Friday, July 27, 2007

Random Ramblings Not Worth Reading #5


Woohooo!!!!!!

With The Sheep being away, life at the office is expected to improve somewhat. Nobody to breathe down my neck, nobody to dump some urgent things on me at 6pm just as I’m about to leave the office, nobody to bug me with unimportant stuff while I’m rushing to beat the deadline for matters of topmost priority and most importantly, no annoying baa-baa sound to be heard from that corner of the office. Life is indeed a bliss.

The Sheep Has Left The Building!


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I’m thinking of taking time off work to go to Phuket, but I’m kinda scared. Would I be lying on the same beach where hundreds if not thousands of people lay dead more than 2 years ago? Not that I believe in the supernatural or anything but hey, watching all those Thai horror movies do have an effect on me somewhat.

Maybe I’ll just go to Bali, but then again, Bali too, has its own curse.

Ah well, perhaps I’ll just be like a total nerd and go to PD instead.

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Much have been said in blogosphere about the current trend of politicians accusing bloggers of this and that. Lawsuits, criminal investigations and police reports have been widely used to shut people up. Of course it is worrying, and of course there are human rights violations, but isn’t this how it has been for how many decades already? The very people who have practiced it then and the very people who have been supporting people who practiced it then, are the ones who are now going against it as if it is just beginning.

The only difference I see is that, now, people can speak louder. And in handling this little problem of theirs, the powers-that-be employ methods that, shady though they may be, are still a tad more civilized than the draconian ISA which was so widely used back in the days.

Of course, a wrong by any other name is still a wrong, no question about that. I just find that it’s funny how things turn out now, that’s all.

But hey, what do I know?


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Tomorrow is Saturday.

But I gotta work. DRAT!!

Zut, zut et zut!

Monday, July 23, 2007

HP7

Muggles came out from their dainty little houses all over the world last Saturday to buy J.K. Rowling’s last Harry Potter book. The book, I heard, sold out in all the major bookstores within hours. Indeed, Harry Potter is undoubtedly the world’s best loved character in a book.

In Malaysia, the bookstores have been promoting it like crazy for months now, only to have 4 popular bookstores, MPH, Times, Popular and Harris, pull out from the sale at the last minute in protest to the sale of the books by Tesco and Carrefour hypermarkets at RM40 cheaper than the retail price. With the price war going on, the booksellers’ decision not to sell the books is considered by many as a lost cause.

We all can sympathize with the booksellers when they grumble about these hypermarkets ‘stealing’ businesses away from them. But I doubt if backing off from the sale altogether is the solution. Consumers always have choices, if they can’t find what they want at one place, they’ll go to another. It is not all about price. Many readers actually still went to MPH to buy the book despite knowing about the price slash at the hypermarkets (to their disappointment of course since the books are not available there unless you have pre-ordered them). In fact, Borders, which is not too far away from Tesco, had all its HP7 books sold out in a matter of hours. So, if MPH decided not to sell, it is their loss.

As for me, as much as I love Harry Potter, I am actually a very patient person. I haven't bought HP7 because it is in hardcover. My collections of hardcover books include law, history, archeology and philosophy books, you know, the serious stuff. I never buy fiction in hardcover. I don’t see the need for it. I can wait a year or two for the paperback edition to come out. Then, I can buy it at even cheaper price than what Tesco and Carrefour are selling now.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all about money. It’s just about making my bookshelves look organised. My entire fiction collection is in paperback, including Harry Potter 1 to 6. So, I can’t now add HP7 in hardcover, can I? It will not look nice and even with the rest of the collection on my bookshelves.

What can I say, I’m weird that way.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Say Thanks, Will Ya!!

Every now and then, I would travel on the LRT during rush hours. At times like that, I consider it a miracle if I were to get a seat. Even if I do actually find one, I would inevitably have to give it up because somehow or rather, old people and pregnant ladies always find themselves drawn to me like magnets and therefore within barely half a minute of enjoying that hard seat, I would find myself staring into these old people’s swollen knuckles and pregnant women’s bellies. Always, as all the seated men are either busy reading or pretending to be fast asleep, I had no choice but to give up my seat for all these people who needed it more.

I won’t lie and say I’ll gladly give up my seat for every old people and pregnant women out there. I’m not that holy or noble. I do it only because I have to (Hey, I'm just being honest, ok!).

When I’m in a crowded train, normally I’m dead tired and would be ready to collapse at any minute. So, I’d want to get a seat so that I can relax a bit. But there would always be that thing at the back of my mind saying, “That uncle needs the seat more than you do”, or “That makcik is about to faint soon”, or “That kakak might just go into labour now if she has to stand for another minute!”.

In any event, I would always remember that as hard as it is for me to stand, it’s even harder for them to do the same. So, I stood up, and act all noble and holy, and gave my seat to those who needed it more.

It would ease my pain a bit if they say thank you. That tiny bit of gratitude for the much coveted seat would give me a good night sleep that night. I’d feel good about myself and feel much more willing to help others the next time for the sheer pleasure of lending a helping hand.

Sadly though, more often than not, when I give up my seat, the recipient would quietly just sat down and acted as if the seat was theirs to begin with, and I get nothing, NOTHING!!! Not a thank you, not a smile, not a simple nod of acknowledgement. Heck, they don’t even want to look at me in the eye. It’s as if I’m the scum of the earth or something.

Yeah, I know, some holier-than-thou creatures out there will be telling me not to expect credit or acknowledgement when I help people. Sure, keep telling yourself that. I’m sure if you do lend a helping hand, you would publicize it like there’s no tomorrow and dramatize the goodness of your heart till people think you are the reincarnation of Mother Theresa. Go ahead and say whatever you want. Just please don’t preach to me about not expecting anything in return.

I gave my seat up, and my feet were swollen from standing too long. Don’t tell me not to expect a thank you for that!

One of the first things our mothers taught us when we were little was to say thank you. It’s an expression of gratitude, to be said when something is given or done to us, for which we are thankful. In fact, whether we are indeed thankful for it or not, good manners dictate that you say thank you every single time someone does something nice to us.

Orang berbudi kita berbahasa, isn’t that how the old saying goes?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Lunch On Me, But My Office Is Paying

I was talking to Naz a while ago about some people who take advantage of their company all the time, whether in terms of expenses or office hours. We all have come across incidences of such nature I reckon, and I bet many of us are even a party to it at one point to another.

It’s not uncommon to hear about executives throwing a birthday bash for their friends and submitting a claim at the office the next day for entertaining clients.

Or, officers traveling outstation for leisure purposes and charging the expenditures to the office for purportedly attending meetings.

Or, clerks using office computers and printers during office hours to do their little side businesses.

The list is endless. There are many ways to save money or to earn extra money or just to relax, all at the expense of the company. All you need is just a little bit of creativity.

In my early years in practice, I used to take advantage of my daily trips to court. Say, if the actual works at the courts are done by 9.30 am, I would just lepak at Warung Uncle Don with some friends, eating Mee Rebus and sembang-sembang till noon. Sometimes, when I had to go to Seremban or Malacca in the morning and I got things sorted out by 10, I would rush back to KL immediately only to go watch the matinee show at KLCC at 11 am. Then I’d go back to the office at 2.30, acting all tired and telling my boss, “Just came back from Seremban, boss!”. And he would nod and walk away, probably thinking, “Bagus budak nih…Tak pernah komplen kena lari sana sini…”.

But that’s all I’ve ever done so far. In fact, I don’t even do that anymore these days. If I were to lepak-lepak outside during office hours, there’s nobody left in here to do my job and in the end, when work piles up, it is me who would suffer. So, the smart thing to do is to work at the office like a dog and go out and have fun elsewhere after office hours.

But on the other hand, I blog during office hours, isn't that the same thing? Nah... I reckon that doesn't count.

Says who?

Says me!! Shhhhh... don't tell The Sheep okay!

As for using the firm/company’s funds for personal purposes, I have never done that and I’m pretty sure I never will. It’s not about being goody-goody two shoes, or about not being brave enough to do such things. It’s just that, I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I were to do that.

Some people think that there’s nothing wrong with getting a little bit more from the office, no matter how. That’s why they have no qualms about stretching out their traveling claims to also cover lunch and dinner, and sometimes, even a souvenir. They may be able to sleep at night with that but if it ain’t right, it ain’t right, no matter how you rationalize it.

My mom taught me never to steal and never to take what is not yours to take, even if nobody owns it. But that same mom who taught me all that also brought back airline cutleries everytime she came off a plane. It’s not stealing, it's there for us to take what...that’s what she says.

So how?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Introducing, The Sheep!

Do men have PMS? I heard on the radio a few days ago about men having symptoms quite similar to PMS, except that it’s called IMS or Irritable Male Syndrome or something like that. Apparently it has something to do with the reduced level of testosterone at certain times of the month or year depending on the individual.

If that is so, that explains a lot about my boss. He must be having one of those today.

Don’t ask.

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Just made some research online and whaddaya know…… there is such a thing!

But hey, they discovered it in sheep and other animals. But I suppose there’s no difference there. Man, Sheep, grunt, eat, sleep. It’s all related.

Read the article here.


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I’m imagining this is my boss.



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HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

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On another note, this is 2 of the New 7 Wonders of The World they named yesterday. Been to a few, not been to most. Dying to go to these 2 though.

1. Petra In Jordan


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2. Chichen Itza in Mexico


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I’ll be there someday.

Or maybe I should just pack up and go there now. Gotta leave this place. Can’t stand the sheep. He smells. Must be the load of crap he produce everyday.



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The other 5 New Wonders of The World as announced yesterday are:-
Christ Redeemer, Brazil
Taj Mahal, India
Great Wall of China
Colosseum, Italy
Machu Picchu, Peru

Been to some of these but I wouldn't mind going again someday.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Random Ramblings Not Worth Reading # 4


I read with amusement what is in the newspapers today. CTOS directors are to be charged under the Companies Act for various offences not related to the controversy surrounding it lately. Read it here.

I guess, if they cannot be charged for anything else directly relating to the current issues they are caught up in, let’s just find something or anything to charge them with. Apa-apa pun boleh. Unpaid parking tickets also can.

Notwithstanding the somewhat shoddy tactics, I have to admit, I have never quite agree with all that CTOS does. While the banks may find it useful to refer to CTOS for information, their method of collecting such information leaves much to be desired. I used to receive calls from CTOS staff asking further information about individuals whom we advertised in newspapers in a variety of legal notices. These notices may not mean anything is amiss in their credit status. Many of them are simply notices, notifying them of the legal action being taken, and in many of these situation, the matters are settled before the case proceeded further. So, how fair is it to these individuals if such data, minus the information about the settlement, is in CTOS databank forever and the bank relies on it for credit reference?

Of course, the bank says they have other credit references and do not rely on CTOS alone. Yeah, sure. Tell it to the thousands of individuals who have had some financial problems in the past and have since resolved all such issues and whose names are still in CTOS causing them to be unable to obtain any sort of financing now despite having a good income and not having any existing liability whatsoever.

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Also, a police report was lodged by someone alleging that CTOS sold her credit information to her ex-husband (or soon-to-be ex-husband) who is using it against her in a divorce proceeding.

Let’s not talk about CTOS alone in this. Banks are equally the culprit here. Although in the case of banks, they probably won’t sell your credit information as it would be against the law, but your name and telephone number, rest assured, they do give away to third parties. That’s how those telemarketers got your number mah….
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Speaking of telemarketers, how annoying are they? I have had these people bug me day and night eversince I got my first credit card. Insurance, vacations, ‘free’ medical check-ups (we all know nothing’s free, eh?) and what-nots. The list goes on and on. I normally decline their offers nicely and refrain from being rude to these people because I understand that they are just doing their jobs. But sometimes, there are a few who are abnormally persistent and annoying that I can’t help but yell at them.

Of course, after the string of verbal abuse I hurled at these nitwits, they would always retaliate by giving me crank calls. *Sigh*

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Not planning to do anything this weekend but clean up my house from top to bottom. It’s a jungle in there.
Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Quality Dear, Not Quantity

I went to see a client yesterday and had a hard time getting him to sign some documents that needed to be signed urgently. The reason, my clerk had made some typo-error in respect of his IC no. written in the documents. I told him that that can be corrected later and I will personally attend to it, or that he can cancel the typed numbers and add the correct numbers in handwriting. However, he didn’t want it done either way and no amount of persuasion on my part could get him to sign the documents. It was just some forms that he needed to fill in, not some court documents or corporate agreement and certainly nothing major, but the way he acted was like it was a document to give his entire estate away (which I’m pretty sure consists of only a flat and a beat-up old Datsun, but that’s not the point).

Maybe it was my fault. Maybe I should have just checked it and make sure everything is 100% accurate before I went to see him. But when you have a clerk to type things for you, one who has been in that position for many many years and do the same thing all these while, you would expect her to know enough not to make stupid typing mistakes like that one wouldn’t you?

I wasn’t sure whether to be pissed off at my clerk or at my client. But all things considered, I think I better be angry at myself for not taking 15 minutes to go through all the pages in the documents and verify that every information entered is correct before I went to see the client.

I know that in a lot of ways, it reflects badly on the firm when documents produced contain typo-errors, no matter how minor. I have always believed that we have to check and double-check everything and produce flawless work. That however, is easier said than done.

Looking at the 2 feet high pile of papers and files on my desk, I cannot see myself checking and double-checking every single thing written on it. To do that means I would have to delay every other thing that I have to do today, which is why it is crucial that I have a team of strong and capable support staff to do their job right without me having to supervise everything they do. Sadly, with the exception of my trusted secretary, everybody else in my team are idiots who do not take pride in their work, who do not know how, or care to spell properly, who produce small amount of work during office hours and huge quantities of work severely lacking in quality during overtime and who think that just because I make more money than they do, I have to do not only my own job, but theirs as well.

I drove back to KL fuming mad at myself and particularly at my clerk. I didn’t go back to the office though because I know I would scream at her despite having taken the blame myself. Didn’t want to be any bitchier than I have already been at the office so far. So, I drove around until it was time to pick up my friend after work for a night out. One Transformers movie later, and I totally forgot all about it.

Came to office today and had a nice pep-talk with my clerk. Hope she does better next time.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Don't Fight Over Me, Ladies.

I laughed so hard, i almost fell off my chair this morning. Read this:-


THE STAR
Monday, 2nd July 2007.


HUNKY CUSTOMER TRIGGERS CATFIGHT

KUALA TERENGGANU: A man, who reportedly looked like a Bollywood actor, walked into a food court for a teh tarik and triggered a brawl among three women that left one woman scalded and another woman's T-shirt ripped open.

Several chairs and tables were damaged during the fight among the women at the outlet in Merega Beris in Kijal, Kemaman on Saturday.

The shocked man fled the scene.

It all began when the man walked in alone. Two women at two separate stalls immediately tried to get his attention and lure him over to their stalls.

When he stopped to speak with one of the women, her competitor, 21, became so incensed that she marched over to the woman, tore her T-shirt and accused her of being gatal and dressing seductively.

The other woman, 22, immediately grabbed a pan and splashed her attacker with hot water, scalding her.

The scalded woman's mother, 46, rushed to her daughter's aid, hurling chairs at her assailant, damaging tables and alarming the other customers, said state Deputy CID Chief Supt Khairi Ahrasa yesterday.

He said the scalded woman was now warded at the Kemaman Hospital.