When you can't live without bananas

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Saturday, March 23, 2002

My arms and shoulders still hurt from yesterday's torture session. Ouch.

Friday, March 22, 2002

Wow, my blog's come to life.

I come back after 2 weeks and I find that I've 822kb of mail from Screwed Up Girl. This might account for the dearth of (more useful or interesting) mail from March 15th to March 20th. I'm going to put her on my "blocked addresses" list very soon.

Puppy (who thinks she looks like a hamster) is telling me I'm mean for calling Screwed Up Girl thus, but I stick by my description :)

And Andrew Gan is planning some conspiracy at 3pm tomorrow at Guthrie House. Oh, the intrigue.

It's all my fault for following links!

I got stuck at this rather angsty page and got a big headache.

Thursday, March 21, 2002

You ARE getting into the hang of Melbourne life - it took me a year to discover the Arts Center, and 3 years more to lose my wallet. I always knew you were a smarter kid than me:)

Have not being on much, because have been trying to play more computer games in my limited recreation time, as opposed to trawling the net in a desperate search for alternate employment. This is part of my new spiritual renewal plan of "karmic acceptance".

Not much job rant of late - it's been mostly training - fascinating (really!) lectures about bank frauds, cheques, cash handling, counterfeit money, etc. Today we even had a robbery simulation roleplay with pretty ferocious sounding guys with AK-47s. We were videotaped as doing "everything wrong" - allowing press on the premises, customers to remove cash, not sealing off the branch, etc etc.

However, I came across a *very* cool chop - "MUTILATION CONFIRMED". I mean, it may be something fundamentally, viscerally male but it is *IMMENSELY* satisfying to go around stamping "MUTILATION CONFIRMED" onto all kinds of things:) Procedurally, it's meant for damaged cheques, although there is *so* much potential with such a chop.....

Ah well.

Weekends seem to pass so fast... spent saturday on the phone chatting with people. Sunday was... church, then household shopping in the reject shop, then met melvin tay's friend for lunch. I didn't know how to recognise her, but she said to meet at Nike Melbourne and later mentioned something about the infallible "RI look" of all schoolboys from there. Also went to the asian grocery store- picked up green tea, instant noodles, wasabi peas. Now i gotta get a proper big pyrex bowl for instant noodles and other similar microwave-prepared foods. Bumped into aunty janet in chinatown- (i didn't even know she was supposed to be in melbourne~!). Went back and ... can't even remember what i did in the evening, suspect i didn't accomplish any work.

Monday was so not a blast... long school day, then while jiaming & co. went to watch gosford park (5 buck cinema tickets!) I went back for college tutorial. Someone stole my sandwich, so I had to bring a salmon roll to school.. classes! classes! Somehow "school" doesn't correlate to university. (if only it were the Unseen University....) Can't seem to remember what I did at night.... think I was reading pratchett's "The colour of magic"(octarine). Oh, now i remember... there was supposed to be friends on TV at 7.30, but it wasn't there... sigh sigh sigh.

Tuesday... wasn't that much better. Woke up, discovered my wallet was missing. Panicked. Panicked again. Panicked a handful more time before going to school. Spent classes in a panicky state, and left word with everyone I knew about my missing wallet. Last time i could remember using my wallet was to buy a rice ball from the second level vegetarian place in student union the previous afternoon.
Night: went to audition for the ormond play. Great fun, embarrassed myself totally over and over again. Won't get it though. Then went to com lab- got an email- my wallet had been found in melbourne business school dustbins by cleaners, handed to the school office. Went back to my room after being out of it for 2 hours, to find my father had left 5 messages for me to call him back in the last 2 hours. He also left word with chaowan, and tried to ring the com lab. About my missing wallet.

Wednesday: Rushed down to melbourne business school to collect my wallet. Apparently, my wallet and another lady's wallet had been found in the dustbins on Monday nite, devoid of money (mine was suspiciously devoid of my medibank private card as well as my photocopying card). Plan to file a police report.
Went for first field visit to clinic/medical centre. Outlying place called meadow fields medical centre (during icm, broadmeadows-the district- was discussed, and it was referred to as the "poorer place" as compared to Tourac- where bungalows cost $1m upwards), almost all the patients in the 2hour visit were elderly turkish men/women who spoke little english. The middle eastern doctor could also speak turkish, and was explaining a little abt the cultural sensitivities involved- e.g. headscarves, not shaking hands with the women. I asked if he was muslim as well, and he replied affirmatively. Not much apart from sitting down and (pretending to be ) looking interested in people speaking in rapid turkish to one another. I caught an "insya allah" and "assamualaikum" and "waalaikumasalaam" here and there, though (=.

Thursday: Woke up woefully late, arrived 15minutes into the lecture. Too woozy to wake up, and it was starting to get cold inside. Fortunately thursday's the good day- 1 lecture plus maybe 1 practical. Went to sarah's place for lunch (and got berating for not being A Nice Guy and offering to help wash up, =p ) then to prac. Darn. Forgot to
a) returrn books to rowden white,
b) file police report
c) see kitchen staff abt re-starting my sandwich orders
d) study as hard as the people around me seem to do.

Oh. And i just discovered blue/orange tickets are sold out all the way till 30 march. Hrmmmph. Grabbed lotsa brochures on the way back from vic arts centre the other day. Arts precinct is a great place- esp compared with the meagre touristy locales and artificial settings in singapore.


Tuesday, March 19, 2002

For Everyone's Entertainment, here are some more Job Soundbites - presented in disjoint "paste from icq/journals" pastiche. Cull what coherence you can.

"...fucked up woman who wasted two hours of my and senior's time bragging about her 3 million ringgit condo."

"erm... there's this idiot bangala i mentioned also.. he can't write so he spent 20 minutes signing his name(he was just drawing out patterns.. like carving some mural)
there's the fairly cool security guard who used to work in australia. he brought in a million ringgit loan today through his contacts with this guy who's the local president of a gas extraction company..."

.."here was this one guy who said loudly : "i have a few million dollars in this bank and i will withdraw it if you don't fix this machine(Cash deposit machine)"

"the pressure is entirely from the GODDAMN FUCKING CUSTOMERS.
the assistant manager is even more stressed out than i am and the manager.. god knows what the manager is doing..."

"but will get pressure from supervisor soon.. because right now i am in the "learning" stage.. but soooner or later have to go hit sales targets and make sales reports..."

"basically i am a
receptionist +
secretary +
customer service +
bank teller +
financial products salesman.."

"every morning everyone has to get into a Cultural Revolution-style self-confession where they admit how many mistakes they made the day before.."

"wah lan.. the people.. GOD
some indian guy actually threw a brochure at me just because he couldn't understand what it was saying despite trying v. patiently to explain to him..."

"and yesterday had to deal with this customer trying to bail out her husband from jail..."

"...not to mention being the de facto receptionist/secretary for all the back room staff and other officers..."

"....i must've said "XXXXX bank XXXX branch speaking how may i help you?" at least 200+ times today

"....today manager called me to talk to her - she sort of scolded me for missing a business meeting(because we had gone out to meet a client who WASTED TWO HOURS OF OUR TIME BRAGGING ABOUT HER WEALTH) - then told me that my sales targets were not that important, not to worry abou t it, yada yada, concentrate on deposits and loans(because those are part of the BRANCH targets)

then regional PFC supervisor called me and pretended to be a customer to test my "skill".. then she gave quite a lot of zhai sales tips to improve my technique.. then reminded me : "hit your targets ah??"

then assistant manager today told me to learn more about branch operations, don't be just too focused on sales, help out the back staff a bit.. when everyone else has been telling me so far to concentrate only on your duties because have no time to do anything else..."

"...anyway, today my senior was nearly in tears because her transfer request was turned down...."

"On tuesday, at this ther branch i was temporarily assigned to, another PFC was begging the regional PFC supervisor(who took me there) for a transfer in front of me.... it's very unnerving to see that, particularly on your second day of work in that line."

it's not all bad
i get to run credit checks on people:)
and i know a bit more about my relatives' financial state than i did previously:)..."

"...today we met a client.. a loanshark..
his office is so disturbingly like what you imagine a loanshark's office to be from the movies that i almost thought that he copied it off some hong kong movie.. (the barely occupied shoplot, the unmarked stairwell, the gray, smoke-hazed office, the fishtank, the "chinese organisation" banner, the guan yu altar, the smoking henchmen lazing around, the fat ta ge at the desk with a video screen attached to a closed-circuit camera aimed at the stairwell)..."

"... I should add that I was thrown into work sans training. That's right, you have to question the sanity of any commercial bank that allows someone with my sloppiness, near-illegible handwriting(even to myself), and utter contempt for humanity into a position where I have to deal with people's financial transactions. No training, no familiarisation. Simply a "show up at work on Monday" order, and I was immediately herded to my desk and instructed by my *very* frazzled superior on how to open accounts, all the while she was fending off her own horde of customers..."

Monday, March 18, 2002

Had a conversation today with a friend - an interesting insight was shared. Any comments on the matter?

"Have you noticed how ang moh porn tends to have guys with pretty good physiques and well hung dicks(even if they're ugly), while asian(particularly hk or jap) porn tends to have guys who either look damn geeky or are fat old ah peks?"

My friend's theory:

"angmoh men know where they stand with their women... equal. chinese men always want to show that they are boses over their spouses or partners.... guys with small dicks or generally old fucks in those shows tend to give the women (if they watch it together with their partners), a sense of: 'if that old fucker witha tiny dick can get sucha pretty girl, i'd better be nice to my hubby too!' get it?"

My own $0.02(most of what I said was too lurid for depiction on this PG-13 blog, but here's a choice soundbite):

"And i guess it tells the males that it doesn't matter if you're an old fuck or a fat fuck; there's an akira fubuki somewhere waiting to suck your digitally obscured cock.
It must be a cultural thing though - i've rarely seen any asian female domination porn before - and a lot of it is mostly in a "ghost story" kind of context."

And the word of the day is "fluffers"

"They are cocksuckers who help pornstars get an erection before going into the shot. a lot of them were used in the 'annabel chong' record event."

To Andrew (Tan not Gan): "rational utility maximising decisions as they pertain to human sociological interactions." is a possible research topic/anti-Deepak Chopra go - if you're still interested.
Went for the Grand Prix last Sunday. Fantastic ambience - and was thankfully seated right in front of the first corner where Montoya clipped Schumacher immediately after start-up. Pretty good stuff - not to mention the absolute lack of fan support the so-called "Malaysian F1 driver" Alex Yoong recieved. (The Petronas-Sauber cars performed a lot better, and were a lot better received than the pathetic Minardi team). Also enjoyed idle speculation during the Malaysian Air Force flyover about the prospects of a military coup d'etat, missile fire into the box seats(which I didn't get this year, thanks to declining corporate sponsorship), and being amused at the large number of old rich guys with young stewardess-lookalike women.

We were overtaken by a TVR Chimaera and a Maserati Merak on the drive home. Although, in a freak twist of joyful malice, it started raining, and we soon spotted the poor bastards in the TVR huddling under a bridge fiddling with the convertible roof while about 15 other motorcyclists watched them in amusement, and probably contemplating some ad hoc banditry.

Anyway, on to today's golden moments at work(orientation training at the main branch in KL). The ride into town really made me appreciate the luck I have at being chauffeured to work.

Today's Golden Moments.

"but the account never changes.. it's very nature.. you know.. NATURE."
"erm.. do you mean NEUTRAL?"

"if you go from 0 to 20 that mans you increase 200%" (if you can't figure out the two horrible mistakes with this sentence i hereby revoke your sentient status)

"(COMPANY NAME) is not tan sri XXXXXXXX but rather the combined sum of you employees..." (AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAH)

watching the cartoon from www.whomovedmycheese.com and trying to resist from alternately laughing out loud, pointing out the various moral loopholes of the story, and throttling my instructor with the XXXXX corporate tie. not to mention resisting that our function at XXXXX is more to add to the XXXX family's overflowing cheese station rather than find out own "new cheese"

learning the 7 habits of highly effective people in malay("menajamkan gergaji")

being the ONLY overseas graduate in the whole orientation group

listening to the cheerful internal audit guy tell us: "we don't beat you up or cut your hand and pour salt in it.. but we have psychological techniques and our staff are trained in interrogation... so don't play play." (he also had some good stories about fraud cases - particularly regarding people who escaped)

Participating in asinine exercises involving throwing balloons around - which tied into quality management through some arcane syllogism that eluded my comprehension.

Constructing 3d representations(origami!) of the corporate culture(my group did a very lopsided cottage that resembled a "old-fashioned kampung toilet")

Noting the utter absence of any attractive females in the group

And, to Dan, Vernon, Jason and the rest of the happy 350 PYC people, there was a half-hour talk on "synergy". I now understand why you guys hate me so:) I repent of my sins:)

Also, they described their Global Industrial Master Plan - or GIMP. The importance of GIMP 1(domestic) and GIMP 2(regional) were highlighted repeatedly(in the typical corporate power-point presentations with lots of fancy colours, bulleted buzzwords such as "innovation" and "continuous improvement"). Clearly the corporate strategists at XXXXX have never watched Pulp Fiction. Or else they have, and this is their twisted way of revealing just what the company represents to them.

And, in a final, utter act of blackest hypocrisy, the last talk was on the importance of "spiritual" and "mental" well being, the importance of making deposits into your "emotional bank accounts", the need for constant psychological renewal, and a touching, tear-jerking expression of concern: "We don't want you to die for our company." (Yeah, because they can wring more labour out of your breathing, work-sated, barely mobile zombified form. And avoid life insurance payouts.)

I am now convinced that the HR/Training departments of organisations worldwide are participating in a massive conspiracy to use cutesy phrases, self-help books(there was a whole session on @#%@#ing Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People), one-shot animated parables, inane "teambuilding" activities, and repeated pep talks as a way of breaking the spirit of the working man. Since the baton and chanting of Maoist slogans have gone out of popular fashion, this is a more terrifying and insidious way to destroy you as a person. And after one day, I can say that I'm almost ready to break.

If anyone calls me on the phone these days, my instinctive reply is: "good afternoon this is XXXX bank, XXX branch how may i help you?" in a breathy, telephone-audit-passing, optimistic, "smile-on-your-face-which-can-be-percieved-by-listeners"(a theory propounded during one exercise in practicing our phone habits - probably through some mysterious and little understood kinaesthetic process. Oh, and the phone habit exercise is part of the organisation's efforts to have customised greetings from all staff members.

Sunday, March 17, 2002


Hi i know this is a violation of blogger expectations but i just logged out of everything and i need to keep a copy of this hyperlink to visit for preparing presentation (which i suspect i'll end up doing the whole of anyway) so i can print it out in uni, darn printer in comp lab in ormond doesn't auth me
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