By: Nurul Ezzaty Mohd Azhari
Photo: Noor Azreen Awang
SERDANG, August 30 – "If someone were to ask, I’d easily say “Merdeka”, as if I’ve been freed from secular work."
These were the words of the protocol officer of official ceremonies at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Rogayah Md. Yassin, more fondly known as Kak Gayah. She was explaining the significance of August 31 and her retirement.
She clarified that she did not plan to end her service on Independence Day, but it had become symbolic of her freedom from the working world.
Most UPM staff are familiar with this cheerful woman, who also served as UPM’s public relations officer with the Selangor Royal Palace office.
Reflecting on the start of her career at UPM, Kak Gayah served as the university’s first receptionist in 1984 and was respected by many for her friendly attitude.
Her communication and service were always appreciated, and she was often sought after as a consultant for event management and protocol.
Throughout her 39 years of service here, she said many sweet memories were hard to forget, and she considered UPM her second home.
"I spent a lot of time at work. Moreover, working in a corporate office sometimes requires working on weekends or public holidays, regardless of whether morning, afternoon, or evening.
"I truly enjoy working at UPM and love this university. Sometimes, we would get scolded for things that were not planned, but all in all, the memories here are sweet," she said.
She further said that as a support staff, her challenges may not be as great as those of section heads or superiors, but she remained committed to fulfilling her responsibilities to the best of her ability.
Her philosophy, 'Serving Sincerely and Loving UPM' was reflected in her delivery of quality service to build UPM's excellent public relations reputation.
Recalling old memories, she said she never expected to be awarded the Employee of the Year in the Executive Officer category in 2018, as she felt other employees were more deserving.
As a mother of three, she believes work should be done perfectly and wholeheartedly without expecting anything in return.
"When working, we don’t need to show off, and we shouldn’t have a hidden agenda. Always be humble and greet anyone we meet, including cleaners, not just superiors.
"If faced with pressure at work, we must remain calm and don’t panic immediately.
"We also have to remain positive, smile, self-reflect, and strive to improve ourselves from time to time," she said.
However, she remains available if anyone wants to seek her views and advice based on her experience at UPM.
"If anyone wants to contact me to ask about work-related matters, I can still help and will try to provide advice to the best of my ability," she said. -UPM
Date of Input: 04/09/2023 | Updated: 07/09/2023 | hairul_nizam
43400 UPM Serdang
Selangor Darul Ehsan