Friday, October 27, 2017

First test of leadership

After thinking about the matter over last weekend, I finally decided to open my mouth and break my silence to my team members. I worried that I would end up scolding them but I think I did pretty well to remain calm despite my strongly worded speech and threats.

I do not want to micromanage and I give everyone flexibility, autonomy, and authority in hope that everyone will take their own initiative to help to manage branch operations and staff. Sadly the reality is just like the famous internet story:
"This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have."

So I gave everyone 1 last month of chance. If everyone remains bo chup, clearly the current method does not work. I will have to be more dictatorial and start rostering, putting everyone as the responsible person for certain things, demand updates, and make own decisions. It sounds more work to be wanting to be in control of all aspects but it is better to take control to prevent things from getting haywire instead of current state that eventually I need to take control but usually after things are haywire because the people who are supposed to be responsible are just bo chup.

Not an easy thing to have this kind of difficult talk but I am glad that I did it. I remain truthful to my principle to be open about things instead of hiding them and then only air all the dirty laundry during appraisal.

I am so tired with work and life in general. With limited time, there is just so much that I can do and certain things have to give away. Gym definitely affects the time and activity that I am left with after work. But I guess gym is a good activity, better than gaming, and better than to continue working at home. My CPIP final presentation is in exactly 4 weeks time and I am so screwed. I don't even have time to analyse the data so far. Don't even talk about slides, results, costings, etc. Die liao la.

Things are a bit slack in the past 2 days as I am away for course at Jurong. I made use of the lunch time to walk around Westgate and JEM and I finally decided to buy new working pants. I bought Kando Pants from Uniqlo at $59.90. It is expensive but I am desperate as one my newer pants were 'burnt' by the lady who ironed my clothes and already has a hole. I made special effort to get it at Plaza Singapura so that I can get capita star points. All the time and special effort made were wasted as in the end I forgot to scan the receipt. Stupid me :(

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Still no progress

Another quarter has passed and this is my result. As seen from the photo that I took after the test, I am getting lousier that I only took the picture halfway and did not realise about it. Haiz.. Anyway before I forget:
~Pull up hold: 38 sec
~Push up: 23
~Squat: 56
~Burpee: 23
~Tabata protocol: all the missing boxes should be 8

Ok la, actually I did show some improvement from the previous quarter. I actually wanted to slack a bit by choosing goblet squat and tabata with dumbbell initially. I did not think I could go any faster for my normal squat (my thighs were giving away and I nearly fell down after the test in July) and I always dropped the ball halfway for tabata and hence I wanted to just do a 5kg dumbbell.

The coach knew my intention and did not let me. So it was quite a surprise that I still could go even faster for my squat and I managed to not drop the ball for tabata. The coach asked me not to do so fast for the tabata as the aim would be to make sure that I had the ball all the way.

So the plan for me next would be to do jump pull up all the way (instead of slacking to squat pull again when I am lazy or tired) and I have to work on my stamina. I was told that I could go faster if I did not 'control' the movement so much. Usually I am concerned about the form and I do not want to be breathless so I will control my movement.

Previously I needed 3 days rest after a quarterly test before I could go for normal session. This time I went only after 2 days. I survived although I regretted that I did not wait another day. Hahaha.. but the fact that I survived means that this is another improvement to recover faster. But ultimately, the actual goal that I want is still not achieved: weight loss :(

Sunday, October 22, 2017

International selling

When I started selling my old and unwanted toys, I never imagined I would ever sell to overseas buyers. It is even more surprising that the channel that got me overseas buyer is Carousell which is based in Singapore. I decided to give it a try after eBay and forum hardwarezone did not seem to work for me anymore.

The first one I sold was Final Fantasy VIII Transcendent's Artist Collection: Rinoa & Siren. This was sold in mid-2016 and I forgot to write about it. After getting an undamaged one in Jakarta, I have been putting the damaged one on sale. This figure gave me a lot of headache a few years ago because of a stupid proxy Shopping Mall Japan (the posts are here and here) and I better not keep anything that reminds me of that bad experience. The buyer was from Spain. I felt so bad for him because the statue was damaged and EMS from Singapore was about $200. In total it was a crazy amount for a damaged figure. Well since he was very sure on getting this, I was also more than happy to sell. As a collector myself, I can understand the occasional irrational behaviour when it comes to buying collectibles.
Spent about USD 900 with the damaged Squall & Bahamut. Sold this for USD 600.
I do not post much about Final Fantasy Chrome as it took me a few years to complete it and then got lazy to take photos and post about it. Some were bought as bundles and I end up with few duplicates. Thus I am in the midst of selling the duplicates. I managed to sell one yesterday to a buyer in Japan. I just find it amusing that I bought this from a seller in Japan and now I am selling it to another person in Japan.
Sold for $200 so that is quite a nice $50 profit
The thing about selling internationally is Paypal is usually the go to method for safe transaction. Unfortunately, paypal fee is about 5% of the transaction value. I personally hate it when seller passes on the fee to the buyer and therefore I myself am not doing that. So usually I will just suck it up but of course in the future if there are more foreign buyers, I guess I have start splitting half-half.

Lastly, I managed to sell the Dream Kingdom book that I just bought at Kyoto during last month's trip for $20 and it still did not help to cure my heartache for spending $45 for importing one before the trip. The buyer happened to be attending FF concert too so at least that I did not have to make special arrangement for it.

Thank God for the 2 items sold yesterday and I pray for more things to find buyers soon.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Final Fantasy Distant Worlds ~ Jiritsu

Jiritsu means 30 years old and that is to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Final Fantasy series. This year also marks the 10th year anniversary of Final Fantasy Distant Worlds concerts which started during the 20th anniversary of Final Fantasy series. To mark the special occasion, Nobuo Uematsu himself was present to attend the concert.

I was expecting something special to mark the special occasion but it turned out to be disappointing. I went for the concert last year (read the post here) and almost everything that I wrote is still relevant for this year's concert since the concert venue, the orchestra, and the conductor are all still the same.

The repertoire is seriously worse this year. It may be the first time some songs are played for Distant Worlds but choosing the less popular tunes and the mellow ones as the first few songs really bring the mood down. Even the more upbeat songs end with an anti-climatic tune instead of a loud orchestra kind of bang. This year's concert definitely did not sell out as on my level, the right wing was only 30-40% filled. My row and the row behind me were half empty after the first half. Arnie did not engage the audience as much as last year and I believe the audience were also less crazy than last year. Overall, the energy level was poor and disappointing even for the 'Sephiroth' chants during One Winged Angel.

Nobuo Uematsu was there in the audience and I was surprised that Arnie did not have more interactions with him. I thought it would be nice if Uematsu-san were to conduct 1 song as an encore but that did not happen. He ran to join the choir instead for One Winged Angel. But hey he seems to be a very nice and easy-going man and he clearly enjoyed and had fun.

One song that really blew my mind is FF 6 Opera song. It features several styles of music (from opera, waltz, game kind of music) and it also features soloists. With a grand ending, this is the kind of fantastic song for a live orchestra.

Medley is missing and I am still hoping for Dissidia ending theme song that features a glimpse of soundtrack from each series.

I missed the merchandise last year so I arrived earlier at about 630pm and I queued for merchandise for about 40 minutes. I only bought the concert booklet which is very expensive at $35 and they did not even have a carrier bag! Seriously.. There were Chocobo and Mog's plushie for 30th anniversary for $60 each. Only 100 pcs for each and it was sold out by the time I was there. Crazy.. Lucky I already bought them when I was in Japan. The shirt was reasonably priced for concert merchandise at $25 but the design is too plain to get me interested.

I bought the cheapest ticket this year for $72.50 with restricted view. Never ever I will do this again as I wanted to watch a live concert/orchestra, not watching a live screening through a monitor. After 2 years of disappointment, I am not sure if my fanboy energy is enough to convince me to again if there is another one next year -which I doubt since this year's was not sold out and the audience was rather emo too.
The small monitor should just show the VIDEO on screen. Clearly the person who makes this never sit here. The orchestra is visible and there is no need to show them again from the monitor. What we cannot see is the screen and showing the whole stage on the monitor makes the screen too small and we still cannot see anything

Sunday, October 15, 2017

USS Halloween Horror Nights 2017

I don't like USS and I swear I will never go in to pay. In fact the only 2 times I went to USS were because I had free tickets. I broke my promise as I paid about $50 for USS Halloween Horror Nights yesterday. A colleague recommended it as part of a team bonding so I said okay. Few weeks later she was transferred to another branch and I felt really really sian to go. Haiz..

The entry time began at 730pm. Since I worked and I had volunteering, I was deliberately late. Haha.. I only reached home at 7pm, had a quick snack for dinner since I doubted I would eat at USS, washed my face, and then left home at 730pm. Glad I was not kiasu since my friends queued for almost 1.5 hours just to enter the USS. Wew..

I wanted to go Sentosa through the board walk but my friend recommended to take 188R or 963R. It was a new information that there are public buses to Sentosa now. The bus frequency is once every 30 minutes so I should go via the board walk also. Not to mention that the timing for both buses were not searchable via sgbuses app.

I did not have to queue to enter (yay!) but right from the start I already felt kinda meh. I know it is for halloween but it was just freaking dark. It was so painful for the eyes and the brain to try to look for ways and avoid bumping to others/things in such low lighting and at the same time people were wearing devil horns with blinking lights.

Since I experienced the Halloween event in USJ a few weeks ago, I can't avoid making comparisons. USS scare zone is definitely done more elaborately but I find that it covers too small of the area. It is quite unfortunate that the lighting was too dark that all the hard work to make all the props and make-ups cannot really be appreciated by the visitors. Nah.. don't even consider think of photos unless you have a very atas camera.

My friends were still queue-ing for their first attraction when I arrived so I decided to just walk around. As previously, in just less than an hour, I completed 1 round already. Surprisingly, the eateries were not crowded at all. I guess everyone was so excited to go for the ride instead of eating.

In total I experienced 3 haunted houses: the shaman one, the shopping mall one, and the mind of the psycho killer one. The estimated time were 160 mins for the first one although the actual time was about half an hour less. As it was getting less, the waiting time for the later ones were shorter but still in between 1-2 hours. We left close to 130am (the official closing time mentioned is 130am anyway) because someone was driving. Otherwise I would leave at 1030pm. Haha.. I reached home at 2am and I am still feeling tired today. Age is catching up real quick.

It may not be fair to compare as I only went for 1 halloween attraction in USJ but I am quite disappointed with USS one. There were too many people and we were just walking continuously and swiftly as a group through the haunted houses. I did not find it scary or exciting as you could see what would happen or who would jump out just by seeing the people in front of you. The zombie forest I tried in USJ was more exciting because entry was for small groups and subsequently the path diverged and the group became even smaller at certain sections. That would be more exciting. Nonetheless, thumbs up for the props and decoration in the haunted houses.

I can't understand how people would pay for this kind of thing, queue for hours (and having black faces and complaining while doing so), and scream like mad with the attractions. They all should know what they are signing up for.

I guess I am too mature for halloween stuff as it is quite easy to predict what will happen. When there is a curtain or a door, there is a high chance someone will jump. When there are mannequins, there will be a few which are humans, and so on. Having said that, I am still childish enough to enjoy Disneyland :p

After last night, my impression remains: I don't like USS and I swear I will never go in to pay again.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Wayang king

It has been a long time that I do not rant about work and I think it is time for one. 2 months ago I asked my boss to transfer someone with more experience to my branch. Wish was not granted. I was given someone relatively new with the reason that it would be easier for me to manage a new staff. Furthermore she is someone cheerful and sunny which will inject some positivity to negate my negativity.

Last week I was informed that this person would be transferred again. Sigh.. all my hard work to train her and to gel her with the team just went to the drain. This time I would get someone with more experience as she has been working for >1 year. Did not I ask for someone with this kind of traits just 2 months ago?

Lucky I was informed through phone as if it were done face to face, I don't think I can hide my displeasure. When asked if I had any concerns, I actually sarcastically asked "Do I have a choice?". My boss laughed and said "No actually you don't". So what is the point of all the pleasantries? A few weeks later she mentioned that she forgot that another girl from my branch lives in the west or otherwise she would transfer her. Err.. as if it matters to me WHO get transferred. What matters to me is as long the transfer affects my branch, I will have to do the extra work to get the team together again and to train the new person again.

The change will only be effective this coming Monday and yesterday I received another phone call that this new person may not be permanent at my branch. Seriously.. what the hell.. Nah this time I did not even bother to say or ask anything. What's the point? Haiz..

I did not have time to do my own work for the past week as I am busy with clearing people's shit all the time. Currently I have 2 new staff who are giving me headache. My colleagues are in charge of their training but now that it is reaching a crunch time, I have to do something while my own pre-reg is doing his external rotation. 1 is to be confirmed in 1 month time and I had to do the dirty work to inform her the expectations or else she will not be confirmed as a staff. Imagine.. just after 3 months in this new role and I have gain karma by sacking people already. The other person is worse as she was confirmed by another branch and then transferred to me. Seriously if the other branch was just confirming her so that she could be thrown to me, it was a dick move. I already informed my boss that if within 1 week this person could not be independent, I want her to be transferred back to the branch that confirmed her. Eat your own shit, man!

I am also quite pissed with my colleagues who are in charge of their training but they are not doing anything extra to solve the problem. But I just heard one is planning to leave so whatever la.

The past 2 days are also a reminder how unfit I am to be in a leadership position. I still find it difficult to control my emotion. Deep in my heart, I want to be someone understanding that people will make mistakes and so on. But when their mistakes become problems for me to solve, I just lose my cool as it will just eat my own time for my own work.

I finally saw the end product of the video that was filmed few months ago. The voiceless acting part exceeded my expectations. In fact, I could not believe the faces that I made in the video. No way my face was like that in real life. Haha.. it was fully fake and called acting after all. The interview part was really embarrassing. I did not really pay attention to the words that I said as I was already so ashamed with my voice and my accent. Anyway I know my voice is so 'unique' that it always sounds very weird when it goes to any electronic device whether it is phone, microphone, PA system etc. I think I sounded like a small kid :( The accent was completely unexpected as people keep telling me that my Singlish is very good so it was really surprising that in the video it was damn obvious from my accent that I am a foreigner. As much as I am curious to listen to my words in the video, I think it was a blessing in disguise that I was too distracted to listen. Otherwise I would be very critical of myself with my choice of words or the unintentional grammar mistakes if there was any. I am so jealous of the other people in the video: how good and natural they are in the interview part. Obviously a career change is not an option for me anymore.

On a happier note, my photo has appeared in the corporate website and I am very happy that the quote picked for the caption the one more professional sounding. Lol. I think I look too giggly in the photo that it is obvious that I am wayang-ing again. Haha..

There are few people who asked me why I remove my specs for the photo or video. Obviously it is so that people cannot recognise me in real life. Haha.. another reason is because I think I look better without specs. So now it is left with the fall prevention video that I have not seen. I think this would be the most embarrassing one as I am acting with talking in this one T_T

Sunday, October 1, 2017

First race/run

I just completed CSC Run 2017 today. Few months ago, my colleagues and I were so excited about this as none of us had ever joined this kind of run. We joined out of curiosity and just to experience it. As the day came closer, we were feeling more and more dreadful. Last night I was regretting why I even thought of joining. I was so self conscious about what to wear for the race as I find the race singlet to be revealing. In the end I decided to just heck and still wear it as it is. Fat then fat lo. I think I can see a bit of improvement from the gym. At least now my arms show some definition of the biceps compared to the last time I took a photo with a singlet in Bintan 3 years ago.

I only trained once a few weeks ago before my Japan trip and my body was sore for the next 2-3 days. I did note even complete 5km lol. From that experience, I chose not to train again this week and just whack during the race. Thank goodness that I was able to complete the 5km. Running around the track and running around the city is a huge difference. The flag off time was 745am and I was done by 825am. That was much faster than my initial expectation of 1 hour. Not to mention that I only started jogging after the 1km mark. There was only 1 water point near the u-turn and as always, once I stopped, it was difficult to restart again. Subsequently it was an alternate jogging and walking.

The race starting and ending point was at Marina Barrage and the nearest MRT is at Bayfront. I think we spent more time on the way to MRT to take photos with our medals than the actual time spent for the race itself. Haha.. Not expected from a bunch of first time runners. I am pretty happy that I did not feel as tired or sore as the one and only training few weeks ago. Right now I am feeling more tired from the lack of sleep last night rather than from the race.

Finally I have met my target to experience this kind race/run and I don't think I will do this again in the future. I am not a fan of running/jogging after all.

It has only been 1 week since my holiday but my energy level is back to what it was before the holiday. Work really sucks. Not to mention that next week is already October and I just have to start throwing some interventions for my project.

I should have suspended my gym membership another week and to restart in October. It was kinda wasted since I only went for 2 times this week. I am still very lazy and tired. I have not even got the time to look and organise the photos taken in Japan.

I gained a few kgs when I went to Japan in 2015 and I am really scared to weigh myself. After a week, I decided to accept reality and I am very pleased that I actually lose weight! Omg omg I am back to 64kg. It has been a long time since I could get back to less than 65kg. I better not waste this opportunity to return to my cereal dinner everyday.