Friday, June 19, 2015

Post-SEA Games

Hurray!! Everything had come to an end with the bump-out process completed!! I had a big feast with the nurses who were also packing their items this afternoon. We combined all our remaining food voucher and literally had a whole spread of chicken, duck, and pork to eat!! Haha... The relief and tiredness I am experiencing now is similar to the times when I went away for outdoor camps during my school days. There were both good and bad things which happened but in the end, only the good memories would last.

Looking back to November 2012, I would never imagine this day would come. My friends often asked me how I ended up being arrowed to do this. I could only say that I called my boss to get my end of year leave being approved. I guess my boss happened to be reading emails pertaining to this and just nice since I was also on the phone, she asked me about it. I wanted but missed the chance to volunteer for the Youth Olympic Games back in 2010 because it took place during first week of school. I thought it was too much trouble to pon the first week of school. Thus when this opportunity was presented, I was elated. However, I also knew my position. I only started working and I had limited knowledge and experience etc. My boss assured me that this was the first time for everyone so everyone just had to learn and see how things would go.

The pressure began right from the first meeting. The other people in the team were managers, directors, senior director etc with vast knowledge and experience while I was just a small fry sitting there. I felt timid. As the planning went on, I had to deal with many more people. This was quite a challenge because at work I am a person who prefers to do something myself instead of asking people to do things my way. For a project of this scale, this was impossible as there were so many things and a lot were beyond my capacity. Honestly it is not something that I like because it is like I am asking them for a favor. Not to mention that they also have their own things to do and sometimes it is quite frustrating waiting for their replies as I, myself, have my own deadline to meet.

The synergy among the team members grow with time and I have to say that we make a pretty good team. Everyone tries to help one another, is chin cai with sharing things (which makes planning easier to do), and tries not to cause burden to one another.

I am quite glad to have a dedicated team of volunteers whom not only help with the operations but also with the setting up and the tearing down of the place. With the limited resources, we did not invest in our IT system. Everything was stripped back to the basics. We all grow up  in an era when technology has made everything simpler and going back to the basics is not convenient. However, they were not complaining. They had been more helpful than the people who were supposed to help more. These were the people from the other cluster. Right from the training, they were just complaining about this and that, and during the operations, instead of providing supervision, they ended up making lives difficult for the volunteers. In fact, they were the only reasons that marred my great experience. Tell me if it is a responsible thing to do when you cannot (or rather do not want) to make a decision pertaining to your field of work, ask people from other department to make a decision for you, and when things go wrong, you blame the other people. Is it professional to ask others, who are definitely less knowledgeable about your field, to make a decision on your behalf? Of course the part that I could not tahan is the blaming others. I would have to say the impulse (and the stress) got the better of me and I sent an email not to ask these people anymore when it comes to any decision making process. The email was meant for internal circulation so I did not 'choose' my words and someone chose to sent the email to the other cluster.. Of course all hell broke loose!

Well I can't be bothered. At that time, my main priority was not to let any more screw up happened. Imagine if someone complained, it would not only affect the organisation's reputation but also the nation's reputation! I even asked my boss if I could step down if it could 'appease' the offended parties. I felt quite bad for her to do damage control and clear the mess I caused although in the first place the email was not meant to be spread!! At the end of everything, I can't tell if she still thinks I have a part to blame for this 'saga' but I am adamant that at that point of time, my ultimate goal was not to have the foreign delegates complained and putting others in trouble because of the incompetence of my people.

It was a bitter pill and hard lesson for me: being too nice and too trusting to others. Next time, I will try to know the people better before putting my own backside to cover theirs. I will never ever want to cover others who can only blame others.

Did I get to meet any famous athletes? Sadly the answer is NO. I was more involved in the first few and last few shifts for the set up and the tear down respectively and there were very few patients. However, I am blessed to take away a treasured memory. About 1 week before the game began, I met this athlete who came close to 9pm. After everything was completed, we accompanied him to the place where the shuttle bus supposed to pick him up. After 40 minutes, no bus appeared!! I informed the clinic head who then arranged our own vehicle to send him back to the hotel. We did not spend 40 minutes of silence. He is currently studying at NUS and stayed on campus. We ended up sharing stories about that. Of course the best part was that after the closing ceremony, when we saw me, he actually still remembered our conversation and thanked me for entertaining him during the wait for the bus. And of course I congratulated him for winning a gold medal as well! Unfortunately, I did not have the courage to ask for a picture :( Sigh.. Should have just have a thick skin and have a YOLO moment lo..

Speaking about the closing ceremony, I felt very happy that I had the chance to attend and get the participant's medal. Hehe.. I am sucker to collect such memorabilia. It was also an honor to be able to experience the new National Stadium. The last time I was there was almost 10 years ago before the stadium was renovated. We entered at about 7pm and there were already so many people. We were seated at the 5th top row. The row was actually 'blocked' with a ribbon but we just jumped over it. Although the view was fantastic, the steepness can be quite scary to some people.
Before the ceremony bgan
I post this because my face is not visible. My camera is really bad under low light :'(
My memorabilia... Of course I have to crop away my identity haha..
It is quite ironic that despite spending so many days near the epicenter of all the happenings, I did not manage to find the Nila mascot and take a photo with him. I had to be happy with the giant inflatable Nila balloon. I also only knew that the cauldron was just outside the Kallang Wave Mall. I had my meals there everyday but I did not walked far enough to explore. Huhuhu...

Lastly, I also treasured the time spent with the temp admin staff. Well, they make me feel old actually. I can't believe that I am actually giving advise on how to best enjoy school life: a balance between doing well in school and taking parts in activities.

I feel that this is the pinnacle of my career. Sometime, this kind of things is best to be done once in a lifetime. I am quite sian having to think about the 8th ASEAN Para Games in December this year. It is like doing this all over again and I am really not looking forward having to work again with a few parties. Bleah.. But oh well, I will trust everything to God. I often complain about the so many things that I have to do at my branch but everything came into use for the setting up of the clinic. I had to do everything even down to the nitty gritty details such as how to arrange the drugs, to make labels for the drug bins, preparing downtime labels, doing rosters, issuing medicines to the nursing stations, taking care of the Controlled Drugs, etc. 1 last thing that I am praying to God is for me not to have the pride because of this. This experience should be something that makes me a better person, not a proud person

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