Monday, July 30, 2007

Post-it@Youth.SG: Is this Art?

They say a picture paints a thousand words.

I think more than "words" (which, as we all know, can be twisted, interpreted and mis-interpreted in more than a thousand ways ), a picture evokes emotional and feelings.

So what kinds of feelings does this picture evoke?

* Unfortunately, I can only use words to tell you what I feel, so it'll have to do.

The word - "Trust", comes to my mind. The complete, unbiased and unconditional kind of trust that the little polar bear cub (his name is Knut, by the way) has for his caregiver. Something which, sadly, only seem to exist in the human context, between a new-born baby and its mother.

It is interesting that when I showed the exact same picture to some of my colleagues, and asked for their thoughts on the image and the feelings evoked, the answers I got was so varied and diverse!

Someone said,"A shoulder to cry on". (I thought that was very apt!)

Another one offered, "Contentment". "Love" really does seem a popular choice, as recently shown by a surveyed conducted by the local papers.

But the funniest one came from this guy, "Yummy... Lunch!". (I wonder which way he meant? haha!)

Anyway, what has all these to do with Art, you ask? Well, here's Wikipedia's definition of "art":

Art, in its broadest meaning, is the expression of creativity or imagination, or both.

So I say, this photo is a great piece of art. Don't you agree? :)

Friday, July 27, 2007


It's finally started...

I'm not sure if this is the norm elsewhere, but it does seem to me that in corporates, there is bound to be this "mass diffusion" once every 2 years (or less).

I am talking about the movement of people - disillusioned or fed-up with their work or jobs - out of the company, in a ala follow-the-leader mode.

My first experience of this was years back, when I was still a greenhorn engineer in Sumitomo Bakelite. My colleagues were great - Ooi, Lee Ling, Bee Bee, Shirvin, Koo, etc... A solid manager too.

But as things went, it was the usual gripes and complaints. Low pay, silly corporate practices, inter (and intra )departmental feuds, blah blah blah...

So, before the 2 years deadline was up, the exodus began. One by one, the engineers left for (perceived) greener pastures. And with their departure, they brought the laughters and fun away with them. I was one of those who left then.


After almost a year and half at my present workplace, and seeing new colleagues joining in batches after me, the present group of almost 20 trainers are forming a cohesive and formidable party. The team spirit has been good, and despite the inevitable cliques which form, the whole team has been pretty united and helpful to one another.

Then, it started happening again.

已有两个同事呈了辞职信. 其余的也蠢蠢欲动. 似乎大家都在等待良机逃离这个"苦难之地". 这种情绪就象病菌般地传遍整个队伍, 大家都似乎害怕成为最后剩下来的牺牲品似的.

在这种情况下,我也不禁被"感染"了. 这就是所谓的Peer pressure吧?

这几个月来我也不断地在寻寻觅觅,想趁这个时候找到自己的"出路". 但经过了一番心理挣扎和反复的思考之后,得到的结论还是斩时按兵不动,一旁静观其变来得托当. 怎么说,自己的年纪也不怎么轻了,这样反复的跳槽并非好事. 更何况,我对现在的工作能够胜任,做起来也还蛮顺利的,其实也没必要跟风似的和这班较年轻的同事一块儿搞"罢工"情操.

觉得遗憾的当然是这些日子来的欢乐情景,大伙儿的笑声和埋怨,中午的lunch break, 午后的cofee break...天下无不散的宴席. 只盼来日还能有机会再聚首吧!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Magician!

You are The Magician

Skill, wisdom, adaptation. Craft, cunning, depending on dignity.

Eleoquent and charismatic both verbally and in writing,
you are clever, witty, inventive and persuasive.

The Magician is the male power of creation, creation by willpower and desire. In that ancient sense, it is the ability to make things so just by speaking them aloud. Reflecting this is the fact that the Magician is represented by Mercury. He represents the gift of tongues, a smooth talker, a salesman. Also clever with the slight of hand and a medicine man - either a real doctor or someone trying to sell you snake oil.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Watch that purchase!

As we generally become more affluent, and our lifestyles reach a point where we unconsciously spend without taking a second thought, it takes some discipline and courage to force oneself to sit and take a hard look at reality.

Can we really afford to live that way? And for how long can we sustain that lifestyle?

Since leaving the financial planning industry (although now i seem to have become the unofficial financial planning consultant to some of my colleagues at work! hah!), life has become a routine of fixed-hour work during the weekdays, and a regular set of activities in the weekends. And unlike the days of being self-employed, where you'd really have to make darn sure you make more commissions than you'd spend on entertainment and food, gifts for clients, transportation expenses, etc.. these days, it is so easy to simply assume that the lifestyle (and its accompanying expenditure) will simply shape itself around the new job and habits that come with it.

That is so not true... as I have very recently found out.

It is certainly easy to get into a habit of visiting cafes and restaurants for meals, when a simple chap-chai peng (mixed vegetable rice) only costs $2.50 and sometimes tastes just as good; buying that nice looking shirt (usually during the sales period) when i still have a few new shirts nicely wrapped in their brand new plastic covers in my cabinet...etc And the list goes on..

When you sit down and do the math, it can come as a shocking revelation to some, that their monthly expenditure actually "outperforms" their monthly income! Just like the recent bull market hor? :P
It always seems that the amount of spending always reach "new heights" and "record highs", but our salaries doesnt even grow as fast as the GST levels!

So, before we jump in the Great Singapore Sale frenzy and indulge in the wonders of retail therapy (as the banks are so eager to tell us to do), just make sure that at the end of the month/year, you have enough to ride you through the next financial cycle - the inevitable economic downturn.