Prepare a cup of tea, and find a comfy place to sit. I am about to tell you a tale of a young soldier and the 4 years ‘she’ spent in the same land. Well, ‘he’ if you may.
FIRST YEAR – 2013
As many travellers have done before their forefathers did, a young soldier prepares his journey to be interviewed as part of a foreign chapter in his life. They call it, The Internship.
After having trouble finding the place, he eventually found his way to the building. A white shop lot office stood tall, known for its antique golden plaque with two small golden lion statues attached on each side of the plaque; it’s loud and prideful, especially with the name – Ganforhire Brand Solutions. Yet the choice of font gave it a sense of softness. Not to mention their friendly neighbour – the 3 mechanic musketeers and porches on each side accompanied by some greens and a young banana tree.
The young soldier was greeted by a ‘guai lou’. We shall call him General Hugo. When he rang the bell to the office, General Hugo (GH) greeted him in and start off the interview straight after they both settled.
Long story short, the young soldier got the internship. Never in his life, has he ever stared a general in the eye for an interview, as he was a quiet, private and shy person. (I wouldn’t stare at someone’s eyes that long, it’s too intense)
30 May 2014: The pre-first day of internship. Until this day, he doesn’t even know why he came a day earlier than expected. But it was worth the moment. He got the chance to know the people in the company and the workflow before D-day arrives.
FIRST YEAR (Q3 & Q4)
There’s always a first for everybody. The first to land on the moon, the first child in the family to be born on the 29th February, you get the drill. As for the soldier, he was the first designer at Ganforhire to work on projects like NERF, PRS (Private Retirement Scheme) and Auto Bavaria’s 25th Anniversary campaign, just to name a few.
On the days of working, it was quiet as there were only a few soldiers around the battleground, each staying in their own station. Yet in some magical way, we were working in unison.
Those quiet days, the young soldier will forever cherish. But not for long…
SECOND YEAR – 2014 (Q1 – Q4)
A first for everything never stops. It never really did.
The First Year
The first year, of becoming official to the squad.
The first year, that started off with a New Year lunch and Secret Santa.
The first year, with the new squad members; Khalida, Louis, Naqib, Hehsvin, Jeremy, Jo and Reynolds.*
The first year, with new rookies; Lucas, Clove, Terence, Roxanne.*
The first year, we finally had a company activity. Our first laser tag.
The first year, we went out under the sun to do some river rafting.
The first year, we had the biggest bang in Bangsar – A Chinese New Year celebration with 16-inches long firecrackers hanging outside the door, followed by a prosperity lunch.
The first year, we had a Hari Raya lunch together, all wearing baju melayu and baju kurung.
The first year, we had a white Christmas dinner together, all dressed in white coloured shirts and black pants.
The first year, the League (the original name long forgotten) was created upstairs in the creative battleground, where the main players of MONOPOLY Deal, Khairi, Hesh, Naqib, Khalida and the soldier, fight for the most wins within a week. The winner would get free lunch in any amount they want.
The first year, the creative team started a new movement called Kita Malaysia.
The first year, everyone in the creative battleground knows how to play Chor Tai Dee, because of the Master, Louis himself.
The first year, he went Urbanscapes to see Khairi perform and have a nice night with Khalida.
The first year, the young soldier finally saw a corgi in Malaysia at Bangsar Village.
The first year, the young soldier graduated from college.
The first year, the young soldier got to try different cuisines because of his comrades who were willing to drive to other places to try and eat. All of which were lunch adventures he will never forget.
The first year, the young soldier sold some t-shirt designs online, and made some bucks. (Obviously it wasn’t enough to quit his job)
The first year, he visited Sabah for the first time in his life.
The first year, that two of his art pieces was featured at Rantai Art Festival for 2 days.
The first year, he lost a college mate to suicide.
But it was the first year, that everyone knew what a corgi is.
THIRD YEAR – 2015 (Q1-Q4)
A different twist in a different year.
Twist, replacing the old squad members with new ones; Leverne, Ashraf, Sylvia, Marvan, Pui Ling.*
Twist, changing racial tension into a celebration of unity with ONENATIONFITSALL. A one of a kind project, the soldier is proud of. Uniting Malaysians one t-shirt at a time.
Twist, the food ration to a blissful bundle of food in your garden with Poptani Asia. An aquaponic system that educates youngsters on how fish poop can be a nutrient to the plant, and the plant’s poop to the fish.
Twist, the wrist to complete the Inktober challenge. Using only ink materials to create one piece of art, once a day for 31 days in October.
Twist, changing an unhealthy lifestyle to a fit one by running in the Standard Chartered Marathon, only to be stopped by the haze. (Thank you Haze)
Twist, the passion into gaming by becoming a volunteer designer to e-Sports Malaysia.
Twist, the foam blaster NERF, to transforming Transformers, and to turn-based board game MONOPOLY.
Twist, the traditional celebration of Hari Raya to a modern new invented Hari Raya campaign with PROJEK R.A.Y.A. Salam Baharu Raya.
Twist open the Choi San Yeh’s goatee to reveal a Chinese New Year greeting message about the Year of the Goatee.
Twist around the colours of colouring rice to form an image of darkness fighting light in the Deepavali campaign.
Twist your vocals to sing-along with our homebrew Christmas song that rhymes with the Malaysian cultures.
Come rain or shine, the twister will always be there for you.
FOURTH YEAR – 2016 (Q1-Q4)
For every uprising, there’s always a downfall, and that’s where this year started.
It started off, with an intense training for 3 months. Idea Rawkstars they called it. He didn’t like it at all, he was failing.
It started off, with time management being a b*tch to him. He couldn’t keep up with the workload and kept it to himself. But the downfall caught him.
It started off, with many rejections he couldn’t move on from.
It started off, with many great colleagues leaving, for their own good.
Like a rollercoaster, for every downfall, the speed increased and swooped as it went up back again.
It ended with, a big breakthrough in Idea Rawkstarrz. One of a kind opportunity in a lifetime so he didn’t regret joining.
It ended with, coming together, helping and working in unison, which the squad seems to have forgotten about. Finally managed to get everything back onto normal speed.
It ended with, laughter so he felt the weight was lifted off from him.
It ended with, welcoming new members into the squad; Brian, Kit, Rachael, Sue, Hanna, Brenda, Jhun, Lih Wern, Alice*
It ended with, the biggest smile and the weight of carrying the burden lessening more and more, as the young soldier, expresses himself in a way he never has before.
You don’t get to choose when the ups and downs come, they choose you.
FINAL YEAR – 2017 (Q1 – Q2)
Pack up your bags,
So shall I go along this path that I’ve chosen.
Pack up your burdens,
There will be more soldiers coming in your way.
Pack up your meals,
There is nothing happier than eating with you.
Pack up your tears,
This won’t be the end, we shall meet again.
The tale ends here. The branded squad will go on…
*Do not feel left out if your name is not mentioned here.
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