Day 2

Survived the drinks event thingy with Cofrance. Felt a little weird when my boss, Big Mac, brought the managing director of Cofrance & the senior manager who interviewed me over to talk to me. I was like… yada yada yada. Kena suan-ed by the MD about how Raffles (my exec director at Eon) managed to talk me into joining Eon instead of Cofrance. I just laughed. What am i expected to say right? My boss was quick in his rejoinder. He said that as brokers, naturally we have to be persuasive, and now that i have an “affinity” with Cofrance, i’ll be more proactive in getting clients for them. Right.

Did the smile-and-nod-your-head the whole night ‘cos i really don’t have any knowledge of trade credit insurance at all. Parasited myself alternately on my colleagues, Beanstalk, and Banker. Beanstalk has been in Eon for about 5 years… and was in the pioneer Trade Credit team. Banker joined Eon a month before me… he was from the banking & finance sector so he’s very good with things like factoring & discounting (whatever that is, i’m pretty sure it’s not the type of discounting i know!)

The 4 of us in the department sit in a square. I sit at the front left corner, Banker sits on my right, my boss sits behind him, and Beanstalk sits behind me. I have the worst seat ‘cos obviously Beanstalk has an unblocked view of my monitor, and ‘cos of the curvature of my workstation, my monitor’s angled such that it’s facing the direction of my boss. Sigh. No privacy at all. What to do? Bottom of the foodchain mah. Sigh.

From the 2 days of interactions with my dept, i think they’re nice people. Very genuine & helpful. Beanstalk, being the more senior one in my dept, is very approachable & ‘cos he sits behind me, he always gets the stupid qns from me like – “where’s the printer?”, “where’s the pantry?”, “who’s this person, who’s that person?”, etc. He has also offered to take me along to see a prospective client tomorrow.

Didn’t get to talk much to Banker till tonight ‘cos he was buried in his own work yesterday, and he spent a good part of today preparing notes on banking stuff for me. Hehe. So paiseh. But he’s also approachable & basically, i don’t feel the need to guard against them.

Sometimes, i feel a little uncomfortable with my boss ‘cos i feel kind of stupid… totally don’t know what he wants. But he’s given me 3 cases to read up on… so hopefully i’ll my intelligence will grow a bit after this. Bad thing is, i’ve been reading so much things that my brain has gone numb.

I wonder what they think of me. Hope i don’t leave a bad impression right from the beginning ‘cos i truly believe that 1st impressions last. Okie… time to zzz. Really tired tonight.

Much Ado About Nothing

First day at Eon… dragged myself out of bed at 7am in the morning. The amazing thing sparked my mind off early in the morning such that i didn’t snooze longer, was that my phone rang at 6:59am… and when i got out of bed to answer the call, the phone stopped ringing and the clocked ticked 7am. I was like huh? Who was calling me so early in the morning? I checked my call log but it was from an unknown number. Wow. I was intrigued. Twilight zone at 7am in the morning?

Kept thinking about it as i brushed my teeth, and got dressed for work. Then the phone rang again. Gasp! It was from an unknown no. again!!

“Hello? Hello?”

There was silence on the other end… just a little cackling sound in the background.

Then i heard a voice, “Girl uh, did u call me?”

Chey… it was my dad… calling from Cambodia. Told him i didn’t call him… turned out that my mom dialled his no. by mistake when she was trying to do the call divert to her hp. *Rolls eyes*

After dressing up, i went downstairs to feed the bunnies but my mom had already woken them up & gave them their breakfast. Horlicks wasn’t too pleased. She was sprawled sideways on the floor, still in deep concussion. Pinky was hopping about wondering why he was woken up so early… but when he realised there was nothing special happening, he got fedup & threw himself on his side & joined his mom in deep slumber. Muah Chee didn’t even bother to take his morning run. It was too early… and he laid at his favourite hideout to snooze. Peanut was awake but she was lying down too. Same for Coffee…eyes opened but brain still in dreamland. Sigh… my bunnies & me – we aren’t morning beings.

Reached Raffles Place at 8:30am… wasn’t sure what time i could go for lunch so i wolfed down some bee hoon & milo. Reached Eon punctually at 8:45am but the HR lady told me that there was another new gal joining the company today so we had to wait for her before they would start the briefing. Waited I did… all the way till 9:25am! Wah piang… i was so bored ‘cos i was in the meeting room alone! I surfed the Net using my hp, read blogs, came on MSN, and flooded the Singtel sms network. Sheesh. Which idiot comes to work late on the 1st day right?? Wah liew. But i found out in the end that it wasn’t her fault lah. Her boss wanted to clear up his desk for her to sit so he told her to come at 9:15am or later… no earlier… and apparently the gal was a little moronic ‘cos she said she was also standing outside the door, waiting for someone to open it for her. DUH! There’s a doorbell lor! Door locked, press doorbell lah! Never use doorbell before uh? *Rolls eyes again*

The rest of the day went by pretty uneventful… oh, except i think i met almost everyone i know working in Raffles Place today. Went down for a breakfast introduction thingy with my dept and i met my ex-boss and a colleague. During breakfast, another 2 ex-colleagues came & sat at the next table. Then a senior from sec sch & NTU walked past us and it turns out she’s with an insurance co. too so my dept people know her as well. (REALLY coincidental since this is the 1st time i’ve seen her at Raffles Pl.) During lunch with some of my new colleagues, i met a friend from salsa… and going back to my new office after lunch, i saw another 2 colleagues from my old office… and when i went down to get my barang barang from my ex-colleague, i saw another friend in the building! Seriously! I’ve been working in Raffles Place since Mar last year and i’ve never met so many people i know in one day! Heh.

Didn’t do any real work… read more notes, sorted & cleaned out my desk. (It’s double the size of my old desk. Whoopee!) Not sure how i’m going to cope in this new job. Will definitely have a lot of learning to do. Apart from my boss, there’s 2 other colleagues in the same dept as me now. All very friendly & helpful people. Eon’s management / administration is also very very efficient. My namecards were delivered today (perfect timing ‘cos we’re meeting the underwriters from Cofrance for some after work drinks thing on Tue night… yes, Cofrance… the co. i went for interview before… hehe), my nameplate was set up at my seat, my network login / email / intranet passwords were all working, and my access card, access pin, toilet key, etc, were also given to me.

I was even given a company cup ‘cos (in the dept’s secretary’s words), “the company finds that there may be certain health risks if staff keeps drinking from the styrofoam cups in the pantry”. Hence, we’re all given an Eon cup to use! How touching! *Sniff*. I guess this also saves costs for the company, and it’s environmentally friendlier too! And have i mentioned the pantry yet? (Actually the pantry’s pretty much the same as when i did my attachment in Eon in 2000… except that it slipped my memory till today). There’s this nice little kitchenette-like room that houses the coffee machine, biscuits (Self-service! The biscuit tins miraculously refill by themselves!), tea, milo, and other beverages are available for all staff. How impressive! 🙂 U know, when i was doing my attachment, i was always too shy to eat the biscuits. Now, i’m back with a vengeance! Muahahaha!

What bliss (before the real work kicks in). Wanted to take a photo of my nice big desk but didn’t want to appear so sua ku on my 1st day of work. Haha. Will take a photo of the pantry too if i can! Muahahaha!

Best of the Best

This entry is specially dedicated to Muah Chee. Poor poor boy got his ear bitten, and a bit of the edge got chewed off! It’s like jagged & torn at the edge.  So poor thing. My heart goes out to the poor boy. I think it was caused by Coffee ‘cos on Saturday afternoon, Coffee managed to sneak into Muah Chee’s territory & when we found them later, Coffee was lying arrogantly near the gate separating their terroritories, whereas Muah Chee was taking cover behind my old bicycle. There were a few tufts (maybe 2 tufts) of Coffee’s fur on the floor… and a whole lot of Muah Chee’s fur.

At first, i thought there could be more of MC’s fur ‘cos he’s in the process of shedding his fur so it’s a lot easier for him to drop fur. I also inspected both their noses, heads & bodies but didn’t see any obvious injuries. However,  when i went to pat MC just now, i realised that there were bite marks on his right ear!! Poor boy! The marks at near the edge so i may have missed them on Saturday. I feel so sorry for him. He’s always been such a sweet-natured, caring & protective bunny since he was a baby. He’s the only bunny i have that has NEVER attacked another bunny, unless severely provoked. Twice previously, Coffee picked a fight with MC, and kept scratching him till there was blood, and it was only then that MC couldn’t take it anymore & retaliated by pinning Coffee down. But he’s never ever done any real damage to Coffee.

That Coffee’s such an ingrate! When he was young, he used to be bullied by the other bunnies ‘cos he was pretty small in size (still is). And when he got scared, he used to go to MC for protection! In fact, he LOVED sleeping next to MC. But now that he’s grown up, he’s turned on MC! It’s like chewing the paw that protected u! What a horrible meanie! I spanked Coffee just now. Also jabbed his head & told him that if he ever bullied MC again, i’ll let Horlicks (who’s the fiercest of the lot) into his area & let her rip him apart.

I know i’ve always been going ga-ga over Pinky… but that’s ‘cos Pinky was born in my house, and he’s the baby of the family & always needed extra care & protection. Now that Pinky’s grown up, i think my affections are equally split between MC & him. MC deserves the title of The Bestest Bunny ‘cos he’s intelligent (always helps me find Peanut when she goes hiding), helpful (sometimes too helpful… when Peanut digs holes in the grass, he helps her push the soil away!), sweet-natured (always takes care of any bunny who seeks protection & cuddles with him), sharing (’cos he used to be the tallest, he would pull out leaves from the taller plants to share with everyone), and obedient. He can even communicate with us… like how he nudges our ankles & heads towards the fence when he wants to be let out into the front garden… or when he pauses & asks u to accompany him for walks in the garden. I’ve never seen such a special bunny before! He must be one in a trillion!

Muah Chee, u’re the best! Will reward u with extra biscuits later!  Here’s a slideshow of MC from young till now.



RockYou slideshow

I want to be a Tai-Tai

Today is my last day of nua-ing before i start my new job. Sob sob…. so sad… time flies when u’re in a state of perpetual inertia. My new workplace starts work at 8:30am!! Gosh… how on earth can people work before 9am? My body will still be sleeping even if it’s physically in office!

Sigh… i want to be a tai-tai. I think i would be a very low maintenance tai-tai… i only ask for cable TV, and VCD allowance so i can rent all the HK drama serials i want to watch… and maybe 1 or 2 Jap & Korean serials… and i could just vegetate in front of the TV the whole day… ah… so shiok! Then in between serials, i’ll clean up the rabbits’ poop, play with them (i mean the rabbits, not the poop), and so on. If the bunnies are obedient enough, they could even watch TV with me! Wonder if Pinky prefers comedies or action serials… hmmm…

Ok… gotta sleep earlier tonight… no more staying up till 5am then sleeping till 1pm. (Damn!) Hope i’ll be able to adapt to my new work place… and don’t doze off during the half day orientation session with HR! 😛

Why Choose?

Hehe… more geeky updates from me. I recently bought both the Canon Ixus 60 digicam, as well as the Nokia N73 hp! (Feeling really broke now). I didn’t do as much research into which digicam to buy this time, as compared to 2 years back when i compared reviews online and so on. Basically, i trusted my friend on his recommendation, did a bit of reading about the Canon Ixus 60, and bought it.

The buy has thrilled me so far. The camera is small, compact & fits comfortably in my bag. I didn’t get any camera case for it ‘cos it fits nicely into my hp pouch! What i love best about it is the shutter speed. Ok… that may seem like a stupid reason since in this day & age, most digicams would take a photo in the blink of an eye… but u’ve got to understand. The last digicam i had, the Nikon Coolpix 3700, was sooo slow in taking photographs, that even my Nokia 6280 hp beat it! I could never capture shots of my bunnies with the Nikon 3700 ‘cos by the time the camera focused & snapped, my bunnies would have like lapped me a few times & went off elsewhere to rest.

Hence, i’m really pleased with the Canon Ixus 60. I’m still experimenting with it… so some of the shots in Bangkok didn’t turn out so great ‘cos shots that looked ok on the camera screen, when transferred to my pc, turned out a lot darker. Instead, it was the shots that seemed too bright on the camera screen that was ok on my pc. But it’s ok… i didn’t take anything scenic in Bangkok anyway. It was a good experiement.

Hehe… other than the digicam, i also bought the Nokia N73. This definitely wasn’t a purchase based on logic. I compared reviews online and even fiddled around with the N73… the Sonyericsson K800i definitely has a better camera…. and the phone’s a lot faster than the laggy Symbian Series 60 that the N73 runs on. But what to do? I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again. People don’t buy things based on logic right? They buy based on emotions right? As long as they feel shiok, they’ll buy. Yay! That proves i’m human.

Lagginess aside, i’m also pretty satisfied with my phone. There are 2 browsers provided for in the phone… this normal one that comes with most phones… as well as this Nokia browser. Now, the Nokia browser is real cool. It loads my website exactly as how it looks on the pc. (But u have to scroll left, scroll right, in order to see the entire page lah). But it’s damn cool right? The mesage i posted in my messageboard? It was done via my N73!! The only drawback was that i couldn’t scroll within the messageboard using the hp. But it’s ok… hehe… the browser is cool enough for me. Google searches load pretty fast & i can get info from the Net that i need, while on the move! I even checked my emails from BKK (hope the charges aren’t too high!) using the hp.

Another really cool software i’m using on the N73 now is MSN messenger. I’m using the Agile messenger that can connect to both ICQ & MSN. Used this a couple of years ago when i had the Nokia 6260, (That is a REALLY lousy phone. Don’t EVER get it!) and i sort of remember that after i sold off that hp, Agile Msgr started charging for their IM… but surprise surprise! It’s free now! Hehe. I’m not complaining. 😛

I also downloaded this other freeware, eMSN to test… but it’s really bad. In order to log on, u have to like go through 4-5 pages of ads by sponsors. Bleah! Damn crap! And the interface is lousy too. I used it on both my Nokia 6280, as well as the current N73… really not worth the effort.

So far, i’ve found only 1 bug on the N73… the address book. There’s an option to display contacts by “First Name, Last Name” but no matter how u select that option, it won’t get saved. Sigh. Not that it really matters i guess ‘cos the way the search results are displayed is different. Say i’m looking for Pinky Soo. In the usual Nokia address books, all u have to do is key in “p”, and all the names starting with P will appear. Then if u type “pi”, it’ll jump to Pinky (assuming Pinky’s the only name starting with ‘pi’ in the add book). However, for the N73, if u key in “pi”, it’ll display a list of contacts with the letters “pi” in it… e.g. Pinky, Ping Pong, Su Ping, etc.

I wouldn’t say this search feature is better or worse than the previous ones… it’s just different. It’s annoying when i need to find a friend, who used to be like the first name amongst all my “K” contacts… and now she’s shifted to the 4th name…. but it’s useful when i want to find a client that i named T12-34 Daren (for example), and i juz have to key in “Dar” and his name appears… get what i mean?

Another bad thing about the N73 is that the back cover is quite prone to scratches. If u’re like me – and u always place your hp on tabletops, then be prepared for it to have fine scratches. I’m ok with it ‘cos my hps never remain with me for very long anyway. Haha. I’ll prob. sell it off b4 it gets too wrecked. (BTW, i managed to sell the 6280 for $320! Hehe. Profit!).

There u have it! Hehe… the latest gadgets to join UptownGal’s arsenal of “geekgetry”. Here are some photos taken with my new gadgets. 🙂 (Saw this rockyou.com thing on Whiskey Sprite’s homepage… it’s cool… but takes awfully long to upload the pics! *Pants*)



Language Quirks

I was surfing the Mr. Brown website when i found a short excerpt of PM Lee’s National Day Rally Speech on the site. No offence to our PM but when PM Lee made the first grammatical error in his speech… i thought, nevermind… people may have a slip of tongue when they speak… but when he started talking about Republic Polytechnic & how students can “hand up” & “pass up” their homework, i started cringing.

When i was in primary school, my teachers ingrained in me that u hand in your homework. U don’t “pass up” your homework. U pass up opportunities given to u… and u hand in your homework. As for “hand up”? I have no idea where that comes from.

It’s not as though my English is perfect – i have a lot of questions as to what is right & when to use what… but there are just some mistakes that i find intolerable.

Like when people say, “irregardless”. That REALLY bugs me. It’s irrespective or regardless. Choose one. Mai everything also combine lor!

I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again… it’s possible to speak grammatical Singlish so do it!

Budding Talent, Blooming Idiot

Back from my first visit to Thailand!  Learnt a lot of new things…

1.  Monopoly Leads to Lousy Food

The food at Han’s @ Changi Airport’s Budget Terminal sucks.  Don’t eat there.  If u must have some food before u board the plane, buy snacks from the shops inside the terminal.  I waited 35min for my grilled fish, which came soaked in so much oil that i could only stomach half of it before i wanted to puke.  (And this is coming from somewhere who can have char kway teow for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.) 

 

2.  Free-Sitting Woes

Board budget flights as early as possible, if u want to sit together with your friend/family/whoever & whatever.  ‘Cos of the free sitting rule, it’s quite chaotic during boarding… and choose healthy people to sit with.  I sat with a couple, and the husband had a cold, which by mid-flight, spread to the wife, and by the end of the flight, spread to me.

 

3.  The Airport says a lot about a Country

BKK’s Intl Airport is the crappiest airport i’ve been to so far.  Ok, maybe Thailand’s the only 3rd world country i’ve visited, apart from M’sia.  But it’s just damn crap lah.  After queueing for 1 hr to clear immigration, we were told to shift to another terminal!  After queueing up all over again, some Thai airport official comes and jabs some gestures at another tourist, and we found ourselves changing queues again!  It took a total of 2hrs to clear immigration.  I can only say 1 thing – BKK is the land of a thousand smiles jams.  Car jam, immigration jam… @(#^!

 

4.  Kena Ketok 

Ever heard the phrase Cai Tao 菜头 (aka sucker)?  Yep.  I got suckered at the airport.  The minute we cleared immigration, we saw friendly Thai ladies waving at us & beckoning us to book taxis through them.  It looked innocent enough since they were airport staff right?  Yeah, i paid Bht1400 for hiring an airport taxi to my hotel, and for a ride to the airport on my day of departure.  That is extremely expensive given that the meter of a normal taxi in BKK starts at Bht35.  Sigh… we must have looked like walking “cabbage heads” to the airport taxi sales people. 

 

5.  Bangkok Prefers Visa

I don’t know about the rest of Thailand but BKK definitely “prefers Visa”.  I saw the very first “prefers Visa” signboard at the airport… and all over shopping centres as well.  By golly! They sure have a strong preference ‘cos my mastercard didn’t work at any place other than the hotel i stayed in.  So make sure u have a Visa credit card, or bring lots of cash! 

 

 

6.   Shopping!

Most of the shopping malls i visited (MBK Centre, Siam Paragon, Central World, Siam Discovery Centre) had pretty much the same shops / restaurants as in Singapore – Crystal Jade, Breadtalk, Giordano, Nafnaf, FCUK, and designer brands like Chanel, LV, etc. 

 I liked the interior design of Central World aka the old World Trade Centre the most.  In fact, the grand opening was held the day before we arrived in BKK!  Bought a pair of sunglasses at Oakley’s there (it’s about $12 cheaper than in SG), and had a really delicious dinner at Black Canyon Coffee there.

The only bad thing was that maybe 1/3 of the shops are still under reno and the place is abuzz with mosquitoes!  Some sections also had a really strong smell of paint.  Bleah!

Cirrus & i spent the most time in MBK.  Remember those Chinese idioms they taught in pri school?  MBK fulfills most of them man…包罗万象, 人山人海….Hehe.  Cirrus spent most of his time at this car accessories shop on the 4th floor called R-style or R-Type… something like that lah.  (To find it, go the the 4th floor of Tokyu department store in MBK, then exit the store into the section selling tons of hp, and the store’s somewhere there lah.)

For me, i managed to get a pair of casual jeans there, and a pair of sequinned/beaded jeans (for salsa).  MBK also sells lots of imitation goods for those who’re into contrabrand… and i MUST mention this.  In BKK, u can buy bras & underwear like there’s tomorrow.  I bought a total of 8 bras & 7 underwear at MBK!  (Okie, some were for my mom/friends but still!  I managed to claim the VAT refund based entirely on my lingerie stash!)  Check out the Tokyu dept store, or the Triumph store for really cheap buys.

Chatuchak market is great for buying souvenirs & knick knacks.  Just make sure u bargain (walk away if u have to ‘cos there’s always another shop that sells the same thing).  A picture speaks a thousand words so… check out the pic of all the stuff Cirrus & i bought from Chatuchak!

 

 

 

7.  VAT Refunds

Speaking of VAT refunds.  Listen up if u want to claim it!  No one at the airport’s going to help!  (Crappy management, crappy staff.)  Read the procedure for the paperwork carefully.  Assuming u got all the paperwork done correctly, once u reach the airport, look for the VAT Refund counter.  There, an airport staff will check through the paperwork to make sure everything’s correct.  Your purchases may also be checked by him.  He’ll then stamp a “goods inspected” stamp on your refund document.

After that, u can check in your luggage.  If u’re early like me (i reached the airport at 11:25am for my 2:05pm flight), u’ll most lik
ely have to wait for the check-in counter to open.  Note that not all TVs display the same information regarding departure check-in counters.  So walk up & down the terminal & check the various TVs.  I didn’t know this till a kind Singaporean couple (actually it was the same couple that spread the cold bug to me) told Cirrus that the info was displayed on another TV & that we could check-in already.  (The check-in counter opens approx. 1.5 – 2 hrs before the flight departure).

When u’ve checked in all your baggage, find a “Passenger Services Charge” counter.  That’s the counter to pay the airport tax.  Most of the counters would be manned by some grummpy looking lady.  I wonder if the airport recruited beggars for this post… 2 of the ladies i saw kept their mouths shut throughout & only knew how to put their hands out to receive the money (Bht500 per pax).  “Passenger Services” indeed.  Pui!

U’ll get this receipt stating that u’ve paid the airport tax.  Present the receipt to the ladies guarding the entrance to the immigration clearance and they’ll let u through.  When u’re queueing up to clear immigration, open your eyes big big & be ready to run anytime… ‘cos new counters may suddenly open & if u want to clear immigration fast (it takes like 30min to clear 5 people?), run to the newly open counters!!  That’s the ONLY way to beat the jam…. else, u risk missing your flight!  (No kidding… just imagine… we checked in our luggage at 12:25pm, paid the airport tax, queued to clear immigration (which we hastened the process by jumping to a newly opened counter) at 12:50pm, which left us only 35min to get the VAT refund and grab some lunch before boarding the flight at 1:25pm.)

 

 8.  U can’t out-talk stupidity

I was happily taking photos of Patience on the plane when an air stewardess (btw, budget airline hor, the stewardess also damn budget looking) told me in a very condescending tone that hps were not allowed on planes.  I told her that i was using flight mode and her curt reply was, “flight mode also not allowed”. 

DUH??  Flight mode not allowed then have flight mode for what?  I know we’re not supposed to switch on any electronic devices during take-off and landing, which i duly obeyed.  I was using my hp to take pictures only after the annoucement that it was safe to use electronic devices! 

I rolled my eyes and kept my phone tho’ i didn’t switch it off.  Why should i indulge stupidity?  (If u want to know more about hp / flight mode, etc, click here.)  In fact, i even took a picture of stupidity to share with u.  🙂

 

 

There u have it.  My personal guide on how not to be another blooming idiot in BKK.

Please help me call SPCA

dear fans,

i want to lodge a complain against my owners.  they’ve been ill-treating me.  they make me beg for my food, and they don’t let me sleep in peace.  they keep making a lot of noise whenever i lie down for my afternoon nap.  i overheard my maid telling her mom just now, that i have this really really thin upper tooth that’s growing out now.  it’s only as thin as a toothpick!!  but they want to pluck it out, like they did my other front teeth.  they’re so cruel.  please help me call SPCA.

 

 

 

this is poor me being tempted with a carrot stick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

is it humane to make a bunny beg?  i have my dignity too u know!

 

 

 

 

 

i tried to sleep. 

 

 

 

 

 

but my maid made a lot of noise.  i was very irritated.

 

 

 

 

then dunno-what-thing dropped and crashed to the floor with a bang.  nearly gave me a heart attack!

 

 

 

 

 

this is me.  traumatised. 

 

 

 

 

love,

Pinky the Pitiful