Sunday, August 4, 2013

Banggai Berbelanja

Nine months together, we've started to know better our own strengths and weaknesses in relation with each other. Armed with that knowledge, it's now possible to devise a unique PM Banggai strategy in procuring goods and services. It can be outlined as follows.

The first step is to divide the team into two smaller teams of three. One team as designated reconnaissance team, and another as tactical follow up team. The first team comprised of Lilli, Luqman, and Yanti, who represent wealth in social connection, and thus wider information net whereupon we can rely to find the best deals being offered. And it also makes sense geographically, as Luqman is located in the northernmost part of Banggai team, the closest to the Palu, with easy access to Pagimana port. Lilli, on the other hand, holds the key to Luwuk, the capital of Banggai as information hub, as well as other, more curlier source of information (Ahem!). Lastly, on the Morowali-bound route, Yanti's proximity to Toili serves as the strategic gatekeeper to the information flowing in aforementioned direction.

Our reconnaissance team thus deserves to be reckoned with. Once they have located a good deal, it's time for the tactical response team to spring to action.

There is a reason why Ika, despite her communication degree, is better suited in the second team: not only she provides a counterbalance to me and Auliya in communicating our needs to the providers of the deal, her tastes can also be relied upon for aesthetic consideration. Her one weakness that may complicate the procurement process, the lengthy consideration process ("Eh, yang ini juga lucu!" she'd remark on a previously unseen item, after an hour-long consideration on another item.) can be easily remedied with my presence. I'll only need to glower to harry her along her decision process, much like the way I did to goodbyes in Cengkareng during deployment and to her packing when we were leaving for Banggai Island. If needs be, I'll render my numerical skill to the team to estimate ballpark figures and decide which options are the most economical and give the most bang-per-buck. After our decision was made, it's then time for Auliya to shine with her hard bargaining skill. It should be noted that it's most convenient that she draws the line of what's not to bargain in malls. Everything else is fair game to be bargained: neither the entry ticket attendant in Luwuk port nor hapless shopkeepers in wholesale clothing retailers stand a chance before her.

And with a deal sealed, it's then time to redeploy the reconnaissance team again, to touch base with the people involved, and make sure we are on their good grace.

It's a win-win solution. In Banggai, Together Everyone Acquires More (services)! Together Everyone Amass More (goods)!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Paradoks Ramadan 1434 H

Di awal bulan Ramadan, pada suatu sore saya mau diajak tahlilan di dusun sebelah. Lebih tepatnya sebetulnya saya diajak ke dusun sebelah dan baru sadar kalau mau tahlilan ketika separo jalan melintas jembatan kayu bolong-bolong.

Tapi toh sudah terlanjur pergi, dan saya bosan juga tidak ada kerjaan karena libur bulan puasa jadi saya datang juga. Di sana, selain dapat pencerahan--yang tidak terkait dengan isi takziah yang disampaikan--tentang berkah Ramadan dan Rodja TV, saya juga jadi sadar tentang adanya paradoks dalam paradigma Islam seperti yang disampaikan tuan rumah saya.

Waduh, berat nih bahasannya. Paradoks? Paradigma? Ohya, Anda mungkin akan tersinggung lho baca lanjutannya. Kalau Anda baca, berarti Anda secara eksplisit memang paham kalau yang saya tulis berikutnya mungkin menyinggung Anda, dan Anda kehilangan hak untuk marah-marah secara tidak rasional. Kalau mau menunjukkan bahwa logika saya ada bolongnya sih tetap boleh, marah-marahnya itu yang tidak boleh. Tetap mau lanjut?