Saturday, March 27, 2010

bag of the month

I finally caved in and bought a Longchamp.
Yes, despite seeing many, many ladies carrying it everyday.

Well, one main factor was that the Marc by Marc Jacobs bags were not to my liking and the Agnes b. ones were similar to the one I have.
So here's my lovely new Longchamp planetes... similar to the enduring le pliages, but not foldable.
I got it in pink though I do adore the beige. I don't think of myself as a pink bag carrying lady but this pink is not-so-pink in real life, a very delicious shade of muted pinkish grayish purplish tone. Shop rep told me it's a seasonal color so I'm sure it's going to be sold out soon. Almost can't bear to carry it out - it is still sitting in it's tissue wrap.

Looking at works of art I can hold in my hands does cheer me up... =)

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Friday, March 26, 2010

the importance of being happy

After some time of pondering, I realize, that it's really important for me to be happy.
And knowing what you can be happy about in life, I guess, puts things in perspective for me.

Doesn't everyone like to be happy, you may think...?

Ah yes, that would seem to be the case. But I have a sinking notion that some people are just out to make life miserable for the unfortunate people they happen to impact. Like those back biting mother in law or step sister characters always seen on those taiwanese rich family saga drama serials. Or an unreasonable manager, or an unreasonable pet... or just some bad circumstance that happens to you, like 'Jon and Kate', Jon left Kate with 8 young kids in tow... where's the happiness in that situation, I really can't see how she has the strength to go on and survive, and not only survive, but even find happiness... strong woman? Or no choice...

To put it plainly, I'm not doing well at all in my new job. Yes, I had high expectations of me doing well - after all, I was always the golden child, the smartest one... the fastest and the brightest! Maybe even the most creative...haha. (Self praise is no praise.) But I am not faring well, not having any favor with my boss, although I love the colleagues. The emotional stress is a rollercoaster ride to say the least. Maybe I'm always more sensitive than others when it comes to personal attacks or thinly veiled insults, I guess being a nice person myself (in a way, at least I consider the feelings of people before I shoot my mouth) I cannot stand scoldings being meted out especially with no good reason. And also having been in a position of leadership myself in my past job, I have never dealt so harshly with people under me despite the mistakes or errors they might have made. An acquaintance asked on FB, 'Which would you rather be, a happy tesco worker or a sad accountant?' - of course, there are many rhetorics to this question, but the meaning is in the 'position' and the 'job scope'... it's hard to answer if you think about it further... ... To my small minded way of thinking, I think there is no such thing as a happy tesco worker... I mean, how happy can you be with back breaking thankless work and a meagre salary?

To me, while I still can, and before the double financial crisis of marriage and childbirth rears its head, my happiness is something I would like to find a balance for... in work, relationship, life, family. I realize that time is running out before I save up and even get to enjoy life's little luxuries. If I want to save 1 mil by age 45, or even half mil... without debt, it's already impossible, seeing that I have slightly lesser than 20 years to save, and even saving every little bit does not make much. If life in Singapore is that bad, inane, and insipid, I could be desolate...

But there's always things to be happy for, isn't it?

Friday, March 19, 2010

women are hard to please

I'm beginning to get settled in the job and I think I am performing quite well despite the environment which leaves one sometimes 'psychologically uncomfortable for normal people' to quote a colleague. I'm beginning to love all my colleagues and having met those from other departments - IT desk, Ops Projects, Corp Comms, Finance, Legal, Nursing... I have to say that they are the nicest people I've met - open, opinionated in a good way, dedicated. I'm beginning to appreciate why I wanted to join a hospital in the first place. Plus, many people wear VERY casual, so I get away with not-formal-at-all flat shoes and the like. In fact what would hardly pass for corporate wear in the CBD area gets full marks here.

And there are less politics that what one would expect in a corporate quasi gahmen environment. Truly, I can't get used to the paperwork - CC-ing everyone on emails, doing complicated stuff on Excel - I realized my office skills are at a bare minimum having not used Excel at all in the last few years... thankfully there are nice colleagues to patiently explain to me about them...

I'm in a romantic mood these days. Perhaps now that I am busy and lacking in time - once again the weekends seem so short - I start to see the little lovely things in life. Eating at food courts only is hard for me, each week I have to escape to Subway and have a sandwich. On my second visit I saw the seat next to me being 'choped' by a stethoscope... seeing it, I was enthused... a lonesome stethoscope being placed gingerly on a green upholstered seating... first time in my life I have seen that. And in this unique environment, we see things that touch us. Coming out of the toilet today, I saw a lady in a wheelchair with no legs. Both legs were amputated at the knee. My office is next to the 'foot and limb design centre', I see people with 'designed' foot and sports limbs, the type of black titanium looking ones used for sprinting. You get a sense of your own mortality when you see people being wheeled around on beds and recognizing The Church's pastors - each week I have seen a different one, coming to offer prayers for the sick.

I am also touched because I got my first sponsor, a kind man who once helped me in my schooldays. He sponsored 3 bales of cloth, 150 yards in total. That would amount to a few hundreds of dollars. Of course you may think that it's rejected goods or flawed stock, that may be true. But there are still people who won't donate or who are not into giving even out of their surplus. So I was very impressed and touched when he immediately agreed after hearing our project's needs. I met very nice staff who took up the donation bags and went around their department collecting spare change and even suggested the $ be taken out of their pay every month. I got to know of little old ladies who spend their time doing craftwork with long-term bedridden people like those with TB. Sigh! In all honestly, I am not one of those volunteer-oriented kind souls. Maybe once or twice a year. But if you ask me to volunteer weekly like them, I would definitely not. The life experience of working in this job, as in my last job (also involved hospitals), is probably priceless.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I need another black skirt.

An office lady dressed in a sharp pencil skirt with the right amount of satin - shiny but not soooo shiny it looks inexpensive; walking in sensible low black pumps, with a taupe top which showed just a little of her sexy back. I can't help noticing how the whole outfit looks so put together and if there's any wardrobe essentials for the office lady, I would say it's a black skirt. It just makes colorful tops looks better and lets you get away with looser drapier stuff on top. So although I already have 2 black skirts - a cheap one from Bangkok, an expensive one from Zara, I think I might need just one more in the right cutting.

Met some of my other work soldiers from other departments yesterday and I'm amazed at how the drone environment is such a big, yet small, place. News, especially bad news, spreads fast and I am able to dig up some intriguing pieces of news that shed the light on things, actually, it's not much effort to dig those up. I'm relatively unaffected by politics given that I'm on the lower end of the food chain, still, I believe that my connections help me, in certain ways.

Like the way rich people hobnob, because of my past jobs I know and am well acquainted with certain successful individuals. Like the marketing director of XX, the ex-GM and the ex-COO of my company, so-and-so. So for someone at the bottom, I have pretty powerful friends. I know people who have worked for years in my current co, and are thus also influential in their own right. Name-dropping only helps you though, if you're in a bad spot and have somehow managed to name-drop before the situation, and not to use the names as a threat.

The possibility of repercussions sounds more interesting than the actual demeaning usage of them, and in a small country where your reputation precedes your ability, I'm not below those to do so to people who need their reputations to be as clean-cut as they can possibly afford. Telling the truth - or letting the truth see the light of day, as with recent celebrity infidelities, damages relationships, finances, emotions, etc... despite the general public closing one eye and being quite complacent about it, in the long run it will come back to bite them.

So maybe I'm not surprised that after I was being personally insulted (on the verge of harassment or a lawsuit should I be an American), my ruffled feathers were quickly being smoothed down as well. (Before the day ended, received an sms by way of apology.) The indignant me wanted to speak my mind, but thanks to The Boyfriend's intervention it became a hysterically cordial reply. Maybe I have more 'inner' EQ than those around me, in this area.

To put it more crudely and more honestly, in some areas, I have a 'I don't give a damn' attitude. I see those bending over backwards for the whims of others and this does not bode well in my lifestyle. I think in some areas, 'I don't give a damn' is good!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

the battle scars of the office worker

Never having a job that required me to mingle with the morning worker crowd - my work started mostly at fact all my past jobs did not require me to work early... I meet the morning crowd with a bit of novelty, and lack of jaded-ness. Somehow I do enjoy waking up in the morning and drinking coffee, now a neccesity. I see the queues at my train station, two metal dividers making three rows, people queueing up for free newspapers.

I become aware of how much trees I waste daily, yet in a quasi gahmen job the job has a need to leave a paper trail, especially being stringently audited by the powers that be. And most surprisingly of all, I start to eat at foodcourts everyday. I've never thought of sandwiches as a luxury, now I do that I have to queue again at snaking rows. The food is often unpalatable, a cheap, tasteless version for what passes as a meal. But I've cut my lunch cost by half and can ... buy more things. I can't imagine how an office worker life is like, and now I am living one. They give us drawers with our own keys to make us happy, and files to keep around us like bricks building our work-home. I have to cc- and bcc- many people, not like in the past where I work for mainly myself, and the cc-ed people means they have to do my bidding. I finally found out what the 'b' in 'bcc' stands for.

Even though my past job was tough, I do miss certain aspects of it. Like no one caring if I walk in half an hour later (I am disciplined though, I do come in early, earlier than most!) And having an assistant. I didn't know that only higher levels had assistants. I miss having one. Not being showy or anything, it was just the nature of my job.

I have paper cuts, scotch tape holder cuts. I nicked my shin on a cardboard box. Being a small place, we tend to bump into things. And things start to irk us too, even the cleaner lady that comes in everyday and picks every little bit of my trash up with a tong.

And like what Kie said, I start to notice the people who take the same ride as me.
'The guy who looks like Roger', or 'the lady with the penchant for wearing flowers'.
I noticed 'the auntie with the purple Longchamp bag.' I wouldn't have noticed her apart from the Longchamp bag, in a very 'orbit' shade of purple. I like the bag but after seeing masses of them everyday, and usually on a certain pattern of ladies, I still opt for coach. The coach fanatics have all disappeared into kate spade and thus coach bags become once more, covetable again, if only because they are not-so-common-as-before. I start to judge people with ugly shoes and people with wet hair. Those with ugly shoes seem to be stuck in a low-end job, they can't even bother to wear or buy nice shoes to work. Ditto for those with wet hair. As I now no longer can afford the time to wash my hair I judge those who do not care about their hair being wet and limp. Next month I shall buy the Sephora dry shampoo.

A moneypinching lesson is: If all my lunches cost only $3.50 I shall save loads... it's nice to live cheap as an office worker in sg.