Monday, January 31, 2005

Time is so relative..

The past two weeks literally flew over my head. Or it could be just the plane ride back to Toronto. Yes, ladies and gents, I'm back in Toronto for a 4-day frenzy to kick-off my two week vacation. "Vacation?!" Yes, I managed to beg (literally) two weeks off from my new boss for a bit of R&R. Now I'm sitting in front of my old computer, typing away as I'm packing up to leave after my four day whirl.

Just to recap, I did finally have the appraisal done last Friday after insisting that it be done before the weekend. I'll leave the details out, but the general outlook is not too great. My speculations and worries were correct - I'm moving a bit too slowly, and I need to be more aggressive on the floor. Not surprising, because I am usually the type to be quiet and watch (meanwhile learn) about my surroundings before making a move. Hopefully I'll be able to learn a bit faster after I return from my vacation..

There were too many people I had left out of my schedule, because it simply wasn't possible to fit everybody in. To that, I would like to send out my more sincere apology. I had gotten about three or four hours sleep each night for the past three days, and so I'm hoping my flight back to London will give me a good solid 7 hours of sleep. Good food, good friends, what more can I ask for? I also went on a shopping spree (Lisa can definitely attest to that), and ate as if I haven't eaten for the past six months. Winterlicious was great, poking fun at Chris and Tania (along with Xania) was better. Gave my usual "long and boring" advice to Tania, and said something completely cryptic to Chris before leaving. Karaoke is not the same without the usual bunch, but was satisfying nevertheless. Meeting a friend now living in Hong Kong in Toronto is quite ironic, considering we have both moved out of the city. Catching up with classmates were of the usual sort, but great to hear that everybody is heading towards their own direction. Heart-to-hearts with various people were great, it really makes me value the friendships even more.

I'll be back for sure. After all, this city was home for half of my life thus far.. now off to the second leg of my trip!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Not even good enough to...

So I sank to a new low at work today - I am not even worthy of an appraisal! My boss decided that my appraisal can wait until later this week. Great, I don't even get a proper appraisal at a proper time. Everybody else in the company has already done one (in fact, last Friday was the deadline). Geeze..

Maybe I should start packing my bags...

Monday, January 17, 2005


First of all, I haven't gone missing. Work is simply taking too much of my time, and when I get home all I really want to do is sleep. In fact, I had gotten sick (again) last week and spent one day at home sleeping. Fourteen hours of sleep is good for your body. I'm finally sitting down and have some time to recap on what has happened in the past week since I last wrote.

I am having my annual appraisal tomorrow with my new boss. Supposedly this is a very important process in my company, as they (at least they claim to) take this quite seriously. The fact that I only joined midway through the year, I am not being assigned a grade but will be given feedback of my performance thus far. Also my objectives for the upcoming year will be set during this meeting. This is the first part of my concern, because I don't think that I have performed all that well for the two months that I have started with this boss. Others have told me that I'm not expected to have progressed any further than what I have already achieved, but somehow I feel that I should be further ahead than where I am right now...

Which brings me to my second point, which is about moving to work with another colleague instead of my boss. In my field of work, it is often the case where a senior takes on a junior (ie. me) as an apprentice. This is perhaps the best way to learn in this hectic workplace. After working directly with my boss for the past two months, he decided that I am now to work with another colleague. Is this a move based on my incompetence? That he feels that he is wasting his time with me?

Perhaps I'm being a bit too sensitive, but I cannot help but think that I have progressed too slowly. I fear that I may be doomed to fail in this line of work. Add this on top of the fact that I have my appraisal tomorrow...

Friday, January 07, 2005

Busy New Year

Adrian left yesterday morning, and he left my place even earlier than me. (and I leave my flat for work REALLY early) I felt really bad because I don't think I was a very good host, mainly because I worked through the time he was in London. Unfortunately, given the circumstances, I don't think I'm in a position to request for any vacations during the holidays when all the seniors in my team were off for two weeks. Hopefully he didn't mind that too much.

Speaking of work, the work volume increased exponentially since the beginning of the new year. It seems that this is similar to what is experienced by fitness gyms during the first month of the new year. A lot of people set goals to lose weight, or at least become more healthy, and so gyms are usually quite packed during the first few weeks of the year. Soon these people will get lazy, and the usage will return to normal levels. I am quite surprised to see many people working past 6pm! Back in November, I was pretty much the only person left at 6pm. (I still work crazy hours, in case you haven't figured it out)

New year resolutions... I guess I should set some. Even though I am probably going to break most of them...

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Amsterdam Trip Report

Note to self, red-eye flight sucks. Taking the night bus, then walking for half an hour JUST to take the airport shuttle is not the best start to a trip. Neither is arriving in Amsterdam at 8:30am and only having two hours of pseudo-sleep. You get what you paid for, right?

Actually, this being the third time in Amterdam, there's not much I haven't seen. In fact, I can still remember most of the streets in this city (and despite the rain and mist, I still manage to find the Heineken Brewery). We had an early morning drinking session, then proceeded to check-in at the hotel and took a much needed nap. Afterwards I showed Adrian around the city of all the main sites, and obviously walked around the infamous red light district. Nothing seemed to have changed, even in the midst of the holiday season. The red glow still radiates through the area, although most of the establishments closed early because it was new years eve. Counting down at Dam Square was kinda fun, because most citizens had their own fireworks which they graciously fire off within 10 feet of you. The result? It seemed like I was walking through a war-zone, with loud bangs playing a symphony of the night. They turned central Amsterdam into the biggest nightclub there was. The streets were blocked, people were dancing on the street with loud euro-trance music blaring from the speakers surrounding Dam Square. It was definitely something different!

The next day was a bit more sight-seeing, and a lot of R&R. This is the kind of trip I need to be on more. Perhaps I'm getting too old for the "rush to see the next sight" type of traveling, and need more of the "let's sit and have a coffee" type of traveling. We ended up having an amazing steak dinner that night (which we missed while in London), and spent the night catching up and chatting in the hotel room. Once again, a lesson to be learnt here is that you really get what you paid for...

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Happy New Year

Sitting inside an internet cafe in Amsterdam and writing this.. wishing all of you a happy new year! Hope all your wishes come true in the upcoming year. Funny, looking at my entry last year, I would have to say that 2004 was the worst year that I could hope for.. but yet, I think everything turned out okay at the end.

I hope my new year resolutions will become reality this year! Knowing me though, I'll be lucky if they last until March.. I'm not going to make a bold statement that this will be the best year to come, but I hope that it'll be better than 2004.

The trip report will be posted when I get back, so sit tight!