Thursday, May 31, 2007

I think I could have lied through my teeth.

I must say, it's been a while since I've not had a good night's sleep. I was quite worried about today's presentation that something may go wrong. I even brought my laptop along just in case the powerpoint done in Office 2007 may not work. The interview was scheduled for 0830hrs, but was delayed an hour. All the better, at least I can take my own sweet time to get to the office.

I reached there about 0900hrs and at the same time, the hiring Sr. Manager just arrived as well. He told me that the other Sr. Manager will be late. Sigh, looks like it'll be delayed even further. I got there, went to see his PA and she informed me that there is a small test that I needed to do after the interview. Great... more stuff to do. I was hoping to get out of there as soon as possible as today was a holiday. Looks like I'll have to scratch half the day off.

The interview went well, it's good to know that I hit a few points in my presentation that both Operation Sr. Managers could see improvement in the service. I guess being an internal candidate does have it's advantages. So I nailed the interview and the presentation. The only problem that I had was the test that followed. Another 2 hours of agony. Math questions and an article to read and analyze. After my presentation and interview this morning, the only thing that I wanted to do was to finish it and leave as soon as possible.

Internally, a lot of people are supporting me to get the position. Deep down, I don't even know whether I want that position or not. I know that I've given my best and when asked the question, how many years am I willing to commit, I think I could have lied through my teeth. I told them as long as it takes. If you want the job, you'll have to find ways to get it. If you are skilled and qualified, the only commitment left for me is to promise them that I will stay there as long as it takes. But hey, after 18mths, I'm free to go anywhere I want to. Regionally or not, I still am free to leave.

So, here I sit and wait for the results... hopefully it will be a favourable one. Favor to which side... I don't know yet. Either way, I will need to sacrifice something.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Preparing for my interview tomorrow

Right now, I'm at home preparing for my interview tomorrow. Got an email from the Senior Manager's PA saying that my interview has been moved to 0930hrs instead of 0830hrs. All the better, I could get a little more shut eye till the time comes to wake up. However, I doubt I'll be getting much sleep tonight.

The position that I've applied for is the Operations manager in FedEx, to be based in Johor. I have never in my life set foot in Johor and I have no knowledge what so ever of that place. But if I don't seize this opportunity now, who knows when will I ever have the chance to move up?

You see, being in a Professional position in FedEx is no fun. You are neither here nor there. You are neither front-liners, who come to you as a supervisor. You are not management, so you can't make management decisions. So, what the heck is this for? Who cares for 1st level escalations. When a customer wants to speak to your manager, you don't send a supervisor. I somehow think my company has failed to grasp this straight forward point.

Nevertheless, I just want to leave this department. I'm tired of doing all my manager's bidding. I'm like a slave who picks up the pieces after a mess has been created. To make matters worst, any new projects, will just be handed down to me. No input required, the manager tells you, you do it.

Now comes the scary part, I'm expected to do a 20 minute presentation for the interview tomorrow. It was supposed to be given 1 day before, but the Senior Manager decided to give me the topic one week in advance. I think he expects a whole lot from me. I've done the necessary scooping around, interviewing the current station manager, who will hopefully be my future partner. I've spoken with other station managers as well, who have given me countless morale support to give it my best. I know that I will give my best tomorrow morning.

However, the nagging thought on my head is that I will have to leave Bangsar and move to a foreign place. Now, I'm used to moving around, but that was in Australia. I've got a few friends in JB who say that they can help me locate a place to rent. No problems there. But it's just the thought of relocating that really bugs me. I love Bangsar and I love that we've just refurbished the room.

Friday, May 25, 2007

the Black Pearl and the Flying Dutchman really kicked ass!

Yen and I went to watch the last chapter of the Pirates of the Carribean series. So, Captain Jack Sparrow does not only dies, but he returns. You may be thinking, geez, it seems that everyone who dies in the film seems to come back. Barbosa died in the first part from being killed by Jack. He came back at the end of part two. It was definitely a good movie and this completes the saga. No more long waits. Though there is an open ended ending, so not sure if there will be any spin-offs.

It was a 2 1/2 hrs movie and we caught the 9pm show. We had dinner at Manhattan Fish Market, Yen and I tried the Pollock this time instead of having the usual platter. It was just nice considering I had a full banana leaf rice lunch. Not a bad place, Grand City in PJ, directly opposite University Hospital. Do check it out. It's air conditioned, which is a plus point!

So, back to the movie. This time it was not as funny as the other characters did not share the same witty and quick response that Jack comes up with. It was a little slow in the beginning of the show. After a while, once the pace caught up when Jack was back on the screen, it really started to kick off. I mean, it isn't the same without Jack Sparrow. Johnny Depp got the facial expressions spot on and each time he got onto the camera, you know you can expect something funny. Can't say the same for Chow Yeun Fatt though. His character Sao Feng was more of a side character, who does not make it to the halfway point of the film. Unfortunately, being an Asian movie star, does not give you the option of coming back just like Barbosa or Jack Sparrow.

To top it all off, the Black Pearl and the Flying Dutchman really kicked ass! I shall not dwell more in case some of you have not caught the film, no spoilers will be posted.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I'm actually stuck at the crossroads at the moment

Yesterday was one of those days in the office. No managers in the office, now that's what I call, "No government". My manager was on leave and the other was transfered to the call centre in KL for a week. Woohooo.

The central airconditioning decided to act up and it was getting really hot. I couldn't believe that I was actually starting to perspire. It was hot so I made a complaint to the building management. I tell you, the person who controls the central aircond temperature must really get a kick out of messing with the dials. Hmmm, it's hot today, I think I'll make those office people suffer a bit. On some days, the temperature is so cold, you'd be sniffling on a hot day. It's just like driving a car, it won't go on a straight line no matter how straight you keep the steering wheel. Strange isn't it?

I've applied for the position of the Operations Manager for FedEx, but the job will be based in JB. Something that I am not really looking forward to, with the registration and all. I mean, Yen just moved to Bangsar and for me to move to JB, it will be quite problematic. My new to-be Senior Manager was in HQ yesterday so he decided to drop by to check-up on me. He told me that he has received the application and that he will be getting the other 2 Senior Managers together to arrange the interview. Gulp... it's bad being interviewed by 1 Senior Manager... but 3???

I'm actually stuck at the crossroads at the moment. One point, Yen and I will be settling down and getting married. The second would be a career progression that will not be coming unless I continue to wait it out. I mean, I've been waiting for this chance since I joined FedEx, how am I to give this up? Well, an advice that he gave me was that I will need to consider on moving to JB permanently, which Yen is not too keen on. I'm thinking, if I get this job, I'll be stuck there for at least 2 years, which is what the current JB managers are doing. They are both from KL and they drive back over the weekend and go back to work on Monday morning. It's about 5 hours drive down south, quite a distance. He told me that it will be very tiring, physically and mentally.

I guess, the next choice would be to leave this company for good. I don't forsee any other opportunity to move up here. When there are any openings in KL, the two managers from JB will have first blood. So what does that leave me? Nothing... unless I get the job stay there for a year and move to another company to come back to KL. Whatever decision I make, it will be stressful. I just feel like sitting at the crossroads and just do nothing...

Monday, May 21, 2007

There are a few E36 and E30 for sale as well.

I got a call from Yaz yesterday asking about how much Ah Keong normally charges for a full paint job. I told him I think I remembered paying RM 3k for my Mazda. But then again, it could have been RM 2,500 or RM 2,750. He was quoted RM 2k plus to respray his Prelude. I think it would be rather steep considering I paid RM 2,500 or RM 2,750 for my car. Then again I could be wrong. Has Ah Keong raised his prices?

Yaz is considering in refurbishing his Prelude, which I thought should be about time. There's rust around parts of the car and he has been complaining about the gear synchromesh as well. So, gearbox, reconditioned unit for a B16A should be arout RM 1,300, paint job about RM 2k plus, and reupholstery of his car could come to somewhere around RM 600. I advised him to check out a shop in Segambut next to Esso. On Saturday after I checked out the Caldina, I saw one on the way home. I mean, it doesn't hurt to get a second opinion.

considering he'll need at least RM 4k - 5k for refurbishing the whole car, I think it would be wise if he considered liquidating the car. I mean, it's served him well and if he has a spare car to use, why not? Ahem... there are a few E36 and E30 for sale as well.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

But looks like that dream will have to wait.

Woke up this morning to send Yen to work. She was going to Genting today for the team building activity that I attended two weeks ago. After dropping her off I headed to Yut Kee for breakfast. I ordered the usual 2 half boiled eggs and a set of toasted bread. Uncle Roger asked if I had a a heavy night yesterday. According to him back in those days, they will order this when they have had rough nightly activities.

Moving on, Yen forgotten to take her sunglasses, so I called her to let her know I'd swing by since I was at Merv's. After that, I had an appointment with my new insurance agent. When I bought my policy back then I had no idea what I was getting myself into. My mum selected the easiest "default" policy. Had good coverage and minimal medical claims. After much listening, I decided to enhance the policy a little, which meant I would have to pay an additional RM900.00 per annum.

Yen called and said that she left her iPod at home, which meant I had to cut the meeting short. I rushed home, got the iPod and rushed back to town. We went to Yut Kee, second time for me today, and had a quick lunch. Not much time to hang around as the shop was getting crowded and Yen had to wait for the bus.

After dropping her off again, I decided to go take a look at some cars. I made my way to Jalan Kuching and saw a couple of import cars for sale, namely RX8s, WRXs and my next target the Caldina GT-4 N-spec. Considering that we will be getting married soon, the GT-4 seems like a good choice to buy. I could not test drive the car as they had already parked it inside for the day. There were a couple of GT-4s there, some N-spec, some without. I finally noticed the difference. The standard GT-4 still comes with the 2.0 litre turbo engine driven by 4WD. The only thing that was missing was the Recaro seats, sport pedals, HID and reverse camera. The difference? 10 grand. Still for RM 160,000.00 and without sunroof, I will give this one a pass.

The reason why I choose the GT-4 over the other 4WD turbos is because it's a sport wagon. Ideal for a family man. I'd still have the space in the car to carry stuff and the car still has the grunt to boot. Ideally, I'd buy an Evolution and Yen will drive the Caldina. But looks like that dream will have to wait.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

"New Leased of Life...with HP V"

I got a shock when I saw Gary's nick as, "New Leased of Life...with HP V". I remember reading an article on one of the Sundays where they featured HPV (Human papillomavirus). So I asked Gary whether it was true?

He then replied this morning saying that he has just gotten a new HP Notebook. I thought he has gotten a new lease of life from either his social or nightly activities... hehehe.

Looks like it was his notebook that he was referring to and not his genital virus. Oh well, be careful of what you post on your MSN nick.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

That's what next weekend is for...

Yen and I were planning to have an easy night in yesterday when I received a call from my cousin Beng. He had come home from Jakarta and he forgot to email me about it. His friend stood him up and he decided to try his luck by calling me to see if I was at home. Sure enough, I was.

Before that, Yen and I were out in Sungai Wang shopping for bedspreads. We were actaully planning to go Parkson, but there was a sale in Metrojaya as well. I thought since I needed to bring my HDD back to Cycom for warranty claims, it'll be good to check out the sale too.

After much walking, we thought we'd take it easy that night. But when my cousin called, I knew I had to go pick him up. Normally, he'd have his friend come get him, but looks like yesterday he was left to go home alone.

After picking him up from Sentral, we went for dinner at Hoi Kei, Brickfields. We had the usual Oh Jien (Fried Eggs with Oyster), Deep fried chicken with mushroom and ham, a plate of vege and the ginger steamed fish. Yen passed me half her plate of rice and I think I had a little bit too much to eat. We caught up over dinner and he made the announcement that he'll be tying the knot next year too. I was pretty much suprised as well. Oh well, all the best to him and his future bride to be.

So after dropping him back, Yen and I thought we'd just sit for a little while at my cousin's place. It's more of a courtesy, that when you visit your relatives, you go in and chat a little. We left about 10pm, and we had a long day ahead of us.

Since a week ago, all of the furniture are in the room. The queen sized bed is here and a new cupboard has taken it's place in our room. So today, was moving and unpacking day. Most of the things, I'd just kept in boxes for the repainting of the room. It was a very busy day, unpacking and deciding what needs to be thrown or kept. I've thrown a few bags already, and today was another 2 large bags of stuff that I could part with. It's funny, cause when for me, I tend to keep a lot of things. Then when it comes to throwing stuff away, I just feel that I can't live without it. We moved some of Yen's things over tonight, and it's just the tip of the iceberg. I know that there'll be a lot more things to move over. That's what next weekend is for...

Saturday, May 12, 2007

if they didn't want to serve me, then I'd say, "Gua Bo Lui ar?"

Yen wanted to have Japanese for dinner a few nights ago. We went to Bangsar Village and found Mizu. I told her that the pricing there was that of a 5 star restaurant. Yeap, we went through the menu and decided on eating something else.

Since she wanted Japanese, I thought I'd check out Zipangu in Shangrila. Having the Prestige Platinum card, we get 50% off the ala carte menu. I think we were the two only people in the restaurant to wear t-shirt and shorts. I was thinking, if they didn't want to serve me, then I'd say, "Gua Bo Lui ar?", in Hokkien... translated to "I have no money ar?". Something I picked up from the Awana team building. The organizer Eddie kept giving examples of Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong saying that he could want just because he has money. True enough, I could have road to my house coated in gold if I had so much money.

So in we went, me in my Bata slippers. I made it a point not to buy expensive slippers after my Nike shoes got stolen outside Merv's house. Same goes for slippers. I used to wear Nike slippers, but ever since the point where I had my shoes stolen, I ain't going to bother with buuying expensive slippers anymore.

I ordered the garlic fried rice and Yen had the hot soba noodles. We had a starter, which was the garlic butter baked scallops served with some bread. After that we ordered deep fried soft-shell crabs and we shared a main course of teppanyaki tiger prawns. The scallops were something new, it was made the same was you would make escargots. They included some prawns and mushrooms in it and backed it with the garlic butter. My mouth is still watering from last night's meal.

After 50% discount, the meal came to something like RM 81.00. Not too bad for 5 star restaurant standards. Just before we left Shang, we stopped by Cinnamon, the new bakery. Because it was after 8pm, all items were 50% off. I bought a New York cheese cake while Yen bought a Lavender Raisins scone. That dessert really made my day. It was the smoothest and tastiest cheese cake I have eaten.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

No winking at the Queen!

Well, looks like the American president Mr. George W. Bush has stumbled upon his words once again. The Queen helped America celebrated it's bicentennial in 17s? Hmmm... I didn't know she was more than 200 yrs old. Hehehe, don't you just love his goof ups? It's no wonder that David Letterman loves using the president's speeches for segments in his show. No winking at the Queen!

Of course the Queen responded in the dinner party by saying that "Mr. President, I'm not sure whether I should start this toast saying when I was here in 1776..."

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Well, looking at the sign in this picture that I took, I'm thinking... "NO!"

Alright, so came the day of the team building in Awana Genting. I left KL at about 5.25pm and made a quick pit stop by the Mobil along Jalan Kuching. Filled up the tank and shot straight up to Awana. Although it's not at the top of the hill, it still took me a good 35 minutes to reach up there.

I made it there just in time. When I reached the parking lot, Sow Hon gave me a call and I told him that I just parked my car. He told me to hurry up as they had already gave out the room keys. So I locked up the car and made it all the way to the lobby.

At first I was quick skeptical about all these team building activities. Most of the time, they are all just talk and no action. But this, they were really good. I can't blog much about the activities, otherwise it will spoil the fun for those who have not gone for the camp.

The next day, we were brought into the Awana jungle for a trek. It was a long trek, about 500ft downhill. Yes, it's steep and it was about 2km with slippery and muddy conditions. My mistake was that I wore my Timberlands and thanks to the rain, the terrain was filled with wet mud. The sort that you would love if you were driving a 4x4. Unfortunately, we were on foot and the mud did not help the situation. It had rained in the wee hours of the morning and that really made the situation moody. Our guide told us that the forrest has emotions. You should always stay sharp and be aware of things such as bamboos are home to those who we do not see.

The first thing that I was worried about was the leeches. Then were told of the rattan trees filled with many thorns, and the river crossing, which made me wanted to turn back. I've never liked jungle trekking, and I'm not much of an outdoors person. To me, the idea of outdoor would be in a track filled with high horsepower machines and the smell of burning rubber. Now this, not a machine in sight. It was just the wilderness and the whole 35 of us.

The trek was really tough, according to the guide, he had Iban boys who cut the path. They wanted a path downwards towards the river. Iban boys, being native did not learn about engineering, as he put it. They only knew one path, which was straight down. So most of the journey was steep, the only flat ground was available when we reached the river. I thought, shit... if there was so much downhill, I'm going to regret goiing back up.

A third of the journey later, we reached the river. Most of the people had leeches sticking to them and then came the moment of truth. The river crossing... and we had to walk in the water. Sigh... that was where my boots were ruined. I've been trying to dry them off since. After the crossing, we came to the last flat plateau. Waiting there was a kettle being kept warm. In the kettle was hot tea. It's wonderful how they put it there way ahead. It's like they had a shortcut to get there.

After that, with my soggy wet boots, the last part of the trip was uphill. It was damned tiring and slippery. The last thing on my mind were leeches. Just when my boots were drying, there was another river crossing to be met. This time, the water was faster and deeper. Again, my Timberlands got wet again, dammit!

We finally got out of the jungle afer almost 4 hrs. We started the trip at 0830hrs and I got out at 1315hrs. Not bad for a city boy. Though I did realize that I brought along my cellphone and PSP. Luckily none got wet, nor lost.

Well, looking at the sign in this picture that I took, I'm thinking... "NO!"

We went back to the hotel after that. Instead of trekking back to the hotel, we got a hitch behind a 1 tonne truck. It was very much welcomed. Our legs were so tired we could no longer walk. Most of us headed straight into the restaurant for lunch. All muddy and dirty, we all just went in anyway. I stayed out of the remaining two activities at the end of the day, my back was too painful thanks to painting the room.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

It was time well spent this afternoon.

Today, I took half day off to receive the furniture that we ordered. The electrician came in the afternoon to add a power point in my room. Immediately after they completed, Ikea came by with the bed and the cupboard. It took them 25 minutes to complete essembly of the furniture. It's remarkable how easy they make it seem.

At about 6.15pm, the bed arrived. After that it was really off to unpacking things. So, the new power point in the room now gives life to the TV, DVD player, amp, modem and router. It's good now I don't have to worry about overloading my current power point. So with the new furniture in place, Yen can start moving her things over. It was time well spent this afternoon.

So, tomorrow I'll be heading to Awana Genting Highlands for a team building activity for the company. It's a waste of a weekend, but they are giving us 1 1/2 days worth of leave. So, since the company has so graciously given this and paid for the trip, I guess it's worth checking out. Since I do not want to leave my car parked in the side streets of Damansara Uptown, I thought I'd drive up there. Yen's going back to her hometown tomorrow, so no one's going to be able to give me a ride there.

I've had a look at the iteniary and they have based activities based on movie themes. There's Entrapment, where you will be blindfolded and your team will help guide you through an array of ropes. Then there's Predator, a jungle trekking exercise. God knows what Mission Impossible III will be about. Then there's The World is not enough, where you go absailing. I'm really looking forward to this trip. Since it is a team building activity, I guess it should be fun... or so they say.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

but that was like many eons ago

Ahh Labour day, a day of rest for all labourers like myself. While the rest of Malaysia celebrated another weekend this week, I had to work the next day because according to Singapore, their Wesak day falls at the end of the month. They must always be different, why?

So I thought I'd take the day easy when Yen popped a question saying that if we don't get the furniture and paint the room, she'll never move in by this month. So I thought, we'd go buy the paint and do it that day. So we made our way to Ikano where we stopped by Ikea and ACE hardware. We got the bed and cupboard, then headed off to ACE to buy the paint, rollers, brushes and etc. So after that we rushed home, I went directly to work patching most of the wall. After that, took a quick dinner then it was off to work.

I started painting at 7.30pm and managed to complete the room by 11 something. Yen helped with the edges, but I was really tired by the time I finished the last wall. Until today, my legs, back and arms are still sore. I've painted the room one time before, but that was like many eons ago. The last time I painted something was before I left for Australia when I volunteered to paint the gate. It really took me a long time cause I had to remove the paint, scrape off the remaining paint and start to sandpaper the gate. That took like a week plus, under the hot sun and rain.

So, yesterday we went to buy the mattress from Old Klang Road. All the items will be delivered on Friday evening, which is why I'm on half day tomorrow. It'll be a good day to also go to Western Digital to send my hdd for RMA. One section of the hdd is dead, and I have not gotten around to sending it in for repair.

So the next on the list would be to call the electrician to wire up a new power point. Then we'll move the TV in front of our bed. After that most of the things in the list is complete, with the exception of the things that I need to get rid of.

Merv's officially out from Bangsar. His mother-in-law has moved over to KL and according to the tofu seller, he was advised to move on Wednesday. Now I really do wonder, who writes these things up in the chinese calendar? How do they know when is it a good day to open business, when is it a good day to renovate, and when is it bad? How bad will it be? Well, to me it makes no difference, but since it don't hurt to follow, might as well do it since it costs nothing. If you can really avoid something bad, it's already worth the wait.

It's already May, I can't believe how fast time flies. In about a month, Yen will officially be my wife.