Monday, February 28, 2011

I'm ALIVE !!!

After my last post almost 2 weeks ago, did you worry that they had killed me and dumped my body in some jungle area in UKM (which would definitely ensure that my dead body would never be found @.@)?


Nah. I'm still here :)


Well, I guess I should tell you how the meeting went now, shouldn't I?


Should I?


Or shouldn't I?


I should. Shouldn't I? :D


(That was an indirect lesson in question tags ! :P) (I mean the 'should I' 'shouldn't I' part.) (Nevermind. =.=)




Well, first off, a quick count revealed that there were almost ten of us who had received that damned letter. I can't tell you the relief I felt knowing I wasn't the only one. Still, the fear was there, whether I wanted to admit it or not. But there was safety in numbers, wasn't there? (Totally the wrong context, but whatever :P)


We were at the meeting room maybe ten minutes past nine that night. Coincidentally (or not, I don't know. But rather fishy, methinks >.<), all of us who were gathered outside were all Chinese students.


A few of the committee members and JAKSA people who were already inside the room kinda offered us a way out -- if we pay the RM25 now, we'd be cleared from the list and we wouldn't even have to meet with En. Rahim.


But that was not the point, was it? The point was to say what we had to say, to the man who had a say in the matter.




We had to wait a half hour more before the infamous En. Rahim arrived. He strode right in, his intimidating presence filling up the room, leaned forward on the table facing us, and bellowed, "Senang je. Apa yang saya nak tahu sekarang ni ialah apa sebenarnya masalah korang tak nak bayar ni?!" (It's simple. What I want to know right now is what exactly is your problem for not paying for the t-shirt?)


I cringed, standing where I was. Obviously he wasn't in a good mood.




One of the boys retaliated immediately, in a rather loud tone, saying he had family problems, his father had gotten into an accident and he was tight on cash at the moment. Which was perfectly understandable. Except for the fact that he was yelling at En. Rahim as if he expected En. Rahim to have had known all along that his dad was ill and he had personal financial problems but was still forcing him to pay for the stupid t-shirt.


Which isn't the case at all. I mean, how was the college administration to know you had a personal problem as such? Did you tell them? If you didn't, you could explain in a more civilized manner. If you didn't, then you did not have to yell at En. Rahim like he was in the wrong and put him in an even fouler mood than he already is.


Which spelled disaster for the rest of us, who hadn't even said a word yet.




True enough, they got into a kind of yelling match, and it ended with En. Rahim going, "You tunggu lepas meeting ni. Saya nak jumpa dengan you." (You stay back after this meeting. I want to meet with you.)


Then he turned to the rest of us, his eyes blazing -- as to be expected after being in a yelling match -- and demanded, "Apasal you tak bayar?" (Why didn't you pay?) One by one, he demanded, "You kenapa?" (And you?) in that rather scary military-voice he keeps for his underlings.


I tried to inconspicuously inch my way so I was hidden from his view behind the guy he'd had a fighting match with earlier. To no avail.


"You kenapa?"


There was no running away now.


Knowing that yelling wouldn't do a thing for the situation, I tried to be as gentle as possible. "Em, sorry la Encik. Bukan nak disrespect ke apa, tapi sebenarnya, saya kecewa." (Em, I'm sorry, sir. I don't mean to be disrespectful, but I'm actually very disappointed.)


I went on to explain that I had done my duty as a resident of this college by faithfully buying the college t-shirts, as well as those from the past 2 years' FESSAT and MAP (college annual dinner event). But they never fit, no matter what the size. 'S' was sometimes too big, with supposedly short sleeves coming down to my elbows. Or long-sleeved ones that cover half my hands (with just the fingers peeking out from under them). What more when I received a t-shirt in 'M' size because "there were none left". The seams for the shoulders hung down well below them. T.T


I also told him straight off, that if he thought about it, calculating as I did, at an average of RM25 per t-shirt, I'd have spent close to RM200 worth of t-shirts that I cannot, and will never be able to wear. Isn't that a total waste of money?


I'm just sorely disappointed, I said. If he could guarantee that this t-shirt is in a size that would fit me, "I will pay the RM25," I ended.


Silence.


Then some murmuring between him and the committee members. He turned back to look at me. "Kalau t-shirt tu ada saiz, you akan bayar tak?" (If they have the t-shirt in your size, would you pay for it?)


Now, that's the voice of reason talking. If they could give me a t-shirt that I could at least wear, then why not?


Abruptly, the session was ended. He left after that. And since the college had gone ahead and ordered 400 t-shirts without the adequate sizes and were now left with an excess of 'L'-sized t-shirts, there were none left that would fit me.


And so I was off the hook.


Yes, that's right. I didn't pay the stupid RM25. (Which is a victory worth celebrating !!! :D)




But of course, more than that, there was this satisfaction from having been able to say what I've always wanted to say to them all along. My dissatisfaction at having spent (now) close to RM200 on t-shirts I would never dare wear out in public.


I finally found my voice and actually stood up for myself, instead of what I'd normally do, which is keep quiet, and suffer and rave in silence. But not this time. This time was the last straw.


And you know what?


It felt damn good !!!! :D


So yes, sure as hell I was scared. 


But thank God that, although the meeting started off looking bad, it didn't end that way. I got to say what I wanted to say, and I finally fought back instead of succumbing to their threats. I won't live in fear, any longer. :)




AND, you know what's the best part of all?


I saved myself RM25 ! xD




p.s: The FESSAT t-shirt was hideous. I am not exaggerating. It must have been divine intervention that I don't now own a 'Save Palestine' (apparently, this year's theme) t-shirt in turquoise blue @.@ (Turquoise blue? Ugh. Almost 400 students in this college, and they can't find ONE who can design a decent t-shirt? Sheesh.)

8 comments:

Arnan Koh said...

Good job!!!

If I were ever in that situation, I probably won't have the guts to attend a meeting. I rather do things like this from a very safe distance - like sending a few emails to various departments, and perhaps the ministry of education itself. Well if I feel strong enough about it once.

k0k s3n w4i said...

or, you could claim to be a zionist, and the "save palestine" shirt is offensive to you.

...

i have no idea why my mind works this way.

Liz ^^, said...

>>Arnan

Well, I'd prefer that too. But sometimes it's just too much of a bother, or you'll have to wait some time before even getting a response that you'd rather just forget about it. And sometimes, in times like these, you have no choice but to confront them face to face. It wasn't like I had a choice anyways @.@

>>k0k s3n w4i

Ahaha, wow. You're just overflowing with creative suggestions aren't you? xD Be proud of the way your mind works. I'm sure some people appreciate it. :P *teehee*

J e n n Y said...

wow! salute you!
u go girl =D

Ðârren said...

well done, su li =) i'd take my hat off to you if i weren't on the other side of the world right now. i admire your courage

SandraC said...

congratulationsssss!! u did the right thing and stood ur ground

hannah khaw said...

Awesome! I know what it feels like after a victory that comes as a result of standing up for what's sensible. :)

In my case, we had this class teacher that drove a lot of students to mental / emotional breakdowns and even drove some to suicidal thoughts. So a group of five of us decided to bring it up to the principal. It took a LOT of guts to do so, because that teacher was a really senior teacher whom no one dared to mess with. But to our utter surprise, the principal sided us, and over the CNY break, the class teacher was ousted! And there came the yummy feeling of victory fought for and won. :P So yeah, keep on going, Liz! :)

Liz ^^, said...

Wow. What on earth did this teacher do to make you feel that way??? T.T That's just horrible !!!! :(
But good on you ! :D