Sunday, January 28, 2007

A little bit of nothing

I like my job quite a lot. This was exactly what I said about my last job. I ended up hating every moment of it. So this is the sickening lull before the storm. I am waiting for my exuberance to choke me in mid-sentence.

I am terrified of confrontations. While I think I can stand up for myself, my nerves get so twisted that I end up screaming and creating a scene. I can get so angry that I cry! Yeah, real professional like.

Like any self respecting citizen, I loath people taking advantage of me, which of course covers everyone from blooming taxi drivers to bossy colleagues. Why can’t everyone just be nice?

I should stop referring to The Company at the risk of being Dooced. Especially since The Company is not only making me sign a non-disclosure agreement, I also have to have it witnessed and stamped. Stamping makes a document official. So official in fact that if can be produced in court as it is without having to prove the maker or signatories. (Once a lawyer, the trauma stays for life.)

With that information in mind, I think ye be not doing anything so stupid as to blog about thy job. Off the record, it is killing me though.

So what do I tell you about my week that does not involve work. Hmm. I will need to get back to you on that

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

To be Dooced or not to be Dooced

Oh naive naive me!
Office politics are as thick as blood. I am all the more convinced that one day I am going to ditch this working like a donkey for other people and open my restaurant and work like a donkey for myself.

I know I used to say that I wanted a flower shop but I think I want to address a more primal need and have a good excuse of growing fat peacefuly. Nobody trusts a thin cook/restaurateur.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Work work

I received an email this morning from my old college. It will be my class’ 10 year anniversary come August. As with all reunions, the apprehension is definitely developing. Looking up what my friends have been achieving – oh it puts me to shame. Some of them have scaled the heights that I have dreamed up for myself. Of course I feel so happy for them, and I do feel like a traitor for feeling so bad about their successes. Naturally this only fuels my resolve to make and keep my few resolutions this year.

Being so wishy washy in my career choices has cost me time and I am panicking that by the time I need Botox, I won’t be able to afford it. Let’s not even talk about that holiday villa in the Seychelles.

At work, I report to very capable people. It is one thing to work for a fool but it very motivating to work for people who have been where you are and made it, mainly because they are judging you by their own standards.

Oh boy, did that freak me out.

Nevertheless, I think I will like it here. Now all I need is a little bit of time and a whole lot of guts.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Mind over Bladder

Last Saturday I went for a pre-employment medical test at one of the more up-market medical centres here in KL.

After filling in about 6 to 7 pages of consent forms and medical questionnaires, I was expeting the run-of-the-mill blood taking and eye exams. So when I had my breath analysed, X-ray taken and hearing tested in a soundproof room, I started feeling like a local angkasawan. I wouldn’t have been the least bit surprised if they strapped me on a treadmill to monitor my non-existent stamina.

But the thing that really took the cake was the urine test. After giving me strict instructions on how to pee in a cup, I was waiting for the nurse to leave the cubicle until it became clear that she had no intentions of going anywhere. Responding to my quizzical look, she coolly explained that it is policy that urine samples were to be.. erm, provided by the patient in the presence of a nurse, especially if they are testing for dope. Apparently there have actually been cases of patients swapping or diluting their urine. I kid you not. Jude Law and the movie Gattaca flashed before my eyes.

Logically, the precautions made prefect sense. But YOU try peeing in the presence of an audience. I give the nurse credit for being professional, patient and discreet but right there in the cramped toilet, it’s just you, the nurse and an empty bottle. Pressure, man!

I couldn’t do it. Not on my first run anyway. The pipes were stubbornly blocked. After apologising profusely to the nurse, I was promptly shown to the water cooler where I drank enough to float an alligator. Only then it was all systems go.

I guess it just boiled down to coming to terms with the initial shock. I mean, I am generally okay with needles, PAP smears and medical exams but oh boy, this was new.

I guess giving birth would be an even less sophisticated affair what with all the requisite yelling, flaying limbs and flashing of nether regions to an entire operating theatre. I think I will cross that bridge when I come to it. Till then- think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Trains, Planes and Automobiles

I read an interesting piece of news today. Shocked doesn't quite capture what I felt. Neither does elation.

With a headline that screams - AirAsia X London flights from RM9.99, I am sure that you would treat such news with a bucketful of salt too. Read the article here. It appears that our local budget airline, Air Asia, will be flying long-haul routes for about the price of a Happy Meal. Velco seat belts and sitting next to quarantined livestock suddenly come to mind.

I complain when it is expensive and I complain when it is cheap. I know, I know. I am not starting the year with the right vibes, but RM9.99?? C'mon! While the possibility of visiting England again in the near future is giving me terrific goosebumps, I am thinking no insurance company would cover my flight. Okay, even if you minus the cost of the food and entertainment (people would smuggle in pau and UNO anyway) something has gotta give.

While I laud economy travel, full comfort is crucial for any flight that is longer than 2 hours. Domestic travel on Air Asia is traumatic as it is, and I am lucky I have short legs. Passangers going bezerk in a flying sardine tin does not a pretty picture make. I just hope they don't take cost cutting to the extreme.

These last few days, I have busied myself with SimsCity 4. Released in 2003, this 3D simulation game involves, as the name suggests, building a city. You start with an empty plot of land in a big empty region. You have $100,000. So you are left to your own devices to build your empire. I like this game as it speaks to the megalomaniac in me.

You have to zone industries, create homes, build roads, employ firemen, erect schools and best of all - collect taxes. It is quite fun being on THIS side of the Hasil Dalam Negeri (IRS) for once. Of course your ungrateful minions..I mean citizens, would strike once in a while demanding for trivial things like breatheable air and water. Where they get the nerve, I don't know. But it is wise to keep them happy else they will bring your Mayor rating down. Nobody really likes to be unpopular. While it is so easy to be plonking parks and shopping malls, what is not easy is keeping the city accountants happy. Being in the black is quite a balancing act.

But what really rocks my boat is the transport system. Oh yes, there are traffic crawls in Sim City and it falls on you to ensure that the roads are clear, that the bus stops and subways are running at optimum rate and that the expensive highways are at the right spots. And with latest expansion pack, you can also erect Toll booths.
Who wants to play God when you can be Datuk Samy Vellu?

Fretting on Friday

So I woke up the wrong side of the bed today. The old familiar feeling of gloom and doom is all pervading. I was even picking fault with my nasi lemak this morning. Being a woman gives me the right to blame it on my hormones. It also gives me the right of blaming my boyfriend for the woes of my sad existence. Neat.

Hard to believe I know, but I have been a loner most of my life with a tiny bastion of good friends. I never thought I would hook up with a bloke with an even tinier bastion of good friends. We understand full well the happiness of solitude. Being a lonely island among men has it privileges, such as NOT being constantly invited to 'catch up' only to face a sales pitch on insurance or network marketing. I hate that ruse, don't you?

Nevertheless somewhere along the line I warmed up to the idea of not dying alone. Fancy that.

So while I am trying to break free from my social lethargy, the Significant Other is happy as he is. So I tell him that I want to see other people. Hm, that doesn't sound quite right, but you get my point. Of course what I meant was, I want HIM to share my goal too. You can just sense the disaster looming here, can't you?

My mature 30 year old mind tells that couples don't need to do EVERYTHING together. So when he politely declines to accompany me on family trips and social soirees, I call him an anti-social prat and sulk for days.

After the rage evaporates (for it to erupt another time, naturally) and apologies grudgingly made, clinical analysis of the situation reveals that I am a victim of my upbringing more that I thought.

Oh I don't know. Maybe it's my nesting instincts kicking in. Maybe it's my disillusion of living in KL. Maybe it's finding nobody to invite for my future wedding dinner. Gawd knows.

Running the risk of getting all misty eyed on nostalgia, I nurture rose-tinted recollections of a small town lifestyle where the pace is far from frantic and people still know their neighbours' kids by name.

When I grow old I want to be like one of those uncles and aunties who breakfast with their posse after their line dancing or morning jogs. Not that I am a fan of stepping in tune to Deep in The Heart of Texas everyday at dawn, mind you. Be it tennis, tai chi whatever - it's the
conviviality and gossip that is so charming. Now that I think of it, the senior citizen social scene in my hometown is far more happening than the Boy Scouts.

I never knew my parents to be social butterflies. (Can't blame them seeing that they were raising two semi-Goth wannabes.) So much so, that when retirement rolled by and we kids flew the coop, the parents found themselves a little bored and hence took to fighting each other for variety. My mom at least is trying to resuscitate her social circle and moving to a new neighbourhood has helped. Call me fuddy-duddy but I find old ladies laughing and gossiping - oh so cute!

Being self-centred, naturally I wonder how my life will be in 30-40 years. I should hate to spend my golden years confined to the TV room watching Desperate Housewife reruns with my 14 cats. I sure hope the coffee shops and public parks will still survive. I am not willing to give them up yet. Perhaps the kopi-o would be replaced by the skinny latte. Line-dancing may have to make way for morning salsa. Fine.
Que sera sera.

At the very least, I just hope that when I ease into my delicate 60s, I will still have equally minded bosom buddies to be cute with.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Being cooped up with broadband is cool.
Being cooped up with a connection speed that predates 1997 (when dial-up ruled Malaysian soil) is, in a nutshell, FREAKING AGONY.

That naturally speaks volumes of how much I, and I would guess pretty much the rest of the nation have totally taken broadband for granted. Even with Telekom using back-up channels, speeds are nowhere near normal.

And on the subject of contingency plans or rather the lack there of, I wonder if we are really capable of coping when oil runs out, or clean water for that matter. I guess the last petrol increase scared enough people out of their wits to consider alternatives.

It’s not rocket science. We know that oil will run out. And so will clean water. And that the ice caps will melt and wipe out a kazillion people.

While they make great fodder for any General Paper/English essay, you would think that surely there is somebody out there looking out for us. All those science experts and the UN, and there’s NASA and of course, the world governments, surely SOMEONE has a plan.

Having spoken with some people who have worked/is working for the UN, sadly most of the time altruism gives way to bureaucracy. Regional contingency plans can’t even be seamlessly integrated due to governments unwilling to share information and what more resources. I guess it is only human to be most generous after a catastrophe. I can’t stand it when you can’t see the good for the red tape. Perhaps it is a good thing the UN binned my job application. I don't think I can handle the politiking.

Which brings me back to the question, is there anyone looking out for the rest of us?

I am a cynic. You know my thoughts already.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

OMG, OMG I am actually able to post something. Since the earthquake that almost flattened Taiwan also wiped out the underwater telecommunications cables servicing a good part of South East Asia, my connection has been reduced to a crawl. I was supposed to give you a surprise but at this speed, all efforts to post anything online has been up to naught.
So have patience and the unveiling with happen at some point.

Yappy Mew Dear and may 2007 be a fun ride.