Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Conquering the Sky

(Continued from 'Mixing Business with Pleasure, Again!')

As soon as I stepped into my condo, I couldn't help texting Mr Designer on my frustration. He read my sms and called me immediately. No big deal, the 3 of us can meet up to settle our work first on Sunday noon and after that, his partner can leave earlier while both of us hang out. I didn't remember exactly what I said but it was some mushy feelings stuff. He asked if I was okay and I said 'Not really, but don't worry about it.' Interestingly, he didn't hang up like most of the occupants from planet Mars would, he is not allergic to the Venus language:) He joked that he could suddenly feel a headache coming and regreted leaving the Panadol I gave him in his knapsack at home. Probably, he'd need to grow tonnes of penicilin or something soon. That got me laughing.

Like he had done once before, he nailed my uneasiness to the core there and then. He asked me a few questions and reminded me of what I said about taking things naturally. Talking to him helped me sort my thoughts and emotions until the picture became clearer. Somewhere down the road, I hope we could move further than being friends and I'd like that option to remain open. Somehow, I felt like the door was suddenly closed. He said he understood where I was coming from, yeah, really. He was relieved that I sounded a lot better than I did 5 minutes earlier.

He did ask me an interesting question – what happens in the future when I may want to spend much more time with him and he will not be able to accommodate that? So that is his main worry! I told him I only want to spend 'some time' with him, not spend 'a lot of time'. He jokingly asked me not to use my PR skills on him eg emphasising key messages, etc. LOL! Then, his battery konk out off and on and we finally gave up. It was already 6.30am, time to get some sleep.

I knew the source of his fear. He told me his ex-fiance wanted to spend so much time together. She even insisted that he put her before his kids and won't let him see his kids during his free time, she wanted every minute of it. She even put down his odd-hour job – said he was busting his ass off earning peanuts – and tried to ruin his self-confidence so she could control him.

Well, for one the woman doesn't work. She has plenty of time. The RM10k monthly income she gets as a Director in one of her father's companies is enough. She wanted him to do the same but he wanted to stand on his own 2 feet and do what he was trained to do. He admitted that it was tempting to return to her – they had some good memories too. And she had been asking him to come back, her father tried to talk to him too. However, it would only make him feel guilty towards himself.

He said his business partner asked if he missed his high-flying lifestyle while with her for 1.5 years. Of course he did. They hosted parties at The Ascot and went for group vacations in Australia, New Zealand, Phuket and Koh Samui. But at the end of the day, it was a matter of principle and he had to say 'No'.

Okay, I worked my ass off too. And the nature of my job and me being a right-brainer made me genuinely appreciate his talent and professional skills. I not only encouraged him to do his own business, but I'm now actually inspired to do the same, starting on a part time basis first though.

I learned recently that he broke up with his ex-fiance only 1 month before we met. Definitely, it is too soon for him to enter into another relationship. At least I know what he's thinking. Yeah, that I would end up demanding more and more of his time like she did, and probably like other women in his life did too, except his ex-wife who seemed to have handled that chapter well. I 'd love to meet her, she really sounded amazing. She has been paying his stock market debt since 1998, and they got divorced in 2005; in another 2 years it will be settled. She also owns a house and take care of their 2 kids, financially too. He speaks well of her and said it was 'sayang' that things didn't work out between them. Well, she's getting re-married soon. I do realised that he has always been lucky. Regardless of how bad things get, someone will save the day.

What I'm going to propose to him? Now that his troublesome ex-boss is out of the picture, he would have better control of his schedule. So, starting from 6 October, I shall insist that all work-related discussions or meetings be done only during office hours. I'm not paid enough to work weekends and until the wee hours of the morning willingly, I'm not even decently treated by my superiors. This way, when we meet outside office hours, it will be solely personal outings. There will be more quality time for both of us. Yeah, it's not about quantity. Even twice a week is okay to me, if well spent.

Hey, I'm a strategist, I learn from other people's mistakes. If the Wright Brothers hadn't put wings on their plane like several past creators, we still won't have aeroplanes till this day:)

That's it for now, folks. Selamat hari raya aidil fitri. Maaf zahir dan batin:D

Mixing Business with Pleasure, Again!

Last Sunday, Mr Designer and I planned to buka puasa together. Now that he has no car, we have to meet during decent hours as he would not be able to send me home. LOL! However, typical of him – always 2 hours behind – I wasn't surprised when he called at 5pm to move our outing to 9pm instead. He also changed the venue to KL Sentral, instead of Ampang, which is actually convenient for me, safer. But why change the time too? To make matters worse, the last train last night was at 11.25pm, instead of the usual 12.30am. The advertisement on the way was refreshing though. The theme was 'Art for Everyone' and the train was made up to look like an art gallery, inside and outside.

So, we met at Starbucks. Somehow, the evening seemed dull. Probably, I was tired, or he was tired. The sparks weren't there. I didn't realise that him meeting me somewhere rather than fetching me at home and then decide where to go was going to make a big difference.

Initially, I told myself not to talk about work. I was going back to my home town the next day, I mean Raya spirit is in the air. I just wanted to enjoy his company. However, after a brief 30 minutes, I couldn't help it, there were several critical things for him to present right after Raya. Realising the urgency, he also jumped and suggested calling his business partner. I was disappointed... but I nodded. I guess my head was telling me to agree, it was critical. But I suggested that the partner come later, not immediately, he missed the fact.

He arrived around 11.30pm and took us to KFC Pusat Bandar Damansara. Mr Designer and I were there once, for an early morning snack. We sat at the non-smoking section where the power point was. Well, I knew it was the right thing to do, to asked his partner to join us. We addressed quite a number of important jobs. That was for my company alone.

After that, we discussed their other clients, the one where they asked me to do freelance copywriting. Except that I could offer much more than that. We discussed the strategies and communications channels there and then. I gave his partner my re-branding presentation template, the one I prepared for my recruitment presentation – the one that got me my current job – asked him to insert what he could first .

We talked about Mr Designer's ex-boss cum my ex-friend cum his partner ex-business partner. Apparently, the incidence at KFC Sunway Pyramid on Thursday night only lasted for less than 5 minutes. Mr Designer said he didn't even sit down. He just stood there with his hands on his waist. He said his ex-boss' husband was stupid to remain seated; when dealing with people you hardly know, you should stand up so you can duck if you get hit. Oh! I didn't know that. His partner said her husband should have played a more diplomatic role ie try to talk to Mr Designer and find out what went wrong. For someone who would soon represent our country abroad, he behaved in an immature manner. They only banked in 1/8 of his second month's salary to get the flattened file codes. He ignored it and didn't hope to get more.

Finally, his partner sent me home at 5am and then dropped Mr Designer off at Bangsar, his friend would fetch him there. We planned to meet again next Sunday to finalise the designs as I have to present to 'No 1' on Monday. I tried to hint to his partner not to join us but I didn't think he get it. In fact, I sort of directly mentioned our relationship to him a few times, but apparently, he didn't seem to register that either. It could be that he pretended not to or he didn't think I would be interested in that guy. Hey, looking from the mere surface, that guy is so soft-spoken and I am more like a warrior. Who would have guess? I could see from the very beginning that he is gutsy, but I didn't expect his temper and violence ways (when mistreated) though. I asked Mr Designer to be open and tell the guy when I'm not present, it'll be a lot easier if he knew about us.

However, my heart didn't agree with my head's decision of inviting his partner that night. I guess during this whole week, our 3 outings were work-related. I felt like we didn't meet at all. Probably, I was sort of jealous that he shared a lot of personal stuff with his partner too. I also didn't like hearing his latest development from the guy before he could tell me himself. Like where he got the money to pay for his car booking fee from – they just got the payment for their first job. He did tell me he'd get it before Raya though.

(continued from 'Oursmarting the Quack', to be continued in 'Conquering the Sky')

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Outsmarting the Quack

Alas, the continuation to my Bullet Points entry on Friday.

On Friday morning, I called Mr Designer a few times to hear the story but he didn't pick up. It was already 2.30pm when he finally called me back. He said he had been in a bad mood and didn't want to talk to anybody for fear of snapping at them, hence the delayed call.

Apparently, what happened on Thursday night was really bad, worse than I thought. He agreed to meet his now ex-boss cum my ex-friend at KFC Sunway Pyramid. She turned up with her husband and her secretary. He brought her laptop and car keys. Yeah, she made a big deal about him returning her 'assets', he said it was as if he had her luxury car, house or something, rather than a laptop and an old Proton.

When he arrived, he extended his hand to salam with her husband but the man didn't reciprocate. He also had this strong look of contempt / disgust on his face. I could imagine that as I've met her husband a few times, he is a proud baba, a convert. That and the chaos arising from his ex-boss loud voice attracted the other diners' attention. The tables were close together. He left the laptop battery a bit but when she wanted to check it to ensure that everything was in order, the battery konk out. She yelled that he if had brains, he would have charged it, instead of lazing around at home for two days.

Definitely that infuriated him. Not only he had been working his ass off with very little sleep (on personal projects), he was also staying temporarily at his friends' place. He had been sleeping on the sofa for more than a month, no privacy, no real rest. He was desperate to move out of his rented house as it belongs to his ex-fiance's father, and it is next to their family house. His house-mates were still staying there though.

Moving on, as the icing on top of the cake, his ex-boss refused to pay his 2nd month salary. Note that she only paid a quarter of his 1st month salary. He could get more than that by freelancing, no need to have a permanent job. And he didn't have to be at her beck and call all the time too.

He said he really wanted to punch her husband, but something stopped him. That was unusual as normally, when he loses his temper, he wouldn't be able to control himself. Perhaps it was because everybody was looking at them. He also told himself that her husband didn't know the real story, he was very much under her influence. She might deny it, but being with both of them together was enough for me to see that she 'queen controls' him. I'm glad that he didn't punch the man; he works with the government, it may backfire in the long run. I was surprised that her husband would go down as to 'refuse to salam', people with genuine class won't do that. Mr Designer said that was the first time someone refused to salam with him.

What he did was blast them off with nasty words. He kicked the table hard towards her before leaving. Guess who fetched him? Yeah, his new business partner cum her ex-business partner & her husband's oldest friend. It is ironic that only weeks before she is scheduled to leave the country for her husband 5-year overseas posting, everybody discovered her true colour and turned against her, including me.

He was gravely upset. I could hear it in the tone of his voice. Even after an overnight gap, he sounded as if he had called me immediately after the incidence. I tried to console him. She owed him money, she would have to find him in Akhirat to settle her debts. Thinking that way may help him calm down a bit.

She may have thought that she had won but interestingly, no. The very next day, her secretary called him to ask for the codes of the files in the laptop. Apparently, he had flattened the image files and it would be almost impossible for the other designer to work on them in that format. So, he said he would give it after they release his salary, the full amount. LOL! She later called back and said they will release 50% before he give the code and another 50% after that. I told him no, it's obvious that she couldn't even be trusted. He should ask for 90% before and 10% after.

Though he needs the money, he should not rush it. I asked him to also get a letter of apology from her. With the way things are moving, he may go far in business. We don't want her to return in 5 years and ruin his good name. Remember that her husband works with the government, she rides a lot on his reputation to enhance her credibility. Without him, she is a quack. That is the main finding from my first hand experience of having dealt with her for the last 6 months.

Boy, I’m just glad that she would be out of our lives very soon.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Three-Light Candle

Recently, an old book on 'Wake Up the Creative Genius in You' just popped out at home. Glancing through it triggered my memory on why I bought it and a few other books on creativity. I was appointed the Creative Champion during one of my former employments. To inspire staffs, once we even had a guest speaker in Balada Nusantara interior design. That was fun. Yeah, who said each candle should only have one light?:)

Yesterday I updated my resume. Guess what, my current job doesn't sound so pathetic after all. Give it another 6 months, it will be a success story like the rest, insyaallah. I stated my management style as 'inculcate a working culture focusing on creativity, innovation and results, rather than tasks and processes.' Oh, I actually included that sentence in my KPI, so totally non-gomen. LOL!

And yesterday too, a great job offer turned up on the PROs and writers' mailing list. A Singaporean based PR agency is looking for a pioneer team to start its operation in KL. There is a vacancy for an Associate Director, someone with 10 years of experience who could run the office. Yeah, I could go to any PR agency. The demand for a senior consultant is always higher than the supply. But a new one, especially one who promises sales commission on projects worked on... that's like doing your own business, minus the financial risk. Being new also mean being versatile, the company couldn't just insist on taking solid PR work. It needs to accommodate advertising, media buy, printing and design related jobs and outsource them. This would give staffs the chance to be as creative and recommend programs as widely as they like.

The only obstacle I see is there will be a lot of running around with the new office and all, I definitely would have to pick up on driving. Mr Designer said not to worry about that, he'll teach me, hehe... He said the job is perfect for me. I should apply, and I shall. Contacts with a pool of multi-purpose, low priced suppliers will be useful. This is where I think he and his business partner would be useful. Yesterday afternoon, his business partner also introduced their other partner to me, someone who specialise in speaking events / training. I asked him to develop a Corporate Social Responsibility proposal. He asked me a lot of questions about my company and the industry. It got me thinking and reminded me on what's important. The negativity around me for the last 9 months has diluted my focus.

Actually, this week too, I'd called a few suppliers to propose a 6-month advertising plans as we still have not touched 90 percent of our Advertising and Promotion budget. Yeah, you're talking about hitting the last quarter and hardly spending. It has been so difficult to get any proposal approved. Imagine how frustrating it is for me and my team. Not to mention, my re-branding proposal was put a stop to at the very last step due to a new mandate from the Ministry. When we submitted a proposal for a Hari Raya advertisement with a free upgrade from black & white to colour, 'No 1' made no decision, as clear cut as it might seem. The supplier wanted to absorb RM10k as a Raya gift, and he had to ponder on that?:(

All in all, I have to say that my encounter with Mr Designer has opened up my eyes to something. Yeah, running your own business is much more interesting and rewarding. Though they are struggling now, in a year perhaps, they can sail smoothly. I think being their freelance copywriter will be a good start for me. Their business being small and versatile means we can work with clients in an unstructured manner, without bosses to report to. That would really inspire creativty. When I watched him working on my company's designs till the wee hour of the morning and gave feedback, he said I actually have the knack for it. I do have an idea on the smart usage of colours, maintaining a clean layout, churning out creative concept, etc. I kind of enjoyed it too :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Bullet Points

Mr Designer's new business partner treated a client for buka puasa last Wednesday. He invited me to join them. Okay, this is rather interesting. That guy rans his own media buying agency. Mr Designer would manage the creative work and he thought I would make a good copywriter. So, I best complement their team. That kind of concept development and writing doesn't take much time, I could always do it on a freelance basis.

The client is okay, nice. We had a good meal though the buffet wasn't well replenished. At the end, after Maghrib prayer, Mr Designer said his partner was looking for me and waiting for me downstairs. Okay, that sounds weird, why were we leaving the client on their own? I checked my phone, there were 5 missed calls from his partner. Then, an sms came in. His credit card was declined and he needed a favour. The amount was RM443. He would give me his company cheque the next day. Wow! That is a significant amount.

Mr Designer was uneasy because he knew exactly my principle on lending money. I wouldn't lend him RM2k (or even RM500) when he desperately needed it. If I have a choice, I would run. But, I didn't. There wasn't an ATM nearby either. It would have been better if he could sign a cheque and give it to me there and then. We couldn't ask the client to pay, could we? LOL! Anyway, we had a good laugh over it.

His partner also happens to be his soon-to-be ex-boss and my ex-friend's ex-business partner. That is another story. Mr Designer finally decided that he has enough of her stupidity and slavery. On Monday, she asked him to return her laptop the very next morning. He couldn't work without it. That really infuriated him. He was also using it for outside work, so when I met him on Monday night, he was frantically calling up his friends to borrow their external hard disk. He needed to move his files. It was already after 11pm, nobody was at their office or available. Actually, I planned to buy myself one as I needed to save my increasing photo collection, my laptop is already overloaded and too slow. So, I gave him RM160 and asked him to get one for me, but he could use it first. Gosh, he was really thankful.

Interestingly, the next day, he didn't return her laptop. He didn't pick up her calls or turn up at the office the whole day, and even on the next day. His partner and I were really amazed. He is so soft spoken and mild mannered, who would have thought he could be so defiant when treated wrongly. She only paid him 1/3 of the agreed salary. He busted his ass for her company; he stayed up all night to finish creative work so they could take in more business. She kept on calling his friend who recommended him, non-stop, to pass threats to him. She wanted to lodge a police report that he has her assets.

He also has her car. When she gave him that, she told me that she was moving overseas soon and somebody needed to maintain the car. Recently, she turned around and asked him to return it on the third day of Raya. Damn arrogant. However, he calmly told us that he has a letter to state that he was given the company's facilities and he didn't get any letter to indicate that he was terminated from his job. So, it was legal. LOL!

At first, I asked him to hold on for a few hours only, until he finished transferring his files. But since he had already delayed it for 2 days, why not torture her for 1 more day? I have to admit that I am still mad at her. She deserved all that. Hehe... I am bad influence, and he called me his advisor:p. For the last few days, he was running around trying to buy a car fast. A first, he was hoping to get it middle next week. Yesterday, he found out that he could only get it a week after Raya. Too bad, initially, he was planning to send me to the airport and then pick me up after Raya.

Anyway, he said it's not nice to hold on to people's thing for too long. Therefore, he wanted to return them last night. He'd asked me to forward some bullet points to him, so he could blast her face to face. I did. I'm dying to hear the outcome. Unfortunately, I fell asleep after 8.30pm right until sahur, so I still don't know what happened, hehe...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mixing Business with Pleasure 2

The first time I wrote an entry on the above topic was on 16 Aug 2008 (in my old blog). It was the day I was introduced to Mr Designer. However, the entry was about another guy, yeah, one of the many who have gone with the wind. LOL!

I used to draw a thick clear line between business and pleasure. My initial plan was to have my new staff deal with Mr Designer. I didn’t think it was wise for me to deal with him at work, when we’re personally involved. Unfortunately, my so-called new staff has yet to come on board, long story on the management decision. And I’m not confident with my existing staffs dealing with him, also another long story that I should not bore you with.

Hence, here we are, juggling between the two worlds. Guess what? It is much easier than I thought it would be and it benefits both of us too.

Professionally… for a start, it gives me a pretty good in-depth understanding of behind-the-scene happenings – how much time a creative advertising work takes. I have exposure in the field but until I see the everyday life of a creative director myself, I really had no idea. Secondly, Mr Designer’s wide experience of having been both a front liner (account servicing person) and back-ender (designer) makes him quite resourceful. He shares with me ideas on different ways to work with suppliers and utilise them fully. On his side, when the key decision makers are not around, I would extend deadlines for him. The proposal couldn’t move anyway, no harm in letting him have more time to work on the designs. Also, this client doesn’t yell at him when he’s slightly late with his design, quotation, etc. She keeps track of the timeline herself and reminds him nicely. LOL!

Personally… with him juggling away 2 jobs and working day and night, we spend most quality time together when we combine work and personal meetings. Only that on several occasions, when he rushed to see me at odd hours because of work, it became a personal outing only. One time, it was too late for him to go home and get his laptop to present a design to me. And last night, the revised design he wanted to show me wasn’t ready yet. It did feel like a waste of his time to be rushing to meet me all the way late at night and then return to work without settling any work matter. But he said it is a good break for him and he finds it kind of relaxing, us talking and going through my stories and all. It's also easier for us to unload about the unpleasantness of our work life onto each other, since we are both up to date and well aware of the toxid characters around us.

Anyway, these frequent odd hours’ outings have started to make me feel like an owl, hehe… I don't feel guilty about going out with him as apart from a parting salam, there is absolutely zero physical contact between us. That is pretty impressive, considering his Westernise ways and all. Funnily though, when we first met, I didn’t even find him attractive, physically or otherwise, but now I have to stop myself from staring at him all the time whenever we’re together. LOL!

Cheery Monday

I got like less than 5 hours of sleep last night. Yeah, that is a significant progress from Friday, except that today is only the first day of the week. LOL!

That is also because Mr Designer was so busy last night. We planned to meet for buka puasa but he only made it at around 11.30pm. We both were hungry, so we went to the 24-hour A&W outlet in PJ. I have never seen him that tired before, watery eyes and all. At 1.00am, he'd already dropped me off at my condo and was going back to the studio to work. The interesting thing is that I don't suffer from my usual Monday blues this morning. Boleh buat selalu ni, LOL!

Coming back to Friday, I was lucky I didn't have to stay for buka puasa during the outstation event. The donations were presented outdoor in the afternoon, no fan whatsoever. It was really warm. Combine that with the lack of sleep. My eyes felt like they were about to pop out.

We left the place at 5pm and I arrived home 5 minutes before buka puasa. My parents were around and the norm is that we break fast with Kuih and Kanji (porridge) first. Rice or the main meal is normally eaten only later. After Isyak prayer, I decided to take a nap before shower. Guess what? When I woke up, it was already 3am. Yeah, I slept for 6 hours straight. My parents were occupied with the grandchildren and all, I doubt that anybody noticed that I hadn't had dinner, hehe...

So, I got up at 3.00am and decided to perform a late Terawih and Istiqarah. After that, I had a bit of time to do my writing before my mother woke up for Sahur, followed by others. I thought of continuing my writing after Subuh prayers. No such luck, my eyes felt heavy and I slept for another 4 hours. Man!:)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Pink Clouds and Purple Tree

Gosh, I arrived early to work today but could hardly open my eyes. I only got like 3 hours of sleep. Yeap, I went out for coffee and then sahur with Mr Designer from 12.30am to 4.30am. Funny thing was that, when I was with him, I felt more and more refreshed. He wondered too:)

Oh, BTW, my parents are in town. Though they are curious about me going out with a friend for Sahur, they didn’t try to dig further. Thank God.

When we ‘buka puasa’ together last Tuesday, Mr Designer gave me a fantastic story idea. This is a real incidence that happened to him when he was a square 17 year-old kid. That was 6 months before he was due to fly to UK to further his studies. It got my inspiration going. So, last night, I asked him to sketch and explain the technicalities of his labourer job at the Pasir Gudang port to me. I had a feeling this piece will be a winner, it will be one of my few masculine stories.

Hence, to jump start my right brain, just now I tried to write the intro to the story as below. I think it helps cure my sleepiness a bit, hehe.

To make matters worse, I've just found out an outstation buka puasa event that I was supposed to attend today is now back on. Initially, it was postponed! Man! I'm not even dressed in Baju Kurung and it's dark outside, definitely the rain will pour soon. Going home to change will not be a wise thing to do. My colleague is going in trousers and blouse, so would I la... too bad.

The Kid - 1st Cut
I see pink clouds in the sky. Milky white river flows in front of me. A big tree with purple trunk and lilac leaves dances to the left and right. Its arms seem to beckon at me, inviting me for a real treat. Red apples grow on its branches while oranges stick out from behind them. Suddenly, a Durian creeps out in the middle of nowhere. My mouth waters as my hand reaches out for the thorny fruit. To my shock, the river suddenly swallows the tree. The image slowly becomes more and more blur. “No!” I yell. “Come back here, goddammit!”

My head starts to spin. I shut my eyes. When I open them minutes later, I find myself sitting cross legs on the cemented floor of our rented house. A glass jar with a used needle in it leans against my knee. An empty packet lies with traces of white powder around it. I hear a soft mumbling. I turn to look. A tall, skinny teenager stands in the door way. He is dressed in a pair of jeans, white t-shirt and black cap. He appears to be carrying a small dark blue knapsack on his back. Crap! The kid is staring at me, amazed.

Lips trembling, he speaks timidly, “Abang, I’m looking for my friend.”
I try to focus.
“My fr…friend… Jaz?” he stutters. “He lives here, right?”
“What do you want?”
“He says he can get a job for me… at the dry dock.”
I look hard at him before bursting into laughter. My head hurts as his girlish voice drowns around me...


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Locked-in Again

Yesterday, I got locked in the office, again. I didn't work that late, it wasn't even 6pm yet when I left. The 2 main switch boards are located near the 2 doors. However, I couldn't go out from the door nearest to my office as I had to go to the reception and swipe out first. The problem is I had to switch off all the lights first (at the side door), walk pass the pantry and the boardroom before getting to the main entrance to swipe out.

Therefore, I had to grope in the dark and hope I won't bump into anything. Luckily, yesterday, someone left the boardroom door open. So, rays of evening sun helped shine my path. The glass door would open with an employee card swipe. However, outside, there is another dark wooden door which is locked by a latch. Yeap, again someone didn't bother to check my office to ensure there wasn't anybody left.

First time experience, I panicked. Then, I realised that the latch could be opened from the inside, but with difficulty. The tricky part is the glass door only opens on one side. The latch is on the other side. I have to squeeze my hand in between the opening. After unlatching, you have to push out both parts of the wooden doors hard at the same time. Otherwise, it won't move.

Yeah, scary, especially staff have met all sorts of 'visitors' at night.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Honeycomb Dude

When I was quickly cutting and pasting the intro (Welcome to My Sea) onto my new blog, the phrase below in it really hit me.

‘Hope this blog paints a fair picture of the person that I was and the one I have become'.

Well, much has happened since I started blogging in April 2005. It was then that my career started taking a backseat while the spotlight turned to my personal life. I realised that I have indeed changed a lot but I’m not sure if I like the person I’ve become. Hmm… actually, No.

And today, I’d like to go back to being the old optimistic me who saw the best in every possible relationship. No more prejudice, paranoia, pessimism…. There are way too many Ps. Enough is enough. And today too, I’m throwing my ‘Dealing with the Opposite Sex’ manual deep into the river. I’ll tell you why…

Boy, I’m going to be writing about this guy for quite a bit, until I get sick of it, ok? So do bear with me. LOL! Yeap, Mr Designer. We’ve known each other for slightly less than a month and I’ve already tested him 3 times. Each time, he reacted very differently from the average guys I knew. My tested theories are not applicable to him.

For example:
1) Rambling about the jerks I knew brought up a series of confessions from him (see my old blog for the full story);

2) Suggesting that he might be ‘blowing me off’ when he cancelled our outing twice had brought him even closer to me. Even I think I was being a bit clingy. LOL!

3) Whoa! Full story: Last night, I told him I’d rather that he doesn’t call me ‘Sis’. That is what he calls his boss and it makes me uncomfortable. And, I hope we could be open to the possibility of us being more than friends. I don’t want to subconsciously stir us into a buddy-buddy kind of relationship by this Bro, Sis thingy. Okay, so I dropped the bomb way too early, I know. If he’s going to flee, I’d rather that he does it now, before I become emotionally entangled.

Surprisingly, he said he got a pretty good idea of what’s coming after reading my ‘The Big Barrier’ entry about his boss cum my ex-friend (I printed out for him). I didn’t realise how that 10% mention of him was going to make him jumpy. He openly asked what I wanted to talk about – relationship, feelings, etc. Yeap, he’s a sensitive dude.

And guess what? He didn’t flee. Neither did he avoid the topic. He was tired last night, even yawning many times, but he nailed me there and then. No delay. He parked the car outside my condo and we talked some more. He said he enjoyed my company a lot. It is a good break for him from his hectic life and job. I didn’t doubt that at all. He already drove from his sister’s place in Bangi to his partners’ studio in Setapak to work. After that, he came to fetch me in Bangsar after midnight to go to KL Hilton for milkshake and cheese cake, sent me back and returned to Setapak at 4.30am to resume work. That speaks volume. Especially since his business partner called him a few times asking how soon could he get back to the studio.

However, he said timing is bad for him. His marriage ended badly 3 years ago. Furthermore, he had just broken off his engagement after 1.5 years. His fiance has been contacting him non-stop wanting to meet up and talk. She wants him to return to her. That definitely won’t happen. Right now, he just wants to work hard and earn as much as he could until his finances is strong again. I do consider his mileage expenses when we go out, I often pick up our dining bills.

He even jokingly said that if his mind could be scanned, it would resemble a honeycomb. LOL! It is so cluttered and twisted. His boss cum my ex-friend is not making it easy for him either. He said it was my call but he didn’t want me to change or do anything… as long I don’t expect anything. There should not be a hidden agenda of sort. Too many things are happening with him at the time being. Hmm, come to think of it… if I’ve entered his life at the right time, there would already be another woman in it, wouldn’t it? Duh, dude!

I assured him that I’d rather we take it one step at a time. Anyway, he said there is no such thing as fleeing, he can always say ‘No’ should that be the case. Same goes with me, I can always say ‘No’ too if that is what I want. Hmm… at least, I’m convinced that he won’t pull the disappearing act with me. On the contrary, he handled the delicate situation very tactfully.

Hence, I can relax now. I shall enjoy being with him as long as it lasts..

The most wonderful thing about this guy is that I can really be myself with him. I don’t have to be someone else or change a single thing. I can say whatever I want, whenever and however I want to say it. We can really talk heart to heart for hours; no barrier. That is a big deal to me.


Crashing Street Light

I caught an amazing documentary just before midnight last night. In 'The Retreat', 4 British men and 4 British women embarked on a journey to understand the true meaning of Islam. Unfortunately, I only saw the last 15 minutes of the hour-long episode.

A woman participant was expressing her uneasiness due to the vast difference between her understanding of the religion and the one discussed during the exercise. She asked if the instructor is referring to Sufism specifically. His reply was a good one. He said she was being very theoritical and bend on putting labels. ISLAM is ISLAM! His preaching was about the classical meaning of Islam ie the spiritual relationship between a Muslim and his creator.

There was another woman on the show who didn't want to join the Zikir (chanting). She claimed there was no proof that it was the Prophet's practice. Actually, my auntie said something like that; the religious classes she attended was conducted by a Muaalaf though.

An interesting or rather scary incidence happened when I was relaying the show to Mr Designer. He picked me up at home just after midnight. At Jalan Bangsar going towards KL, a street light suddenly fell down on the road in front of us. A truck from the opposite direction crashed into it, that was why. Our car was like 1 minute away from being hit.

Alhamdullilah! Thank God we're safe. Was that a message from Him?

For my Hajj and Umrah stories, pls see: http://haziamyperspective.blogs.friendster.com/hazias_perspective/03_hajjah_the_light/index.html

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Sweet Revision

During my one week break in my hometown the first week of Ramadan, I had satisfactory progress with 3 of my stories. I mean my work has been crazy so far, and there were times when a week passed by without me writing anything. I was getting concern. At the rate I was going, there's no way I could meet the extended deadline in December this year.

One of the 3 stories is 'A Sweet Way to Go'. I decided to pick up my tiny laptop after sahur one morning and started typing away until the story ended. Now, it only needs polishing and short-term hatching before I give it another round of editing.
Initially, I wanted to start my book with 'Nose Job', a psychology thriller. However, my instructor said some people (mostly old people) do not like my co-author's stories due to their violent nature. So, a bloody kick off may not be a good idea. Mr Designer's point may work though. He said he'd expect my book to start with something light - an appetiser, then move on to something heavier ie the main meal and finally, end it with a dessert.

Hmm... sounds nice. I think maybe I should start with this piece instead. It's short, plot-oriented and past-paced.

A Sweet Way to Go


Adjusting his reading glasses, the Swiss looks at her. “Good morning, Shira. How are you?”
She ignored his greeting, “Have you seen the cake?”
“You mean the cake to be presented to the King for his birthday on Thursday?”
She nods. “Have you seen it? Do you know what it looks like?”
“Well, I saw the sketch. Chef Philip wants to capture the spirit of Golf, the King’s favourite game.” Shira focuses on him intensely when she next speaks. “Have you actually seen the King's cake with your own eyes? It looks like a coffin!”
“You heard me. It looks like coffin, as if we’re expecting to bury the King soon.
Mark rubbed his chin.
“Mark, I've just received a phone call from a journalist from The Star. She would like to feature our cake on the front page of their Metro section. So many hotels and they choose us. The photographer is coming at 5pm today. We need to fix this fast!”
The Swiss jumps and grabs his coat from the chair.
“Pastry Kitchen, now!”
He marches while Shira half runs to catch up with him.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Another Magical Evening

So, Mr Designer picked me up from my office on Monday. When he realised that I'd to walk a bit, he reversed the car. I stepped in. It wasn't long before he asked, 'Ngapa pakai baju kurung, Iza? (Why're you wearing Baju Kurung)?' Ehm... normally, I'd changed into jeans and casual top whenever I was going out with him. It wasn't Thursday (the official Batik dress code day) but I just felt like wearing this Batik dress that my mother gave me - bright lime green background and sweet pink design. It was her association's uniform actually, so I have to be careful not to wear it in my hometown. LOL!

It was so good to see him. The jam was pretty bad though. It was a long way to Bangi. We arrived at 6.30pm. I had booked a private table for 2 at the coffeehouse of Equatorial. The hotel is top of mind to him as he had been frequenting Bangi lately. His father just got out from the hospital and was resting at his sister’s place nearby.

I hated buffet but when I called, the receptionist told me there wasn't any other restaurants open for buka puasa. We were shocked to see the crowd, the parking was fully occupied. The coffeehouse garden terrace was beautiful but there were just too many people, absolute havoc and no privacy at all. To our luck, just as we were about to enter, I spot a Japanese restaurant next door. So, we cancelled and decided to sidetrack instead.

Kampachi was cosy, calm, quiet, everything we wanted. We got a section to ourselves, in between 2 partitions. One look at ala carte menu and we became greedy. We wanted Teppanyaki, Tempura and Sukiyaki, we also wanted appetiser on top of that. The waitress advised us to order Set Dinner. Oh, we saw the Set Dinner menu, admired the cover design but didn't think of opening it. So, we ended up with 2 lavish set dinners plus Sukiyaki. The waitress did her best to hide her shock. LOL!

The meal was good. The Teppanyaki was fantastic - Tenderloin beef, tiger prawns and salmon. Next was seafood tempura. Apparently the meals came with chicken terriyaki and California rolls, chawan mushi, salad and grilled mushrooms. Thank god he was really hungry. I was stuff. Oh, seaweed wrap is one other thing he couldn’t stand.

Out of the blue, he suddenly shocked me with his confession. He said he didn't believe in the Sunnah. That really hit me, not so much the claim but rather who he reminded me of. I nearly freaked out but I calmly asked him what he meant by that. Well, 7 months of dealing with ‘Ad’ had prepared me for that kind of confrontation. Coincidentally, Mr Designer’s explanation matched my parents' conversation several days ago. My mother said some people have been questioning the Imam on the validity of the Sunnah Nabi - whether there was anybody who could confirm that it was all Nabi's practices? Oh, that was what he meant. Phew!

He said usually his friends would label him as 'murtad' when he introduced that discussion, especially since he's not religious. Actually, that was the first word that sprang to my mind too. I then realised that he just happens to enjoy debating on religion-related matters, like Muslims in the West. I was impressed that he actually reads and ponders on translation of the Quran. He was right, I did underestimate him.

After Maghrib prayers, I changed into long skirt and casual top. The conversation was getting too heat-y in my Baju Kurung. LOL! He finally showed me the designs he did for our advertisement on his laptop. Oh boy, he is good, one level above the other designers. It's not so much the visual rather than the thinking behind it. It was complete. Rather than only covering the session of the month like the others, he included the sessions' calendar for a year and an inspirational entrepreneur's success story quote. He couldn't wait to see my reaction. I just went 'Aaah...' and he said, "See!":)

Hmm, an evening with him... it carries the magic that usually comes whenever we spend a long period of time together. Only the day before, I was feeling down as he had to cancel meeting me two days in a row, due to work. He said he would clear Friday, put everything aside and make time to see me. So, imagine my surprise when he called to say that he want to buka puasa with me on Monday itself:)

I brought my thumb drive because he wanted to see my book-reading photos, he couldn't make it. He couldn't believe that I trembled, said that I looked calm in the photo. LOL! The thumb drive also carries photos of my recent trip to Egypt and Bangkok. Yeah, we went through all those too, with me narrating my adventure one by one. He knew quite a bit of Egyptian history.

He said many of my amateurly-taken photos are actually good and he would like to use them in his future designs. Especially, the ones I took on the authentic paintings - in frames, on the wall, at cultural sites and... of the skinny horse at the pyramid and making a mummy too. The photo on top is an example. That’s flattering since he is a professional photographer. He said he'll pay me the copyright whenever he used my photos:)

When I was talking to the waitress and wasn't looking, he moved on to my family photos taken during my nephew first birthday. Yeah, my siblings and I looked very different from each other. He copied 2 of my solo photos which he said would be suitable for his portrait sketching of me. I can’t wait to see that.

We’d asked the waitress to reheat the Beef Sukiyaki. We thought of eating that later but I just couldn't. So, we packed it up for Sahur, in 2 separate containers. Surprisingly, he had space for dessert - rolled pancake with ice-cream. Oh, I had one too. It was good:)

He had freed the night but he got a call. He had to get back to work in an hour, unfortunately (or rather fortunately as I really should go home and get some sleep, it was only Monday). Probably my grey bag looked heavy, he offered to carry it and my take-away plastic bag for me. We were so deep in conversation that we missed the level we parked, we had to walk back all the way uphill. I learned that when he was married, his work was just as hectic. His ex-wife used to go to his office after work and sleep there. So, it was more of the nature of the job rather than the fact he was juggling 2 different jobs. His boss had hired an assistant for him but he couldn't progress much in training that guy without a Macintosh. Giving him an upgraded PC is not the same.

On the way back, I shared my science fiction short story, 'Erasing the birds of paradise,' with him. He was amazed that people like the character Shanti existed in real life. He had an idea too. He challenged me to try writing a fiction on 'Adam & Eve' verses the human evolution. That sounds interesting, it would require a lot of research though. He shared his thoughts on the subject for the cover of my upcoming book - baby shoes! Why? Because it resembles 'starting life'. Cool!

He dropped me off a bit after 11pm. I made him an hour late for his 10.30pm appointment. Later, he told me that his business partners were pissed when he arrived. Their irritation didn't ease off when he said he was with a client. LOL!

It took me a long time to fall asleep. Being in his company always makes me fell more and more refreshed, I wasn't ready to retire for the day yet:)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Back to Hell

I spent the first week of Ramadan back in my hometown with my parents. It was relaxing... lazying around... watching TV... catching up on my writing... solat terawih at the mosque near my house.

I managed to chill, though I could never really let go of the fear of returning to work. I mean so many things could go wrong. It's not the same as taking 10 days off to perform Umrah when I was with the hotel... or going off for 1 whole month for Hajj during my previous employment. In this job, there's no 'totally letting go'. Even on my third day at home, a division head (who's not even my boss) called my mobile and asked me to assign my staff to attend a ministry's meeting. Hello! No 1 asked him, why bother me? He has like 30 people in his division, I only have 3 staff in my department, and one was on leave too. Fourth day, my staff said my boss asked for our SOP. Hello, get it from the planning department who is the SOP guardian! Why bother me???

The moment I got back to KL on Friday, I could feel the tension and clutter already. I so didn't look forward to coming to work today. The only thing to look forward to was a meeting with Mr Designer in the afternoon and buka puasa with him after that. And as I walked into the office this morning, I recited all sorts of Surahs. Miraculously, I arrived at 7.45am, damn early. Before I could even switched on my PC, my boss' secretary stepped into my office. She started updating me on 'problems' and 'things done' while I was away, especially concerning the Ramadan goodies and raya card. Phew! At least, everything was settled before I got back, regardless of how unpleasant.

I checked my emails and caught up my with my staffs. Also, miraculously, potential explosive situations evened themselves out naturally when other overlapping 'potential difficulties' were suggested. Sorry, too tired to elaborate. I was damn relieved that Popeye didn't spoil my day. I only spoke to him once on the phone. I didn't even dare go to his office to see him, I didn't want to face his sarcasm. Let's save that for tomorrow.

Anyway, Mr Designer called at 1.00pm. By then, I was so worn out and couldn't wait to leave. He asked if it's possible if he just present his designs during buka puasa, so he has more time to work on them. Under normal circumstances, I won't let a supplier do that. But his company's cost proposal has already been proposed and approved (by No 1) so the business is theirs anyway. I might as well let him get the first version as perfect possible, less time needed for revision.

Office hour ends at 4.45 pm during fasting month. To my dismay, Mr Designer called and said he was stuck in a jam in Seri Kembangan. Gosh, it's going to take him another 30 minutes at least to get to my office and pick me up to go to Bangi. He insisted that he left home early. Man, he does have a habit of being late, every time. And I'd be lucky if I don't fall asleep here, while waiting for him. Sigh! .

Oh, he's here, 5.20pm. Need to shut off everything in a hurry:)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Winning the Game

The week before Ramadan, a friend, who was my junior in school, and I decided to have dinner. It was more of a buka puasa actually. We confidently agreed to meet in Bangsar at 6.45pm. Little did we know that it was going to pour elephants and hippopotamus that evening. We sms each other, I was coming from KL and she was going from PJ, and both of us were going to be very late. We might not even be able to buka puasa on time. She said her friend was already there. She had booked us a table and ordered our appetisers and drinks.

Alas, 5 minutes before Maghrib time, both of us were turning into Bangsar. I heard Azan just before I stepped down. My friend hadn't arrived. It took me a while to track her friend, I was under the impression that she worked there. LOL! Okay, so we found each other. Guess what, she hadn't ordered my hot coffee because she didn't want it to be cold when I arrived. Hmm... while waiting, I had to buka puasa with warm water. Luckily, Mieng Kam, my favourite appetiser was already served. We waited and waited, my friend still didn't get there. Her battery was low, so she could only sms. But she was already at the junction same as me, and she took a cab, no parking problem, so why the delay? She was so late that I adjourned for Maghrib prayers first at 8pm.

Finally, she arrived. Two cars infront of her broke down. Nevertheless, she was her bubbly self. The actual reason she wanted to meet was to get 'insights' on her new employer cum my ex-client or in her own words, she wanted to bitch. Before accepting that job, she consulted everybody but totally forgot about me. Man, I could have saved her the agony.

A headhunter approached me for the same position. A Director there whom I knew also approached me for the position. I declined, I didn't want to work for the head of corporate communications department. She is unpredictable, erratic, doesn't learn from mistakes and unorganised, despite being there for 2 decades. However, I asked the headhunter to alert me if she ever leaves, I want her job. That would be the ideal career achievement. LOL!

Not much later, my friend emailed me that she was starting work there. She said she was employed to succeed that woman, not just work for her. I had my doubts, that sounds too good to be true. As if she would take the trouble to train a successor, and why is the handover period 3 years? I'd rather grope in the dark without a proper handover than face her that long.

So, she shared her experience. It was worst that I'd expected. She said the woman is also stupid, on top of everything I'd said, she is a bimbo. She engaged consultants unnecessarily to cover her weaknesses. Wow! That's news to me. And it didn't look like she would ever retire. They couldn't get rid of her because of her position in society. She did a couple of nasty things to make my friend look bad - hide information, didn't tell about the presentation she had to do until the 11th hour, etc. HR and other bosses knew about it though. They even offered her a position in another department, they didn't want to lose her.

To make matters worse, my friend didn't hesitate to share her inteligence which indirectly exposed that woman's lack of it. First week there and she was already coming up with proposals to get rid of all the consultants within a month. That woman even went to the extent of commenting her clothes, why she always wears black, and her shoe brand - it's not comfortable. Duh, maintain your standard, woman, you've been there for 20 years! Why go down to that level?

My friend sought my advice. Bear in mind that when it comes to corporate games, she is even tougher than me. So, I told her not to give up, stay and fight that woman, take over her position and get rid of her, for good. I've full confidence that she could do it. We'll see:)

Oh, her friend who joined us - she and another young manager intereviewed me before. That was the only time I had someone younger than myself interviewing me, it was kind of strange:)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Surreal Reading

On Merdeka eve, I finally had my second book reading. The lady running the show had been trying to get me for months already, my work or something else always got in the way.

I had look forward to it. Mr Designer was supposed to pick me up and accompany me. However, late morning, he called and said he had to baby sit his 2 kids. But he would go to the venue straight and meet me there, since I couldn't afford to be late. Okay, the place was 5 minutes away from my condo, it was no big deal.

Fate had it that at 2pm, it started to pour. In fact, it rained so heavily, with thunder and lightning. It was getting scary. I had to cross the road to get a cab, and definitely I'd be drenching wet. So, I called him and said I'd wait for him. Eveybody would be late in this weather. He said his ex-wife was taking much longer that he thought. She was not picking up his calls either. He said he'd bring the kids to fetch me, drop me off and then go back to the mall with them. Ehm, that sounds like too much trouble for me, and I hate being dependent. Hence, I assured him repeatedly that I would get there on my own.

Yeah, I got a cab. The taxi driver scolded me for letting my wet umbrella touched the seat. Excuse me, how else do I put it? I got in in a hurry. The place was located quite deep in the alley, the bungalow right at the end, in fact. When I stepped down, the rain had slowed to a drizzle. Wow! The place took my breath away.

It was a cosy art studio with a beautiful garden, pond and fountain. The building design was kind of unique. Work of art in progress lied all over. It was so tranquil. I really love it. I felt my cluttered mind clearing away. And I forgot about my wet long skirt:)

6 authors had been invited to read their works. I chose to be number 6, the last one. This way, the audience would get to watch a combination of outstanding and amateurs readers before my turn, so my lack of experience would not be so obvious.... or so I thought. Also, Mr Designer said he'd come as soon as he could, so later was better. We were given a choice to read standing up or sitting down.

The first author read well, passionately, he wrote serious Merdeka stuff. The second author was even better. An Indian guy who wrote Malay literature, his pronounciation and his voice was crystal clear. The third one was an expatriate who admitted sitting there was more scary than facing his 2 leg- operations. Even he was alright. Next was the founder herself who read her new unpublished fiction and poetries, I think. Yeah, full feeling and drama. After that, an expatriate journalist who had written in several countries. He was feeling damn comfortable, reading controversial religious stuff too. And finally, me.

Man! I started off by telling them that it was only my second time. First time was during my book launch last year. So, I was nervous. I chose a fairy-tale piece inspired from my hotel-life. Yeah, my surreal short story, 'A Peppery Affair'. I did not have to hold the microphone but I had to hold my book. Unfortunately, it trembled in my hands, showing clear signs of nervousness. That didn't happen during the launch. I guess the long wait must have done it. Despite practising, I still think that I was 1 or 2 notches below the others. Man, they were good. Don't get me wrong, I solely mean their reading performance, not too sure about the writing itself, hehe...

I would love to catch a few more of the monthly reading sessions in the future for better exposure:)

For my previous writer's stories, please see: http://haziamyperspective.blogs.friendster.com/hazias_perspective/06_enchanting_voyage_my_writers_stories/index

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Big Barrier

I was about to post this entry on the eve of Ramadan when my friendster blog suddenly turned cranky. I couldn’t update it for a week. Probably God was sending me a message. Anyway, after ‘waiting in agony’ and the administrator didn’t even reply my query, I decided to start a new blog:)

Remember Mr Designer’s boss aka my friend aka ‘Ms-Mix-Business-with-Pleasure’? Well, now she’s my ex-friend. When she called me on Monday, I was groggy from lack of sleep due to the incident with Mr Designer. She wanted to ‘pimp’ another guy to me, one of her contacts, said that he offers corporate video service. As she did with Mr Designer, she said that he was cute, but she wasn’t exactly sure of his sexual orientation. No mention was made of his professional skills though.

I snapped, I told her that I’ve enough headaches without her adding on to it. I blurted out that I was tired, that Mr Designer and I were out till 3am. She freaked out. Note this: she said I was distracting him, and he’s vulnerable now. If I’m going to take so much of his time, I should give them a lot more business. Excuse me! And what makes she thinks that I’m not vulnerable. She only has herself to blame, she introduced us.

Oh, I see what’s going on here! He did tell me that he thought her marketing style is like a bimbo. She flirts with married men to get business, and thought of it as normal. Of course for her things couldn’t go any further, she is already married. She wanted him to ‘bimbo’ around with me like she did with her clients, for more business. But she didn't want our relationship to go any further. Wrong person totally! No 1: I don’t flirt just for fun, I only flirt when I’m interested. No 2: I don’t normally mix business with pleasure, but since I already had, thanks to her, I’ll see this through. Both of us are single and available, so we are free to pursue this as we like, without having to stick to her script. She admitted that she panicked when she saw how fast we were going.

She’s a manipulative bitch but not a smart one though. I could see right through her. In order to separate us (so he has more time for her business), she started acting concerned that I was going to get hurt, that men like him are like that. She claimed that lots of girls were chasing him because he was cute but he’s not serious in relationships. Whoa! That wasn’t what she said when I told her I wasn’t interested in him when she first introduced us. Yeah, he’s cute and tall alright at 5'11”, but to me the attraction wasn’t physical. It was when we talked and connected that I got hooked.

She kept on telling me not to rush him. He got a lot on his plate. Hello! It’s a two-way street. It takes two to tango. It’s not as if I’m chasing him! She made it sound as if he is the angel and I am the devil. In the story of my life, I’ve always been the angel, okay!

She even went to the extent of claiming that maybe he was lying to her too since he told her he and I were just friends. She tried to dig out if he had said otherwise to me. No chance in hell that I was going to reveal anything. It was totally none of her business to ask him about our relationship in the first place.

She made it clear that she is paying him, so I’ve no right to his time. That is unless I give them more business. Man, is she running an agency or an escort service???

My friend (my true friend, I mean) did caution me about her. She seems like a big barrier, no matter where we move, we will bump into her.

I made it clear that I wasn’t giving her more business opportunities because I like him. I’m giving her more because she is now one of the few small Bumiputera suppliers with a real in-house designer. It’s as simple as that. We may used to be friends but she noticed that she got less business than other suppliers. Yeap, I was much strict on her than others. (If the auditor doesn’t question me while I’m still alive, God may do so, later in the hereafter) So, she chose the wrong strategy by being chummy with me. Also, she didn't have a real designer until she hired him more than 2 weeks ago. So, her competitive edge has just increased and that entitles her to more business.

She did take a lot of risk with him, a total stranger. She gave him her extra car to run around and she is leaving him mainly in charge of her business when she followed her husband for his overseas posting end of the year. She would only check in every other month or so. Okay, but how is that my problem?

Why am I so mad? She actually admitted directly that she is more concerned about me distracting him from her business rather than about me getting hurt. From where I come from, that's not something a friend would say to you. So, the conclusion is ‘she crossed the line and we are done!’

45 Minutes Too Late

I'm picking up where I left off in my previous blog.
You may want to click below before continue reading this entry:)

For the first time, I had taken a week off to spend early Ramadan with my parents. I had looked forward to go to the mosque for Terawih prayers with them.

When Mr Designer offered to send me to the airport at 4am on Merdeka morning, I had my doubt. I was very aware of the risk that I was taking. I barely knew this guy for 2 weeks and I'm relying on him to get me to LCCT to catch my flight back to my hometown. if he doesn't show up, there goes my big plan, and... what do I tell my parents? That I have been an idiot? LOL!

The chain of events on Saturday also didn't help at all. Despite agreeing to accompany me to my book reading on Saturday, he didn't show up. Well, turned out that he had a solid reason but at that time, I didn't know it yet. He also didn't pick up my calls that night or reply my smses. Imagine my worry. I even asked the taxi driver whom service I normally used to stand by for my call around midnight. He was free but I really, really wanted to see Mr Designer one more time before I leave. He was good natured when he offered, even suggested that we have early breakfast before I take off. He assured me that he won't let me down. Anyway, later, around 11pm, the guy finally replied my sms: 'Hey u, I'll send u as agreed, no change, ok:)' Hence, due to all these factors, I decided to risk it.

I woke up pretty early on Sunday morning. I called him at 3.30am. He was up, still at work and yeah, he was coming. He did say that he was going to work on his designs all night and come straight from their studio, so there was no issue of him not waking up on time. When he didn't arrive by 4.00am, I called again, no answer, and again, still no answer. I carried my luggage downstairs and waited near the entrance of my condo. At 4.20 am, he told me he was on the way. He refused to say where he was but I had a feeling that he had just left the studio.

I called a few more times, telling him that I was worried that I might miss my flight. My flight was only taking off at 7.15am but it was Air Asia, they stressed on arriving 2 hours earlier, and the queue is normally long. LCCT is also due for renovation on the next day.
I felt like I was going to get a heart attack. I couldn't yell at him or raise my voice as he was just doing me a favour and we're not even serious yet or anything.

You can't imagine what went through my mind. Yeah, that guy is totally unreliable. If we end up together, would I have to go through this kind of agony all my life? Do I want to put myself through this?

It was already 4.45am when he showed up. He stopped in front of the gate and didn't even get out of the car. He just opened the back door from inside so I could put in my luggage. Okay, he wasn't his usual gentleman self.

Then, he told me. After talking to me, he felt asleep on top of his keyboard. He has asked his colleagues to wake him up if that happened, but they were too occupied to notice. Apparently, he was too exhausted after baby-sitting his 2 kids the whole day, at the mall too. His ex-wife had several errants to run. That on top of him already juggling away two jobs and an RM200k medium-term project. For his employment with my ex-friend's company, he meets clients during the day and does his creative work at night. After 11pm, he adjourns to his friends/partners' studio for more work till morning. On Saturdays, he does the high-profile coffee table book project. He hardly sleeps or rests.

He is determined to be a better person and provide for his children. Sometimes, I think that we meet each other at different stages of our lives. He had his fun during his younger years, lost a lot of money and is now, at 40, working hard to correct what went wrong. I, on the other hand, have not done anything for the last 12 years other than work hard. I just want to chill.

So it goes. When we got onto the highway, he politely asked me if I'd mind if he sped up. LOL! No, not at all. I told him that it was all already fated. If God let me board that flight, I would catch it.

Fate had it that when we arrived at LCCT at 5.50am, there was only 1 person in the queue. I checked in and that gave us a luxurious 45 minutes more for breakfast. So, we went to Coffee Beans. He had scramble eggs and sausages while I had Eggs Benedict. He ate really quickly, he was damn hungry. Breakfast was short, but spending time with him was really nice. I snapped a second photo of him with my mobile phone camera. He wasn't too happy about being photographed so early in the morning though, unshaven and all. LOL!

Well, I do appreciate the trouble that he went through considering the fact that he literally has no time. I guess I must have been important to him, somehow:D

Welcome to My Sea

"Twenty years from now
you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do
than by the ones you did do
so throw off the bowlines
sail away from the safe harbor
catch the trade winds in your sails
~ Mark Twain ~
Hi friends and soon-to-be-friends,
I'm not new to the blogging world but I'm new to blogspot.
If you want to check out my previous entries for the last 2 years, please visit: http://www.haziamyperspective.blogs.friendster.com/

Welcome to my world. I shall continue to bare my journals here.
This blog is a personal reflection of 'Now and Then'.
Look forward to sharing the story of my life.
Indulge in the 'tried and tested' as well as 'brand new discoveries'.
Hope this paints a fair picture of 'the person that I was'
and 'the one I have become'.
See you during the highs and lows...joys and pains..
laughter and tears...
Perhaps somewhere along this voyage,
we may get to know each other better.