Monday, March 27, 2006

We are poor and corrupt, but we love holiday

It's official last week.

Government has finally declare another set of holidays. A few years ago, Indonesia shifted from a six working days to five working days. Among the reason was the efficiency and to give staff more time to rest.

Then, I think, 3 years ago, the government made a rule that if a holiday is close but not next to a Saturday or Sunday, it is to be shifted to the nearest Saturday or Sunday. The reason was to make a long week end, and encouraging people to travel on a long weekend, thus promoting tourism that has been slow after the riot and crisis.

This year, I think, they changed the rule a bit. Instead of shifting the holiday, the government declared that the day between is also a holiday. They called it 'cuti bersama'. 'Cuti' means paid leave and 'bersama' means together. Roughly it means that the day is a holiday, but it will be counted as a paid leave. (In Indonesia, we only got 12 days paid leave within one year, so that's really a bummer).

So let's see how many holidays and days off do we have in Indonesia in year 2006.
Religious and Ceremonial holiday (dd/mm):
1/1, 10/1, 29/1, 31/1, 30/03, 10/4, 14/4, 13/5, 25/5, 17/8, 21/8, 24/10, 25/10, 25/12, 31/12 = 15 days.
New 'cuti bersama' holiday :
31/3, 26/5, 18/7, 23/10, 26/10, 27/10 = 6 days
Saturdays and Sundays : 102 days
Total : 123 days.

Roughly, we, Indonesian are only working 2 out of 3 days. (123/365 days).

Personally I'm not an workalohic. I like holidays, and no complain of too many holidays IF I have a lots of money. (Yes, they say money can't buy happiness, but sadly but true, if you don't have money during holidays, you stay home and watch TV).

To make things worse, what the heck is the problem with the government of Indonesian? Don't they have much more important things to do such as fighting corruption in all line of government agencies? Improving social services? Fixing the whole law system : the police, district attorney, and the judge? Fixing the high cost economic? There're zillion more things to do, BUT THEY ARE BUSY IN DECIDING THE HOLIDAY DATE!!!!!

Indonesia is among the most corrupt country in the world. We are so corrupt that we are able to fix the survey not to put Indonesia on the top most corrupt country in the world.

Indonesia was once the big power among countries in south east asia, now is merely a big bum. Singapore is definitely more developed than Indonesia since forever. Malaysia is now one of the largest player in rubber and palm oil, and leave Indonesia in the dust. Thailand is a lot more advanced in their agrobusiness, and Indonesia is now importing fruits and rice from them. Vietnam is now the favourite place for foreign investment, while foreign investors left Indonesia because of the uncertain of law and high cost economic.

BUT WHAT THE HELL. WE MIGHT BE POOR AND CORRUPT, BUT WE CERTAINLY ARE LAZY. (WE = INDONESIAN GOVERNMENT who for sure don't care the difficulties that faced by Indonesian people.

Just a bit note, do you know who initiate this ministry law? This law is issued by Menkokesra (Menteri Koordinator Kesejahteraan Rakyat = Coordinating Minister of Social Wellfare). Who is the Minister? He is Aburizal Bakrie. He is one of the black conglomerate, who was incompetent in running his Bank (Bank Nusa) which resulting his bank is being liquidated by the govenment, and tax payer money had to pay for the settlement of his bank. But because of very good connection with the big and corrupt political party, Golkar, he got away, and with the help of his good friend, Jusuf Kalla (now the VP), he now become the ministry. Before the current minister position, he was the coordinating minister of economic.
He is well know for his remark when the hike of liquid gas price sparked a lot of protest. He said "If you can't afford the gas, then don't use the gas."


Friday, March 24, 2006

The perfect dollar bill.

Yesterday, I went to a local bank (Bank Central Asia) to make a USD deposit.

I already know that in Indonesia you better have a crisp perfect US dollar bill. No marks, no stapler holes, no ballpoint mark, no bent mark, not even a single dot. Else it will be valued less. Even worse, it might got rejected by banks, money exchangers, and stores.

What I found out yesterday :
1. If your bill is dated year 96, 99, and 01, you'll get charged Rp.20/$1.
2. If your bill serial number started with one of these letters : CA, CB, CD, CF, DB, and DH, banks might not recieve it.
3. Bank (at least BCA) only receive 100 $ bills. Smaller changes such as $1, $5, and $10, will be rejected.
4. You have to sign a letter stating that if in later date they don't like your dollar bill, they have every right to return it to you. (And they photocopied your ID). And they also write down every single serial number of the bill. And I have to pay Rp.6.000,- for a 'meterai' (a stamp that legitimate a letter).
5. The whole stupid simple deposit, wasted me 2 hours.

But all the bank personels are very helpful and courteus. :)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

admins are from mars, users are from hell

I'm an System Administrator and I hate dealing with users. Some users are okay, when they give us a call for a real problem. But quite a lot of calls were about problems caused by the users that thought they are expert enough with their computer (aka smartass).

For instance :
A coleague of mine recieved a call from an user @ a branch store. This user thought that he was smart enough to, without any confirmation to us, came in the morning, and plugged an application dongle into the server. His action caused the server to crashed. Then he call to report the problem.
We were unable to guide him via the phone, because it sounded that he's a bit reluctant to do it himself and he was more expecting us to go there. Anyway, we had to go there to troubleshoot anyway. So we went down to the store, take a look at the server, open the Service and restart the Sentinel (dongle) service. And all set. Only took 5 minutes to do it, plus we had to waste 2 hours drive to the location. All this because of this user that think it's okay to just plug a dongle into a server.

Another occation :
Our office were relocating a department to another office. In this department, 99% of the user uses Mac, mostly the candy color iMac and eMac. We got a lot of call from them asking us to help them unplugging the computer. Yes, they called us to help them to unplug the keyboard, mouse, ethernet, and power cable. They might be afraid to broke something, as they might be a novice user, right? WRONG!!!
After the move, after we replugged all the cable, I saw some of them took the keys out of the keyboard to clean it. YES THEY KNOW HOW TO TOOK THE KEYS OFF THE KEYBOARD, BUT THEY ARE TOO SCARED TO UNPLUG THE USB, NETWORK, AND POWER CABLE!!!! Or maybe they just plain lazy...

In many occations, users will keep opening emails from strangers that contain attachment no matter how many times you told them not to. User will often forget to update their virus dat file. Are they novice, so they don't know these things even though we already go over this thousands of times? NO... BECAUSE THEY ARE SMART ENOUGH TO INSTALL BLUETOOTH DONGLE + BLUETOOTH APPLICATION TO SYNC WITH THEIR CELL PHONE!!!

They certainly are from hell.