Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Top 10 ways to get over a Broken Heart

Last night I caught Marriage Camp on Astro. I don’t think it would appeal so much to just anybody but I found it really soul-searching. It basically is about a marriage boot camp held once a month for couples who find they are at their wit’s end about their marriage. They don’t know how to communicate anymore, they don’t trust anymore and everything just ends up being worse than they ever imagined it could be. On last night’s show, there was a woman who said she wanted to cringe every time she saw her husband. I think anyone who’s ever been in a relationship will be able to identify with at least 1 emotion on the show.

Each episode usually focuses on 2-3 couples who have decided to take the plunge and attend marriage boot camp. They invariably describe it as a last ditch effort to either make or break the marriage once and for all. Even the counsellors say the same thing – the process actually accelerates the process of you finding and forgiving yourself and then your partner and rediscovering the love or shows you the way to go forward is out the door.

I don’t think the show is particularly useful because it is only a half hour stand alone episode per time and you don’t actually get to see every drill and every exercise the couples go through. It does however, show you that you are not alone in feeling the way that you do and the issues that affect couples are similar the world over. If you like a good cry every now and again from entertainment then this is the show for you.

I have recommended the show to some married friends of mine, firstly because I thought it would show techniques of how to communicate with and empathise with your partner. It doesn’t, if that’s what you’re expecting. But I guess it would be good to pre-empt couples fighting and that downward spiral that you know is there. It is so easy to just slide down without even realising it until one day you wake up and think, "Who IS this man beside me?"
I have watched the show twice and I have always cried because I can remember the roller coaster I went through myself. I understand and can relate to the different things the men and women are saying – when they talk about every little conversation turning in a big fight, when they talk about trust issues and I find that a lot of Americans have had infidelity in their marriages.

One thing I cannot understand though is this segment of the boot camp where the participants stand up, face their fears and FORGIVE. They stand up and vocalise what they have discovered to be the root of their current behaviour and attitude towards life, love, marriage, partnership, kids etc. Some blame their fathers for never loving them, some blame their mothers for introducing infidelity into their lives but unerringly, everyone blames one of their parents or step-parents. Perhaps it is true, just because of the huge influence parents DO have on their kids but at the same time, I have never seen anyone blame themselves. Now I’m not saying this is a legitimate blame target, but just wondering. It could be an extension of the nature vs. nurture debate all over again for we are also, our own persons with our own personalities.

But I digress. The part I do not understand is the Forgiveness part. Can you, in 4 days forgive the person who’s hurt you so much and begin to live a new life? Can you, in 4 days, even begin to really be honest with yourself about what you feel and what you do? Sometimes you just don’t know! We all know that forgivenesss is important to us growing and moving on and la di da but is it possible in that short a time? Or maybe it just doesn’t seem possible to me because I’m not there going through the exercises. Does one really turn over a new leaf forever? Well, the show tracks the participants many months after their boot camp and mostly I’ve seen success cases. …not always easy but the important thing is they are trying.

I guess what makes it so so hard is that there are 2 people in a relationship – sometimes more but let’s try to make this easier. Two people where the only thing holding them together is this intangible feeling of love or what they think is love. Love makes us stupid, love makes us vulnerable, love gives the other power over us to nurture us, make us happy and to hurt us. And the worst thing is that it is usually romantic love (which, in the big scheme of things, is not that important) that gives us the most heart ache. Is it because, unlike family ties, we CHOOSE to love that person? Therefore, it equates to us choosing to give this person the power, choosing to enable them to hurt us?

Oh, I could go on and on on the subject of love and its follies. I know of men who have turned 180% into someone their partners never knew and never understood. Men are simple I think – uncomplex – because they usually go out there and take what they want. There is hardly a conscience or a heart string holding them back the way women are bound. (Yes, yes, I know there are exceptions – geez, I have to make qualifications that I do know there are different kinds of people in the world every time!). Whereas a lot of women seem to take their husbands back after adultery, after battery, after lying. I will say again what I believe – do not knock the actions of another woman until you’ve been in the same situation yourself because god help you, you NEVER know what you’re gonna do! Do not, for an instant, believe you know better if you’ve never experienced it yourself. If you take nothing from my blog, take this at least.

Top 10 ways to get over a Broken Heart

1. Write down (sms, email, letter) what you want to say to him, and then just save it because you know it doesn’t do any good to contact him. This helps because you get the raw burden off your chest but at the same time you are not contacting him still.

2. Remember all the bad stuff he did. Remember when he slammed the door in your face, remember when he shouted at you, "I don’t want you anymore!", remember when you saw him furtively making that loving call to her. Reliving the emotion you felt then gets you angry and when you’re angry, get even angrier and you won’t even be in the mood to think his name.

3. Use the mirror. See how pretty your eyes are, trace the outline of your nose and notice how slender the curve of your neck is. You are a precious person. You are important and crucial to people in your life. He may not be one of them but then who is he to you? He is just a man, he’s just one man. There is no reason to elevate him to the status of god where he can trample on you and where he can tell you you are worthless to him.

4. Talk to yourself, shout if you have to, slam your palm against your forehead! Tell yourself you are kicking him out of your life. Tell yourself you deserve infinitely more than what he is able to give. Remind yourself he is a cruel selfish man who didn’t know what he had with you. If you are getting weak, berate yourself if only to make yourself stronger – are you really that much of a loser to call him again, only to have him slam the phone down on you?!

5. Challenge yourself. You can get through the next 15 minutes without talking to him. You Can get through the next 1 hour without calling him. Celebrate your little victories because I know every little bit counts. Check it off on your calendar every day you’ve continued to live without communicating with him.

6. Recognise that it won’t take just today, not just this week, perhaps not even just this month to get over your relationship. It was a big part of your life, it made up part of or completely who you were. But now, it’s over and you WILL cut yourself that slack and realise that it may take 1 month, 2 months, 6 months, but one day you WILL wake up and realise it is such a beautiful day just because you are you and you are happy.

7. If you’re the kind of person who needs friends’ support, tell them. Tell them your plan, have at least one of them around with you and have them kick your ass if you so much as start to get that faraway look in your eyes….you know that spaced out expression you get when you start reminiscing! It helps to be completely honest with them about how you feel and what you need to do to start ‘rehab’. True friends will help you hide the body! :)

8. Do not drink, party all night long, have one night stands because they may make you forget at that point in time but they do not make you feel better the next day. It is a temporary patch for a deep rooted problem. A problem that can only be solved if you DECIDE to solve it because you KNOW you deserve to be happy. Shopping til you drop only gives you an adrenalin burst at that moment but when you get home and sit amongst your brown paper bags, you will bawl your eyes out….again. No use wasting money like that….BUT if getting dolled up and pampered makes you feel prettier and more confident, go right ahead and make sure your friends take you out that night and make sure you play hard to get with all the guys drooling over you. At the end of the night, when you get back to bed, I guarantee a smile on your face. And if you start wailing, "…but I wanted to look pretty for him……", slap yourself!

9. Change your phone number, block his email address, move! If you keep wondering why he doesn’t call, well honey, you KNOW he won’t be able to call/contact you if do the above so you won’t feel bad!

10. Sign up for Dr House’s electro-shock therapy for the brain that fries your memories. Geez, how many times have I wished for that!

Bonus Tip
Get together with girls in a similar situation and be there for each other. When the focus isn’t on yourself and how bad you feel, you get stronger. There may be epiphanies along the way!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Face to Face but not really....

It’s weird, I’ve just latched on to the Facebook phenomenon! I’ve never been interested in stuff like this you know – Friendster and the like (yeah, the only reason I only named Friendster is because I don’t know anything else!!). I’ve never given it much thought and definitely had no time for it.

But last week I joined Facebook at the behest of a friend and to my amazement, it’s completely exploded onto my scene. If you are checking out my page, you will see that my status update is that I am finally logging out after a long long time of telling myself that I will. It’s so cool and different from Friendster probably because of all the games and features I can put on it. I’ve only actually been in it half a day and I’ve practically choked up my page – I’ve got vampires and slayers (not gone into zombies), hugs, SuperPokes (I’ve chest bumped a guy! Can you believe that – CHEST BUMPED!!!), growing gifts (which are SOOO much fun, I would love to have one of those hatching eggs too and the flowers look so nice as well). I can rate other people’s personalities and ask questions for my friend’s to lend a philosophy to, but perhaps one of the coolest things is that I have a Map! A TravelAdvisor Map that tracks where I’ve been and where I want to go to. Of course, all my ‘Going’ locations are not actually plans in the making already but places I’d like to visit at least once in my lifetime. Hmmm, I still need to add Machu Pichu and Petra, Jordan!

The bottomline is I can’t believe I’ve just fallen headfirst into this thing. For the moment, I spend more time ‘personalising’ my page than visiting others’ but now that I’ve logged out for today, I remember all the ones I want to go to so let’s leave that for tomorrow shall we….although it will be VERY BAD NEWS if my office tracks me! (I love this CAPITALISATION of phrases I want to emphasise – which author uses it now, I just can’t get my tongue around the name).

Anyway, Facebook has also made me want to whip my camera out and take a picture of my nodding head doll….the thing that made me smile when I first got it. Now it just nods away in front of me and I hardly notice it. (I think my nodding head doll is ALIVE though….when I first got her, I gave her several names to which she did not want to nod to, but when my colleague suggested ‘Sweetie’ she started off and has not stopped since!

Oooooh, I wanna look at people’s photos and see how they’ve grown and changed over the years. I ‘met’ up with an old classmate who now has a CHILD! Of course, she’s not going too fast, it’s me who’s going too slow……

Btw, just wanna say SALUTE! to Szup – your time on the net really pays off – she is like the Slayer Jedi and Vampire Emperor and all that – meaning she’s infected and slewn and bumped off enough other vampires/slayers/werewolves/zombies to be crowned Numero Uno. I’ve bitten some other people but don’t find it much use…..not sure what I can do with it at the end of the day, although my persona – the Catholic Vampiric Schoolgirl is way cool and you’d definitely want me to suck on your neck! Hahahahahaha

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Woe is Now.

Guess what! Tenaga N@sion@l Berh@d proudly advertises on each bill the telephone numbers to call for enquiries or complaints – 15454 and their office number – 62506020. I called these numbers today.

As I had a question/complaint about my bill, I called the appropriate number – 15454. I got to the normal menu of press 1 for Bahasa Malaysia and 2 for English. Am not sure what other languages/dialects they offer cos my choice was English.

To my horror, the Interactive Voice Recording (IVR) told me I was customer No. 16 and to press ‘1’ if I wanted to wait. Anyhoo, I waited. Surprisingly, it was quite fast when I got to the customer executive.

Also surprisingly, he spoke to me in Bahasa Malaysia. Surprisingly he asked me for my name (not how to spell it mind you and Errolyn is not an easy name if you’ve not seen it before), surprisingly he asked for my full address. This despite me asking him at the beginning if he wanted my Account Number since he hesitated and seemed at a loss as to how to start the conversation. Not surprisingly though, he spoke as if he was in a deep slumber.

After giving him my address, he told me, "Brljsdfjk Sdfliu wkg eoowo elsmfL."
"Telefon nombor enam dua lima…"(Call the number six two five….)
"Then, number 15454 ini untuk apa?!" (Then what’s this 15454 number for?!)
"You nak tanya tentang billing, ini untuk kerosakan." (You want to ask about billing, this number is for faults)

I was fuming at the ears! So much so that I said ok and hung up the phone to call the other number. It was 4.05pm by that time and I was afraid they would not answer the phones anymore, it being so close to quitting time…..TNB is now privatised right – that means their working hours should be until 5pm but yeah I’d rather not take the chance. Even though, usually, logically, call centres are 24x7!

So I called the other number and guess what! Surprisingly, the operator did NOT answer the phone, I had to call again to get the right department, upon which nobody answered the phone and the IVR asked me to sms my problem or email to m-e-s-r-a-k-djbf@zfkgbfkbg.

There was no repeat of either the telephone number or the email address. Now, I am timing the years until I get a response.

Having worked in a Call Centre environment before I can’t imagine how any Call Centre can be set up with these sorts of procedures and Service Level Agreements.

1. Staff do not speak appropriate language
2. Staff do not practise active listening
3. Staff are not energetic and helpful, instead, worst! They are a hindrance
4. Instructions for contacting the company on the bill and on the phone calls are unclear or perhaps staff are not trained to appropriately manage queries or calls that come in on correct channels
5. There are unsuitable procedures for call taking
6. There is much opportunity for improvement in their process flow of call taking

It is a disgrace contacting them and perhaps it is a tactic so that customers do not even bother trying to query any bill/service level/service/personnel.

You know this kind of service and organisation makes me sick! Sick to the core that there is a monopoly in this country that promotes growth and proliferation of attitudes, values and service promises like this. Any Tom, Dick or Harry could do better, without even thinking too hard about it!

This smacks of what Obama talked about – the twins – Corruption and Incompetence! Instead of sending angkasawans to space (at the cost of proper roads, transport systems, education systems, fair and broad based aid for all Malaysians, clean public toilets, safe neighbourhoods, social graces training for our ministers in the dewans, crime reduction etc,) let’s focus on what is near and dear and important.

I do not complain about the keris brandishing – it is your culture, live with it, be proud of it, but don’t let brandishing it be the first and last step. We are slowly sliding down the slippery slope to being a fourth world country! I don’t want to say we’re better than Iran or Iraq or Mongolia or Cambodia. I want to say, "We aim to be where ‘Switzerland’ is now; and this is how long it’s going to take me and this is what I will have to do - a,b,c."

This many years after kemerdekaan, we are STILL lamenting the racial differences. No! We don’t just lament, we shamelessly MAKE IT AN ISSUE! We BRING IT UP, we SHINE THE SPOTLIGHT on the fact that you are Malay, Chinese, Indian, Melanau, Kelabit, Serani and what not. I don’t reckon there is a multi-racial country without any issues but for heaven’s sake, do we need another 14 year old girl to tell us that we are all humans who happen to live together in one country, so let’s make the best of it?

I wonder at the state of our civic consciousness and our sense of responsibility. We have an angkasawan who after burning up RM100m, has the audacity to voice his desire to SHORTEN his contract so he can get MARRIED! No, not to research how to cure cancer, not to save the rainforests, not to learn how to reduce our energy footprint, but to get MARRIED! By George, I would have preferred to have heard him speak up before zooming off! I’m sure Captain/Major Faiz would have been happy to take his place!

On top of that, we’re BUYING that hunk of metal that he zoomed up in? I suggested the other night that our gofermen should have negotiated with Russia to land the shuttle next to our ‘Eye’ at Lake Titiwangsa! Besides that, I can’t think of anywhere else to store this white elephant – warehouse next to Muzium Negara????

Can we please grow up! It’s not about teh tarik in space, it’s not about warming up in London in a spanking new facility for the sake of the Olympics. It’s about the people right here, in this country, struggling under the cost of tolls (on roads that lead away from and towards new jams), monstrous crimes against little children (where our agents fly to America to learn nothing) and even education where the teachers give answers by recitation to students during class!

God Help Me, I can’t speak anymore.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A Picture is Worth A Hundred Words....when it isn't a very good pic that is.

It’s about time I uploaded my pics – well, I’ve gotten D to help me with them so you can check them out here. There are firstly pictures (some nice, some not, some fat) of me from when I took part in the Estee Lauder Model Contest. Needless to say I am the silent annonymous winner! :D

I am definitely not catwalk material – too short and too curvy but I WILL have you know I have been approached to do photography work before! So there! (Several times!!!!)

Anyway, there are also pictures of my house in its virgin state – the kitchen, the yard, the hall, the bathrooms, the rooms and then pics of when renovation was in progress. As you will see from the pictures, I only did minimal work – adding electrical wiring, a wet kitchen and kitchen cabinets. The rest of the house is still untouched! No plaster ceiling, no cornices, no built up feature wall, no hacking down of walls. My skills with this little camera of mine in tight enclosures with no tripod leaves much to be desired but for those of you who just want a quick run-through, you’ll see everything you need to see.

Forget the last few pics – just stuff I wanted to sell off.

The house is rather different now, with the wet kitchen fully done up, the rooms done up, the sofa in, the curtains in and the dining table as well. My wardrobe from Signature Kitchen will be installed on 17 Nov and then I shall be able to really unpack and for the second time in my life – will no longer have a Winter and Summer Wardrobe Collection.

My little joke with my ex-colleagues from HSBC – I had insufficient wardrobe space for all my clothes so half of them were packed away in suitcases and bags and half a year around, I will switch. So there you go. The first time of my life I didn’t have a half yearly wardrobe is when I lived at home and had to depend on daddy to buy me clothes….hehehehehehehe

Now I depend on ECC – Eon Credit Card! Hahahahahahaha