4 Minutes Past 5

dec21As much as I do not really see this current job I’m in as something that is sustainable sufficient for my future, I do love my job. My bosses are great. I’m one of their golden children. My colleagues are awesome. Office politics is more of a family than the possible group of passive aggressive bitchism. But then, the job can get a bit weird at times.

Being a customer service agent, my schedule is tight. By tight, I have to be very pedantic about punctuality and break times. Constantly answering phone calls, our time in our cubicle is always recorded and it affects our performance on a monthly basis. I would always have this in mind as salesmen have KPIs in their head.

For some weird reason, my finish time is 6 past five. Yes, you read it right. Six minutes past five pm is my logout time. Once my boss explained to me on this six minutes but I do not really remember or get what she meant by it. Obviously, by the time the clock strikes 5 pm, I would be super ready to think about leaving work. As much as I am committed to what I do at work, I do like the idea of going home to binge-Netflixing. But,as luck has it, I’m quite known for getting calls one or two minutes before I’m supposed to leave.

Four minutes past five, I received a phone call today. It was from an angry customer. Angry and spoilt, if you ask me. She was expecting her delivery since the 19th but it has not got to her yet. Yes, I do understand  how frustrating it can be to not be able to get something you are expecting at a required time. But the mentality of most of our customers is that they are smart enough to care to call us once they could see that their deliveries have not reached them. For the case of this customer, the norm of what most of our customers would do is calling us by 21st the latest to let us know that they had not received their delivery. Well, this customer actually did call today.

Theoretically, if you’re a smart customer, you would know that we sometimes have other suppliers we use. And with suppliers, things that we can do with them are limited. The boxes of this customer might be at the depot of our partnering logistic company but that does not mean I can ask these people at their depot to push these boxes to be delivered right away. I mean, I do not have authorities and I do not have any power to make that happen. And, come on! Being a b-to-b company, although I do not expect my customer to be patient or good to us all the time, I would expect a bit of empathy. They are working in companies too and they all know how things work, especially in this first world country.

Australia, with its many abilities, as opposed to third world countries like mine, have a mentality that is based on procedure and an empathy that should not stress others out. The existence of such awesome abilities comes hand in hand with spoilt customers. In my country, there has been time when clients are overpromised and no one would even care about solving it. Customer service is poor and people don’t even feel the need to follow up. In Australia, in a country where you can refund a bought item within the 30 days of purchase, sometimes I wish I could remind these people of how fortunate they are.

But I do understand. With anything we are given, we are never content and we always keep wanting more. We give you a comfortable economy seat with what you can afford, you want a business class. We give you business class, you want a private jet. I get that.

So, it really sucks. It sucks more that I just happened to have three mugs of black coffee today and this has to happen two minutes before my home time. I tried to soothe this spoilt lady. Don’t get me wrong. I do understand her but I just wish she understands ‘reality’ more as opposed to crying out loud about what she wants like a baby in a diaper who just peed in her nappies. I will try hard for her for sure. She just has to shut up.

This drama shall continue tomorrow unfortunately. For all it’s worth, this too shall pass and it will be a five days holiday soon anyways.

Dream from last night : I noticed that the person you think was in your dream would change just after a 5 minutes nap. I woke up today and remembered this dream but I took a five minutes nap, only to realize after that I was not sure of who the person was in the dream. It’s not that I don’t remember. It’s just that I have no idea if it was person A or person B.
Dream 1: I was plotting of killing my friend, Aye Aung, for some reason. Finally I did manage to burn him alive but then, at this point, I remember that it was not him I burned alive. I burned P’Mod (my ex boss I love dearly) alive as if it was the plan I always had along.
Dream 2: Someone wrote a book or something. I was eating ice cream and cake. Suddenly I was talking with U Zaw Myint Oo. This dude was one of those work friends who used to work for a magazine and interviewed me during my hey days of being a celebrity back in Myanmar (fact!!)  For some reason I dreamt about him?
WEIRD SHIT: So, Soe San the guy from my dream two days ago, invited me to like his page on Facebook. This is weird because he and I are never kept in touch and after dreaming about him two nights before, he communicated me on Facebook. Maybe it was a group invite but it’s interesting how he just popped back into my life.

Calling Truce

Every workplace has this certain common nemesis that brings a whole team together. It brings the whole department together. To be honest, the department in my workplace, I work in, is quite united. Maybe it’s the nature of our customer service, which involves people sitting in and talking on phone lines during their strict scheduled time. We rarely have time to bitch about each other and I don’t mean to be biased but I do have a good team. This does not really need this nemesis to unite us more but we DO have one common nemesis.

I am sure this girl is just doing her job and maybe she has so much on her plate but she works for one of our suppliers. She can come of as quite defensive, rude and irresponsible. She lacks persistency in following up and she rarely get things done. Unfortunately, I have been picked by my boss to liaise directly with her.

My boss thinks I’m too nice. My boss thinks I’m patient. My boss thinks I’m tolerant. But the truth is I want to get things done with. I want results. I want to be able to scratch things off my to-do-list and with this minor OCD that I have, I hate to see things on my to-do book unscratched as ‘done’ or ‘complete’. So I tried my hardest to tolerate with this girl that I had to work with from our supplier team.

This Christmas marks the first year that I have been with this company. Out of nowhere, I received a postcard today from our very own lovely nemesis. Don’t get me wrong. I guess, when you want something out of something, it’s only normal you get to learn to love your enemies. This girl has somewhat become really close to me. I still do not trust her, nor I think she’s good at what she does, but I have become quite empathetic and she has become a friend to me, although I had never seen her before.

That gesture of a postcard signed by her to wish our whole team “Merry Christmas” was sweet. It might be encouraged by her boss or her manager to do this. We might be one of the many companies she wrote a postcard to but it felt great to get it.

It felt even better when my boss and I had a one on one today as part of our monthly thing. She did compliment me on my achievements and how I was progressing well. And she pointed out that I had been liaising well with our supplier, even though it was not easy at all. I kinda scoffed, grabbing my boss down to reality, saying it was just one of them cards they would’ve sent to all their customers.

“This is the first time we got from them, Hein. And we got this after you started working with her”

It might still be a co-incidence that their company has come up with a brilliant idea this year to send a greetings post cards to all of their customers but what my boss said made me happy. My intention was just to get things done and to be able to have a good relationship with someone I would have to constantly work with and I guess I must have been pushing the right buttons but we got a greetings postcard for the first time. It sure, as hell, felt good 🙂

Dream from last night : these dreams seem like they all happen in one go but it felt like they had nothing in common or relevance with one another.
Dream 1: A friend I hardly know from Myanmar, Soe San, and this other guy, and I were in the same house. We were cooking noodles and I ate half of his noodle. For some reason, we were like really close friends.
Dream 2: Having a family outing at the movies. My grandad and grandmom were playing golf before that but they stayed home and slept. Dad was still alive and he was playing guitar. He plays really good guitar.
Dream 3: My grand-dad (from my mom’s side) wanted to hit the loo and I had to accompany him. For some reason, instead of toilets, he pooed in one of the food displays of one of the food stalls at the cinema lounge. For some reason, this was supposed to feel normal.
Dream 4: My sister threw a fit because she could not find a charger. For some reason, the next thing we know, we were at an earring shop. She bought a feather earring and I bought a bow and arrow earring.

Fate Overdose

Call me crazy but while we are fresh from the topic of fate from yesterday’s entry and since I’m still bingeing on the TV series called “Frequency”, it’s only natural that a person like me would start relating everything around me to the possibility of these non-fiction plots applying to the reality around me. But, you can’t blame me for how it is such a co-incidence in what I discovered today.

It started off with my umbrella. I have this funky transparent umbrella and everyone who has seen it loves the umbrella. Since it has been raining heavily lately, I would always leave my umbrella inside this wet umbrella container at the entrance along with other umbrellas. For some reason, someone from work had taken my umbrella. One of my colleague once asked me if this umbrella was mine or someone else’s. Of course it was mine and I remember she actually said she had the exact same umbrella and someone took her umbrella as well. It’s something about these umbrella that has this karma of getting stolen by others at my workplace I guess.

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RIP umbrella

After work today, I met up my close friends for a seafood buffet. Now, I had no clue where this place was and I just wanted to eat some buffet with my friends on a Friday night. But it so happened that I was here almost a year ago (last year June) in the same place for the same buffet. It was the same buffet but just with a different group of friends. I never noticed it was the same buffet, nor the same place, since I never gave it any thought to find out if I had actually been to this place.

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I know I might be exaggerating if I say this. But, what if the umbrellas like mine and my colleague’s was not meant to exist in the workplace. What if umbrellas like those were meant to be stolen? What if that seafood place kept calling me to go there even without me consciously knowing? What if I am meant to go there? Normally, one would never spend 70 dollars at a buffet they have gone before. I would if the food is good but then again, knowing myself, I would’ve liked to try some places else. But no! I just had to not care about where I was going tonight. I just had to keep having to be in the same place again.

Of course, these are all just co-incidence and I should not have made such a big deal out of this but with that mind about fate fresh out of the oven from overdosing on a TV series I am heavily drawn to, I guess it’s only normal for me to think of it this way. Don’t worry. I am not extremely freaked out or mindblown by this but it sure as hell feels good to connect these dots sometimes, although the connection never makes sense or is meant to make any sense.

Full Time Me

mar20It was just before I took the Friday off on the first week of this month that I realized that I was not a full time employee at my job. That’s just me actually. I would hear other people’s conversations that are not important. I would remember small things that don’t really matter. I would know details that does not really amount to anything but important details such as this I do not know of.

Last year around Christmas, my team leader at work was going on and on about how it’s important for all of us to give our annual leaves dates earlier. To this, I just ignored and thought of just accumulating for next year since my mom won’t be in Myanmar this year. Little do I know that I am not accustomed to paid annual leave. In fact, I could take as many day offs as I want but I will not be paid for it.

Adele’s concert was on during the first Friday of this month and I took that day off. I remember my boss telling me that even though I am not entitled to be paid for taking that day off, they will still pay me since I had been staying back more hours. I really appreciate what my boss did but that was then that I got super confused about how I was actually not a full time employee at my job as yet. Then, I thought to myself how this could be just my probational phase and that I would still have to prove that I’m worth keeping during this phase.

My team leader asked me for a small meeting last Friday and that was then that I found out that I was actually still on temporary but now they would like to shift me to become a full timer. As for the probation, it would start only as of now. This has been one of the best news that I have heard in a very long time. This means I will just have to keep doing the best I can without having to fear that I do not belong at a place. This means I am going to be just like the other people. This all came to a good beginning as my boss placed a “full time employee” contract on my cubicle desk as I was talking with a customer today.

Magic might

Do you believe in magic? I have always been fascinated by the mystery behind some certain things in our lives. And by magic, I am not talking about the bunny in the hat by a moustached man with good suits. I am referring to the magic of life. What actually surrounds us is indeed a mystery but as my colleague and friend has mentioned before, “Once we pay attention to it, we will find it”

For some reason, while talking with my colleague today, she asked me when my date of birth was. This is the colleague who started work with me. We are of different age group and interests but there is a mutual understanding between us but after what happened today, I feel closer to her than I usually am.

jan20When I told her when my birthday was, she froze. There was no expression on her face and she just stared blankly at me. She did not utter anything for a good period amount of time and I was confused. What was happening here? Did I offend her? What have I said? Then, she said “That is my mom’s birthday too”. I could see tears welling up her eyes and I was still confused at why this was not a good thing.

I do know of her not having her mom anymore in this life but I did not really know why there was this really awkward silence for a while. In contrast, I suddenly felt this semi-euphoric pleasure inside my bones. It just so happened that at that moment when I learnt that I share the same date of birth with my colleague’s late mother, I suddenly felt this sense of serenity in me. I did not know why either.

It was after work when I received a message from her. My colleague is an artist, a creative one and a very good one at what she does. She ace so well at arts and craft and she has always been ever modest about her work. Although I do not talk much with her, I have always enjoyed looking at those things she paint. In addition to her creative mindset, she also believes in spirituality. Positive energy and universe are her sort of things. I might not be heavily indulged by it but I do admire spirituality and I respect those people who practices it.

So, her message was about how she had always asked her mother to give her a sign and somehow after two months of getting to know me, the guy who she started work with and the guy who she was somehow diplomatically made to be friends with since we only got each other as newbies, today has been pretty much the day where that sign has finally emerged in her life.

If her mom’s way of showing a sign to her daughter, from wherever she is at this stage, was to let her daughter’s colleague have the same birth date as her, I have to admit creativity does run in her family. It might be a co-incident but I am sold that my birth date, matching her late mom’s, is a sign that her mom is up there still with her daughter. Maybe I am that catalyst or that message in a bottle for her daughter to know that even though the mother is not in this life anymore, she would always find ways to communicate or to notify her daughter that she is around.

When my colleague told me that, I could not help feeling so empathetic and very happy in the most honorable way. And for some reason, it somehow did bring me closer to my colleague. And seriously, what were the odds that my colleague at work, out of nowhere, suddenly asked my date of birth today. Well, it was caused by getting birthday cake fed because someone was celebrating his birthday on level 2 of our office. But still, it’s amazing how things work.

So, yeah. I can’t stop feeling so happy for my colleague. Now she is reminded how her mom is there with her. She mentioned she cried happy tears and I am just honored that I get to be part of this ‘magic’ moment of her life.

Nice pants

Call me old fashioned but I do not see anything normal about one of the only two guys in a room saying “Nice pants” as the first sentence to the other guy. Especially when the person who said it is supposedly straight.

My gaydar is so bad that I have always given any guys the benefit of the doubt when it comes to guessing if they are gay or not. Especially to those men that I’m attracted to, I would always assume they were straight. Why?? Well, if they’re straight, I can feel good about having guessed it right and if they’re not, I can still be happy that there’s a chance for me to be able to do something with him if things work.

I am still two months old at my job and I have started working there during Christmas time. So, I am not really that familiar with everyone in the office. I do know a fair amount of people at work but that does not really mean I would be able to tell who’s new or not. Especially when I started seeing this pretty cute guy from the logistic team.

First of all, he is not that super cute but he is definitely someone who can rock my boat, if you know what I mean. He has that angular face like David Bowie and blonde hair. His eyes look pretty skully and not really to my liking but the overall package is definitely a good average for my perve-o-meter. And he seems to have this really good nature/personality.

He and I usually end up taking breaks at the same time. Since I work in the customer service department, my breaks are scheduled and I do have to take breaks during certain period of the day. Since my break is at 2 pm, there will not be a lot of people in the room but me and him. He does not talk much, unless he has to ask if I were watching anything on TV in our work kitchen; he’s always watching TV during break time.

Like I’ve said, he’s not someone I would totally go hard for but he’s also someone I would not mind being around. He rarely talks to me and since I’m not a big fan of awkward silence, I would always be the first to break the silence.

Logistics team has to wear these safety yellow vests and I have never seen him in his usual casual self until last week. My cubicle faces a large window and I spotted him going to his car at the car park in a bright pink shirt. I might be old fashioned but EVERY men wears pink shirt lately and chicks dig guys in pink shirts. So, that doesn’t really make me wonder.

However, today, as I was just being busy with my iPhone in the kitchen during break time, I was surprised when he finally said something to me. Like a parent of the baby, whose first words were obscene, he caught me by surprise when his first words were “Nice pants”, after he looked down at my pants.

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I’m sure it does not really symbolize anything but can anyone tell me which alpha straight male or a simple straight male compliments another bro on his pants, especially as the first thing to say. I was not moved, I was not offended and I had nothing to feel or think about but it sure makes me think. And this dude is also not someone who looks like he has any interest in fashion either.

Yes, call me old fashioned but I still find it a bit abnormal for a straight guy to compliment about a pair of pants as the first thing when bumping into another guy.