Thursday, May 27, 2004

Today I’m going to complain about my computer. I’m complaining becoz yes, as u guessed it, I’m bored. Oh u didn’t manage to guess that? Well, there’s a regional managerial meeting here at the office where most of the Asia-Pacific Regional Managers are down, so my boss is in and out of office becoz of that meeting. So here I am, more or less done with my work and bored to the bones, and sleepy as well.

My computer is working really hard. No I don’t mean that in a good way, I mean to say the comp is being pushed SO hard just to keep up with my typing that it just pisses me off. And I’m not saying I’m typing very quickly either, I’m too sleepy to be able to type at my full potential. I got these powerpoint presentations from Indonesia, India and China about their biscuits market that I’m supposed to consolidate for my boss. China sent an excellent presentation, small and concise. India was ok. Indonesia, in my opinion sent a piss-poor presentation, HUGE and irrelevant. The whole presentation from Indo had no more than 8 pictures, but the whole file is a whopping 60megs. And with my ancient comp it takes almost 5mins to open that damn presentation. After I finally manage to open it in Microsoft Powerpoint, every time I scroll to the slide that contains a picture the computer groans and whirrs so hard to tell me that its hard at work again, only to finally produce the image on the screen about a minute later. And in the meantime all I can do is sit there and watch the computer freeze and hear the hard-disk buzz as the computer simply doesn’t have the capacity to do anything else while trying to display that damn picture. And guess wat, all the picture contains is a damn biscuit package, and its no more than the size of my mouse button on the monitor. And if u’re wondering if my comp still crashes for a hobby, yes it still does, and becoz the freakin file’s 60megs, it takes my comp another 5mins to save, assuming it does save at all. If its possible to crash again after the comp has hung, my comp’d have done so, hanging halfway through a save, then crashing windows in the process, and just stopping short of crashing my hard disk as well. Come to think of it I wish the comp’d just die, so that I can request for a new one. Its with ignorant people like that in Indonesia who send me 60meg presentations with pictures the size of wazoo of biscuit packages that make my life so miserable I wish I was never born. Give me a computer game that’s so damn impossibly hard that I can’t complete it will make me feel irritated, not miserable. Waking me up halfway through my sleep every night will make me tired, not miserable. Shoving a broomstick up my ass while I’m blindfolded and in jail as a prisoner of war while being asked questions about military intelligence I have no answer for will make me hurt, cry, bleed and constipated, not miserable.

Sat in my colleague’s Honda City yesterday to go for lunch. Am so envious even though I know for sure he’s been a veteran in the company and hence would more than likely be pretty well paid, enough for him to afford a car in Singapore. His Honda City, although lacking in performance, was a very classy looking car on the inside. Well insulated from sound, leather finish and deeply recessed dashboard reminiscent of the Mercedes SLK. There were so many things I wanted to know about owning a car in Singapore, but I didn’t know him well enough to be asking the most burning of questions which would more than likely be too personal for him to answer, such as how much his salary was to be able to afford a car in Singapore. Coz he was the perfect person to ask, owning a car in the 70K range which was exactly my budget, he’d know how the car insurance policies work and how much premium I’d roughly have to pay for a 3-door car since I’d like a sporty car and at the moment am most interested in the Suzuki Ignis Sport; he’d know roughly how much a month he spends on fuel, on parking since he pays for the season parking at the office. Over and above that he has a family who last I heard he’s just been blessed with a baby boy, more costs for him to balance.

Ok back from lunch. Now I’m full, warm, and that little fuzzy feeling in my tummy coupled with the air-conditioning and the comfortable chair is making me REALLY sleepy. Going to the toilet to take a nap’s getting quite tough as I begin to miss the comforts of home. I used to think the toilet was a good place to sneak a nap or two, since I just put the seat cover down, and since the cubicle’s pretty narrow u just need to lean to the side a little to have a head rest. The toilet’s dry and pretty free of odors, so its an ok place to nap. I don’t mind when people come in to use the toilet and make some noise and wake me up, its something I have to accept. But what I hate is when they come to the toilet and do their business LOUDLY, seemingly in spite. Especially when they pull the lever that releases the facial towels, I mean if I can do softly, so can u, u don’t have to freakin pull the lever down like ur life depended on it, then release it from the bottom so that it’ll spring back up with that pleasing “wham”, AND do it a few times in a go so that u’ll have enough paper to wipe that ugly face of urs. Now as I get progressively tired out through the week, the toilet is becoming less and less of a haven for napping since more and more I desire the comforts of home, hell I wouldn’t mind sleeping on the chair in my cubicle if the bosses didn’t mind.

Sigh, I’ve been complaining a lot. I’d complain more if I weren’t so sleepy…. But I guess I’ll have to make do, and I’ll be visiting the toilet for a while later…

Dr@n|xX at 1:33 PM

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Ok here I am at work. Work you may ask? Yes, its been almost 6 months since my previous post, and how things have changed. Period.

Finished my second year of studies in SMU, now moving on to my third (God I feel old), and having my long summer holidays now. But no I got an internship during the holidays not only to “pass the time” but to satisfy the 10 week internship requirement the school has set. So yeah here I am working at International Flavors and Fragrances, an MNC tasked with the responsibility of creating scents for perfumers, house care products and hair care products as well; and flavors for food and beverage products like Coca-cola and Fritto Lays. Its amazing how the people here are effectively the silent heroes of the enviable job of feeding the world. Here we are extolling the ingenuity of such a wonderful and addictive flavor the pack of Doritos has, yet it never occurred to us that the flavor isn’t even their own creation, they bought it from the company I’m working in now. Me? I’m attached to the sales department and am the understudy for the manager in charge of the regional Coca-cola, Danone and San Miguel accounts. Good fun, it never occurred to me that the base flavor of Vanilla Coke was our creation, nor did I know how HUGE San Miguel was, and not just in the Philippines. My boss is an American lady, very bubbly and nice, if a little laissez-faire since she assigns the work to me and leaves me to figure it out. Of course she’s always available and always ready to answer my queries, so its not that bad since I’m not afraid to ask and learn. The only thing I’m cribbing about is that I don’t get enough work. No really. Now that I go through actual work, I now understand how people get themselves going through an 8 hour shift. I can barely survive a 3 hour class, and before this I wondered how in hell I was going to survive 5 extra hours, now I know that the only way to stay awake at work is really, to do work. Ironically its days when I have nothing to do that I go home tired, otherwise I go home totally energized. You cannot possibly begin to imagine how TIRING it is to be cooped up in a cubicle neck-high (meaning everyone can still see you) and sitting there with absolutely nothing to do and forcing yourself to stay awake in vain. I have to stay awake cuz the cubicles are in the middle, while the perimeter of the office is taken by all the big-shots you can possibly imagine in a regional headquarters for operations in the Asia Pacific region, sitting behind glass walls and ever watchful for stragglers and heavy eyelids. I have comp with a decent internet connection, but my comp’s a Pentium I, yes you heard me right. Doing ANYTHING on this comp is nothing short of pure torture, the comp crashes with anything more than 2 internet explorer windows open, it can barely stay alive with Word, Excel and Powerpoint open, and it f***’s up your foolproof “save-after-1-sentence” data-loss prevention method by crashing HALFWAY through a save. So the comp is as good as not there, so there basically is really nothing to keep me interested long enough to stay awake. It’s still ok if my boss is around coz I can always just ask her for more work, but nope, being the regional manager is hard work as she’s in almost on alternate weeks, one week in Singapore the next in Shanghai u get the idea. So can u imagine, your boss is not around to keep you busy especially if you’ve finished the work she’s assigned you before she left, you still have to wake up early, take 2 bus rides to come to work, and to do what? Stay awake. I try to busy myself by helping my other colleagues with ANYTHING, I’ve done almost everything from helping them fill up their coffees from the pantry, photocopying stuff for them, fixing their comps to digging out jello to put into small cups in preparation for a food tasting survey. Still I have trouble staying awake, so go figure how much I’ve done yet still end up having to go back to my cubicle with nothing to do but stay awake. But today my boss is back, and I’ll be meeting her later to show her my completed work and be ready for more work, so I’ll try to keep this post going till I have to meet her heh…
But enough complaining about work. The fun part’s my colleagues as well =) these guys have been together for a good number of years so they’ve set out some routines, such as tennis on Thursdays. I tagged along once even tho I knew shit about tennis, and boy was it good fun to realize that these guys have as much fun competing who could hit more balls over the fence and beyond the condominium boundaries as they did playing tennis. Its like watching world cup all over again: “Oh Matsui-san scores a wonderful streaker over the fence with ease. And there he is again, the goal machine, at it again with another beautiful shot. Oh look, Xuess is back within a shot after scoring a looping shot over the fence! Its 2 – 1 now, can Xuess reclaim his title of Champion scorer? Or will Matsui-san overtake Xuess as the King of screw-up shots? OH MY GOODNESS, Xuess scores AGAIN. WE HAVE A TIE!!! Yvonne SCORES! We have a rookie having a shot at the title as well!!! Oh that looks to be going over….but NO! It hit the condominium wall and bounces back!!! Xuess does NOT score, the score is STILL TIED, my my what excitement!!! WAIT, MATSUI-SAN SCORES!!!! WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION!!!” Evidently these guys very easily instilled some interest in tennis in me in just one session. Just the day before I went with a whole bunch of my colleagues to watch Troy. I really enjoyed the movie, but I wouldn’t say it was a good movie, since as an apreciator of Greek Mythology, I felt it was an insult to compress an ardous decade long war into 2 weeks even if it was for a movie, and Archilles was never supposed to be even there, even if they managed to really portray pretty well Archilles as your natural-born certified magna cum laude warrior. After the movie, I told the colleague who bought the tickets, “Eh Melinda, you bought wrongly lah, the ticket here says Troy but I’m damn sure the movie was Lord of the Rings.” And she was like “HUH?!?!” eyes-popping and all, as to which my reply was just “I mean didn’t u see Legolas fighting in the battle of Troy?” >=)

This internship’s gonna last me till 6 August, 1 week before the start of the new term. Its been pretty enriching so far to learn a fair bit about the behind-the-scenes of the flavor and scent industry. As soon as my current boss is finished with me (that didn’t sound too right), I’d be transferred over the the fragrance department, and there the fun really starts. U get to try out new shampoo formulas (yes, they really wash your hair for you like in the salons and then ask you for ur opinions), smell new fragrances due to be launched etc. Sounds like fun =)

Dr@n|xX at 10:32 AM