Saturday, August 22, 2009


 Photo copyright Mohd Harris Haliman, August 2009

I have a series of albums on Facebook called Fun@Work. They are a collection of photographic memories of the fun I have in my job. It is very possible to have fun while working. But how to bring about that fun, and how long the fun will last, depend a lot on circumstances. But I do beleive that in any case, fun at work is up to you and how you make of it.

My company does a lot of Corporate Social Responsibility work, or CSR for short. In the most recent one, we gave away our chocolate and cereal drinks to the pupils of SK Bandar Penawar, Kota Tinggi, Johor. My Department was assigned to represent the company for this event and I brought along my staff Azizah and Harris, and my trusty Olympus E-520.

We pushed off from Seri Alam at slightly past 0600hrs. Harris gave us an early morning demo of his F1 skills with his Savvy, overtaking trucks and trailers and other sorts of big lugs slothing about along the Kota Tinggi Road, to make it in time for the school assembly at 0730hrs.

It was unnerving for me at first, not being very fond of little children. I had in fact a slight phobia of small kids, being an only kid myself. There were hundreds of them on the court in front of the school podium in their colourful co-curricular uniforms when we arrived. I tried to smile as I walked past but none of them returned my smile so I hid behind the podium by the canteen until the headmistress invited me to come and sit with all the teachers on the podium.

Meanwhile Harris and Azizah busied themselves coordinating the drinks boxes and snapping photos. I was pleased that the kids sitting on the court paid no attention to me, not a single pair of eyes were on me. There were a few school activities going on including the unveiling of the school's Merdeka Month celebration before my turn came to give the headmistress the token hamper we had brought with us.

After the assembly was over we started giving out the drinks to the kids. All my fears faded away as one by one the pupils came to take their drinks from us. The teachers were helping out as well and everyone was really excited about it. There's something about free drinks that makes everyone happy, and I was glad my company is doing this. I was told by the headmistress that some of the students were from poor families, so this may mean a big deal to them. The kids were game for photos too so Harris took the opportunity to put my Oly to maximum use.

We were then taken for a tour of the school and breakfast at the teachers' lounge. When the headmistress opened the door to the library we saw the pupils sitting on the cold floor without any mats or carpets with the aircon on. We decided to ourselves that we'd do something about this when we got back.

It was one of those experiences one doesn't forget. Children leave an impact on you, whether negative or positive. But if you have a heart, I doubt you'll see kids in a negative light for long. To the school, our company may remain in their archives for a very long time. But to the children, the faces of Harris, Azizah and myself will probably be etched in their hearts beyond each time they see or consume our chocolate and cereal drinks. We made a difference to them that day. So I'm glad we did what we did.

More photos can be viewed here.