Friday, July 21, 2006

19th Floor, Plaza OSK

Managing people is tough work indeed.

I've got three subordinates (2 gals and 1 guy) in my little team, all with very different characters, and it's really been a challenge adapting to each individual's style of communicating, working, and understanding.

X, the second person to join my team and the longest serving member among the three (the first guy resigned over a year ago), is a really fun guy to be around. Slightly chubby, his incessant cravings for KFC, ridiculous jokes and occassional childish antics make for good entertainment in our department when we're bored. Smart guy, but he mostly thrives on spontaneity and I think doesn't process ideas rationally at times. Pretty often, he speaks faster than he thinks. Not really advisable when you're advising clients on multi-million ringgit deals! Aside from that, he has contributed his fair share to our bottomline, and pretty much gets the job done.

Y, the most senior among the three, gives me the most headaches. She is my age and had worked for over 3 years in Ernst & Young before joining OSK 2 years ago. So, if experience is determined by the number of years one has worked, then she definitely has got one up on me as I happen to be the youngest team head here. So what's my problem with her then? I've thought hard about this and I think it simply boils down to the feeling that she doesn't take too well to instructions and wants to do things HER way (inspired by Dr M presumably). Well, while I think things have improved, it used to be a real struggle communicating my ideas to her because it always seemed as if she was not keen to listen, or that maybe she considered my ideas not really worth her "precious time". Can you imagine two people talking at the same time?! That's what happens sometimes when I try to explain something to her! I don't know whether the "lack of respect" is derived from the fact that she supposedly has got "more experience", but working with her has been challenging to say the least. And it's not exactly that she does a great job with her work anyway.

Z is the baby of our team, being the youngest among the three. I think the relationship initially started off pretty frostily with her seeming quiet and even aloof at times. Thankfully, all that ice has melted away and she is really quite a darling not just within my team, but throughout the department. She learns things fast, is critical in her thinking, is quick and efficient, and possesses an independent attitude that's really congruent with my style of working. I think all those attributes more than make up for her lack of experience.

As I draw closer to my 4th anniversary in OSK, I guess a question that's been playing in my mind is whether it's time to move on to other pastures; whether the next step of growth actually lies somewhere out there in the corporate wilderness, rather than this grassy plain that I've grown so accustomed to.

I'm certainly praying that God will reveal to me a clearer picture of His plans for me for the future. But wait, perhaps I misunderstand how God works. He's no fortune-teller.

It's about trusting him to lead me into the new Promised Land which He has prepared for me. It's about putting my hand in His and letting Him lead me in this dance of life.

I may not get a clear picture of God's plans for me, but I'll follow Him nonetheless and trust that He knows the way.

Well, I guess that's faith for you.
And that's enough.


This post has been subsequently edited.

My sincere apologies go out to those who may have been offended by the contents of this post. Please note that while it was never my intention to offend, I maintain my stand that this blog represents my honest and private thoughts, which I do hope you would respect.

To YOU who thrives in spreading discord, I don't know what YOUR intentions are, but let me just say that abhor YOUR actions. I'm disappointed in YOU.

And to YOU, please do not take my silence as ignorance. Don't think for even a second that I'm ignorant of what YOU did. If there's one thing I despise about people, it's the horrible habit of gossiping and I certainly do not appreciate YOU going around and talking behind my back. While I have forgiven YOUR actions and put the past behind, forgetting doesn't come so easy. Don't take me for a fool.

Monday, July 17, 2006

a taste of the divine

These are good times indeed. Well, not quite the best of times, but I guess that little setback from perfection keeps our hearts anticipating and longing for the perfect world that God will prepare for us in the future.

I've been kept busy with work, with a major submission to the Securities Commission due this week for a new structured derivative product. No late nights however, thankfully!

Bukit Kiara remains one of my favourite hangout spots and I've been consistently hitting the slopes over the last 2 weeks with Bing. There's nothing like a nice jog up and down the hill to work those muscles and to get that ol' heart pumping. And when fatigue sets in, simply slow down and let good conversations take over!

Somehow also managed to squeeze in a badminton session with the guys during the weekend. The cousins, now back from the States, also joined us. And my singles match winning streak over a certain RR continues...haha!

Wrapped up the weekend with a splendid thank you dinner hosted by the new Tay household for the wedding helpers last night. It was a night of reliving our childhood at the playground swings, see-saws and slides, chomping down an exquisite spread prepared by the host and hostess, hilarious conversations on the now infamous i-Gallop, refusing to share "shareable" portions of decadent pancakes and ice cream for dessert, taunting with "haunted" trophies, drowning "sorrows" with duty-free Langkawi alcoholic mixes, and in the midst of all the chaos, catching Sports Illustrated - Swimsuit Models, Pimp My Ride, and Alexander on the idiot box. Guess one should never expect anything less when you put a rowdy bunch of Gasing-ites (including members who have since defected) together.

Some pictures from last night and from the wedding earlier this month...

The Tays.

Violations of playground maximum age regulations were spotted at the see-saw...

At the swing...

And at the slide.

Open lid to access good food.

And a little flashback to the 1 of July 2006...

The Tays and I.

With the young adults.

Skyline! Gabe's dream bridal car became a reality.

I'm telling you this thing is rigged. Za caught the bouquet =p

Now at the dinner banquet, Eugene introduces us to his date, Evangelina =p

Bing and I.

With Marie.

And Cher Ru.

No alcohol was served but Ee Lin brought her own that night.

Danny and KH with bashful Adrian.

The experts from The Photoz weaving photographic magic.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

longing for home

One day soon we will round a bend in the road and our dreams will come true. We really will live happily ever after. The long years in exile will be swept away in the joyful tears of our arrival home. Every day when we rise, we can tell ourselves, My journey today will bring me closer to home, it may be just around the bend.

All that we long for, we shall have; all we long to be, we will be. All that has hurt us so deeply - the dragons and nits, the Arrows and our false lovers, and Satan himself - they will all be swept away.

And then real life begins.
- Brent Curtis & John Eldredge, The Sacred Romance.

Monday, July 03, 2006

a holiday and then another

I'm contemplating an interesting proposition on a trip to Bali next week. The prospect of spending four days basking on sunny beaches sounds almost too good to let up!

The only drawback would be that I would have to sacrifice two days of unpaid leave. poor already lah...

Anyway, here are some pictures taken in UK and Ireland!

Mum and I in London!

We caught The Lion King which was showing at the Lyceum Theatre in London. Tickets cost a bomb but the show itself was THE bomb!

Sausages and mash...yum!

Mum, Victor and I on the banks of the Loch Ness in Scotland.

The family minus Vincent at Vic's convo at Trinity College, Dublin.

And the Voon-Chong clan gets its first doctor!

Clarence Hotel in Dublin, which I found out was owned by U2.

Mum and I cooking up a storm in Vic's apartment.

Lunch with Andrea at Han Yang Korean restaurant. Everyone say "KIMCHI!!"

We celebrated Father's Day over Irish stews, Guiness pot pies, Bailey's Irish Cream cheesecakes, pints of Guiness, and this Irish dance stage performance which was like watching a mini Riverdance.

Ancient graves and monasteries in Monasterboice.


Another food stop...Irish stew again!

Vic, Adeline and I.

One of my favourite shots of the trip.

Lin does her best impersonation of Simba.

Up in the Wicklow Mountains.

The bea-u-tiful Sally Gap. The movie Braveheart was shot in this region.