Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Will You Love Me Tomorrow?

OK, I'm in the office, listening to Carole King (could you tell?) on the iPod and updating cos my friend Addy went to check my blog and to her dismay, there was no update. Naughty Jenny, naughty, naughty! OK, I smacked my own wrist.

I'm in kind of a high mood at the moment (even rejection can't faze me and I've received all of two today) because I'll be going to Backyard tonight and Mark is playing. Yay! (When I get obsessed, I get obsessed - and Addy asked me what's with the Mark theme in my life and I said, I really don't know, coincidence is all)

Anyways, I was feeling pretty down yesterday. One of those "pale shade of azure" days. I forced myself to put one foot in front of the other and feigned enthusiasm when we received such good coverage for the almighty launch of our Tune Card. It was sorta anti-climatic. I don't know...

The boss was all smiles and cheeky grins as he checked out his blog and comments etc. He was pleased with coverage - but then he's received so much of late that he's beginning to take it as a matter of course. As I've told him so often before, he doesn't need a PR. Just someone to field the requests from the press and pick out the best ones.

My friend Terence called and asked for help. So now, I'm his business development manager, his marketing manager, his press consultant - he said, just call it drinking buddy and have done with it. Luckily I love Terence, so none of this is a problem.

Baby, baby, baby, I got so much love in me...

Now for the launch. It went off with a bang. Literally. I was xeroxing press releases and the boss' speech at about noon (thing was due to start at 2.30 - I am nothing if not last minute). My hands were a blur, stapling sheets together, shoving them into very inconveniently built press kit cases and Nadia, my very own Din Din who was about to make her way to the KL Convention Centre noticed my set expression and my evidently increasing panic. She strolled over languidly (that one is a model, she is) and offered to help. Then Denise came over and offered to help. Also Mor Nee. All in all I had three helpers and we got press kits stuffed pronto. All one hundred of them because lots of non-press people, i.e. the other guests, have this bad habit of collaring the press kit.

I struggled carrying all hundred press kits (the iPod is now playing James Taylor's You Got A Friend) to the car, and then rushed to pick up Ambikah, from Tune Hotel, which was on the way. Poor thing. She's pretty high up in the ranks and what did she end up doing but carrying half the press kits for me as we staggered from the KLCC where I parked to the convention centre (kinda far and our arms were all but falling out of their sockets).

The boss wanted to do one practice with the animation (when he speaks pictures appear on the big screen behind him) and he gave this hilarious speech that we were rolling in the aisles. I begged him to give it like that and he said, you mad ah? I'll be killed!

We didn't have time for lunch what with the arrival of guests (they started trickling in sometime around 2.15 and swelled enormously by 3 when the event was due to start. One thing about Tune Money, we tend to start on time, which I love. Also, our events are well attended because my boss Zafrul has this habit of inviting everybody and I mean EVERYBODY on every single mailing list he happens to be on. He SMS-es everyone on his phone (and he has at least a few hundred names there), everyone on his Facebook network (as well as those who are not on his network), everyone on his email address book. (OK you get the picture)

Considering that he invites a thousand people at least, it was amusing to see creepy bald Indian guy (of the rude SMS fame) sign up at the guest book and ask rather pompously, "where do Zafrul's friends sit?" expecting to be assigned a VIP seat. He looked up to see me watching and appeared to start in surprise. Well, fancy seeing you here. (Yeah, fancy, I just happen to work at Tune Money, I mean, big surprise, right?).

Anyways, the guests were seated by five to three, the VIPS marched in a little after and the event started bang on the dot. It was really cool. Everything was RED and the boss went up and gave a rollicking speech (I wrote it so it should be). One of the VVIPs, Jessica Phang of Visa was late. When Zafrul was starting his speech, making all the necessary greetings, he said: "And Jessica Phang from Visa, whom I believe is on the way..." just as she scrambled in and ran to the front. I stifled a giggle.

He inserted a heck of a lot of jokes and the atmosphere was Tune Money's own brand of informal (who says financial services have to be boring?). Then the Minister-du-jour made his ponderous way up and gave his speech (which I wrote too, but he delivered it so badly it sounded like any old government speech, yuck!) My sister Julie came (albeit a little late as she mixed up the times and got a little lost trying to find the convention centre) said Zafrul was cool and the Minister was a sucky presenter. I agreed on both counts.

Then two winsome babes in Tune Money tee-shirts (no they were not our staff, but Zafrul talked of hiring them to deal exclusively with the CEO's office) brought a giant card out to stage and the VVIPs went up and arranged themselves around it. They were supposed to "load" the prepaid card, so each was given giant RM100 notes and told to put it in a slot in the card, which was made out to Tony Fernandes.

Then Tony was required to remain on stage while Jien (our very funny and rather attractive MC) asked him what he would like to use the RM500 to buy. AirAsia tickets? No, Tony the showman replied, MAS tickets. Or better still Firefly. Everyone tittered appreciatively.

Then the stage backdrop separated to reveal one of those thingamajigs where you swipe the said "payment processing" and then issued a giant bill that Tony was required to sign, which he did with gusto.

It was all so showy and nice...good music, "let's get retarded in here..." and then everyone filed out to eat. Including me. I shoved pastries and savouries into my cakehole with wild abandon, dragging Julie to the different food displays to taste this, that and the other. We were cheerfully discussing something (I forget what) when I heard a stern voice repeating my last statement quizically.

I turned around and who should it be but my ertswhile boss, the lady from hell herself, Hardev Kaur (or Hardcore Dave as we used to call her). Putting on my best PR smile I talked to her for a bit and then went off to search for more food.

Julie wasn't hungry. Most people recognised her from my wallpaper (they would recognise Jackie as well should she come, as she shares my wallpaper with the Shi Sho girl) although Kanesh, when I introduced him, couldn't believe Jules was my sister. "Too pretty huh?"

"Yes, I mean no, I don't look anything alike."

Yeah, so I've been told.

Anyways, the press conference was on in full swing...although the press seemed to have thinned out considerably. It went pretty well. I needed to rush back to the office to send everyone the Minister's speech as his press secretary had conveniently forgotten to bring copies. There were figures involved and figures are always tricky. Better to have it on paper.

Then it was off to Backyard to er...celebrate. Actually Mark was supposed to have been playing but he wasn't. (My life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes - Anne Shirley, Green Gables).

We hung out with H (our event manager) and Jien (the MC) and Andy (H's partner) and it was a lot of fun. Some fight broke out inside between a guy and his girlfriend. The guy flung out of the place, screaming "fuck you" and drove off in high dudgeon, while his girlfriend stood at the door, surveying him thoughtfully. He was back in about 10 minutes (time to cool off?) and went in for Round Two.

"On a Monday night?" asked H, shaking his head. Never a dull moment at the Backyard. Mary, Addy and I who were there outside with the guys, thanked our lucky stars that we were not sitting inside. Being pawed at by drunk Indian guys gets a little old after a while.

(OK Addy, I've updated with a passion - you should be happy now)

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