Thursday, March 29, 2007

I Get Knocked Down

It's been a month. Give or take a few days. I've been freaking out. But that's normal I guess. It's been four years since I've actually had an honest-to-goodness job with a dress code and a specific time to come in every the morning and the boss asking if I am on a half day if I decide to leave at six. (Malaysian companies are mad and Malaysian employees may as well have sleeping bags in their respecitve offices)

There's a cute consultant in the office I like to ogle at in the breaks between frenzied activity but the nature of consultants is that they are transient, nomads, born to wander. Ah me.

I've just sent out a million (it feels like) invitations to various press for my first press conference which is to take place on Monday. I'm supposed to emcee the thing. How on god's green earth am I supposed to do that? I am neither sober nor respectable. Give me a mike and I turn on the histrionics.

I was coaching my boss on how to deliver his speech, making him pause frequently, asking him to smile at the audience at this part, say this in a snide tone, etc, etc. Finally, fed up, he asked me how I would deliver the same speech. I launched into an impassioned oratory worthy of Mark Anthony and he shook his head:

"I've got an idea, why don't you deliver the speech and I just sit back and listen."

No can do boss-man. You're important. I'm just part of the furniture. The less people notice me the better. (OK it's a little difficult not to notice me at the moment. I mean if you came across me you'd take about a week to walk around to avoid me, but still...)

I've gotten drunk with colleagues all of once. It was fun. I had two glasses of wine and one of port on an empty stomach. Probably not the smartest thing in the world.

I may have said this before, but I'll say it again. They're very nice and easy to work with.

I get knocked down, but I get up again, you never gonna keep me down.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Too many walls

I'm sitting in the office writing this. A colleague has just threatened to "sniff" my computer (whatever that means). Apparently they used to do it at Citibank, to see what every employee was doing. Privacy laws forsooth, they read every email, saw every piece of porn that was pushed through those pipes (alliteration sometimes soothes the tormented soul).

My iPod is playing Come Undone. How apt. How appropriate. How particularly apposite.

I want to crawl under my desk and hide for a bit. Open space is all very well except when I want to disappear and there are a million people around and I can't. My ears are stopped up with earphones so I can't hear what is going on around me - but there's all this space and there is the silence in between.

Too many walls.

My walls.

Will I ever learn?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Slipping away

I worried when I returned from Australia that I would lose my soul again. I got depressed, I breathed in foul air, the noise of traffic assailed my injured ears and yet, and yet, a semblance of who I had been stayed with me. I thought, huh. This is the me who's here to stay.

The one thing I lacked, you see, was a real job. Yes, freelance projects are jobs. But oh, the freedom. Oh, the carefreedom. Oh, the hours upon hours of lying fallow, soaking up tv programmes or planning blog entries, or just basking in the nothingness of nothing.

And now I have a job.

It's different.

Now there is someplace I HAVE to be at such and such a time.

It's different.

Now, instead of thinking up poetic phrases and meandering off into streams of consciousness, I try to figure out a better way to say "sum insured".

I lie awake and imagine glossaries of business terms. I imagine writing high-powered speeches that would hit the spot. I imagine, I imagine...and slowly the poetry seeps away.

I read Bo's post and resolve to print it out and stick it on my desk. No, nobody there will understand it but at least, it will remind me. Of all the things I loved. Still love.

The alarm goes off at 4.30 in the morning. By 7 at night, I'm fading. At 9, like a cute little kiddie, I'm just about ready for bed.

Where are all of you?

I need you.

Please come.

I'm slipping away.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Cricket on the Hearth

The crickets were still chirping and it was dark but Dadda was up so I figured it must be upping time. Squinted at my alarm clock which I forgot to set when I passed out from exhaustion last night and thought it said 6.30. As in late. But it actually said 5.30. As in not so late.

Nevertheless I shifted my carcass out of the warm bed, coming alive, sort of, and wondering how I was going to get through the day.

There is stress and there is stress.

Some things are becoming clearer.

Others remain nebulous.

The office was shut and bolted when I arrived. Apparently you need a key to get in. A tag won't cut it. Not in the wee hours anyway. So I leaned out of the window and waited for someone to come.

Tried calling one of the bosses (only because his number was on my phone) probably not one of my best ideas, especially when he was way stressed. But he didn't answer. Called me back like an hour later, sleep in his voice wanting to know what the matter was.

I said, no matter, I'm in now.

He said, OK, whatever.

I like working with people who understand the tortured revolutions of a frustrated artist.

Ah me, life is simple,
content is wisdom
complaint is awful. (or is it wimple?)

Tostada Sama.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Bumming, interrupted...

Um, something kinda happened while I was watching large swathes of M*A*S*H*, reading a book a day, working on my Christmas gifts for this year and trying to decide whether I wanted to make another orange almond cake. Or not.

I got a job.

It happened so quickly I spent the first two days in utter disbelief hardly eating or sleeping for stress.

I feel my ulcer coming along nicely.

Not that everyone isn't nice to me. They are. Wonderfully so.

It's just that I have never done this before and I don't have any internal systems in place to deal with it. It was OK to tread water when I had just turned 20 and was new in my old newspaper. Nobody expects anything spectacular from a new kid on the block and they send you for very easy assignments. Like product launches. Or a company setting up bus stops in the kampungs. That sort of thing.

But now, I'm responsible for... OK let's not go there.

Anyway, my friend Nits calls me on Monday to ask if she can pass my number along as a recommendation for a job. On Tuesday, I get a call from the CEO. On Wednesday, we meet in Starbucks for the "interview". I was reading Will in the World (Stephen Greenblatt) at the time, so the CEO and I chatted about Shakespeare and he asked me if this was the definitive biography and I said no, it was more of a "popular" one, sorta like Shakespare in Love. (Marc Norman, who wrote Shakespeare in Love conceived his project, roughly around the time Stephen Greenblatt conceived his). Then the COO comes along and the talk gets down to business.

Ho hum.

Five minutes after the interview is concluded, when they leave for another appointment and tell me they will "think about it" I get a text message. "Can you start tomorrow?"

It throws me into a flap.

I haven't calmed down yet.

I am still reading Will in the World. My perfect one-book-a-day record has been smashed.