They say I’m doing just fine

Unfortunately I have to take back the not-sad, not-mad thing because I have both of them in spades today. Ffs.

Flakes should be hanged, man. I’m sick of em. If you can’t make it, fucking tell me in advance, not wait for me to ask you. Also? Rude service providers. I hate to say it because I’m a Singaporean, but maybe I’m qualified to say this precisely because I’m a Singaporean – local service providers are usually shite. Shite service with shite attitudes. No, you don’t get to roll your eyes at me in front of me, or say “As I said before…” in a shitty tone when having to repeat your answer, or start your email response with “Err you sent me the request late yesterday so a delivery today is impossible.” Err? ERR? Are you fucking kidding me? Also what’s with suddenly being nicer and suddenly being able to provide a quick service when it’s my white boss asking you? Are you being racist to your own countryman? Why are you so basic?

/end rant

Guess whose boss wants her to go visit the London office sooner rather than later? Guess whose boss told her “You might as well fly out the Friday before (the visit) so you can spend the weekend in London”? Guess whose boss approved for her to fly back to Singapore a few days later so she can go on her maiden trip to Germany where she is going to crash her friend’s family’s Easter celebration? Guess who gets to stuff her face with those fabulous Borough Market doughnuts and authentic German pretzels in two weeks’ time?!

YES, IT’S ME!!! And there I thought I would not be able to satisfy my yearly quota of visiting Europe this year due to my lack of funds!

It’s the way I’m feeling I just can’t deny

On my birthday just under two months ago I applied for a job with the local branch of a London-based marketing tech company. I’d heard of them before and had been eyeing their careers page for a long, long time. They seemed really cool and I like what they’re doing. They’re also immensely successful. I was very excited.

Two weeks later they contacted me, and after three rounds of interviews, the last of which was with the co-founder via Google Hangout – which entirely consisted of me asking him questions rather than the other way around (my research had warned me of this, so I was prepared) – they extended an offer to me last Friday. I wasn’t surprised. After all, the co-founder had ended the interview with, “I don’t have any questions for you. Based on the questions you’ve asked me, you are the right fit for the company.”

So, you know, I was happy, but I was chill.

Then I began to read the words on the offer letter…and nearly fell out of my chair.

It’s not the salary. I knew the salary beforehand. We established their max budget right from the start. It’s good. I don’t hate it. (Read: I love it. Like, a lot.) It’s the benefits package that made me gasp. Two things in particular:

1. 25 days annual leave, you guys. TWENTY-FIVE. I know that is standard for Europe but 14 is typical here. I got 18 at my last job and thought I had struck gold. So to be given 25 without even negotiating…this is the real gold. MORE HOLIDAYS, HERE I COME.

2. After my three months probation they are flying me to visit the HQ. In London. IN LONDONNN. This was not mentioned in the job ad or during the interview process, so I’m truly flabbergasted.

I fell in love with London last year when I went, specifically with the food scene. (What else is new? Hehehe.) So to know that I will be going again at some point this year at the expense of the company? Whoaaa. No idea how many days the trip will be, but already I’m wondering if I can extend it to visit a nearby country. Heh. I have chronic wanderlust; I’m incorrigible. My German friend SV visited me when I was in London and we’ve been talking about me visiting his motherland for a while, so maybe this is my chance…

I start on 22 Feb, so just a week left of my, uh, “vacation”. I won’t lie – I’m relieved I can finally say “I got a job” but at the same time I’m mourning the end of my freedom. You’d think three months of nothingness (since coming back from Ireland) was enough nothingness that I’d be raring to go back to work. Well, you grossly underestimate my aptitude for finding sheer joy in doing nothing. Oh, doing nothing. You shall be missed.

I hope this is it for me for a while. At least three years. More. Five. So tired of finding a good job only for it to turn bad. So tired of doing the employed/unemployed thing. It’s getting old. I’m getting old. It’s time for a bit of stability.

I’m not absolving myself from those good jobs turning bad. In both of my last two jobs, it would have served me better had I been less emotional and passive-aggressive and instead put in a real effort to compose myself and initiated those difficult conversations right from the beginning. Instead there were pent-up emotions that eventually became outbursts. I cringe now thinking about those times I acted unprofessionally. I would do things much more differently now.

It was hard to help myself much at my last job though, after the COO joined. She just never liked me so I could never get anything right. I tried my best for six months but it just wasn’t working. There was nothing else for me to do but go. But still there are a few things I would change.

Would you believe I’m still not completely over leaving that job? A lot of my former colleagues are FB friends so I’m able to see whatever pics they post of their work day (and they do – a lot). I’m ashamed to say I feel FOMO. Less now, thankfully, but as recently as last X’mas, when I saw that they played Secret Santa, I became furious. “I started that tradition! I did!” I huffed to anyone who would listen. As if I’d come up with the whole concept of Secret Santa to begin with. Ridiculous!

I asked my former CEO to be my referee for this new job and he agreed. I jokingly asked him, “Will you only say good things about me?” And he said, “Of course.” Haha. So glad we had that talk two days before I left. It plays a pivotal role in why we are friends/friendly today.

I want to embrace my Best Self. She’s in here somewhere. My Best Self thinks, then acts. She doesn’t react until she is calm. She doesn’t stew silently – she speaks up. My Best Self assumes the good in everyone until proven otherwise. She is patient, kinder, more compassionate. She is more receptive and less defensive to feedback/criticism. And most importantly, she is never late. Ha!

I can’t wait to show them what I can be.

Every time the sun goes down

I want us to talk again – the way we used to when the sun was coming up, and we were miles away from anywhere.

I want us to talk again – about all the things we would think about, yet never thought to say out loud to anyone else.

I want us to talk again – like the way we did before we wanted to do anything more than that. I want us to talk.

And if we never talk again, I want you to know that I miss that most of all – and every time the sun goes down, I think of all the things I wish I could tell you.

~ Lang Leav

This made me think of you, I said.

Now it makes me think of you too, you said.

(I’m sure he thinks of you all the time too, she said.)

It’s not that we can’t talk anymore, you said.

It’s just that things are different now and it’s too diffic–.

I know, I said.

You’ve said that before, I said.

I hope you’re well, you said.

I hope you’re well too, I said.

And just like that
we go back
to not talking

Toe to toe, back to back, let’s go

I was running late for lunch with ATH today so I decided to book a cab. I had uninstalled my taxi app before going to Ireland and haven’t reinstalled it since I got back.

(I am also the last person in this country who does not use Uber for two reasons:

1) I’ve got to create an account and enter all my details, so signing up for Uber is a calculated move rather than something you do when you’ve been on the roadside for 20 minutes waiting for a cab or given up on your typical misguided optimism that you will get to the centre of town via bus-MRT-walk in half an hour.

2) It gets charged to my card and who’s got money in her bank account these days? Yep, not me. Heh.)

Instead of reinstalling my old taxi app, I decided to install Grabtaxi. I’d never used it before, I figured what the hey, give it a go. My impression of Grabtaxi was that it was merely a pool of the various taxi operators and whoever happens to be close/convenient takes my request. Survival of the fittest. But among taxi operators, not randos with a car a la Uber.

So imagine my surprise when a private car turned up for me. I guess Grabtaxi has gone the way of Uber now then? I got in, and All The Thoughts proceeded to fill up my head. Upon seeing a taxi on the road, I began to feel guilty that I was giving money to a schmuck with a car who is already wealthy enough to own a bloody car in this country who just happened to be going the same way I wanted to go, instead of a hardworking “taxi uncle” (what we endearingly call our taxi drivers here) whose actual livelihood is driving a taxi. Who has to pay commission + tax to the taxi operator for every job they do, plus pay an exorbitant monthly rental of the cab. (Grabtaxi takes a commission too, but less, and no tax, so the driver earns more.)

ATH laughed when I told him of my ethical dilemma and called me a softie. He said I should not feel guilty at all, that that’s the way it goes. It is, I know, but I can’t stop feeling bad that I deprived a legit taxi driver of $14 today.

I’ve been in a self-destructive mood these days. I want to experience freefall so I’ve been fighting the urge to jump off a cliff. JT said to me yesterday, “Don’t come crying to me when your heart is broken.”

I should feel more of an ethical dilemma about this than the taxi thing, but I will pick and choose my own ethics, thanks. I’m just playing with fire cuz I like the heat, you know?

Our love was made for movie screens

All it’s taken is a [insert appropriate noun here] who has since moved far away unexpectedly reaching out to get me all bluesy and singing All I want is / and all I need is / to find somebody like you.

“When are you coming to Europe again?”
“Not for a while. Why?”
“Tell me next time you’re coming. I could join you wherever in Europe. Guide you in some European city. If you want.”
“Sure, it would be nice to catch up.”

I don’t want him or someone like him. I never really did. We ran parallel but never truly intersected and that was okay then and is still okay now. It’s just a song.

Nevertheless it’s got me thinking about all the lost people. The people who used to be in my life but aren’t anymore for whatever reason. What used to be routine that is just history now. The inside jokes, the secret codes, the nicknames we gave each other and everyone else. Now they’re just photos from four haircuts ago, old audio messages, and residual feelings. Irrelevant.

I get that people come into your life for a reason and they leave when they have served their purpose and vice-versa. But sometimes I also think, well, how could that be over? I’m not done yet. All these stories I need to tell them and the stories they need to tell me. Hell, I’m pretty sure I was mid-conversation with some of them.

Sometimes they are done with you though, and you never hear from them again. It sucks but that’s the way it goes.

But sometimes they aren’t done with you either, which is both a blessing and a curse. It’s nice to be remembered so fondly, but if you’re like me you also end up singing All I want is / and all I need is / to find somebody like you when you swear you never wanted them. It’s just nostalgia. It’s just a fucking song.