the policy and guidelines for it.

It was all hard work but it was worth it. The moment I met the insurance people, I knew I looked ridiculously radiant. When they gave me the package which consisted of the medical cards, I nearly cried. We have been waiting for this in such a long time! At least I did. At least the team did. Nobody knew how much tears, sweat and blood we shed for those facilities.

I knew the staff in the office were ecstatic. After the insurance people went back, they called and yelped and screamed hysterically through the phone. Okay, that didn't sound nice wasn't it? They shrieked. They giggled like small girls. Especially those ladies who have kept the money beneath their pillow before they delivered their babies. Or the ones who have been waiting in long que for monthly check ups. And especially the ones who have been patiently waiting for the medical practitioners to attend to them when their children were sick at the general hospital. Some could not afford to have medical insurance on their own or for the family. Some was just being unlucky.

But then, hey, that was over wasn't it? At least, now, that has been covered as long as they are under the employment. They are not going to be THAT worried when they are driving to the outlets or event sites. They knew for a fact now that things have changed.

Well, at least that was what I thought. At least, I thought about it in a positive manner.

Some of my colleagues cried when they received the cards. One of the ladies who was actually called herself as "Sha's #1 Enemy" was actually thanking me non-stop and even made an attempt to call me and talked about it like best friends. I even received hugs and pats on my shoulders for handing the cards away. If I wanted to be carried away by it, I supposed, I could. But it was a team's effort with great leadership skills which brought us where we were yesterday. So, I could not take the whole credit by myself.

"Thank you, Sha..." was the nicest gift I had ever received in my whole life. And for my small team to be looked upon was what I have been dreamed of. ( I'm crying)

BUT...the critics would never stopped. Of all the people who have been saying thank you and who have been really greatful, there must be a small group of people who were still condeming us for not being "efficient". Our effort to equalise the medical and insurance benefit, leave entitlement, rights and facilities under The Koperasi or Sports Club with the parent company was not actually classified as struggle. They said, "this was not enough" or "this is nothing" or "well, the other companies are providing us better."

The reason being was because they felt that the non-monetary benefit (from their point of view) are not giving them a cash money. "Mana increment aku, Sha?" was what they asked me even after few months of receiving the increment letter from the very same hand who gave them the medical cards.

One of them even asked me, "Tak guna bagi benefit kalau aku tak kahwin lagi. Mak ayah bukan korang cover, aku jugak cover." Well, my eyes were a bit blurry when I heard that. They would never know about the day when I was alone on 15th October 2010. That was the date when my beloved mother went for her surgery, hospitalized for weeks and off-work for several months. I didn't talk about it, I had never complained about it. My parents were my responsibility - with the medical benefit or without it. Why should I complained about the company's policy when it was my lifetime commitment?

In my head, I was just asking, "Dengan mak ayah sendiri pon berkira ke?

I wonder how does it feels like if our mothers starts to think like the movie In Time. But it is not the time that they are concern about; it's the pain that they had during labour. The hurtful delivery which brought them on the verge of losing their lives.

And a mother says this to a son,

"Due to economy hardship concerns, 'labour pain' has replaced money as the standard currency and people must acquire pay for labour pain that their mother went through once they get a job, or die within a year..."

I wonder the riot that most employers will have to face...


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