It's just so frustrating having to deal with work colleagues who produce documents with really bad English. I never expected any of them to use Shakespeare-standard writing; all I need is simple English as all our deliverables are technical documents. A few weeks back, I requested an engineer to produce his document in Bahasa Melayu and later I translated his whole work to English. My manager would have never approved should he find out, but I realized the engineer was able to express himself better. All I wanna see was the right technical details to be put in.
Since I'll be focusing on Government Sector and GLC projects starting next January, perhaps it's about time I get all my engineers to produce more technical documents in Bahasa Melayu. Even emails, letters and faxes should be in Bahasa Melayu. For the past 6 months I realized all of engineers are technically sound and posses world-class project deployment skills. But when it comes to presentation to customer and producing project documentation they seemed quite reluctant and some of the end products are not those that I dare to showcase.
If I introduce Bahasa Melayu as the main communication language it's going to save many people from becoming the laughingstock in the office. Today we had a great fun in one of the meetings by just searching for grammatical errors in emails. The super-famous 'Subject Matter Expect (SME)' resurfaced a few times in some of the emails (and we were not surprised they originated from the same woman). To my uninitiated readers, SME is the abbreviation used for Subject Matter Expert - the skillful and knowledgeable technical person (Guru) in his own field. But I don't know how and why is this ignorant woman just couldn't be bothered to get her pronunciation and spelling right.
Then we found another hilarious email. The content was something like this:
Please submit your document bla bla bla to the Project Manager by bla bla bla.
I also putted Dayang and boss in the loop just to make sure that you guys bla bla bla....
Throughout the meeting, we tried our best to use and reuse the word putted and each time was followed by a loud roar in the conference room. If the engineer was present, he must have blushed a hundred times over.
Just when I thought we've had enough of putted, a manager came up with all sorts of double negative sentences and redundancies that left us in stitches. I don't have to deal with them too often but it seemed like this manager has been getting a lot of these from her team members:
I can ensure you there won't be no problem.
Please provide me the thorough details.
And then there was this one that might have putted some customers in great confusion:
Dear Mr. Customer,
appreciate it if you can double confirm your availability for this discussion on Tuesday. Nowsadays I'm quite tied up with a few projects.
This evening I decided not to fight for the PPSMI anymore. Perhaps the govt is making the right decision to revert it after all. I'm not looking down at our educators' capability to teach the language. It's just that, perhaps this is the best time to take Bahasa Melayu to a new level. Furthermore, it's not fair to those Subject Matter Experts who are just not fluent in English.
... and FYI, the senders of those funny emails I mentioned are some of the top performers we have in the company. Although we laughed hard at their English, I still think they shouldn't be judged by their language proficiency.
(Datuk CT would be smiling ear to ear reading this entry, I think.... no more coffee in a cup joke for her....)