Masniah looked at me twice when I breathed out deeply through my nose. I told her it was because my nose bone is senget, and that it makes one nostril larger than the other.
“I got 1st class honours from Manchester, but 90% of my friends who got their 1sts are not doing well in life, still climbing the corporate ladder”
“Then what about the friends who didn’t get a 1st?”
“They’re all multimillionaires now!” she burst out laughing. I shared her excitement.
She was on her way to KL from Miri to attend a mandatory business course organized by Petronas, the company she bought her license from to operate her station.
She told me tales of her own experiences in University of Manchester, her friend’s daughter who regularly writes about travelling in NST (she’s 17 this year), and how to enjoy life by just doing what you like to do. She later revealed that she had a tough time recently trying to implement the new GST system in her four companies.
Yeah, four. Petrol station, telecommunications, F&B, and … forgot already la. I couldn’t believe it, but in order to get to where she is, she had to quit her job at Shell and say goodbye to a salary of RM18,000 a month. Risk taker. Best gila.
Then it was my turn to share my stories. Students always introduce themselves with the usual things: which university, which year, what course, and what happens after graduating.
“Economics? I always thought economics was boring!”
“Yes! When I was in electrical engineering, we needed to take an economics module! It was all about demand and supply. So boring!”
Then she admitted that it was a necessity to learn the subject, as she sees the importance now of knowing what just happened in Greece, what might happen in Jakarta when the oil price falls, and if the ringgit depreciates further. She really knew her stuff, and I was impressed.
At one point she asked me what I was going to do after I graduate. It took me a while to figure out how to explain it to her,
“I want to read and write well and influence people by informing them on what is happening in our economy, the politics, and other stuff I find important. It’s Point A to Point B, and how I get there and everything else is secondary.”
I dwelled on this a long time. I never regretted quitting my previous internship a week earlier, and now I’m reading and writing at CPPS most of the time; I’m so happy.
Life’s good, even better with Masniah’s business card.