Thursday, December 29, 2005 

life in general (part I)

* koff, koff * got this chest cold….feels eerily like the beginning of the last ailment. If so, then I’m definitely NOT looking forward to the next couple of days.

Slow day at the office (funny I can actually end a sentence with “at the office”). In fact, its been a slow couple of days as I’m in the midst of a transfer and just waiting to begin work in my new post in Jan (will explain later). This prolly explains why I’ve got time to over-analyse my life and fall prey to what I honestly believe to be physical manifestations of psychological stress inducers. Ugh…“Idle hands ARE the devil’s workshop”.

Anyway…the first 2 weeks have been eventful. Slowly getting used to the ins and outs of this place….trust me when I say that it’s a MAZE in here. I think we occupy 5, or was it 6 floors in this building. Like I said, in the midst of a transfer. This all came about on my second day while following my manager and Katherina (the person I was supposed to be replacing – hiya Kat! : ) ) on a series of meetings (part and parcel of training I believe). One of which was with a senior partner at the firm. The meeting carried on, I put in my two cents…though at times getting the distinct feeling that I’ve said a little too much (which to those of you who know me, happens amazingly often). Next thing I know, I get called back into the office shortly after the meeting was done. I was certain that I had left something laying around the office, like my brain and tact.
Nope, apparently I impressed. Got offered a place in consulting (this was swiftly followed by a very awkward lunch with my manager – she was the one who hired me – you fill in the blanks). Apparently my CV fit the scope of the job too. I’ll be involved in assessing human capital issues for companies using psychometric measures/scales to profile individuals, groups, organizations to “make things better”. Imagine that, actually being able to apply my formal education. I checked, it actually says on the global employee directory “Tng, Boon Keong: Professional Consultant. Kuala Lumpur (hmmm, guess I’ve relinquished my amateur status eh? ; ) )”

as an aside, this global directory is something else….its amazing, I’m connected to everyone who works for this company (yes, even the admin dude in Botswana)!

What else….I feel 35 what with the dress code and all. * looks down * yeap, definately a monkey suit.…even the earing’s gone. In fact that was the first thing that had to go * sniff * : ( In other news, I’m so close to getting a tattoo….call it being impressionistic but I CRAVE individuality. Seriously, today I’m sporting black pin-stripped pants, a white shirt, and a grey tie (yes its regulation grey). Hell, and what’dya know, my cuff-links even match my belt buckle. Can anyone say 1984?

On the bright side, people are cool. Or at the very least, I’m not getting a hugely negative reaction (yet). Its bound to happen…gotta play the odds ya? I think right now my status stands at “freakishly tall guy who talks funny”. At least they’re still smiling….At. Least. They’re. Still. Smiling.

As for the social life? Its as sporadic as well…my internet access. Although, it hasn’t been bad at all. Apart from weekdays where bedtime is 9pm coz I rise at 6:30am, the weekends have so far been good. Spent one at one of those weekly dinner/drink shindigs (go to www.patsanitarium.blogspot.com for details of how the night at NINE went). Had the company’s annual dinner/dance the following week. Pretty sweet gig I should add…twas held at the new KL Hilton which is quite bloody swanky. Looked as though they spent a bomb on it (at RM30 a beer – by far the most I’ve ever paid for a beer, EVER, I can only imagine what the entire affair cost what with there being a couple of hundred attendees scoffing down on a 6 course dinner). All in all, a pretty good night. Some pretty funny scenes, mostly provided by our Japanese audit division (they all showed up in Kimonos for crying out loud! – apparently the male variety is also called a kimono. Who’da thunk it?). Got to meet some more people. Met up with Al, Alvin, Diana, Nick, Jolyn and Chen Hoe after at some jazz place called the Cotton Club for a few more drinks. This was followed by coffee, a chat, and some shisha at Alvin’s thereafter where my love for watermelon was duly obliterated.

 

life in general (part II)

Case in point:

Alvin: Watermelon anyone?
Me: damn straight
Diana: How can you eat that stuff?
Me: you mean watermelon? Easy…* pops square into mouth *
Diana: don’t you think its got the aftertaste of grass?
Alvin: don’t you listen to her!
Me: grass? Naw…its not…no it doe….FUCK!

Anyway…that’s my life until now. Its not bad…can’t really complain (well, about rush hour traffic yes). I continue spending a great deal of time on fruitless neurotic over-analysis. Or as Duane put it, “I picked up that book (the one by Mike Gayle I raved about a few posts ago). I might as well have been reading a book about you!”

Uh huh…. (hey at least I’m getting people to read more….that’s good right?)

B

Monday, December 26, 2005 

this is NOT a post (yet)

haven't had the time to post the mega update....thought I would, but I didn't. came back to JB for x-mas....apart from tea with Zongren, badminton with the guys and a BBQ last night, I slept for the most part. its amazing how draining a weeks worth of desk sitting is.

at any rate....going to pack. will pop by a WiFi coffee shop tomorrow to post.

b

Wednesday, December 14, 2005 

on cold sweats and cold showers

couple of quick things.

Day 1 in KL: the reckoning (I don't know if this is a suitable title for this day but fuck it sounds mildly cool)

so I'm finally here...start the job tomorrow. been hearing lots of things about the Deloitte operation over here.....sounds like fun place to work. I know...I'm skeptical about the "fun" part too....afterall, it IS an accounting firm first and foremost. we shall see.....I'm excited at any rate. most of all, I'm looking forward to the fresh start. god knows I need it (hmmm, at least now I have the pleasure of meeting/surprising/pleasing/infuriating/disappointing an entirely new group of people).

having a quick coffee while waiting for Pat. going "mamaking" tonight I think.

don't really have much to say as far as the past few days are concerned. been siiiccckk......damn I've been sick. we're talking high fever, blinding headaches, aching joints, cold sweats, running into walls, hallucinations sick. diagnosis? Dr Mom says its a viral ailment. all I know is that it sucked.

anyway....pat's here.

will update soon.

b

Sunday, December 11, 2005 

speedy one.

sorry for the lack of posts lately. its been quite the few days. some serious developments have occurred and...well, let's just call them "issues" that have been on my mind (ugh, my neck is hurting from the weight of it - I HATE having a conscience. absolutely, positively CANNOT stand it). unfortunately this going to be a quick post as *yawn*.....I'm EGG-ZOS-TID. and so, in point form.....

1. I'm moving to KL next week. Gonna be working for Deloitte for the next while. pretty exciting stuff.....
2. did a HEAP load of shopping in Singapore today. note to self: Asia is crammed with people; especially during holiday season in the shopping district. picked up some expected items (work related apparel), and some....errr....not so. i.e. new cell phone. lets just say that it was a bit of an overkill purchase.....yeah....just a bit : I
3. small world....went out for tea with Zongren last night. met up with Yuan Seng, another primary school buddy of mine (Zongren, Yuan Seng, Yongqiang and myself have been pretty tight since we were 8 - I credit it to being the only Malaysians in a Singapore school. siege mentality baby.). though with Yuan Seng, we've actually known each other since kindergarten (its odd, readers of this blog might get the impression that I don't tend to make new friends in JB past the age of 8). so yah....good to see the kid after a pretty long hiatus, dude hasn't changed ONE BIT. although, he's working in credit risk management in KL now. so that's one more person I know up there (can you say, beers after work?). at any rate, a couple of Yuan Seng's friends popped by as well and lo and behold, 2 of the guys were ALSO in the same kindergarten cohort as the both of us. what are the chances huh? all I can say is.....Serene Kindergarten represent ; )

anyway, lots more to do before the trip, will update with full details later....nevermind the fact that I'm barely conscious.

b.

Friday, December 02, 2005 

Souled out (Part I)

*disclaimer: same deal as the previous post....2 parts*


Whoosh, what a week. on the Transnasional (no typo there. Its just Malay – laziest language EVER *shakes head*) again enroute home. The scene outside my window isn’t quite as spectacular this time…its quite dreary. Its been raining quite bloody consistently and we’re crossing toll booths and KL suburbs (which, like most suburbs, are unoriginal places with underdeveloped trees). Speaking of the rain though, I took a quick glance at one of those time/temperature signs while driving around yesterday and noticed that the mercury had dropped to a low of 21 degrees. Its not exactly a wintry hell but it’s the coldest I’ve ever witnessed in this part of the world (leaving out air-conditioned rooms and refrigerators of course). Prior to that, the lowest I’ve seen it was at 24 degrees during a rainy night. The “point” you may ask? I dunno….just eyebrow-raising stuff s’all.

So…on to the rest of the week.

Tuesday:

Hung out at Al’s for the most part of the day. Katia and Ken popped by while waiting to get their Identity Card processed. Just lazed around for the most part. Well, Ken and Al spent some time editing their commercial for this fictional product “ScoreX”. Interesting concept, a patch-on contraceptive for guys…hah! Think the slogan used was “pleasure without barriers” though I liked my “candy without the wrapper” better ; ) ANYWAY…..

Lunch at McDonals.

Met up with a cousin of mine, Tse Seong, for dinner on the patio at Souled Out in Sri Hartamas. Good thing too as the power cut out half-way through dinner. Ah yes….not really my idea of a candle-light dinner. I mean, c’mon now…power outage in a nice area at a popular restaurant during dinnertime? how about another time that doesn’t require electricity to shed light on stuff huh? I was about to say do it in another area but realized it couldn’t be mouthed without inducing a politically incorrect class-related statement. You know what the old me would’ve said * preen * ; ) Anyway, went to see some family after dinner.

Wednesday:

Spoke to the HR manager at the architectural firm about the second interview. She informed me that she spoke to “the man” and it looks like he was looking for someone with a more of an IT background to hit the ground running despite the position calling for strong media/creative/technical writing ability. This I thought to be relatively short-sighted as at this level, you can’t teach people to write well. As Al put, “you can teach an creative person to be ordered but you can’t teach an ordered person to be creative”. Think it also had something to do with my wage demands. Its too bad, it would’ve been a cool place to work. Well, can’t do anything about it I guess.

Spent the day on the x-box. Right, those of you who know me well would also know how much of a closet gamer I am. I say “closet” coz well…I’ve successfully evaded being sucked in for an extended periods of time and avoid role-playing games at all cost (they're dangerous with a capital DANG). It’s a 12-step program ; ) “Full Spectrum Warrior” shredded all that (good thing it wasn't something else like an RPG). Lets just say I beat the game in 3 days. You get to strategically command these fire squads in urban warfare using flanking maneuvers, and other more, err… deadly and explosive methods. Tis very violent and vulgar, though a huge amount of thinking was required. Thoroughly enjoyable though the politics was quite shady. All I could think of in midst of various fire-fights was, “I wonder if the US government commissioned this game as a form of propaganda. Lots of clichés. Consider this:

 

Souled Out (Part II)

1. you command 2 teams of US marines (each comprising a team leader, a machine gun specialist-M249, a grenadier, and a rifleman).
2. they’ve all been given very personal, and American profiles. For instance, the NYPD officer returning to active duty.

3. the “sanctity if life” was stressed throughout the game. It was in fact incorporated in the gameplay so much so that if you leave a member injured in combat, you lose. On the flipside, there was no remorse when you “fragged” characterless “sons of b*****s”.
4. you’re deployed to a fictionary middle-eastern nation (Zekistan – eh?).
5. in the last mission, you violently assassinate a deranged dictator (Al-Afad).
6. after which, your squad are hailed as heroes who had gone over and above the call of duty. The NYPD officer was quoted as saying that “I was just doing my job” before the armed forces were celebrated as martyrs for bringing peace and humanitarian aide.

Yeah…just a little one sided. Great game though. Completely engrossing…in fact I walked out of the shower 2 days ago wondering if the evening call to prayer was emanating from the game or from some mosque in the distance. It wasn’t the game. Ugh…my eyes hurt.

Lunch at McDonalds.

Met up with Pat for dinner. Did some Starbucks in Damas Plaza with him, Chen Hoe, Siak Hong and Christine. Cool area that to walk around. I wasn’t prepared for the inundation the vast variety of great restaurants and cafes. Yeah I know….and we ended up at Starbucks. We’re an original bunch what can I say…. ; )

Thursday:
The interview at Deloitte. By far the most stereotypically corporate place I been to. From the ostentatious logo, to the golf magazines in the waiting area, to the keycards, to the swag. It was pretty obvious that this was an American corporation. And the barrage of intelligence and psychological tests they put you through before you get to talk to anyone….yikes.

The interview itself was good. Must admit I’m getting better at this…..definite art to it. It was for the consulting side of the firm doing corporate evaluation, consultancy, and communications. Think that this was the best one yet (there’s ways of telling). We’ll see how it turns out though the HR manager said “when do you think you can start?….emmm…if you get the position”. Early days still though…you know what they say about counting chickens before they hatch.

Lunch at McDonalds (seems to be a pattern – hey, it was close!)

Picked up my bus ticket….after lunch….in downtown KL….and it was raining. Hey…at least traffic moved.

Didn’t do much for the rest of the day. Being caught in the rain gave me a violent headache…plus I think Pat gave me his flu. * sniff * lousy sod. Looks like I might have a few days of fever-induced delusions to content with (as opposed to my regular ones * sigh *) just hope it doesn’t kick in until tomorrow….still have to go to Singapore this evening (meeting/counseling training at social service centre)….ack.

Right…that’s it for now.

b

P.S. just went to www.fullspectrumwarrior.com. *biting nails* the sequel is being release next year!!