Monday, November 4, 2013

It’s my birthday and I can gloat if I want to

I’ve lost track of how many times my mentor had to sit down with me just to remind me that I have to focus. “Do you really want to have a chopsuey life?!”,  she’d asked (for those of you who don’t know what chopsuey is, it’s sautéed mixed vegetables. interesting choice of words, noh?) or “You know, I didn’t believe you before when you said that you probably have ADD (attention deficit disorder) but you might just have it.” or “You have great potential but if you don’t get your act together it might just remain that- a potential”.

I know, she can be very honest but she’s also very patient.  She did not give up on me though it took me a year to jumpstart a project she can successfully accomplish in a month.  I don’t know how in the world I could ever come close to her standards.  But today, I am definite I have!

What a pleasant birthday surprise!

Persistence is key

Currently, I’m blogging from a hotel in Kuala Lumpur (KL).  I arrived past midnight expecting an airport transfer.  But the road to getting it wasn't easy.  As expected, I booked last minute- 48 hours before the flight.  I specifically asked for transfer when I confirmed the booking and I also e-mailed the hotel twice just to be sure. When I didn’t get a response after a day, I called.  Guess what? They refused to accommodate my request because I had to inform them 48 hours before the scheduled check-in not 48 hours before I land on the airport ( didn't check the fine print).  So, after a long and fruitless negotiation with the desk officer, I hung up on her.  Knowing that her shift will end around 5pm, I called again past that time hoping that I can get to talk the manager this time (or just a more sensible person).  However, after spending precious pesos on an international call, I got another no.  My travel buddy insisted that I let it slide. We could just get a taxi. So, before I boarded the plane I called again just to get the address for the cab but I was told that the hotel will be sending someone to pick us up. Hooray! Dogged persistence does pay off. 

Push it!

I work in “lala land”.  That means I don’t do overtime (only until 6.30pm if I really have to). Office politics is unheard of where I come from.  It’s impossible in my world since we work with different colleagues daily and there's no ladder to climb.  Since people are not after any position or promotion, the work atmosphere is generally relaxed.  To top it off,  I may get off work anytime I want to (not that I do that often). I just need to inform people- no slips or application of leave whatsoever.  There's a reason why I’m telling you all this- to emphasize the point that  I’m not used to working my butt-off like corporate people.  We literally just play at work.  Then, I have to collaborate with a mentor who hails from a let’s-get-things-done-even-if-it’s-out-of this-world environment and expects me to move mountains.

For a year, I've been telling her that I'm trailing behind her but I'll get it soon enough.  Today, I'm happy to report that I nailed it!

You see, I am in KL so I could redeem a shopping voucher (not that I care anything about shopping). I won it.  The thing is, I failed to read the fine print again. I could only use it at the international airport of which I don’t have a pass since I came in via the low cost terminal. I checked with the information personnel- she said I can only use it for chocolates and perfume.  My sister (my travel companion couldn’t contain her laughter- she knows I don’t like perfume and I need every inch of my 15kg luggage to pack in all the sweets if I am to use up the gift certificates).  But, after a recent win (getting the airport transfer), I’m not one who will easily give in.  I still went ahead with my set plan (to get a gadget using the vouchers) and asked around.  Turned out, I can use it in a electronic store.  The only thing is, I didn’t like the selection in the only store outside the terminal.  Again, my travel buddy coaxed me to just be done with it and just get whatever is available.  The old me would have followed her.  But, I’ve seen how persistence works so I called the number in my congratulatory letter until my fingers bleed and my sister threatens to block me from her travelling companion list.  Did I budge?  Did I give up? Hell no! (pardon the language but I couldn’t find anything more appropriate)  I asked where the office of the awarding committee is and despite all odds (my irritated sissy & the more irritated information lady), we ventured into the city to find the head honcho so I can talk to him.  I learned from my mentor that if something closes, find another way. Also, she emphasized that the personnels usually can’t make decisions so go for the big guys, they’re usually more accommodating.  To cut to the chase, after almost a day of seek-and-seek and talk-to-any-english speaking-airport personnel, I got a pass to go inside the international airport terminal. Another yay for me!

The Win
I just got my birthday present- a fiercer, more determined and wait for it……………. a more focused me!  Thank you dearest mentor and great job, self! You are getting better!

P.S. Truth be told, silence helped me a lot too but that’s another long story.
video from EasyMeditation

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