Thursday, April 26, 2007


Transaction fatigue has set in (finally) after 4 months of working on the same project day in night out. Today no signing? Tomorrow. Tomorrow no signing? Day after. Day after no signing? Day after that. And every day we amend and turnaround a new set of documents. It's the daily SPA. 4 - 6 hour telephone conferences during the day, and nights of frantically amending the same documents over and over and over and over and over again. I wonder if I insert a little joke into the proviso to Clause 6.2(e)(i)(aa)(B), will anyone notice.

Friday night we were in the office till 6 am Saturday, went home, slept, bathed, changed, returned to office at 9 am for a telephone conference, went home, amended and turned around the draft Saturday night, Sunday afternoon telephone conference, amended the draft and circulated on Sunday night. Monday morning .... and so on and so forth. The focal point of my life has dwindled to a stack of draft documents. I play with my son and wonder about whether we need to add some words to the non-compete, just to be sure. As soon as my son is preoccupied with his toys, I sneak off to the study to make some more amendments to the draft, with the clock in my head ticking away madly because everything is NOW NOW NOW.

I think yesterday I forgot to pee. Then I remembered, and then on the way out to the bathroom, the phone rang. 2 hours later, I remembered again, and this time I made it a point to go.

And through all this, I can't help but notice I'm having an easy time of it. After all, no matter what day and what time I call the investment bankers, they are always in the office. Once I tried calling the most junior member of the team at 4.30 am on a Sunday morning, on his office DID. He picked up and spoke like it was 4.30 in the afternoon. How he has not lost it completely by now is beyond me.

Have become a total bore. I have nothing to say to anyone who is not working on this transaction that could possibly be of any interest to them. Had lunch today with 3 friends. Racked my brains. Then talked about the different methods of formatting agreements so that we can enjoy auto-cross-referencing, and how to handle auto-numbering in stupid Word for Windows which frankly is the worst invention EVER. How do I describe Word for Windows. It's a hyperactive autistic sadist. If I see that stupid smiling paper clip again, or that retarded little dog, I am going to hurl my monitor out the window. When will MS get it into their heads that they should just bring back WordPerfect 5.1.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Yeah so I won

A friend of mine recently mentioned his sms duel of words with another guy where they tried to gross each other out.

The name of the game is apparantly to write something succinct (after all it is sms) but it has to be gross. The game is won when someone cries uncle.

I remarked at the time that given my sweet, charming and relatively innocent disposition, I couldn't possibly compete in this virtual arena. So I guess that's why the other day I received an sms.

"Creampie", it said.

I wrote back "Throat Yoghurt" (something I just read)

"Chocolate Starfish", he replied.

"Brown Julius", I responded.

"Gonzo", he said.

"Moses", I responded.

He called. WTF does that mean? I told him "Moses parted the red sea".

He wrote back "POV Creampie" (frankly that's more a repeat than a variation, in my view).

"Rusty rimjob", I wrote.

There was no reply. I followed up with "Berry picker".

"I give up" he said.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Thou Shalt Not Chew

So I bought some chewing gum yesterday from the pharmacist (gasp!).

The experience was more interesting than I had previously been led to imagine. I bought gum previously from the Guardian Pharmacy at Paragon and the gum rack had been banished to the pharmacist's corner, but it was clearly visible so I just picked out the stash and paid for it.

Yesterday I bought the same thing from Guardian Pharmacy at Suntec, and frankly it's easier to buy pirated porn from the neighbourhood shop. There's no bloody display - you've got to wait for the pharmacist (whom I am sure has better things to do) to come over, then ask her for chewing gum (Did you say Gum? Yes, I did), then she opens a drawer and pulls out a box of 3 different flavours. Only 1 mint flavour, and that's peppermint. But before I can lay my grubby little paws on it, I hafta write down my name, NRIC Number and mobile number.

Then I picked 2 peppermint gum palettes out of the box, and the poor pharmacist has to make a special notation against my name. (Greedy! Took 2! is probably what it says).

I was a little surprised that I didn't have to leave a spit sample or a mouth swab, in case they find gum under a train seat and need to trace the perp.

This gum nonsense is seriously, seriously annoying. First of all, I'd rather chew gum to clear my breath and palate than a mint. A mint just leaves a little coat on your tongue. Gum actually cleans, and dental gum will add a little bit of tooth protection into the mix. There's also the added benefit of a little jaw exercise and fresh spit, but let's not get carried away here and I'm sure that came out all wrong as well.

Anyway, doing another overnighter and this is my 10 mins of venting frustration.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Local Girl Broaches to Boss the Non-Emotional Benefits of Matching Private Sector Pay to Public Sector Pay

I was actually very pleased with my current salary until I read the recent media reports about the pay hike for ministers, then I was inspired to achieve new heights of pay-rise-dom.

SM Oot: Key Task is to Build Best Team for Company's Future

Dear Boss

I would you to consider, in a non-emotional and non-quibbly way, whether our company would be better off if a wider pay gap makes it harder to attract potential employees? My recent request for (yet another) pay rise notwithstanding that you gave me a pay rise just a few weeks ago is not for my sake, but to ensure that our company can gather the best possible team to lead it into the future.

I do not think it wise for a lawyer to stay on the job until the age of 70. In fact, if you give me the pay rise that I have asked for, I promise you I will only stay on the job for another 6 months, after which I will gladly retire. In this regard, and if you are intending to remit the funds to me within the next 3 days, the search for a potential replacement has to start now.

Please don't glare at me just because you've seen the numbers for the further pay rise that I am asking for. Please keep your focus firmly on our company's future. If the gap between our company employees and ministers is wider or widening, will it make it easier or harder for me to assemble a new team? The annual salaries of ministers at the starting grade goes up this month from S$1.2 million to S$1.6 million. Who would want to join our company now that they can earn this kind of money as a minister? Now everyone will want to be a minister. Please bear in mind that I am also eligible to become a minister. Every minute that I am spending in your employment is another minute that I am not spending as a minister. You don't need to thank me in words. Just pick up your cheque book and let your actions speak for themselves.

Please also think about what kind of employees you want. The way I refrain from asking clients for bribes every single day is an example of how a clean employee with integrity operates. The way I do not insist on selecting foie gras as my appetizer and beef tenderloin as the main course in every possible client lunch is also another positive attribute that I strongly believe you should take into consideration.

I agree that the timing of my pay hike might not be good, given our recent pay hike in March. I have to let you know that I even considered waiting a year, which might have been easier to explain to you and which you might also have seen as showing "more sensitivity".

But the reality is there is never a good time to raise pay, and the urgency to do so (as already explained above, don't make me insult your intelligence by repeating myself) sealed my decision. Please note, however, that I may seal another decision next week or even the day after tomorrow to ask for yet another pay rise but really this is only because I need this to persuade me not become a minister.

In closing, I would like to assure you that it is OK to pay top dollar for my sacrifices. In case you did not fully understand the logic and analysis of what I have just said, there will be repeat broadcasts later today at 2.30 pm, 4.30 pm, 6.30 pm and 9 pm.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Inconvenience of Convenience

I don't know about anyone else (well actually I do) but I have been waiting for months for my little DBS internet banking token. Apparantly I "misplaced" the earlier one (and by "misplaced", I mean I never received it but had to give the girl on the telephone a reason acceptable to her) and after several long weeks, I finally got something bulky in the post.

So I rip it open and a little box falls out. And I rip the box open and a little token falls out. At lasssssst.

Grabbed the box, brought it to work, logged in so that I could do some convenient online banking.

Only to find that I need to register my token. Using a cunning little password .... only found in the letter in the envelope in the dustbin ... at home.


Told the girl on the helpline that I had binned the note that came with the box that came with the token. In this electronic day and age, how can a piece of paper possibly be of any significance? Seems I will get a new letter, but I have to wait another week (or ten).

Perhaps we could wind back the clock and use thumbprints and queuelines at the bank again. I could do with less of this internet banking that always ends up with me on the phone with the bank asking for directions from some random person who will ask me for all sorts of personal and confidential information before she tells me that she cannot tell me my password. Now that's irony.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Found the chocolate. Ate it. and other sad tales

Turns out I had hidden it someplace so cunning and undetectable that I could not detect it. Anyway, that's all water under the bridge now, since I've found it and eaten it. Yum.

Am I the only person who is tired of reading the 'debates' about whether the ministers' salaries should be increased? Just do it, okay. We know you are going to do it anyway, regardless of what we think. So please. Let us watch and read something else in the news. It's getting farcical.

Found some old pics of The Son yesterday evening, taken when he was just a few hours old. I remember staring at his little scrunched up red monkey face and waiting for the flood of motherly affection to wash over me like all the books said it would. Then waited some more. Then sat there drumming my nails on the TV remote waiting some more. Then wondered when the hospital was going to get around to serving my lunch.

I think it was the hairy forehead that was holding it all back. After all, the books tactfully omit to mention exactly how hairy the newborn will be. Hair on his back, on his face, on his forehead.... I thought all my sins had come back to haunt me. Once the hair fell off (sometime after the first month or so) it was okay, I started feeling some moderate affection. When I bathed together with The Son, there were a few times when I actually started drying him first before I dried and changed myself.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Post-Midnight Revelations

It's really true that lying awake after midnight does recall to the sleepless mind all sorts of revelations that may have escaped it during the day.

Like I realised with a jolt that there is a chocolate bar somewhere on my desk that I started eating last week, but which has inexplicably gone missing. All sorts of complex issues arise - did I eat it without realising that I et it? What was my last memory of the chocolate bar - it was of a half-eaten top row, which means the rest of the bar was still intact. How is it possible to finish a chocolate bar without knowing? Was I on the phone?

I once finished a mud pie in a little tin whilst on a long phone call, and without even realising it until I looked up and even the scrapings at the bottom were gone.

Completely mindless blog post, but it will remind me when I look at it next time that I need to search for the chocolate bar sometime.