Where will you be my darling? Where will you be when the dark is rising?
Friday, October 28, 2011
So, recently my cellgroup pissed me off. Yeah. My cellgroup. W19. Yes, you. I'm not even going to bother to hide it here.
It has been a very, very long time since I have been unhappy with my cellgroup. The last time was back in 2007 with E458, and things turned out for the better after much trouble and confrontation (and anger on my part). From the time that things went great for E458 and up until now I have been pleased with the cellgroup I've been in. Until the recent months. Now it's not unhappiness in the recent months, but some points to note and how it doesn't help this situation.
Last Sunday I went for service. My mom needed the car so it was the first Sunday in quite some time I didn't get to borrow the car. Thankfully, Justin allowed me to stay in his place, and drove me over to church on Sunday morning. It was the weekend Jayesslee was coming to the service, and they performed wonderfully, but they aren't the focus of this post. After service, we went to eat at Piccadilly. As Ai Lee has moved to Kelana Jaya now, that means I'm the only person living in Cheras now, in the cellgroup. I'm the only Cherasian, and I have no car. At least the Sunway people live really near the church, and thus no one has a problem picking them up and dropping them off. The rest who live slightly further (but none are far as me) have their cars. Anyhoo, after eating, and having a discussion on what the cellgroup should do for Deepavali, it was time to go home. Now, my mom was in Malacca, and I had no car. So I couldn't call her to pick me up. So fine, I asked if I could be dropped home. Naturally, everyone said no. It was too far. I understood, even though Piccadilly to my house is about the same distance as Piccadilly to Sunway. Fine. I wasn't really expecting someone to drive me back home anyway I asked for transport to Mid Valley Mega Mall, which was less than 5 minutes away. Nopes... they weren't going that direction. Instead I was told "How about I drop you to Sunway instead?" and "Can I drop you off at Kelana Jaya?" Wait... Mid Valley is less than 5 minutes away... but you're offering to drop me freaking 20 minutes away? At a place further from my house? Am I missing something here?
Yes, I know that as a passenger, it is totally up to the driver. That they do not owe me any transport. They may not owe me, but I think it would be common courtesy (and common sense for a nearer location) to drop your cellgroup member nearby, where it's more convenient to go back home. Nope... nothing of the sort was offered. And I'm not even asking them to go freaking far here. If I was some new member or friend, they'd surely make the effort and go freaking far to drop them off. A regular church member? Nah, he can find his way back. I'd rather they tell me to find my way back instead of dropping me off at Sunway or Kelana. I mean seriously, were brains used when making those statements? You know I live in Cheras. You know my house is relatively near Piccadilly. You know that Mid Valley is freaking near Piccadilly. And you want top drop me back more than thrice the distance away? More than thrice, remember that.
It's funny. I've been in church for 8 years now, coming close to the start of my ninth year, and in every cellgroup I've been in, I've at least bonded with them decently. Even if things did not go well with the cellgroup as a whole, relationships and bonds were forged. I am not feeling much of that here, even before I began working. With certain people, yes, definitely, but not the cellgroup. Is there a movie outing going on? Ask everyone! Except me. Any plans? Tell everyone! Except me. Are we going for Sunday service? Let him find out when he reaches church on Saturday! Thus I joined Issey's cellgroup very often, and it was like I was in two separate cellgroups. And I bonded so well with Issey's cellgroup as well. And much less with my own, despite seeing them in cellgroup meetings as well.
Since I have begun working, I have not attended one cellgroup meeting, due to work ending late. By the time I finished, borrowed the car and driven over, cellgroup would be over, and most likely they'd be in the middle of eating. Yeah, I know I'm making the cellgroup seem horrible. They aren't. Hell, they celebrated m birthday and bought me a very fashionable and a very nice bag. When I represented the cellgroup for the subzone Bible quiz, they supported me very well, and very enthusiastically. Jokes, laughters and all that. But all I asked for was transport to a place really nearby, and suddenly, if it's inconvenient for them even in the slightest (even if it just requires a small U-turn), they can't be bothered. I'm mainly complaining on the events on that day, although bitching here and there about the general picture.
I thought Jesus said if you'll travel with someone one mile, go with him two? Again, like I've said... one of the strongest cases to show how Christianity changes people is the Christians themselves. They are the best and worst "evidences" in the case for Christ. And as if to add insult to injury, today I was asked whether I was free to attend cellgroup. Knowing I had no transport back, I said I'd pass. Ai Lee offered to drive me back home, even though she wasn't going herself. She was going to take the trouble to drive to the cellgroup place, and drive me back home. Why wasn't this offered when I really needed it on Sunday? And I don't mean a ride back home. I just needed a ride to Mid Valley. When I really needed it, it wasn't offered. When I don't need it, it's generously offered. What. The. Hell?
The insult to injury wasn't mainly that though. The cellgroup went for the Deepavali outing at Vintry, and never told me. But if there's a cellgroup meeting, they tell me! Wow, how holy! Geez. Perhaps I am glad that I only see them once a week. Yes, I'm using harsh language here. But seriously, I'm not offended on the fact I wasn't there at the outing with them. I was offended that they didn't bother asking. And I'm not desperate for an outing with them. I have way too many friends, and with plenty of activities, although I try to space them evenly and perhaps interlink them when I can. As cocky and arrogant as it sounds, I don't really lose out too much if I lose a small group of friends, or a few individuals. There have been many friendships I have been prepared to throw away because although I value the friendship tremendously, I know that I have so many other friends of equal value, and thus I hardly worry. The only time I would worry is if I lost all my friends. And that, based on my current score, is never going to happen. And, it would also free up a lot of my time as well.
The less I expect from this cellgroup, the happier I'm going to be. "Dedicated" Christians - They will cross mountains, valleys and a thousand miles for God but won't drive you a mile or two to help you out. No wonder I am amazed by Christ. I am appalled by "Christians".
Yeah, since it was such a trouble and bother to drive me back, I decided to skip the cellgroup meeting. What's the point of being offered something you were denied when you really needed it? It could have been the first one I attended since I began working. I decided to pass on it instead, making it the first cellgroup meeting I've intentionally missed. Honoured?
Fallen 8:52 AM
in the grip of darkness
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Aye, like I said in my previous post, I'm resigning.
I've worked at Creative Thumbprint for almost 5 months now ( two months after my graduation exhibition, which I still brag about, and which I'm very proud of, has been used as an example to other colleges as a great success. In KL and in Singapore. And that adds more to the bragging. Lmao.) as a graphic designer, which seems incredible, as I've had a working life for close to half a year. Throughout these 5 months, I've done a lot of work, relatively few designs I'm extremely proud of, and also, a lot of mistakes. Of course, I've learned from them, but there's a few issues that have driven me to resign this early. My initial plan was to work until the end of December, and resign, unless I was extremely satisfied with the workplace, at which I'd work for one full year. Then I'd leave. That was always my plan. And then a few things started happening...
Firstly, the colleagues. Now, I'm not bitching about them. They are very friendly people, and because it's such a small company, there's no office politics, despite some friends of mine denying that's impossible. Yet it is. There's no tension between anyone, and everyone is generally friendly with each other. They're pleasant people. The thing that annoys me however, is that they aren't very smart. Yeah, it sounds shallow but try enduring retardedness for half a year.
There's a few things... like one time a colleague was showing us a website that claimed it could determine a person's gender by their birthdate and some other minor details. I called bullshit, as I knew it was just as stupid as zodiacs and horoscopes. She said it was true, and a few of us tried it for our birthdays. Every single one was wrong. And she still believed it, because there was a website on it.
Another time they talked about satay. Its a Malay word, and they were claiming satay was of Chinese origin; that it referred to three pieces of meat satay was traditionally known for. I was skeptical, and researched it. In the end I was right for doubting. Traditionally it was four pieces, which throws the 3-piece theory to hell.
One other time it was the Hungry Ghost Festival, and one of my colleagues was wearing red. Another colleague claimed wearing red would attract ghosts to you, and he actually got so scared he went back and changed his shirt. Seriously?
Another time we talked about religion. The bosses are all Christian. The rest of the colleagues are all Buddhists, with me as the exception. One of them is a baby Christian with very messed up theology and strong Buddhist beliefs. I threw a bit of philosophy of evil gods into the topic and no one could answer me. One tried, and failed horribly, claiming evil gods are of fake religions, and only good gods were true religions, with no arguments to back up her claim.
There's a lot of other stuff like this that continually happened, and I realized that they weren't very intelligent. Friendly? Yes, academically smart? Oh definitely. Talented? Sure. Intelligent? No. Philosophically-capable? Nada. All this stuff annoyed me 'cause I can't stand crap, and I get it all the time. It's not aimed towards me (apart from the occasional bitching of Christianity by the colleagues), but hearing it all the time is enough to get anyone annoyed. This was just a minor reason. They're still pleasant people overall.
Another reason is I don't click with them very well. Yes, I know it's a company and as colleagues our priority is not to make friends, but to work with one another. However, friendships are going to form regardless if people click well. And I don't. Yes, there's laughter, jokes, talks, discussions and all that but it's very shallow, very on the surface. Add to the fact that everyone there is a native Chinese-speaker (include the dialects) and pretty often there's nothing much to say unless the conversation suddenly turns to English. I may understand Cantonese and Mandarin, but there's a lot of information lost in translation as I'm not that fluent.
And one more thing that was the main force for me to resign early, and not wait longer. During my fourth month, I was evaluated for confirmation, and whether I passed my probation. It was supposed to be only three months, but they wanted to drag it to five months to evaluate me longer. Okay, their reasons? Firstly, they doubted whether I was passionate in design. Why? Because they said I wasn't very initiative (that word again! Used against me by a lot of people I know) and didn't seem very interested. Firstly, that hardly counts as a lack of passion. And just because someone's passionate about something, does that mean they won't slack at certain points? Especially when you're stuck in an office for 11-12 hours a day? Plus even in college, all the top students; they're passionate and skilled. Do you think they enjoy every single one of their assignments? I highly doubt so. They can take it as a lesson, or training, but I highly doubt that they will be passionate for every single assignment and give it 100% no matter what. Every single one? I don't think so. And for the corporate world, there's a lot of boring jobsheets. I can do them. Does that mean I'll be interested in it? No... I find it really hard to be passionate over a flyer that needs to look cheap and "Giant/Mydin-ish" promoting food for sale prices. I do it differently and I'm told there's no "feel" to it. Some jobs are much more interesting than others, and so I would argue with the so-called observation that I am not interested in work. Perhaps you only observe me when I do boring jobs, and not the more interesting ones. In addition, I freely admit there are days where I do my work slowly, to drag time. But they're not common, and I only do it when it's like Friday, or it's nearing 7pm or 8pm. Not in the middle of the day, when there's still plenty of hours left. Yet this counts as lack of passion. I don't see it equated, but apparently the bosses do.
The bosses also said that for certain jobs I took too long. They could only specify two. I'd been working for 4 months at the time and all they could come up with was two? I've done a lot more jobsheets than that. I think percentage-wise, I'm pretty reasonable. One took really, long, and fine, I admit that one took a while to do, because there were constant amendments, and I began slowing down after a while. Is that my fault? Okay, fine. My fault. The second, it was hardly my fault. I'm only supposed to do amendments when contact reports are made and I change it accordingly. I was accused of not doing this certain job and it took so many days to do one tiny amendment. First of all, only when I was given the contact report, did I make the change and it was within minutes. I was given the contact report late. It's not my fault is it? Why should I be blamed for being slow on that? And I challenged them to bring up a case where I did not do amendments when given contact reports on time. Nothing could be brought up.
One of the last complaints they had was that a certain business card mockup I did was of extremely poor quality and thus, unfit to show to a client. Okay, fine. But let me defend myself. Their complaint was that it was printed on simile paper, with two papers stuck together back to back. It looked flimsy and unpresentable. Eh, okay. I guess if it was supposed to be shown to the client, that would be pretty bad. But I didn't know it was supposed to be shown to the client. Every (yes, EVERY) single mockup I've done had been on simile paper. To show to who? I don't know, I'm just told to do it. The designers have nothing to do with meeting clients anyway, so it doesn't really concern me. Plus I've been doing mockups here and there for the four months I've been there, and there was never a complaint about simile paper. Every mockup, unless specifically specified, used simile paper and it's always been fine. Yet for the namecard, suddenly I'm told it was meant for the client (which was never told to me) and why did I use simile paper, and didn't ask? Well, maybe because it's been fine for a third of a year! No complaints, no nothing. I make one flimsy card, and suddenly I'm asked why am I not inquisitive enough for this, and why don't I question more. If I've been doing something the same way for 4 months, and it's acceptable, I hardly feel the need to question why this particular round would need to be questioned. Especially when the question of asking more was never brought up in previous mockups, and they were all accepted.
I defended myself in every case, and they didn't answer back very thoroughly. I brought up the fact that I avail myself to help out the other designers in things like mockups or Photoshopping stuff or what whenever I'm asked, which explained away their insistence on my lack of initiative. Plus, I challenged them to go ask everyone in the design studio who always asks for the next job the most often. It is me. When I finish my work, I listen to a song or two, refill my cup, rest for a few minutes, maybe load up a song or something on Youtube, and then ask for the next job. And I do this very often. Too often in fact, that I realize many of the other designers don't do this. Regardless of why, I still hold the the fact that I ask "What's the next job?" the most frequently, and I boldly challenged the bosses to ask anyone in the design studio to prove my claims. You know what's the worst part? They said something along the lines of "We weren't aware of that." Great.
A legitimate case they brought against me was the fact that I read articles throughout the day. After a period of hectic designing, or when I'm resting a bit, I'd tend to read news articles from Yahoo!, MSN or other sites. I refrained from checking out comics and that sort of stuff. I openly read articles in front of them, because it didn't ruin my productivity (to me anyway) and it was never "fun" stuff. However they had a problem with it and told me to stop. Okay, I can respect that. I'm wrong for reading articles during work, even if it didn't affect me. So I stopped. Another case they brought up was me arriving at work at 9:30am when I was supposed to be coming in at 9am. I said that everyone's reading newspapers or eating breakfast, and no one really does their work until 9:30am. So slowly I began to use that extra half an hour for sleep, and arrive just in time and start work immediately. Instead of slacking around for half an hour, and doing my work. However, I'm rightfully supposed to arrive at 9am anyway, and for that I'm wrong as well. Very well, I began arriving at 9am, or at least around there since then. A few mistakes I made in previous jobs was also brought up as a reminder, and I duly took note of them, as they were completely of my own fault, and I recognized them as such. This in turn led to comments on my observation, and attention for detail. Another criticism they leveled on me was I was poor at layouts, and interesting colour combinations, which I'd say is subjective, but is still something they have every right to bring up and I may be merely blind to their legitimate constructive criticisms.
So, their complaints were mainly I wasn't passionate and took too long. And they wanted to drag my probation up to 5 months. I wasn't going to stand for it. My pay is only RM1700. I was cut down from my requested amount of 1800, because it was to match a colleague of mine. I initially thought after the supposed 3-month probation that I would get increased pay, and leaving at the end of the year or one year later would be reasonable. But if I get confirmed now? I'll be leaving like in a month or two, right after confirmation. I would feel bad for doing that, so soon. But since my probation was still ongoing, and my pay was still the same, I decided to resign and mentioned it during the evaluation after hearing all they brought against me. If they aren't aware of the contributionss I've made, I might as well resign now than wait. I said it'd be easier. I get to take a break, rest, and re-evaluate myself, while they wouldn't need to worry about confirming me. After all, I lack passion to them right? Why would you want a passionateless guy in a design firm?
A bonus would be that I have working experience now, and can request for higher pay. Even if I'm cut down, it'll still be higher than what I earn now. Plus I'll get a new job, and it'll be something new. Something for better or for worse? I don't know. I'll let the future show me.
Now, I know this post seems like a hate post on the company. It is not. It's merely to explain why I resigned, and some details regarding why. I learned a lot of valuable skills and many minor details to look out for, that I never did back in college. I have no qualms with any of the colleagues. Like I said, they're all friendly. Not intelligent, but friendly, and helpful. If I need help, they'll help, or suggest things to do, for improvements on my designs. It's just hearing crap very often is annoying, and they're also pretty racist as well, which doesn't bode well with me, even though I'm never a victim of their racist remarks. Just hearing it is unpleasant. The last things that pushed me to resign are all mentioned there, with reasons. And so, my final week of work approaches.
Creative Thumbprint and Yellow Thumbprint has been a very interesting time, with much learned, minor friendships forged, income earned, and now, a path for somewhere else... hmmm.
Fallen 5:56 AM
in the grip of darkness
Friday, October 21, 2011
So, a proper update at last. Lol. Since I've got way too much to cover in the last few weeks, I thought I should blog some more recent events first.
So last Saturday, I woke up at noon to get ready to meet a potential client. As I'm resigning from Creative Thumbprint at the end of the month, I thought I'd seek out a few jobs now. Slowly though... I'm not really in a rush and all. I want to take a short rest as well. My mom thinks otherwise, and is constantly nagging me to hurry up and find another job, telling me it was a big mistake to quit my current job. I have very good reasons though, and I'll mention them later.
I met the client, Jason Tan, at The Curve, and we had a small chat, with two of his partners there as well. Apparently they want some sort of freelance/contractual basis thing for designers. Like within a period of two weeks, or a month, they'll give me some jobs, and I give them what I do, and they pay me. After that if they want to continue hiring me we'll do it again for another two weeks or a month. Pretty tempting. Especially when the work can be done from home, and I only need to meet them twice a week, just to get jobs, and updates. I'll need to convince them first however, with a small job they'll be giving me.
I was extremely tired 'cause the previous night was Halloween Night at TOA, and I went back to support Sacwrath, Justin's band, which I haven't blogged about in here yet 'cause I'm so lagging on updates. Lol. Headbanged, chilled, celebrated David's birthday and went for a drinking session at Justin's place where I ended up falling asleep. Plus I was told that my hands were in prayer as I slept the entire time! In addition to tiredness (and a stuff neck), I was really hungry too so I went to Ikea and got the SWEDISH MEATBALLS. One of the ultimate foods to ever exist! While lining up, I bumped into Julie (aka Jules), who I've been getting to know really well and close, in recent months. We hugged, caught up and had a bit of smalltalk before ordering and going our separate ways.
Went to Subang to meet up with my band members. And because of more lack of updates, Ryan and Hadi have both left the band, and we've recruited Harish, a very passionate guitarist. Still missing a drummer though. did some songwriting and went to eat and chat and get to know Harish better.
I was bloody bored and it's very rare I have a Saturday night free, doing nothing at all. So I decided to go to Sunway and use the Unifi there at one of the restaurants, and lo, I saw Nikke's pink car. I stopped by and saw Nikke and Kevyn at Home Chef Recipe. My initial plan was to chat with them and wait till they went off to use the internet, but eventually I joined them for KFC and later went to chill at Ming Tien, talking and sharing stories and jokes all the way from 9pm to 3am. Geez! And it was just the three of us. Redzuan and Masayo did drive past us while we were at Ming Tien but they didn't notice us, and they eventually drove to KFC (the irony).
I was getting tired so we said our "Nights" and I went home to sleep. I was supposed to wake up for church tne next day, but I ended up waking up at 8pm. This marks the third time I've overslept for church this year, and its getting to be quite an issue. A very big annoyance too 'cause its not intentional, but I just can't wake up with my alarm quite often. Even with sufficient rest. Very awkward. I'm still used to attending Saturday services... *sigh*.
Anyway, like I said, I was resigning from work right? After five months? So fast? Yeah. Read my next post for all the reasons.