Friday, October 14, 2011

Farewell... so long Pak John*

I have been asked by HR Manager to deliver a testimony on behalf of Host National Staff at this special event with Pak John. I wish I could say no, but then I decided not to because I actually have something to share with you all today. So I hope you don’t mind having me standing here on your behalf to share on what I have learnt from Pak John during his working time here in BIS.

I can’t remember when the first time I met Pak John. Since I don’t have direct working line with him. Yet I was querying what a Business Director actually does, and what things become his businesses that he deals with from the various jobs in this school. Well, of course there were some times for me to visit him in his office standing at his office door, waiting until he finished type up with his 11 fingers.

He always welcomes me though, even when he said he was busy and didn’t have time to talk to me. But it ended up with him listening to me. Pak John would patiently listen to my unstructured story basically because of my emotion talked further ahead than my words which came out of my mouth. Although he sometimes disagreed me, I was quite happy left his office because of his willingness to listen. Lesson number one: Listen, eventhough you’re not in it.

I have been working in this school for 16 going to 17 years. During my time, I’ve never noticed a ‘bule ‘ who shows his/her deep concerns on Host National Staff welfares like Pak John does. We used to have one Union, eventhough it has now been developed into two, which is fine with me as I believe that the more the merrier. But I see there are some changes relates to our rights and obligations. Regardless whether we reached mutual agreement or not, there are always opportunities to talk, to share, to raise our opinions and to give feedbacks from both parties, the school and its employees. At this special moment, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to you pak John for always be there for Host National Staff.

Pak John also has taught me how to celebrate success in your achievement. I remember when I came to his office asking for his support on behalf of The British International School on a library international workshop, I could see and felt his full support on what library had prepared for that prestigious workshop in 2008. He’s always there to support. Lesson number 2: be there to support your colleagues. Pass on the spirit to them.

Until I got an invitation to attend a middle management meeting on Monday morning about a month ago. Pak John announced that he was leaving and he had mentioned about the job delegations during his preparation time before he leaves
on October 14th.

Why so sudden? I wasn’t dare enough to ask that question to him, until I met him personally in his office few days after his announcement time. Well I didn’t ask that question either. I told him that one day before he made his announcement, I was thinking that I was the one who would decide to quit the job. But to my surprise that the next morning, it was pak John who has made that decision. So, we talk and talk until I realize that after what happened to me in the past, and without knowing what happen to the future at that time, I learnt the meaning of a freedom. A freedom which was given to you to choose which way you wish to take when you realize that you have reached an end of a journey. That is lesson number 3.

Now, professionally we split in here Pak Pak John. Although I know our friendship would never end. You have decided what’s your next step ahead and I choose mine to stay in here at BIS for a while.

On behalf of all Host National Staff, I wish you all the best for your future, enjoying your full time father and husband, and be ready to challenge the road ahead, as what I hear from a television commercial, a child said… life is an adventure. Good luck Pak John.


From left to right: Kiki, Widy, myself, Pak John, Ibu Tuti (pak John's wife), Susan and Stephen (Pak John and Ibu Tuti's son).

* This is the original speech I have prepared for Pak John's Farewell Party held on Thursday October 13th, 2011. I delivered it in bahasa Indonesia as requested by HR Manager.