Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Oh Duck!

Recently, in the morning operations meeting at the office, Our Project Director, Mr. C, announced that swearing shall be allowed, in the interest of stress release. As a bit of background to the office where I work, it is one where you find 90% men 10% women and where most of us are of offshore background ie. sea-men, captains,offshore engineers etc..etc.. And we are in the midst of big-time operations offshore and stress level is at an all time high.

When I joined the company 5 to 6 years back, swearing was unheard of; at least in front of us ladies. It was a time when the office was still relatively small and we were relatively new in the industry and the team comprised 99% Malaysians and 1% foreigners. We still had a lot of Asian values then, no swearing and very polite.

Things are a bit different now. Why? Well, we have grown into a big set up. Probably the biggest of its kind in Malaysia. And with growth, more Mat Salleh's came in, Mr C included (disclaimer: despite the F words, Mr C is nice) bringing in change that was needed and the four letter word, that was NOT needed

Now back to Mr C's little announcement. So, it's not unusual these days that we hear that four letter word in the office. The women folk still don't use public. But for the men now, it is norm.

So now we find ourselves in morning meeting with discussions that sound atrociously vulgar. For example:

Chairman : So how was our progress yesterday?
Head of Ops: Not too good. Waiting on F***ing weather again.
Mr C : F***. And did the flanges we order arrive on time?
Mr Procurement : F***. Don't look at me. It took a F***ing long time for the project team to make a F***ing decision.
Mr C : I told you to buy the F***ing flanges anyway.
Project Manager : Oh, f*** it.
Me (in my mind) : What the F***?

One comes out from those meeting all fired up either in a good or bad way, meaning either more stressed or less stressed. I don't see how this swearing thing works in stress relieving and what positive value it adds to our working days. It could possibly be that the sayer (person saying it) relieves stress, but those listening just get all worked up for no reason! Well, at least we, in the office, are of a younger generation and we're more or less tuned to this sort of language. I can just imagine my mother sitting in one of those meetings. She'd just faint a million times over! She thinks that "SHIT" is a bad word! But then again, she thinks that "footsie" = "futsal"?? (ha!ha! but I'll blog about that later!)

Unfortunately, yours truly has been infected by the F*** virus too. I am what you could call a closet swearer. I swear when I am on my own, rarely in front of people as long as I can help it. (Not an excuse, I know..) I have been around these men too much for far too long, I think. And I suppose, I can't keep it closeted for so long, for I have also fallen victim to the "melatah" illness. So instead of going "OPOCOT!!!", I go "OH F*** F***!" these days. N thinks its cute, he's one of the offshore men anyway, he just would think its cute wouldn't he?

I have to stop though cos N Junior has picked up this language from me. We were in the car one day and I drove over a big pothole and said "Oh F***!". N Junior said, "What's F*** Mama?" I was stunned for a while and felt so bad for teaching my four year old the four letter word. I told him, he was imagining things and that I never said anything, for lack of a better excuse. He was a bit suspicious though and kept bringing it up during the rest of the day.

I told my sister this and she said "Apalah you kakak! Just say that you said "DUCK"!"
I thought that was a pretty sane thing to do, and in an effort to change, then on, I started saying "duck" instead of F***. So, it was "Oh Duck! , Duck Off!, What the Duck?, Where's the Ducking whatever?, Let's duck!! (ha!ha! joking only lah!)

I thought this "duck" thing worked until, one day, I dropped a cup at home and shouted "OHHH DUCK!".

N junior comes running and excitedly says "WHERE?? WHERE??" hoping, of course, to find a real duck wandering in the kitchen.

I was dumbfounded. I'd better stop "ducking" around! AND..remind me never to listen to my little sister again!

SO, what do I say to N Junior? I didn't say anything then, there was this "blank" look on my face. I guess, he'll learn eventually, the hard truth, about life, you know, that Barney is not really a purple dinosaur and that he doesn't really exist, that real people cannot be Power Rangers and that when Mama says "Duck!" she really means....errr.."F***"?

Gasak lah.



Blogger atiza said...

i guess if you melatah "oh duck" is much better than "oh mak kau jatuh terlungkup" in one breath..

been in O&G co before. mat sallehs (esp american) are like that i suppose. just treat them like depa berzikir la cenggitu

2:45 AM  
Blogger anedra said...

Atiza: Ye lah kot. It's definitely better than what this nenek at my kampung uses. She goes "Oh P***** kau!" Go figure that out! haha!

2:53 AM  
Blogger faux diamante said...

i knew the wife of a tukang obat a long time ago. she used to latah"oh,p***t*t rafeah bu*ng. kesian tul ruh orang.

whenever the neighbour's mutt barks unnecessarily,my girl yells "St*pid dog",and abah encourages it. Sabar je lah.

9:09 AM  
Blogger CikNi said...

dear makcik, being a 'mak' memang cenggitu, kita sendiri kena berubah mengikut usia dan kematangan anak

cuba melatah ayat quran ke

7:46 PM  
Blogger CikNi said...

er- lupa nak mention- my latah would be 'oh mak kau jatuh'

7:47 PM  
Blogger anedra said...

nazrah: Dad's are always like that, encouraging the children on the most inapropriate stuff at times!!

CikNi: I'm one loqlaq mama though! Ya..maybe I'll try ayat quran, takut lain pulak keluar, nanti tersimpang susah pulak dak?

10:53 PM  
Blogger OOD said...

haha, i gelak besar bunyik tak senonoh sungguh.

my husband kata, kalau mencarut nanti mulut bau busuk. Dia buat tak apa, sebab dah semulajadi busuk, kata dia la.

Try Clorets.

12:05 AM  
Blogger nyonya glenmarie said...

hehe... kelakar lah your boss mr.C tu (mr. Corrupted kan otak sopan org melayu). Luckily in the electricals dept where i used to work i have never come across swear language. the top mgmt always maintain decorum gitu.

12:29 AM  
Blogger anedra said...

OOD: Clorets? It'll help my foul smelling mouth (if what yr husband says is true!) but then it'll come out as OH sweet DUCK or something like that? Boleh ke?

Nyonya LM: Memang dia mat salleh kelakar yg suka mencarut. I could do a cartoon strip on the mat salleh's we have here, in fact!

12:52 AM  
Blogger Kak Teh said...

anedra, i wonder where thsatloqlaq comes from! heesh! tak pernah dengark dalam sejarah keluarga kita orang loqlaq!! anyway, i have a friend, bla depan orang dia melatah, Oh. mak bismillah, bila depan kita dia dah kumpulkan segala genitals dalam berbagai indah bahasa!

1:03 AM  
Blogger anedra said...

kakteh: you wonder where the loglaq comes from huh? pi tengok cermin, you'll find the answer!

3:32 AM  
Blogger shidah said...

mas univ i terbiasa menyumpah seranah ni sebab kawan ngan omputih, somehow stop bila balik msia :)

5:23 AM  
Blogger anedra said...

shidah: I guess got co-relation with this mat sallehs then huh?

8:16 PM  
Blogger Ms.B said...

Umm, .. I tend to swear.

Intentionally or otherwise.

When I get REALLY mad, then the F*** word gets blurted out, .. but so far the only recipient is hubs when we fight and I'm in hysterical mode (yes, I CAN get pretty hysterical) .. after dat flutter eyelids and say sorry profusely lah. *condemned to hell, I am*

The unintentional happens when I, umm, .. latah. Yes, once in a blue moon, it happens. And what comes out isn't usually decent, mind you. At one stage, what would come blurting out was along the lines of "Oh, mak kau b***!!" Can you IMAGINE??!! Luckily the recipients were usually close buddies (who somehow trigger that latat mode in me) and who would obviously give me such a clobbering after that (I think they found joy in clobbering me)!!

Best is my mom lah. As far as she has been around in my entire lifetime and before that (true account by granny who is SUCH a tukang mencarut!!), my mom has never uttered a SINGLE profanity. The worst she's ever said, and that's when she's REALLY REALLY pissed, is this:-

"Monkey, donkey, elephant, PIIIIG!!"!!

Bless her soul. :)

8:39 PM  
Blogger Ms.B said...

"latat" is "latah", BTW. Ugh.

8:41 PM  
Blogger anedra said...

blabs: tell me, what's b***? My mom once in a whilem she says one particular bad word and that "pu***k". But only one person gets that - KAK TEH!

9:36 PM  
Blogger Ms.B said...

Ah, "P****k" is also in my bad vocab! And I learnt the word from granma!

"B***" denotes a pink animal of the twirly tail kind, eep.

9:56 PM  
Blogger anedra said...

ahhhh..thanks for the enlightenment... ter"blur" kejap-blurness is in the family i guess. wow! your grandma sounds cool, can mencarut some more!!! so, u've got a good excuse for yr "french" - it's genetic!

10:06 PM  
Blogger faux diamante said...

kesian kan kat mak engkau, bcuz all our latah tend to have someone's mother involved.

mak kau b*b*
mak kau jatuh, terlungkup lak tuh
mak kau meletup
mak kau this
mak kau that

when i am upset with someone, i usually find myself saying, budus, tak skolah agaknya. as if skolah can teach u anything eh? most times i replace my cuss words with gibberish like basketball, fish etc.

my mom most foul word when she's super duper angry would be, "teruklah","mangkuk" "dia ni so what-what lah". i guess she's had to train to tame her tongue too after having kids. i learned to cuss fr the men around me, esp when they are behind the wheel.someday i hope to be as mild as my mom.

1:20 AM  
Blogger kak cik said...

I can imagine the question N junior will ask you -
Why mama? You all in the office angry with the 'Duck'?
But if you told him what Duck really is -
He'd say "That's not nice!!"
What would you say?

7:21 AM  
Blogger anedra said...

kakcik: I'd say, go ask Mak Tok and Atok..they have all the answers. DON'T THEY???

8:26 PM  
Blogger MassyLassy said...

I remember when I was working in a construction industry and we have a Brit Engineer and all that you can hear coming out from his mouth (esp bila talking to sub-contractors) were f-ing and jeff-ing... Orang Brits pun sama jugak! They just love those F words - f-ing in every sentences! Me kalau nak swear I will change it to Fish or fishhead... Hua! Hua! I don't really like to swear but kalau dah geram sangat, that's it!!! Keluar semua!!!

11:50 AM  
Blogger anedra said...

Ms Bizwack: At the rate people all over the world are using the F word, I'd expect it one day to be declared internationally as longer a profanity, and thus..I won't have to explain to N junior!!
Mr C says, "we should work with passion". One other justification for the F word. So baguslah sekali sekala terkeluar semua, but he's gotta change his choice of words lah. Bad! bad! Bad!

Nazrah: I wonder who's mak we're talking about when we do that? PeliK, mat salleh, never do that.
"Oh, your mom's a pig!"
"Oh, your mother fell!"
"Oh, your mom blew up!"
But of course, they say worse things! ;p

6:38 PM  

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