Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Game over

1 week is up.. my gut feeling is right.. and it is game over for me. It is time for me to wake up from my dream of changing job, accept that I will be stuck here, and prepare for plan B: choose a Masters programme and think of a project to do. Life goes on..

Surprisingly I was not too upset about it. Perhaps because for the last 2 days, I am not in office. Hehe.. I am attending an international forum but it is not overseas :( I am arrowed to do a poster presentation since the doctor in charge had presented the project last year. Anyway the so called 'presentation' session was so disorganised and not like what I expected. But whatever it is, I got to skip work for 2 days and I got 8 CE points so I have nothing to complain. Lol.

I took a picture next to the poster and surprisingly it got liked by almost 10% of my facebook friends. Wow.. I am honestly shocked that people appreciate this kind of thing better than my holiday or my studio photos. Lol. I have to be honest and actually I kinda happy with all the likes. Lol.. Lai lai lai give me more projects so that I can 'shine' this way more.

Haiz.. back to normal work tomorrow.. sianz..

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Hobby contradictions

I just spent 7+ hours cleaning my toy display cabinets, dusting my figures, and changing some of the figurines to be displayed. This hobby really makes me confused. When I see the amount I spent and when I see the amount of boxes I have in my room, it makes me very frustrated. When I see the amount of dust (which is a signal that I should be cleaning), I get upset. But when I start cleaning, I kinda enjoy it. Some figures make me think why I bought them in the first place, especially those I choose to keep in their boxes. But when it is time to display them, I am glad I bought them in the first place. Some figures really make me happy and I am glad that I own them.

Despite all that, it is fact that the amount I have spent is astronomical and I am running out of space. I try very hard to cut down this year and it is very hard. I have sort of completed getting old merchandises from the 90s but I still have new pre-orders trickling. This month has been a record as I only spent $50 so far to pre-order 1 figurine. I am so tempted to get the new Clow Card sets but I keep telling myself to wait until next month. At least let October be an accomplishment for me to spend that little. Hopefully in November, the Clow Cards are sold out or my interest will dissipate.

Food is something that I am struggling with recently. Is it because of the stress? Sigh.. I don't know. I know I am supposed to avoid chili, butter, and egg and I have been eating food containing them like noone's business. I looked at one of my photos from last year when my acne was uncontrolled and it serves as a wake up call. I definitely do not want to go back to those days :( Sigh.. but the new McDonald's ebi burger and fish dipper look so appetising. I still have not tried their bacon cheese 'átas' one. And KFC's chicken strips are so addicting just like Kettle's potato chips. My goodness :(

Friday, September 23, 2016

Karma

It has been a frustrating and torturing 3 months. Many times I am tempted to pour out my feelings and thought here but I restrain myself. Now that it is over (for now), I hope I am able to assess and reflect everything with my head in a cooler state.

I always think one cool aspect of my profession is to be a preceptor to nurture future generations of pharmacists. I always want to be one and the chance only came this year when I am no longer interested. I did not exactly have a wonderful experience with the 2 NUS students that I had a few years back so I know this is going to be tough. I was wrong. Those 2 students are considered good compared to the current one I have. In fact, the one that I thought was giving me a hard time and I was also giving a hard time in return 2 days ago still gave me a full marks for her feedback.

Ground rules and expectations were set on the first day but it was just a formality. Bumpy road ahead when the preceptee's expectation is that this is a school whereby lessons will be taught, answers will be given, and just follow my style to get good grades. Sorry but this is a professional training and the stake is much higher than mere grades. I hate to use the term ''spoonfeeding" and ashamedly, I did use it a few times. Preceptee's are responsible for the book knowledge. My role is to help you reach an answer/conclusion based on the theory. It is all about thinking, analysing, and applying knowledge which I cannot proceed if the expectation is for me to give everything. The ultimate goal is to be an independent pharmacist by the profession's standard, not by my standard. My style may be different from others and by simply following what I say, there is no guarantee that other pharmacists will consider it acceptable as they also have different styles. My role is to guide and develop you and not to make a copy cat of myself.

Going through assignments is a nightmare. The questions are supposed to facilitate discussions on particular topics. She is completely missing the point when she is doing it as if doing a school assignment. She will argue that school taught her that way, what is the correct answer, etc. Haiz.. I don't care what school taught you. What I care is what you think about what school has taught you. If you do not want to think when I try to help you connecting the dots, we are going nowhere. If your focus on getting the correct answer, we are going nowhere because in real life, there is no right or wrong answers. Everything has pros and cons and 'answers' always change depending on the situations and patients' conditions. The focus is on concepts and understanding which you can apply in various situations and we can't go there if you are so stuck on getting that 1 bloody question right.

Right from the start, I mentioned that I will not give deadlines as she has to learn to manage her own time and plan her learning. I will only set deadlines when her pace is too slow and we are running out of time. I wait for her to be ready before going through topics so that she can be well prepared but every time she says ready, she is not really ready. So imagine my anger when she said she prefers me to set deadlines. She already takes that much time to be 'ready' and yet still not ready. Imagine if I set deadlines which will be definitely a shorter period of time, definitely she will not be ready! Pui! Next time, your boss will not set deadlines for you. Anyway, on occasions when deadlines were set, she still could not meet them. And then she would say: but you told me to prioritise things. Seriously, fuck it la. Stop blaming others and start taking own responsibility on your own learning.

Feedback is given every week but is often ignored. I am so sick of repeating the same feedback week after week. She may think that I am biased and whatever but that is for her ownself. Other people (who are not her preceptors) can afford to say all the nice things but in the end have the same feedback that I have. I cannot as I have the responsibility to sign you off. To makes things worse, she can't self reflect and always refuses to give her opinions and feedback so no matter what, I don't know how to help. And no, crying does not help. I don't give a shit with you crying. I don't care how much effort you put in, what ultimately counts is the end product that others can see. Even if you think you are already doing your best, if others think you suck, you suck. Sorry but that's the reality of working world and that's what I am preparing for

Many times I wonder if I am at fault. Am I too strict? Am I too fierce? Have I made the whole learning experience so unsafe psychologically for her that she is afraid to speak up? I have taken many students and they all agree that I can be flexible from being super nice and patient all the way to being super strict and fierce depending on the circumstances. This is the first time that I had to be strict/fierce for 90% of the time. Why can't I be nice? I can't imagine if anything good will happen if I am nice when this is what I have and how she behaves with me being strict.. In addition, there are other people who bring her for rotation and they all range from nice to very nice. After a few sessions, even these nice and very nice people grow impatient. In the end, no improvement from her and I get the same feedback. Haiz. I can simply be 'nice' and just follow her wants: just give her the answers and set deadlines but again what's the point? That's now how working life work and for the sake of her future, I should not do those for easier life now. I tried that for P-sales to let her try doing followed by a debrief. It did not work. She did not improve on her basics and simply doing to experience. Again, this is not student attachment opportunity with the purpose of experiencing things. This is a pre-reg training with the ultimate goal to be an independent one. I had to bar her from doing and to get the basics right first. Only that serves as a wake up call but still at the end of the whole rotation, she still cannot do.

I had bad blood with my year 3 preceptor and as I read my old blog posts during that attachment period, I wonder if I have become similar to that evil biatch. Is this karma? Was I also that bad that time to force her to be that crazy towards me?

Anyway I cannot be bothered since others also share the same feedback as me. I don't have anything to lose. The worst that can happen is I don't get any more future students which I honestly don't mind if all their qualities are like this. So please, I am more than happy that she is assigned to others. I am never deemed worthy to get any teaching awards after all. Yeah I am still bitter with how this place treats me and I really hope that I can leave :(

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Squandered my chance

I had my second interview on Tuesday and if the decision to hire has been made, I don't think I will secure a good pay offer or if the decision to hire has yet to made, I may have missed my chance to get an offer. I usually trust my gut feel and this time my gut feel after the interview was not positive :( Sigh.. 

I think honesty is a virtue not appreciated in real word. Honestly, I don't even prepare for the second interview. Generic questions such as "What is your aspiration?", "What makes you think you are suitable to be a teacher?" etc are expected. Since I did not make any preparation, I had no model answer and I just answered honestly and be myself. People will think I am dumb to say "I like teaching but I have no teaching experience so I really have no idea if I will make a good teacher.". At the end of the day, I can lie to others but I can never lie to myself. I have to admit that I feel emo (and that's why I can only blog about this now 2 days later) but I am pretty happy and relieved that I am being truthful about myself. Whatever the outcome is, it is just a reflection of myself. If I get offered, it means that others also feel that I have the potential. If I don't get, it means that I really don't have what it takes to be a teacher.

Results will be out in a week and I don't know how I am feeling towards it. I am not really bothered about it since it is not a matter of life or death. Lol. At this point of time, I am honestly more scared to get out of my comfort zone and I rely on God to tell me and guide me to my future. If I don't get the offer or I am offered with a lower pay, it is a sign for me to stay where I am. If I am offered with a pay increase, it is a sign for me to move over. I am more concerned if I get offered with matched pay :( because it means I really have to think and weigh the pros and cons.

It is going to be a loooong 1 week wait

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Humility

This is not the first time I am feeling so down and lousy. For some reasons, God sent me a message through facebook and it is about humility written by St Josemaria Escriva.

Allow me to remind you that among other evident signs of a lack of humility are:
1. Thinking that what you do or say is better than what others do or say
2. Always wanting to get your own way
3. Arguing when you are not right or — when you are — insisting stubbornly or with bad manners
4. Giving your opinion without being asked for it, when charity does not demand you to do so
5. Despising the point of view of others
6. Not being aware that all the gifts and qualities you have are on loan
7. Not acknowledging that you are unworthy of all honour or esteem, even the ground you are treading on or the things you own
8. Mentioning yourself as an example in conversation
9. Speaking badly about yourself, so that they may form a good opinion of you, or contradict you
10. Making excuses when rebuked
11. Hiding some humiliating faults from your director, so that he may not lose the good opinion he has of you
12. Hearing praise with satisfaction, or being glad that others have spoken well of you
13. Being hurt that others are held in greater esteem than you
14. Refusing to carry out menial tasks
15. Seeking or wanting to be singled out
16. Letting drop words of self-praise in conversation, or words that might show your honesty, your wit or skill, your professional prestige…
17. Being ashamed of not having certain possessions…
Erm.. I think I hit 11 out of the 17 things listed up there. It serves as a timely reminder on how arrogant and pride I am. It is not something new for me as I was told about the same thing during my confession a few years ago. So perhaps all my ungratefulness and unhappiness currently are simply because I am not humble.

Yesterday I randomly met with a JC friend. He happened to be at Toa Payoh area and I happened to end earlier than expected. So I agreed to meet him for dinner. Because of NS, I left uni 2 years before him and he told me that he quitted his 7k++ job because he was tired of travelling (3x a week) and saw no progression. Oh my God :( That was about 1-2 years ago and that means he was earning double of what I have. Sigh what have I done with my life? Seriously I don't care about job or career. I just want money and happiness :(

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Backtrack

What go up must eventually go down. After feeling rather positive over the weekend, everything comes crashing down as I feel that my chance of lending a new job is down to 'minute' now. From the email, the Knack result sent to me seems to be the top 9 categories that I score. For my job application, however, I received those that matter for the job itself and my scores are not fantastic. Some things are pretty accurate (like how I tend to be negative in outlook) but most of the things are rather inaccurate. I have no idea how I am being regarded as having no integrity when I am usually so honest to a fault and my score for team work is surprisingly high when I prefer to work solo than as a team. Well I can argue until the sun comes down about personality traits but to achieve rather low score for 'teaching' and 'education counsellor' roles, I guess that is the end of my dream.

I am so sick of my current work. I don't know if I am just naturally being negative or I am simply running out of positivity to combat all the negative things that come from work everyday. How I wish I can simply drop everything and enjoy life. I am reminded that it is such a foolish thought. My aunt is at the verge of losing job and is given the choice of either voluntarily resign or wait to be dismissed. People are losing or cannot find job and here I am being ungrateful with everything I have.

I think I have to amend my opening line. There is one thing that goes up but does not come down: my weight :(  I gain weight when I am stressed. I cannot even follow my diet plan as I keep binge eating for dinner. I know it is not doing any good yet I am not doing anything to make a change. I am too overwhelmed with all the negative emotions.

What is the purpose of this life if not to be happy?
With the only thing that keeps me going is the anticipation of the near future when I can finally throw letter, I really don't know how to keep going if I end up stuck here.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Last PH in 2016

The last public holiday in 2016 ended just like that. Deepavali falls on a Saturday and Christmas is on a Sunday so I don't consider them. Lol. The weather was so nice so I spent the whole day just sleeping. Haha.. I know I could have used the time more productively like dusting my toys, or doing my Japanese homework, reading comics, or playing games. But none of these best the shiokness of just slacking and doing nothing. I attended my colleague's wedding dinner last night and it was definitely a good one as it provided me energy until 2pm this afternoon. Lol.

It was a nice wedding and I can't help but feel envious to the couple who are beaming so happily throughout the videos, photo montage, and in real person. Haiz.. if only I am a type B. I would also like to be an easy going and happy person that exudes infective happiness to people around me. But sometimes you are just born this way and no matter how much or how consciously you want to change, you can't fight your own genes. I may be able to ''control'' my outward emotion but deep inside me, a storm may be wreaking havoc.

In the past 2 days, random people have been reminding me that I am going to be 30 soon. Sigh.. I aimed to be married when I am 25 and look at where I am now. I don't even have a girlfriend. I have too high expectations whether it is towards myself, towards the ideal girlfriend and wife that I would like to have, towards everything. I really don't know what is going on and what is going to happen with my life. Hmm.. there goes my type A personality showing again. I should just enjoy life and let nature take its course if I want to be type B right? Lol..
When can I do this in real life? :(

I charged my PSP again and I totally forget how to play. I even forget how to properly switch it off lol. According to the last saved data, the last time I played was in 2013. It is so scary to realise how fast time flies. It is even scarier to realise how I have achieved nothing significant in my life for the past 3 years.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Another step closer to exit..

I want my old laptop back :( I am still not used to my new laptop and I cannot adjust the screen to a comfortable level: either it is too glaring or it is too dark. Sigh.. Even when I copy the same display settings, the outcome remains different. On the bright side, it forces me to waste less time surfing the net as my eyes get tired very easily.

I am feeling so tired this week, despite away for course for 2 days, and I don't know if it is because of the computer or it is because of my blood donation. Not to mention that it has been a busy week too. I am pleased to go through to the second round of my interview. That also comes with additional stress such as inconveniencing people to write testimonials for me. I am also lucky that the date assigned to me also allows me to take time off from work rather easily. I don't need to lie and fake some reasons to take urgent leave or something. I hope that is a good sign and I am sincerely hoping that they willing to increase my pay so that I can easily make a decision to jump ship. Yeah I am a sadly a slave of money.

I was asked to play some apps/games that will determine my profiles from the way I play the game. It is indeed an interesting concept but the result is quite far from the reality of what I am feeling towards myself. Don't know if this is not so accurate or these are really something that I don't realise that I have. My highest stats is for extraversion o_0 I am actually very shy in real life leh! I also thought I am pretty good with critical thinking, data, and intellectual curiosity but it is not the case from this. Oh and just forget about the Superknacks: those jobs are not even under my radar of abilities or interest. Lol.
I went to Postgrad fair today so at least I am a step closer to take charge of my future. In the event that I don't get a higher pay or I don't get to change my job, it is time to think about Masters seriously. I sort of have an idea of what I want to do and I only need to find a project to do.

I went for my regular dental check-up cum cleaning this morning and bad news again. Sigh.. One problematic tooth (that gave me a problem in the past) is giving a problem again and the filling needs to be re-done. Haiz.. I sort of guess it since it is not smooth over the part when I am flossing. The other bad news is that the surface of my teeth shows more wear and tear which is caused by my grinding/clenching of teeth. I know I grind my teeth as my mum used to tell me that when I was young. I am supposed to wear my retainers at bedtime so that should prevent any damage even if I grind. I am not sure if I spent more nights without retainers for the past 6 months or it is according to what the dental hygienist said: I may be grinding/clenching unconsciously when I am stressed at work. At my current mindset, I am more inclined to believe the later as another reason to change job. Haha..

Sunday, September 4, 2016

AAA Asia Tour 2016 Fan Club Event (Singapore)

After yesterday, I was so happy to see that today's event had the audience seated!! Oooh tears of joy.. Haha.. The ticket said free standing so I came later than yesterday and I arrived at about 515pm. I realised I was the second last audience to enter. Lol.. It was almost full house except for the last row on both aisles so I sat at in the middle of the last row.

Shinjiro and  Misako were the MCs which I sort of expected since their English was the best among AAA. The first section was for the audience to ask questions to AAA members. I think it was quite demoralising that only few hands were raised when they asked who wanted to ask questions. The allocated time was 15 minutes and it took too much time to answer the first question (it was about how do the members behave when they are drunk). I feel that they should not tease Nissy's english so much as it was quite a waste of precious time. The second question was a quick one since it only required 1 word answer regarding the sports that members would want to try.

The second section was game. The mystery box was not as exciting as those mystery boxes in the TV shows where they put living creatures etc. The boxes were so big but the items were so small and from my seat at the last row, I could hardly see. The second game, Scissors Paper Stone and Hey Look That Way, was much more entertaining and enjoyable.

They prepared a nice surprise too and played the Scissors Paper Stone with the audience until the last 3 winners would get a concert T-shirt with members' autograph. As usual, I sucked and already lost since the first round. I feel quite bad for the 3 winners when they were on stage as both themselves and AAA were rather awkward. It would be nicer if the members were warmer towards them (shake hands? hugs?) instead of just saying congratulations and had an invisible wall.

Before the end, AAA took a picture with the audience from the stage and obviously I would not be visible. Lol. AAA closed the evening with singing Yell and the same problem with the sound system as last night: they sounded great during their individual parts but the sound system could not accommodate when there were more people singing at the same time.

Is that all? The biggest surprise came at the end: the audience was given a chance to high five with all the members on our way out!!! Kyaaaa.... That was totally unexpected and really nice of them. Since I was at the last row, I was the first few to exit which I think was great because it was not crowded yet and the members were still 'fresh' lol. Why do I say that? Because their high 5 (and I grabbed some of their fingers like a handshake) was still energetic. They also maintained eye contact as I said "Please come again." lol and I appreciated that.

So if yesterday I said I would think again to attend their next concert, after tonight, my answer is a yes! Haha... Considering the seats were almost full (my guess is above 90%), I think I am quite lucky to get this ticket as it was given by a lucky draw.  It was indeed an experience and I enjoyed the members' interaction among themselves which was lacking during concert last night.

Lets talk about the merchandise now. I only bought the muffler ($30) and the postcard set with a book cover ($32) yesterday. I did not get the rest since the AAA panda is rather ugly. Lol. I 'sayang' the muffler and I did not take it out to wave it during the Hurricane Riri Boston Mari song last night. The postcard set was quite disappointing as I don't think the poses of the members are great and they all look rather pissed. Bleah.. The postcard at the bottom is what given to everyone after the Fan Club Event tonight. I don't mind paying more for some exclusive merchandises for their Fan Club Event instead of just getting 1 piece of postcard :( Oh well, I guess the high five memory is all that matters.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

AAA Asia Tour 2016 Concert (Singapore)

Dang! I should have snapped a picture of the banner that was flashed on the screen just now. I thought I could find the AAA Asia Tour 2016 banner online but it was not the case. So no picture to accompany this post.

I can finally cross another item from my bucket list: to attend a J-Pop live concert. I like watching J-Pop concerts via youtube or VCD/DVD but the thought of watching a live concert is always not something promising: I hate the heat, I hate the crowd, I hate the noise, etc. I first came to know AAA after they came for a concert in Singapore last year. I started to enjoy their songs and kinda regret that I did not know them earlier or else I would have watched their concert. So when I heard the news of another concert: YOLO! Let's just give it a try.

The concert was at *SCAPE, The Ground Theatre and I am so glad that all the horrors I was expecting from a live concert did not materialise. The concert was planned to begin at 6pm and door opened at 5pm. I reached there at 445 and the queue was already long. I am not familiar with the place so I did not know how long it was but the hall was not filled to the brim. There was still plenty of space and I was standing somewhat at the 'back'. I could still feel the aircon so I did not feel hot. The beginning was a bit turbulent for myself trying to adapt to the bright stage lights and the loud loudspeakers.

I thought the concert itself was pretty good. AAA sang live and they were good. Too bad that the sound system was absolutely horrible. The solo parts were great but when everyone was singing together, the sound system simply could not take it: the sound that came out was horrible. The order of playlist could somehow better because the string of ballads came too early when the audience's energy level was still not hyped up yet.

For the first song, the members were still rather cool but subsequently they warmed up, had plenty of smiles, and seemed genuine when they tried to engage with the audience. I find Hidaka to be the best one in terms of trying to engage with the audience. I think the audience (myself included) was a rather 'dead' audience. Haha.. So it had to be a tough job for AAA members to engage us. To illustrate how 'dead' we were as an audience, we did not even shout for encore. A group of people were singing Happy Birthday and most of us were wondering whose birthday it was. Then only we realised they were saying ''Happy Birthday Triple A" since their anniversary is on 14 September (I may be wrong). Then people started to clap and chanted something that sounded like "Ma-Ri-E" and evolved to "Not the end". I actually had no idea what they were saying and the people around me were equally confused and also asking one another what the people were saying.

The concert itself was rather short: 1 hour (including 5-10 mins talk) followed with a 30 minutes encore. The audience was too diverse (from China, Taiwan, Japan) and the Singaporean might not even make up 50% of the attendees so it was difficult to engage, not to mention with the limited English that the members can speak. What could be done better is that they should have some topics to prepare during the talk parts. There were plenty of awkward silence but again given the profile of the audience, it was really a tough job. One thing that I found missing was the interaction among the members while singing / dancing. There were few occasions but in general it was rather non-existent.

For $130, I honestly feel that it is quite pricey. But hey, at least I can strike off one item from my bucket list. Will I go again if there is another concert next year? Hmm.. I shall think about it. Lol.. If only I got one of their balls earlier, the answer would be a resounding yes.

I am feeling as if I just had a 3 hour detention to stand all the way. So tiring for my legs :( But I am still looking forward to the so called limited fan club event tomorrow. I read that it would not be a concert but it would be more like a talk show and given how bad the parts of interaction with audience today, things can potentially quite disappointing.