Friday, December 4, 2009

Getting a job is like wishing for a skinny body, which is SO possible.

Okay, I'm not sure whether I should disclose this or not because it's going to relate (read: NOT tarnish) my credibility as a professional consultant, but I suppose it's a no harm deal if I don't reveal the confidentiality part kan? And plus, where else am I going to vent?

Ok I lied, I've talked about it intensively with my parents, my friend Shad and the other half. But I still feel the need to write it down! Hoping that one day in the future, when I reread it again, it's going to be a reminder of how professional and ethical and thorough and did I say professional? I can be!


So you see, as in my previous post,  I mentioned  about  a job offering that not only offers good value-add, but also offers a fricking handcuffs and duct tapes to their employees upon agreement of employment!

Serious shit, no kidding.

No, not literally duct tapes and handcuffs lah, what you think I'm qualified to work in a brothel ke? I'm OVER qualified ok. (meaning overweight lah tu..) Hahah...

Anyway, so today I went to their office to view the contract and read thoroughly and to actually inquire about any clauses that seem dubious and lawyers-jargons-like.

As soon as I reached there, of course lah it's a normal thing for anyone to request for a few days before actually sign and accept the offer. Basically you'd have to read through the contract before making any decision correct? But this is a different case. I wasn't allowed to bring home the contract (or to disclose the legal binding to anyone!) and I was only given a few hours to decide.

Their reasoning? Because they need me to attend a training TOMORROW, hence the rush.

Excuse me? Only a few hours you said?

I told them lah, it's not possible for me to decide today, because I still have to discuss it with my family first. I don't want to regret one day, for rushing a bad decision. Alas, they could not accommodate that request.

Fine, first strike.

After I read through (like seriously, over and over again!), I finally noticed that the whole reasoning why I wasn't suppose to disclose that contract to anyone because everyone has a different version of the contract; meaning different benefits, different compensations. I KNOW because I have a friend who was offered the SAME POSITION, the SAME COMPANY a few weeks before.

So second strike.

Anyway, those 2 reasons weren't enough of a justification of why I should decline the offer, because honestly, I'm pretty desperate for a job, so I was willing to let it go.


While reading the whole contract, I found one clause that really-really-really made me uncomfortable. That said, in Layman's term lah ye, upon agreement I'll be legally bound to the employer for 2 years and if I were to quit for whatever reason (unless if I get sick and cannot perform) within the stipulated time, I'd have to pay the company RM20,000.


So they're going to sue me for QUITTING the job?

Of course lah on their defense they said because the company will be spending a large amount of money to train you and so on and so on so it's not fair for the company if you just leave after gaining the benefits.

Exactly. Benefits.

Aren't benefits are supposed to be um, BENEFITS? I'm pretty sure the word "benefit" doesn't sync with "Here I'll give you a candy for free, but if you eat it you'll have to pay me 20 more candies" RIGHT?!?!?

So what if I get a better offer from another company, I still have to pay RM20k because I "owe" the company for providing me all the necessary trainings for me to PERFORM and BRING BUSINESS to the company itself?!?

It's just not a matter of whether I get another offer or not, but what if after working there for lets say, 6 months, and I feel that the environment or the nature of the job doesn't suit me. Should I still pay RM20k for the company because I'm not willing to continue working non-industriously hence jeopardizing the company's business?!?!

I'm doing them a favor and they're still going to sue me!??!


You get my point or not??

I think that clause is too suffocating because 2 years is a long journey from now. You never know what may happen.

Third strike.

But to my surprise, they were willing to remove that particular clause from the contract after listening to my justifications. Wow, so I can negotiate afterall.

So they removed that part completely and gave me a newly printed contract for me to go through.

I was happy, they were happy, I signed and went back to my car.

...where my mom was waiting. I gave the contract to mak and she read thoroughly again (now I know where I get my thorough-trait! Haha).

She asked a lot of questions and I happily answered her because I was explained to earlier kan.

Until she pointed to this one small fine writing.

"I'm not allowed to join the company's clients or their competitors AFTER I quit for 12 months"


So basically it means I'm not allowed to get a job in Malaysia (because I'm sure they have a long list of clienteles/competitors) for 12 months even after I quit working with them.



I understand if the clause only states non-disclosure of confidentialities, because well, that's normal lah, it's to protect their business entity, but having that sentence where I'm not supposed to work for a year with their clients/competitors even AFTER I quit doesn't make sense at all!!

Of course lah they countered me, saying no, they won't do that, they're not really mean-spirited people where they won't actually hold their employees from joining other companies for career advancement, the whole reason of that clause is to protect their entity and leaking of information.

But as to MY defense, sure we can have a mutually verbal agreement, but in the event if anything happens, their lawyers won't give a crap about verbal agreements, they'd actually use THAT  BLACK AND WHITE CLAUSE AGAINST ME.

I'm not saying that I'm planning to do unethical things (giving P&C information to others, etc), but I'll be definitely breaching that whole clause for working with another company!!

Then what? I'm fucked.

So yadda, yadda, they even called their HR big boss to have a talk with me, haha.

She regretfully said that she doesn't have the power to amend/remove that clause for me, so I regretfully told her that I'd have to withdraw.

After excessive usage of "umm"s and "hmm"s, I walked out from that office for the second time, only this time empty handed.

Still jobless. And tired.

And so I thought that was the end of this drama too! No no no, the drama continues...

A few hours later (when I was shopping with mak and sister), I received a call from one of their top management people, asking for clarification, why I've decided to reject the offer. I explained to him my situation and my thoughts of how it seems like a win-lose contract. He told me that though he has the prerogative to remove the clause, but he still needs to discuss it with the management first.

Since he can't confirm whether he'll be able to remove it or not, I guess it's my call to end this mess, for the sake of everybody.

I have decided to reject the job offer. Final say.

The end.

There you go, my first time negotiating, my first time being professionally assertive, and my first time rejecting a job offer (especially when I'm really desperate for a job!!).

Now I just have to write a thank you letter for them.

Ah crap.

p/s: Oh sorry for the long ass post. I totally understand if you got tired half way through.
p/ss: I hope I won't get into any trouble for writing this. But hey why should I la kan, I didn't mention any names! HA!


  1. damn, I just so love this entry!!! send shivers to my spine... :)

  2. actually tak payah risau pasal clause tu. in contract law tht type of clause tak boleh pakai pun. certain company they all just bantai je letak..but dont worry they cant use tht clause against u pun. ask ur lawyer fren or sumone with legal background sure they know bout this.


  3. Heh. That contract sounds realllyyy familiar to me.

    Not sure if the same as mine, anyway good luck on the job hunt.

  4. Just goes to show that you've got to read the contract with a pretty fine toothcomb!

    Best of luck job hunting!

  5. Hai,

    The contract sounds very familiar to me. Indeed, I went through the same negotiation process just like u. Well, just hope that it's not the same company.

    Some of the clauses are purposely there to bind the employees to be dutifully. But u can double check with anyone from law bground.

    Good luck in job hunting!

  6. there are thousands of companies out there who need you to help with their biz. just pray and work hard for it.

  7. I pun had the same clause in my previous employment. 8 months period.

    But now I'm employed in the same industry. No such thing, I asked my dad's lawyer friend

  8. Nad (Otak Belacan)December 8, 2009 at 9:50 AM

    Alia, ajar aku macam mana nak buat resume dan cover letter yang power pelis.

  9. wah..lebih kurang sama juga dgn sy punya contract..
    Pasal bond for 2 years..
    pasal kena bayar setahun gaji if quit dalam masa 2 tahun..
    Pasal takleh keje dgn client in 1 year after quit..

    Adakah mereka ini main tiru meniru contract? Haha..
    Bagi la clue tu kat mana opis nya?


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