Close of a chapter


I understand where my managing director (friend) is coming from, he must be thinking that when previous company closes the Singapore office in April 2017, he gave me this opportunity to join them. I was hired to tender for a major project which if the company wins it, will guarantee them 20-30 years of cashflow.

In addition, I started work one week prior to joining them to prepare for the tender documents and I was not calculative to charge them for this one week. When I joined them, they fail to fulfill the part on the transport allowance which is SGD 1,000 per month. When we traveled and worked on the weekend, I was not calculative that they need to compensate me off in lieu or compensate me for my annual leave. I remember for the first three months while preparing the tender, I was working every weekends for the entire duration. 

I am not going to ask for full compensation (3 months notice pay + 12 days of annual leave) as the company doesn’t have the cash. However they cannot just leave me in lurch and just ask me to go without any pay. All I wanted is a soft landing. The chairman chooses to terminate me before Christmas is a horrible man, spoiling my holidays season.
To add, if they have won the project, I will not share the upside but there should not be any downside on my part. If they cannot honor a 3 months notice period, they should amend the contract in the first place.

Definitely, there are instances on my part that I fail to deliver. There are days which I just bum around and try to act busy when there is not much work. I am just ranting about the negative side of the story.


When I spoke to the chairman, the initial conversation goes like this,” You can stay on to do your own things, we will take back the laptop and you can sit here for the next 3 months. The company will pay you. If the company cannot pay you, you can sue the company. However, you must take note that I am one of the directors here, I do not owe you anything, it is the company which will owe you.” I know the company law and how a private limited company works.  

I negotiated a deal with the chairman to compensate me just a full month salary excluding the annual leave and allow me to leave immediately. We got into a quarrel at first but after understanding that this is a good deal for both parties, everyone cool down and close it amicably. For him, it helps the company to save 2+ months of salary cost and I will get my pay upfront to avoid unnecessary stress and disappointment at a later stage if they decide to close the company. A bird in hand is better than the bird in the tree.

He bought me to lunch which was a Nasi Bryani and divided it into two portion. He finished his and started to eat into mine. 


I got my cheque for one month salary. Chapter closed and time to move on. I am officially a free man and there will not be another pay cheque coming in anymore at the end of every month. It is a scary feeling but what the heck! I hope I will not panic, just focus and take one shot at a time.

Lessons learnt after this incident:
1. Always check the paid up capital and cash flow of the company. No cash flow means sooner or later the employees have to leave.
2. It is not advantageous for an employee to sue a company with small paid up capital
3. If you have observed that other colleagues/personnel are not paid, this is a red flag that this will happen to you one day
4. Remember if someone bad mouth of others in front of you, they will do the same about you to others. If they do not pay others, they will not pay you as well. There will be consistency.
5. Always try to put yourself in others’ shoes and understand what they want. Then it will be easier to get what you want. 
6. Sometimes you need to give in to get (or cut your losses). 
7. Learn to let go.
8. You reap what you sow.
9. Always be compassionate to others. 
10. This too shall pass. In another year, this incident will not affect me anymore but I hope I have grown wiser in reading people.

Pray that my cheque won’t bounce.

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