Monday, September 16, 2013

Oh! Cinta Ku!

:) Yes, again my blog time line is upside down. This is due to my laziness and procrastination.
Last month, the Church’s Sunday School has organized a trip for its students to the KL Bird Park, located at Jalan Cenderawasih, Taman Tasik Perdana, Kuala Lumpur. This bird park is the world’s largest free-flight walk-in aviary. It was open in 1991. Sprawling approximately 21 acres of verdant valley terrain, the park is divided into 4 different zones and is home to over 3,000 birds of 200 local and foreign bird species. It’s like stepping into an enormous bird cage where visitors will have a chance to witness at close proximity the various bird species living together as a perfectly balanced community in this semi-natural environment. There are birds flying, walking freely everywhere but the species are the same. I don’t find the varieties that much. It’s like walking into an IKEA store, the same species can be found in every corner. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the trip very much. I was one of the volunteer drivers who ferry the children there. It was nice to get to know the other church goers better (as I don’t mix frequently enough with them) – Jasmine, Vivian, Jane, Aunty Li Pei, Lalitha, Kristen, Fharyl etc and the children.

It was an educational trip for the children. I mean these are urban kids, they were so happy that they saw chickens; they only knew how a chicken look like from the books & the TV. They have not seen chickens that close-up. They get to feed the hornbills with fruits during the feeding time, they saw how the park attendants fed the eagles with dead baby mice, they saw macaws, pairs and pairs of adorable lovebirds (parrots actually) lovingly grooming each other, cockatoos, parakeets, flamingos, pelicans, peacocks, scarlet ibis (a red flamingo look-a-like), emus, ostriches etc. There is also the very simple bird show at the Zone 4 amphitheatre.

The place was family-friendly, relaxed and I really enjoyed the casual and modern atmosphere. It is definitely worth a visit :)

Who’s Your Mamak?

I try to catch as much Glee episode as I can. I find the concept refreshing. It’s very different compare to Ally McBeal, Private Practice, Grey’s Anatomy, Gilmore Girls, House etc. Its teaching today’s students on how to accept themselves for who they are, embracing diversity, reaching out for your dreams, encouraging your peers & yourself, follow your heart, explore & discover the endless probabilities that are out there, develop your own character & personalities, do not let yourself to be drown by the voices of others, fight for what is right and amend the wrong. I love the producers who use the current mainstream music to carry out each of the episode’s core theme and story plot across the audiences. The series features numerous song covers sung onscreen by the characters. Some are even better than the original version. The students at the fictional William McKinley High School in Lima, Ohio are a bunch of talented youths who are struggling with their own internal issues but seeing them overcoming problems such as family, bullying, sex, dreams are so inspirational.

Sadly, actor Cory Allan Michael Monteith passed away in July this year due to a toxic combination of heroin and alcohol in a Vancouver hotel room. He plays the character of Finn Hudson. Below is the lyric of Don’t Stop Believin’ which the cast sung & perform in their first season…which is also is one of my favorite…and which is something that I need to hold on to as well :)

Just a small town girl
Livin' in a lonely world
She took the midnight train goin' anywhere
Just a city boy
Born and raised in South Detroit
He took the midnight train goin' anywhere
A singer in a smokey room
The smell of wine and cheap perfume
For a smile they can share the night
It goes on and on and on and on

Strangers waiting
Up and down the boulevard
Their shadows searchin' in the night
Streetlight, people
Livin' just to find emotion
Hidin' somewhere in the night
Workin' hard to get my fill
Everybody wants a thrill
Payin' anythin' to roll the dice
Just one more time
Some will win, some will lose
Some are born to sing the blues
And now the movie never ends
It goes on and on and on and on
Strangers waiting
Up and down the boulevard
Their shadows searchin' in the night
Streetlight, people
Livin' just to find emotion
Hidin' somewhere in the night

Don't stop believin'
Hold on to that feelin'
Streetlight, people
Don't stop believin'
Hold on to that feelin'
Streetlight, people
Don't stop!

Fauna, Flora & Merryweather

Recently, I have been called for an interview by this company who called themselves GPS Research Asia. This company is headquarter in Germany. They are a full service research company; specializing in Real Life Shopper Research & Retail Analytics. They work for leading brands in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), providing valuable shopper insights to put their clients into positions of market superiority. For their international activities, they have established offices in Germany, Malta, Russia, Singapore and soon-to-be in Malaysia. The afternoon interview session took place at the Royal Bintang Hotel, at their lobby area (it brought back some fond memories as it was the same place where I had an interview session with Atticus a few years back)…I had the opportunity to meet up with the company’s founder and current CEO Mr. Gerd Palmer and Managing Director Mr. Philipp Stegmann. They were very nice gentlemen and I truly enjoyed the whole interview process. I took a half-day leave that day. It was good to get out from the office clutter and free my mind from all of the work deadlines. Just stepped out to take a breather is so good for the soul :) I like the interview questions that they throw at me. It’s good to stay up-to-date with the latest recruitment process. I can get complacent, take things for granted and being rusty all into one.

The company is looking to established themselves in Malaysia. I think this country is absolutely fantastic for their business module because this country have a very strong shopping culture among its people, the domestic demand is still very vibrant, the local consumption & buying power is still there; especially so in the food sector. It will be good if there are detailed research & analysis data to aid buyers in determine what will be the right assortments to fill up the shelves, the right price point, the right planogram to attract the customers, the right concept to develop, the right promotion, the right sales development, identification on the next market trend etc. Apparently, the Japanese Aeon has hired them to do the initial research on their Grocery section. They do not have a physical office yet but Aeon have offered them that they can use their office in Taman Maluri, Cheras.

If I am hired – my responsibilities will include Generating Shopper Insights and analyzing shopper behavior based on Retailers transaction and customer loyalty card data, Identification of growth opportunities for their Retail and CPG Clients based on insights and development of Shopper Marketing recommendations, Present my analysis and the recommendations to their Retail and CPG Clients and build relationships with key clients, Creating SQL queries and tables based on various requirements, Analyzing Market Trends in the field of Fast Moving Consumer Goods and Consulting of Customers on specific cases. Hey, that’s what I wanted to do :) But I am coming in without a food background, I have always been a non-food person and I told them I would prefer to start in January 2014 as I would like to settle of the BTS, Christmas & CNY projects for this year.

Well, they didn’t call back, so I guess that I did not manage to secure the job after all. It is always a challenge to find a new job at my age, to re-start all over again, but I believe that there are possibilities and opportunities out there.

Be kind to yourself. Don’t be so hard on yourself – Katy Perry

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Every You, Every Me

Rupa-rupanya, I am not the only one who is having this problem – Celtic & Pietro too! :)
I thought I was the only one who is having this confidence problem with Leonardo. Whenever I am with Leonardo, I feel like not being myself, I feel stupid at times, I suffer from low self-esteem, indecisiveness, a newbie…sometimes I really cannot catch what Leonardo wants. I admit that I was not firm on many issues and always give in to Leonardo many times because my heart is also not at the right place and there is no longer anymore that fighting spirit in me to carry on. Plus, there is just no bond between the two of us. There is always a long silence hanging above us. I just cannot bring it up to the next level. Pietro also goes through the same circle as mine, but Leonardo holds a tighter rein & supervision on Pietro. As for Celtic, after the re-structuring, Celtic is quite pissed off with Leonardo, suddenly Celtic finds this whole re-structuring excercise is a bad idea, working under Leonardo is also another bad idea…Celtic even gave out a very harsh comment that Leonardo is such a stupid leader, like no brain like that. Nonetheless, I am very sure that Leonardo will step up, because Leonardo have gotten such a big department. Leonardo has to perform and deliver the results. Even lately, Leonardo has been dressing impeccably; to impress The General & everyone else. Even though Celtic is angry, I know that at the bottom of Celtic’s heart, Celtic will also try to be the very best and assists Leonardo all the way.

As for me…being under Ursula…I don’t know whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing. I have heard too many negative comments, ugly impressions have been made about Ursula like how Ursula tortured Pietro until finally Ursula kicked Pietro out from the department, took Leonardo’s buyer Gerrard and got the both of them to switch portfolios, even Lee Nee left G13 because of Ursula & went to join the French last year…even one of the store’s coordinator said that ‘Die lah’ being under Ursula. We also realized that Ursula’s ma chai – Gerrard, Shawn & Christy is also being isolated from the rest and do not mix around freely with everybody. If Ursula tries to control me in this area – I have to say – ‘Sorry, I pledge my loyalty to you as a boss, but you certainly can’t control who I want to mix with. Anyway, you know which gang I come from, the people that I have been mixing with…I cannot just un-friend them just like that'

But Baldwin has different opinions though. I think Baldwin want to say something negative about Leonardo but hold its tongue. Baldwin feels it’s a good idea, saying that Ursula is detailed, helpful towards its staffs and provides a good guidance. I don’t know. Let’s see how this story unfolds. I will let my instincts guide me, even though; at times they can lead me to disastrous results :) Ursula have definitely studied me, I am sure Ursula have gotten lots of info about me from Paige. Both of them are best buddies. Luckily, I think I have made a good impression in front of Paige. I hope that I manage to score some brownie points there.

I pray to GOD to bless me with a new job. No answer from Him yet. So, I am assuming; that a change of guard is also a change of a new job :) I will have to work extra hard from now on…that’s for sure especially when you are coming back after a hard time, after moments that you are not well, so when you have the chance to come back…I need to work with the right attitude every day, I need to be ready to suffer, to enjoy the suffering and to be able to change the situation. I want to be part of Ursula’s team. But I also understand that there’s a business side to it as well…and if it’s not ok in the end…I will walk away from this with my head held high and with no regrets :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Time To Tarik

J___ I think your coming promo lines seem weak. Better changes to stronger lines. Please look at top 100 skus and see if u cook out something and look at display in ge…put some effort on qty buy in…they are going to kill u today…!!!

What is this? Ursula trying to scare me is it? Every Wednesday, I will have my Leaflet Presentation meeting. A day before, I have gone through the list with Ursula. I have to say that Ursula; she is really good on the job. She gives me a refreshed perspective. Leonardo only knows – this item is not good, not meeting the criteria, take it out. Ursula will teach me to emphasize on market share, branding, dollar value, find merchandise that can be display at GE (gondola end), palletize or offer bins. Bulk display.

So, after receiving the message – I was comptemplating – whether to listen to my small voice or Ursula’s big voice. If I listen, then Ursula can say that I am not firm with my decision. If I don’t make any changes – I will be label as a rebel, over-writing her decision. Banyak susah.

So, in the end…I didn’t make any changes. I don’t know how Ursula feels. From the outside, she looks fine to me. Maybe in the inside, I already started the fire. But Thank You GOD, Praise To The Lord, Bless You GOD – the whole meeting went well, without any hiccups. Only this Barry, keep throwing questions at me; thus making the whole situation awkward. The ones that I cannot answer, I apologized and I say that I don’t know the answer and I will check on it. Then, the perli starts to happen. Barry was testing me…asking me whether I know what the English advertised over the weekend. Luckily, I got the answers correctly. Then, Barry perli Ursula that her CM know better than her. Ursula already lost face at this point of time. Then, I propose to sell a color file @ RM5; with a gondola end display. Earlier on, Leonardo was out from the meeting room and now came back in. Barry ask Leonardo – how much does Leonardo think is the promotion price for the file will be – Leonardo answered RM6.99. Then, this Barry go and perli Leonardo that Ursula is going for RM5. Ursula was happy but Leonardo was not. This Barry is making the both of them at logger heads. Buat lawak & buat wayang. And I am stuck in the middle.


Everyone is so busy these days. But some people are just plain busybody. Sigh, everyone wants to know how I am getting along with Ursula so far. I only mention So Far So Good. I can’t mention OK…and I certainly can’t mention Awesome too. Because the feelings right now is neither here nor there. Even if I have decided on how I want to feel…I only can stick to So Far So Good statement. What if my answers reached both Ursula & Leonardo’s ears? If I say OK, Ursula will sakit hati. If I say awesome, I will then offend Leonardo. So susah.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Nang, Gin, Kui

Finally Ursula opens her mouth and start to talk to me. She called me over the phone. It’s like she didn’t want people in the office to see her entering my room or me being in the same room as her. Whatever. We went through some stuff together. I gather that Ursula is a control freak. Ursula actually runs through, cleans up and decides the department's every permanent and promotion assortment. Ursula wants her own people to control the Master File & Ordering part. Ursula holds a very tight ship. Ursula was jovial throughout the whole conversations but her words; there are double meanings to it. I pula buat bodoh. I didn’t want to say the wrong thing or anything that can put Leonardo in jeopardy. I didn’t want Ursula to have any ammunition against Leonardo or put Leonardo in a bad light in front of The General. The past is already in the past. We have to move forward. Different manager have different personalities and different way of managing things. I was also very upfront with Ursula. I am indeed overload, I am off the track, I am raising the white flag now, I have pressed the panic button…I welcome her critics and any changes that Ursula intends to bring to the department to make things better. I admit...I failed.

Ursula is also very careful with me because I am from the opposite gang. I also told Ursula that I will be lying if I say that I didn’t hear any bad things about her previously. However, to be fair; I only hear one side of the story and not the other side. I also believe, with the position that Ursula is in, she have to do what she have to do. The action may be nasty but who knows…it was kind intention after all. I know...I was an ex-Division Manager. Ursula also told me subtly to mind my own business. I guess she is afraid that every single conversation that we have, I will share them with my gang. We see each other as an enemy from within. It’s very tiring that I have to be mindful and careful of my choice of words and actions all the time. If Ursula wants to kill me, she can do so immediately. All she has to do is to put words into my mouth and kutuk me in front of The General. With such tactic, if I die, I also don’t know I die of what :)

The Rebel Scum

This Ursula memang banyak ma fan, banyak susah. Barry & Marcus have already starting to do handover with each other. Leonardo has already sits in with Celtic for the Range Review. This Ursula still don’t want to do anything yet. Don’t know what is she waiting for. A day after the announcement has been made – I have already went over to her room to say Hi; as a courtesy cum ice breaker because we have never spoken to each other before and also to show that I am taking the initiative on my part. On last week Monday morning, I also did the same thing. No response from Ursula. Celaka bitch. I also feel so fake myself :(

Sigh, now I really stuck in the middle. Leonardo has moved on triumphantly. And Ursula still didn’t want to step up and accept it. You think I also want a change of Boss?! For the both of us, whether we like it or not, we are stuck with each other. So, let’s make this work. You didn’t handpick me, neither do I have a choice or say in the selection process. If this continues, I will have to talk this over with The General. I am an unwanted child now. Sigh…personally, I think having some form of fear & worry is part of any job.

Only the paranoid survives – Andy Grove.

Tag Team

Liverpool beat Manchester United 1 – 0 :) Ahh, we are at the top of the table. Nice view.

The Reds have kept 3 games of clean sheet thus far and their new found savior is Daniel Sturridge again. Brendan Rodgers has been making a very prudent investment in the new players. He has been doing a thorough clean-up, removing the players that he didn’t want in the first place (Andy Carroll, Stewart Downing) and brought in new faces that can add value to the team. The manger has signed up a goalkeeper, three centre-backs, a left-back, midfielder, winger and striker. Some names, I don’t even know how to pronounce - Simon Mignolet, Iago Aspas, Luis Alberto, Kolo Toure, Tiago Ilori, Mamadou Sakho, Victor Mosses and Aly Cissokho. Sadly, some very good players have left too – Jay Spearing to Bolton, Jonjo Shelvey to Swansea and the loans of Pepe Reina to Napoli and Fabio Borini to Sunderland.