A Great Fall

I was on my way to work this morning. I had just woke up from my nap on the train, when I hurried out of the train at my stop. I was in a daze as I walked up the moving escalator, when I suddenly tripped and fell on the steps. I had a shock, and the Chinese lady, who looked like she was in her forties, asked me if I was fine. I weakly replied, “Ya,” and slowly got up on my feet, before I reached the landing. The spots on my left elbow, left thigh, both knees and shins, where I heavily brushed against the sharp edges of the escalator steps, felt hot and hurt. I was rushing out of the MRT station, feeling embarrassed. When I was some 300 meters away, only did I check my left elbow. I was worried that there was a bleeding wound somewhere, but my elbow was fine. I was late for work, and had to wait till I had completely my morning duties, before I could check on my knees and legs. I can foresee bruises by the end of today. Sigh…

At dawn, I was contemplating on getting sick leave for today. My gastric gave me troubles again on Saturday, I was having pains the entire day, and I vomited late at night. On Sunday, I was feeling weak and restless, and I could not eat properly, but little by little, like a bird. Early this morning, I was not exactly sick, but tired. If only I had decided to go on sick leave today, I would not have had that terrible fall. Sigh…

Now, my nape down to my right shoulder blade down to my back hurts. I must have sprained or pulled some muscles somewhere when I fell with my right hand on the grip. Sigh… How I hate the escalator. This was my second fall on an escalator. How I hate the clumsy me even more. Ever since I was a young kiddo, I have always been clumsy, as in I always fell on my knees. I had complained to my Mom that either my feet are malfunctioned, or my body cannot balance well due to my fat ass. Sigh…

Hopefully, my injuries are not serious. I will have gotta apply ointment tonight. Sigh…


How Do You Treat A Receptionist?

I have been working as a receptionist throughout these years, at several firms. Most of the colleagues (previous and current) regard(ed) me as one of them and are(were) pretty nice to me. Ironically, it is, and was, always those supposedly my teammates who take(took) me for granted, as if being a receptionist means being less of a human.

In my first job in this position, I was with a consulting firm, small and local. The salary was meager, though the little amount of daily work justified it. I was in my late twenties, and holding such a relaxing job made me feel bored and contemplate a more exciting work life. In additional to that, my so-called senior colleague who was guiding me, was not making my life easy. Though she had been promoted to a consultant level, and she had no business in my jobscope any longer, she still wanted to have a say in everything I handled. No, she was not my superior. My immediate superior then was not any better either. She was the Human Resource and Finance Manager, unmarried, in her fifties. She was an oddball, with no sense of etiquette, and the way she spoke put people off. I left the company after eight months of employment.

My second job in a similar role was with a project management company. The office was big and nice, housing just over thirty employees, and an Indonesian boss, who had never worked under someone else in his whole life. He was born rich, thus, smug. I did not get it from him, though I had heard him raise his voice at his Executive Assistant, as earsplitting as thunder. I was reporting to, again, the Human Resource Manager. All went well initially, except for the fact that the tea lady kept commanding me to do her tasks, such as cleaning the rooms after meetings, bringing out the glassware to soak in the sink at the common corridor, and such. At first, I helped her, out of respect, as she was an elder in her fifties. But as time went by, I realised how unreasonable she was, and that she was nice to others, but me. In my early thirties, I still felt young and arrogant. I complaint at least thrice to my immediate superior, who told me that she could not simply ask the tea lady to leave, without giving her chances to change and make improvement. Thinking back now, I miss this manager. She was really nice and lenient. If it was not for the fact that I was fearful of the active-volcano-alike boss, and that I could not understand and accept that I was reporting to two bosses – the other was the boss’ Executive Assistant, who was demanding (at least that was how I felt at that point of time), I would not have resigned. I got fed up with the tea lady and Executive Assistant finally, and left the company after six months into the job.

My third job in a front desk position was with a media firm, owned by an American and an Australian. I was reporting to the Financial Controller (better known as CFO elsewhere), who was a mean and immoral superior, in her fifties. She liked to be respected, which she did not deserve at all, and liked to be reported to on every single and little task, even when there was no progression and nothing to update her on. She was a control freak, who wanted to be the “third boss” and control every staff in every department in the company. She forbade interactions between employees from different departments. She would join different groups of employees for lunch and try to find out what they usually talk about (ya, insane, I know). She wanted to be in control of the recruitment process, though she was a Finance person, not Human Resource, and knew nothing about the requirement of the right candidate for each position. She forbade office romance, though there was no black-and-white. The office lovebirds were having underground relationships, and acting like strangers while in the office. The staff turnover rate was absolutely high, thanks to her. In three months, ten employees were laid off, four others resigned. I was one of the four. Of course, this horrendous culture did not stop after I left. She continued to torture every one of them mentally, be it her subordinates, or not. She was in the company for at least three years, but she was not trusted by the Australian boss. Though she was “in control” of the company finance matters, she was not even aware of information such as his Australian driving license number, and his previous local accommodation address. He clearly needed a personal assistant, but he was unwilling to spend extra in recruiting an extra headcount on “occasional ad-hoc tasks”, while forgetting how much his wife spent each month on luxuries in daily life. (Fine, it is not up to us to judge how he spends his money, but trust me, spending a few thousands on a personal assistant is a necessity for him.) I refused to take on his personal matters as part of my job, merely because I hate to have more interactions with the Devil than my job required. Being called to her room was enough to make me stop breathing. Seriously, I do not understand why she loves to torture others. She kept telling everyone how busy she was, and yet she had the time to mess with people’s life. My predecessor was driven away by her too. And the Human Resource Manager, who advised me to learn to manage my boss (aka the Devil), resigned too, not long after me. I was there for only three months, and I already felt life shortened by a decade.

My fourth job at the reception, is my current one. I am reporting to the Human Resource Manager, a Hong-Kong-born Canadian, in her early forties. She is not a HR person, nor a good manager. Why do I say that? As a HR person, you take into account of employees’ welfare and benefits, and you have a good listening ear, with patience. As a manager, you look after your team members, shield them from arrows from all directions, take the blames for them, counsel and guide them as and when necessary. She has been in this company for two years, and she still chooses to protect herself, if she has to make a choice between herself and her subordinate. My predecessor was on good terms with her, and was into the job for barely nine months, and was “sacrificed” by our superior several times. When my predecessor got chided by the boss’ Executive Assistant, many times, our superior failed to defend her. I think I am a little more fortunate than my predecessor, as in right from the beginning, my superior kinda protected me, by telling me not to help other departments in their tasks. They used to bully my predecessor by dumping their work to her. Though each was no tough deed, she did not have to be that busy with other people’s responsibilities, and not being appreciated afterwards. My superior always tell me, that she is very flexible, if I need to go off early for lunch, if I have something on, they are always around and willing to help cover for the reception. However, from today’s incident, I see a different thing.

I had scheduled a dental appointment at 11.30am, and had to leave the office fifteen minutes earlier. I informed and checked with them in the morning, but they had a meeting, which would last beyond 11.30am. In the end, I had to reschedule my appointment to a week later. They are always having meetings. And I am always stuck to the reception. Even at times when I have to fulfill my other tasks, away from the reception, I have to wait for one of them to come to relieve me, only then can I leave my workstation to carry out other tasks. If none of them are able to relieve me, I have to put off everything else, simply because “someone has to be at the reception, at all times.” Is this not insane? Is this not unreasonable? I am really pissed this morning, so pissed that I went to have Burger King for my lunch (I usually have cravings for fast foods and junk foods when I am upset), and took fifteen minutes more than my one-hour break (I usually take less than an hour each day). They were waiting for me to return from my lunch break, before they went off for theirs. They always go for breaks together. But I am used to having my breaks alone. I cherish the time by myself, in the middle of chaos. I usually have my lunch break after they come back from theirs. They would go for long breaks most of the times, as long as two hours at times, sometimes more. They know that I always bring sandwiches, and would eat at my desk whenever I feel hungry, hence, they always take their own sweet time. Though I get to have my one-hour break after they return. Sometimes I would take a nap in the store room, and other times I would go down to the mall for a walk. Today, I went to Swatch shop to change my battery, after I had my lunch at BK. The battery replacement was free, to my delight. And during the wait there, the salesperson tried to close a deal with me, showing me the new range and models and jewelleries. He was new, I could tell. I have no intention of getting a new watch, though I wish that he could clinch many deals with his sincerity. It took about ten minutes to replace the battery, and I took another ten minutes or so to walk back to my office. My superior looked unhappy, ever since this morning. I am uncertain if it was because my temporary HR personnel told her of my pissed face upon having to reschedule my dental appointment, or because their meeting did not turn out well. I do not care. I have been so annoyed myself, and thinking back on the past three months here, and whatever I have seen and heard, I have been contemplating my next move.

Anyway, is it simply because I am a receptionist, that these people think that they can mistreat me as they wish? Most people have been nice, I would say. However, it is the people whom I have to work closely with that make me sick.









Sometimes I wonder why I am in this position.

Sometimes I am grateful for being employed.

Sometimes I hate being a human being in this society in this era.

Sometimes I know it is my blessings to be alive and able and a part of this family.

Sometimes I wish to go back in time and start my life all over again on a total different path.

Sometimes I wish for my time to end the very next moment for I cannot bear to carry on my life any further.

Sometimes I wish I have more time to do what I want.

Sometimes I simply wish that time will stop there and then.

Sometimes I wish I am a baby once again.

Sometimes I wish I am resting in peace and cremated and placed in an urn near my father and granny.

The Ability To Eat Is A Bliss

When I was normal (and when I say normal, I mean well and alive, and not bound with illness), I was always trying to restrict myself on my diet. I always tell myself that I must not succumb to temptations, and must stick to a healthier food range, though I still indulge in some junk food here and there. However, when I got this series of gastric attacks two weeks ago and this week, when I could not eat nor drink anything, when all I was doing was vomiting, even all I consumed was merely a couple of teaspoons of plain porridge water, I began to appreciate the ability to eat.

I have always been wondering why we humans need food as fuel, and then we have to get them digested and then finally, passed out of our body. This system is so tiring. If we do not eat, or eat enough or punctual enough, we will get gastric problems. If we eat too much, we will get into trouble with obesity. If we do not get the particles passed out of our body, we will be laden with toxins, and the system will go haywire. So, why do we have to eat in the first place? Why were humans created and made to go through this chain/cycle?

There are people who eat to live. There are others who live to eat. I would say I belong more to the former population. Most of the times, I do not really care about the selection of food I eat, or rather, so long as there is a meat dish and a vegetable dish, I am happy. Perhaps, it was because of my past employment in the F&B industry, which opened my eyes to the behind-the-dining-area scenes. Not that I saw how dirty or thoughtless the food were being handled, but rather, the chain, from the raw ingredients to the presented dish, enlightened me that it is no tough task, and I could cook dishes like that myself, too. All I need is the recipes, or trials-and-errors. Most probably, this is why ever since, I have not much of an enthusiasm to be out dining. It is nice to have a meal at a nice restaurant/eatery once in a while, with great companions. But it is not a must-have. And I would really rather save up the money, which I can easily prepare a meal with just a fraction of the bill. True, the trade-off is that I have to spend hours shopping for and preparing the ingredients, then have loads of washing to do after the feast. But I would prefer it this way to spending much more money at a restaurant, otherwise.

Back to the moments when I cannot consume anything, it was honestly awful. Firstly, I had to be able to ingest my medications, in order to recover from these nasty gastric attacks. Secondly, I really felt the hunger pangs, even though I should not be having any appetite at all. One moment, I was taking my medicines, then porridge water. Next, I was puking out everything I consumed just half an hour before. It was when I could not eat anything as I wish, that I realized how a bliss it is to be able to eat normally.

I was telling my Mom, that I wanted to eat fried chicken, burger, fries… Haha… It is so dejecting when you cannot even do the only thing you really enjoy in life.

I am still having the mild attacks every now and then, and before it gets worse, I would munch something light and non-oily, maybe a digestive biscuit or two. I would also make myself cups of milk, with condensed milk, every time I feel the acid secreting in my ill gastric. It is my savior. It was the only thing I could ingest without vomiting, two days ago. Since yesterday, I have been drinking more diluted condensed milk than plain water. While I know it is not a healthy choice, I only have this option for now.

Horrible Treatment

A colleague had just been terminated on the spot, after her probation period being extended a month ago. She had already scheduled her medical surgery, and she was told initially that she would not be able to claim for it under the company insurance. If she were to be terminated on Monday, the exact day when her extended probation would be up, she would be able to make the claim, according to the black-and-white. That was exactly the intention, to disallow her make any further claims. Then, when she requested the Head of HR to allow her to make this claim, he agreed to change the terms, that is, to give her two weeks’ notice, and he gave her the choice to resign on her own accord. But before that, the HR Manager actually refused to let her have this last benefit.

True, she has been calculative on the benefits entitlement, and has already claimed over a thousand dollars on medical care, even before she was being confirmed as a permanent employee. And yes, she has been going around complaining about how overloaded she had been, how ridiculous her boss(es) had been, how appalling other colleagues are, so on and so forth. She has not been the best and most pleasant employee around. However, this kind of treatment from a corporate to an individual is so disgusting!

What kind of company have I gotten myself into, again? It is just so distasteful! Damn. Though I have been conscientious at work, nobody can guarantee this will never happen to me. I have to start finding a way out now.

Damn it!