My First Field Duty

Wearing ITB overall suit
It has been five days since I landed in this city, Palembang. Actually I stayed at the outskirt of Palembang. Plaju, in which I stay now, is a district that had established before our country made its freedom. This area was developing because of the oil refinery located here. According to history, the first oil refinery was built in Plaju by Shell in 1907. So it was not a surprise when I looked around in Komperta (Pertamina Housing Complex), every house style was almost in East Indies style (the style which was typical in all house built by Dutch Colonial Gov’t). I also remembered my history class, one of the main target of Japan in world war 2 when they conducted their first attack on Indonesia was Palembang. The Japanese soldier conducted an amphibious assault to occupy oil refinery area in Palembang. I am sure that was Plaju and Sungai Gerong refinery unit. Those are proofs that Plaju has a strategic value for Palembang, in particular, and this country in general for its role in oil industry.

A view of Musi River on an afternoon

Pier on Musi River, a favorite place for community to spend their afternoon time

I stayed in Wisma Plaju. A common guesthouse in Pertamina Housing Complex. In the afternoon I can walk to nearby riverside to enjoy a picturesque Musi river. Because Palembang and Plaju are located in low level area, just about several meter above sea surface, the temperature is warm. It is similar to Jakarta atmosphere, but cleaner. Here is some picture I took in this place…

Wisma Plaju I

Elementary school inside Komperta

Shopping lot

Komperta street view from ongoing car

Dutch style house

Another house inside the housing complex

My job in Plaju is to fulfill the administration requirement for my ongoing company’s project. Because we cannot begin to work unless the administration requirement has been done. It is an important facet of our work. I don’t realize before that this business will took a long time. Imagine, to begin a work, we spend up to four days in completing administration process. But I admit that we should pass this step completely to make sure that our work will not face any regulatory obstacle afterwards.

In this ‘my first field duty’ I also feel the importance of soft skill. I have heard about this particular skill from many sources. It is like a special attitude owned by people in daily life. Many alumnus/alumni, trainings and lectures speak about the importance of soft skill in someone’s success. Actually I did not completely accept this concept. However after I involved in my first project and THIS project, I admitted that soft skill is VERY important in my life. Then I understand why my boss speak this when I asked him about materials/subjects should I prepared to finish this project:

“You do not need to read textbooks and learn technical subjects. All you should do is to prepare yourself to deal with people!”

And, his words is true!
In this few days I met peoples with various background and personality. I tried to adapt with their attitude and accomplish my objective here. I have met the enthusiast one until the stubborn one. The honest one until the tricky one. Interactions with those people, taught me a lot. Another thing that showed its powerful use was connections. Connections means we have a wide relations and links to other people. When we have some bussiness or problem, we could have more options for solutions regarding the problem by using our connections. For example, I have a problem in getting a car as our transport to get into refinery area. First, I met a person whom I do not know before in employee cooperation (koperasi karyawan). He then contacted his friend. His friend contacted another friend. Another friend contacted friend of another friend. Voila, I got a car from the fourth party. I also realized that our good relationship with people in the past, will help us in the future. One of the employee of our company’s partner involved in this project was my senior in college. Though I did not very close to him in the past, since our relationship was fine and both of us were graduated from same alma mater, we could interact firmly. It is like meet my old friend. He is very helpful.
Passing five days in this place, gave me such lessons. I hope for the rest of my job here, I can learn more. Possibly, I will return to Bandung next week, waiting for my team leader to get me home. And… about dealing with people, I have noted several aspects needed to keep in mind and actuate it: bravery, honesty, integrity.

Working at Area “X”

6 Comments on "My First Field Duty"

  1. @rizal:It was supposed to be 28 workdays, but I think I'll stayed shorter..I haven't got any chance to go there. This job really makes me spend a whole day inside a refinery area


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