She'd rather be . . .The Stapler Maniac than just The Stapler.
They'd rather be . . .CirCe
Spread the LoveIn one of my rare group outings last night (I, Solo Queen - and proud of it, even if I had to wait until level 53 to grill gorilla butt for Stranglethorn Fever, a level 45 quest), I doctored my guildies in The Sunken Temple.
As we met the first onslaught, I realised to my distress that I would not only be looking after four other players, but also their pets: two tauren hunters with their pet pig and some four-legged furball, another orc hunter with her overgrown kitty, and one undead mage with a succubus. That was almost DOUBLE the number of lives I was responsible for. (I, Headless Mother Hen.) Gaaa!!!
For close to 120 minutes, it took utmost concentration and a no-nonsense attitude. No time for light-hearted asides. No time to make smart retorts. No time for private chat. No time to 'alt-tab' to read blogs. No time even to pry my fingers off the keyboard and mouse to throttle The Sister who decided to come into the room just before another onslaught to stick her iPod in one of my USB ports, resulting in bloody Windows triggering an iTunes prompt which caused my WOW session to automatically 'alt-tab' to the desktop to view the prompt ??!!&@%^!!!!!
In addition to having to be quick and just-in-time with the healing spells - Power Shield, Renew and Flash Heal - I was also having to keep all this up while occasionally fleeing loose monsters and running for help towards my much bigger companions like a man on fire. No time even to scream for help as I watched my health bar go down - I could only down a healing pot and wait heart-in-mouth for my assigned Cow of Death to take back aggro while I kept up the doctoring.
Even when resting in between fights, I was either busy drinking, buffing everyone again, mixing more narcotic goodies for the group or shooting myself up. (I, Drug Trafficker - note to self: stock up on more herbs and vials next time).
All in all, I thought it did not go too badly though a few of us died once or twice, and the group wiped once (because the overgrown kitty spooked and brought back TWO sets of nasties). At least we completed Jammal'an The Prophet and I rolled myself a nice Vestments of the Atal'ai Prophet. So yes, it was actually fun, though in a mind-numbing sort of way. Let's see if the guildies will be wanting some more loving tonight ;-)
I'd rather be . . .Tagged by littlemissdrinkalot (No, no, not " ... tagged by"!!! Read on.)
 I'd rather be an über cool undead shadow priest than a bitchy gnome mage with short-person-syndrome. (toons in Warcraft)
 I'd rather be an ice-cream than an ice-kachang. (ice-desserts)
 I'd rather be the wind than the sun. (elements)
 I'd rather be anything but alcohol. (drinks *face turning green at mere thought*)
 I'd rather be the hair on my head than the hair all over my bedroom and bathroom floors. (my hair - or whatever is left of it *depressed*)
I tag the following people who are definitely cleverer than me (and therefore had better come up with their memes since they are so much cleverer):
HRM 104 - KiasuismIt's funny how people don't want to volunteer for work because they are afraid of doing more work than other people.
So the email from Number One was languishing in everyone's mailboxes for the entire morning. But when some sucker (like me - because bo bien must lead by example) makes the first move, the rest of the suckers follow suit immediately, literally within the next few minutes.
The amusing thing was how each subsequent sucker tried to outdo the one before by doing more - but just a little, so they won't really end up doing more work than the others. And as usual, you get the one or two who just have to punch figures into their calculator and announce their numbers in case other people don't know they are doing MORE.
But hey, whatever it takes to get work done.
Just Say 'No'At some point last night, it became clear that things are the way they are now because of something as simple as "No." - that it was not said to someone earlier. And now, it is too late.
Or maybe not?
While things might not necessarily get much worse and sometimes it might be better to wait for something to die a natural death, the truth is the ripples have travelled far and wide. Not only was an existing problem worsened, the little sideshow of fireworks that nobody seems to care about will not go away in the near future - if a message is not sent now.
So I said something that I thought was painfully obvious. Resources are finite and everyone can see where the leak is. Just where do you think that is going to hit everyone at the end of the year?
I would like to think that had hit home since the listener had fallen silent immediately - a reaction I had not expected.
I did not ask to fight this losing war. But I will continue pushing buttons whether they are welcome or not. Because I would like to know that I had tried and because I know that I can make a difference, however small.
Not-so-stupid minions who don't realise that they are also not-so-smart tend to trip themselves up.
You just have to make sure you don't stand in their way - so that there won't be anyone to catch them when they fall flat on their faces.
Happy Birthday To YouhaPPy BirThdaY JOYCE !!! :-)
HappY birThDay CLAYTON !!! :-)
Merlion on the Rocks
* * * * * * * * * *Sometime after midnight, I found myself pondering the effects of inebriation - that strange out-of-body experience characterised by general numbness and emotional detachment - and I could see how easy it was to engage in 'silly' behaviour that one would otherwise not participate in moments of sobriety. I noticed dully, that some guy was chatting up one of The Sister's friends at our table, and The Sister had a silly grin on her face as she returned from the toilet - for the second or third time - having promptly and duly discharged her alcohol dues.
3 glasses of Champagne
A few Tequila 7-Up and Bourbon Coke mixers
I-Lost-Count-After-5 Tequila Pops
Down drinks in less than two hours
* * * * * * * * * *
As more minutes passed, I found myself lying head on the table, wishing the pounding in my head would go away. The Sister's Gay Boyfriend also had his head on the table next to me. Determined to breathe myself through my not-so-merry-go-round-and-round-and-round, I stayed put. I vaguely registered a thought somewhere in the pneumatic works upstairs that I was going to be in really deep shit shortly.
More time (minutes? seconds???) passed. I raised myself from the table, hand over mouth, and found myself looking into a generous spread of something brown and slimy, and decidedly and unmistakably vomit. And there I was, all decked out in my very nice dress and high heels (I had joined The Sisters and friends for the birthday celebration right after the wedding dinner). It was a really good thing that the part of my brain that registers humiliation and utter horror was then experiencing some technical difficulties.
I reached out for a paper napkin and attempted to clear the reeking mess. The Sister's Friend quickly helped me to the toilet for my discharge duties. I staggered past the predominantly early 20-ish crowd into the toilet which seemed more like a hang-out for the girls who were either chatting or snapping away at each other with their camera phones, and paid my dues to the toilet bowl.
The urgings from The Sister's Friend for The Jie Jie to get it all out did not make me feel any better. I was painfully reminded that The Sisters (gaaah) had just bore witness to my very public humiliation. So had The Future Brother-in-Law (gaaahhh) who hangs out at our place just about every night and the weekends. So too The Sister's Friends (gaaahhh!!!). So too EVERYONE ELSE at the club. GAAAHHH!!!
When I was done, we went back to the table to pick up my bag. It was decided that The Youngest and her boyfriend would send me home; the others would adjourn for supper. As they helped me out of the club, I made another drunken dash to the toilet for Round 2. URRRGGHHH.
We managed to hop into a waiting cab. As it started to move off, I threw up a little more - the dregs - into a ready plastic bag. As you can see, The Sisters are veterans at discharging their dues. I kept my face in the bag the rest of the ride home - mostly out of embarrassment.
Back home, I vaguely remembered removing my disposable lenses before collapsing on my face in bed.
I woke up the next morning past 7 with a bad headache - and I was still in last night's dress. Urgh. After a shower, change of clothes and 500ml of water, I went back to sleep. I woke again much later at 4, feeling decidedly better. The dog came in then, and went straight for my dress - and proceeded to lick at it. Eek. EEEEEKKK!!!
My humiliation was COMPLETE.
Obviously, this is my first AND ONLY time.
Right now, the mere thought of alcohol is enough to make me nauseous. BLEAAARRRGGGHHH.
One Minus OneI have always liked 'slow' dinners at Hyatt's Mezza9. Good food (actually, I am mostly there for the seared foie gras - which seems to have been replaced with terrine, sigh) and wine aside, the place simply bustles with a good energy. There is also something very cozy about the tight rows of two-seaters - excellent for eavesdropping. Heh.
Friday night's couple was a local girl and her angmoh date. We were seated at the end of the row and had to make do with just one table for entertainment. Sadly, nothing much was happening. The two did not seem to know each other well, and conversation - or what would pass as - was mostly one-liners (and often half-liners in the girl's case) in between long silences when they would just sit quietly.
The guy was probably a banker or broker of sorts, but it was hard to tell about the 20-ish girl since she barely spoke. Sometime in the night, they mentioned prearranged plans for drinks later.
It was really odd watching them sitting there just waiting for time to pass, and I wondered what made them set up the date in the first place. There was no leaning forward to engage each other with words (except when he offered her his chocolate crepe and she leaned forward only slightly to reach across the table with her fork to poke around his dessert - gahhh - and then there was his half-hearted attempt to nudge the plate just an inch closer towards her - dohhh); no spontaneous laughter (except when a friend happened to show up and he was beside himself with relief); not even a coy look.
We figured they were eavesdropping on us instead during those long silences, especially after she picked up on the dive trips and asked him if he travelled. Heh. Heh.
Or maybe, like me, the guy was also too busy checking out the nipples straining through her white tube top. So maybe, he really was interested in the girl afterall - except he would not then be checking out the strangers at the next table trying to eavesdrop on him and his companion.
And this is next. Heh.
No ButsOver a very healthy meal of brown rice and greens at the Brown Rice Nazi's* place along Smith Street, I found out that CirCe and I would not be sitting with her ex-colleagues at Saturday's wedding dinner. Instead, both of us and another ex-colleague would be seated with the groom's friends, because a few girls (yes, it is always the females, is it not?) at the main table cannot get along with this other ex-colleague (not CirCe, who got on famously with everyone). And this is even though said ex-colleague and two of the girls have already left the company - but bad feelings linger.
All of this seemed a little strange to me because CirCe hangs out with the girl outside of work. Surely, she cannot be that unlikable? But when not one, not two, but THREE rather different girls do not like her ...
It turns out that there were real problems (as opposed to the hormonally induced ones that the fairer sex is prone to) when it came to teamwork. The rest, as they say, is history - and so was said ex-colleague. And because CirCe was on another team, she never knew the reason for the unhappiness until much later - not that I think that would have changed much, except group outings involving everyone would always be tricky.
Personally, I would find it hard to start or continue a friendship outside of work with someone who I had real - and very big - issues with at work. Much as I go on about keeping business and pleasure separate, I believe that your behaviour at work - no matter how driven by circumstances or necessities - is a reflection of what you are made of.
The less cynical ones who belong to the She/He's-Really-A-Very-Nice-Girl/Guy-*BUT* camp would say that stress-induced behaviour is a poor indicator. Afterall, how often would you be placed in such extreme conditions - and hence behave 'uncharacteristically', so to speak?
(Personally, I think this group also has regular sleepovers at the And-You-Won't-Catch-*ME*-Saying-Anything-Bad-About-Her/Him camp.)
Nevermind that this hardly explains why given the same situation, some people would hunker down and keep grinding - until they find a new job - while others lose their screws and start ganking everyone and everything in sight. Let me put it this way: just about everyone can be The Nice Guy when things always go their way, yes?
The fact is, most of us are working longer hours. And thanks (or not?) to the internet and Gee-I-Have-Lost-Count-Of-The-Number-of-Gs phones - stepping out of the office at the end of the day no longer gives you that same sense and satisfaction of being 'off' work, and you can - thereotically speaking - be reached just about anywhere and anytime.
The lines are no longer as clear with an increasingly mobile office. And so too, I think, our private and work personas.
All being said, I would not totally discount a person as a friend (whether or not we are colleagues) just because I do not agree with her/his work principles (or lack thereof).
For me at least, certain behaviours are less disagreeable than others, like indecisiveness or bad time management, which figure more prominently in the workplace than a personal relationship outside of the office. In such situations, they would simply be minor irritations or quirks of the friend, and are certainly easier to compartmentalise, if not simply part of the package that you accept your friend for who she/he is - barring the presence of certain human traits that you obviously cannot coexist with.
(The Sister was not born in the Year of the Pig, but I think a singing tiger would hardly be as entertaining.)
Lady MacbethWe have a temp who comes in occasionally to do ad hoc jobs. While an extra pair of hands is always welcome, most of us keep a distance from Lady Macbeth and carefully avoid eye contact. The compulsive handwashing, toilet paper strewn all over the washroom, talking to herself (though I have yet to hear her go "Out, damn'd spot! out, I say!" heh heh), and piercing big eyes that follow everything that moves within 10 feet of her aside, which already freaks out the rest, conversations with the Lady tend to be mildly bizarre affairs - the sort where you know the person lives in a slightly different reality and therefore operates by her own rules of social engagement.
But come to think of it, the Lady is not much different from many other 'normal' people who are probably better at concealing their alter egos. And it is said that 'sanity' is but a social construct.
Anyway, Lady Macbeth decided, as I was on my knees trying to get her CPU to boot, that I must have changed my hair colour again because "You used to be BLONDE right?!!"
"Mmmm. Nooo. I was never blonde."
"YAH!!! I remember you were blonde!!!"
Okaaay, if you say so Madame M. I was simply too tired from the work week to care either way. And some days, dazed from the mad rush, I can barely tell my dreams from reality anyhow.
"YAH!!! I used to be blonde," I exclaimed loudly, and hoped the surrounding cubicles did not think I had gone wonky too.
A while later, I was pleasantly surprised when she came to me to point out an error in the data entry template. I guess her fixation with details is not so bad afterall.
Well, as someone said, "She's crazy - not stupid."
Fame or FortuneAs she went on and on about how exciting the final match was and the Zidane headbutting incident, I offered that some people have speculated that the match was fixed and Zidane - if not even the whole team - had deliberately threw the game (lacklustre performance and seeming nonchalance) for money. Afterall, many people had betted on France to win.
She turned on me sharply, face darkening and twisted with disgust, "Why would ANYONE give up fame and glory?"
"Eh, for money??? LOTS OF MONEY???"
"Do you know HOW MUCH fame and glory awaits them? And they are doing this for their country too!"
Ah. Yes, I can see why some people would do ANYTHING for fame and glory - and of course, in the name of the country and all that whatchamacallit greateryadayadagood.
Fame or Fortune? Either way, the individual gains - just that some people are happier with more money to themselves than the adoration of the masses.
And so, Fame or Fortune, you ask me? I never thought either was objectively - if you like, 'morally' - better than the other. But I do think people are capable of resorting to anything for either.
Alive and Eating
I need brain (and soul) food. Help.
Even the thickest of skulls will realise after a while that the birds have stopped singing and the trees are still.
And if aforementioned thick skull still does not get it . . . well, continued bad behaviour would only hasten its eventual, unmitigable and undeniable demise.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I am almost disappointed that the fish realised that the bait tasted a little funny and decided it was not worth continued bad behaviour. Ah well, whatever it takes to keep the herd in line, I suppose.
PS: I am so going to HRM hell.
I have been pausing - not so much for breath or to ask questions. But to breathe - and remind myself that I am still here.