Notes From An Interviewer


His face got so tensed that I could tell that he was trying to fight his teeth from coming out to bite my head off my neck. “Third girl in the last 2 weeks! What can I say of you? Third girl resigned from your team in a matter of 2 weeks!” Gosh. I hate it when my boss repeat something twice in a sentence. It sounds super awful.

“That I am an inspiring leader?” I tried to lighten up the atmosphere in the boss’ room. He didn’t seem convinced. “And how is that so? Let me get this straight. One left because she found her aspiration to start writing a book after her travel to Tibet, and the second?” he asked.

“Oh she uhm… found the inspiration to start her own business after a trip to Melbourne.” I shook my head. “And the third lady?” He pressed on.

“That doesn’t even count. She is my staff but to be fair, she is from the client’s side, so technically under my team with our company… I mean your company, Sir, let’s just say that I have helped two persons discovered their passions for making a living elsewhere,” I defended. “Really, I do not think I am a horrible boss. There’s movie for it starring Jennifer Anniston but no, it’s certainly not inspired by me.”

“I am not saying that you are a horrible boss but with half of your team gone in a span of few weeks, I think that’s why you are stressed out and running thin. I don’t know how you are going to do it but my dear, you have about half a dozen projects to deliver in the next few months that I expect you get it delivered beyond my expectation. Get it? 6 projects until August. (See? He repeats serious stuff like twice, all the time!) I suggest you ask Jeannie to put up some recruitment ads to get a manager and a senior executive to assist you. Ok?” “Noted, boss.” I looked straight into his eyes and was grateful that help was on the way, at least with The Boss’s immediate instruction to the HR to get me some good staff.   960589386_09bbf2e6d8 And so I found myself sitting across the board room table from some interviewees in the last one month as I got in on the whole act of recruitment like a ball of energy mass to find my replacement team members. That was the exciting part and my story would have ended lovely here had I been more in touch with the mannerism and aspirations of some of these young job seekers. Obviously I am so out of touch that there are top six types of interviewees that absolutely drive me up the wall!

  • The Blurry

I had to run to another project site at 4.15pm. I stared at the office clock and nervously saw that it was already 3.15pm. “Jeannie, that Alice girl for the 3pm interview, is she coming or not?” I asked my colleague Jeannie, the HR Manager.

“Hmmm… Let me give her a call now and get back to you shortly.”

Five minutes later, Jeannie buzzed me from the intercom and said, “Guess what? Alice said she was so busy with her work that she had completely forgotten about the interview! She was asking if she could come see you this Saturday instead?”

I thought for a while and told Jeannie, “No, tell her that I may forget about her before the end of today!” 9227922133_c862915d95

  • The ME, ME & I King

He rattled off his success like stories from the Almanac of Successful People. “I accomplished this this and that too. It was all about me, myself and I. I led my team and achieved RM1 million in that SUPER successful case. I am so good and I am even better than the next 10 candidates you are interviewing for the rest of this week.”

Once he paused from his extremely illustrious stories, I asked him, “So is there anything else you would like to add on about your successes?”

“Yes, I am the best. The greatest. Period”. I thought to myself, Wow. And I never wanted to see him again. Period. 13771862765_03a8158ece

  • The Newbie Interviewee

What drives you?” I asked.

“I want to drive a BMW.” He replied without a slight hesitation.

Holding back my crazy laughter, I clarified politely, “I mean, what are the things that motivate you in life.”

“Oh, sorry I thought you asked me what car I wanted to drive.” 4709580506_cc6f3e0762

  • The Ambitious Sweet Young Thing

“Your goal in the next year?” I looked up to meet the eyes of the sweet young thing.

“I don’t know, may be… to be somebody in the company… like achieving the position of a director of the division by the time I am 25 years old and leading my own team of staff”

“But you have just graduated and you are only 23 years old, not trying to undermine your determination but what are the steps you will be taking to reach that goal within the next 1.5 years?”

“I don’t know but I am a quick learner. It’s like a very simple school project. I will get there irregardless.” 5228373874_056282e649

  • The Floater

“Is there any particular reasons you have jumped through 4 companies in the last 1.5 years?” I asked casually.

“Oh the first company gave me such low salary, so I left it and got 150% increment in the second job. But after 3 months I was angry that the new company gave me so much more work than the first one that I moved on to the third company. This time I thought I was lucky because work load was reduced but I got a bit bored and jumped ship again to my present company.”

“And the reason for moving on now?” I was clearly amused.

“Oh, just that I am not happy. My happiness is of utmost importance. I am looking forward to joining your company to find that happiness and fulfillment that were missing from all the bad companies that I have worked for.”

“I don’t think I can give you that. Job satisfaction comes from within yourself and if you have not been able to find that from your previous and present jobs, chances are we don’t store it in here too. Thanks for your time anyway. All the best to you as you find the ultimate happiness in your next job. Send my regards to it.” 117635854_385449ffa6

  • The Economist

“ What’s your present salary?” I glanced through his CV.

“RM4000 for basic and I have another RM500 for transportation allowance.” He replied politely.

“You are asking for RM7000 now. May I know the reason for asking such a big jump in your demand for the basic salary?”

“Oh I am planning to marry my girlfriend end of this year so my father in law asked me if I could afford to take care of his precious daughter. I told him I would find a new job that can pay for both of us so that my girlfriend could just stay home and take care of the 5 kids we plan to have.”

“Wow, that’s a very big increment in your salary and a great big plan there. Is this figure negotiable?”

“I am sorry, Miss, but I need this amount to marry my dream girl,” came the incredible reply from him.

“I am sorry, but then, this is not going to be the place to get your dream pay.” I stood up to bid my farewell to him.11901612346_36ca812923 …………………………………….

Believe it or not but I did eventually find 2 replacement out of the three vacancies that I need to fill. I tell myself that good staff are hard to come by but they are made harder when all we meet are rather strange, twilight-zone, young interviewees who make me feel like I have invaded a different planet altogether. As I continue to search for my third candidate, I keep myself sane with this mantra that…

ALL THESE SHALL PASS TOO.

PHOTO CREDIT

    Photo Credit photo credit: N00/960589386″>てんつくマンとの対談 via photopin (license) photo credit: N06/9227922133″>177 // 365 – Splitting Headache // Rasender Kopfschmerz via photopin (license) photo credit: N00/5228373874″>OMG! via photopin (license) photo credit: N08/13771862765″>IMG_5217 via photopin (license) photo credit: N00/4709580506″>We had a fun day via photopin (license) photo credit: N05/11901612346″>CYMERA_20140110_114505 via photopin (license) photo credit: N00/228551283″>liwanag sa dilim via photopin (license)  

Our Best Days… Ever!


Last month my domestic helper who is from Indonesia went back to her hometown to celebrate Eid with her family for 30 days.

When this happens, a stay home mom would just go on life managing the family routine, kids and her home with much grace, flair and poise that make her home completely functional as it has always been.

Forget about grace and flair with her counterpart who happens to be a working mama! The operative word was PANIC at this Seven2SevenMom planet! Short of clinging on to my helper’s leg even before she stepped off my front door, I was lost. I was petrified. I thought I’d crumble. First, I thought of my work – how do I cope with washing all the 3 bathrooms and 4 bedrooms in our apartment AND iron all the kids’ school uniforms after working 10 hours at the office? Then I thought of the crazy-beyond-description school routines of my kids and their mountain-high homework piles, which meant I would be coaching homework with my kids sitting on the kitchen floor while I (try to) wash all of the pots and pans and numerous little plastic cups and utensils after dinner. Multitasking will surely take on a whole new meaning in my life!

Maid-less day: The home was in a crazy mess but baby B found room for simple joy and laughter.

Maid-less day: The home was in a crazy mess but baby B found room for simple joy and laughter.

But when I thought of how my family-work balance will be temporarily thrown off its balance and yet I could have a chance of living my childhood dream of being an all-present, all-loving stay-home mom… I was elated!
After I succeeded at applying for a one-month special work arrangement with my extremely understanding bosses to work only half day at the office and the other half day to take care of what mattered most to me – my kids, I pictured myself launching into a supermom mode for the next 30 days doing the following loving things for the family:

1) Laundry at 5am – Oh ya. I will rise early and sort out my laundry into different colours and making sure that the stubborn sweat stains of Daddy Joe and Cheeky Koko’s shirts are rid of like they are new shirts. I even bought stubborn stain removal to get this job done that I thought was super-easy! (What really happened was: Laundry at 2pm because I only got to go to bed at 1.30am the night before after I finish ironing the gazillion of school uniforms and toddler clothings! In fact I closed one eye to the stubborn sweat stains after a capful of bleach was poured over the laundry load over a few days and it just didn’t work! Curse I had over the bleach solutions because they don’t get the job done!)

All rules broke loose! Pumpkin Mei-Mei was happy to have traditional chinese delicacy tang yuen in weird colours combo as supper!

All rules broke loose! Pumpkin Mei-Mei was happy to have traditional chinese delicacy tang yuen in weird colours combo as supper!

jtg2

Bake-happy days: One of my whimsical favourite comfort food: Ji Dan Gao (Chinese Steamed Cake). I was really one fearless chef who would just bake and cook to my heart’s content.

2) Making home cooked breakfast for the family by 6am which included preparing cute bento lunch sets for the three happiest little people — oh I would prep those rice meals into cute bear shapes, served with motivational love notes to spark up their days. (What really happened was: Kids made their own cereals and milks at 6am and bought food from the school canteen instead because mama was so exhausted from housework the night before she was still snoring away at 6am! I even rationalised to myself that my kids needed calcium to grow strong bones. So, have your milk today? )
3) Make up and change into my working attires by 7am (What really happened was: It took place at 8am. Blame those mountain-high pile of laundry!)
4) Send Baby B to nursery at 8am – and I won’t even forget about packing along Baby B’s favourite snacks and child vitamin into his lunch bag that our helper often overlooked. (What really happened was: Checked. Everything was lovingly done the way I would have it done!)
5) Reach office at 9am and conduct efficient meeting with staff because work load is still the same, half day or not, I just have to continue to optimise my productivity in half the amount of time. (What really happened was: The staff queued up to update and seek opinions over everything because I only had few hours for them everyday. On the hindsight, I was happy that I was deeply missed by them. Hehe…)
6) Get off work by 1pm, drive to pick up baby B from his day care at 1.30pm. (What really happened was: There was always pesty, long-winded meetings and discussions with staff for urgent matters that spanned a little longer than expected and I got fine just about everyday for five to ten Ringgit because I was so ridiculously busy!)
7) Get Baby B to nap at 3pm so that I can free myself for the next 2 hours to prepare and cook dinner as well as get some house chores done. (What really happened was: In between singing the Barney’s I love you song to get Baby B to nap, often we cuddled up and slept together!)
8) 5pm is my allocated one-hour clean up time when I would set a small amount of time, like 15 mins each room to clean up the apartment, room by room. (What really happened was: I was chopping the veg, some poultry meat and soup ingredients away like a mad woman because the older kids were coming home in an hour and I had not even washed the anchovies and potatoes yet!)

The kids were on dysfunctional mode. Hey mom, someone is using those tang yuen's flour mixture to press into his toy car! OMG.... Whatever!

The kids were on dysfunctional mode on some days. Like here, someone was using those tang yuen’s flour mixture to press into his toy car! OMG…. Whatever!

9) Cheeky Koko and Pumpkin Mei Mei, my two older little people would come home from tuition day care at 6pm into the warm embrace of their mama and the entire apartment would smell like a rockin’ celebrity chef has just made the best gourmet meals cooked with the freshest ingredients in the whole world. (What really happened was: The kids came home hungry, waited for another hour before mom is finally ready and before that, they still had to help to clear the dining table from the mess they left over from their school projects last night!)
10) 8pm is homework time – normally this is the hour when everyone would either complete their homework or have some quiet reading time. (What really happened was: Older kids helped clean up the house, and mom is still cleaning up the kitchen and everyone get a little dizzy over the mom barking restrictions about the number of clothing one wears in a day (just so that she would not have to wash two loads of laundry per day). Her idea is the kids should just wear the school uniforms as home lounge wear and pyjamas, one set per day, that’s ALL!)

wpid-20140426_214000.jpg

Clean, cook, vacuum and laundry were synonymous with my existence.

Time flies and our helper finally flew back into our home which survived a super busy working mom commando in chief’s lacklustre management for 30 days. Did any good come out of it? Yes, plenty.

In that one month we have had many good times just enjoying each other’s presence as a functional family, albeit a home that always had unfinished chores and a mom who always seemed to be slaving away at the laundry and at the kitchen. It was great to see that for once, I was licensed and given the blessing to prioritise my children and my family, instead of work.

Yes I was stressed still juggling half-day work at the office and nothing went according to The Mom’s plan. But I love every moment of it and I mourned for the loss of this precious time when it finally ended. In that one month, I have also cooked and baked like there was no tomorrow – it was how I envision a family should smell like. I could spend an hour watching Barney sing and dance with Baby B and yet not feel hurried to rush because I have to go for a business conference. I was not pursuing anything related to career. I was simply a mom spending time with my kids and doing the whole Barney dance with them and loving it every moment even if I had danced it the fifth time that afternoon.

I am back to work now but in my heart, there’s always the tender spot that cherishes those Barney days that I simply would not trade with anything else.

Que Sera, Sera


I always know when my parents want to have a serious talk with me.

It was the eighties when the global financial crisis took place. I was only 9 years old when my mother sat all three of us down and said that we were going through a really difficult time in the family that for a long while we would need to be extremely frugal to tide us over. Turned out that we took more than 10 years to get through that “dark ages of finance” as I called it, but there was also the bright side of things because we got closer as a family. From being constantly fighting with my older brother for the control over the TV channel or quarrelling with my older sister whom I feared because of her two huge, fierce eyes, we became strong, affectionate siblings who shared great camaraderie for life.

When I was 15 years old and on Valentine’s Day I received two stalks of red roses from some boys, my mother gave me a long talk about dating too young.  I was completely flabbergasted. I wasn’t even dating these boys. They were guy friends from a nearby boys school whom I got to know from riding on the same school bus who gave me flowers. I was not even remotely interested in them romantically. To me, they were just friends. Period. In any case, mama said that I was not supposed to hold hands with or kiss a boy at just 15 years old. So I followed her advice and only kissed my boyfriend at 17 years old. But I also married him eight years later.

What happened was last month we had a little tea session again at their living room. Now when you love someone you feel them all the time! I sensed that they wanted to have one of these talks again before I had even parked my car in front of their house. Something serious…. Hmm…  Is it about the way I bring up my kids, or how unwise I plan financially (in fact I have no planning at all!) or something even more serious?!

Tea

So my mama did the whole Chinese tea ritual the moment I stepped into the house. She sat me down then brought out her little Chinese teapot, dropped one Yunnan Pu-erh tea cube into the pot, poured some hot boiling water over them and started brewing the tea while pouring hot water over all the tea cups. When the tea was ready, she poured the tea into five tea cups, called papa to join us and in her utmost subtlety, expressed that she felt sorry that I was “stuck in a rut”. I almost choked on my tea!

I am not successful by any measure but I am so NOT stuck in a rut. I mean, yes I am not a CEO, an engineer, an astronaut or a pharmacist and yes I am not rich either, but I have built  a life I am contented with that are filled with many blessings that make me, well… happy. Yes, contentment. Is that why mama thinks I live a dull life?

“Love, I am just talking about your career. Now you know my old classmate Uncle X? One of his two sons is a Doctor and the other son is an Actuarist. Aunty Y, my ex-colleague? Her eldest son is an engineer, the second daughter is an accountant and the third son is a Pharmacist. Your brother has his own small business and your sister is an accountant, but you…”

I was crushed. There was such long awkward pause there that I had to fill in the blank for her, “I am creative, compassionate, exceedingly happy and funny?” She rolled her eyes and said, “Well, if you are not a professional, at least you must own the feeling of success!”

If you think my mama put me down, you are wrong. She is the epitome of the most faithful mom who thinks you are the best of them all even when you are the sort who walks into a room with a light bulb strapped to your head and nobody even noticed you. She just has an issue with me that I am still working for others, at THIS age. Papa confirmed my suspicion when he said, “You know, my own papa has always told me to start my own business no matter how small because the operative word here is Freedom. And I hold true to that, that no matter how challenging it was back then, I served no other masters but myself. I have freedom!”

I looked at both of them and chuckled, “Oh, that whole being enterprising thing, huh? But I don’t know what I want to sell, papa.” Own a restaurant? Negative. I can’t even fry char kuey teow or make roti canai. Run a beauty centre? I am too scared to squeeze someone else’s zits and especially if he has like a hundreds of them on just his forehead. Consulting business? Obviously I am the one who needs consultation on how to run a business the most.

“So should I just quit my job tomorrow, pa?” I continued, trying not to sound defensive.

The next Entrepreneur of the year ---Seven2SevenMom. Hooray!

The next Entrepreneur of the year —Seven2SevenMom. Hooray!

“I mean, I have no idea what business I should run though.” “No, no, not now, but all we want to say to you is we think you should put that in your 10 years goal or something. I mean, just observe some of the local businesses and see if you might find something you could do successfully. We are Chinese. Trading has to be in our blood.”

I sipped my Pu-erh, not sure if I had the same blood or DNA, for that matter. But I will go think of something that will see me work on my own terms say 5 to 10 years from now, like my papa said. Good, all is well. Finally I have a 10-year goal to boast. Even this year end’s employee appraisal starts to sound exciting already because I don’t have to copy and paste the same standard answer year on year. Why, I can already imagine the newspaper headline that reads The next Entrepreneur of the year — Seven2SevenMom, and the subhead goes, the most unassuming, talented CEO of the Happiness Empire. OK I over-paint my own road to success but you get the point.

Truly not a bad thing to get some nuggets of wisdom from our parents, especially when it gives you a new perspective and comes served with a warm cup of Yunnan Pu-Erh and a beacon of hope. That brought to mind a song my mom used to sing to me:

When I was just a little girl
I asked my mother, what will I be
Will I be pretty, will I be rich
Here’s what she said to me.

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

I don’t look at all like the pretty business woman in the photo nor had I make any Chinese tea, so this 2 came from:

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/danielygo/5370833937/”>Daniel Y. Go</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/76029035@N02/6829417439/”>Victor1558</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>

Perfetto!


I said “six”.
“Three,” he said.
“Four” I looked at the end products intently.
“No, two,” he said, trying to wipe away the perspiration from his forehead with the back of his hand.
“Two now, but later, four.” I replied, not planning to give up as we approach the end of our bargaining session.
“No, no, no, ma’am. Two now, later also two, in fact two all the way,” the man stared back at me with disbelief. He never met a master bargainer so determined in his entire lifetime.
“Fine, three then” I exclaimed, walking away from where the man in his pagoda singlet and checked prints shorts was standing, assuming I would get three. THREE. No more, no less.

I wasn’t bargaining for the number of mullets I was getting from the fish monger at the local market, if that was what it looked like.

I was haggling it out with Daddy Joe on the number of kids I thought would be nice for the happiest family on earth. It’s been a long debate since I gave birth to Pumpkin Mei-Mei, our latest addition to the family some while back.

My purpose is simple: Kids add joy to life. His explanation is clear: After all these years of bringing up the two happiest babies on earth to kids, it’s about time to focus a little more on life besides diapers and kids-related chores. Obviously this matter takes two to tango, and I’m the only one on the dancing floor now with my over-embellished, sumptuous costume waiting hopelessly in the last few years for some divine intervention to change Daddy Joe’s thoughts.

Of course, there was a point in life I was glad that we only had two kids so that we could both build our career paths which we often passed on previously to focus on our family. That is, until some what-ifs struck you as you approach another birthday and make you realise just how much you miss having a bun in the oven. Of how good a baby’s head smells. How she gives back the seeds of love you sowed in her life through her endearing smile that seems to sweep all your sorrow away.

There’s never a magic number as to how many kids each family should ideally have. It is purely a divine blessing that only the Creator can grant. For now, what is given by God to the happiest family on earth just seems like a perfect cup of Mocha coffee – soothingly creamy, warm and fuzzy, a little fun with just the right flavour of life and blissfully stirred and served. Too much of chocolate could even be a little overwhelming to the chocoholic.

At this season of our life, two is just perfetto!

See you at the bottom


Sometimes you’ve just got to give a standing ovation when it comes to workers’ creativity in giving excuses for tardiness, absences or wanting to take hours off from work. One particular staff recently drove me insane with lame excuses all involving his “aunties” which warranted taking emergency leave (EL) for the day.

The sms read: Sorry boss, am on EL as aunty had a bad accident. A few days later, this message: My aunt is on the verge of dying, need to return to hometown to attend funeral. Fair enough, I granted him EL out of compassion. A few weeks later, another sms read “Sorry, can’t make it to work, aunt passed away”. And you would think it would be the end of story for this poor aunt, that life would resume normally for this particular staff. But weeks later, another aunt fell ill. Then yet another aunt also died the next month, two weeks after an uncle, urr… also died!

Not sure if any of you have heard of this widely circulated theory i.e. the “six degrees of separation” that at the end of the day, humans are related to one another in some way or another. I prayed so hard I wasn’t genetically or socially linked to this guy in any way that I might be his cousin related from 30th generations ago, I sure do NOT want to be cursed like his “dead aunts”. I’m certain they must have fell ill after what he said, even if they had not before.

I feel sorry that some of these younger people have chosen to waste their prime years Not wanting to be the humble employee with the right attitude and EQ. Instead of being eager to learn the ropes in work and in life, so many are full of excuses to fail.

They take medical leave with minor physical discomfort such as backache (at age 24) and eye pain (who could go on facebook for four hours on end at work), when they are more alive and kicking at their MUCH younger age than mine and could gulp down Guinness to drown their purported sickness. So are the daredevils who perpetually arrive later than the bosses and blame anything from traffic to their sick hamster.

I must say that the good old days of finding staff who are committed to their work are long gone. I even have a classic staff with whom I would reserve for the Most Blur Award. After the third time of explaining to her the step-by-step procedure for a project, she “miraculously” forgets she was supposed to do it by the deadline.

At such junior level, one is already bending the rules for success, what happen when they move up the corporate ladder? Until that happens, my guess is such lax and slipshod way is definitely the holy way to career destruction.

Remember, no one is indispensable to any organisation. Unless you are going to change your way, the boss has every right to say ”See you at the bottom.”

When Love Found You (Part 1)


It has to be the season of love now, right here around me. There’s a certain hush – wedding bells, blushing cheeks, dreamy gazes, champagne toasts, engagements, hens parties and at least three invitations in a month to witness the union of Man and Woman.

A younger girlfriend who recently found love told me it took her 6 months to accept the man she was seeing, and even then every few steps it would still be an over-cautious walk of faith. Unfortunately one can become skeptical, especially when the previous hurts were too daunting. It envelopes your heart like a layer of glacier ice – a cold reservoir of painful decisions accumulated over past and present experience. One day over instant noodles lunch, this friend asked if I would accept a man with a job that is not conventional nor office bound had I was still single.

Love: When two walk in one same pace towards a single direction

I put down my chopsticks and told her I happened to know a friend who loved a man with a door-to-door sales job, selling children’s books, household items and even club memberships walking table to table at mamak stalls and restaurants some years ago. ‘Life was tough financially because the man had come from a very humble background. He was a sweet and hard-working man nonetheless. The girl saw the inner strength in him that nobody saw and stuck to him for the great man that he would become one day. She even encouraged him whenever they had to ride on his motorbike or public transportation for their date. They shared the same simple dream of raising up a family with good values, of building careers that would let them one day buy the car and house of their dreams. They supported each other’s dreams and stuck to each other together through the ups and downs of life.

Not that they are rich and famous now, but at least they both have a stable career, a small car each and a small but cosy pad for their family. They are also still very much in love with the husband still calling the wife at the same time everyday which he had even set it on his handphone to remind himself, how’s that for being old-school sweet?’ I continued, while moving to the pantry shelf to make my cuppa.

“That friend of yours is really noble,” girlfriend said. “Well my dear, you see, when they started, not that she had a particularly great career nor did she come with a Hilton as her last name. Yet he put in his equal portion of trust and faith in seeing her into the future. I guess for her, she also found the right person just as willing as her to take the responsibility and faith of being in love, just like you now.” I said, stirring my perfect cuppa with a wink.

“Are they happy?” she obviously needed the last boost of assurance. “Oh yes, she called her family the happiest people on earth in her blogs”. I said with a smile before leaving the pantry, knowing that Daddy Joe was calling me in five sec to check how my day went at the office, just like the last nineteen years.

They Had Me At Hello


I submerged my maternal aspirations to make a living in the fast lane of fashions retail in the last decade.

Free pix courtesy of www.dreamstime.com

Mama hen gotta do what's she's got to do despite loving to be a mom always!

Nothing bad about that. In fact it’s been a crazily hectic but exciting learning curve that would not have come by had I ended up as say, a shrink, an Aunt Agony columnist, or a teacher, I reckon.
Despite the horrific tales of bosses from different planets for many people, I was extremely blessed to get to know many a great ones along the way who were most instrumental in being the mentor of the seasons of my life with their wisdom and selfless, trusting instinct. There was my first boss Mr. J who taught me all the hard-and-fast rules of writing and Public Relations – being once a well-respected editor himself. My next superior Mr. C gave me my first taste in fashions, providing the stepping stone to my career in retail and I even started looking at visuals in a whole new way. He also started making me see promotions in a sort of out of the box approach, till this day he’s still sending me marketing ideas via emails from his new home in US.
Next came Ms. L whose openness to new ideas and strategic view points earned my respect. Being a hands-on head of division of a leading regional company, she had no qualms walking sites in her branded heels while constantly being brilliant with her foresight. Oh and she loves Prada too, hooray!
With two happiest little people coming along, extremely long hours at work often was an issue at home that I took a break at home for a few months. I wasn’t thrilled with the boss then – myself! Could have been better had I was more skilled at cooking and getting the house chores done on time.
Ms. A who was my next boss was a jar of inspirations from the start. She was the one who told me I ought to know and love the products I was managing like my palm inside out. Being an elegant stunner, she is still well-loved in the industry for her generosity and friendly demeanor.
Mr. V who was an expatriate won my vote for his utmost trust and openness to trying out new things and took even a less than perfect decision made by us as a necessary learning experience that we needed to move on as a group. He even taught me how to analyse every decision from the bottom-line point of view though I’m numerically challenged!Free pix courtesy of www.dreamstime.com
My present employer, Mr. J, generously sheds lights and dispenses great advice from his years of wisdom and experience and to top it all up, is extremely detailed and humble despite the many hats he has to wear as head of a company. And he gives credits to where it’s due.
It may not be boss’ day just yet and I don’t think any of these great men and women of my times would ever read this, but here’s cheers to many a great mentors who had me at hello at all the different points of my life and career. Cheers and yum seng to y’all.

All pix are free, courtesy of http://www.dreamstime.com