In remembrance of our dear friend – Herman

Herman the one and only
Herman was our dear friend, mentor and fantastic boss. His immense energy and resourcefulness had continuously inspired our team. No matter what challenges we faced, Herman would always be there to be our inspiration to push through challenges ahead. While at work he continued to encourage us, while at play we played like we were over aged kids hahahaha :D. From Herman, I learned that “work is not the entirety of life, see life in another perspective as well, to sum up life can be really fun”.

His taste of fashion
I was a boring person, I did not care much about how I look and what I wore. Herman on the other hand had taste in fashion, and I began to share his way of fashion gradually. I would choose clothes that would seem exaggerated in my past opinions, and would think of wearing something that was “loud” haha…Herman had affected my perspective and I could boldly say I saw my life more vibrantly than before I met Herman.

A boss who cared for his staff
I remembered my first assignment to an overseas job, when I finished work and rested in Ramada Hotel, he gave me a call on my mobile phone. He was concerned and given me a ring to find out if everything was fine. “How’s the weather?” “How’s work so far?” “Why were you in the hotel after work, you should grab yourself a drink or something fun!” It was really rare that a boss would actually encourage his staff to have fun after work!

When I was in an overseas assignment with him, he was in Vietnam, and I was on a oil rig platform. He would call Hilmi (who was the engineer who escorted and assisted me on the platform) and asked how was I, “Was Cyrus ok in the platform?” “Was the accommodation good?” “Did Cyrus have meals?” “Did Cyrus have enough rest?”

A friend who is fun to be with
Going out party with Herman was never boring… He was a great entertainer, he could talk almost everything and the party would never be boring when he was around… “Cyrus, why were you so silent? Talk anything you think dun hesitate! You were having fun now you know?”

He could even talk to strangers in party and eventually became friends, amazing! It seemed there was no “shy” in his dictionary. Put it simply, there would never be barrier to be close to Herman 😀

Herman would never talk about work when he was having fun, even with us, there would always be topics to talk about, about anything but work!

A great problem solver
Perhaps only people who had worked with Herman before could only realize how efficient Herman solved problems.

The device could be new, be it serial or TCP/IP related there was always a flow in his mind on how problem could be solved and isolated. Base on manuals and documentation he could implement anything he had never done before and could troubleshoot problems even better than the site engineers themselves.

Although he was not Cisco certified in any ways, he configured Cisco IP telephony through reading documentation only. Rajkumar and I would always had to resort to ask people for help over the forum, but Herman he only based on documentation which most of the time was too complicated to read. Herman could base on drawings and thought logically how data flowed and could come out a think-out-of-the-box solution.

From Herman’s quote: “What is an expert? When you can complete an implementation from zero to something you are an expert!”

You will always reside within our hearts
Herman and his family went for a week trip to Hong Kong, on Sunday he sent me a WeChat message saying he would be on medical leave between 10th of December (Monday) and 11th of December (Tuesday), I was expecting him to be back on Tuesday.

On Monday, my team received a box of cakes which he bought in Hong Kong, even though Herman was sick that day he still remembered to share his goodies he brought from Hong Kong and asked his wife – Carrie – to passed it to our team.

On Tuesday, I received an email saying Herman was hospitalized in Singapore General Hospital, Block 7, Ward 77, Room 11, Bed 2. After factory acceptance test in our staging area Rajkumar, Zin and I decided to go to hospital immediately. We were relaxed because we thought it might not be critical, Herman to our impression was a person who concerned about his health, and he was energetic and took part in diving and other sports. Herman had also shared with me his way of slimming down healthily, who would ever have thought that his condition was so serious that he was transferred to ICU?

On Tuesday, we arrived SGH and waiting for our turn to visit Herman. Eventually Albert managed to talk to the hospital administrator to allow us to go to ICU block, we arrived just outside the ICU we still had not seen Herman. But we were concerned and worried… really worried, Herman is like a family to us….

On Wednesday, while I was in the bus I took my smartphone and saw a facebook update from one of Herman’s best friends which said, “To our dearest friend. We will remember you forever. R.I.P.. 😥 19.08.1968 – 12.12.12”. My mind was blank… we had not received updates from Herman’s family… so I message Lau who is the brother-in-law of Herman. Because this news was not confirmed I had only shared with Rajkumar, Rajkumar was speechless and he strongly believed that Herman was still alive. I used Facebook chat with Celin and she told me Soh, who was one of Herman’s best friend, told them that Herman had left us. Still this was too hard to swallow…. In the afternoon, I got a reply from Lau that Herman had passed away… The news was confirmed….

On Wednesday, 12th of December 2012, we attended the wake in Mount Vernon Sanctuary, we saw his body lying peacefully, that was the last time we saw him…. I related the times we had spent together as friends and colleagues… tears came down unconsciously…. we missed you… Memories about Herman were only happiness, fun and full of optimism… Although you had left this world, your spirit will always reside within our hearts… Herman rest in peace (19th of August 1968 – 12th of December 2012).

Herman, Rajkumar and I in Phuket.
Herman, Rajkumar and I in Phuket.
Herman, in a Korean restaurant in Phuket.
Herman, in a Korean restaurant in Phuket.
In Phuket beach. Herman, Rajkumar and I.
In Phuket beach. Herman, Rajkumar and I.
Herman tried to take picture with his water proof camera, this was one of the many tries he had taken...
Herman tried to take picture with his water proof camera, this was one of the many tries he had taken…
My first time drinking cognac in the pool.... It was Herman's idea... We swam and drink!
My first time drinking cognac in the pool…. It was Herman’s idea… We swam and drink!
Herman! This pair of sunglasses can glow in the dark!
Herman! This pair of sunglasses can glow in the dark!

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