Monday, 18 January 2016

E-Housemen: The Force Awakens

I have gone through the much-anticipated, arrhythmia-inducing process of applying through e-Housemen and would like to share it here... To the best of my abilities.

Sorry for the lack of screenies because as you may know, it is a very rushed process and you cannot backtrack to the actual forms once you are done.

In preparation, 

I read the e-housemen guidebook which can be found online or after the KKM e-mail reaches you. I read it again and again to familiarize myself with the steps listed.

I sought to be in a place where the internet is strongest. This means NO MOBILE INTERNET and possibly leaving the comfort of your own home to be in the cyber cafe... Or to a friend's house. I noticed a lot of people living in more remote areas had the problem of their process 'hanging' due to unfavourable internet connection or device capability.

Prepare your best device. Try to avoid cellphones, and use a PC that is not ancient or overencumbered. Most laptops work fine. Make sure you are able to type accurately and comfortably on that device.

I prepared my own information: SPA reference number (the one you need to fill in the acceptance letter, as written on your offer letter from SPA), full name, phone number, current correspondence address; most of these were already filled in but I double checked anyway. These I sequestered on a word document for easy copypasta.

I prepared the information for all my family members i.e. parents and siblings. This may include your spouse and children if you are married. Information needed: IC no., full name, local residential address (no option for other countries which I think is a major drawback), age, cellphone number, job. All in CAPS. There will be several rather redundant dropdown options for each family member, which are: Ethnicity, occupation field, occupation sector... They can slow you down more than you think. But my advice is not to leave any family member behind, or omit their details, to the best of your ability. There have been several people advising us to just skip all but one family member's details to get to the placement window quicker. Being the person that I am, I am not capable of doing such a thing, as they have warned you to fill in everything. I think knowingly omitting to key in your family members is kind of like falsifying your information.

I also opted for the Chrome autofill and autocomplete functions to be turned on so that the info is easily filled in. For autocomplete, I included my name, cellphone number, correspondence address in CAPS. I tried finding ways to input other necessary information into autocomplete; I think in the end, you may put anything in the name/address/phone number blanks which may be used in autofill once you start typing out in forms on your browser. You can try it.

You should also prepare mentally and spiritually. This is to ensure you have the smoothest process and choose what is best for you. This includes prayers, family and friend support, and basically gearing yourself up to not get your first choice (or even your second or third). Be prepared to lose and hope for the best!

You should have registered earlier according to your date of offer letter. It only requires your IC number, and the registration usually opens a couple of days before the application date. Be alert as it may open before the KKM email reaches you. On the registration date, your IC number is taken as your login name, and you will have to create your password for your login process. Retrospective advice? Make your password as easy and short as possible. It would help in the frenzy of application day.

On the day of applications

Ensure you wake up bright and early on the day the system opens and have had your breakfast.

Park your laptop somewhere close to the wifi router, or plug in the internet cable one hour prior (okay, 30 to 15 minutes before is actually very acceptable too).

Make sure you have all other unnecessary applications on your computer turned off- especially those that drain data.

Open website at and find the Login page.

Log. In.

I started furiously logging in close to 15 minutes prior to my PC clock turning 12:00; I actually started trying 45 minutes prior and kept trying in shorter and shorter intervals, up until it turned 11:55, at which point my friend and I were inputting our login details continuously until we got accepted into the system at about 12:04. I lost count of the number of times I was denied access. I thought the people manning the servers might be having a chuckle about how kiasu people can be. In my defense, THIS CONCERNS A COUPLE OF THE MOST CRUCIAL YEARS OF MY LIFE OMG. Being cool just doesn't cut it!

Once I entered the systems, I noticed that most of my info was already keyed in in the first part of the form. I double-checked (rushingly) and filled out/chose the rest that is necessary: the No. Rujukan SPA, place of birth, number of siblings, religion, marital status, citizenship, number of children and sponsorship. From the e-housemen guide, these options can be seen. Then I clicked Seterusnya.

We come to the Family tab, which is probably the most time-consuming of all tabs. You may choose to ignore this tab in favour of moving forward more quickly in accordance to some people's advice. My advice is DON'T DO THAT as you should have read earlier. Here the info I have mentioned in preparation is needed. Sometimes it's quicker to type 'em in. It depends on how proficient you are at copying and pasting, or typing out information- which says a lot about your undergraduate days (hint hint)! Persevere in putting in your family credentials! I was being verbally obnoxious about it but my friend kept reminding me that your family is a blessing. You know it's true, but in the moment do you really? *laughs* When the youngest sibling has been completed, I gave my entire family a once-over, making sure the names and IC numbers and family relations are correct (rushingly), then clicked Seterusnya.

Then we come to the most confusing (but briefest) tab which is the Education tab. According to the manual this is for other qualifications than SPM and your medical degree; with the drop-down you can see it actually involves your pre-university courses or other degrees you may have taken. Foundation is notably not included. Some people who did the university foundation course just chose 'TIADA'; others put 'LAIN-LAIN', and chose the year they finished said pre-university programme regardless. Then click Seterusnya.

FINALLY the most important tab. Shriek!
This goes without saying, as you have probably visualised doing this a thousand times by the time you get to this spot. I know I did.

It's simple enough- you can choose to place yourself in a hospital or delay.

Choose your chosen hospital's state from the drop-down menu, then choose the hospital with available vacancies in that state in the drop-down menu below it. Make sure you choose the correct hospital as some states have several similar-sounding hospitals (notably, JB) and in the process you might not have noticed. Check as many times as you can afford, choose the hospital and send.

If your chosen hospital is not there, choose your next best hospital. If you refuse, and this has already been discussed with those who matter to you, you may delay instead by going to the Penangguhan tab. No one I know did this but the instructions are in the official guide.

They will confirm your chosen hospital with the next window. Read the name of the hospital and the state. Commit yourself as you cannot change this! Click on the 'PENGAKUAN' checkbox. Confirm your choice and hit send again.

A pop-up will appear! You have succeeded! Hooray! Praise be to God!

Print out your offer letter (saved in the computer as PDF form).
Post it on social media.
Go wild.

And pray to God you're prepared enough for a life as an HO in less than two months!

As for me, alhamdulillah. I got my first choice.
As soon as this was done with, my friend and I went to eat and settle some stuff, and we made our hospital stamps/chop and name tags.

Now I'm in the process of finding appropriate accommodation choices and thinking up ways to transport a gazillion books to said place before my PTM starts. OTL.

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