01 March 2013 – the first day I joined Soon Soon Group as Maintenance Engineer. That is also the first day I knew that I need to manage the whole maintenance department.
As a fresh engineer, the need to manage people is the most challenging task for me. To make matter worse, a few of them has already 10 years experience; I was curious if them will listen to instruction given by a fresh engineer.
During my first meet up with my teammates, everyone seemed to know well about my background. First question they asked was “Oh, you worked as a chef before join Soon Soon?”. I replied “Yes, I did. Nice to meet you all, but don’t ask me to cook for you all.” We sat together with a bag of Teh Ais that they treat me, chit chat together, that is the story to begin with my maintenance teammates.
After working with them for some time, among those fitter, there is one fitter who really caught my attention. He’s a man of few words, very polite and unassuming. Can’t believe he did not even finish his form 5 educations, but his fabrication skills and measuring skill was fabulous. He is only 3 years older than me. He makes me feel ashamed of myself as a superior. I tell myself that I must learn all he know plus knowing everything he don’t know to be qualified as his superior.
I like to stick with him and learn the way he works. Soon our relationship become not just superior-subordinate but we were friends. We what’s app after work, we talked about everything. He always maintained his optimism in the face of desolating subjugation. I admired him that although his salary not high, he still able to build a family with a 3 years old cute son. He never go for lunch during working hour; I knew he is saving expenses for his family.
I still remember there is one incident happened when I first joined. Our plant can’t run because of machinery breakdown. I told my fitter I can’t stay back; I need to leave early because of my personal matter. After that, he privately told me “You shouldn’t leave like this; it is irresponsible as a superior; it will destroy the teamwork spirit.” I really feel ashamed and embarrassed to be taught by a subordinate. He does not need to take any responsibility during breakdowns, but he cares about the team.
I always tell myself, everything and everyone around me is my teacher, never judge a person by their education level.