Tuesday, May 20, 2008

It's Been Awhile...

Please be advised that this entry has expletives.

I used to be very temperamental person and my fuse was very short. At a moment's notice, I can transform from a mild mannered Uncle Chan to "You-don't-want-to-fuck-with-me" person. Hence, I was labeled as the PMS guy back in my early undergraduate days. Like they say, a person mellows with age but despite toning down considerably in my temper, I still had days when I blew up. My good friend Eugene Cheng can give testament to that. My temper even created discomfort amongst my close good of friends. All of that changed when my mum passed away in 3 March 2006. As I watched my mum drew her last breath, I knew life was too short... too short for me to be having so much anger and grudge against others. Soon after my mum's passing, I made it a point to apologize to all my friends. The first whom I seek apology from was Eugene. Thank God he forgave me and though we are not best of friends now, we are at least friends. From this experience, I have never blew my top nor did I hold any grudges against another person. It is also due to this experience, I have manage to handled rejections better. In fact, I have come to a point where rejections are not taken personally and it is only part and parcel of my line of work.

I have held steadfast to my belief that it is not worth getting angry or let anger control me until last Saturday... A series of events had happened for the past few years and I brushed them all aside because I knew this particular individual's behaviour. I didn't mind that he never liked the fact that I am not a hokkien-lang (hokkien clan). I couldn't care less with the knowledge that he disliked me because of my Christian faith (Oh, he did try to pass on some "bullet-proof" Buddhist charms to me which he claims can make me invulnerable to gun fire! Woohoo!). Unfortunately for me, I am not the type who will suck up to him or sweet talk my way through so that I can get into his good books. The treatment he gave me all these years... I took it in my stride. However, what transpired last week awaken my long sleeping demons; anger and grudge. When I found out on Thursday what his thoughts on me were, I was totally taken aback but I still manage to keep my cool. Such revelations can really hurt a person especially when it came from a person whom will be kin in the near future. The straw which broke the camel's back happened last Saturday noon. I went to his place to meet this individual who is very dear to me (who unfortunately stays with this asshole... for now). I was early and I didn't know the person whom I seek wasn't at home. So, I rang the bell a couple of times and out comes the asshole.

Me: Good afternoon uncle!
Asshole : ******* is not in! She's not in!
Me: I know, she's on the way back and she's almost here already...
Asshole : Ok ok...

And the asshole happily walked back into the house before I could utter another word. Leaving me standing under the 4pm hot sun for the next 15 minutes while I waited the return of my good friend. That really made my blood boil...

Now, here's a checklist;

He dislikes me for not being Hokkien ...
I can take it

He dislikes me for being a Catholic ...
I can still take it

He treats me like dirt most of the time while I am at his place ...
I can manage it.

He views me with disdain because of my profession ...
I can barely take it in... but still ok
He thinks I am a gold digger going after his assets...
This shook me a bit. I never thought he would view me as such even though I have known him for 7 fucking years and the fact that my family is much better off than his. However,I kept a lid on it and took it all in.

He can't even extend common courtesy to me and made me wait in the sun...
It may seem trivial, but that was really the fucking last straw.

If he was a friend of mine, I would have ended our friendship. If he was a client of mine, I will just cancel his policy and ask him to fuck himself. Unfortunately, circumstances made it as such I have to see his fucking face for the rest of my fucking life. Thanks asshole for this shit. If I have the opportunity, I would have said this to him;

Dear asshole, I wish you well and hope you change for the better soon. As far as I know, people like you tend to die a lonely death... since you would have pissed off your family and friends before you move on... Eh wait, what friends? I almost forgot that your definition of "friend" is "gold digger". Oh... my bad. Well, good luck to you and thanks for reawakening my friends "Anger" and "Grudge". The next time I beat them back into submission, I would have definitely become a better person. As for you, I can only look forward to see you die a slow, lonely and agonizing death. Cheers!

P.S: Pardon me for putting up such an entry this time. I really had to get it out of my system before I let Mr.Anger and Ms.Grudge overwhelm me.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Now I Finally Understood...

The last update I had was in September 2007 when I celebrated my first year in the Life Insurance business. A lot has happened since then which left footprints in my life; for better or worse. However, I can only share some of the more significant instances here...

When I started off in this industry, I never truly believed what my seniors and immediate officer Ah Hoon said that this is a noble and meaningful industry as well as it can only get easier. Back when I was still a newbie, all these statements seem very foreign to me. Nonetheless, I served all my clients and friends with utmost integrity and most importantly, sincerity. (Till a point my dear Adel complained that I did more for my clients that for her! Yikes! LoL. Dearie... I'm sorry for that!). After reading so many motivational books and attending a RM 4,000 seminar on the Power of Change back in January, I have learn to serve unconditionally and with utmost sincerity. In many instances, I personally experienced the joy of helping another (friends or strangers alike) with the explicit knowledge that this particular person has no means whatsoever to return the favour (I label it as unconditional giving). The joy I derived from this cannot be bought by monetary means nor can it be faked. Many thanks to Zig Ziglar for teaching me this very important lesson. Thanks to this concept that was hardwired to my work ethics, I've even received a Christmas card from a good friend cum client of mine all the way from Colorado Springs, U.S.A! I have pinned up this card in my room as a reminder that I must continue to apply the principle of unconditional giving.

The life insurance industry also thought me another invaluable lesson; job satisfaction. Of course, we all work to gain enough money to purchase material items in order to sustain ourselves. However, the events that occurred in the past 21 months opened my eyes that monetary returns is not the most important thing after all. Since I began serving, I have total conviction in what I do because I believe in adding value to people's life as well as the product I represent since it has helped my family during my mum's failed battle against cancer. Probably my conviction was translated in my work ethics and the positive response I gain from my friends and clients alike makes all my hardship melt away. The first incident that gave me immense job satisfaction came from a good friend of mine, Ms.R. She was the third person to start a life insurance policy with me back then. We met up at for lunch couple of weeks ago and I advised her to start saving for her retirement. I proposed her a suitable savings scheme and gave her time to think about it. A week or so has passed, she text me stating she wants to get it from her other half's cousin sister, whom is an established and reputable agent with Great Eastern as well. Due to the fact that she is a family relation to her boyfriend, she dare not say "no" to her. Understanding her predicament, we had a brief conversation and I politely asked her to think about it again. When I followed up on her decision, she text me with this ,

"Hi Nick! Been meaning to contact you but the past few days have been really hectic for me... about that conclusion, I already told A's cousin I'll be buying from you. So don't worry. I think it's the only right to do so. Plus you know my finances better..."

Reading this SMS gave me immense satisfaction. The way I interpreted this is she is willing to continue placing her trust in me to be her servicing agent despite being approached by a more established and related family member. The trust given to me... meant so much more to me than anything else.

The second incident happened last Wednesday during my visit to one of my clients in Midvalley Boulevard office. All along, there has been this Mr.T who is also one of my clients in that office. However, he signed up his policy with me because it was paid for by the company but he never really liked me. Each time I drop by this office, this senior manager will make sarcastic remarks at me such as,"Why are you here? I don't like seeing you here..." and each time he says such remarks, I'll just smile and try to make small chat with him. During my last visit to the office to help my client to make alterations to her payment mode, Mr.T walked into the conference room and again sarcastically said,"You're here again! We have no money to buy insurance from you la...". Again, I just smiled and chatted with him. Later, he came into the conference room we had this conversation;

Mr.T : Eh Nick, do you have any education plans that does not require payment?
Me : I sure do Mr.T. You'll have to start saving yourself and start paying yourself interest la.
*Mr.T gives me the weird look*
Mr.T : How about with RM 2 per month?
Me : Mr.T, be reasonable... do you expect there are free or cheap plans in this world?
*Mr.T laughs*
Mr.T : Alright... can you make me a plan for my two boys?
Me : Sure... how old are they?
Mr.T : Six and eight years old.
Me : What's your budget Mr.T?
Mr.T : What budget? Never thought of that before... do I really need one?
Me : Ok ok. Do you want to send them to University of London or just a local university?
Mr.T : Eh, their father also went to local uni... they won't need to go overseas la.
Me : Fair enough... but you want to enroll them in private or public university?
Mr.T : What difference does it make? Private Uni is better... it is in English
Me : Erm... I graduated two years ago from a private local uni and it cost me RM 60,000 on tuition fees. I expect it to grow beyond RM 100,000 when your children enrolls.
Mr.T : Wah... so expensive ah! Ok... You go prepare a plan for me la...
Me : Not a problem... do you have any existing insurance policies?
Mr.T : I think I have... but no idea where I placed the policies...
Me : To be fair to you, I can't just go make a proposal without knowing what you have. Why don't you pass me your children's policies so I can make a review. Only after that, I can prepare a plan that really suit your needs.
Mr.T : So much hassle? Ok-lah. Then the policy you sold me last time, what does it lack? Do I need to top up?
Me : Similarly, I still need to look at your existing policies before I make any recommendations.
Mr.T : Ok-lah. I will be away for a business trip in Bangkok the whole of next week... when I come back on the 19th, I will pass you my whole family's policies... you take a look at it.
Me : Alright... I'll give you a buzz when you're back.

(The conversation continued on with other topics. He then asked me to go to his room and we had a good half an hour chat after that)

I felt really great when I left the office. In my mind, I earnestly believe I have finally proven myself to Mr.T that I am a capable agent and he is now willing to place his trust in me to service his family. Though it was never easy taking in his sarcastic remarks... I'm glad I was able to prove to him that I'm not just another agent but someone who can truly add value to his life.

The third and most memorable incident came from a mother of a friend of mine. She rang me up the same Wednesday morning to ask me on home and commercial property fire insurance. Due to my preset appointments, I was only able to meet her at 11pm in the evening. We went through the documentations and once that was done, we had a brief chit-chat. After chatting a while, she started to share her worries about her children. Since I knew both her children, she told me to keep it to myself what she said that night. Imagine the surprise I had! I could never have imagined a 55 year old lady sharing her family worries with me (someone who can be her son! LoL). We continued chatting until 0030 before I took my leave. Again, the trust she had in me for her to confide in me meant so much to me...

It is little feedbacks like this that made me truly understand what my I/O said last time. Many thanks to Ah Hoon for bringing me into this beautiful industry. Many many thanks to all my friends and clients who placed their faith and trust in me throughout this 21 months. I vow to continue serving you to the best of my abilities. Cheers!