Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Weird things that occur to me at work...

Makeup, shoes, outfit, …why is it that women are more interested in changing these than their hair?

I have been at my new place for nearly 1 month now and nobody’s hair changes! Men are out of the equation, the poor beings, because there isn’t much they can do….but the women! The first time I styled my hair differently to the office, my colleague came in and didn’t know how to say ‘Good Morning’. People leave a lot to chance with their hair: a swipe of a brush, a pin/barrette and they’re done. It’s been boredom (with my hair) this past year that has made me change my hair style and colour so often but I guess it doesn’t bother anyone else!

Lately I have been having trouble with my Chinese name – or rather how I would write it in Mandarin. My Chinese name is very complicated – well, the first 2 characters are ok but the third one has the dubious honour of being one of the characters that uses the most strokes in Chinese history – of course there are simplified versions now but I happen to like the look of the old one better.

Anyways, I don’t speak Mandarin so I always warn others that my pronounciation of my name could be off (which is fine) and my writing of my name could be wrong (which is not). All this time, well-meaning Mandarin speakers have tried to teach me how to write my name – but the versions they have given me are Incorrect I have found out. Does nobody listen to me when I say my grandfather (who gave me the name) said that my name means ‘the steps to the Emperor’s throne’??? They gave me versions that meant gold, they gave me versions that meant warmth, you know there’s even one that is ‘ling long’ (like the bell)!!!!

I have therefore, come to the obvious conclusion thatttt…. my grandfather must have told me the wrong meaning or I must have misunderstood; because there is no way soooo manyyyyyy Chinese speaking people cannot show me the character of my name! And dear old grandad is happily puffing that big opium pipe in the sky so he can’t show me anything anymore……

Well, I’m sure I can get through another 30 years without the Chinese name being of life and death urgency right? …….Of course now that I say this, Mr Kind-Romantic-Witty-Intelligent-Billionaire is going to walk through my door and propose……..on the condition that I can write my Chinese Name correctly.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A Day in the Life of Errolyn's Office (yes the horoscope included in my morning read)

"If the status of a relationship isn't very clear, you should try opening your eyes a bit wider. If you're not seeing things the way they really are, it could be because you're afraid that the picture isn't as rosy as you want it to be. But you're dealing with your own happiness and future -- and knowing the truth is better than living in blissful ignorance. Seeing things as they really are doesn't always require courage -- sometimes it requires only a bit of self-respect. Besides, things are not as bad as you think!"

Courtesy of

What does a girl do when her horoscope states the obvious? Do I leave it all up to fate or do I blindly challenge the stars?

And the more important question, do I fight it when it rings so true?

It isn’t always easy navigating through life but I happen to think I’ve got a pretty good head on my shoulders and that I usually make decisions that are at least well-informed, well-researched, or guided by gut instinct. Operative word here is ‘usually’ or should I say ‘99% of the time’.

The remaining portion are the times when I seem to throw caution to the wind …..only I don’t. It looks terribly irresponsible, stupid perhaps, to some people when I do the things I do and I can’t explain them. I only know it’s not really throwing caution to the wind – it comes with a lot of soul-searching and hard-thinking. Self-preservation runs the race with the romantic notion of living for the here and now because tomorrow is not promised to you. The gun goes off and even before the runners are out of the gate, romance has won the day. It has happened before and it will happen again. When will I learn or will I ever learn? Am I naturally, intrinsically predisposed to behave this way (as my stars have it!) or perhaps I just don’t know pain as yet (touch wood!).

Is it sado-masochism or is it love or is it karma…… or maybe I just am so used to being a certain way with a certain someone that I don’t know any different.

When it comes to love, I have experienced the kaleidoscope – the selfish, possessive, it’s all about me type, to the let’s work it out because we are mutually respectful, to the I would give my life for you. Thank god I have not reached the take me and squeeze everything I’ve got out of me type!

I keep saying I am not strong enough – but I am, I know I am, I must be.

So what is keeping me here in this position?

What is it?


Today at office, we talked about the arrangement a certain RICH man has with his wife and his (ex) girlfriend. Apparently 2 months out of the year, he will spend with his girlfriend alone – and his wife has no knowledge of where he is and what he does. All the married women in the circle exclaimed their disbelief, "What! His wife should let the girlfriend have him for 6 months instead!"

(Actually I’ve heard a variation of this story – instead of 2 months a year, it’s actually only 1 day…although I believe the reaction from my colleagues would remain the same.)

Is this what I will feel too when I am married? Instead of trying to find more time to spend with my beloved, will I actually be seeing the light when someone else wants him? What is marriage then?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Live Forums are So Much Fun!

I have just joined my first online forum and it is so much fun! I get this wonderful feeling where everyone is so helpful and forthcoming with their bits of information. There is such a sentiment of belonging that it makes you want to go out, actually do the research and then feed information back into the forum just so you can be a useful member of the ‘community’.

The question this leads me to is why can’t we engender that same kind of loving feeling in the mass community? It isn’t impossible, it’s obvious it can be done and is being done, so what is it that’s lacking. The most obvious ingredient that’s missing in a mass community is that unifying factor of ‘us against the world’ or ‘1 for all and all for 1’, ‘we are in the same boat, so if I help you, you can help me too’…..the smaller the group, the easier to fan the flames and keep them burning bright because there is usually a stronger feeling of loyalty and less chances for escape from responsibility.

The only thing is that citizens of the world do not see themselves as belonging to the same club, hence no unifying factor. Some out there think, well, if others are already lobbying to reduce reckless use of exhaustible fuel sources, I’m not needed, or worst still, the hands-off ‘too many cooks spoil the soup’ anyway argument.

Not sure why I am lamenting the fate of the world when I would like to see the citizens of Malaysia get together a bit more – no more spitting publicly, no more rolling down your car window and dumping used tissue, no more non-flushing of public toilets and stealing anything removable that’s in a public place! How does the government educate its people? How can it be done? Civic Consciousness is a phrase that is overused in Moral Education but rarely practised, of course neither is Common Sense usually. I refuse to believe that there are people out there who do not flush their toilets at home….so why do you change your standards, practices when you are out in the public eye? If anything, I thought one would behave better!

It is not my job to change the world, I do not assume I can change the world (granted, I am not THAT proactive as well) but I would like to make an impact on the people surrounding me. I would like to make them see that littering is bad (you know who you are) and jumping queues is wrong and shoplifting is criminal! If I can change the few people close to me and they can change the few people close to them, my work is done. Break it down into small manageable pieces, then you’ll see the work to ‘Change The World’ is so impossible after all!

I like to say to myself, whenever the urge to take the easy (but wrong) path is: ‘If you do this now and you know it is wrong, it WILL come back and bite you in the butt some way or another, some day or another’. And that keeps me on the straight and narrow!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

When's there's nothing else, there's always Writing...

I am frustrated! Frustrated by the lack of civic consciousness, love for the environment, lack of corporate social responsibility and sheer waste of it – paper that is!
Currently, I am obligated to print and print reams and reams worth of my work. Nobody here at my workplace reads off the monitor and nobody amends and critiques off the computer. Here’s the process flow:

1. You do the work
2. You print the work
3. Boss reads the work and amends
4. You make the changes (do the work)
5. You print the work
6. Boss reads the work and amends/finalises.

(This is by no means a criticism of my work mates, merely a lament at the way time and resources are not as efficiently managed as they could be)

The last time I have had to undergo this vigorous never ending cycle was when I worked at The Garage, Penang where my boss wasn’t always boss and didn’t carry a laptop that we could send him documents on. When he came into the office, he would, more often than not, be happy enough to sit at the desktop and read through the work, then change it as he likes it (which happens more often than not because he was a man of his own mind and his mind didn’t always concur with mine). Even then, my colleagues and I were very conscious of the fact that the company was a new start-up and the boss was already spending millions on the building. Hence we penny-pinched all the way – gosh, we cut up the card board that came with your stockings/panty-house and used them as filofax cards to write our clients’ contact details on! (Btw, on a little detour – you can’t buy loyalty, pride and ownership like that in employees anymore)

Then of course I went on to a more corporate, proper, professional career in a consulting MNC. We printed what we had to, we did always endeavour to stay within the budget, even though the personal phone call bills could run up high, especially when you’re calling Penang during peak office hours from KL…….I MUST stress I wasn’t the only Penangite on the team! The work came and went but I was quite quite happy there. Until 2 years later when I joined the foreign bank of yore that I left to join this local bank of present. Many wonder a thunderous ‘WHY???’ but heck I had a good feeling about it and I wanted more banking experience – which I didn’t feel I was building up in my ex bank (actually a global service centre subsidiary of the actual bank). Which brings me here, at this point in my life, feeling frustrated and sad that I am not doing my part in saving the trees!

I have always been a frugal person (except when it comes to shoes and diamonds and items that I really love and must have (usually high-ticket, go figure – I don’t choose them, they call out to me)) (I seem to always look up from a rack of clothes and see ‘ New Arrival, No Discount’ or ‘Normal Price Merchandise’ when all around me, I am mocked and inundated with signs of ‘50% Off’, ‘70% Off’ and ‘Buy 1, Free 5’’!!! But I digress – I have always been careful with resources that are not limitless – paper, money, dogs…..

And in my ex-bank, this attitude was amply satisfied and rewarded. We were very cost-conscious and printed double sided, recycled non-sensitive papers, printed 4 or 6 slides to one page…..Now coming here, nothing is recycled but printed again and again and they use good quality paper!!!!! I am SO SAD! I have just been on the intranet looking for avenues where I can suggest a recycling campaign but can’t find the proper avenue. I guess I have to find another way.

I guess all big bosses don’t really think about saving cost, they’ve got more important decisions to make while lil’ole me is too busy focusing on the little things to change the world.