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Monday, January 27, 2014

Of Saturday work, Green Packet, pool, and Aaron Yan

Where I'm interning, we need to work on alternate Saturdays. Sometimes it's bummer, but it's a half-day work thing and you can wear anything on that day, which is an unfathomable plus to me.


This particular Saturday was cold, so I opted for my long-sleeved orange abstract Mickey tee and shorts to work (I still don't get why I chose to wear shorts). We had breakfast at Sunshine Boy before heading to work.


We refer to An Sim Cafe in Bandar Puchong Jaya as Sunshine Boy, because there's this guy who works there (we assume he's the owner) who looks like a Japanese guy with a closely shaved head, ripped with a tribal sleeve, and a personality which would light up anyone's morning. He's impossibly cheerful, and really good with interacting with people; hence, the nickname Sunshine Boy.


Anyway, work was slow on this day, because I was still waiting for my modified/updated press releases (in three different languages) to be approved, but my superior asked me to do radio listing first. Alrighty, so I took it as an opportunity to check if my previous submissions have been posted; and to finally find the infozone part of the website for the Malay radio stations.


Even after posting, I still had to wait for my press release approval. So, in the meantime, my fellow intern suggested that I check the operating hours of the P1 HQ and I saw that it closes at 1pm - the time when I get off work.


I went up to see the people from accounts and asked if I could claim from the company should I have to pay for any outstanding charges as informed by P1.


Here's the thing: we were to apply for a P1 modem to be used for our 4-day event, and cancel it before it exceeded the trial period (7 days). So my colleague and I both applied for the modem and called to terminate our services on the same days. I took my modem to the Sunway Pyramid kiosk within 3 days (even when I was told that I had 14 days to do so) and the staff informed me that I had MYR320 in outstanding balance.


WTF?!


Naturally, I started throwing a civilized tantrum, and even if I had wanted to pay to settle the issue quickly, I didn't have the cash. So I went to lunch while towing along a useless device.


Anyway, I got permission to leave the office early to resolve the issue at P1 HQ, which was on Jalan Templer. This is a place I absolutely detest - there are a total of 3 roundabouts along this road, 2 of which have NO SIGNBOARDS. Well, fine. It took me 3 runs up and down Jalan Templer and the help of Waze to finally get to P1 HQ, a.k.a Green Packet.


I went in and got a number, and waited for about 10 minutes for my turn. The service staff wasn't as efficient as I would have liked, but they were courteous and helpful. It seems that the Sunway staff miscategorized my case as an early termination, which meant that I had voided the contract that came into place the moment the 7-day trial period ended, which I obviously didn't.


Anyway, the issue was resolved without much further arguments, and I went through the typical Jalan Templer roundabout-to-Jalan-Gasing-and-Jalan-Klang-Lama-and-NPE traffic jam. My laptop was passed to the boyfriend (who somehow got to the food court outside my office) and my card punched, so I went straight to where he was, and we headed out to lunch.


We chose a Taiwanese place from the Setia Walk website, but couldn't find it, so settled for some overpriced nasi kandar food - my chicken tandoori with cheese naan wasn't too bad, though. A movie was due, but there wasn't any that we wanted to watch at a time that allowed enough breathing room for an upcoming concert later in the day.


That was the day he taught me how to actually play pool. My first pool lesson was taught by Jasmine, who taught me the basic rules of the game. My boyfriend taught me how to play the game with the proper physical positioning for optimal game play, which involved a lot of tush attention to and from both parties.


After a few games - a couple of which that he obviously let me win - we went home to freshen up before the concert. The last time I consciously listened to Aaron Yan's music was when he was with Fahrenheit, and that was when I was around 17.


I picked up a dapper man in a long-sleeve turtleneck (you have got to love a guy in a turtleneck) before heading to Kenanga Wholesale City. I expected long car lines entering the parking lot, but there were none to be found, though most of the mall parking was full, but then again, it was a weekend.


Parked the car at a lucky spot, tried to take the lift up but it stopped on the 14th floor (aptly named 13A because 4 is an unlucky number for the Chinese, proving ethnicity of the ownership of the mall). I felt super special because the both of us were like "let's take the stairs, it's only a floor up, and the direction to the stairwell is this way". It was like we were leading the rest of the people up.


The concert started at 8.30pm, and this was the first concert I attended that had numbered seats. Personally, a concert has to have a free-standing area/mosh pit, and everyone has fun with everyone else's sweat. Seats, for me, are meant for orchestra or opera performances, or in other words - high-class entertainment.


Fun fact: Aaron mixed up a set of lyrics from a song (one of the only few that I knew throughout the entire concert). There are two parts of the chorus from Hebe Tian's 《寂寞寂寞就好》, and he mixed up the lyrics there.


Overall, we came to the conclusion that Aaron has a really good, solid voice, but it isn't too versatile - it's weird listening to his voice in a jazzy number. Guest performers included a young girl in a purple dress, and James (Malaysian musician in Britain), who has a record/album coming out in about February (he has the sexiest raspy singing voice, btw).


Dinner was Taiwanese food (complete with stinky tofu), and we headed home.


~


It's been a really long time since anyone had felt the need to pamper me like this. Sure, he's not perfect, but neither am I. Who am I to ask for perfection when perfection is impossible for myself? But he's been the sweetest I've ever met, to the point where I had my cheese naan cut into bite-sized pieces while I ate my chicken.


One of the things I like best is that he isn't squirmy - like how some guys would be with their girlfriends when they're out with friends. PDA isn't preferred, but he doesn't mind the occasionally quick peck on the lips.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

About 7 men that women dislike

Now, I'm by no means an expert in the dealings between men and women, but I personally feel that I've met my small share of men - gentlemen and douches alike. Those of my same age, as well as those with many years in between each other.


Now we'll be talking about the 7 men that women dislike - most of these apply to actual women (though I admit, not all "women" act like actual mature adults, and that includes myself), while some of them also apply to the younger demographic of ladies.


1. The false-hope guy

There's this guy you're head over heels for, and he flirts endlessly with you. He brings you out for "dates", you meet his friends, he shares his problems with you, and calls you endearing names like "baby" or "honey". He knows you're into him, and you think he has reciprocal feelings for you, but as time goes on and your decision to make you into "something" becomes more solid, his actions tell you another story.

He's going out with other girls, you see his Facebook comments with endearing names for other girls, he ignores you for weeks at a time and pops out of nowhere asking to hang out (and this usually entails the date-like couple activities). You've asked him about his feelings for you, and he either directly tells you or suggests to you that he's also into you, and so you tread on.

Finally one day, he tells you he wants nothing more than just friendship for you. This was either because he thought you were a good listener, or was just someone who was there when he needed someone. Either way, these people break hearts, whether they mean to or not.

To girls, if he's endearing to you today but is cold to you the next day, it's time to start to back off, 'cause there's a really high chance that he's this kind of guy. To guys, you're either into her, or you're not - don't give her hints and suggestions. Don't say "maybe", or "if it's meant to happen, it will happen" - that's just heartbreaking. Keep things in the friendzone if you're not sure of your own feelings.


2. The philanderer

Most people will know this guy more commonly as "the playboy". He flirts around, messes around, and/or sleeps around, regardless if he's pursuing a target, or even if he's taken. To many of these, their logic is that they're still young, or that as long as they're not married, it's their god-given right to go around trying to reproduce with as many women as possible (the primal-man survival excuse).

This guy would probably be easier to spot than the false-hope guy, but it doesn't make it any less hurtful. Humans were oriented to desire what they can't obtain, and in females, we aim for the "bad boys" because they display traits of strength to survive the wild.

Steer clear of these guys, because they won't settle unless they want to. Save yourself the heartbreak.


3. The excuses guy

He has a reason (more accurately speaking: excuse) - usually deeply psychological and emotional - for EVERYTHING he does, be it not replying to your text, or eating his noodles in a particular way. I once met this guy, who told me that he didn't need to care about how other people felt when he behaved in a certain way outside of work, because no one cared how he felt while he was growing up.

Now, in my opinion, if my logic followed that pathway, I'd have no friends now - I could say that no one remembers my birthday, so I don't need to bother with anyone else's; I could say it's logical for me to be a total bitch because my emotional needs weren't fulfilled as a child and as a person. These people are the most frustrating, because nothing you do could change the way they think, that they're entitled to their behavior just because they feel hurt or dejected or emotionally incomplete in some way.

To you guys who are like that: man up and grow a pair.


4. The fling-and-sing guy

Now I didn't grow up extremely religious, so watching porn before marriage isn't a sin to me. I've met my share of guys who wanted only intimacy, and under special circumstances, I joined them individually.

I really don't mind it when people tell other people about what I do, because if I'm daring enough to do that, I'm daring enough to own up to it. But for chrissake, I thought it's the unwritten rule that any detail revealed to any other party has to be agreed upon by the two originally involved parties!

I don't need things kept wrapped in industrial-strength tin foil then overlaid with cement, then laid over with bricks and a titanium wall, but one shouldn't be a broadcasting system and tell the world, especially when it hasn't been agreed upon by the other party that you could have it broadcast.

One such guy told me that I "should be mature enough to know how to just play along". I don't mind playing, and since I don't mind playing, I don't mind dealing with the direct consequences; but there is a clearly drawn line to every fling, and it would be very wise to always play within that line.


5. The "my ego is bigger than my penis" guy

He needs to be macho 24/7. He won't hold your hand, he won't kiss you in public, but he'll do everything else that will somehow enhance his "machoness" - insisting on picking you up, holding your bags (except your feminine Longchamp or what have you), picking up the tab (even if it means taking the cash from your purse/wallet and handing it to the waiter/waitress himself).

These people are frustrating. I'm a student, and my current boyfriend is too, which means we have little or no source of income, so I'm not really keen about the "guys should pick up the tab" culture - we go Dutch, regardless of whether we split the bill on the spot, or pay for meals or dates alternatively. Guys like these would almost never tolerate even a girl taking out their purse, much less taking cash out of it to pay for whatever.

He wouldn't cuddle or buy flowers or anything, because it's degrading to his manhood. Well, personally, I won't demand my boyfriend to walk around holding a giant teddy bear, or a bouquet of flowers, but if he can't tolerate a quick peck on the lips in public, your ego is bigger than your head, and sorry, no can't do.


6. The clingy guy

As with the clingy girls, they're overly dependent and can't stand having their SO away from them for more than 5 minutes. Characteristics? Constant inquiries about where you are, who you're with, what you're doing (doesn't apply to all) - all this irregardless of the time of day. Also, constant text messages and/or calls are dominant, whether or not there is any actual substantial content in the "conversations".

Whether it's dominance, or just that they're so insecure that they need to make sure that you're in love with them at every possible minute, that depends on the individual. However, having a significant other who won't leave you alone whether you're/he's at work, or just taking a dump is just suffocating.

And let's face it, regardless of how independent we women would like to see ourselves (or actually are), a clingy guy/man is just a turn-off. The hugs and kisses and cuddles and random texts, yes - but not 24/7. I believe that no matter how much a couple is in love/infatuated with each other, they need their own space - I need my space for my friends and life, and so does he. Having to feel the need to be in each other's life 24/7 is a pain in the arse.


7. The domineering guy

Over the years and years of evolution, it's been more or less built-in instinct in us already that the males take the lead - they initiate contact, they fight for survival, they control the female and child population because they're the ones earning the daily bread.

While I still agree that some dominance should be present in a guy/man (without which, is equal to a pussy), over-dominance will turn most women off. Why I say "most women" is because some women feel more comfortable with a domineering man by her side.

That said, most other women would hate a guy who feels the need to constantly monitor and control her activities. He might seem similar to the clingy guy, but the clingy guy only clings - he asks, gets jealous like a girl, and is mostly just annoying. The dominant is intent on controlling you and your life as a being - though the seriousness varies, most cases involve text message monitoring, confrontations about the people you hang out with and the things that you do, and direct involvement in your decision-making processes.

He will interrupt what you're doing to inject his own opinion into your decisions, whether you've invited him to or not. While I understand where this trait comes from, everything boils down to self-control - in this generation of gender equality, women prefer it when you respect them enough to give them their own space and time to control their own life. They don't need someone else taking the reins to what's theirs.


~


I do realize that this article is pretty much bigoted and one-sided, but hey, it's true to some degree.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

First day of internship notes

I over-estimated the time needed to get to the office again – I arrived about a half hour early, took a short puff and sat in the car for about 10 minutes. Dunhill Ice is the bomb!


That’s the nice thing about this office – it takes less than 15 minutes to get here, and the route is pretty straightforward, without the need to go through any tolls. The only thing is the horrid condition of the highway to get there. And I don’t need to worry much about shoes – the office has a no-shoes policy, which will hopefully encourage more pedicure awareness. AND IT ISN’T LIKE THE ARCTIC CIRCLE HERE! At least, not yet.


Supposedly, there are three other interns here who are also from Taylor’s, one of them whom I’ve seen pretty often, and we shared some classes together (Winston’s class, was it?), and the other one whom I’ve known since foundation. The office seems to be made up of all ladies, most not older than 30, from the looks of it – mainly Chinese, but definitely female majority. I haven’t seen the actual boss yet. They seem friendly enough – either it’s my own tenseness, or that the first day of work post-new year is typically bleaker.


The receptionist seems the friendliest for now – she speaks with a pretty thick mainland Chinese accent, so it’s gonna take me some time to get used to it. And I’ll need to stop blasting my music so much – my junior was right, I am partially deaf as it is. And for some reason – or maybe it’s my own problem – people seem to speak much softer than usual now. I think it’s just my eardrums losing their elasticity.


Then again, the place seems relaxed enough – company culture isn’t too strict, and conversations run quite freely. I guess it’s just a matter of familiarizing myself with this kind of culture. Strange, because I didn’t have this problem when I was at my waitress job – maybe it’s because I already had a set task list when I was there, so I could just go about with my work.


Here: everyone is busy, because there’s a huge event coming up next week, and it’ll be more or less the only event that I (as well as the other few interns) will be working on while we’re here.


The office itself is pretty clean-cut – white walls, plain desks, interesting light fixtures here and there, framed paintings and photos accentuating some parts of the walls, decorative items in selected corners, some printed encouragement quotes stuck here and there, and a small Christmas tree in the middle of nowhere.


For the first half hour since I walked into the office, so many questions run through my head. What am I gonna do today? Is it possible that I’d screw up on the first day? What about lunch – do they just take the short walk out to the nearby business area, or do they drive out? Where’s the bathroom? Do I get a punchcard (I did and I got a detailed rundown on how to punch it)? What if I’m assigned something big today and I screw it up? What if I forget who I’m supposed to report to?


I should have slept wayyy earlier the previous night, and that coffee shouldn’t have been so strong. Pre-mixed coffee somehow tastes better than home-made coffee now – my taste buds for coffee have been more commercialized.


~


By the way, my right arm muscles are sore now. Seriously? Just from playing darts? I need to do more weight training.


~


My supervisor sits upstairs – the kind of lady who is pretty, but seems intimidating. I wonder if I made the wrong choice by mentioning during the interview that I want to be put in more situations that I have to talk to strangers to hopefully “cure” my people-shyness. So much for being a communication student.


The dress code still hasn’t been clarified – should I dress like blouse and skirt/slacks every day? Or can I go a little more casual, because some members of staff don’t seem quite fussy about lengths of skirts and all that.


I wonder when I’d ever get over my first-day nerves. I suck at meeting new people in person – being shy isn’t really a good thing, especially when you have an inherited ego problem. Placing an online order for sex toys would be less awkward and nerve-wracking than this.


This is like when I first joined Taylor’s for my foundation course – the awkwardness level was over 9000. And it stayed that way for a while, and then I met the same people over and over again every semester, which has its pros and cons. I really hope it won’t take as long for me to melt into the company as it did for me to melt into Taylor’s culture.


~


The lesson learned today is that you should be very careful about what you say during your interview – I mentioned that I wanted to be forced to communicate more with strangers during my internship, and right now I’m being put in that situation and am partially regretting it. The problem with strangers are that not all of them are nice, and I’ve come to realize that I have a slight stutter problem, even when I’m talking to my best friend (whether it’s nerves, or just that I want to talk too fast but my mouth and tongue can’t keep up).


~


I met the head of marketing on the day that I came for my interview, and when I was introduced to her, she said that she recognized me because of my tattoo. So far, I haven’t been called out on it negatively.


~


Just 11am and I already find myself looking forward to the end of the day. Has it really come to this? The extent to which I prefer to avoid all problems and just hide in the comfort of my social shell, that I’m dreading the next 7 hours of work on the first day already? FML is right.


~


Is it normal to be sitting around waiting on the first day? Or is it just my lack of initiative? Perhaps it’s my own thing that I put too much emphasis on rank difference, and I hate being the one who’s asking so many questions that seem to be just basic knowledge.


What I know is that you’re usually the black sheep on the first day, especially if you’re shy. I’m sitting here with two other girls who are around my age, and who are more or less from the same course, and yet I’m not consciously included in their conversation. Well, of course, that’s because their conversation is all about the work they have on hand, which is something that I would be doing in the future, but that’s not the task I have on hand right now.


My classmate is sitting outside, quite far from where I’m sitting. And I’m still not comfortable with walking around the office – it’s something I don’t think I’ll ever get used to, I think…


It feels like I’m free-loading, because everyone else seems to be really busy with other stuff – calls, typing, printing, moving around. Nice songs are being played on MyFM (played upstairs and downstairs in the office, at a fair volume), and it’s taking some effort not to sing along as I usually do.


~


Lunch was nice – new colleague Polly drove us out to the nearby area for mixed rice. From them, I noticed some of the company culture, and what would be the typical work pattern. One of the questions were how many days of vacation we would get for CNY, and we came to the conclusion that we would get a fair number of days, since the work place itself seemed very Chinese-friendly, with all the feng shui set up and all.



After lunch, I’m still more or less task-less – people are typing out emails to guests and calling people from a list, and I’m still sitting here.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Pre-internship nerves

Entering 2014 isn't really a big matter for me - everyone gets excited and makes resolutions that mostly don't get fulfilled and are brought over to the next year. What do we do after all the partying? Back to boring life, sitting in front of a TV or computer, or whatever other activities.


For some of us, including a very large number of my classmates and ex-classmates, we'll be starting our first day of our 3-month internship on the 2nd. It's nothing for a handful of us - they've worked in similar situations before, and they're most likely good enough with people and dealing with fuck-ups. People like me? It's really nerve-wracking, as I'm mostly shy and I hate seeming like a brainless idiot.


My previous jobs were clear-cut - do A, B, C, D, E, etc etc, then repeat. I had the privilege of working in a relative's office for my first job, so that wasn't too stressful. Being a waitress is just a matter of not smashing everything and plastering a mask on your face when the senior lady you're serving starts verbally abusing you for something that isn't your fault anyway.


This... I'm starting to wonder if event management is actually what I wanna do for a living. Just as I'm about to join the firm, they have one huge event planned out (one of the 3 that they manage annually). Despite being provided an allowance, I'll have to work half a day on alternate weekends. What even better, I'll need to interact with people I would probably never meet.


So far, my fellow classmates who have started their internship seem to be doing quite well - having fun, really.


But how I spent the last hours of 2013 and first hours of 2014 were pretty much 5,000 miles outside of my comfort zone. First time playing darts in a pub, shisha with 3-7 other guys, 3am karaoke, and having 2-3 new Facebook friend requests the morning after. Not bad - at least comparable to Avicii~


Here's to not fucking up in the next 3 months.