It’s Too Simple…


The hall, with rehearsals yet to start

Being in my job, means that I have to be a team player and as the saying goes, there is no ‘I’ in TEAM, which is both right literally and practically.  However, one thing I hugely dislike is what some team players tend to do.  They do not hold a specific portfolio, or job scope, but they become all nozzy with what you are doing.  This results in last minute changes, and those close to me know how I hate last minute changes, particularly when I am the one in charge.

You see, this week, I was asked to do the digital backdrop, yearly video and ensure the multimedia elements were made perfect for the the ‘Graduation and Prize Giving Day’.  I had no problems with the job as I did it yearly, and it’s what people in my work place call as ‘Tetap dan berpencen‘, which really means that you will be doing the job until you retire or get transferred.  For me, it’s a good thing, because I do enjoy what I’m tasked to do.  The whole process may take up hours, and would be complicated, but at least, I’m doing something I enjoy… which is always something I emphasis when working. No point working in pain, right?

The Form 6 students

So, we had our rehearsals on Monday, and I thought everything was going fine.  I followed the instructions given to me, to the bits. I ensured what I have learned during my ‘Education Technology’ class didn’t go to waste, and I was very satisfied with the outcome.  Through the 6 hour rehearsal, there was little to none complaints directed to me, except when a senior teacher commented on the wordings for the backdrop,which was a little weird.

Honestly, I did see that it was sort of weird (the wordings for the backdrop), but the piece of paper that was given to me said I should be doing it that way… and so “Saya yang menurut perintah” lah…  Why should I get in an argument with my superiors over such a small matter.  Plus, I was no Bahasa Malaysia expert, and my superior happens to be someone good in the ‘language and humanitarian’ area.

The Form 5 students

Anyway, after doing some minor alterations to the backdrop, and having the ‘thumbs -up’ sign, which meant everything was perfect,  I packed the laptop, and left for home after the rehearsal.  I was happy that my job was done, and I could go on with other major stuff.  However, an hour later, I got a call. Apparently, some other people were not happy with my backdrop and power points, and decided to ask my superior to relay it to me so that I could make last minute changes.  They claimed my work was ‘TOO SIMPLE”.

*SIGH* When I heard this complaint, I wasn’t pleased. Annoyed, YES.  For one, they wanted me to redesign the whole thing as it’s too ‘simple’, yet they were very vouge about what they wanted.  Secondly, it was very last minute.

People should accept the fact that everyone has different taste, and while some may like things to be bushy and full… I always regard simple as beautiful.  Even the photographs I take tend to have huge empty spaces, and that goes to my designs. There’s always an obvious bare room in the designs.  Add that perception, with my love for simplicity, and you’d get a backdrop like this:

The backdrop I made

But, some people just don’t get the difference we all have.  Maybe that’s why some of us out there are paranoid, to the extend they frequently want us to know they are in power. Maybe that’s why Malaysia is moving backwards, when the rest are moving forward… Maybe that’s why we always score big when something is new, but end up playing catch up after the ‘new thing’ becomes an ‘old thing’.

Yes, I admit… maybe the backdrop does seem plain to some, but it’s how I like it, and I wouldn’t design it any other way because to me, “Less is More”.  Add that, with the fact some people want to change something, at the very last minute, despite everything already going fine during the rehearsal only spells out one word, which is ‘TROUBLE’.

Wouldn’t you think so?

Rehearsal on-going. I think we rehearsed everything like 6 times.

And No, I didn’t do the changes requested. I went on with what was approved during the rehearsal, and told my ‘superior’ that next time, I can be given other task, and that the task of doing the backdrop can be given to the person whom has better ideas than I, such as the person who had brilliant ideas and said I had a ‘too simple design’. No disrespect meant, but is there any guarantee that the new design would be better?  It could even be disliked by my biggest boss.  I also feared that if the new design was disliked, I would be the one faulted for featuring an un-approved design.

When that day happens, mark my words, I won’t even complaint, even if the design would suck.  However, I would give my ideas, if asked to… but if not, I’ll hold my peace.


  1. Usually people around us like to do things verbally rather than hands on. Personally, I dislike people who comment and condemn instead of giving constructive suggestion/direction or doing it together since we’re in the same TEAM. The thing that I hate most is when the person knows nothing about something(e.g. software etc) but pretending that s/he knows and started to voice out hers/his so called ‘constructive suggestions’that will make you mad especially in the rush hour.

  2. Sucks huh, people like that. They want something, but dont tell you exactly what they want. like bosses as well, they want things to be done differently but how different u can only guess.

    hey ur backdrop is clean and neat bah. nothing wrong with it in my opinion.

    • Thanks on the complement on the backdrop. Glad you feel the same way.

      Anyway, yeah, sometimes bosses are like that but they are after all, ‘the boss’. The problem always arises when those who want to ‘kiss ass’ come up with BIG ideas, and then claim its their idea when everything goes well, but start pointing a finger to you when it goes wrong. What do they call it in BM? “Buang batu sembunyi tangan?”

  3. Wow, that is a lot of frustration going on there.

    First of all, I think it is an honorable part of you to do the entire multimedia presentation yourself, I have been involved in similar task before preparing some presentation for clients, so I know how demanding and time consuming this can be. Nonetheless, I am sure you did your best, and you have put your heart in it.

    However, we cannot please everyone, can we? If you ask me, I would go full on support for you, because, well, obviously I am all in when it comes to simplicity (read my blog banner LOL). I think the main problem is this, if they have entrusted you with the task, they should at least show a certain level of respect and trust in your decisions and choices. They should also acknowledge your concept and overall design layout of the presentation. It should come from the designer’s point of perspective. Otherwise, why don’t they just do it themselves?

    Of course I can ramble on and on but we all know it is pointless because the ‘seniors’ will never really listen anyway.

    Don’t be disheartened. You did what you could. We can never make everyone happy. Perhaps you could hint to them that “hey if you think someone else is more qualified, why don’t you ask that someone to do it instead?”

    • People who actually do the job would understand the difficulty in finishing such a job, like wise, you are doing these sort of things for your work, and you’ll understand well. 🙂

      Those who do not do anything, but just know how to ‘angkat diri’ will forever suggest something despite not knowing anything. I agree with what you said about respect. It’s something some people should learn.

      And on the last suggestion, I actually did that and said I would be happy to be in charge of other duties. In fact, I said this: “Since the person has a lot of complaints, why not you give me any other job except multimedia next time and ask the person to take over my job, because the person seems to have more knowledge in designing and power point preparation than I do.”

      Sometimes, you just have to speak out…


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