What a bizarre week! First my sister got hitched. Then my old friend of more than a decade whom I have worked with officially made it to the partner’s rank in a major accounting firm just yesterday. On the same day, I saw another old friend of mine whom I have also worked with featured in our afternoon newspaper Today. I guess my “Wanted” movie review ready to be published has to wait, same for a new book review. As for that not-too-successful v-blog mini-series, that will have to be postponed for another week.
I won’t dwell too much onto my sister’s engagement. You just need to scroll down to read the previous post. Except, I finally managed to talk to my ma in Hong Kong on the phone and spent 18 minutes trying to explain what my future brother-in-law does in real life (to my parents, it is important to articulate that to the people around them). I mean, look, my Cantonese really sucks after decades of neglect and attempt to explain what Portfolio Management means to my ma is really hard. Try explaining risk hedging, diversification, quarterly results, exchange announcement, technical analysis, financial instruments, equity investment and etc. is close to impossible. I hope I got the message and reassurance across that my future brother-in-law kicks ass (Benny, you owe me 18 sure work buy tips for that 18 minutes of hard work and I am putting my life savings onto that).
Back to my friend who has made partner. Well, I always tell people that if you don’t see yourself becoming a partner one day, leave the consulting business once you’ve learned all that you can and want (like me). This is how the business works: the partners milk their people dry, milk their clients dry, and they become very rich. As simple as that and I gather one day I can write a book on my old trade skill. In case if you wonder, the word “milk” actually comes up during account planning in the both the consulting firms I’ve worked at.
But of course, within this business, there are always carrots at the end of the sticks. If not, why would anyone want to sell their souls to the business putting work as the first priority in life?
My old friend and I have gone a long way. Back to the days when I was literally living off a suitcase. In the beginning of my career, my overseas assignments were long and in between, I got nowhere to live. And he didn’t mind me occupying half of his storeroom when I was out-of-town, staying at his place temporary when I was in town.
OK, I must say he is (or perhaps was?) not that popular at work and that seems to bug him. I always tried to tell him that even an US President only needs and perhaps only has 51% of the people’s vote. And I did learn a few things from him. The word ‘politics’ at work seems to have a negative connotation. Then again, it is whether you are benefiting from it or not that ultimately makes you a hero or a villain in the organization you are in. Learn the rule of the game and, oh well, bosses always take priority. As for my friend, he does it well and I am truly happy for him.
Now, let’s talk about my friend Choong Yong. The moment I saw his picture on the paper when I was inside HMV, I couldn’t contain my excitement and messaged some of our mutual friends immediately (good things must share, that’s my philosophy in life). Choong Yong runs his own IT consulting business for years and recently, he is appointed as Workers’ Party’s new Central Executive Committee member! Part of the ‘renewal process’ so as to speak. And he looks so young inside the news clipping (far right in the picture above). One unnamed mutual friend of us does admire Choong Yong’s ‘walk the talk’ attitude and I agree. I couldn’t help but to crack some jokes of course (about this young pretty girl he was photographed with) and nothing beats Mark’s funny response: Is it the one with the headline titled “Convicted, but now blaming his ex-lawyer”? I laughed so hard inside HMV. That headline was right next to Choong Yong’s piece.
When I congratulated him via sms, we exchanged a few words. “We are still friends right?” he asked. Of course! My vote to PAP (the governing party) is purely because of my admiration to our Prime Minister. And our PM happens to be in my GRC. Hence, I wouldn’t need to scratch my head to choose between voting for the opposition or that who-is-his-name? The one who is probably responsible in letting the terrorist in captive walked away from a detention camp, and the recent lapse at the Customs got me bang my head onto the desk. I also did learn something from that minister though. Whenever I screw up at home, I always say to Cynthia, “Look baby, that was an Honest Mistake.”
Anyways, I am so proud of the people around me. I wonder what shocking news I may hear tomorrow. A friend of mine is landing on the moon?