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Of MLM, Pasar Malam and Astro (again?)

May 19, 2011

Today has been an OK day for me. The thing is, every week I try to get through Monday or whatever the first working day of week happens to be. In this week’s case, a Wednesday. For me, usually the first work day of the week will move awfully slow. After that, the rest of the week seems to breeze past, irrespective of what kind of aggravation I get. It gets doubly fast when I’m in JB. You see, over here I get thrown into the deep end from the get go. As such, everything moves really fast. At times it gets really tiring. But hey, they don’t pay you what they pay you for you to lounge around and goyang kaki do they?

Now, for your information, I have this thing about people who are into Multi Level Marketing (MLM). To be perfectly honest, I believe everybody has a way of making it in his/her life. For me, I don’t see any other way but to work hard. To me there’s just no substitute. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying people who are into MLM don’t work hard. Sure at times you feel like packing it in, but as the saying goes, “bukan senang nak senang, bukan susah nak susah”. There was a time in my life when I felt like there’s just no way forward for me. I can tell you for sure it’s not easy going to the Uptown night market night after night for 10 months, carrying your load of merchandise, setting it up, attending to customers and the like. On a good day you’d get many customers, on a bad day you’d get none.

It’s always good when they are customers. But when there are none (or not many) that’s when you sometimes wallow in self-pity. It’s not a good thing to do, but it just happens you know. You have friends who are really successful in what they do (credit to them of course) and here you are, struggling. Don’t get me wrong, opening a stall at your local pasar malam is never an issue with me. It’s not demeaning in any way at all. As I said that’s what I did for close to 10 months. So no issues there. My stand has always been that I’ll do whatever it takes, legally of course. The thing is, I was married then and we had Nureen. My main priority was I have to provide for my family. The fact that I was staying at Mak’s place softened the blow a little bit.

Mak seemed worried but I always thought she had faith in me and always prayed for me. In any case, you can never discount the effect your parents have on you can you? I just hope everything works well, InsyaAllah. But make no mistake about it, the pasar malam experience (combined with other experiences as well) shaped me into the person I am today, in all the best ways possible. They say hindsight is a good thing and you learn from your experiences.

Anyway, I digress (that was a long one!). Many years ago, Murni and myself were approached by a relative who told us there’s this friend of hers who’d like to talk to us about this e-commerce thingy. Being somebody who’s always curious about the internet and all things IT, I said OK straightaway. So one night we went to this relative’s place to listen to the “talk”. There I find this guy who has a Master’s degree (in what I don’t remember) and his wife. The e-commerce thingy turned out to be…wait for it…Amway!

Well, I’ve never been an “in your face” person, so we stayed and listened. Apparently the relative was caught off guard as well as she didn’t realise the couple was going to give us a lecture on Amway. The things which struck me were catch phrases like, “do you want to retire at 35?”, “do you want to have financial freedom?”, those types of remarks. Here I was, a guy who just got married (can you call 3 years just married?) with his whole life in front of him, with crap like early retirement being shoved down his throat. And looking bemused at all times. I thought to myself, I studied for my law degree (with great difficulty mind you) and am determined to make the most out of it. I certainly wasn’t looking to retire at 35.

After some time, I politely indicated my disinterest at the offer of abundant riches and success (note the hint of sarcasm). The guy was OK with it. I think he could tell. The thing that really got to me was his wife. She went into this rant about wanting to help us (“kitaorang nak tolong you all ni orang muda-muda!”) and went on about how “rugi” we all are at passing up the opportunity. I thought this lady must’ve been brainwashed by her uplines real good. She really touched a raw nerve. I didn’t get into a fit or anything, but I gave her a piece of my mind. She was rather taken aback, as did the relative of ours.

I remember asking Murni to check on the current situation of the Amway couple. Have they become millionaires? Are they retired now? How many people have they “helped”? Somehow we never got around to it, but I sure would like to know. If they are indeed millionaires now, fair play to them. With effort comes reward, no two ways about it.

Anyway, the Astro technician called me this afternoon. Well done to Astro. The thing is, the guy can’t come over after office hours. And I almost certainly can’t take time off work. Something’s gotta give man. Can’t do without Astro. Probably I’ll have to make some arrangement in the next few days. That leaves me with the broken DVD player then. On a slightly happier note, I am planning to watch Thor tomorrow night. Hopefully it’s not gonna turn turtle and I find myself at home tomorrow night, watching the Yuna commercial on TV3 (which may well be the case).

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