Monday, May 25, 2009

Career advice, anyone?

This is not my first blog, hence not my first post either. I used to blog on another host using my real name, but due to unforeseen circumstances, I decided to shut it down and create a whole new identity. This post was originally written last December, but I had to delay the posting.

So now, I'm going to talk about an insulting and rather disturbing event, which happened last January, on a quiet Friday morning.

I was still sleeping when this man called my house. My mom picked up, and they had a long talk. For your information, after my father passed away, this family helped us a lot. I'm very thankful and appreciate this family good deeds a lot, but don't you guys believe there's a line in everything?

Where were we? Oh yes. So my mom and this man were on the telephone, talking about the normal things people would say. Somehow, they were talking about me. This man, who lives in the middle east nowadays, offered to help me. So I was woken up by my shouting mother, and I went to the telephone.

We talked and talked, and I was bothered more about this conversation. So he was telling me, how he knew a pilot for a national airliner in the middle east, and how they talked about me. His suggestion was, due to the global recession and economical turn-down, that I could apply for a cadetship from that airliner, guaranteeing me a job after graduation.

But what he didn't know was that a requirement to apply for this cadetship was that you must not have a Commercial Pilot's Licence (CPL), otherwise your application will be thrown out of the window, and you could be charged in court for fraud and forgery. Not a good thing to be in your record when you apply for a job eh?

I told him that, and he told me, cynically, that noone has to know about it. I'm not a risk taker, certainly not in that way.

Then he told me about his other suggestion. He told me to stop waiting, get into a college/university, and study to be an aircraft/aeronautical engineer. First of all, it is absurd for me to do so. I spent nearly 200,000 ringgits for me to graduate as a pilot, and now he wants me to study for 6 more years to be an engineer.

He told me there is a great market for engineers, but my mind was asking me this question, what about after 6 years? This man, who is not even closely related to the aviation business, is giving me some career advice. Seriously, would anyone of you even bother listening to this?

We continued the conversation, and he told me how a Malaysian low cost carrier is demanding 75,000 ringgits for the post of Second Officer. Clearly he does not know anything about it, since this regulation is history. A simple 6 years bond with that company would allow me to work with them.

Getting along, and disagreeing with all his advices, I began telling him about my own back up plan. I told him that if I would not get a call-up from any airlines, I would become an instructor for a local school, and then, after two/three years, maybe try again. He, synically again, told me that I would have to be a pilot first in order to become a instructor.

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. He clearly has no idea how this aviation world works, yet he is trying to give career advice to a graduate from a well known flying academy. Politely, I told him that was not how it works.

This family had given my mother headaches when I was young. You would never believe what the wife of that man told my mother about me when I was young. I was a kind of a quite boy, and she told my mother "anak kau ni macam bodoh je nanti... Kau tengok anak aku... Lasak... Mesti pandai nanti..." (in English: "your son looks like stupid... Look at my son... Restless... He must be a smarter boy...")

My mother never told my father about it. She was scared about a fight, and you wouldn't want it to happen when you are a minority in a country, where only 7-8 malay familes live. But it turns out that maybe I'm the clever one now. His son was thrown out of a malaysian university after failing his exams 3 times in a row.

Could his 'good' advices be a sabotage? Did he really want to ruin my dreams and maybe my future career as well?

That afternoon I received an e-mail from that particular Malaysian low-cost airliner for a knowledge test in February. I'll do all my best to pass, to make sure that they will see me becoming a pilot. Something they wanted their son to be. Something they have failed in. Something that will make them jealous.

This was a couple of months ago, before I went to their place in Abu Dhabi for a holiday. I now already have a job. And I love it!

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