It’s so damn frustrating

4 08 2009

I can’t find a word to describe how these last few months have been. First the lost of my car and being told that I was to be made redundant after the Chinese New Year, and then getting a job within a month of leaving. And then finding out that there was a close to impossible condition to meet  for my continued employment after 3 months. I couldn’t meet those conditions, so here I am again…..jobless.

I just got myself enrolled in a WDA sponsored program which is supposed to equip me with a new skill to enter a new and upcoming industry, but I’m am having 2nd thoughts now. Firstly, the reality is, securing employment in the industry, I’d have to start from the bottom again, how much will I be paid ? It frustrates me that after all these years of hard work to get to where I am, I have to start all over again, and it’s worse this time because it’s not only me who has to make adjustments but my family too. All our plans for a new home have to be put on hold. I feel that I’ve let them down. My father would’ve been dissappointed to see  his efforts to ensure I got a good education has come to this.

My diliema now, do I continue to look for a job or do I just concentrate on my full-time study ? Should I be fortunate enough to lend myself a job, I’d probably be able to get close to what I was last paid. But since this program is heavily subsidised by the government, will they allow me to go back to the industry I was from ? Then again, that’s the reason why I signed up for the course, to try to get out of the electronics industrybecause who knows how soon the next downward cycle will happen again.

Sometimes I just feel so frustrated when I think about it – why is it that  people who have done so much wrong are still working, why is it someone who has no idea what he is doing, is sitting at my place ? I just need a little luck.

To someone whom I hope is listening….a first prize at  TOTO will do just fine, thank you.


The Apple Battle

10 07 2009

Below are excerpts of my battle to get a job done on a shoe-string budget.

Monday D-1, 1100hrs

General Boss : ” Gentlemen, at eleven hundred hours today, we received orders for an assault on Objective Apple1. Intel reports indicate an enemy force of 1,955 occupying the target. We are not expecting tough resistance from these forces, however, it will still not be a walk in the park. Major (that’s me), I want a battleplan ready by fifteen hundred hours.”

Major Me : “Yes, Sir.” 


Major Me : ” General, based on the intel reports, we will need 1 regular platoon and 4 volunteer platoons and we’ll have the Apple1 taken in 4 days.”

General Boss : ” Major, due to cost cutting measures, you will only have 1 regular, 2 volunteer platoons and the entire QM platoon, and oh yes, you’ll still have to take it in 4 days.”

Major Me : ” But Sir, I just spoke to QM, and he says he needs the store platoon to pack rations.”

General Boss : ” Too bad, he’ll have to pack it himself. Oh yes, I want daily status reports. That’s all. ”

Fracking great, morale won’t be good with an under stregthened assault.

1600 hours

I tell Captain Hng of the forces available. With a air of resignation he replied ” I’ll try my best Sir.”

QM’s moping around with that irritating “I’m so pitiful” look.


It was not a good start to the assault. I received a call from Captain Hng at 0900hrs reporting that 1 volunteer platoon hadn’t turned up. Oh frack, I thought. So I called Captain Manpower :” The volunteer platoon didn’t turn up.” After a few minutes of frantic phone calls, Captain Manpower :”There was a mix up at central, the volunteer platoon did not receive the order to move. They’ll be there at 1300hours.”

End of D-Day : In order not to have to pay OT pay to the store and volunteer platoons, Captain Hng released them for the day at 1800hours and continued the assault himself till 1900hours. We were behind schedule. QM’s still moping around for the whole day.


I dropped by the battle for a quick ground survey. Captain Hng reported that progress of one volunteer platoon was a little slow, lacking initiative. They had to be constantly pushed. He looked tired, but said he’ll try his best to make up for the day before.

End of D+1 : Once again Captain Hng released the men so that no OT had to be paid. He did an excellent job, he actually made up for the day before. We were back on track. QM was still moping around and it was irritating the hell out of me !!


Captain Hng reported that the volunteer platoons had improved he was confident of better progress today.

End of D+2 : Captain Hng had outdone himself, he had managed to achieve more than expected for D+2, depsite reelasing the men on the dot. Darn QM was still moping around !!!


Received another order for another assault on Objective Apple2 once Apple1 had been taken and this had to be done in 1 days with 1 regular, 1 volunteer and the store platoon. QM wasn’t happy about losing his men for another day.

Receieved a call a 0900 hours from Captain Hng reporting that the replacement volunteer platoon had failed to turn up. I thought to myself :” That’s the problem when you hire on the cheap. One day we’re going to be caught out by these cut-rate hires.” Since Captain Manpower was busy, I made the call directly to central to find out what the hell was happening, and apparently, the replacement platoon had lost it’s way ! It would arrive at around 1000 hours.  At 1010hours, Captain Hng confirmed that the replacement platoon had finally arrived.

End of D+3 : Objective Apple1 had been finally taken, but not before Captain Hng had to single handedly complete the assault himself – all for the sake of not paying OT. I won’t blame him for feeling pissed. QM was not sighted and thank goodness.


And we await for the next battle.

Looks like Autumn

12 04 2009

I was on my way to pick my daughter up the other day, and as I approached the childcare centre, I couldn’t help but notice the roads around the area covered in small yellow flowers. Even as I drove on, the breeze was still blowing flowers from the trees. It was quite a sight, the cool breeze, cloudy skies, small yellow flowers floating down from the tree tops and the roads covered in flowers. It was kinda like autumn or even the Cherry Blossom season in Japan……..just have to ignore the noise from the traffic and fact that I was in a public car-park. Took a couple of photos of the scene, but try as I might, a camera phone simply cannot bring that autumn feeling into the picture.

Autumn ?

Autumn ?

By the way, from my research on the internet, the flowers should be from the Yellow Flame (Peltophorum pterocarpum) which is a common tree found along our roadsides.

Dust Central of Singapore

11 04 2009

Sengkang has got to be the dust central of Singapore. Leave your main door open for a few minutes, and you’ll soon find a layer of dust on the tables, chairs, cabinets, floors and if I stood still, I guess on myself as well.  With the dust gathered on the floor, you’d think that you were taking a stroll along the beach ! I’ve lived in Uppper Serangoon and Pasir Ris, and in both places,  I could leave the windows and doors open to enjoy the breeze. Mopping once a week was sufficient, but not Sengkang, no sirreeee, this place attracts dust like iron filings to a magnet.

I’m not sure why this place is so dusty. In the early days, I thought it was because of the construction works of the new flats here and over at Punggol. But it’s now been 8 years and it is still just as dusty. Just an idea of how dusty it really is, the picture below is the amount of dust from the dust compartment of my iRobot, just 2 days after I last vacuumed the place.

From the iRobot

From the iRobot

Imagine if I vacuumed the place just once a week. I guess this explains the increase in mining activities that I have to engage in to clear my nasal cavities.

Good byes are not easy – and a new start

1 04 2009

I never thought I would feel this way on my last day, afterall, as some people have told me, I struck the Group 2 prize for TOTO, so I should be happy. But I did feel a tinge of sadness, after seeing some closer colleagues and my team with red eyes as we shook hands and bade farewell.  I had been there for 9 years and that’s as long as I’ve known my team, so we’re are pretty close.

It was hard trying to put on the facade of braveness. I was afterall the one who would be gungho (or stupid, come to think of it) to go head on with the boss when I felt it was not a good idea (should be read : stupid idea) or voice my opinion. I’ve been told many times by a colleague not to argue, the boss is at the end of the day, still the boss, just do it, just like Nike..hahah.

But I guess it was time to move on, I had been considering a move for some time already as I felt  I was in a career rut, but I guess when you’re too comfortable, a rut will seem a nice place too.

So in a month’s time, it’ll be a new start and a new challenge.

My farewell gift

My farewell gift

ET’s not going home

30 03 2009

In the six years that he’s been with the company, he’s never achieved a postive P&L, and yet he’s still here. We call him ET, because those are his initials.

After all that he has done, the entire division still cannot fathom why he is still around while some of us who have followed the rules, done our part, have to go.

His “crimes: :

1) in 2005, told management that he had leads in Vietnam for major deals, constantly flew there to “follow-up” on the leads – turns out those were excuses for him to fly there to meet his mistress.

2) stayed back in office for late evening “conference calls” with his leads – yes, conference calls with his mistress.

3) failed to inform HR for over a year that he had sold his car and continued to claim the 50% interest subsidy that we are entitled to as part of the staff benefits.

All these came to light when he racked up, get this, $7K in company phone bills. To make matters worse, he demanded that his Singaporean wife aborted their baby – she was 5 months pregnant by then ! We got to know of this because his wife was a friend of a colleague’s wife. He never visited his son when he was born.

Last 3 years, there have been times when no one knows his whereabouts, not even my dumb-assed expat boss. He’d go on leave, some recorded, some unrecorded (info from our HR spies) and become uncontactable for days. Customer orders not processed, and yet he is still around, protected by dumb-ass.

This has led us to conclude, he’s defintely got dumb-ass by the balls, but is he squeezing or caressing them ?

Bodykits and me

29 03 2009

I’ve never been into bodykits – I mean those for cars. To me, a car was to get me to point A to point B and back again. This is afterall Singapore where the speed limit on the expressways is 90km/h and our car-parks are littered with speed humps. I used to snigger at those low slung cars going over the numerous humps – at literally a snail’s pace.

So when it came to changing my car, I suprised everyone, including myself, when I opted for the Wish AeroTourer. Yes, with the bodykit. It looked sporty, and it didn’t look that low, so I figured that I could clear most humps with ease. I was wrong ! The first hump I encountered after collecting my car was at the bottom of the slope at my block. So down I came, at the same speed I have been used to with my SUV – keeeeerrrrraaacccckkkk !!!! And there were two more “incidents” later that evening 😦

Since then, I’ve scratched the front kit countless times, and recently, ran the rear kit over the wheel stops in my office car-park. I’m now one of those whom I used to snigger at – a snail’s pace over humps.