May 29, 2007

The Bulu Conversations Part 2...


May 27, 2007

Working With Jerks...

All celebration aside, this season was a pretty good one for MU (Manchester United). I have been waiting for the day to come when the team would rise like a phoenix from its ashes. (^^)

Anyway, I digress... (as usual).

I'd guess my post for today is something which we all encounter at work at one point or another. If you have had the luxury of not coming across some jerks in your workplace, be very grateful. Anyway, I just finished a book some time back called "The No @sshole Rule: Building A Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't" by Robert Sutton.

At some point in time, I am very sure we have encountered some unpleasant people at the workplace - the sadistic boss, or the braggart/gloater colleague. Surely, you must have felt "I want to kick this guy in the face" or if you were intimidated very badly, you felt like you were totally incompetent and wanted to leave the workplace.

Anyway, this book proved to be a bit of an eye-opener as these jerks, although may be quite capable at work can make the workplace so toxic that it may be detrimental to the organization in the long term. Companies may praise these jerks for their efforts but these jerks tend to leave a trail of destruction behind them which costs companies more $$$ to clean up.

So, first and foremost, how do you identify the @sshole in the workplace?

There are a couple of tests, according to the book and I've witnessed this myself too...
  • Test 1: After talking to the alleged @sshole(s) (everyone is not an @sshole until proven otherwise..), does the person feel upset, humiliated, de-energized or belittled? Do you feel worse about yourself?
  • Test 2: Does the alleged @sshole(s) often target people who are less powerful than at those people who are more powerful?
Besides that, you may also observe some of the interaction these @ssholes display at work...
  • Personal insults
  • Invading one's "personal space" - if played wrongly, could lead to Sexual Harassment
  • Uninvited physical contact - Sexual Harassment??
  • Threats and intimidations, both verbal and non-verbal
  • "Sarcastic jokes" and "teasing" used as an alternative insult delivery mechanism
  • Withering e-mail flames
  • Status slaps intended to humiliate their victims
  • Public shaming or "status degradation" rituals
  • Rude interruptions
  • Two-faced attacks
  • Dirty looks
  • Treating people as if they're invisible
I have a colleague which displayed about 99% of all those actions towards me. One day, he suddenly touched my hand with his finger and said, "eeee.. So many spots. So ugly!! You should take care-la!!!"

I was shocked. I did not invite his "touch", neither did I welcome his comment. I can't help it if I have freckles as I had been exposed to the Aussie sun for 2.5years. Anyway, I brushed his comment aside and ignored him.

At times, this guy who will come back to visit the company, will talk to everyone except me. So, I'm treated as invisible, even from the day I joined, he did not want to interact with me at all. So, I just ignore him, since it is his loss that he made one friend less.

Anyway, this guy is a classic jerk as he brags about things such as having a lot of enemies and even laughing about it!! Oh well... Darwin's theory of natural selection is interesting enough to produce humans of varied characteristics and personalities in this world - he is certainly one of them. Just have to celebrate variety for variety's sake. ;)

So, the question arise is that now, that you have identified a jerk at the workplace, what can you do?

Well, since we're equipped with a fight or flight response, depending on how strong-willed your personality is, or if you're a bigger jerk than the @sshole is, you can face off but do it with dignity. If you're not as strong willed, it is probably better to avoid this @sshole as a form of self-protection.

Remember the notion of mindsets? Re-framing the situation from a negative to a positive one would make your life a bit easier. I have had the "joy" of being yelled at by my ex-boss for a job he asked me to do but ended up being his mistake. He wasn't a man big enough to admit it at the time and so, decided to be a "temporary @sshole". I just took the situation as a means to be more pro-active in the future. Dealing with the situation calmly did calm my ex-boss down and in the end, he did admit that it was his mistake.

Also, remember the saying "Lose the Battle, Win the War"? Look for small wins. No one is perfect, even @ssholes slip up. If you are fast enough to catch this, you can possibly turn it around to hit him where it hurts and he may never want to confront you again. An example in the book mentioned about one employee whose boss often violated her space and often ate her food as he passed by. One day, she placed a bit of chocolate-flavoured laxative on her desk and he took it! When she told her boss what it was, he wasn't happy but he never took her food again. ;)

Another tip to use is to detach emotionally from the workplace. Work is work and you just have to leave it as that. Besides, we should never use work as a form of crutch to form our personality or life. It is just simply not worth it to get worked up over such people. This of course, leads me to another point - support systems.

Get support from other victims but don't turn it into a @sshole-bashing session as it rarely solves any problems. Support system would mean it is a safe place where you can "chill" after a bad session to get back to "normal". It is good to surround yourself with positive thoughts and people in order to survive the ordeal.

I've already mentioned that we should minimize contact with such @ssholes, but sometimes, we should also hope for the best. Maybe this person has some issues which cause him to act this way. Perhaps using a psychological approach, we could "re-program" him but that rarely brings any success. That @sshole should realize his actions first in order to initiate change. If he is in a state of denial, there is no point in trying to persuade him to change.

The last option in dealing with such @ssholes in the workplace, is to leave. Find another more positive environment to work in. However, ensure that you leave with your self-esteem intact. However, there is no guarantee that you'll find an @sshole free environment but at least you know how to deal with them.

Anyway, the book also talks about implementing the No @sshole rule but this can be hard to implement. At the end of the day, we should all strive to make the workplace a more pleasant one since we spend nearly more than 1/2 the day there.

May 25, 2007

Hairy Situation...

For those of you who were looking for Mix.FM's DJ Pietro's Chest-Waxing Session, look no further!! The link is at Mix.FM at -->


This reminds me of a post of mine with EV on some "bulu" (hair) story some time back. (^ ^)

Anyway, I'm inspired to do a Part 2 of the Bulu Conversations with EV. Stay tuned!! **peace**

A Bridge With A View...

The day started off rather interesting... Aside from the fact that the weather was extremely warm for May... (^^)

Anyway, when I got to the office this morning, I found my colleagues waiting at the lift area. I thought that it was a bit early for lunch... :P

Me: What are you guys doing here?
Colleagues: We're waiting for you-la!

Me: ????

Colleagues: Got safety briefing, put your bag down and hurry up!

Once I opened the door and put my bag down, my other colleague asked if I was joining the safety briefing and I said "Yes". Then, it was a blur as a few others rushed out the door to quickly head down for the safety briefing.

There was a bit of miscommunication between our office manager and building management. At first, when we registered for this month's briefing, we were informed by the building management that the class was full and we would have to register for the next briefing. However, come this morning at about 10:30am, we were asked by the building management about our attendance..... (?????)

Anyway, we managed to slot ourselves in the class and had a very interesting session. We were explained about the evacuation procedures, where the fire extinguishers were placed, where the stairwells were, which lifts to take should there be anyone requiring help (the responsibility of the floor manager and assistants) as well as various information about the building.

The presenter was very good and made the session interesting by adding little anecdotes and jokes to keep the serious class light-hearted. Certainly, it made us remember the safety briefing a lot more memorable.

After the presentation, we were given a short tour of where the exits, important safety and emergency help devices were. We took a ride up to Level 42 to take a look at where the stairwells and service lifts were located as well as how certain devices worked. The scariest bit came when....

Our presenter led us to the sky-bridge and opened the door for us to have a look...

If you haven't guessed it by now, I'm working in one of the offices in KLCC, one of the tallest buildings in the world. :P

Anyway, when the presenter opened the doors of the sky-bridge, the scariest thing occurred.

No, not that the bridge was swaying like the song "London bridge is falling down..."

No, not that for a fact, that we were XXX KM above the street level, so much so that if we jumped off this bridge, we'll end up being "flat-matter" on the pavement...


Our safety briefing became a tourist stopover...!!!! (o____0)

Participant 1: Come!! QUICK!!!! Pose here, lai dat.. lai dat... Come!! Come!! Take picture!!

Participant 2: Woi!!! Let's go to the other end and take photos!!!

Participant 3: Wahhh.. The view so nice.. *snap* *snap*

My colleagues and I could only stand in awe watching these people take photo after photo. LOL...

Yes.. Yes... There were a few camwhores there... (^^)

Anyway, for me, since non-human subjects were my favourite photography subject, could only snap one little picture from the very centre of the bridge.

At the very centre of the bridge there is an port-hole window where you can look up and observe the building. It seems that at this very point, you can see that the building is swaying. However, most of us could only see clouds moving.. (^ ^)

Well, it was a very interesting start to an otherwise drab Thursday.... :P

May 22, 2007

What To Do If Someone Blocks Your Car...

My family got into the e-mailling mood and she related something really funny to us. So, the idea for this entry and contents of it, I got from my aunt. :P

Aunty Julie, I give you full credit, ya!!!

This is very common in M'sia... Where some barger will park his car indiscriminately anywhere (even in front of a DO-NOT-PARK sign) and so, at times will block another person's car.

Aunt's Colleague: Barger-la... This idiot is blocking my car, so difficult to go out!!
Aunt: Yealo!!!
Aunt's Colleague: Ok, let me try to get out...

** after many many many zillion minutes, later... My aunt's colleague managed to get out **

Aunt's Colleague: Barger-la (wipes sweat)... Wait, must teach this feller a lesson...
Aunt: What you gonna do? Scratch his car-ar?
Aunt's Colleague: Worse than that... Got pen or paper?

Aunt's Colleague: **scribble ** **scribble** Nah!! Gao Tim! (Cantonese for "done or complete")

My aunt's colleague left this note to the owner of the vehicle...

May a thousand birds shit on your car and dog pee a thousand times on your 4 flat tyres if you continue to park illegally

That has got to be the best note ever!! HAHAHAA...

It did work for a few days but then, it started all over again... (0___o)

Snoopy Has Moved House!!

No... I don't mean that my dog has physically moved house. ;)

She has moved her blog from an old one which she "hijacked" from me back in 2005 to a new home @ Wordpress.

Anyway, do check it out from time to time as she is an outspoken Jack Russell Terrier with a mind of her own. :P

It's a more interesting site with lots more photos too. Kekekee.. I do hope to put up a video or two of her in action - IF I CAN CATCH HER FIRST!

Right now, she's asleep as it is definitely her "doo-doo"(bed) time.

Snoopy's blog (Snoopy's Dawg House) -->

May 20, 2007


I'm finding it hard to sleep, but I have to sleep, despite the results.

It is a sickening feeling to watch your team lose despite doing their best. Nevertheless, it was good football and a great start for the new Wembley stadium.

Anyway, I believe the boys did well despite the pressure and being a rather young side still. I believe they will only get better and better. As I have said in my other post, we still need to shore up our defences, straighten up our frontline in order to get more goals in the next season.

Well, congrats Chelsea for winning the FA Cup.

However, my hats off to our boys in red, the Reds Go Marching On!!

May 16, 2007

When Will We Ever Learn...

It was a rainy Wednesday morning here in Kuala Lumpur. ('_')

I woke up to a nice "light and sound" show at about 5:30am. I thought to myself, "Oh heck!!! The roads are going to be clogged"... and I promptly went back to sleep. (^^)

Anyway, no matter how good or bad the weather gets, we have to move our butts off our bed and drag our tired and unwilling (or willing for some of you passionate folks out there) bodies to work. I decided to wait out the rain a bit before venturing out.

Eventually, I found myself on the NKVE (New Klang Valley Expressway), which led me from Subang Jaya all the way to KL (Jalan Duta to be precise).

Halfway through my journey, I attracted a visitor at my car's tail - a brown Waja, tailing me closely at about 100kmph despite the rain and slippery roads on the fast lane. I usually ignore the guy, looking for a chance to safely manoeuvre out of the way so that he could pass. However, I got a bit cheeky. I decided to speed up a little to see if he could "catch up".

He did not tail me so closely but then, after the Bukit Lanjan turnoff, I decided to stay on the middle lane because I wanted a safe drive. I thought to myself, "Nasty bugger...@#@$@@!$#@#$! Heavy rain still want to speed..."

Just before the Jalan Duta toll, I decided to switch back to the fast lane and just then, the cars decided to stop abruptly. I managed to stop in time since I wasn't following the cars closely. However, cars behind me had to do some emergency
manoeuvre so that they don't hit the cars in front of them. Wow.. It sure was a close call. (o_0)

Anyway, there was a nasty jam and so, I cut out to the middle lane and while driving by, I noticed the brown Waja again. He was the one who caused us to stop abruptly as he failed to stop in time. He had hit a gold-coloured Vios. It was a nasty accident as his front bonnet was bent out of shape and the Vios's bumper was dented inwards.

***Phew*** That is karma at work.

When will we learn? We are not F1 drivers whose cars are equipped with dry/wet tyres suited for all road conditions. Besides that, didn't that driver learn about the 3-second rule while following another car?

For those of you who took a "kopi license" (*ahem* paid a bribe to get your driver's license), the 3 second rule states that while following a car, you must be at least 3 seconds away. That means, you try to count a static object by the roadside as the car in front of you passes it. Once the car in front of you pass that object, you start counting down - "One Mississippi, Two Mississippi..." until you pass that same object yourself. If you can't count pass Two
Mississippi, you're tailing too close to the car in front of you.

Oh well, this incident has taught me a lesson - don't drive too fast while on the NKVE. After all, reaching your destination safely is more important than reaching there fast.

May 15, 2007

It's Here!!! Minutes to Midnight...

It has been an agonizing 6 weeks. Not that I'm on a diet or anything, but I have been waiting for the launch of Linkin Park's latest album - Minutes to Midnight.

Anyway, for all those who have been wondering about my IM status message, I was counting down to the day I could pick up my CD. So, when I got to work this morning, the first thing I did was to grab this CD.

I can now declare that I have been following this band ever since I heard their first song - "Crawling". Sure, it was edgy and that was my feeling then. I can't comment on this album yet but the guys have matured in their music - even Mike Shinoda has branched on out his own personal project with Fort Minor.

Anyway, I'll definitely take my time to enjoy this CD. Woo hoo!!!


[Update - 4:02pm]
I've just finished listening to the CD (multiple times) and the CD is less edgier than the last one. More so because the band has announced that this album allows them to experiment with a few things to express their creativity.

The songs which I find very good are:
  • Track 2 - Given Up (good way to destress)
  • Track 3 - Leave Out All The Rest (nice!!!!)
  • Track 6 - What I've Done (launched as single 6 weeks back)
  • Track 10 - In Between (vocal + base line only... really cool!)
Anyway, enjoy the album. It is another good one from the boys. ;)

May 14, 2007

Do You Code Like This? - The Answer

If you recall my last post, I posed a question like so,


Anyway, this is a small Java code. If you are ensure about the notation, it is a shorthand for "if...else" statement.

The ?: notation is explained as follows,

( [boolean-expression] ? [true-part] : [false-part] )

An example of the use of the "?:" notation is as follows,

int i = 5;
System.out.println((i < 10)? true: false);

The result should print out "true".

This notation certainly saves a bit of time but it tends to make code very difficult to read.

If we return to the question I posed, if we were to rewrite that statement, we would get the following:

if (true) {
} else {
if (true == true) { false; } else { true; }

Was this flow-control what the developer wanted to execute? I apologize for putting the next if statement in a single line but it was to differentiate the nested-if statement.

So, what is the answer?

If you were smart, you would have taken this code and pasted it in a class, compiled and executed it. (^^)

The answer was.... "false". LOL!!!! Obvious, right?

Remember that you can not have a variable named after a Java reserved keyword, so, there was no way that "true" or "false" were variables. ;)

I do advocate the use of the "?:" notation, but only when it is very clear. I would not condone using the "?:" notation when there is a big chunk of code in between each true or false parts.

May 11, 2007

Do You Code Like This?

Just the other day, a friend posed a quick "Java Puzzler" just for the heck of it.

Here's the code...


What does this print out?

Have a thought. Comment your answer and I'll let you know if you're right or not? ;)

May 10, 2007

EV's Pet...

As you can tell from the title, you are bound to know that this is going to be funny. I can't hide that, because my conversations with EV always end up being funny somehow. (^^)

** Mobile phone rings **

Me: Aiya... That woman is calling...

** Picks up phone **

Me: Harrrlooo???
EV: Why you pick up phone so slow???!!!
Me: Eh.. My phone is not sticking to my body...
EV: Hahaah.. It should! You're so slow!!!!
Me: Hahaah.. So, what you want??

** After some "meaningful" conversation **

Snoopy: Woof!! Woof!!
Me: Wait-ar...
EV: Why??
Me: My dog wants to come in.
EV: Your dog???
Snoopy: Woof!! Woof!! Woof!!
EV: sighhh.. You go and entertain your dog-la...

** After some licks from Snoopy later **

Me: Ok.. She's gone.
EV: Hmmmmppphhh!!! Looks like you really love your dog.
Me: Yeah, I am sure you love your cats last time.
EV: Yalo... She was very good. Know where to pee/poo in the toilet. Cats are so much smarter than dogs.
Me: Yeala.. Only your cat!! So, you plan to have cats later?
EV: I think my cat will die of starvation.
Me: Leave some food out-la. The cat know how to survive one. Like this black cat last time, come and steal fish which is on the table in the kitchen. This is before Snoopy came.
EV: Wahh.. So smart!
Me: Aiyoo.. So terrible-la. You don't have that problem meh??
EV: My house? I "keep" a rat-lor...
Me: ?????
EV: Yahh... I have a Milo rat.
Me: ?????????? (0____o)

** I couldn't help but laugh.. After 2 mins... **
Me: *ahem*!! Why you have a Milo rat?
EV: Ohhh.. This particular rat likes Milo. It is sooo smart! It knows how to open the Milo tin.
Me: ???? How you know?
EV: Sometimes, can see the paw mark in the Milo. And the tin is open in the morning.
Me: WAAAAHHHH!!!!!! I thought rats like rice and stuff.
EV: Yalo!! Dunno-la...
Me: Didn't you put it in a plastic box or something?
EV: Yeah, we did... But the feler bite through the plastic box...
Me: So, how you catch the rat?
EV: At first, we used fish in the trap but then, not laku. The feler (rat) didn't want to come.
Me: And then?
EV: So, my mom said to use Milo-lo...
Me: Don't tell me.. You actually made a "Milo ball" and stuck it in the trap.
EV: Hahahaa.. Yalo! But first, it wasn't good, the ball fell out and we couldn't catch it. Then, we made the ball bigger and caught the rat. My goodness!! It was so fat!!
Me: HAHAHAAHHAHHAHHHAHAA... There you have it! Milo... Sihat dan Kuat!! (Healthy and Strong!)

(^ ^)... I can't help but laugh when I think of this story. Frankly, I think after a few meals of Milo, this rat got very smart and was able to open tins and such. I think it's probably due to the Vit B in Milo which helps improve brain function. Hahahaa.. But then again, I could be wrong. Animals are intelligent, we just don't give them enough credit.

Anyway, just a note. A Milo Ball is just water and Milo. You basically take a small spoonful of hot water and drop it in a bowl of Milo to make a small glob. After that, just roll the glob until you get a ball of Milo.

I did not know that you can take Milo in that manner. I've used it as chocolate powder and hot drink, but not to eat it "raw". (*___*)

BTW, eating Milo ball is EV's favourite snack... Go figure...

May 02, 2007

EV Ages!!! (Yes.. Though hers is the slow-aging kind...)


I did not bother to post an announcement, but the Evil has decided to pay me a visit.

Every year, she happily declares that the whole of M'sia is celebrating her b'day TODAY (May 1st), although, she was born on May 2nd...

Yes, when I told her that she shared the same b'day with David Beckham, her reply was "Is it?". I went (o_0)

The next question she asked was, "Who is he?"

My jaw dropped wide open. I may have swallowed a few flies in the process.

Anyway, since she was down for a visit (and a quick bloodsuckvisit), I decided to entertain her. Although, I'm bracing myself for more torture tomorrow, errr... later today.

Conversations with EV has gotten more exciting. Because, we seem to be talking more nonsense than usual... (^^)

For one, we seem to be having discussions about hair...

After more talk about hair...

EV: See!! I bring the customers in.
Me: Yea, right!
EV: No!! Serious!! When we first came in, there was nobody. Now, got a lot of people coming in.
Me: So, Baskin Robbins should pay you some $$$-la.
EV: Yealo! Should charge them!


Anyway, Happy B'day David Beckham.

Anyway, Happy B'day my dear friend!! My life certainly is a lot more colourful when you're around. Here's to many more years of fun and joy. God Bless!!!

May 01, 2007

How to Be Happy/Positive

Note: I have to admit that today, I got a little too emotional, felt a bit blue because I could not do something technically simple such as presenting a topic for discussion today. Of late, I am finding myself to be quite incompetent and wonder if I deserve my position. Frankly, it is just a simple matter of faith in one's self but when it comes to dealing with others and gaining that respect, faith in one's self is not enough. Anyway, I shall try to find it in myself to talk about this topic and hence, make me feel good about myself again.

My previous posts were a bit too "technical" but I needed to find a place to put up the "tips" on how to setup Ubuntu properly. Anyway, with the latest release, configuring and customizing a Ubuntu box would have gotten easier.

Anyway, my last post on "staying positive" got me thinking, how do I get to be happy/positive in the first place?

Let's get ONE thing straight - A happy person still has problems, and disappointments but despite it all, is able to handle both the joys and sorrows of life in a well-adjusted manner.

Also note this, we also learn to be happy. Why do we need to learn how to be happy? Isn't this something that we're born with?

Remember, we are born with very little skills. At birth, we are absolutely dependent on our parents; so frail, we are not able to fend for ourselves. At a very early age, we learn by observing our environment. Hence, our knowledge about happiness and how we adjust to it depends on what we have absorbed. Scary thought, isn't it?

However, all is not lost. We are a learning species. We still can learn to be happy. (^^)

I've been listening to some motivational talk (trying to drum it in my head) by Dr. Murray Banks, a psychiatrist who came up with some interesting audio tapes. I got this from my sister's boyfriend who's also into motivational subjects.

So, listening to "Just In Case You Think You're Normal", there are 9 ingredients of a well-adjusted person.

1. Do you know how to make the most of what you got?
- Happiness is not about what you want, but what you've got. We are never happy with what we have, for example. haven't we yearned to be taller, thinner, smarter, more beautiful and etc? Certainly, we are not happy with ourselves but what happens if we are born deaf and blind? Why can't we learn to be contented with what we have?

2. Do you know how to stay forever young?
- Our consumer-based society today worships the young. Everywhere you look, the latest and greatest in trends and fashions are targeted towards the young. So, as we outgrow a certain age group, we start to feel alienated and "old". Age should not be measured by the calendar, it is measured by how "old" or young we feel. We should not be shackled in by the notion of our age. In fact, the older we get, the younger we should feel. Our minds are only going to get better.

3. Do you setup new, interesting goals in life?
- Once you have setup a goal & achieved it, it is natural to setup new challenges. Why? All for the feeling of accomplishment and praise. We humans also like a bit of variety in life, for it motivates us to improve ourselves. However, if you do encounter setbacks, remember that it is only temporary and we should have faith in ourselves to over come it. When we do overcome it, we will feel great because we have accomplished something.

4. Do you know how to live each day to the fullest?
- Saving a day in the hope of "cashing in" for the future is foolish. For we do not know when we shall leave this earth, it is best to live it as if it were our last. So, we should not let the small worries of our life eat us for it certainly wastes our time. Why want to waste precious time of needless worrying?

5. Do you know how to make the most of a bad situation?
- When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Your happiness does not depend on how the world does to you, but it is of your attitude towards it. It also means that we should try to turn our setbacks into new opportunities as well.

6. Do you know how to live with yourself?
- This is not about living by yourself. This is about being able to be honest with yourself and the ability to enjoy life. If we can't live with ourselves, how could we expect other people to live with us?

7. Do you try to please everyone? Trying to satisfy everyone is a near impossible feat. It is possible, but at what cost? Have a little faith and confidence in yourself and understand that you cannot satisfy everyone. There will always be someone who think critically of you. However, there will be others who appreciate you.

8. Do you know how to laugh at life?
- Life should not be taken too seriously. Certainly, laughter is the best medicine. Of course, sometimes, it can be difficult to laugh at life, but life is short, we should not stay sad or depressed for too long.

9. Do you care for your fellow Man?
- This means being able to bring happiness to another person; say something pleasant about the person instead of something hurtful or deceitful. This also means that you are also able to view the other person's point of view.

These are just some points. In my honest opinion, we must also project happy thoughts in order to influence our outlook on life. For, if we do not think about how to be happy, how could we become happy?
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