Thursday, September 23, 2010

A job with conscience

I have been joining the work force for almost 4 months now. University life seems like a life time away. Yet somehow, my current working environment and condition makes me feel like still being in school.

The restrictions on costume and hairstyle are like the disciplines in school. Tie up your hair, wear black colour pants or skirt, wear black high heel, wear colours that are not too bright....

We nutritionist team stays stuck together everyday as the rest of the departments are still being housed at the Melaka office. My senior nutritionist is just like a senior in school. In fact she was truly a UKM Food Science & nutrition senior years ago. Perhaps I am fortunate to have her as guidance, since she is like a mother to us at office, making sure we don't commit fatal mistakes and kiss our career path bye bye.

My major job is giving health talks, that is like giving presentations in university to fellow coursemates and professors. Power point is still being used. The only difference being, my audiences are now adults in black tux and they might not have science background. They are distributors, so they aren't really interested in the science theories most of the time. They are more interested to be told on how to sell the product and earn money.

During my university years, I joined the Study Guidance Sheng Xue group. We always had events and we had committee and everyone has a job on that day. It is funny now that in the working world, things work exactly the same as back in uni. We had an organic baby grand final contest in Prince Hotel yesterday. 20 over staffs were supporting the event. We had briefing from coordinator, we set up registration counter, we had sales team, we had ushers blah blah. Staffs were all working together, even the manager level staffs were involved and wore the same costume.

The tricky part of working as a nutritionist in a direct sales company is that, you must HOLD FIRM TO YOUR CONSCIENCE AND MORAL VALUES. So many times, I felt like I am losing it when the distributors are using cunning techniques to scare their customers into buying the health products they do not need.

Some of the distributors had been with the company for years. They thought after hearing a few health talks from the company would make them wiser. And us nutritionists being young and just joined the company shortly, they tried to influence or stay involve when we are giving health consultation to the customers. When I advised on customers about how to take care of their liver, since most of the time it's due to their lack of sleep, the distributors would be there screaming the name of the 'liver product' . Each time after performing health check, I could almost see their DISAPPONTMENTS when the result showed that their customers were in good health. And you could see them smirking innerly if the result was bad, cause that would be golden time to sell products.

Few days ago, I was really angry.

Could the company's soya powder replace milk powder as infants' food?

That was asked by the distributor.

I told her if the baby hasn't started eating solid food and still at the stage that depends solely on milk, soya alone couldn't supply all the nutrients needed. That milk is still needed.

That was where things went wrong. The distributor went to ask another of my colleague nutritionist and she got the same answer. She was mad, asking who trained you ppl? Your nutritionist reported in the newspaper a few years ago, saying soya could replace cow's milk as infant food !

U know why she is so mad? Cause my statement would affect her business.

Later on, our senior nutritionist advised us, that babies below 6 months should be encouraged to drink mother's milk. Baby that had started taking solid food can drink soya because they have nutrient sources from other food. Our company indeed had educated the distributors that soya's milk is more superior than cow's milk in term of nutrients and proteins.

But the thing is, nobody told them that the condition is :

If it is a baby formula soya milk, then it can replace the baby formula cow milk.

But now we are talking about baby formula cow milk and our company's soya milk, of course the latter isn't more superior than the former. Baby formula cow milk is specially designed for infants, fortified and enriched with numerous nutrients and vitamins. It is processed differently, taking into consideration of infants' fragile digestive systems. Our company's soya formula is not specially meant for babies , but just as a drink for normal people who are usually adults. Just plain soya without any fortification or enrichments. How could this replace baby formula milk as the infants' only food?

It brings me horror, knowing that some babies are not being fed the nutrient rich milk they need, but fed with just plain soya , due to the lack of education and the misleading information from distributors.

So, always filter the information given to you by Direct Sales distributors. That is the advice given by our senior nutritionist.

Work aside, these are the things that give me comfort.

This is the set of sofa in one of our company branches. I love it. Cuddling with a book on the sofa, it is like being embraced in a warm hug.

This is the bakery shop below my company's building. It is beautiful to begin my morning with a mug of nice coffee, freshly baked pastry and a good book, on a nice rattan chair, with a morning view of the road.

I found this shop in Times Square. This little roasted chicky is very delicious and cost only RM4 ! The juice beside gives you multiple different sensations as it rolls down your tongue.

Vietnam food with beautiful arrangement. It is great to be alive.


pei yin said...

xin ying~~

this is our life working in direct selling company~~don't argue with the distributors..they will not listen to what u said..hold firm to our conscience and moral values! add oil!

~YM~ said...

I think that's the old style salesman. It might work on the illiterates and the old uncles and aunties, but the younger generation would prefer a better explanation than that offered by that ruthless distributor.

Maybe that's why I usually shoo off such salesman when they starting blabbing nonsense, esp when they come with the "can cure thousand diseases". Haha.. Everyone knows nothing can be the most perfect product afterall.

Kiki said...

I have same problem regarding the soya too. One customer will like to feed soya to her 6 months old baby. I discouraged, and after that, I got a call from her direct CSD! Questioning me bla bla bla...

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KevinNeoh said...

lucky enough for me, milk or soya milk or soya powder also i can take without much concerns cos i am nt a baby already haha

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