Membaca Sinopsis Seseorang : Jadi Bapak Ini Operator Pabrik, Programmer, atau Gamer?

Akhir-akhir ini saya kebetulan sedang melakukan trial (percobaan) produk perusahaan tempat saya bekerja berupa bakteri pengolah limbah cair. Pekerjaan tersebut mengharuskan saya untuk berkunjung setiap hari ke instalasi pengolahan air limbah customer saya yang berada di daerah Rancaekek, Kabupaten Bandung.

Nah yang menarik bukan pekerjaannya, itu mah bikin stres. Yang menarik adalah saya bertemu dengan salah satu karyawan di sana, posisinya sebagai operator. Sebut saja namanya Pak Rudi. Bukan berniat merendahkan, namun posisi operator instalasi pengolahan air limbah memang bukan posisi yang terbilang tinggi.

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Pabrik Tempat Pak Rudi Bekerja

Sepintas Pak Rudi terlihat seperti Bapak-bapak usia 40-an tahun lainnya. Punya keluarga untuk dihidupi, rambutnya mulai rontok dan beruban, bekerja dengan sistem shift, dan tidak mengenal tanggal merah di kalendernya karena hanya mendapat jatah libur mingguan sebelum pergantian shift. Beliau adalah lulusan analis kimia di salah satu SMK di Bandung, yang mana posisi operator memang kebanyakan diisi oleh lulusan SMA/SMK. Tipikal kan?

Sampai suatu hari saya mendengar beliau bercakap-cakap dengan temannya mengenai RAM atau Random Access Memory pada komputer. Setelah mereka selesai berdialog, saya pun bertanya, “Jual asesoris komputer, Pak?”

“Iya, seneng aja sih saya mah sama yang kayak gitu. Lumayan juga buat sampingan.” Jawabnya dengan logat Sunda kental.

Oke, saya kira karyawan di usia 40 dengan usaha sampingan saat ini memang wajar saja. Lalu beliau melanjutkan, “Saya dari dulu emang seneng ngutak-ngatik komputer, nggak cuma hardwarenya sih, tapi programnya juga. Dari jamannya Lotus dulu saya udah sering main.”

“Ooh gitu, Pak. Saya mah cuma belajar di sekolah aja padahal Lotus-nya. Itu juga pusing malah, bukan jadi main.”

“Iya dari Lotus dulu sampai sekarang saya bikin-bikin program buat pembukuan sama pendataan. Biasanya sih yang mintanya dari rumah sakit atau puskesmas. Pakai SQL itu lho, kalau pelanggannya cuma minta database ya bisa pake VB, kalau nggak pake, bla..bla…bla.” Si Bapak lanjut bicara tentang SQL, desain web, database, dan hal lainnya yang saya sama sekali nggak ngerti.

Yang menarik lagi beliau menjelaskan itu semua tidak dengan kesombongan, tapi dengan humble seolah-olah saya sebagai anak muda jaman sekarang pasti mengerti dengan semua yang beliau jelaskan tadi. Beberapa saat kemudian beliau pun menjelaskan bahwa dulunya pernah bekerja sebagai freelancer di salah satu perusahaan berbasis informatika, karena memang passionnya di bidang itu. Setelah saya mengangguk berpura-pura mengerti, saya pun bertanya lagi.

“Wah, hebat Pak bisa bikin kayak gitu. Kalau bikin program buat usaha-usaha kecil bisa, Pak? Sekarang kan banyak tuh orang yang mulai usaha kecil.”

“Ya bisa, sebetulnya mah gampang kalau udah punya masternya mah, tinggal ubah script dikit-dikit, bla…bla…bla.” Wah Si Bapak ngalor-ngidul lagi ngejelasin programnya. “Kalau keinginan mah ada sih, untuk bikin…apa tuh namanya yang sekarang lagi banyak muncul…? Start-up ya? Nah itu, tapi di umur segini mah udah males saya-nya. Orang-orang juga pasti bakal nyari yang lebih muda kayak sampeyan. Kalau lihat orang kayak saya pasti mereka bilangnya, ‘Ah, orang tua mana ngerti Android?’ Gitu mungkin ya.”

Yaah, Si Bapak kok malah merendah begitu jadinya, tapi percakapan dengan cepat berganti topik ke game lalu ke VGA.

“Bapak pakai VGA apa, Pak?” Tanya saya.

“Saya pakai GTX berapa ya, lupa juga. Udah lama sih belinya, tapi dipake gim-gim jaman sekarang masih bisa aja. Dipake main Call of Duty yang baru apa tuh namanya?”

“Black-Ops, Pak?” Jawab saya, padahal belum pernah main karena spek komputer nggak kuat T.T

“Nah iya Black-Ops, Assassin’s Creed juga lancar. Point Blank mah apalagi. Anak saya main Point Blank kena tipu tuh, dimintain e-mail sama password mau aja dia mah. Saya coba lacak lagi nggak ketemu, malah nemu punya orang lain, hahaha.” Kata Pak Rudi sambil tertawa lepas. “Kamu main Point Blank nggak?”

“Nggak, Pak. Game online mah saya nggak kuat di kuotanya, hehe.”

Wah, gila. Siapa yang menyangka seorang Bapak usia 40 tahun yang pekerjaannya operator pabrik adalah juga seorang programmer dan gamer. Kalau ekspresi bahasa Inggrisnya mah, he’s like the coolest plant operator I’ve ever met. Rasanya seperti ngobrol dengan orang yang seumuran, malah beliau lebih melek masalah teknologi ketimbang saya yang 15 tahun lebih muda.

Memang seseorang itu tidak bisa dinilai dari penampilannya saja.

Don’t judge a book by its cover, that’s why they have a synopsis at the back.

Begitulah saya membaca sinopsis Pak Rudi, sampulnya mungkin berdebu, kumal termakan zaman, namun sinopsisnya tetap ada. Terbaca sangat jelas, menarik, dan bersahaja.

Mari kita doakan Pak Rudi bisa berhasil memulai Start-up yang dicita-citakannya. Aamiin.


Postingan terakhir di tahun 2015.

See you next year, world! 2016 will be is awesome!

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Quarter-life Checkpoint : Doesn’t Matter Whether It’s Passion, Desires, or Comfort Zone

Social convention has been dictating you for a while now that quarter-life crisis is an impending stage of your life that you have to overcome. I prefer to call it quarter-life checkpoint though, sounds less frightening. This article is a self-reminder as well as a fair warning to you guys who have yet to reach this checkpoint.

As I came to my 25th this year several months ago, for the past 2 years I have been thinking what the hell is wrong with my life? Surely most people who already live an independent life will come to this, either you are a college graduate, high school, junior high, or anything, what matters is that you are an independent human being in your current age. You make money every month and you don’t ask to your parents anymore. This is the point where you take your life decisions all by yourself. Let’s take an example from mine.

For 22 years I have followed my social convention’s divinity to go to school, college, and have a dream job based on my degree. Now we know that not all people can make it to the last point. Some of them have abandoned school or college for many reasons; financial, adaptability, mental disorders, passion driven, etc. But thank god I made it past college, although I haven’t been through the dream job list but that’s okay, it’s called a checkpoint for a reason, it means that there’s a list with checked marks and unchecked marks. If the list has all of its items check marked already, it will be just simply called a list, not a check list since you don’t have anything to check anymore.

Back to my life, so I worked at a company in Jakarta, well renowned among its competitors and clients as well. I got paid well, normal 9-5 workload most of the time, friendly working environment and people, can manage to have savings even if it was not much. Overall I was happy. But here’s the tricky part, I started comparing my life with others, with my college friends, my high school friends, my cousins, people that have lower degree than me, people that have higher degrees than me, people that are pursuing higher degrees than me, almost anyone I met who has the same age as mine (or almost the same). At this point, I was dragged here and there, like a raft floating by the seas and the waves pulling in/pushing you away as it likes. Whenever one of my friends got a scholarship to study abroad, I want it. Whenever one of them has got a dream job, I started looking for one too. Whenever one of them got married, I tried to find someone for me (this is the thing I regret the most). Whenever I see someone has a startup, I started researching to be an entrepreneur and stuff. Now, do you see any crisis here? Exactly, the only crisis exists is your desire, to make it sound better, social convention calls it “passion”. Other than that your life is fine as long as you are paid by your boss and able to go through the month while you collect savings. Social convention calls this, “the comfort zone”. The convention is not entirely right or wrong. It simply adjusts to a perspective viewed by society, like the universal truth. So don’t waste your time and money trying to achieve this, there is no right or wrong when it comes to your life decisions, be it in the passion zone or the comfort zone, you are who you are.

The important thing to go through the quarter-life checkpoint is focus. If you want to be in your passion zone, be a rhino and crush all the boulders ahead of you. If you want to be in your comfort zone, be the freaking boulder that no rhino can pulverize. I am telling you that neither of them is easy, the only way to go through is to buck up, focus all your strength, time, and money there. Anyone can relate to being a rhino in the passion zone, I’m sure you’re already aware of the concept, “pursue your passion no matter what” and other bla, bla, blas. But being in a comfort zone is not an easy option either, not to mention your comfort zone is not actually comfortable. Imagine watching your office colleagues quit their job one by one, pursuing a greater career or degree or startups. Imagine most of your friends have got their scholarship to study abroad. But here you are, working the same thing everyday over and over again with standard wage feeling that your life is stuck. At least that’s what I felt in the past 2 years.

I wrestled with myself wanting to be a rhino like everybody else, the difference is, I wasn’t focusing in one thing at a time. I tried to get a scholarship, failed, tried to look for a better job, none accepted, tried to have a serious relationship, rejected countless times, tried to build a startup, too afraid with the risks and hardships. It all went for almost 2 years, no boulders I could crush. Eventually, some times later, some boulders started to crack, or I thought they did.

By that time I managed to have some kind of relationship with someone, and in a while, I passed a job interview at a great foreign company to work in Kalimantan with fantastic salary, but very far away from home which I don’t really like. After the interviews, there was still a medical check-up procedure. But in the middle of the excitement that my life has finally turned around, I became ignorant and quit my current job, before the medical check-up results came. That should be the first clue of how an unfocused will can be catastrophic. I was unemployed for a few weeks, waiting for the results, and it made me act needy toward my partner since I didn’t have anything to do. Days later, the company I got interviewed to called, and the results came out bad. Like real bad. He said that I didn’t pass the test, and that I have some kind of hepatitis B virus inside my body. I didn’t tell my partner yet about the virus, I simply told her I didn’t pass the job test requirements. We had lunch that day, she asked for my drink, I gave her. But it really bothered me so in the end I told her about the virus. Pretty sure she was shocked because she drank from my glass. I googled earlier that the virus don’t contaminate or spread through foods and drinks. But after that we have never meet again. I don’t know what went wrong, the neediness or the virus. You know, women, right?

So just like that, poof…! Life was ruined. I was unemployed, lost my partner, having a deadly virus inside me, and got back home to my parents in shame. I spent my two years worth of savings in travels from Bandung-Jakarta for job interviews, vacations, and other impulsive needs with the justification in my mind that “I am f***ing depressed and need to buy things that can relieve me”. For you guys I am telling you, never to do this! This doesn’t solve anything at all. All of my savings gone in just three months. I also went to a clinic and a lab to have someone test me for the hep B virus. Shockingly, both tests came out negative, meaning I don’t have the virus. This is relieving as well as frustrating, but mostly relieving. I tried telling my ex-partner about this but meh, nothing good happened between us.

In the middle of my unemployed months, there was a job expo at my campus. I looked up the list for companies I might be interested with and there it was, the company I got rejected from appeared as one of the tenant there. I went to the expo and approached the person I had interview with. He still recognized me. I asked about the different results (I e-mailed them my independent test results). Ideally I would have said, “Dude, what the hell!?” but no that didn’t happen. Instead we had a nice chit-chat for a few minutes, he said that he doesn’t know how it might have happened. Could be a swapped results between the patients (there were a lot of people having medical check-up that day), could be a false positive, nevertheless if it comes to MCU results, he couldn’t do much about it. We continued talking about something else, but in the end he asked me, “Do you still want the job? If you want we can conduct a re-test on you.” But I said no. Once again I lost focus of my will since working too far away from home is not my preference and at that time I had been staying at home with my parents for a while and I feel comfortable with it, what a big baby. However, I missed my chance again.

At the fourth month I got a job back in Jakarta, I had to borrow money from my friends as a starting fund before my first wage. And after that life goes on. I work in a chemical distributor company right now and guess what, I passed the MCU test, which also conducts a hep B virus test. Not a really turning point of life yet but I am trying to focus on just one thing at a time right now.

So that was it, but let’s take a step back on the story and imagine what if I focused on just one thing at that time, either for the scholarship, the relationship, the career, or startup. Probably today I would’ve still be working at my current company, still have my two years worth of savings or even more. Or maybe I would’ve agreed to take the re-test and joined the foreign company. Or maybe I would’ve got a scholarship to study abroad, I only have tried once to one institution, there are many other institutions that offer scholarships, I haven’t tried them all, again, it needs focused will. If I were a focused rhino back then, I’m pretty sure at least one of the boulders have already crumbled to dust by now. And if I were the boulder, I’d still be standing and just got tougher every time a rhino hits me. All of those might happen if I focused on just one thing at a time.

So choose one now. But remember this, whichever you choose, there will always be a time that you say to yourself, “I’m not meant to do this, I have to find my passion or other stuffs that can make me feel better.” If you already told yourself this, consider me as your future self, I’m telling you to stop this bullsh*t you’re talking about right now and continue doing whatever you chose, don’t ever, ever, ever stop until you have reached your target!

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