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Our Cerpen

We often hear how great it is to work at a particular place. Sometimes even we are often caught off guard by incredible, personal tales by our employees. Last month, we had the opportunity to sit with three of our employees, all who are from the esteemed Super Club 21, and this is their Cerpen.

I joined Westports in 15/06/1998 when the nation was going through a financial crisis. Back in those days, Westports only had 9 Quay Cranes, 44 Terminal Tractors and 30 Rubber Tyred Gantries. We had two yards, A & B, whereas yard C was still under construction.

For me, as an RTG Operator, it is my Alexi and me throughout my shift. With the clear and precise instructions I get from Alexi, I can focus on my job and execute my task smoothly. In my early days, I was a TT Operator for nine months. We never had a stable system back then, and we used to deal with a lot of paperwork. Thankfully, that is not the case anymore.

Due to experience and my good performance, I was promoted to become an Assistant RTG Trainer and then a Trainer. But I still preferred my job as a RTG Operator because being in the field is much more exciting and of course, I get rewarded for my high productivity.

Let’s just say that my record was not so good in my early days. After a couple of years, I realised guys who came after me, were performing better and they were getting rewarded for their hard work.

This hit me hard. I came to understand that I needed to buck up. I told myself that I needed to improve, and I did. Never slowed my progress ever since then.

We used to wait for vessels in those early days, and most of the operators will be on standby. So we, the TTOs took the initiative to learn how to operate the RTG. It became a routine for us to man the machine whenever we had the spare time.

Once during Hari Raya, most of the operators were on leave, and we lacked manpower. The operation was at a stand-still. So my colleagues who learned to operate the RTG and I took control of the situation.

Tan Sri was there on that day, (it was quite difficult to miss his Silver coloured BMW 3 Series) and he was surprised to see a group of TTOs operating RTGs. Boss was so impressed that the next day he called all of us up to HR and promoted us to RTG Operators!

Mr Subra was once a part of the team that broke the world record in MPH with Regina Maersk.

Westports has contributed a lot to myself and my family. Ever since joining Westports, I consider myself better off both financially and emotionally. I have received good increments and rewards. Moreover, I am often rewarded for my work productivity in the form of incentives. These are some of the key factors that drive me to be disciplined and to achieve targets set by the organisation.

When it comes to operations, I would say there will always be risks. We have to be very careful to avoid unsavory incidents. Especially when we are stacking the boxes, we cannot afford to be careless. One mistake can be extremely costly, endanger others and will disrupt the operations.

My hard work and dedication were recognised by the company, and I was included in the Super Club 21. It was one of my proudest moment as a Westportian. I have to thank Westports for creating Super Club 21 because it spurred me to do better. Furthermore, it has created a healthy competition among the Operators.

Most importantly, our founder, Tan Sri Datuk G Gnanalingam is a fantastic man. He has instilled strong family values within the organisation. All of us are treated like family members. I believe not many leaders are capable of having such a deep connection with their employees.

I have four kids. My youngest is 14yrs old, whereas my first and second are working in Westports. My third child just completed SPM.

I used to be an ordinary technician who dreamed about working in Wetsports. One of the main reason why is because my cousin who was also working here, used to tell me a lot of good stuff about the organisation. 15 years on, I would say my cousin was spot on!

When the Super Club 21 was introduced, I was extremely motivated and made it my goal to be a part of it. After years of dedication and hard work, I was finally a part of this esteemed group of men. It was not easy to be included in that list, but it gives a sense of pride to me.

Over the years, I received plenty of offers to move to become a RTG Operator. Nevertheless, I chose not to take up those offers. Many have asked me why. But my answer has always been the same; I still love my job as a TTO. One has to be very passionate about their job, and I believe I am that kind of person.

Moreover, I get to try all the new TTs that come into Westports before they are commissioned for operations. How cool is that? It is not an easy job, but each of us has our method to handle stress and continue to focus on our job. For me, as a Muslim, my prayers and my faith help me a lot in dealing with work stress.

Tan Sri is an interesting man. I am not sure how many leaders would call their operators up for a fun, casual chat in their room. He is a very caring person and is always concerned about his employees’ well-being. The dedication he has cannot be matched. He used to spend time at the port in the middle of the night. He could have just stayed home and spent time with his family. But we all know that his heart is with Westports.

I have four beautiful daughters. My eldest is in form one whereas my youngest is five years old.