And where I thought that I didn’t have to come back to the office today, on a Sunday, I eventually had to and so Sunday’s mood recap was: Bah.
Busy, chaotic. hell, redemption, routine, football and bah was how the week felt.
Early week and mid-week was hell and I think I knew how I managed to stay sane.
When you’re mentally prepared, you raise your game that little bit more.
I knew that the Food Hotel Asia, or FHA, event meant that we’d have a damn busy week+weekends, but thanks to pre-empt heads up from the regular customers, I guessed that this much it helped in staying sane.
That errors in prints amounted to just 1, considering the amount of information that I’ve had to digest from the various contractors, meant that the ship has successfully navigated away from the storm.
And I attribute the level of efficiency down to… a paper and a pen.
That’s right, nothing helped me more during that period than a piece of paper and a pen.
Countless times where someone mention something to me and I acknowledge it, expecting to remember later on, only to forget everything about it.
It’s fatal to merely hold onto a thought when you have phone calls flying at you, customers sitting beside in a discussion, and an incessant workload of graphic layouts to be done on the PC.
Whatever years of experience that I’ve racked up, I’ve learnt that anything that’s worth remembering, it’s definitely worth writing it down, no matter how strong you think your memory is.
All it takes to save your ass, especially in this line, is a piece of paper and a pen, and I was bloody prepared to write down with blood if ink ran out.
Thankfully we had plenty of pens in the office.
Write it down if it’s worth remembering.
Had I not written down my mood recaps in the early morning, I’d probably not even remember how I’d felt at the start of that day.
And now I’m able to relive those moments again.
Coming on the back of chaotic days, I remember approaching Thursday on a lighter mood.
I wrote down ‘Redemption’, because Thursday was the day that made every single minute spent in office worthwhile.
It was the day which meant that I wouldn’t mind coming back every Sunday for work if I had to.
It was also the day where every chaos and hell turn serene and rosy, for a while.
And I’m pretty sure that this is the day that everyone works for at the end of the month, and I guess I’m counting my blessings that I get to receive it twice a month.
More or less.
Yep, it was Payday, and Mar loves Paydays because it means that he gets to settle any overdue bills that he has and avoid receiving any further red letters and/or ‘please pay up’ sms-es.
Life is about paying the bills at the end of the month right?
‘Please’ is such a simple and unobtrusive word, when it comes to negotiations, and I couldn’t have realised the power and weight that it carried until my Dad threw it on me this afternoon.
In a good way of course.
I’ll get to that story in a while, but first let me reiterate its most common usage and that is within the service industry, such as one that I’m in.
I print stuffs, and occasionally have the opportunity some creatives and on-site events or advertising installations, with plenty of communications and miscommunications to go.
Not surprisingly a huge chunk of my time is spent negotiating, renegotiating and killing off a dead negotiation.
So I deal with customers on topics such as time and costs, applications or installations, effectiveness, and validity, and the actual list that I negotiate daily, can probably be quite lengthy, and whatever the topic may be, and case in point — I negotiate a lot.
So much so that I use the word ‘please’ in obscene amounts, and most probably in trying to come off as polite and unobtrusive but mostly in trying to win the customer’s agreement by appearing subtle and inviting when I begin conversations with that word.
I was quite wrong actually, because I realise that utlising please in such a construction is like begging for attention.
And beggers are usually the ire of society, and when you’re begging, you lose authority.
BUT, use it correctly, and it transforms from mere begging, into an authoritarium ultimatum that is wrapped in firm persuasion yet inviting at the same time.
Case in point, where my Dad used the word at the end of a question for the first time, after bugging me with ‘Will you follow us to Tioman Island during March’s holiday?’ for the last few days.
You see my Dad don’t use that word so often with me (All Dad’s don’t beg with their children right? They like to appear strong, and my dad, he is a little bit brash, stubborn, defensive and strongheaded, but in fact he’s one of the most polite and gamely gentleman that I have the pleasure of ever knowing.) and it hit me unexpectedly when he used it on me earlier this afternoon.
I didn’t have any intentions of going to Tioman Islands, at all, ‘cos I didn’t want to spend 3 days commuting in a rush within a foreign land with limited internet access, but most importantly of all, I didn’t want to be spending at all on leisure activities.
I’m currently on a self-imposed budget-appreciation mode at the moment. Something that I’ve picked up from playing plenty of Poker games, where I learn that with cards that you’re dealt with in life, you gotta learn when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em.
And I was prepared to fold 99% when it comes to a Tioman trip, but from 99% of not wanting to go, it became 99% of I had to go, simply because my Dad said this: “Follow us, this once. Please?”
Mere words, but so provocative.
I would have declined his invitations had he used the ‘Please’ at the start of every invitations, but something about using it just once during this whole episode makes me feel like I’ll be turning down a great cause if I didn’t go, and that it carried for more weight and persuasion than it should have.
The usage of that word came off authoritarian yet mildly inviting.
I wouldn’t have expected it, but I’m going to Tioman in 2 weeks time, when just days back I would vehemently decline any invitations at all — which I actually declined when Dad initially posed them to me many times, days earlier.
My Dad used it sparringly, and I definitely could take heed in that during my ‘negotiations’ at work.
Where I used to bend and submit to customers’ demands and requests, I’ve slowly growned into someone who’s taking control of situations at work, and controlling them instead of the other way around when I first started out.
I’ll probably still use ‘Please’ at the start of conversations with newer customers, but I’m definitely going to use it less often now.
And when I’m losing control of the situation, perhaps I’ll employ it as a last ditch effort to tilt negotiations in my favour.
So long story short, moral of the story is that ‘Please’ can be a massive gravitational pull in your favour.
To all Dads, if you’re in a protracted negotiation with your sons (and daughters), then instead of appearing to beg with ‘Please’ at the beginning of statements or questions, try using it sparringly.
Much like how the fortune teller seeked to entertain my afternoon, taking the test served to be much more entertaining, although not of the action-packed kind, if not the same.
Reading through it’s narrative comments of the ‘suggested’ characteristics of mine, it somehow widened the tunnel vision of my recent disenchantments, and perhaps allowing me to understand a little better now as to why I’m constantly unsettled with possessing that sense of comfort and the thought of being average.
And then the tests lists a few career choice for Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging’ persons, and it happens to be some of the stuffs that I would certainly enjoy making a career out of, such as a computer programmer, among others.
Very geeky, I know, but it just feels good to know that I’m a geek that’s among the 1% of the populaton.
But I know very well that all these are a little bit of fun stuffs, other than analytical profiling, that really means nothing if one doesn’t work hard and grabs the opportunities that knock on their door.
Oh well, so I quote Morpheus’ words to Neo, in the Matrix — ‘Now that the door is shown, it is up to you to walk through it.’ (I think that’s what he said right? Right?)
Then go get a Macbook Pro or an Alienware laptop, just quit complaining.
The iPad’s an expensive, toy that excels beyond doubts in whatever it is that it does.
It’s like how Micheal Jordan made basketball look easy, or how Tiger woods made driving at holes into more than just a game.
So for Steve Job’s sake, get this: the iPad’s supposed to be a filler for the void between a handheld mobile device and a netbook, something like kindle’s ebook readers, but as always Apple does it so much better and way cooler.
Go take a look at Kindle’s ebook reader or Sony’s ebook reader.
Then play with the tablets on offer and then give the iPad a quick view.
I’ve seen other tablets, even had the opportunity to fiddle around with them, but something about watching youtube videos of Steve Jobs demo-ing the iPad that tells me that this is going to be a big hit, not sooner but much later.
That’s right, much much later.
Sure, people may say it’s just a glorified iPod touch/iPhone, but back then when they were first unveiled, similar reactions surfaced.
Today the iPhone and the iTouch seems to be in everyone’s clutches, but propose this scenario 3-4 years back, when the iTouch made its debut and you’ll be called silly and naive.
So yeah, I’ll be silly and naive and state how silly and naive it is to consider that the iPad is going to be a big hit and in almost everyone’s clutches in 2 to 3 years from now.