You better watch out, you better not cry
You better not pout, I’m telling you why
A flu pandemic’s coming to town
I remember what SARS in Singapore was like (now we’re having a mini version of the scare with the dengue) — wide empty swathes of public spaces, and you get pretty comfortable with staying indoors. With a flu pandemic … even that luxury would be ineffectual. The last killer flu pandemic, the so-called Asian Influenza, was in the late 1950s, but the biggest killer was the Spanish Flu — more people killed than in the First World War.
What can we do to get ready, or prepare, or whatever? What can we do? Governments that can afford to (but who can afford not to?) stockpile drugs, but what about the poor ones? In any case, vaccines can only be developed when the final-ish form of the virus is known, and that’s like waiting for the axe to slice half your spinal cord off before you roll out of the way, baby. Why did I come up with such a gross image?
So, I’ve started work at this new place. Signed a big-deal confidentiality agreement to not reveal anything about anything, but of course I’m gonna share what I feeeeeeel. It’s only been two days, so I haven’t got a sense of everything I’m supposed to do yet — but I’m beginning to see the light. Can see where there’s bull to be spotted, but it’s highly unlikely that I’ll grab it by the horns! I’m given leeway to change hats if the initial one becomes too tight-fitting — we’ll see how it goes. I’m won’t be happy if I feel that I’m not useful, not bringing something special to the mix, you know. Something something, anyway, would hate to be a deadweight. But that doesn’t preclude me doing things I detest or becoming someone I’d disdain, it appears. I remember having hopes and dreams for myself, but where are they now? What they are now, I’m not too sure.
Work attire is formal. Make that Formal. Or FORMAL. Keeps things interesting, nice to have a challenge to wrap the (reptile?) brain around in the morning or the night before, but it also means a part of the messy so-called closet’s closed off from me for now. Anyway, I refuse to dress in a manner boring to self even if it’s Formally, and a black blazer can be so yawn-inducing if it’s in a cheapo cloth and a cheapo cut. It’s about the silhouette. Not saying I have a nice one, though, getting all potato-ish again! Not going to get life on track till I finish this freelance monster I’m doing, but that’s another story. For some reason I’m not privy to and shan’t attempt a guess at, I’m surrounded by Chinese (Cheenee in Hindi) at work. Surrounded! Makes for a puzzling time after the joys of working in a diverse environment. Hmm …
OLD PLACE vs NEW PLACE fightout!
OP: Weak food selection in vicinity, not that cheap either
NP: Glorious food selection, wide price range
OP 0: NP 1
OP: Own cubicle, own cushioned chair, some privacy, some quiet (though didn’t give ex-colleagues much, I can tell you that!)
NP: Long table, IKEA plastic chair, no privacy, no quiet (radio blaring)
OP: 1: NP 1
OP: Not in big boss’s line of sight, though directly in front of mid boss
NP: Next to big boss’s fishbowl, in fishbowl of one’s own, though big boss doesn’t feel oppressive or fish-markety at all, quite comfortable to be there really, plus there’s an aerial view of the surroundings if I turn around
OP: 1.5: NP 1.5
OP: Far from town, have to take two buses plus MRT to get there by public transport (but who am I kidding, never went that way by that way)
NP: Slightly off the centre only, ridiculously close to town dates, though journey home is still a bit less than an hour by, get this, public transport.
OP: 1.5: NP 2.5
OP: Insane ngeow-ness (stingy-ness, miserly-ness) at times when it comes to taking care of staff — no nice biscuits or credible water supply
NP: Somewhat generous despite small size, not averse to spending money on stuff if it means better productivity (which includes consequences of happier staff) — can just be little things like providing tissue boxes (with tissue in ’em!), nice choccy biscuits in pantry and, yes, hot and cold water with a visible source!
OP: 1.5: NP 3.5
OP: Crazy cleaning lady keeps toilets clean but can be oddly clean, you know?
NP: Posh toilets! Though not always spic and span, other companies sharing the same floor la.
OP: 2: NP 4
OP: Belief in white industrial lighting so far away from desk by virtue of ceiling height that it’s a bit eerie. Use of CRT screens not helpful.
NP: Warm accent lighting! Huge windows! LCD screens!
OP: 2: NP 5
OP: Macs. ‘Nuff said.
NP: Peecees. ‘Nuff said. (However — able to bring own laptop — iBook — in, which is a Different Deal from at OP.)
OP: 4: NP 5
Shan’t say anything about impressions of people yet. No one I am aghast at, not to worry, though a bit startled may be the word of choice … Gotta learn to take charge of whatever it is I’m supposed to be doing. If it’s to improve the editorial standard of the work, then by golly, it’s time to roll up the sleeves. Wonder how hard I can come down on people? Though it’s not as if they have the time to do much clamping on their own, I guess.
Anyway, if any of my chums want to know when I’m available for a poke in the eye, here’s my work schedule from here on, till if I start on a Masters degree, God willing:
I like the pretty colours.