03 February 2013

All in the family ( Pt 8 ) – He earns his keep

Fifty years ago I began to earn my keep soon after graduation. Thirty years later it was my children’s turn. This month it is my first grandson’s turn. There is one big difference, though; this boy has not even passed his SPM. It is true that he sat for it but is still waiting for his fate. But his parents cannot afford to maintain an unemployed individual nesting at home. Realising this he, without as much as a word of permission from anyone, went job hunting!

It is fortunate for this young man that his place of work is at a pizza something, just a walking distance from home at Damansara Heights,. What I cannot understand is why, with his uncertain school qualification, he has been promised a monthly earning of almost the same as my monthly salary with a multinational fifty years ago and with my scroll and all. Have the financial pundits coined the term ‘cost of living’ to explain this?

So, ladies and gentleman, if you happen to be eating pizza around there and see this boy, give him a generous tip. He needs to save as much as possible in case he does well enough in his SPM to continue his studies.

Ready, willing and able to serve with pleasure

I assure you that he has been well trained to serve. His father was there as customer and his grandfather will be there, too, insya Allah, to check on his performance.     

Yes Sir - err Dad- what would you have?
( Tapi Abah bayar lah !)

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan


kotastar said...

Congratulation. Yes they have the opportunity and a head start to EXPERIENCE. At our restaurant we see the likes of him or her doing their best with the brief training imparted. Naturally at the pixxa hut etc the induction will give him a good start. Happy visiting nanti.Salam

ahmad humairi said...

السلم عليكم ورحمة الله

Kalau di zaman sebelum Malaysia merdeka, 1 sen boleh membeli sepinggan mee dengan berpinggankan keropok yang boleh dimakan. Sekarang sepinggan mee berharga RM 4.00!

....gaji permulaan kerja sekarang, walau mencecah RM2,000.00 sebulan, tidak dapat memenuhi gaya hidup sekarang.....hanya mampu untuk bernafas yang terkadang 'sesak nafas'.

Al-Manar said...


I would love to pay a visit to your restaurant, in particular to see the huge tree sticking through the roof, with possibly a few seats and tables up there!

I do not think we had this short vacation training, earning something, during our days.

Al-Manar said...

Cikgu Humairi,

Jadi nama sahaja gaji besar. Besar peeriuk besar lagi keraknya - kalau tak salah ingatan - atau pun besar lagi apinya hingga hangus?

Saya ingat Cikgu akan beri pantun.

Wan Sharif said...

He hehe besar periok besarlah keraknya.. Mungkin itu yng Abang Hassan maksudkan
Masih segar dalam ingatan Ketika saya ingin ikut kelaut mencari rezeki selepas MCE.. Allahyarham bapa saya menarik saya kesatu sudut dan memberitahu saya bahawa tugas itu tugas dia.. Tugas saya belajar dan jika bercuti pergilah hiburkan hati bersama kawan kawan. I ended up watching kampung folks playing dam haji at tha gazebo.
Later I asked Allahyarham why was I not allowed to work.. He quietly told me that earning money then might demotivate me from furthering my studies.

nwar said...

It is heartwarming to see his initiative ... the priceless experience that he will take home - not just the earnings & tips! ... self confidence, dealing with the "real/harsh world" out there (fussy customers, late orders, slow service, you name it), and a taste of working responsibility and accountability.
Hopefully this precious "own initiative" attitude will rub on to his siblings and cousins.

Pakcik's No.2

Al-Manar said...

Ayoh Wang,

I can see the difference between the way the two of us were raised despite both of us being from the same town. I was right in the middle of the town and you in a peaceful coastal kampong. There was no gazebo or pondok kedau kopi. But the important values were there. Playing Haji was IN a house or on its 'serambi'.

Earning money was not a child's responsibility. Environments have changed so much, haven't they?

Al-Manar said...


Apart from peer group members, a child growing among close members of a family does get the rub-on effects from siblings, cousins, aunties and uncles. Parents do the 'steering' and managing, and love above every thing.

We are all very lucky.

Pak Idrus said...

Pokcik Hassan. Hey that is the way. Gain experience while waiting for the examination result is the way to go.

The non Malay have been doing this for donkeys years and I am happy to see that its happening among the Malay. He is smart to get a job. It is not about the pay that is important but the experience which is a valuable knowledge that is important for his future.

But remember academic qualification open doors and with experiences it is a plus factor. With the door opened the opportunity toward success in a sure path toward success.

The present Malay youth should forget about getting employment but instead strife toward becoming an entrepreneur and what your grandson did is the first step in nurturing that entrepreneurship culture.

Thanks for sharing. Have a nice day.

Al-Manar said...

Pak Idrus,

I think you are right in saying that The 'entrepreneurship culture' is something we lack in our people. Sadly, many choose to begin life with joy and fun in many forms; racing on the road, sure heboh and all. And worry at old age on how to survive, as you expressed in your recent posting.

kaykuala said...

Dear Pakcik,
It's a fun thing, a pastime for them. Opportunities abound so they do what there is to do. Unlike our times we needed to survive. To think they get as much and they don't even treat it as urgent!


DrSam said...

Assalamualaikum Pakcik Hassan,

My eldest son had just finished his SPM, just like your grand son last year. But unlike your grandson, it is very hard for me to convince him that raw experience will at the end make him a street wise person. I think partly it is also my fault as PS3 and other IT paraphernalia occupied his mind at the moment. Perhaps it is also his 'vengeance' for years of gadgets deprivation while in the boarding school :)

p/s: Thousand apologies Pak Hassan. I accidentally deleted your email while spring-cleaning my gmail account before jotting down your number and responding to your email. If I happen to gate-crash to your lovely sanctuary for a cuppa...won't you mind sir?

Temuk said...

That handsome young man is given good pay because the cost of living is much higher in Damansara Height. Whatever it is, he is truly a "pelajar dan anak mithali".

Teringat pula zaman mengambil upah menebas kebun semasa cuti sekolah. Hatta sekolah menengah. Seronoknya pada masa itu, tapi terasa juga "beratnya" kalau di kenang-kenang balik.

Al-Manar said...


It is not fair to make comparison between us anf them, a gap of TWO whole generations. We walked and a bicycle was a luxury but some of us do not trust then on the road unattended these days. Cases of mossing children are frightening.

Tue Feb 05, 11:51:00 AM

Al-Manar said...

Dr Sam,

Your son is of the same age as my eldest grandson. I know I have been about right all along. They grow wiser and more adept to all the gadgets.

Children at boarding school grow with more independance than the home grown ones. That in itself is a big plus. You ought to be good at remote control nechanisms which give you an edge in handling these IT wizards.

Be careful because my gates are heavy and are likely to cause damage to expensive cars in particular. Jump over is safer than gate-crashing.

Al-Manar said...


Ambil upah menebas kebun? Tak hairanlah jadi pakar tentang tanaman!

Saya bela kambing sahaja. Tahulah beza tahi kambing dengan tahi lembu. Itulah tanpa disedari ilmu kita sekarang beasaskan pengalaman masa silam.

idris said...

Pak Cik Hassan,

Purchasing power is key here. Your grandson’s monthly salary (with pre-SPM qualification) might be almost the same as yours when you started work 50 years ago armed with an overseas degree, to boot. But I believe the purchasing powers of the 2 sets of figures are worlds apart. Just consider this: An honours graduate started work with the government in early 70s at RM750 per month under Suffian Salary Report. The Report was on “clean wage” basis i.e. no allowance is payable. Now a graduate starts at about RM3,000 inclusive of allowances such as civil service and housing allowances. So there has been a 300% increase over 40 years.

I have no personal experience of 1 sen buying lots of thing as one of your readers said. He must be older than me. What I had in early 60s was that 5 sen could buy me a plate of nasi berlauk (with fish and keropok thrown in) at the school canteen.

I had no opportunity to earn pocket money during school holidays simply coz it was not available then at my nearest town. All my children were luckier but I never asked how much they received, neither did they volunteer to tell me.

Al-Manar said...


Purchasing power must indeed be a key to explain how five cents in your time could buy a plate of nasi berlauk in 60s. In the late 40one cent was certainly some money because we talked in terms of half a cent - I have forgotten a local term for that.

I looked over your blog which seems to have been neglected. Make a resolution by this Maulidil Rasul month that you will reactivate your blog. Be a devil and write what you think.

Salaam to you En Idris.


Assalammualaikum Pakcik Al-Manar...salam ukhuwah dari saya...ibanmuslim.blogspot.com

Al-Manar said...

Iban Musim,

Kalau tak salah ini kali pertama meninggal catatan. Terima kasih dengan harapan perhubungan berpanjangan.