A lady just wrote (Eileen in the comment section) that the f* word card is the most revolting 'birthday' card and she shamed me for linking up to a godly Christian site. I do apologize if I have offended anyone. I guess coming from a non-English speaking country, and I did write in the About Me page that English is not my first language (explains the many grammatical errors throughout my posts), I didn't really realize how harsh or rude the f* word in the picture might sound to English speaking readers. Therefore I removed the top picture of this post that shows the card with the offending wording. However, I will not remove the pictures of the festivities (with the birthday girl holding the card), because for the sweet girl who printed and made the card for Ms. Lusi, it didn't mean to offend anyone but to be funny and something sweet for the birthday girl. I'm sure she, like me, didn't realize how it might sound to English speakers as well.
Again, I apologize. However, please also understand that it's an honest mistake. and if an English speaker try to do the same thing in Indonesian language, aka find something from the internet and print it for a friend's birthday in a language that is not her own, there is a possibility that she might print the 'wrong' sentence as well, that might sound harsh or considerably rude in Indonesian language.
To avoid any more possibilities of offending anyone, I will not link this post to any link up after writing this note, either. I also tried to delete my previous link ups from since Wednesday, and if I could not do it, I send a message to the site owner to remove it if they choose to do so.
Thank you, Eileen, for pointing out to me what I overlooked.
Hello and happy Monday, Friends!
And not, it's not my birthday! ^__^
Last week was supposed to be a slow week since my boss was away for a whole week. However, when I looked back to my Instagram, I thought to myself: "How is it possible that so many things could be crammed into one week?" So many things happened, that I decided to divide my week recap into two posts: with one about what was going on at work, and the other what was going on afterhours. Let's start with the hectic yet fun days at work.
First of all, last week, out of five working days, I got three free lunches! How come? Well, last week was the last week before the religious Ramadhan fasting month. I am a Catholic, but Indonesia has the biggest Moslem population in the world, so Ramadhan is a big thing here, pretty much everyone celebrates the coming of it by having lunches or dinners together before the fasting month. It gives a reason for friends from different religions to gather together to meet, greet and eat, justifying it by saying: "Well, we should do this before the fasting month!" It doesn't matter whether you're a Moslem or not, or whether you will fast or not, because it has become more like an Indonesian cultural thing, a tradition, instead of pure religion. It's like non-Chinese here wear cheongsam during Lunar New Year season, or non-Christians have Secret Santa or gift exchange during Christmas season.
Back to the lunches, they were free because two of them were treats from our vendors or suppliers. Mind you, here in Indonesia it's also a custom for vendor or supplier to treat clients to lunch and send parcels and gifts on certain occasions like Lebaran and Christmas. No one will consider it as bribery or unethical, as long as they are still proper entertainment and gifts, nothing lavish nor extravagant. Giving gifts to clients is considered to be good manners, a form of saying: "Thank you for your business. We hope to continue this good relationship in the future."
For the first lunch, the team chose to go to Abuba Steak, like a restaurant serving affordable steak. Here are the team. The pretty ladies at the top of the picture are my Penthouse girls. Don't get any wrong idea! By Penthouse girls, I mean these young 20-something ladies are the ones running and serving the big bosses at the top Penthouse floors. In fact, some of these ladies are certified flight attendants who fly with the boss' private jets. The bottom portion of the picture you can see my Property and Project Team, who are responsible for building management and construction projects. You can tell that both team have different vibes. The Project and Property teams are much more... well, loud and not all girlie-girl sweetness like the Penthouse team. Nonetheless, they are all fun. Haha!
As for the second lunch, the team picked Yuraku, a Japanese yakiniku and shabu-shabu restaurant. It's not really my taste, because I don't eat Japanese food, but I let the team made the decision and I just went with whatever they want. At first I wouldn't come, but the girls cajoled and smoothtalked me to come, saying that they will grill and cook the food for me. They were being so sweet and persuasive, I didn't have the heart to say no. I ended up still being hungry after lunch, but seeing all the glow and smiles and laughter of my team members, it was all worth it. ^__^
Do you know what makes me happy about these lunches? Not because I didn't need to spend money on my lunch, but because the team cares enough to invite me along. You see, there is a different custom to invite different hierarchy to lunch. For higher hierarchy, it will include sending message via the secretary and such. For manager level and below, it's much more casual. You just invite a bunch of the team members for a fun lunch out of the office, and that's pretty much it. In this case, the client invited my TEAM for casual lunch, not me. It was my team who invited ME to come along. They don't have to invite me at all, you know. I am so grateful because it means they like me enough, I guess, rite! Thank you, Team! ^__^
And then came the birthday festivities. Noooo... not my birthday! My birthday was in May and I wrote all about my birthday week here. The company that I currently work for celebrated its 56th birthday last week. A month prior, HRD team already distributed our new uniforms to be worn starting last week. For female employees, the uniform looks a bit like the traditional "kebaya encim" (you can read about it here), made of Indonesian batik design fabric (read about batik here). Now, I'm not one who likes wearing uniform, but I decided I would wear it for once, to honor the company birthday. Here it is! I wore it with skinny jeans.
With my Penthouse team.
Every year, the company has a tradition of sending 50 people as representatives of each office and factory throughout Indonesia, to make an all-expenses-paid trip to our "spiritual" headquarter in East Java province. You see, the signature office is in Jakarta, which is the capital and business center of the country, but the biggest factory and where the company started is located in a small town called Kediri. Fifty six years ago, the founder started his very small business and sold his products riding a bike in this quiet place. It's a pretty small town where the economy is now thriving because of this huge corporation that I work for. Every year, about 45,000 employees gather together in Sasana Krida Kencana - a gigantic auditorium owned by the company - to celebrate. The management invites celebrities, singers and musicians to entertain the employees. There will be door prizes and quizes, this year the first prize is a car. It's a way for the company to say thank you to the employees who have made the corporation grow into a giant as it is today, as well as a way for the employees to say thank you to the company who have given them their livelihood. Many employees stay with the company for 20 years or more, so it's like a very big family.
This is the view at the lobby prior to the Jakarta employees' leaving for Kediri. HRD has booked one train car special for the team, and they will spend twelve hours crossing the island of Java from Jakarta to Kediri. For those who stay in Jakarta, the company provides free lunch. It's a custom that I myself started in 2010 and has been carried out until today. ^__^
You can tell from the pictures that the team was excited to take this journey! HRD also distributed special T-shirt uniform for them.
Also in the last week, we made a surprise birthday party for one of the managers in the office, Ms. Lusi. Her team consists of all female, and I have to say creative ones, because just look at what they prepared for her! They handcrafted sort of photo booth and props to take pictures! So creative! All can see that Ms. Lusi is so loved by her team, they fussed a lot for her birthday!
The funny thing is, everybody knows that Ms. Lusi is crazy about fitness and healthy food and healthy lifestyle, so instead of birthday cakes, they sent her healthy food such as fruit and fruit salad! Ms. Lusi is also a good friend of Hubby, so she gives me some fruit salad in Tupperware container to take home for him. Thank you!
The "family" that I have in the work place will never be more important than the one I have at home, but over and over, seeing these pictures, all the smiles, happiness, love, and care, I thank God that out of so many offices in Jakarta, and in the world, He has kindly planted me in this particular one! ^__^
I'm linking up to these wonderful Ladies: