Tuesday, September 28, 2010

the pursuit of happyness...

everytime i meet my frend and colleaque Nadia, our main topic of discussion is always the same..

1. how much we hated our work

2. how we wish we could resign tomorrow

3. what are we going to do with all that free time *hihi*

working in a an international oil and gas company is really not as glamorous as everyone thinks. unfortunately this is the mindset of most people, especially the older generation folks. just say only my company name, you can actually see the way their faces lit, their respect grew while they nodded knowingly, thinking or saying out loud "wah, pay must be good aa, bonus sure 8 months" while winking conspirationally.

but u know what, all that money, its really not worth it. im too lazy to even list down all the shit that we go through working here, but suffice to say, there's no money enough in the world that can compensate to literary vomitting because you have too much work and your head feels like exploding, or finding yourself suddenly sobbing your hearts out because you're too tired and exhausted or having sleepless nights and your dreams are filled with work stuff, that you get up feeling more dead than alive.

seriously not worth it.

early this month, the global heads for our department came down for a quick visit. msia's team has always been the one to be the first to get hit if the global wants to implement something or try something new or get something done, and us, being asians, no matter how much we complained and grieved and whined, at the end of the day, the asian prides and ego still prevails and in effort to show the mat salleh that we are made of stronger stuff, we would be successfully in completing whatever they throw at us, even if we have to die trying.

such a lousy way to work isnt it? but there you go.

so anyway, they came and one the of the thing that cropped up during the get together is work life balance. so lemme, tell you, work life balance is a HUGE thing in this company, am not sure about other oil n gas cos, but here, its an issue people are most concerned about. and every march, right after the bonuses are announced (see how "clever" it all is), there will be a global survey for everyone, on what they think of the company, job security, salary and all HR related and people related issues, and of course, work life balance.

and every year, the score on work life balance, especially on the asia side, is pitiful.

and every year, we would ask the global company, what are they doing to help us get this balance.

so this year, they came and we asked the question, straight to the global head.

and her answer?
is simply "we (the company) are not responsible for your work life balance, if you have an inbalance, then it is due to your time management, not the company"

you can almost hear the collective drop of hearts and brains and all other organs into the floor as the whole team grasp in amazement of the true meaning of her words..

if that's the case;

1. what the hell is the yearly people survey is bloody for? for fun? like seeing the result and thinking "oh lookie, work is 99% and life is 1%, ok, now maybe i will consider giving this 20mil usd cost savings initiatives for them to deliver in 3 months, or then again, maybe i will, who needs a life anyway"

2. it totally gives the company the freedom to throw anything at us even though we are already heavily ladened and burdened with so many deliverables that we are putting in 16 hrs per day, and they just get away with "hey, its not our problem, its you who does not how to manage your time"

utter crap right?

both of us are workaholic. we have no issues working hard. we love challenges and getting the numbers right.

but like what both of our other half said, you guys work like crazy but in the end, the company gets the profit, while we're lucky if we even get a thank you or a pat on the back. bonuses depends on the group performance, so even if you do perform like crazy, in 2009 due to the recession, its barely mentionable the bonus we get, so really what the point? pay rise depends on the performance yes, but because we work in a crazy competetive dog eat dog world, if you put in 100% there will always be someone who will put in 200%, and that person will compete with someone who puts in 300% and so its a never ending race.

so, just so you know im not simply complaining here (although yes, i do complain and whine about this a lot in my blog but hello, that's the whole purpose of my blog, so that i can vent out and whine as much as like hahaha) i am doing something about it..

its a bit slow at the moment but there are some options im working on.

wish me luck and doa for me k!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

flavor of the month..

its been a while since i do a book review right? ive bought so many but the craziness at work and the bf back for the summer makes it harder to find time to read.

well, not that im complaining much, on one hand its actually a good thing im too busy to read because im spending what precious time i have with him before he goes off, but on the other hand its a horrible thing when my working hours is now 6.30am to 8pm and even weekends are too hectic that i hardly made a dent in my reading list..

ok i digress.

my point is.. this is not exactly a full book review, just what i have in my list now :p

im sure by now almost every women out there have read or at least heard of miss elizabeth gilbert who wrote the amazing book eat, pray, love which incidentally will be out in the movies end of this month, starring julia roberts, yeay! hehe anyway, the continuation of that book is committed - about her quest to find the meaning of marriage when circumstances forces her to go down that line again. im only halfway through it but so far it has the same charm as eat pray love. the thing i like about elizabeth gilbert's writing is that she explains things fully and clearly. she doesnt need to use complicated sentences which to me, which to me describes a true story teller :) i havent finish it yet, so i cant really comment but so far, its really good :)

i bought this book with my birthday voucher from times bookstore and its massively thick, at least 2 inches easy! its still in the plastic wrap, am actually saving it for the long flight to new york next month..the reviews have been pretty intense about his latest here, and actually it kinda reminds me of the Simpson the Movie, remember? the town was also under a dome hehe :p dont think this book about a comedy tho, but knowing mr king, he would usually able to keep me engaged from beginning to end :p
im totally crazy about sophie kinsella! have the complete shopaholic series, the UK version of course, i hated the movie cos they americanised it, typical americans! im a huge fan of british chic lit like sophie kinsella, alexandra potter (see below) and mellisa nathan (who wrote the lovely pride, prejudice and jasmine fields and the waitress) or irish ones, like marian keyes (see below)..american ones mm, lauren weisberger who wrote the devils wears prada is one of the precious few i like, i love her everyone worth knowing and chasing harry winston. so anyway, back to miss kinsella, would you believe i havent started this yet! so not like me!! but im saving this one for the long flight to UK in december :p yes, ive got TWO long flights coming up and i really need good books to keep occupied. so even tho my hands are ITCHING to tear off the wrapper of this book, i smartly kept it away in my parents room so i dont see it hehehe :p

another one of my favourite brit author, alexandra potter also came out with a new book recently and im also saving this one for the long flights :p miss potter has the same amazing ability like miss kinsella and miss keyes to make you laugh out loud in the train or on the flight without a care of what people around you think hehe :p she's dat good! altho i cant review this book, i can however give a review of another work of hers, which ive just completed, below..

this is one my favs of miss potter's book, and yes so far, ive read them all :p the above is about a manager of a book store who went on a jane austen tour in Bath and had some amazingly weird encounters of her dream hero, the elusive, drop dead gorgeous mr darcy. she had to learn the hard way that sometimes the perfect man for her is right under her nose..not in books :p its a must read if you love jane austen and british fashion - yes, the reference to topshop is quite extensive :p

marian keyes is a chic lit goddess, a queen! i think ive got all her books pretty much covered, except for some of her earlier works, which i cant find, which i think might be out of print. this is the latest of her's that i read and to review it simply - a bit of a dissapointment :( she still maintains her style of writing, but i think she wanted to touch a sensitive issue so the book is kinda long winded, trying to capture all the emotions at the same time, which in the end drags the story a little bit. still a good read, in comparison to all the other chic lit goddess wannabees out there, but a major dissapointment to die hard fans like me.

this one hers, is my ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE! this book is amazing! for those who are familiar with miss keyes's Walsh family, starting with watermelon, then angels and rachel's holiday, this is another story of the youngest of the walsh sisters. this story is heartbreaking, heart warming and makes you cry and laugh at the same time, its truly truly wonderful!

other than the novels, she also churned out two short stories or a series of articles she wrote about her life, travels and himself (her husband whom she referred to as himself, so cute hehe). the first one is actually further under the duvet, which i cant find here yet, so i only have the second one, further under the duvet, and its a lovely read if you just want to read something simple and short before bedtime :p her other books which is a must read are sushi for beginners and last chance saloon, both are two chic lits ever written ever!
so there, my two cents worth for today :)
oh, i wanted to share something.
early this year i joined both mph and times member's club. mph was a total rip off! you get measly points for every time you purchase a book, then every six months (if im not mistaken) you can claim those points to get like, a 10% discount, if you have purchase enough, like a thousand ringgit worth of books, and something like the points will expiry within a year or something or can be changed to the cost of renewal of the membership which is like 30 bucks per year - ok, my details are a bit screwed but i did read it in full details when i got it and i know it was rip off, i just dont remember the details now :p
times was much better, right up my alley. u get a 10% discount everytime you purchase something, anything from the store! everytime u purchase! i dont have to wait to get member's privilige, i get it everytime i shop. and when i joined i get a further discounts and vouchers (mph didnt give me any!!) and also for every birthday month! amazing stuff!! and every april they will print out a copy of all purchases ive made for the tax rebate for books! isnt it amazing!
wow, this post is getting longer by the second, so im gonna stop now :)
back to work tomorrow aiyoo! :(

Saturday, September 18, 2010

new york 101

im leaving to nyc in less than a month and i think i pretty much got everything covered.

i think.


lets see, visa, got it. the process was relatively easy but so tedious! like seriously, it was enough to put me off travelling to US anytime soon but then happily discovered that the visa is actually for 10 years! so i guess it kinda worth the efffort. for those who are interested to know the process, here's the simple step by step.

step one - make payment at alliance bank for the visa application fee, about rm500 - the price slightly increased now due to the low exchange rate.

step two - go online (just google US visa from malaysia) and follow the step by step instructions to fill up the form. the questions are pretty standard but quite lengthy and detailed. make sure you have yr passport with you, yr parents details, yr work details, yr hotel in nyc details etc.

step three - after about 48hrs of submission and receiving the email of received application, you need to go back online and fill up the step by step procedure to obtain and fix an interview date. i chose 7.40am interview, i figured being the first in queue the faster the process.

or so i thought.

step four - the interview. there seems to be no rhyme or reason or logical sequence to interview number. for example, even though my interview session is the earliest session and should complete in an hour, my interview was only done at 10am! and those who arrives for the 8.40am interview, some actually went ahead before me!! so weird right? luckily my travel partner went for the interview the day before mine so actually warned me of the long wait, so i came prepared with a book in hand. so they only called me at 10am, and its not even in a room, its held over the counter, so everyone, and i mean EVERYONE could hear your interview, because the interviewers uses a loud speaker! and my interview? lasted barely a minute! the basic questions they asked are; purpose of visit, who am going with (they actually check the name in the system), where im staying, my work, what i do, my payslip or letter of employement (i came prepared! they warned about this in the FAQ website) and so on and so forth. relatively easy questions but quite intimidating as the interviews booth is quite high that u have to look up to them through a bullet proof glass and you try to answer calmly while they rapidly fire questions in a boomingly loud voice :p


next, hotel - everyone i know who's been to nyc and the guide books warned us not to stay in manhattan as the price can be crazily expensive for even the no star hotels, so we decided to stay slightly out of manhattan and managed to find a four star hotel in Queens that meets our budget, yeay! and despite the drama about the queens area (which i think comes from too much US tv :p) i have met people who actually lived in that area and declared that its far from the truth, the area is pretty safe and cool and you get a lot of cultural mix so sounds like my kind of neighbourhood. ive stayed at dodgy looking places before (the tiny little apartment on of those dodgy alley near la rambla in barcelona - scary at first but love it in the end! the small hostel in some back lane near the termini station in rome - discovered the best pizza EVER walking distance to where we stayed so twas worth it!) but ive always trusted my instincts when it comes to hotel bookings and so far, i can safely say my instincts can be trusted :) the best part of this hotel in nyc is that its only 15 minutes into manhattan via subway, 10 minutes from JFK via bus and its cheap, comes with breakfast and free parking! (if, and a BIG if, we decided to rent a car hehe)

we even managed to buy our tickets to watch Mary Poppins at the New Amsterdam Theatre, so thats one thing done as well :) i have googled and read about al the places i need to visit in nyc so thats kinda covered too, and oh, even the shopping places :p

a few other things i need to check;

1. we wanted to have a day visit to Washington DC, so now browsing for transport options, either bus or train, kinda looking forward to check out the white house hehe.

2. got a friend up Boston, so might wanna visit her too, but havent decided on this yet.

3. definetely visiting the famous woodbury factory outlet! they have train and busses to go there, but am thinking of driving there, cos we will be ladened with shopping bags, and its easier to just dump it in the car :p but i need a co driver! i can drive left side, have done it in europe before but i cant drive alone so have yet to convince my travel mates to get their international license as well.

4. have listed down the gorgeous eateries and chic restaurants that we have to check out during our visit there, one of it being "Serendipity" cafe, a cafe ive been dying to visit ever since i saw the movie on it, remember, the one with kate beckinsale and john cusack? have not seen it? go see it! a truly romantic movie, sigh!

i have purchased Frommer's guide book on nyc, havent had a chance to fully read it yet, figured i can read it on the plane as it is a 20 hrs flight! yikes! i get stomach already thinking of the long flight there! but luckily i am travelling with my best friends so i think i will be fully entertained or will entertain them throughout the flight! hehe :p

the best part of visiting nyc in october and the one thing im looking forward too the most is the fact that its gonna be AUTUMN in New York! my favourite season of all seasons!

so i googled some lovely pictures (credits given to the photographers from google image website) of autumn in nyc;

isnt it lovely? i hope i get some good pictures from the park, its certainly worth the trip just to see these gorgeous trees..

side note : looking at these pictures made me wish that 'you' can come with me too..sigh..:(
im so wishing for the day we can take vacations together and visit all these wonderful amazing places just you and me :)

so i think im all set! unless if anyone out there can think of anything else i need to check out, do lemme know!

so, tell me what u think..

in an attempt to cheer myself up on this sad rainy saturday morning, i decided to change my blog layout..

so, what do you think?

too bright? too orange?

this color kinda grows on you after a while, so am giving it a week...

see if all these brightness will brightened up my heart too....well, at least a little bit.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

half of me

agak tidak elok untuk bermula dengan cerita sedih setelah lama meninggalkan blog ni kan..

but im really a mess and sad and lonely and tired and hollow :(

my heart feels empty and full at the same time...

long distance relationship sucks :(

felt like half of me went away with him today :(

dammit...i hate feeling like this :(