Friday, December 29, 2006


One gets 7 straight As and celebrates in KFC.
The other gets straight Bs (almost, save for an A for English) and drowns his sorrows in KFC
KFC seems to be doing well these days.

Record set: KL-Penang >> 2 hours and 45 minutes
Reminder - feat not to be repeated

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Cloud Nine

Received a phone call this afternoon which made my day!! It's nice to know that there are people out there who remember me and are willing to offer me a job, nevermind if I don't particularly need one at the moment.

Ugliness redefined

Remembering that I still owed my cousin a favour, I reluctantly braved the drizzle and popped into the touristy section of town in search of his request this afternoon. And horror of horrors....I found this!!

Ugly as man!!!!! And not cheap too! After some haggling (not for too long though as I have little patience for these things), I had only managed to drive the price down to RM12 per pair.

What in the world does he see in these....cannot help but wonder who the "lucky" recipient is? Hopefully not potential "girlfriends"....hahahahahahah

Oh forgot, he's colour blind - so maybe it looks better in black and white....

Neh..little difference in level of grotesqueness!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


I hate it when this happens:

SMS #1: Urgent!! Re issue XXX – please check with YYY and revert

Reply SMS: YYY confirms our understanding and the steps taken to address issue XXX are in order.

SMS #2: Who did you speak to in YYY – I want to check it out with them personally

***rolls eyes upwards***

If that were the case, please just call them directly and let me enjoy my holidays in peace.

Humble Pie

Eating humble pie is when a 6-year-old is able to operate a gameboy and beat you effortlessly at any game you pick to play.

PS: I swear I was a much more nimble gameboy player when I was a young lass – not great, but respectable. Damn the signs of age.

Mission X(mas)

We racked our brains and strategised, where would be able to get our hands on this particular sought-after entertainment box at 7p.m. on Christmas Day?

Mentally listing down the usual suspects in Kuching, we made a bee-line for the most likely of places (or so we thought) – i.e. the newest, hippest, most KL-like shopping mall in Kuching city centre – Tun Jugah Complex. No such luck – targeted shop was closed as the owner probably figured that Kuching’s classy elite were not in the habit of last-minute haphazard frazzled X-mas pressie-shopping.

So, across to Sarawak Plaza we trekked. Scanning floor after floor, we were very surprised that we could not locate a single shop which offered IT entertainment consoles!

Almost popped over to the Riverside Plaza but partner-in-crime veto-ed said idea as he was very sure we had not strolled across such an outlet whilst we were killing time in the mall before the movie screening we had attended the evening before.

Hmmm….a quick regroup was in order, the result of which, we unanimously agreed that the next best shot was closer to home at Saberkas. Ground floor, nope….1st floor, zilch…2nd floor, ah…a shop looked promising. Oh yes, they did stock the more technologically advanced Sony PSP but that was way above our budget and probably a little too complex/ complicated for our gift recipient. When we told the salesperson that we were actually looking for its cheaper and more obsolete cousin, I thought I fleetingly detected from the corner of my eye, neighbouring discerning browsers (young in age as they were) turn up their noses and frown in distaste at our choice of gift.

I supposed the two of us must have looked pretty desperate, disconsolate and ridden with guilt, so much so the salesperson obligingly offered, “If you want to make it for Christmas, maybe it is worth trying at either Satok or Hopoh – though am unsure whether they’re still open now”

Quick check confirmed that the hands of the clock were indicating a quarter past eight. Still ages before the witching hour but by Kuching standards, time for businesses to start winding down for the day, I guess.

Not a team to give up easily, we sprinted back to our car and F1-ed our way towards the city centre again. Our efforts were rewarded and we went home grinning ear-to-ear like a pair of Cheshire cats which had just caught a whole basketful of fat trout.

Ta-da…behold the baby we got:

More importantly, FIL was plenty pleased with his new toy.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Keeping Count

Off the top of my head and excluding magazines and blog-surfing, my literature achievements for the year include:

#1: Rule of Four

#2: The Chronicles of Narnia

#3: The Shopaholic and Sister

#4: The Undomestic Goddess

#5: The Nanny

#6: The Umbrella Man

#7: Jack Welch and the 4E's of Leadership

#8: The Devil Wears Prada

#9: Everyone Worth Knowing

#10: The Economic Hitman

#11: A Quiver Full of Arrows

#12: 12 Red Herrings

#13: False Impression

#14: For One More Day

#15: Roald Dahl’s collected short stories

#16: Freaknomics

Not as bad as I feared, but could definitely be better.

New year’s resolution for 2007: To diversify my reading material further and double the count - Any worthy recommendations, anyone?


MZ called to ask for a favour, “Che-che, can you please buy me half a dozen peppery stuff – it’s black and white with cats on top”

“Huh?? What is it again?”

“There…those peppery stuff ar – it’s black and white and got cats on top”

Hmmm…ok, I figured I wasn’t going to wheedle much more information than that even if I were to ask for another 100 times after, so I just hoped things would “click” when I saw an item fitting this, erhm, specific description.

Last try, “Where did you see these – which shops?”

“Aiya…they are everywhere in Kuching! K, bye and thanx!!”

And I thought I made more sense when I was fifteen going on sixteen. Anyway, treasure hunting we will go!

X-mas Thanks

Great way to start my year-end holidays – with an excruciating whopping headache which lasted for 24 hours, meaning that I spent most of Christmas eve tossing and turning in bed fitfully, trying to sleep off a hangover which, unfortunately, is not even due to excess boozing/ partying, coz I never did make it for the countdown at midnight.

Nevertheless, I am in no position to complain about this little glitch when there are so many other things to be thankful for:

  • FIL is up and cheerful, walking and talking – and if he could have his way, probably driving around and painting Kuching town a bright scarlet red too!!…if I had not known better, I wouldn’t have believed that this was the man who, after a triple by-pass, was struggling to breathe in the CICU barely a month ago. 5 kgs lighter, he is looking even younger and in better spirits than before.
  • Hubby was one of the lucky ones who managed to squeeze himself on a flight home on Sat night, despite many others stranded at the airport, who have for the last 4-5 days, patiently waited for the stand-by lists to be read, fingers crossed that hopefully the next name announced would mean a quick joyous reunification with their families in time for Christmas
  • Family in Penang is well and happy, and so far, floods-free unlike the poor folks in Melaka and Johor – am looking forward to the trip back home on the 29th, after this trip in Kuching
  • Renewal of friendships, which have shamefully been neglected in the hustle and bustle of the rat race in KL
  • And I woke up bright and cheery this morning, ready to enjoy the rest of my glorious day-offs ahead *grin*

Certainly, life is good!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Winter Solstice Fuchow Style

On her own initiative (never knew this was ever possible), MIL postponed our family celebration of Dong Zhi till both hubby and I had arrived home. And I was introduced to the Fu-Chow rice flour balls as above. Rolled in generous amounts of freshly home-crushed roasted ground nuts and sesame seeds, these tasted lovely like the Penang Muar Chee - certainly more palatable than what I am accustomed to at home.

But honestly

Maybe it is a case of not wanting to burn your bridges, but am just wondering how many of us are actually frank in disclosing the reasons as to why we quit a particular job?

My reasons:

  • My personality is better carved out for consultancy than the corporate environment
  • Now’s the opportunity to build-up my technical skills which I feel can only be done effectively in an accounting firm with vast experiences to share, myriad portfolios of clients and international networking to boot
  • Improved mobility in the event I need to relocate in line with my husband’s career development needs

My colleagues’ reasons:

  • Unable to fit into the company’s culture
  • Need a less demanding job with shorter hours, so that more time can be spent with the kids

The truth (which really, isn't quite that difficult to decipher):

  • We are tired and overloaded and yet, for the same salary and resources allocated, our job scope is always ever expanding.
  • There are more productive things to do than to constantly follow-up (be it via e-mail, telephone calls, face-to-face meetings) with full-blown-adults-who-have-to-be-treated-like-kiddos on submission of information/ further action.
  • We have had enough of being responsible for the actions of others who cannot care less and yet gets away with murder every single time
  • Fuzzy leadership, e.g. just to name a few, what is the logic of:
    a) Liquidating dormant companies on one hand and setting-up twice the number on the
    b) Cutting down budgeted staff benefits and freezing headcount requested to cope with operational matters on one hand but approving the unbudgeted recruitment of expensive big-wigs to “head” new departments/ initiatives on the other
    c) Continuing to splash lavishly on new training centres, corporate communication programmes, business entertainment and many other “cutting-edge” projects, which after numerous years, still show no foreseeable returns to the company
  • And, saddest of all, we are convinced that the situation above is only likely to deteriorate further as the months inch by - so tell me, why bother staying on a sinking ship??

An employee’s loyalty should lie with an entity and not an individual, and yet it is utterly naïve to deny that the personality helming the company does not play an important role in making sure that such is the case.

Another broken green bottle

A fellow manager confided that she is also mulling on resigning and moving off to greener pastures. Oh no!! What have I started? Isn’t it queer how it sometimes only takes one person to throw in the towel, for the rest of the pack to follow suit in quick succession?

Could it be herd mentality? But who was I to advise another against a move which I myself had initiated?

Sure - no one employee is indispensable but when most of your work horses rebel and break free at one go, the breaking-down of the carriage is inevitable.

As much as I am sympathetic towards the rough seas ahead, I must steel my heart and remind myself that this is not my problem – nor should I feel responsible or guilty on these unfortunately timed developments.

Can only hope that the company is able to recruit others who are willing and able to fill up the vacancies quickly.

Friday, December 22, 2006


"I am very very disappointed......have you lost your senses?'re poised for much more.....not thinking straight....throwing away a bright and promising career in this Group...I have always thought that you're capable of much more"

The words stung and very much reminded me about a similar situation more than a decade ago when I was summoned by the school counsellor for being a recalcitrant - insistent on switching to the Arts Stream, despite my grades qualifying me for enrolment in 4 Science 1. Furthermore, I was somehow also deemed responsible for "swaying" half of my Form 3/1 classmates in "boycotting" the Science stream, nevermind that each of us had made up our minds independently over the PMR break.

I remember the counsellor issuing us this final dire warning, "We'll see how long you'll last in the Arts Stream", and whether it was achieved merely out of spite or not, last the two years we did...and very well too. It was a satisfying final year in secondary school when we swept all awards for the core subjects in SPM and Additional Maths - leaving the teachers aghast at the "dismal performance" of the Science girls.

Sometimes, just sometimes, it's tough being blessed with some brains - people expect much much more. Thankfully, my husband, family and friends understand me a whole lot better and are always supportive in what I choose to do.

As I told my CFO, "I really respect you and boss for all that you do, but truth be told - I am not envious of your positions, nor do I have ambitions to be you."

"Think about it over the break and we shall chat again after the New Year"

Beyond the point of no return, I have already reminded myself that there is more to life than scaling the corporate ladder.


Hmmmm.....will we be relocating here in the next 6 months?!??

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Winter Solstice

Was surprised when Uncle N picked up the call - I'd thought I'd accidentally dialed him and not home! Then, it dawned on me that his family had made the trip back to Penang to celebrate Winter Solstice with gramps - sweet and typical of Uncle N. Now I wish I were back home as well with my cousins and family....damn.

Anyways, winter solstice has always been one of those fun chinese festivals when grandma would allow us to get our hands dirty rolling flour balls the night before. We normally rolled white, pink and green balls, which we patiently lined in circles on plates. It was quite easy to differentiate those done by grandma and those done by us kids - hers were dainty and pretty, ours were larger and when cooked, er pretty tough to swallow! hahaahhahahaha....of course when we were younger, we couldn't understand the fuss on making round small balls but come makan time...hahahaha...we were always smart enough to choose grandma's handiwork, leaving the poor adults to stomach ours!

Grandma used to cook the balls in two ways - one is sweet in syrup and served chilled, the other is savoury and boiled in soup with liver, chicken etc. To be honest, I was never much of a fan of either, but that never did stop us kids from pleading grandma to mix another lot of dough for us to make more ...ahahahahah...again poor adults.

Guess mum will be rolling the flour balls with my cousins tonight.

Simple sweet memories...unfortunately such traditions do not thrive in a metropolitan like KL..well, maybe when I have a family of my own next time, it would be a worthy practice to rekindle.

Much Ado Over Nothing

Tendering my resignation was a surprisingly exhilarating and satisfying experience indeed.

Addressed to my CFO and cc-ed to my direct boss and the HR director, I hand delivered the letters to their respective offices. CFO and boss are currently on leave, but the HR director called me for a chat 5 minutes after I left the letter with her secretary.

Yes I am sure that I want to resign and nope, my mind is made up. And yet she insists on getting the CFO to come into the office tomorrow morning to talk to me.

But why?? it's not like it matters, plus, considering my last day at work will be in mid-Feb, there is little difference in him seeing me tomorrow rather than when we both get back from our leave after the New Year

I do genuinely like my CFO and boss and had hoped to let them enjoy their much deserved year-end break, blissfully unaware of this development. Unfortunately, there is this small matter of notice which I need to serve this week or else.....

Oh well, what to do?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The sky is falling down

Merely 2 months old, the new assistant manager decided that the company's culture did not suit her and submitted her resignation letter today. She's leaving in 2 weeks (inclusive of the Christmas and New Year holidays) and will be off to Japan for a 3-week holiday! WoW!! Liddat also can leh!

My offer letter is out this evening so am tendering my resignation tomorrow as well.

5 green bottles sitting on the wall...2 down, 3 to go. Now, when will they break too?!?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Blogging pro

At the "friendly chat" the other day round with my prospective employer, I was requested to spend 30 minutes to write an essay (minimum word count of 300) on one of 5 topics (i.e. leadership, motiviation, aspiration and two more on some not-worth-remembering biz related matters)

For a while, I blanked out and panicked at the curve ball flung in my way. One is not accustomed to essay writing after SPM!!! the years go by, we are required to condense and get straight to the point >> concise is good. Bosses have little time to listen, let alone read!

A sweeping glance confirmed that I could probably give a respectable answer to each of the 5 topics in 3 sentences....which would guarantee certain failure in meeting the word count threshold set! Sigh....

So there I was, stranded at a loss as to which topic I should select to my advantage - when I fell back on the most mature and reliable decision-making tool in such a difficult circumstance >> yes, I eeney-meeny-miney-moed and then launched into blogger mode and rambled....on and on and editing, just waffling...there were instances where I could have been so much more economical on effort, ink and paper...but nope, I was plenty generous with fillers all round

And as the allocated time drew to a close, I frantically scribbled down the conclusion and voila....mission accomplished!

300 words? No sweat!

As for quality - well I'll keep my fingers crossed


Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas Cheer

Things are slow at work...people are going on leave...more pertinently, tomorrow should be the last day I'll see my boss for 2006 (yippee yay!!)

tsk tsk, it ultimately boils down to brilliant annual leave planning...she starts her break on wednesday and will be back on boxing day, whereas my annual leave kicks in on boxing day (christmas being a public holiday) and i won't be back till the 3rd of Jan!!!!!!!!! wooot!

Christmas is coming, christmas is coming and what better way to spread the X-mas cheer than via this ultra-cool made-in-malaysia effort whipped up by
Linpeh and friends

Stumbled upon it whilst having my daily fix at 5XMom's. Reading 5xmom is so refreshing - her ramblings are informative yet zapped with enough whackiness to make your day

Btw Lilian >> My guess is that you're in the stanza after the totally wicked hokkien rap and instrumental break, singing "Rudolph the red nosed reindeer had a very shiny nose"

Fed up

I snapped sometime in the last 2 weeks and have made up my mind - I've had enough and am leaving. Nevermind the bonus, gratuity, increment etc etc etc. In fact, if I could so be the heartless bitch I sometimes aspire to be, I would have just screamed "SOD IT!!!!!!!" and walked out the door, not bothering to turn back ever ever ever. Definitely, definitely the final straw.

After the storm blew over mid-last week, I popped over to ask my boss if I could take Friday off. She was in a good mood and nodded. Then, hesitantly, I asked for a personal favour - could she like be my referee?

Hehehehehe...she was shocked. So were the others whom I confided in that I'd selected her as one of my referees.

PS captured it in a nutshell:" You terror lar!!! Liddat also can?!!?!?" restrospect, I guess it is a little foolhardy. But, but...she is the best person who can vouch for my accomplishments the past 2 years plus she's a person whom I believe is professional, honest and frank - surely she wouldn't sink quite so low as to sabotage my interview!!!!

Thanks to cynical dude's enlightenment "Well..if it's her survival vs yours...which do you think will be paramount?" - ok, ok...I get the message and WILL NOT REPEAT SUCH FALLACY EVER confident job's in the bag...just waiting to receive the offer letter before I throw in my resignation letter.

*rubs hands in glee*

2007 promises to be a very interesting year indeed!