Monday, August 30, 2004

Accountants Inspire Me

Once upon a time, I thought that when it came to bureaucacy, the legal fraternity topped the list. A paperless office? Dream on! Have you ever been in a legal office? Ever ventured beyond the classy antique-strewn receptions that portray the "I'm really into history and culture" facade into the carefully concealed depths where the lawyers and clerks sit all day churning out enough varieties of "supporting documents" to fill a library? In a world where anything you say is termed a declaration and the very being you are is statutory, you can only imagine the number of statutory declarations you can come up with. And that's just statutory declarations. Paper is not known as paper; it's known as part of the furniture.

One the things I did learn when I was a chambie, was despatch. Once, I had to deliver appeal documents to the Federal Court and it actually took four of us to do it. After climbing enough steps to rival Batu Caves, my fellow chambies and I finally relieved our aching limbs and dumped the "supporting documents" down on the floor of the Registars's office. They totalled 7 piles, each, waist high. I marvelled at our photocopying and binding expertise and wondered if anyone would read them.

But that was in another life. And believe it or not, I've discovered people who are far worse! They are known as accountants!

And I can't believe I am surrounded by them. Day in, day out, they swarm around me. On the streets near the office, their blue lanyards with the four boxes betray their outwardly normal appearances. In the lifts, their fragile frames (I reckon from lack of sunlight) are laden with laptop bags (some with three even!) and their arms fiercely hug files the size of small filing cabinets. They frantically rush out of the lifts as I rush in late, off to 'client's office, clients' office". They pretend to be stressed out but I see the proud gleam in their eyes.

They are happy in their jobs and for that, they are forgiven for being so damn enthusiastic! You know, I was told that we had a snatch theif problem outside the office and a young audit assistant was attacked on her way to work. She happily handed over her belongings due to fear of being hurt. Bye bye handbag with wallet, cell phone, boyfirend's photo, etc but when it came to the client's file, she clung on to it adamantly, What use would Snatch Thief have for it anyway? I hope the client paid us on time.

Back in my office, devoid of no one but me, I still cannot escape their dogged ways of working. I can't I suppose. It is their space and I am outnumbered! Like little ants, they and the way they work seep into your world and no matter how hard you swipe and spray, repellant in hand, there's more of them and they just keep coming at you!

Anyway, I find a wordy little memo that reads "...blah blah blah, in addition, we require Miss XXX to stay back on Friday night to handle and coordinate the press releases in respect of the Budget 2005. In this regard, kindly provide permission to Miss XXX and any other staff assigned to assist us on Friday night to return home on Friday at 12 noon. Their presence will be required at our office at 7pm." Signed off by a female Tax partner that the staff have invented enough names for to fill the filing room.

A. Why can't she just pick up the phone and save some trees?
B. If she wants to formalise it on paper, why cant she even get the dates right?
C. I reckon she secretly wants to be a kindergarten school teacher and write memos to parents for the children to be at so and so at so and so. Hello? It's a grown up world we live in now, so what's with the clock-in clock-out rule?

Urgh...on paper/on screen, I don't normally resort to sounds to replace words but I'm not well read enough to know a word to describe how I feel right now towards this woman, this profession, this job.

Oh God, please grant me my wish and land a hefty sum of money on my lap so I can retire from offices of any nature except of the home variety or unless owned by me, as soon as possible! Please provide the fodder for my malnourished brain to chew on so that I may be inspired to make millions and get the hell out of here! I am not asking for much, just a stack of cash and a brilliant idea - which I can develop into my brainchild and go on to make my excesses. Please, thank you, thank you, thank you.

You know, the more I write in this blog, the madder I am convinced I am getting.

I am now apprpriately inspired to go and think more about The IDEA.

Migraine Munchies

You know I am beginning to suspect that my subsconscious is allergic to work. See on Friday I woke to a piercing migraine. The kind where you suffer from diamond vision. I call it that because one eye sees normal whilst the other one is so blurred that it's as if you were peering into a brilliantly cut solitaire, light and angles bouncing off everywhere.

This morning the diamond vision was in the form of a crescent (my ode to the Merdeka celebrations perhaps?) followed by someone(thing?) hard at work on my temples and back of the neck, chiselling and chipping away.

Today, however, I thought I'd show my face at work. Another MC and them people down at the office would think I'd shipped off to the beach for a long weekend.

Now, I never suffer from migraines, or rather hardly ever. The last one I remember was over two years ago when my father stressed me out so much over the wording of the wedding invitation cards that diamond vision had progressed onto both eyes and I was glad the conversation was over because I was barely able to speak.

Anyway, induced by stress or not, I've discovered that feeding the migraine makes it go away! Yes, on Friday I fed it avocado toast and this morning, it had a tuna sandwich and hey presto!

How to diet like this?

Friday, August 27, 2004

Mad Morning

Hardly slept with The Bubbit moving about all over the bed. Woke up in the middle of the night with pee-scented, nappied-butt on my face. Pushed The Bubbit off me to find The Poor Hubbit almost falling off the bed.

Sigh, will need to retrain The Bubbit to sleep alone again.

Awoke what must have been hours later to The Bubbit screaming in hunger 'cos he refused to eat his dinner last night. Rushed out toast and eggs for him before he started screaming for more.

Where did he get this Very Annoying trait from? The Hubbit would of course deny all involvement.

Drove like a deranged woman to work and asked myself what I wanted. For once, the answer came to me immediately and was surprisingly simple.

A Decaf Vanilla Latte, preferably in a quiet cafe please.

I settled for a hot Milo at The Sty; it was the closest thing. Not too bad 'cos the thought of paying RM10.70 less was very gratifying plus I didn't have to sneak out or do anything illegal to get it.

Then I went back to my office and began the day with my daily breakfast of blogs. really is time to get some work done.

(Hurrah, it's Thursday!)

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Act 1 Scene 2

Oh dear, what a mess.

In a parallel life, I posted an entry somewhere on the www venting my frustration at Dear Friend, whom I felt could not accept the fact that I now have new responsibilities that mean we cannot continue to do the things we used to do together. Well, in a bizarre twist of fate, Dear Friend was very accidentally referred to the said entry where she read all about how mad I am at her.

And now she is feeling sad and I feel sooooo baaaad.

As Confucius says "Them who don't know how to blog should blog in private or keep their mouths shut".

As Dear Friend said (and she is a very dear friend): I feel that if I don't call, you never will.

You see, Dear Friend and Other Dear Friends, lost me quite abruptly when I rather suddenly became with child and decided to hop on the marriage bandwagon. And then suddenly it was all about leaking nipples and midnight feeds and no longer about the latest MNG collection and parties that began at midnight. It was a culture shock to us all. I'm still reeling from it all, but for Dear Friend and Other Dear Friends, it was like burying the Party Girl and settling for her evil Psycho Stressed Out Leaking-Nippled twin.

Dear Friend, who has in fact just called and sorted out the matter, is sad beacuse things will never be the same again. There will be no more dawns when she'd have to ferry me home whilst I passed out in her car, inebriated from the night's drinking games. No more times when we'd hit the shops for the sluttiest outfits. No more long chats over the phone and no more impulsive trips out of town. No more carefree holidays together even.

And I'm especially sad beacuse my actions have resulted in my friends suffering more than I. Because my mind is filled with things that I have to do and other people I am now responsible for. I haven't had as much time to reflect on the aftermath of what my life-changing decisions have had on my close friends, as much as they have.

An old chapter closes and a new one opens. We are not descending into an impending Doom. There are no obvious dark tunnels but saying goodbye to the old and welcoming the new with open arms and heart is rarely a tearless event, especially when it comes to emotionally charged relationships, like good, old friendships.

To my Dear Friend and Other Dear Friends: Thank you for the fabulous times that I will never ever forget. And if there's anything I do cherish, which I am likely to bring to my deathbed with me, they are these.

At Bloggerheads

It's hard to believe that a month ago, I had no idea what a blog was.

My, my have times changed! Do you know that I spent the whole of last Friday doing nothing but roaming one blog? One. And it wasn't even mine. I'm not sure if it's cos I'm so starved of 'life out there' that I just lapped up everything that appeared on my screen, page after page, or whether I'm just downright nosy.

Anyway, I have a thing to say about bloggers. The blog that literally consumed me (mind the pun) that Friday was posted by a fairly well known local writer whom I've met but never greeted, if you know what I mean.

Veering off on a tangent: you know, KL is so funny; it's a village and social circles are subsets of each other. Yet we (yes, including me), still find the effort and time to meet people, be really nice and friendly, and on occassion have full blown conversations, only to never say hi again. How many times have you met someone again and again only to pretend that you've never met them before? My excuse is why bother because they would never have remembered me anyway, but is that was it is? An excuse? Anyway, my digressions are beginning to sound like a Virginia Woolf monologue and is feed for another post.

Back to Dear Blogger who toys with our curiosity with hints of her love life. There is mention of The Husband but there appears to be little evidence of one in her daily entries. On occassion, she goes on about heartache and break up. Anyway, it's all very confusing and though I am curious, I read her blog for her insightful and often hilarious entries and not for gossip fodder.

Then one day, Dear Blogger tells of how a fan rang her up in the office asking about her marital status. And of course, Dear Blogger got very upset at this outright infringement of her privacy.

Whilst I do understand and agree with Dear Blogger, I can't help but ask, what did you expect? You want people to read your blog - you are a writer after all and you write to share and invoke. You stir thoughts, you provoke emotions and in the midst of all this, you don't expect curiosity to get the better of your readers?

It's back to the whole celebrity privacy issue isn't it? I mean, you literally share your daily life and innermost feelings with teh world wide web and not expect some sort of response? Whether someone questions your opinions or your marital status, online or on the phone, where do you draw the line?

It's lovely to receive feedback, believe me, because I've never received any. But where do you draw the line? No questions about love life. But the again, that's what makes the bulk of many blog entries.

Where do you draw the line between private and not so private, when most blogs are just about that? Private stuff.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Mrs Potato Head

I've decided that there's too much negativity in my life and it's not 'cos my life is shit but because I have a pessimistic streak that's lethally coupled with a love of the dramatics.

I wouldn't go as far to say that it's not my fault, but Hongkie Chinese drama serials have certainly played a stellar role in sculpting me this way. Too many men caught in the net and now, girls are supposed to sulk, men are supposed to beg for forgiveness and everyone is out to get you. Sob, I'm such a victim!

Anyway, Hongkie serials are no longer part of my TV diet and have since been replaced by the shocking investigative truths of CSI (both Miami and original), NYPD Blue, The Practice, Law & Order Special Victims Unit and (I'm so ashamed to admit it but yes) ... even Boston Public.

So now, I'm a suspicious, hard-nosed, fast-talking genius of an information digger. Master of mind reading, sleuth of body signals and all round basket case investigator.

Thanks to The Hubbit's efforts to wean me off trash on TV, I've emerged a hybrid of sorts, a creature all into herself. Plus, I must admit, I do also get my fill of tragedy, drama and horror (gasp, how could he choose her?!) in the likes of The Bachelor on Star World.

So in a nutshell, I reckon I've lost the candy coated Hong Kong flavouring, which is a good thing in itself, but taken on a smokier, nut-cracking look at the world. Give me a few more months and I'd be chewing tobacco.

And I'm not sure if this is entirely a good thing. Is it?

PS. Incidentally, this is supposed to be a cheery blog!