Words of Wisdom

In life, we have to choose between the jeans and the cookie jar. Liz Hurley chose the jeans and I chose the cookie jar

~ Nigella Lawson....(on women's body image and her own voluptuous body)

Friday, December 26, 2008

It's Boxing Day.......26th December!

It's Boxing Day today!

In the UK that is. I can never let go of my attachment to my 'adopted' country.

My friends are puzzled when I talk of Boxing Day here as it sounds too bizarre for them. Sure, the only 'boxing' they know is the 'punching' kind. I told them that traditionally, after Christmas, people would pack up things they want to give away to charities in boxes. That's why it's called Boxing Day. You 'box' things up.

However, in these days and age, Boxing Day is the time when huge Stores hold big sales to clear up their Christmas stock. That's why we, the students, loved the day over there. The only problem we had was there usually was no public transport on that day since it was still holiday time. So, we'd go around on foot.

Oh, I came in late today. It was raining and my bed felt like a magnet pulling me towards it like a sucking motion. It was THAT hard to get up.

Therefore, I missed the morning meeting and I didn't know whether Mr. B joined the meeting or not that I wasn't there. I still don't know whether he did by the time I'm typing this. I'm not too bothered to find out.

Why bother? I have a deadline tomorrow and my nephew's birthday is coming on 31st.

I want to enjoy things with my family.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

It's 25th December today!

I'm grateful that it's 25th December today's's a Public Holiday.

After all the fiasco about bonus on Monday, a break is so much welcomed.

Spent the later part of the morning looking for things to buy in a cake supplies shop in the centre of the old Melaka town (now a city).

Got myself the cake tins I'd been looking for. The handmade 9"x9" aluminium square tin instead of the usual machine-extruded ones in big supermarkets. What I love about this baking tin is its sides are vertically straighter than the tapering-out-at-the-top-machine-made one, making it more suitable for layer cakes. I'm still dreaming of making a layer cake someday.

Overall, what I bought today are:

1. 9"x9" square handmade aluminum cake tin with a hood for steam cake recipes
2. 7.5"x7.5" square handmade aluminium cake tin
3. 9" round handmade aluminium cake tin
4. 7.5" round handmade aluminium cake tin
5. Glucose syrup
6. Heavy duty hand glove
7. Reusable baking parchment
8. Watermelon scoop
9. A round 2.5" cookie cutter
10. 1kg high protein flour
11. Mini curry puffs mould to replace the ones I bought but only God knows where they are now

Next time, I'm gonna get myself the following:

1. Rotating cake stand
2. Muffin baking trays.....they are readily shaped for muffins meaning it's okay now to bake muffins without the paper cups.

Left my name for a bargain-price 'buttercream decorating' class next year. I can't believe I just did that.

Oh, I even commit myself for a fondant decorating class somewhere in KL February next year. Expensive this one! I can't believe I agreed to it but hey, I need to get that experience of seeing an expert doing the job.

Besides, paying for a cake-deco class is so much better than paying for a health club membership (come know you won't end up with a body like Jennifer Aniston anyway).

Farewell that jerk boycotting me?

Mr.B refused to attend our daily Section morning meeting since Tuesday. Each time hiding away in probably the guys' restroom, I'm not sure. He's still protesting over his paltry bonus. It sickens me just to think about tomorrow at work.

My Manager returned from the sister branch in the South yesterday. Still steaming over the Mr.B incident. However, he told me a valuable definition of what a bonus is. It is principally "an incentive awarded to an employee for good performance and commitment". Therefore, it is an employer's right whether to grant you one or not. Mr.B is so freaking clueless about what being a good employee is.

Let's leave that jerk aside for awhile.

It's Mickey time......!

One of the Section members is leaving and she has been with us for just a couple of months. Only 19yrs of age, the girl is furthering her studies to be a trained Nurse. Hmmm.....noble profession. Besides, she's pretty and very soft-spoken too. Two qualities that people always like in a Nurse.

Just a few weeks ago, another girl, also an Operator, left from the pressure of the economy. As an Operator, her salary was calculated on a daily basis and believe me, it's not much at all and impossible to live on by today's living standards. It's sad how I keep on losing members for financial reasons.

I remember that I brought a chocolate cake for when the last Operator bid farewell on her last day with us the rest of Section members. For me it's important to show your subordinates your appreciation. Maybe this time, this girl was inspired by my gesture as she brought us a cake with a picture of Mickey Mouse on it. Wow, it's nice to be surprised like this.

*Note: Picture is a plate from Complete Party Packs (click here to buy)

Thank you girl. It's great that in times like these, there are still people who understand the importance of good will.

Oh....just to let you know, it so happened that Mr.B was not around at that time and nobody bothered to invite him for our little Mickey Mouse cake party....ha....ha....

Monday, December 22, 2008

I think I'm a victim to someone's lies at work today......

It's Bonus Day today.

After many speculations, the management made the surprising move of giving out 1.5 worth of basic salary for employees evaluated at Rank C. It's a move welcomed by many as our management are notorious for being stingy with our welfare and benefits.

Today was supposed to be a very happy day for me as I opened my slip to see I wasn't ranked as a C-grade employee. My colleagues even noticed my smiley face after our Division Head handed out the bonus slips. I even texted my Manager who just started his "unofficial" stint at our sister branch, thanking him for the good grade. I was happy. I really was.

That was when Mr. B ruined it for me.

Mr. B apparently claimed that his was way below the average C. Below 1.0. He didn't came up to me of course. What a coward ( he told people I was difficult to talk to simply because I'm female).

He first went to the Asst. Manager expressing his dissatisfaction. The Asst. Manager told him that the higher management had the final say. Not individual division. Mr. B wasn't content with that answer and went to my colleague afterwards, still blaming our division's management for his low grade. My colleagues told him that in the course of our division's history, there had never been anyone given below C ranking.

My colleague even wisely told Mr. B that Section Heads (like myself) were only able to make evaluation once before handing it over to the division's local Managers. Then the division's Japanese Head. Then the HR and finally if the Managing Director decided something else, then everything will be reviewed back. In the end, the final say would come from the Top Management after meetings and reviews and re-reviews(MD, all GMs, Managers, HR Head).

Mr. B then went straight to HR office and the rest of us just couldn't care less and went on doing our work as usual. I was still ecstatic over my grade by the way at that point.

The bomb got dropped on my head as I drove home on the new highway. My Manager called from the South branch to tell me that Mr.B just called him saying that the Manager and I "should watch our steps". I was shocked. From what I could deduce from my Manager's info, the HR Manager apparently told him that the low grade came from us both. Somehow I kind of expected this to happen as we'd known the HR Manager's conniving character very well. It angered me that some people would do anything for their own benefits by stomping on honest individuals like me.

It sickens me that Mr. B actually prefers to trust the HR Manager's words rather than his own Section Head. After all that I had compromised and tolerated for him. It's weird how some people use their brains. Mr. B principally declared a war against the HR Manager when he filed that lawsuit yet I'm the one he would turn his back on first at every chance.

You know what?

I believe in God.

I believe in the afterlife.

I believe in Heaven and Hell.

May those who spread lies about me burn in flames.

Don't tell me that it's un-Heavenly to make such wish but I have never hidden the fact that I have incredibly high tolerance for people until they snap my "pillar of patience" in two.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Helloween Picture Book arrived!

Back:Weiki, Roland, Markus.
Front: Michi, Ingo

Nothing excited me more on Saturday when the package I'd been waiting for the whole week arrived. It was huge and flat. All the way from the US of A. Had to sign it for the mailman.

On Friday the week before, I purchased a collector's item Helloween Picture Book from the 1989 Japanese Tour on eBay. Got to admit that the main reason I wanted it was to get pictures of drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg in his happier days.

Imagine my excitement when I opened up the carefully taped together corrugated paper boards the seller used as shipment packing. Carefully protected in a plastic wrap inside was the A3-size picture book in MINT condition! For a moment, I thought I was back in 1989.

ALL the guys were in their 20s. Thicker big hair, leaner bodies, tight clothing. Pictures of them sight-seeing, fooling around with a circus troop, rehearsing before the concert, sunbathing........without a lot of clothes on........ahem.....ha....ha.

Now I don't feel that much regret spending a large sum on this. I wouldn't say how much it cost me. A LOT!

Nice to say that there was a section in the book where the guys in the band were asked to fill in a questionnaire. I think I have a great instinct when it comes to choosing the rock stars to have a crush on or to fall in love with. Somehow, they always are the ones who coincidentally have the qualities of my ideal man. Let's just say I discovered more things about Ingo that confirms why I was drawn to him back then even when I didn't know much about him at all. I never would have thought that he liked the movie Casablanca.

My ideal man isn't perfect. He has flaws and is vulnerable but he's sensitive when he needs to be and can still be manly when he wants to be. He has the smile that shines and the longing-for-love look in his eyes like a baby. People say I seek perfection. Not true.

All I want is someone who deserves to be loved by me.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

They're cutting off my Manager!

The economic downturn made a shocking turn on the factory I'm working for.

In a move that seems like a conspiracy to us, the management forced my Manager to be transferred to the sister branch down south last week. They gave him the ultimatum, it was either the transfer or 3-months notice before being let off the company totally. That's being asked to resign in other words.

It was shocking to us because "the old man" as we affectionately refer to him has been at the helm of Quality Control (QC) from the roots.

It angered me that they're doing this to someone like him meaning the management really don't even look at the rest of us with one eye. Let alone two eyes. In a split second, someone like me can easily be forced to be transferred to a remote branch or being asked to leave.

It's hard to let it sink in that "the old man" really is leaving us and will be the one answering the phone when we contact the QC Department of the sister company in the remote South.

After working here for 8 years, I have many memories of "the old man" I've grown to see as the father figure in the office. Also to say that sometimes I've been an absolute a**hole towards him especially when I'm not happy about things at work.

I have to say that over the years, I've grown fond of "the old man" as he has always been someone we can all talk to and joke with and rely on to protect us when we engage in silly things such as calling in late to the office for the stupidest reason i.e " alarm clock didn't work".

I've been wondering since last week what it would be like for us without him and what it would like for him without us. He surely would find it hard to live with his old-fashioned way at the sister branch where you have to be independent to survive. By old-fashioned, I mean he's not very well-versed in the IT department and constantly needs our guidance when he thinks his PC doesn't work.

Now I heard they're sending another surplus manager from another Division to replace him. That angers me. This is clearly a conspiracy to bring our "old man" down. Almost every Division in this factory have a surplus of Managers and Assistant Managers and yet the management has chosen to kick out OUR manager from a tiny Division.

As his days here are approaching the end, I have chosen to console myself by thinking that "the old man" hasn't really gone but merely going on a very long business trip to the South.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Check you motherboard capacity before upgrading your RAM!

If I had been a carton character, I would've been tearing my hair out right now.....literally.

It's December and the PC Fair has come to my hometown state of Melaka again.

It's bigger this time most notably the speaker booths were all lined up facing a gaming centre on the top floor of Mahkota Parade. It's practical because the speaker vendors need to blast out their products and the noise would "complement" the noise from the gaming centre.

I have TWO purposes of going this time.

One is to replace my 'dead' FM Modulator and another is to buy a 1Gb RAM stick to upgrade my 667mHZ 512RAM which has proven to be very slow now with the many applications I've installed over the whole year.

Checking my Kingston RAM stick, I entered the code KVR667D2N5/512 into my cellphone as a reminder. I also entered my motherboard model code VIA P4M800PRO-DDR2 just to make sure I wouldn't mistake a DDR2 RAM with a DDR1.

Seems mistake-proof, huh?


Getting greedy with the vast array of choices available, I went on asking for a 2Gb RAM stick with confidence instead of the 1 Gb I intended to get originally yesterday.

Came home just to find that with my existing 512Mb RAM, the total RAM only added up to 1.4Gb. I was disappointed. I thought there was some kind of mistake with the RAM stick. Working in an electronic factory, I couldn't help thinking that the manufacturer had made a mistake at their assembly line.

I went back to the booth today telling the salesguy that the product was wrongly labelled. He said to me to take the RAM stick to their shop on Tuesday withmy PC to check whether my PC was not able to take more than 2Gb of RAM.

His words struck me. Hmmm........why didn't I check my motherboard capacity?

Went back home again and Googled the following :

"What is the maximum RAM for VIA P4M800PRO-DDR2 motherboard?"

Within seconds, the answer were listed. The motherboard was only able to take "up to 2Gb" only. The term "up to" does not mean you will get 2Gb. You can't. Also, with my two RAM slots, it can only take 1Gb stick max for each slot. So, my 2Gb will still register as 1Gb only. Oh, I feel so ancient.....ha...ha....and what a waste of my money!

Oh....foolish me.

Next time, before upgrading anything, please Google your motherboard first for what it can and cannot take.

I've learned my lessons.....thank you.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Blackout again........wish I watched Twilight that night

Went to watch the new teen vampire romance movie 'Twilight' on Saturday morning with my sister.

Oh.....I wish we had gone to the night showing because our village went into another blackout that night.

The only thing I could do to amuse me was taking pictures as my camera was the only modern creation that functioned that night in my room.

As I took a couple of shaky pictures of the items on the little dresser by my bed, I was transported back to my yesteryears as I laid my eyes on each and every one of them.

The candle and momentos 1
The candle and the momentos

From r. to l. :

1. The candle I have as standby all the time in case of blackouts, the water container for the first sip when I wake up from sleep,

2. The 'plate' I got for entering a spelling bee contest when I was 16 (which I lost BTW),

3. The little alarm clock I hardly use nowadays as I use my cellphone to wake me up,

4. The Eiffel Tower mini replica my dear buddy got me on her class trip to Paris,

5. The globe pencil sharpener I bought at Williams Castle (wait.....was it another castle in Notts instead?) because I wanted a globe so much but couldn't afford a real one,

6. A mini torchlight I bought at a night market as the 'twin' to the one I bought for my ex-bf,

7. The photo frame my dear buddy gave me when we were 18 which she specifically asked to use to put the picture of my love object (thye never stayed long enough to qualify for that frame my friend........haha),

8. My glasses for the occasional days I can't wear contacts,

9. Lastly, the little alarm clock that my father gave me when I started A Level and kept my time throughout my days in the UK.

Wow.......I can't imagine losing any of them. That would be like erasing important defining moments in the history of my life.