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Archive for May, 2012|Monthly archive page

Scottish Crackers

In Entrepreneurship on May 26, 2012 at 5:29 pm

An interesting post on a interesting character….this time hailing from Scotland!  I do realise that I meet quite a few international characters!  I guess this explains why I have such an international cast in my own office!  At this point in time, we have an American, a Thai, a Cambodian, Indian, Filipino and 3 Singaporeans. Until recently, we had 2 Dutch, 2 Malaysians, and a Hongkonger from Thailand.  Diversity is excitement!

Anyway, back to my Scottish crackers. He’s here to escape the Scottish cold and loves the tropical sun and getting sunburnt – testament to the number of times I have seen him sun baked red!

What I learnt from him was that Singaporeans have very different standards of ability differentiation from people around the world (he didn’t have a degree and I had mentioned that I thought a degree was an important job determinant). Can you blame me when I’ve come to realise that I can only work with graduates?

So there I was contemplating my state of affairs and sharing that despite what I wanted to believe, that everyone was worth giving an equal chance, that education does not matter i the grand scheme of things, I am so done with employing staff who do not have a decent certificate to their name.  If not for anything, at least the certificate shows that this person had the discipline to finish his education!  At the higher levels, it hones a person’s analytical skills and they are able to the spend time and effort to solve problems and find joy in doing so.

I employed a bright, very young single mother once (she was 21 I think?) and she had an N-level qualification. She was looking for amore comfortable job as she pined that she had to work in the sun all day, standing for long hours. She literally begged me for a job.  Thankfully for her, she was from a convent school, Indian, and her native language was English.  So theoretically, she could write.

Unfortunately, I soon discovered that her victim mentality was short changing her and despite not having much to do in the first few days of work, she could not even churn out a 3-line paragraph in 3 days, citing “there is so much work to do”, “I have no time to do this”, when all she had to do for 3 days was to write one miserable paragraph!  And it wasn’t even writing from scratch – she just had to copy edit.

Anyway, that didn’t go well, within 3 weeks, she was out – she fired herself by not turning up for work,and by writing hate mails to me and my other 2 staff then, saying that we were talking behind their backs (she and her friend who recommended her concocted this fantastic story that the rest of my older staff were pretending to be friendly to them and were actually gossipping behind their backs – who did these young upstarts think they were?!) and decided not to come in to work.

Fantastically, they also showed how dumb they were. The day before was payday and I’d given them their paycheck. Obviously they had cashed the cheques, but they did not realise that the cheques would only clear after 2 pm the next day. I called the bank to stop both cheques.  At 4.30pm, after a whole morning of not calling or replying to messages from us, I get 2 frantic calls and even and sms demanding that I call them back.  Who did they think they were!

Now, girls, never bite the hand that feeds you.

We found out that this same girl was vindictive enough to delete all the files she was working on (thank goodness she was only around for 3 weeks!) and when I told her I could sue her for that, she blinked har (oh yeah), not even realising how much trouble she could be in.

The story ends with them going to the MOM, and I not bothering to even turn up (I sent my BD guy). The judge said he had all cause to believe us and that these two girls were troublemakers, but the law’s the law and under their contract, they should be paid.

Thus endeth my run on employing the unemployable.

The Publisher

In Entrepreneurship, Relationships, Resolutions on May 16, 2012 at 8:25 am

The Publisher happens to be a contact I had met several years before, and worked briefly with before. Back then I had no good impression of this guy, because he kept saying that he would pay for some matter and did not. Further to that, I also thought that he was being a litte nit-picky about a few cents for some items.

Anyway, I find out that the period I had met him was also one of his worst. He’d married this lady who abused him and even hit him. He finally plucked up the courage to divorce her a few years ago, after his children had grown up. It was a sad story he told. But he’s doing a lot better now and he actually looks better too.

It saddens me that love and relationships can turn people into brutal monsters. The fury, the anger, the sadness – all emotions that we face, to the positive ones we hope to embody. With love, there is hate. With happiness there is sadness. With anger there is forgiveness. Why are we such bipolar creatures?

The publisher shared with me his funny encounters of meeting women who offered him BDSM and how he was lured by one to have dinner near her apartment so that they could proceed to her apartment shortly after dinner. It’s amazing the stories you hear when you have dinner with someone new, someone out of your circle of friends, and you wonder whether fiction is truly more entertaining than life.

I’m having so much fun meeting my non-fiction stories that I may just give up reading!

Mr Vroom

In Relationships on May 14, 2012 at 12:40 am

My new old friend, Mr Vroom, went to KL with me over the Friday thirteenth weekend in April. Trip was great, company too, but what sucked the most was having the girls back out of the trip at the last minute.

On Thursday when I found that they had backed out, I was terribly upset. I wrote to Mr Justice who had offered the use of his apartment, and I bemoaned the fact that they were ‘undependable’. He went “Wow, you are so diplomatic.” I said “in what way?”

And he wrote back, “I would have said fucking bitches!”. Which was really quite funny.

Anyway, ranted and pined for all of two hours, Mr Justice was nice enough to check back in two hours to see how I was. And I then found out that he had actually booked a room at the Westin to stay in, since he was also in KL that weekend. I felt so bad for him, and super embarrassed for the girls who had backed out.

But apparently, they felt no such qualms! One of them even smsed me that “anyway, I wasn’t supposed to stay in his place”.  That was so beside the point!

What would you have thought? What would you do with friend like that? And to think that I organised the trip for the girls in the first place, and seeing such enthusiastic response, I invited some guys to balance out the yang, and voila. Moi alone, with three guys…in KL.

Sigh.

Self confessed Extraordinary

In Relationships, Resolutions on May 12, 2012 at 8:25 am

This was a quick one shot, one meet, one kill kind of meeting. Despite my best efforts to screen the people I would meet through SMSes and prior conversations, this entry piqued my interest by sending confidence-filled messages to me, like “I am an ordinary person living an extraordinary life, Mr Extraordinary”. With a post like that, wouldn’t you be curious to see who it would turn out to be?

My self-confessed extraordinary, however, did fall short of expectations (mine, at least). Apparently he had only worked for a short 6 months in the banking world, decided to leave it, and apparently holed himself up at home. He’s a full time trader now, and pleased with what he does. What I did not quite agree with was the way he kept saying that he was very successful.

Granted that people do have different standards of success to measure themselves and their friends by, if Mr Extraordinary, at the age of 30 plus, claims to be all that extraordinary, I’d really expect him to be more affluent, and perhaps more philanthropic? Instead, I found out his definition of extraordinary to mean that he “admire extraordinary people, and think like them, but doesn’t live like one”. It was eye-opening for me.

I guess, people can be rather clouded by their own thoughts and personalities to fail to see the rest of the world, of themselves objectively? Then again, it’s akin to people who have brain damage or mental disease. If they are happy, and feel happy everyday, who are the other inconsequential human beings around them to deny them that happiness?

So where do we draw the line between self-confidence and delusion?

Mr Cool

In Relationships on May 12, 2012 at 8:00 am

Mr Cool, an urban citizen of the world, is full of funny comments and observations of the world and of the multitude of girls he is having fun with, we event one thorough evening hanging out and making o e off comments and remarks that allow us to laugh at ourselves and the world.

Mr Cool gives me an insight into the varied lives that people tend to lead and what really, is the meaning of life for each of us? He enjoys each day and night to the fullest, makes fast friends, replies on a few, breezes through life with a never say die attitude…and is loyal and steady to friends. What more do we and can we ask for from a fellow being?

He regales me with his numerous dating plans gone wrong, his failed marriage and his ongoing relationship with his wife. He took life as it came, married the love of his life, strayed, and when it came to bear the consequences of his actions, accepted it and moved on. On one hand, I wonder why do people cherish the spur of the moment to the extent they are willing to forego the future, but on the other, see that the future is truly far and may never come for many… And the risk takers, the carpe diems seize the moment and live life for that second,

It moulds exciting characters and vibrant personalities, guys and girls of world of technology, where we move through life so rapidly, and through friends and relationships so quickly that it becomes a lifestyle in itself. For better or for worse? We don’t know. We just know that this is a lifestyle. A choice we have come to make because of our upbringing, our environment, societal and economic developments in the decades of our lives here on earth.

Pot Collin’ the Coffee Black

In Relationships on May 11, 2012 at 11:49 am

I had the privilege of meeting this person, passionate about his work. In his blog he writes, “I live and dream xxx, and when I wake up, I xxx.”

He was pleasantly surprised to learn that I had spoken about him to my friends. And I asked him why. I told him that passionate people are always interesting to speak about.

But…there the mystery and engagement ends for me. I can’t for the life of me fathom an intelligent, able bodied, energetic, youthful guy in his mid forties being that contented to simply work in a bistro. I know he has done what he wanted to do, having run his own shop selling what he liked and what he wanted to do since young. But seriously, isn’t the world a much bigger place than one man’s life?

I tried to understand and see things from his point of view, and while I can accept it as his life, I know that I will not be able to live with it. Inherently, there is nothing wrong at all, with him wanting to live this way. But isn’t the world full of things to explore, and full of new challenges that we should conquer to grow? Doesn’t it seem so stagnant and plain after a few decades?

There must be more to life than just living! Haah.