Friday, October 13, 2006

Larangan Penerimaan Parsel dan Mentalitas Pengusaha

Beberapa hari belakangan mulai ramai dibicarakan isu larangan penerimaan parsel bagi pejabat. KPK (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi) mengeluarkan larangan (beberapa sumber mengatakannya sebagai “himbauan”) tersebut sejak tahun 2004.

Para pengusaha parsel, khususnya yang tergabung dalam APPI (Asosiasi Pengusaha Parsel Indonesia), mengungkapkan kegelisahannya. Tentu saja, mengeluh karena pendapatan menurun tidaklah etis bagi pengusaha. Mereka lebih memilih mengeluarkan “kisah sedih” yang menimpa karyawannya: PHK, penurunan gaji, sampai ilustrasi, “usaha parsel saya telah membantu anak-anak muda setempat lepas dari pengangguran, sekarang saya harus merumahkan mereka lagi.” Yeah, right.

Kalau memang mereka merugi, kenapa tidak jujur mengatakan “saya rugi kalau begini terus, padahal bulan depan saya mau ajak istri muda saya belanja di Hongkong” (wordings may vary). Bukannya “kisah sedih buruh” tidak ada, tapi pengungkapannya cenderung sekedar menjadikan buruh target pelampiasan.

Lucu. Mereka yang memecat dan mengurangi gaji karyawan-karyawannya, KPK yang “disalahkan”. Ini adalah tindakan reaktif, bukan proaktif. Masalahnya bukan pada pemecatan karyawan (mungkin ini solusi terbaik untuk keselamatan ekonomi pengusaha yang bersangkutan), tapi pada statement implisit “saya terpaksa melakukannya karena KPK membuat saya begitu”.

Come on, KPK tidak melarang pengusaha parsel berbisnis. KPK hanya melarang pejabat menerima parsel. Mayoritas penduduk Indonesia bukan pejabat kan? Kenapa harus menyalahkan KPK? Kenapa tidak menanggung tanggung jawab (merugi adalah konsekuensi logis berbisnis) dan secara jantan bersikap efektif?

Seharusnya para pengusaha memiliki mentalitas kelimpahan (abundance mentality), sebuah paradigma bahwa ada banyak di luar sana untuk semua orang. Jika pasar dirasa sudah saturated, terlebih akibat pelarangan KPK, ada baiknya mereka berinovasi dengan strategi blue ocean.

Fellow entrepreneurs, you have the capacity to overcome your problem. Don’t waste your time cursing others.

Semoga KPK tetap konsisten dengan usahanya memberantas korupsi di negeri ini. Semoga para pengusaha parsel menemukan solusi terbaik untuk kepentingannya. Semoga para buruh parsel tetap dapat bekerja dan menghidupi keluarganya.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Shelter for the peace of mind

Early this afternoon a friend of mine called. He’s a fellow programmer in an insurance company I once worked in. After some chitchats, he asked about my progress in finding a lodging (“kos” in Bahasa Indonesia—a room for rent, usually monthly basis) to stay.

I told him I’m still looking. I also told him, in weighted priority list, I want to find a “kos” which is:
  • Comfortable, since I’ll be spending my night-time in it (either working late at night or sleeping). One with air conditioner (AC) is preferable. I once visited my friend’s “kos” somewhere around Untar (Tarumanegara University). It was an unpleasant experience. I might be exaggerating, but the room was uncomfortable.
  • Somewhere around my office. Much better if I can walk to/from office on foot, cuts transportation expenses.
  • Affordable, with reasonable cost/benefit.
  • Surrounded by lots of places to dine, cheap ones.
  • Close to street passed by bus going to/from my office.
  • Both for men and women. Men tend to ignore their surroundings, women do not. In case I need something (ketchup?), I know where to ask.
  • Next to “kos” with lots of chicks in it. I decided to “kos” so I can spend more time in the office, so living in an all-chicks neighborhood won’t add significant value. Moreover, I’ll spend my weekends at home. But I can use this benefit to show off to my friends :-)
So far, I’ve found 4 potential places where I should start looking:
  • Somewhere around my office. Thing is, I haven’t found any. Some do exist, but they’re not empty. The are “kontrakan”s (house which you can rent), but I think “kontrakan” is an expensive solution.
  • Somewhere around Untar. So far this is my favorite spot: close to Grogol (ultimately all access to anywhere), just one ride to office, and there are lots of chicks. The downside? Pricy.
  • Somewhere in Meruya. Actually I haven’t explored this area, somebody just told me to look there, notably around Mercu Buana University (but it’s far too distant from my office). Compared to that around Untar, supposedly it’s cheaper. My only objection is that afternoon traffic sucks. Because the street is one way, everybody heads to Meruya!
  • Somewhere around Binus (Bina Nusantara University). Although I spent my undergraduate life in Binus, I hardly know “kos”es surrounding it. It might costs as expensive as in Untar.
For those who curious, here’s why I decided to “kos”:
  • Cut time. I live in Bekasi, I work in Kebon Jeruk. I could save 3-4 hours daily.
  • Better energy utilization. This is tightly related to point 1. Spending a considerate amount of time commuting not only wastes time, but also drains energy. I can’t do anything useful in the bus. I can’t sleep comfortably, I can’t read books, let alone working. If I “kos”, I expect to have more energy to spare. I can continue to work, I can concentrate on my open source projects, I can read books, I can do more.
  • Learn how to live on my own. Someday I will take college abroad, consequently far away from home. “Kos” is a great test drive. Whenever I feel homesick, home is two hours away :-)
  • Some friends of mine think I take “kos” to be “free”. I don’t take that seriously. I’m currently working, I can’t “skip classes” anytime I like. If hanging in clubs is a reason, I really don’t have to “kos”; I can go out anytime I want from my parents’ house. I spend the night almost every weekend in a friend’s place.
  • Some friends also think that I “kos” so I can freely get naughty with chicks by inviting them in. I don’t take this seriously either. If I want to get naughty, I don’t have to “kos”; I can do that in their “kos”, or a cheap hotel room. One of my top reasons to “kos” is so I can have more time to do useful things. Playing with chicks is counter-intuitive.

So, when will I really get a “kos”? After finding the right one, of course. Previously I wanted to get one quick, because I was overwhelmed by a project deadline (I wanted to be able to spend more time in the office without worrying my way home). Now I think I'll wait after Idul Fitri.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

In search of a new bike

I have a motorbike, an oldie, and I don’t find it satisfying. I don’t hate it because it’s old, I just don’t want to ride on it because it gets broken so easily, a normal behavior when your bike is more than ten years old. This is why I commute either by driving my own (parents’) car, or catching bus. Both options are not suitable for short distance travel, such as going to a close mall or in-neighborhood fast food restos.

I need a new bike. Since I’m a man, it’s natural for me to prefer a “man’s bike”. If I can’t afford a CBR, at least I want Tiger or something equal (Scorpio or Thunder). I always think before buy. I asked my friends, browsed many websites; I even picked up brochures when going to malls. I brainstormed my decision.

What’s the summary? My friends tend to choose small bikes because it’s cheaper (both in terms of purchase and maintenance), and it’s well suited for highly trafficked city like Jakarta (we can do “maneuverings” without much effort).

I give up, I choose not to pick a “man’s bike”. I found one strong reason not to pick it: I want everybody in my family to be able to use my (soon-to-be) bike. I won’t be using it everyday and I don’t want it sit idly when I don’t use it. That’s not good in terms of utilization.

If I bought a Tiger, I’ll be the only one in the family who can use it, since I’m the only man (my dad makes it two, but he doesn’t ride bikes anymore). The only reason I want Tiger is because it’s “cool”. It’s faster than small bikes, but I don’t need that feature. I choose my family over my ego :-)

But I still want style, not just functionality. Ordinary small bikes simply don’t fit (and for an idiot reason: I already have one). If it can’t be “cool”, at least I want it to be “different” (this is one of my stupid traits). After some lengthy discussion with my friends, I came up with an idea: buy a scooter—Yamaha Mio or Honda Vario (just released). I’ve seen both, they look interesting.

I was just about to get one, but a friend of mine suggested that I wait until the beginning of 2007—some economical reasons I don’t understand. That’s a good idea anyway, I can start saving meanwhile (so in time, I can buy it cash). He’s a good friend of mine. I follow his advice.

Thomas, what if the chick you currently have crush on refuses to hang out with you, because you don’t ride on a “man’s bike”? Well, despite the crush, why bother hanging out with such chick?

Friday, October 06, 2006

Long time no see

Anybody home?
Man, this is creepy.

It’s my blog that I’ve left for months. I’m so ashamed. Months before I promoted the concept of "blogging" to my friends. I told them blog is an effective communication tool in the Internet. Blog is a practical storage for keeping ideas. Blog is revolutionary.

But then I stopped using it for ages.

I set up more blogs than I could handle: one at, one at, and another at my very own website ( For the sake of (wanting to be) a distinguished Java programmer, I set up a blog in Now that's 4 blogs.

Am I effectively communicating then? Having practically keep my brilliant ideas? Revolutionize myself, the Internet and the rest of the world? No. Zero. Null. Mickey Mouse is still a mouse.

Effective communication.. to whom am I communicating with?

Keeping brilliant ideas? If they're so brilliant, how come they never went to concrete implementation?

I'm beginning to doubt the power of blog. If it has one. Let me cynically comment on what some people think about blog.

A blog connects you with the people who matter
And a classified doesn't? For peer-to-peer "connection", wouldn't phone call a nicer option?

It’s easy to start and maintain
To who you're talking with? My mom doesn't know how to start blogging, let maintaining alone. Neither folks in my neighborhood.

I'm not starting a war here. Especially not with marketing guys telling blog is good for business (probably it is, for their business).

Could somebody tell me some practical values of blogging?

Looking for my geek side?