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We are what we think & my blog entries reflect how I think. Have a sip of the poison of my mind.. It's not always lethal.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Yes, People Do Leave Facebook. What Heresy?

The following is a pic. Pics are supposed to speak for themselves:

Don't get me wrong, Facebook is not completely a bad thing but trouble is, it mostly is, at least for me. Anyway, I had to explain several times already that I didn't unfriend anyone, I've just deactivated my Facebook account for almost a month already, I think. I can't be arsed to keep track of how long I've been away.

The only reason I'll ever go back to Facebook and reactivate my account (if I ever do) is if I need to contact someone on my Facebook friends list (especially my customers) because of urgent matters and I do not happen to have his or her contact number and email. I hope I never have to but if I really have no choice and have to, I'll deactivate my account again once I'm done communicating.

Gee, I'm making myself sound like a Hit-&-Run guy but every individual can only stand terror for so long and each of us have a finite threshold for pain, yes?

Nope, Facebook doesn't allow you to delete your account permanently, in case you didn't know already. All of your base and every bit of information you've ever posted about yourself belong to them. Legally. You did read the clauses and fineprints, right?

-De Lion Speaks

Monday, November 5, 2012

When Old-Timers Gather

When old-timers gather, they trade veteran stories.
When old-timers gather, they look back at the long road they've travelled to see how far they've come.
When old-timers gather, they try to pierce through the veil of time into the future to catch a glimpse of what lies ahead waiting for them further down the road.

Jacelyn and me are old timers in our company. Come next year's February and it will be my 6th year with our Pharmaceutical company. For Jace, she will hit her 6th year mark on next year's May. My gosh, Time has its way of hiding her wings from you and before you realize it, she has already taken you so far and wide that the realization of the passage of Time can be really scary sometimes.

You cannot fight time, it always wins. Either you make the most of it as you have no choice but to march forward along with it or you just let it drag you along with it as you do nothing and waste it. Time is like Nature - its an integral part of life and our existence but even so, trying to dominate it completely is a pipe dream and it humbles you. It's like water - it can flow onto your palm but you can't grasp it, it escapes between your fingers. Try to contain it and it evaporates over time. You can borrow from it but you can never claim ownership over it.

If you make Time your enemy instead of your friend, you are screwed in the long run.

Check out the view, it's quite lovely, isn't it? Jace drove us both up Mount Faber on my suggestion since me and my family drove past here during the weekend and I liked the environment here. We decided to hunker down at this place here called Faber Bistro for a drink and to catch a bite. Chilling together at the peak of a hill is a nice change of pace from ground level for us.

Faber Nom: Prawn Twists
On the way up the hill, I joked about how misty and cold the weather has gotten as we climbed altitude and Jace contributed to the nonsense by commenting that she should have brought her trench coat and gloves. It was nice distracting ourselves from the humid shit we have for weather here in the tropical belt. I wish I was on the other side of the globe enjoying cool autumn proper and I miss wearing my coats and gloves.

We talked about many things: chief of which were her acting projects, my guitar playing, films, friends, our aspirations, YouTube videos, the awesome Samsung Galaxy Note 2, the boring as wet paint iPhone and work. That's how things always go whenever Jace and me hang out together, we chat about everything about everything to the point that before we realize it, hours usually already flew by us. Now that's quality companionship. Just so happens that serious and logical topics that make sense can be derived out of a multitude of initial 'nonsense', so hey. It's probably conversation evolution. Whatever.

Oh yeah, the subject of work. Sigh, work.

All of us in the Sales Division are stressed up lately with sudden changes in product portfolios, changes in modus operandi and some key products have been pulled out from under our feet like used rugs. In my case, a certain core product under my care all these years has recently been taken back for good by the product principal. That product has been one of my best-selling products and so, a huge hole has been ripped in my sales earnings and me and my manager have been looking for ways to patch up the monetary hole.

We've learned to accept the fact that when a principal's product has boomed in the market under our distributorship, chances are that the principal will take back the product. We lay the groundwork and they tread on it, so to speak. That's how it can usually go, it's just business. Still, it sucks and punches you in the gut if you happen to be the sales rep that has all along been relying on such a product which has constituted a huge chunk of your bread & butter.

It's been a challenging year for the company as a whole across the entire Sales Division. Imagine having to endure not just one, but a few profit-generating products across the board which we've been working hard on taken back by their principals and well, that ought to give you an idea of basically what we are going through.

And then Jace told me about the probable possibility that she might leave the company next year. She has been telling me the same thing every year but this time, something tells me that she's never been more serious about it. Luke already left a few days ago and he has been with us for 7 years, so anything can happen with the rest of us left behind given the state of the situation. It just so happens that Luke wasn't the only one who has left the company within the year.

It Jace leaves, I'll never be sure if I could ever get over that huge empty void I know I'll feel everytime I go to the office. That's because we've been colleagues for almost 6 years now and Jace is my buddy and we hang out together. Once the rapport and attachment have been established, letting go will not be an easy thing to do.

Both of us looked at the scenery of the city scape before us and at the far horizon that stretched out to the sea as the shadows lengthened with the approach of dusk, filling the late evening orange sky with the retiring rays of the setting sun, lost in our own thoughts as we wonder about the uncertain future.

For me, this is the best job I've ever had in my entire adult working life because my colleagues and customers are wonderful people and if I have to leave all these behind and move on some day, it won't be easy for me to let go of it all just Iike that. I found this job when I was at a down and out stage of my life, thank God. How many of us can truly say that we love our jobs and the people involved that we need to deal with? It's just too bad if the economy and market situation ruin it all for you.

And then Jace asked me: "Will you miss me when I'm gone?" The trouble with her question is that I knew she wasn't joking when she asked me that. I was taken aback and was stunned for a couple of seconds. Of course I'll miss my buddy if she leaves. In fact, if it happens to be me who leaves first, she'll be the one I'll miss the most and worry for. So we made a deal then and there to continue hanging out with each other if either or both of us leave the company.

The thought of either one or both of us leaving the company is a painful one, since the sales situation aside, we like working in the company. The tide may be changing but the current is still pleasant. We feel torn just thinking about it.

Night was almost upon us as we left Faber Bistro and I snapped a photo of the place as Jace and me walked back to her Chevrolet. Faber Bistro is a nice cozy place to chill at if you prefer it remote away from the hustle and bustle of the city. In case you've been wondering, the staffs working here get up and down the hill by cable cars linked from here to Harbourfront. Yup, I chatted with one of the waitresses since I'm always curious about things like that. I hope I have 9 lives.

Jace drove us down to the foot of Mount Faber where Fragrance Hotel is and we went to the 7-11 there (which has to be the smallest 7-11 store I've ever come across) to get some more drinks and we chatted some more before we split. Hours always fly by whenever l hang out with Jace. Night has already fallen by this point and I could feel that the waters of Time have already slipped through my fingers and our mood then was rather dark, just like the night that has just engulfed us and everything around us.

Sitting in the cab heading home, I thought about everything Jace and me talked about as I hoped that our situation will improve somehow so that nobody has to leave. Would suck if it didn't.

My heart aches. There's something ominous about the whole issue lingering in my gut. There are times when I hope with all my might that my Scorpio instincts will turn out wrong.

-De Lion Speaks

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Running Man

I'm sitting at the basketball court near my block just chilling away and there is this man wearing a gray Army singlet jogging non-stop along the entire perimeter of the basketball court. Round and round continuously he goes with no sign of letting up it's making him seem almost machine-like. The man would be classified as obese by army standards.

I'm wondering why he's having a constant smile on his face as he continues to push himself. Maybe he's feeling good with the rush of endorphins that comes with exercise. Maybe he's feeling good about the fact that he's putting in effort doing something for his own good.. or maybe he's smiling away the torturous ordeal; you know, folks do go over the edge sometimes when they find themselves right smack in the middle of something tedious at best or torturous at worst - mentally, emotionally or physically. Pushed far enough, grimaces of extreme exertion or pain can transform into smiles of irony instead.

What I'm trying to get at here is that running endless circles non-stop is torture for an obese person.

Which is the reason why I'm finding myself filled to the brim with admiration and respect for the running man before me. Actually, it doesn't matter which possibility mentioned above explains the constant smile on his face and it doesn't matter if there are other possibilities (like there are folks so friendly and jovial they have a constant permanent smile etched on their faces like a birth-mark or tattoo), as far as I'm concerned, I admire this obese man for his determination and courage.

Did I mention it's torture for an obese person to keep running non-stop in circles?

Determination and courage. Yup, I've just used those two words. Let me explain the determination part first:

When I was going through basic military training that began on the 8th of June, 1995 at Pulau Tekong, we bumped into the recruits from the obese camp on several occasions and let me tell you, what would seem like a normal everyday task or exercise to a slim non-obese person like me can be hell for the obese person.

Whenever I run across obese folks on my running route, I get reminded of the fact that they are having it a lot tougher than me and for them, they have to put in a heck lot more effort than I have to, all things other than weight being equal.

It stands to reason that they have the determination since they are having it tougher as compared to slim folks like me. As it is, I'm already at the target spot they are trying so hard to reach. For me, it's just maintenance while for them, it's something they are fighting for with every drop of sweat that falls from them. They have my respect for that.

And now, the courage part:
Hands up for those of you who have witnessed obese folks getting ridiculed and made fun of because of their weight or body frames. It's a mean world we live in and I'm sure that lots of obese folks in the world have faced or are facing loud mockeries from others at worst, or silent discriminatory eye gazes at the mildest end of the scale.

Therefore, don't you think it takes a lot of guts for an obese person to exercise in public by choice? Maybe there are those who just couldn't give a damn about whether others laugh at them or ridicule them. Good for them, I say. Just keep doing your thing, believe in yourself and give the finger to those who mock you. Afterall, those who are putting in effort to gain something for themselves deserve respect rather than those having it easier that mock.

But for those who are sensitive or self-conscious, it takes a lot of courage. How many of us can truly say that we are courageous? That's something we all need to ask ourselves before we start talking shit about those having it harder than ourselves. Bottom line here is, the one who needs to pluck out courage to expose his or her flaws to the world and work on it deserves respect rather than the one who doesn't need to go through the same circumstance.

Slim detractors may say that obese folks brought it upon themselves by having failed to control their diet (though obesity can be caused by other factors too). That may mostly be true of course, but everybody makes mistakes, don't we? Sometimes, the one that puts in effort to right the wrong that he or she has done deserves as much respect as the one that prevents himself or herself from comitting wrongs. Both can be just as courageous too.

On the flip side of the coin, those who are obese and loathe their condition but choose to do nothing about it, they owe it to themselves. Only they themselves can help themselves. Making up their minds about it would be a great start. I have nothing to say regarding those who are obese and don't give a damn about it. Not giving a damn is a choice too. Their call, their prerogative.

So yeah, everytime I see an obese person running and exercising, I get encouraged and motivated by them. I tell myself that if they can do it, so can I. Just because you have it easier doesn't mean that there is no possibility of you falling into the trap of complacency. Just because you have it easier doesn't mean that you can do without encouragement and motivation to carry on.

I feel like going over to the running man before me, give him a pat on his shoulder and tell him: "Keep it up, brother.. and thanks for the encouragement and motivation."
But I, who is a stranger to him, don't wanna scare him or interrupt him, so I'll just quietly blog about him here and whisper a 'Thank You' in his direction.

If only he knew that he is making me feel guilty (in a positive way) about myself for having put off my runs and exercises on hold for the longest time. It's high time that I get off my butt and start taking care of myself by exercising and running again, thanks to the running man at the basketball court.

-De Lion Speaks