Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Coping with New Workplace Demands and Getting My Life Together

Hey, I'm back!! I'm trying to get my life together because I have been so busy and tired having to deal with new waking hours, new work culture and new job scope. Yes, I actually started my work at a new posting in HQ and it's been nothing but work all the way as I try to learn as much as I can from my colleague who is going to retire. Honestly this will be a very busy period for us as each cluster will submit their budget proposal and my job is to download the fund to them based on the proposal. However it's easier said than done and there's many steps involved which requires checking whether the account has existed and if not, to create those that are new, so that I am able to transfer the budget.

There are times when I thought about why do I even get involved in this. Like my mum said, I used to deal with just one school and now I have to deal with multiple schools. But I require new challenges and once you have reached a point that you feel you are not moving or progressing, you're not going to enjoy your work very much. Also, it's difficult too when people get too reliant on you. 

But honestly, I learnt a lot from my previous workplace. I felt that this was where I was groomed the most. It's also up to you whether you want to learn or you don't want to learn. Some people are like, this is not my job, so why should I learn or they're giving the excuse they're too busy or it's too hard. I've learnt from the start to help people when they require help and in a way, I help myself too as I pick up new skills. You can always go back to your job later on, I mean work will never be finished when you're working in office anyway. Once you're done with job A, job B will come in. I mean that's what you're being paid for as well too. Not paid for shaking legs, haha.

I guess many people are also in a way thankful for my help judging from the number of farewell gifts I received, haha. Life is soooo crazy that I only have the time to unwrap the gifts and store them away last Sunday. Even then I still managed to catch up with my old friends last Saturday, first at her condo, and then at a nearby shopping mall, to celebrate the birthday of my friend's son. 

So how am I coping with the work here? I don't regret coming here and at first I felt a tinge of loneliness and although I have not completely overcome it, I just keep myself busy with work. Lunch time, I usually lunch in because I don't really have friends to go out with. At the same time, it's also good in a way I don't have lunch buddies because it will be hard for me to spend so much on food. It's not like I'm holding a managerial post which pay more so I can afford on more expensive lunch. I try to keep it at $2 plus and it will be better if I can lower it further but I will work on it. It's already good enough because unlike in school, I'm surrounded by places to eat like the nearby shopping mall. So the tendency to spend at least $4.00 on lunch is highly likely. 

I have to eat anyway because I hate it when my stomach grumbles when my colleague is trying to teach me something, lol. Good thing there's free supplies of biscuits and milo packs so I can also have something to eat when the hunger pang strikes. I usually just eat one biscuit from a pack and top up water unless I'm seriously hungry and eating one is still like eating air like that, haha.

Transport wise, yah this is also something I have to grapple with. The whole train and bus journey costs $1.45 each day and I try to cut the costs down by relying on transfer rebate because I always have to buy groceries when I get home from work. So if I can keep it to the window period of 45 minutes, I don't have to pay the full price of 70 over cents when I go back home.

Either way, lunch and transport money will sure go up so I have to work harder and smarter in managing my money and also making money to be able to sustain. So even if I have to wake up even earlier to complete my online shop orders in time before getting ready for work, so be it. Although recently I have to make multiple trips to the craft stores to buy my supplies, I also try to keep it lean although I do make one or two mistakes in my purchases. Like I try to think carefully what I should buy or whether I should buy what I was holding on to by analysing how many projects can be used with it, just because I like a few things from the sticker sheet, it's quite hard to let go, lol.

Okay, gotta sleep now and I hope I will be able to make more progress in terms of getting my life together again and staying on top of the game in terms my new work.


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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Celebrating Our Extended CNY weekend with Prata

If you're celebrating Chinese New Year, well..Happy New Year!! It's usually around this time that most shops are closed. Shopping malls will almost be like a ghost town but I dunno, nowadays, they are closed for like a day and the next day, many shops are already opened even though traditionally, CNY is celebrated over two consecutive days. Can't wait to make the moolah, eh.

Anyway, yesterday we spent the evening at our favourite prata haunt. It's at Spring Leaf Restaurant over at Bukit Timah. We took a train down Hillview and walked about 10 minutes to the railway mall. We ordered our usual murtaburger which is basically like a burger but in a prata skin with lotsa cheese and mayonnaise. If you want to make your calorie laden food worth it, you should get this. They also have the ultimate murtabak which looks huge by the way and judging from the number of times I see plates of it pass by my table, this seems popular. Strangely, there were quite a lot of Chinese people in their traditional clothing stopping by here for dinner. I assumed most of them drive and this place is quite quaint outside the mall and finding parking space wouldn't be a problem. Behind the mall is the Bukit Timah hills and honestly, it looks pretty much like Malaysia with its hilly background.

There were some CNY decorations outside the mall which is basically a row of single story shophouses. 




Murtaburger was not pictured here but these were our main plates. I loved my cheese, onion and egg prata

Ignore my cake-y looking under eyes. It's a make up mishap. Anyway, enjoying my teh chino here

As usual, we headed down to Coffee Bean which is a few shops down. At first it was not crowded and then after I made my order, suddenly there was quite a long line until the baristas kinda lost their momentum like forgetting one of my orders including the person before me as they tried to rush. No matter how busy you are, you have to ensure your customers get what the ordered. 

Gosh, I think time is not on my side already..looking older already, haha

Meanwhile, this guy is barely into his twenties..to be 21 again!
After this, somebody wanted to take the long bus journey ride. But the journey was quite a breeze because from the time we took the bus from outside the Hillview mrt, we were the last passenger all the way to Millenia Walk. The whole journey was a 40 minute ride and besides us, there was a small group of passengers behind and they dropped few stops before us. This never happened to us before, lol.

So that was our adventure on the 1st day of the extended weekend. Yayness. Next stop tomorrow, Sentosa.


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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Late Brunch with the Girls at Butter Studio

We may be busy with our schedules but we make it a point to do gatherings and though it's not as often as the last time, we made an effort to meet up and catch up. 

The last gathering we had was last September and though it was quite a while back, we kept it going with our WhatsApp group chat. But of course the best is to meet up with each other face to face. And that's what we did in this very late  brunch but nevertheless, it was like a low key tea party for us.

Cupcakes and the delish salted caramel red velvet cake from Butter Studio
The location is at a quaint shophouse beside a main road so it is quite easy to get there. The place is called Butter Studio and you can google it to know where is the location. I went here once before and loved how it wasn't crowded and you can simply chill out and catch up with your friends and even do some quiet research unlike the forever busy Starbucks outlets.

While waiting for one of our friends to come, they had these Photo Booth props at the tables and we had fun taking pictures with them. 




So our dear friend finally came and we had chosen this prop for her..haha..


How apt right?

Anyway, we were reminiscing about school days and my friend just like randomly scrolled through pictures from the wedding of our friend. Then we talked about how my friend is like the character from 27 Dresses where she was always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Then she showed us her cutie newborn niece.

I didn't quite have a good day before this with my cranky mum but spending time with them made me forget about the sadness I had earlier on dealing with her neurotic behaviour. So I always believe some friendships help to keep your sanity and I'm forever thankful that we still manage to catch up with one another every now and then.

Posing besides the delicious cupcakes
This is such a good start of the year and I hope we continue our friendship despite the many changes that we go through in life. 


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Monday, January 09, 2017

Welcoming in 2017 Part Two

We started the new year's eve watching the free movie at the Esplanade Park and they were showing Kungfu Panda 3. I watched part one but not part three and it was an enjoyable start of our celebration. After that, we kepo kepo (busy body) went to the Zumba workout session held by Health Promotion Board and saw how energetic the people were following the difficult to follow (at least to me..) steps to fitness. I would have messed up from step one..haha!!

So holding on to my sanity, we then walked to another area, where there was another movie screening showing X Men Days of Future Past. We didn't want to sit down and watch again so we walked around the area which started to get crowded little by little and there were people selling food, street performances and then we got hungry. Finding the toilet was not a problem because nearby the National Gallery Singapore, the place was quite empty. I pity the ushers who had to keep telling people where the toilet was..heh.

Anyway..

Time moved pretty fast and soon it was almost 11pm and we were famished. So we went to a nearby McDonald's at Raffles City but dang, the line was so long. But there was another outlet nearby like about 10 minutes walk and thankfully, it was less crowded. I think this is where we made a tiny mistake.

We were quite tired walking around that we didn't feel like we wanted to move out but we had to. So we left quite late and then we made the mistake of not going back to the venue and travelled..or rather..ran..to the nearby mrt station to go to somewhere near to where we went just now but further down. 

The clock was ticking and by the time we reached, with my shoe almost giving way, the fireworks were on full display already. Aww..we missed the countdown! But then again, the fireworks were magnificent and we had our first argument on how we didn't manage our time properly and we didn't get the best view being here instead of where we were supposed to be.

By the time the fireworks finished, that was where the challenge of going home came. Crowds of people started to emerge to make their way down to the MRT stations and we were thinking of whether to join the crowd or walk down further to a bus stop and take the midnight bus.

However, we went one big round because every turn we wanted to make to go to the bus stop, the road was blocked. Eventually I said I would take the lead..which was to...turn back and go to that same MRT station where we had come from. My brother was like fine...because he hated crowd..and well, because of him too, we missed the countdown.

By the time we made the u turn, the crowd was much lesser as the waves of the earlier crowd had almost cleared. When we were in the train, even though we had to stand, it wasn't too crowded either so it was still a pretty comfortable ride. 

Then thinking back, we felt that okay, at least we didn't get stuck in the crowds nearer to areas where the fireworks display were clearer. It was massive and many of the people were not Singaporeans too and I don't know if it was just me, they seemed more ready to celebrate the new year than us Singaporeans who would rather go home straight and sleep instead of having an after party,  haha..

Anyway, enjoy the pictures below!!












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Welcoming in 2017 Part One

So it's been a week since we last welcomed in 2017. Hope things have turned out okay for you..or at least, quite manageable. Everyday I try to think about moving forward and not wanting to make mistakes fairly easily. Now my main motivation in life is to have a better future. Sometimes I see other people and think why can't I be as happy as them. I know behind closed doors they may problems of their own too but I'm sure each one of us has our own unique strengths to overcome the obstacles that will make us stronger than we ever were before.

Then there is another side of argument that we should be grateful for what we have already like a roof over our head, food on the table and so on. But is that all we lead ourselves..to be good enough only? We are also capable of achieving great things in life. I always think about how am I going to cope with the school fees and going to school after work when my body will be so exhausted. Not forgetting the tests, exams, projects etc etc...and also dealing with new work demands that I thought I am not capable of handling. Of course there are ups and downs but you just tell yourself that you can pull through and do even better.

Now I've graduated with a diploma and then hopefully in the near future, I want to further my education again which means going through the cycle all over again. Because of that diploma too, despite my dismal work performance thanks to my former manager who somehow had something against me back then, I managed to get a post in the HQ after the interview process because I really wanted to move out and gain new learning exposure. I have to leave behind a place where I've grown comfortable. Pretty much how I had left my former work place being the first to resign from the batch that had been outsourced to a private company. 

As long as you know what you want out of life, if God willing and through sheer hard work and determination, you know you will progress in life. Of course life is full of setbacks but just remember, whatever you do, begin with the end in mind. You want to have a good life for you and your family, then you jolly well pull yourself up and get your sh*t together. Don't let other people suffer because of your ill judgments in life that you can't see beyond what it is right now.

Let's go through 2017 with a fresh start and write down your personal mission statements for each area of your life. Spend like 2 to 3 min or so reading through them before you start the day so that your life evolves around these statements instead of making baseless decisions or the same mistakes again because you don't have a tight grip on the values in your life. 

All the best!!

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Monday, January 02, 2017

Christmas Wonderland 2016

So the Christmas season come and go and now we're two days into the new year of 2017. But I will backtrack a bit sharing with you what we were up to last Saturday. We went to the Christmas wonderland, like we do every year, from when they first started it. But this time round, due to its huge popularity, we had to pay $8.00 for the entrance as it was expected that a lot of people will come. The crowd was well managed, actually up to a certain point, and not enough directions were put out to actually tell us where to head to. But because we had gone there a few times, we roughly know where to go, but of course we did a few wrong turns. 

Upon entry, it was actually not overly crowded despite being the Christmas eve. Also maybe because it was raining since earlier on. So we could walk around comfortably. We actually waited in anticipation in the rain for the snow machine to blow out snow bits, actually more like frosty ice, and we stood there for 15 minutes. Actually my brother saw the machines were covered but well you know, miracles do happen, haha. 

So okay, after being really sure there won't be snow, we started walking around past game and food baths to a mini concert where there were people singing the Christmas carols. Then we walked around again with our one single umbrella and we saw some booths had queues while some did not. There was one guy supposed to man the booth in the rain without shelter but poor thing, he was in the rain in his raincoat but no one was interested in playing. 

The super trees were playing an interlude of popular Christmas songs with the lights dancing around. Honestly, it was quite magical although it was the same thing every year, including the songs. We watched another concert and they had a young female singer as the special guest with such nice jazzy voice singing Santa Baby.

It was pretty cold because the rain did not stop and then we went back to the dome at the given timing and finally the snow machine churned out the snow flakes although only one was on. Still, it was pretty magical and the closest ever to snow without the frost bites. Then we headed back out and the first time we actually took the lift and it was not crowded at all. 

We then took the bus down to have our dinner in town and I had the Samurai Burger from McDonald's for the last time before they bring it back again. Then we had the Speculoos Cheesecake from Coffeebean and it was so delish, we ate it again when we went there on Wednesday to take back our umbrella which we had left there when we tried to rush for the bus.

So that was our adventure. We ended up walking late because we didn't watch our time and the barista took forever to pack the cake. 

Enjoy the pictures below!!

















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