Thursday, 24 March 2011

the friendly neighbourhood money lender...

whatever that was said about him, at least he's not stingy. even though he knows that i'm so far away, i just need to type 3 lines on gtalk for him to promptly transfer some money into my m'sian bank account within minutes.

it was an s.o.s. due to some miscalculation, i was short on cash in my regular bank to make the minimum payment for my credit card and after terminating my old postpaid mobile number, i've not had the chance to set up the new prepaid mobile number with my other banks. which means i can't move any cash around to accounts that i've not set up as "favourite accounts", coz they'll send a security code to my phone number and the number registered is still my old number. heck, i can't even log into one of my banks due to this!

anyway, it's nice to know that he's still willing to give me his money so readily, even though we're no longer together. of course, the amount is just a small one. and that's also because i always pay him back promptly, without him having to remind me. once, i owed him RM200 for a few months because i've totally forgotten about it. then one day when i suddenly remembered, i asked if i've repaid him and he said no. when asked why he didn't remind me, he said he thought i'm tight on cash and didn't wanna pressure me. so nice to have such a friendly money lender hor? interest free some more! :P

now who was it who said that money spoils relationship?

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

most used arabic words...

these are the 2 that i always use here.

sho hada! = what is this?

colleague: eh, you didn't send the file yet?
me: i sent yesterday. did u check your e-mail?
colleague: oh, not yet. hehe...
me: sho hada!

me: do we get public holiday on 1st may?
hr: no
me: but it's international labour day!
hr: sorry, this country don't follow...
me: sho hada!

haram = sinful/forbidden

pervert colleague 1: can i go up to you flat tonight?
me: no
pc 1: why?
me: *said with muka selamba (malay: nonchalantly)* haram *walked away*
*yes, the perverts here are really so bold! esp towards asian girls, coz they have this perception that asian girls are "easy".

pervert colleague 2: how come you refuse to shake hands with me now?
me: cannot
pc 2: why?
me: *muka selamba* haram *walked away*
*i know it's rude not to shake someone's hand when someone stretch out his/her hand, but how many times he wanna shake my hand in a day??? every time he sees me, he'll come up to me, ask how i am while shaking my hand. for 5-6 times a day! not only that, he'll also hold on to my hand while speaking! and u know what he speak to me about? it's all stupid things like "how are you today? good? have u had your lunch? how did u find the lunch today? bla bla bla..." i mean, what the hell???


last week, i wrote about cantonese-izing my colleagues' names. well, seems like the joke's on me now!

it all started with my gm, a german, greeting us with guten morgen (german: good morning). after a few mornings of guten morgen, i pandai-pandai (malay: trying to be smart) greeted him with guten tag (german: good afternoon) and guten abend (german: good evening), hence opening a floodgate of new german words everyday! thank god we have google translate to look up the words that he shoot at us!

a few days back, he stopped at my work station.
gm: you know, your name is a short form for susan. or in german, we call it "su-za-ne".
me: but that's not my name.
gm: i don't care. from now on, you're su-za-ne from communications.
me: ................
gm: alright, su-za-ne ta-ne? *grin*
me: =_='''

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

gossips in broad daylight...

working in a place where there aren't many people from your country or those who speak your language is always the best... you get to gossip about people terang-terang (malay slang: straight/outright) right in front of them!

sweet sheila, a chinese national, and i speak cantonese in the office, especially when talking about stuff not related to work. so it's really convenient for us to gossip. we've even developed nicknames and cantonese-ized names for our colleagues, to make it easier for us to talk without having to mention anyone's real name. evil, right? :P

(conversation in cantonese)
sweet sheila: you know this Wai Lum*? (and Wai Lum was actually standing right in front of us!)
me: what about him?
sweet sheila: i heard that he's been trying to court Sau San* from the finance.
me: wah, Sau San is so pretty. you think she'll fall for him meh? everyday face black-black, like the whole world owes him money like that!
sweet sheila: that's y. dunno how true lar, that's what the Xiu Pei Shu** told me.
me: but Ah Pou*** told me Wai Lum is already married wor!
sweet sheila: aiya, so what? that Lou Shu**** is also married lar, and still he's going around with that Pak Hap*****!

* can you guess the english names for Wai Lum and Sau San? easy enough, right?
** cantonese for "lil secretary". the most junior (in age) of all the secretaries here, but obviously no junior in her connections where juicy stories are concerned!
*** her name means "gem or precious stone" in english, hence "pou", meaning "precious" in cantonese.
**** cantonese for "mouse". nothing to do with his name. just that he looks a lot like one! :P
***** her name is also the name of a flower. this is the cantonese name of that flower.

but today, we realized that sometimes we need to be careful with what we're saying, coz we'll never know who's listening (and actually understanding what was being said).

sweet sheila: (arranging some photos while doing the layout for a newsletter, with a few pics showing our gm posing with some vip guests - thinking aloud in cantonese) hmm... so many people here, but our gm is still the most leng-chai (cantonese: handsome) one.

at that very moment, our gm walked past us from behind... he stopped short, turned back and spoke to sweet sheila: ngo leng-chai? (cantonese: i'm handsome?) omg, how sweet sheila's face turned red! and i was trying so very hard not to laugh out too loud, in case the lou fatt yeh (cantonese: empress dowager) pokes her head out of her office!

we totally forgot that the gm, even though an angmoh (hokkien slang: caucasian), has worked in hongkong for a few years before! :D

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

suspense aje!

*phone ringing
saw that it's the gm's secretary, answered with a frown.
me: (how come she's calling me on the phone when she's sitting just 2 steps away from me?) hello?
gm's sec: hi, gm wants to see u at 2pm later.
me: oh? did he say what's it regarding?
gm's sec: no. he just said to make an appointment with u at 2.
me: (what do i still owe him? i think i've done all the things that he asked me to do. and my work is up-to-date. what could it be? think! think!)

*for the next 2 hours
me: (what did he wanna speak to me about? my job performance? have i not been performing? maybe he wants to speak to me about my immediate superior, the empress dowager? should i tell him what a tyrant she is? what if he wants to fire me? i guess it's ok to go home too... at least my parents would be happy. could this be just part of the company program, to have the gm have one-on-one dialogue sessions with its staff? *brooding*pondering*)

me: boss, u wanted to see me?
gm: yes. u're on facebook a lot, right?
me: (oh shit, he's going to reprimand me for being on facebook all day!) erm... yes.
gm: ok. i just went into the facebook a few days back...
me: (oh shit, he's going to comment that i've not been updating the company facebook often enough!)
gm: ...and i accidentally accepted a friend request from someone without thinking and now i'm regretting it. what should i do so that he doesn't get to see what i post in there?
me: (*phew* apa lar, u asked ur secretary to help u set an appointment with me for this??)

sigh, another bad habit of mine... thinking too much! no wonder i shed so much hair, esp since i came here. 
*note to self: minimize facebook time when in the office, esp when the gm's in!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

of daughters-in-law...

it seems like every time the aunties get together, the topic of discussion, other than their unmarried children (if any), will surely be about daughters-in-law (DILs). it's either their own DIL(s) or their friends'/relatives'/neighbours'/friends' friends'/ neighbours' friends' DILs!

the recent cny was no difference. every opportunity they get, they'll launch into a full and detailed discussion on the topic. of course, not all the comments are negative ones. there are also some praises, albeit few and far between, for some good DILs that they know of, particularly the filial and patient DIL of my other aunt.

anyway, one day in the car on one of our cny visitation rounds, my mom and my aunt were busy indulging themselves in this heated topic, totally ignoring me, my dad and my uncle in the car. to be fair, not everything they complained about are baseless, because some DILs are really too much and should be given a few rounds of spanking! but as a future DIL myself (hopefully!), their comments and complaints put much pressure on me.

after a while, i can't stand it anymore and decided to speak out. their initial surprise at my sudden "lai, lai (mandarin for come, come), listen to a young lady's point of view on the matter", were quickly replaced by enthusiasm, and they quickly invited me to speak my mind. so this is what i said:

"as a wife, if my husband is capable enough to provide for me and the kids, and i'm not required to be a co-breadwinner, of course i'd be happy to play the role of a good wife, good mother and good DIL. but if i need to go out and earn a living, of course i can't be expected to be coming home from work, cook, clean the house, take care of the children etc without any help from my husband. coz a home is a joint responsibility, not only that of the wife alone. in this age and times, gone are the days where housework is the sole responsibility of females. men should shoulder some of these responsibilities as well, since we're shouldering part of their responsibilities of putting food on the table."

of course, i didn't say this in such structured sentences (and they were in mandarin), but it's the gist of the message. upon hearing this, the two older women replied that of course as MILs and working women themselves, they would understand that too and that they also don't expect their DILs to be superwomen. and they too know that young ladies nowadays have different thinking and do things differently from their times. in the end, what's important is striking a balance.

i guess this topic of "MIL from hell" and "the terrible DIL" will never end for both young and old women (depending on which camp you're at). of course, there are also some fortunate women who've enjoyed good MIL-DIL relationships. ultimately, it's all a balancing act from both parties, coz like in all relationships, it's a two way thing.


to a few of my friends who are going to tie the knot this year and next, here's wishing you a happy marriage life in all areas! ((hugz))

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

night duty…

i think i've mentioned a few times in this blog about having to do night duties and rooms inspections... well, it's actually part of my company's policy imposed on most staff of the managerial levels and up. i said "most" coz not all managers or higher would be required to do this. positions deemed by the management to be too "busy" will be exempted. as if the rest of us are so free in the office? anyway, this post is not a ranting post about the unfairness of it all. it's about this "extra-curricular" job that i have to do, on top of my regular job functions.

every 2 weeks or so, or twice every month, i would need to stay back in the office until 11pm as the "executive on duty" (eod). the role of the person on duty is basically to represent the gm in cases of emergency or when a decision or signature from the highest authority is needed urgently and the gm is not around. other than that, we are also required to inspect some rooms at random as well as walk around the whole property, and then submit a report at 11pm. the report consists of our observations that we feel should be brought to attention, such as a burnt bulb, stained carpet, dirty floors, broken doors etc. or maybe some commotion caused by guests, loud voices caused by staff, complaints brought to our attention etc.

every member of staff required to do this job has his/her own style of doing, but basically the objective is the same: to ensure everything is in order and our policies are well-practiced.

for me, this is what i normally do:
- go down to the security office to get the eod handphone, which i've to carry with me the whole time i'm on duty, to be easily contactable.
- since i'm down there already, i start my rounds in that area.
- then make my way up to the front desk to get the keys for the rooms i'm to inspect. usual practice is 2 rooms, but if we're running full, we just need to inspect one or sometimes none at all.
- take the lift up to the highest floor, and walk around the public areas, staff only areas as well as the main corridors at random. at random meaning, i may walk along one corridor on this floor, then take the back stairs to one floor below and walk down the corridor in another direction or in another part of the building, then take the lift down another one floor etc.
- in the rooms, we check for any defects in there. if there's a scale in the room, i'd normally step onto it to weigh myself, to see if i've put on any weight the scale is working accurately :P
- once i finished checking the upper floors and the rooms, i go down to the ground floor and check the areas there.
- then i hang around at the lobby, sometimes chatting with staff at the front desk, the security guards, the bellboys etc when it's not too busy, or try to assist guests or my colleagues when it's busy.

P1080111 3 phones to carry with me during night duty. as i’m the “emergency rep” for my department, i’d have to carry one phone that’ll receive any call/sms should there be an emergency, and i’m the one who would have to inform everyone in my department. so on normal days, i’ve to carry 2 phones, my own and this phone. but on night duty days, i’ve to carry 3 phones! like i’m running some big business hor? ;)


- make my way to the restaurant to have my duty meals.
- we're encouraged to take our meals at the restaurant, as part of our inspection process.
- normally i'll order something "asian" like nasi goreng, mee curry, char kueh teow etc. if you're my friend in facebook, you'll see that i've been posting photos of my "m'sian food fixes" on my wall.

- finished with dinner, i take a slow stroll back to my work station to do some work.
- this is the best time to get some work done, with no phone calls, colleagues or bosses to bug you.
- basically, after we've done our rounds, we just need to be physically in the office.

- do another quick round of inspection.
- hang around at the bar to hear the live band for a while.
- hang around at the lobby

- back to my work station to start on my report

- e-mail out my report.
- pack my stuff and shut down my computer.
- go down to return the eod handphone.

- catch the staff bus back to the accommodation.

*due to the late hours, we get to start work at 12pm the next day and not at 9am like usual, never mind that we've to put in an extra 5 hours for duty, but only get to come in 3 hours later the next day! like i said, this is not a ranting post... :D