30 January 2009

The tenth month in the Roman calendar

I know I have a lot of missing months to blog about, but after much deliberation (and an emergency board meeting) I have decided that I will rewind, for now, to December. Any blanks that come up, I will fill as I go along. The only thing I have to tell you is I have moved into a house (I share it with a couple) and it's in West Singapore (but that's not crucial to the story).

Singapore was geared up for X'mas by October end - light festooned streets, giant X'mas trees in shopping malls, extended hours of shopping, Christmassy knick-knacks all over, piped-in carols, caskets of red wine, white wine in green bottles, basically all the what-have-yous. Swirling in Boy George's 'red, gold and green' December came twirling.

A pictorial example of Christmassy knick- knack is given here. Rather cute I thought! (The snap is technically early November).

The first three weeks of December whizzed past. And the other 2 weeks even faster. The first three because there was lots and lots of work. And thanks to the slow economy my company gave us 2 weeks shut down instead of 1, so stop work from Dec 20! Can you imagine the tension?! But of course it had its good side - I was deliriously happy to have a full proper winter vacation like in school! Yippee!!

Weekends in the first three weeks were the only party time and were spent mainly:

  • hanging out with Laksh (in photo) in Orchard
  • reading, of course (found a lending library somewhat close by, not really happy with it but it's better than nothing)
  • eating Pepper Chicken in Anandam, (Upper Dickson Road, Singapore)
  • chicken tikka in Samy's Curry, Dempsi
  • dimsumming in Din Tai Fung
  • cooking (we cooked dinner one full week!), shopping (Vivo City) and Clark Quaying with flatmate
  • buying dresses from Qoosh, Vivo City and This Fashion, Dhoby Ghaut
  • attending Monu's birthday party @ New Asia Bar (very hip!)
  • and thanks to Monu, my first time ever in a dance bar! (Yes, this was in Singapore. And my HP friends, I know exactly what you are reminded of, so was I and it didn't help).
Dec 18 mid-night was a red-letter day. I was the bearer of bad news. The fact that I live to tell the tale shows how thoroughly civilized my colleagues are by not shooting the messenger (it also helps that I used SMS to convey the message heh).

So here's how the story unfolded.

18 Dec, Thursday night, 11.58+ P.M. Singapore time.
It is one day before shutdown. I was working - fast and furious - late into the night, fixing as many defects as I could before the time ran out (darn it, am an adrenalin junkie?). I am at home, the only sounds I can hear is the clicking of the keyboard and mouse, all else is dead quite. Ping! a new email. I go to open it and I get this horrible tingling sensation at the back of my neck. I take a deep breath and open the email - I forget to breathe out. Retrenchment announcement in email from the CEO!

Aaaaaaaaaaa! Waaaaaaaaan!!! Aaaargh!!! I fished out my mobile and SMS-ed all my colleagues to check their email (I was too chicken to tell them myself). Slowly everyone came awake, and then started the frantic calling, messaging, chatting. We consoled each other, had multi-way conference calls and popping chat windows, reassured each other and make up reasons why they could not be fired, all with a churning stomach. The whole team was up all night oscillating between calm acceptance and nerve racking tension. One hour later, another email - meeting request for the whole team, U.S. and Singapore, at 2 A.M. Singapore time. This time we could not keep the dread at bay. At 2 A.M. we all gave attendance. The first thing our manager said, "We are all safe" and then she burst into tears.

It was a close call. She asked us all to take the next day off to restore our nerves. Which, naturally,  we all did. By the weekend I was back to normal.

By Monday, I was back to being tickled silly in happiness of my first long winter vacation since 1999!

A new mall West Coast Plaza has (apparently re-) opened opposite to my humble abode and I boosted the economy in my own small way by spending my hard earned there. Bought a Van Gogh in the passing among other inconsequential junk.

Got a few decent eateries opened up there, including Coffee Bean and Subway. The weather was unusually chilly for Singapore and the next 3 days whizzed past in acquainting myself with the new mall, reading books from the library, and chilling @ home.

Then bright and early on X'mas morning D arrived on! And that, my dears, needs a post all on it own! Watch this space and I promise the next post will next Friday.

2 comments:

Dew Drop said...

:)

nice post as usual :)

very lively :)

The Vangogh, the 2A.M call caught my interest and attention :) among other things..

nishitak said...

Scary man...call at 2 AM, too much ! Nice of your manager to give the next day off.

Glad that you're completely recovered :)