Sunday, December 21, 2014
Those Days At Work
I joined the airport team of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in 1985. I was the latest recruit and was the youngest. I was 23 then. Aside from Simon Oh who is of the same birth year as me and he joined some months earlier, the rest of our colleagues are more than a decade older than us. Added to that, they had already worked more than a decade with the company. For some, two decades. It was just a beginning for me. If I can remember well, Simon was few days older than me. We even share the same birthday month in February. He was a 'little feisty dragon' at work. He has a fearsome Chinese name called Oh Kim Leng and in Hokkien, it means golden dragon.
I remember Zohri who used to work as office messenger running errands. He was later promoted to handle simple passenger service tasks. Zohri spoke with a unique slang, almost like an ang moh but not exactly close. I liked to call him 'Zorro'. Yes, I was quite a rascal sometimes. Guess being young then, I can afford to tease around. I remember once Zohri was about to leave office to handle a flight. He was engaged in a conversation with someone in the office and on one hand, he was holding a walkie-talkie. I managed to take out the battery in his walkie-talkie he was still holding without his knowledge. When he was done talking, I called him on the walkie-talkie to get him to do a sound test. It was in the office, we can still hear each other even without the walkie-talkie. Guess what, he can respond back without realising his battery was gone. I had a good laugh at his expense though. Bad, I know I am.
Another bubbly person was Jaalam whom we affectionately called Jack. He has already passed on for many years. Jack was a rotund fellow and enjoyed his cigar. He was one of our company's drivers. He had a waist that measured more than 40 inches and easily weighed in more than 200 pounds. He will always demonstrate to me that he can still touch his toes when he bent down. Boy, indeed he could. I was really amazed.
Peng Choon, our office messenger who used to work alongside Zohri but the latter got promoted, he didn't. Peng Choon was quite a laid back person and he was one fellow who does not speak or express much. He was a small fellow but one heck of a heavy smoker. Given his care free nature, we used to call him 'Peng San' (lost consciousness in Malay).
Ali, another of our company's driver. He was a very hardworking employee. I cannot recall a time he will nag about too much work. He simply went around doing his errands going from airport to town office and back. I liked his work attitude.
Johari, also our company's driver. He was a friendly chap and liked to mingle with us. Johari sported a thick moustache and he had a stout built too.
The one I remember too well has to be Tay, also our company's driver. He was the opposite of Ali. He will nag and nag when he was asked to go for more errands. When Peng Choon and him were at the pantry, it was always so smoky to the point of setting the place on fire. Both will smoke non-stop. Admittedly, I do find Tay quite a pain in the butt sometimes.
It has been more than two decades and recollecting back now, I do enjoy working with them all. Once a KLMer, always a KLMer.