Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

Meeting Board Members

Today I met with Monkey Lord’s bosses – the Board, comprising Chairman and 3 other board members.

My presentation was delayed from pre noon till 2.30pm and I did not dare go and have a quick bite as I was told to wait, as in standby.

I was famished but I held on.

Silly me, made self a cup of green tea in a styrofoam cup but only to have it spilt all over my linen white pants!

Gee…I have yet to present my slides and meet the Board and my attire is soaked with green tea!!

Off I scooted to the ladies to dry my blouse and pants by using the hand dryer.

Thankfully we have those powerful trough like dryer to slot hands in to blow dry. I put my blouse in it and it was blown dry. Luckily I wore a green blouse. Green on green was not obvious.

Finally my turn came.

In his mid 70s, Chairman has a wealth of experience and I was impressed with his comments and observations with Human Resources.

Chairman was a nice grandfatherly type chap. He wasn’t rude (*rumors from Money Bags implied Chairman was “unreasonable”)

Chairman was astute and commented on my role to help Monkey Lord in a strategic HR role. It was not about daily administrative stuff but the planning and coming up with great ideas to grow the talent pool.

He said that they waited patiently for me to join them and would like me to assist in coming up with incentives and plans to retain talent.


I am not Houdini but will try my best to get it done.

Thankfully they had salad for lunch and not pizza.

I ate my bread bun at 4pm…My lunch at 4pm left me too full to eat dinner at 7.30pm but hungry at 12.15am…sigh….FAT!!
*Peanuts meme is courtesy of the creator of Peanuts and Snoopy Gang, Charles Schulz.

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12 Comments »

Relatives – Like Them Or Hate Them

My parents’ relatives are not the best of relatives.

They do not visit my parents at all during any time of the year nor exchange pleasantries but will only come to announce “births, deaths or hospitalizations” I find this annoying!

Our Chinese custom is that on announcements of births, deaths or hospitalizations – money is exchanged as “gifts” to defray costs of the event. This is the sole purpose of announcements.

I have an idiotic cousin who takes it upon herself as Tribal Chief to announce these events and I am getting pretty cross with her as I look back and realized that none of these so called “relatives” bothered to visit my folks nor I when I was in hospital.

So why bother to keep coming to us to get “gifts” from my parents and inconveniencing my mum when she is so old.

I am not being selfish but practical. If anyone is so poor to be unable to afford a burial, I will gladly pay for it. But these relatives are well off and in “shady businesses of loan sharking” – this is the one that gripes me!

Yesterday poor mum was cajoled into making her to way to a hospital some distance away to visit an in law [More like an “outlaw”] who apparently developed hand cancer. This is the same sister in law of my mum whom my mum had helped during her youthful days to get medical attention to arrest Outlaw’s breast cancer in the 1960s.

My mum was not thanked nor did this sis in law of hers decide to visit my mum at any time from 1960s to present.

Tribal Chief is a dumbo and thinks as self elected tribal chief to organise these visits as it adds to her importance.

My mum has a spine issue and her arm hurts plus weak legs. Plus Tribal Chief made my mum pay for taxi to get both of them there.

On top of that, my mum had to present a “gift”  – fairly large sum to help defray the Outlaw’s medical bills.

I told mum it would be better off if she donated the money to a worthy charity as this Outlaw has money in loan sharking. Let her pay her dues as her family has made a living hell of those poor families who could not pay their borrowings and hefty interest payments.

I sound mean. But I am a realist and a practical person.

If anything happens to my mum and heaven’s forbid she tripped and fell en route to Outlaw, then what? I will be the one who has to be inconvenienced. Certainly not Tribal Chief nor the bunch of moronic “relatives” – heck, I cannot even rely on my own siblings to help me!

I hate it when Tribal Chief thinks she is acting smart. I ticked her off as she did not even bother to “organise” any visits to my parents nor I when we were laid up in hospital back then.

It is not the question of wanting to be visited. Heck no! When I was ill, I was glad for the peace and quiet instead of trying to stay awake to make intelligent conversations when all I wanted to do was to hug Garfield and sleep or complain to Garfield that I was in pain. Plus I do not need the cross infections of visitors who may have a sniffle or a bug and because of my compromised immune system when ill, get it and cause my doctors to hit the panic button.

it would be smarter to organise walks or something more cheery than to face the doom and gloom of “forced” hospital or wake visits.

Love comes from the heart. So does compassion and empathy. I am not one who believes in putting up charades to pretend that I care when I don’t care.

Care is or has to be reciprocated and I do know that I am not Mother Theresa of Calcutta nor am I up for nomination for the Nobel Prize!

Yes, I am selfish. Very selfish when it comes to the health and well being of my parents.

14 Comments »

Stan The Plumber

Water cistern overflowing has been arrested!

I am grateful for good plumbers as these are gems that are hard to come by.

I have known Stan for years and somehow we clicked as pals and when I saw him today as he came by to fix the overflow, I realized how much he has aged.

He bemoans his poor memory as he tottered down to his van to collect a part to enable repair and forgot to bring another tool.

I told him to ensure that his memory stays good, to do puzzles. I do not want him to end up loopy as he needs to keep busy.

Stan works hard. He has a small business that is 2 man operated. When his assistant is not available, he works on his own.

With his sense of responsibility and hard working attitude, he has raised a family of 2 children and a wife.

I admire his ability to work hard and still keep his smiling face.

When I first met Stan, he was a struggling newbie. I called him based on an advertisement he took out in the classifieds. I gave him a job to fix the sink and found him to be meticulous and careful. What I liked most about him was that he left my premises clean and pristine. Others tend to leave the repair site messy!

As we chatted, his hands worked hard. He spent an hour, changing parts of the cistern and left after an hour.

I was happy to part with $90 as this was indeed a kind friendship price. Had I called on any other plumber, I would have been charged a minimum of $150!

This is the value of Stan towards our friendship, for which I am grateful.

I am happy that the toilet is working now and that I need not totter to another bathroom to use a facility.

Thankfully I have 2 toilets else, I would have been going back to the old days of using a pail to flush as I closed off the main valve!

Stan’s parting words to me were that he will always help me so long as he is around.

My reply to Stan was that may he live long and healthy – I would not mind giving him some of my living years. Life for me is enough and I do not need much longer years whereby he will need it more as he can serve a greater community.

Am I mad?

No, I am really sane. Life is not meaningful unless you can serve a greater good and not live selfishly.

19 Comments »

Hissy Fit

I have been in a hissy fit with my folks.

Why?

Often times, I feel like I am not appreciated one bit, even though alot of things fall on my shoulders.

My dad is a difficult man. Though his brain is loopy, he can still remember to be mean to me. I am unsure about his heart but the words he utters (even when not loopy) is pure sarcasm and caustic.

When he was in good mental health and not forgetful, he was also not nice to me. He tends to play favorites with his other 2 children. I have given up on ever getting love from him.

Even in his loopy pre-demented brain or mild cognitive impairment state, he is not helpful nor will he try anything to help self. I am at my wits’ end really.

If I send him to go to the clinic on his own, he will throw away the medicines he get from the doctors. He has done this twice. This results in me getting more busy as I then have to re-take leave and fetch his meds!

But in terms of eating time, he never forgets. Ohhh..he loves his food and will always remember to eat by the clock.

So, I tend to feel that he has selective memory. He chooses what to remember and what to ignore. I wish he was not selfish and can help me with small little chores so that I can be relieved of some of the burden of chores.

I do not live with them just yet. But in time to come, I will have to and I dread the day as it means that my sanity will be at stake.

If I have to live with them, I will ensure that I keep my own unit (which is silly as I could rent it out for income) or get a good hotel rate such that when I need a space of my own to chillax and get away from a sarcastic old man, I will have that privilege to go to a place and sleep.

It is not easy growing old. I fully understand it but sometimes, if one does not help self, it is even tougher.

I will grow old too. When the time comes, I am worst off as I have no one to turn to. I can forget about siblings. I really need to earn and save enough for me to be able to have a decent living standard – not at poverty level and hope that Bird Man or S Man would once in a while drop me a call or text to see if I am alive.

I really do not want to die rotting away at home!

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Nothing Fazes Me But It Hurts Still

Whilst I did my best to wish my father a happy father’s day, he told me that I was insignificant and said I was worth ignoring.

My typical sad story.

I wonder why I try really when in good mental health he never treated me well.

In poor mental health, he is just as nasty to me.

When you are not his favorite, nothing is appreciated.

My heart tells me to hate him. My mouth says it.

No one else bothers about him or my mum.

I have a heavy yoke.

Each and every available vacation day is spent taking an ungrateful dad to the doctor’s.

My hands told me to take the icon of Mother Mary and Jesus hanging in my bedroom and toss it down the rubbish chute – I just did!

It felt good as that God never blessed nor lighten my load. Yes, I will burn in hell. So be it.

I hate God really for making my life a misery everyday, with no end to suffering.

I am tired.

Often times, I feel like committing suicide.

Surely there must be an end to all the difficulties of my life?

48 Comments »

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri To Muslims On WordPress

In lil red dot today, muslims celebrate a special day after one month of holy Ramadan.

I warmly wish all muslim readers a happy hari raya celebration.

Today they will wear new clothes, visit families, friends and feast!

Yes…food such as festive cookies and snacks will be served.

I admire their ability to fast the entire month whilst at work. They must feast up to pile on lost weight haha!

As I have been swamped at work and not catching up with my folks, I made the effort to see them at 7pm last night, though I was dead tired.

I rushed from work to get a haircut for my ugly mop and forgot some documents I needed to do today and had to drag them to my office before we moved on to the airport for my dinner.

By the time I sat down to eat it was 9.30pm. Thankfully I told my parents to eat first before I picked them up as I knew my work schedule was erratic.

In the 2 hours at the airport, I managed to get groceries, eat dinner whilst my parents had desserts and their favorite apam (Indian rice flour pancake) with brown sugar and grated fresh coconut.

I also got dad a chendol, shaved ice with gula melaka (*palm sugar or brown sugar), coconut milk, sweet red beans, kidney beans and green starchy strands. His favorite.

I got mum barley gingko but she did not like it. I boo booed on this choice!

By the time I reached home it was 12.10am.

Though today is a public holiday, I worked the whole day from home.

Monkey Lord and the Board Members tasked me to deliver key performance indicators by 10 August for the entire company, develop an orientation for new board members with insight into last 3 years board papers, develop HR SOPs and policies and give an overview of current organisation structure.

On top of this I have a HR department to run for 160 staff located in 3 different countries.

I have not been this stressed in my entire life as targets are unreasonably short and I only have self plus another assistant.

Lots to do and I have to handle the difficult wife of a 38 year old staff who had a stroke from overworking.

Loads of clean ups and I hope I survive. I woke up puking my guts out from stress and had to drag self to work still.

I don’t know if I can survive this job as it is not a bed of roses. The thorns prick me badly and Monkey Lord wants me to prove self before considering more headcount for me as my last 3 HR head honchos did not survive 6 months. They left in 3 months.

Sigh…I have bad luck indeed! I hope the darn Gods will help me.

5 Comments »

A Conversation With My Mum’s Cardiologist

Last Thursday was my mum’s follow up with her cardiologist at the National Heart Center.

I like Dr Anders from Sweden and my mum and I were very glad he was taking care of her medical case.

As I discussed mum’s case with him, I asked why 2 types of blood pressure control meds were given.

Atenonol was meant to lower heart rate, thereby lowering Blood Pressure (BP).

Yet Amlodipine was prescribed and this raises BP?

Why?

This was my test question to Dr Anders to see how he would tackle my question.

He gave a good valid explanation. Amlodipine opens up all the arteries and makes the heart pump faster to replace blood flowing out.

Light headedness and dizziness would then follow as blood pumping freely. This raises BP.

Before meeting Dr Anders, I had spoken to Prof Fong, physician of Duke of Yore. Prof Fong had explained to me the effects of both drugs.

Dr Anders passed my test. He is one of 2 branches of cardiologists – “electrician”, whereas the other branch is the “plumber”

Dr Anders was impressed about my knowledge and asked me how I knew so much.

I shared with him that I mentored under Dr Oon Chong Teik and I was short of getting a degree to practice. Plus I have been invited before to address the graduating cohort of doctors at NUS Duke Medical program.

Dr Anders gave me the greatest acknowledgement and that was when he lifted his stethescope to hand to me.

I laughed and continued to give feedback on how to make the Heart Center more elder proofed and elder friendly.

He felt that I should be hired as a consultant to the center to improve patient work flow. I would like that but I doubt they would as I have a sharp tongue.

I had given them a couple of written feedbacks before and they realised that much could be further improved for patient care.

All I wanted was a better Heart Center to support seniors.

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What Is Going On In Lil Red Dot?

I am relieved that the traditional rains have returned. It cooled off some areas and it is nice to have clean crisp air to smell after.

I am unsure if there is any truth in this but I personally feel that after a good rain fall, the air smells cleaner! LOL! Maybe it is just me, associating water with cleaning.

Lots of thought has been going through our government’s mind lately because with global warning, we have had flash floods that never happened before. Hence, the need to widen the Stamford canal and create connectors for the rain water to be diverted into our reservoirs and or in underground caverns. This way, we will also have a good water collection system for our daily usage.

Lil Red Dot is tiny and land scarce. By using the underground for electricity stations, gas and other utilities, it frees the surface for more things such as parks, housing and usable land area.

I wonder if in the decades to come, we will have an underground city? I visited Atlanta, Georgia’s underground city once whilst attending a forum and was really impressed at the amount of shops and vibrant life happening.

I visited the plant for Dr Pepper’s, Mountain Dew and its other labels as they had an area for visitors to their plant to taste the different drinks on tap there. It was fascinating.

The underground city was not stuffy nor claustrophobic as I supposed the whole area was air-conditioned. Lighting was normal, although the cobbled stones gave off a reddish hue.

As the world economy progresses, so does Lil Red Dot as we find smarter or better ways to get things done.

Our Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) *see photo I took below* system is an icon and serves us well. But with a new generation tracking system coming up, we will be getting satellite tracking of our road usage and this translate into chargeable road tax.

These ERP gantries are placed at locations where traffic is heavy and each entry can cost $0.50 to $8 per time depending on time of day usage. It can burn a hole in our pockets.

But it successfully curbs traffic jams.

For me who uses the road only to work and back, take my parents out for an outing or their doctor’s appointments and groceries, my usage of the road is negligible compared to those who run around doing sales or marketing.

I for one, should benefit instead of the current one price for all cars of the same litre size capacity.

Anyway, our government is curbing car population and so there will be ways to penalize us as car owners.

Someone has to pay else we cannot have a country…so we all do our part with taxes and levies etc. Such is life in our lil red dot and we are Singaporeans LOL!

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After Tuesday’s Ramblings, It’s Tuesday Grumblings….

We all have our daily struggles in life or to be more positive, I was taught to label these as “Challenges” – but the truth is, I prefer to call a spade, a spade and to me, it is a real struggle.

Not in any order of severity, my daily struggles have been, health, job and family. Nothing new, as this is typically the same with people I know, though some do not have health issues.

In our local slang, we always quip, no health, no wealth. This is true, because when someone has health issues, it means earned income is affected and this truncates into no wealth or all the wealth accumulated gets spent on health care. Lil Red Dot does not have a welfare system. We are taught since young that we must be responsible for our own health and finances.

There are no handouts as we must learn to rely on selves. For those who really need a hand out, a rigorous process of means testing is carried out and only families with total earned income of less that $1,500 can qualify for welfare. The process to get a few hundred dollars a month is a tedious one.

For as long as I can remember, I have been battling health issues. Why? I really have no answer but I could easily allude to an old adage that I must have been really evil in past life, to suffer this karma in present life. Seriously, whenever a doctor does any tests such as scans or MRIs, they usually find a misbehaving bone part. LOL!

I have come to accept it in stride and tell self that que sera sera. If it is badly affecting my mobility and it needs to be fixed, then it has to be.

I have never let my ailments dictate my life. I still work and during my hardest and darkest time in life, with all the pain and agony, I still worked hard, doing easily 12 hours a day.

Arenalin helps to alleviate the pain and once I am in the thick of work, pain is forgotten. I work to forget pain.

As I age (we all do really. I checked and unfortunately I am human), I now worry about old age. Is my squirreled away funds enough? Hardly! As a lil red dotter, we all tend to feel that saving for old age is never quite enough as health care is the biggest worry.

Health care can be costly in lil red dot unless one is savvy to outwit and outplay the system by opting for lowest bed class and without selecting your choice of doctors. Doctors will then be junior trainees, starting from medical officers, to registrar and overseen by a Consultant or Senior Consultant. It then goes to the luck of the draw.

But then, all doctors are good doctors – so long as they are not overworked and you help them think.

Property prices in Singapore has been escalating and as apartment units get smaller in size so that it becomes more affordable for people to buy them, this leaves us with little extra room. No hoarding and not much space other than your teeny tiny rooms, dining and hall both collapsed into one and a shelter for you to return to at night, to sleep and get out.

With foreign talent stopped from entering Singapore through tightening of work passes – because our locals clamored for saving our jobs, passive income earned from rental for retirees who invested in property are almost negligible as properties remain vacant with no or little take up rate.

With supply more than demand, it is a buyer’s market.

For those who qualify for government housing, brand new built to order flats can range from $450,000 upwards, depending on location and size. For those who do not qualify for government housing, will resort to private housing and such tiny condominiums can range from $800,000 upwards.

I once saw an advertisement for a condominium priced at SGD13 million!

So, back to my proverbial question of how do I retire? How can I retire? How do I survive beyond retirement?

Do I do what others do? Buy a second property and hopefully see it as a future source of passive income? Buy stocks and shares and pray the market does not collapse? I hate risky instruments!

Or buy an annuity that pays a monthly income till age 82 and pray for 2 things, that I keel over and croak by then and curse if I live beyond that as penniless and pray that the insurance company does not belly up or else it is game over!

Tons of unanswerable questions and I am none the wiser as to how to retire!

Ah well, back to the drawing board to redo my retirement sums again!

 

16 Comments »

News In Asia & The Homefront

Lil Red Dot is still planning for the inagural summit in June 2018.

Orange Man has not outright said “No” and Rocket Man has kept silent since the last outburst.

I hope for the sake of the world, sanity prevails for the 2 naughty “boys” and world peace is achieved.

Datuk Tun Mahatir, the 92 year old PM of Malaysia has succeeded in getting the royal pardon for Anwar who was imprisoned for 20 years for sodomy. He has since been released and at age 70 is the de facto PM.

Anwar has shared that he will travel, spend time with family and do speaking engagements before getting to Cabinet. His wife is currently the Dy PM and his daughter, an MP.

Tun Mahatir said that he will be PM for 2 years as by then he would be 94 years old. Many shared that he looked 70 years old and I agree as he is both witty, sharp and dapper!

Meanwhile Ex PM Najib’s future is looking bleak as police had raided his homes and found towering orange boxes of Birkin Bags costing up tp tens of thousands each bag. There is even one Birkin Bag touted to be encrusted in diamonds.

Media reports said that a money counting machine was brought to count staggering amounts of cash in his raided homes.

I think that Najib is in a spot of trouble and that the 1MDB matter will be reopened for misappropriation of state funds.

On the home front in lil red dot, we have 2 big bazzaars for Ramadan held at Geylang Serai and 1 Tampines Hub.

Loads of yummy malay treats including novel ideas of Tulang in a plastic tub for sale with noodles.

Tulang is a bone marrow soupy dish of mutton or beef. I have not tried it but many fans of soup Tulang enjoys this dish.

I was tired out after half a day with mum. She was chided by a fellow patient waiting for their turn to stop whining about doing a urine test. She was advised against being stubborn and use a proper walking stick.

Yes, mum has decided to stick with a flimsy plastic umbrella as her walking stick and refused to use the red orchid one at the Botanics. I failed miserably in trying to get her to go to the shop there with her to buy it.

I am tired of her whining and she left the clinic’s doctor after he said that she probably had muscular spasms. The same opinions of cardiologist and family practitioner.

She said that her family practitioner is a “useless doctor” and is paranoid that she is having the same cancers of her late sister (liver cancer) and friend (lung cancer).

The mind is a powerful tool and if she wills it for cancer, then it will happen.

Come August, I will take her to see a geriatrician and subject her to the myriad if tests she wants to hunt for cancer.

This will not do her any good but if it is to feed her paranoia, I have to do it and in August I will be swamped with plenty of her ridiculous medical tests to find what she wants.

I just hope that my new employer will allow me to attend to her silliness.

I wanted to ask mum…so what if we find the cancer you want? What next?

Mum has very poor threshold for pain and all because of her fall and muscular spasms she alludes to similiar severity of pain as her sister and friend in end stage cancers of liver and lung.

I am frustrated with the personality changes of mum and her changes to cause her to swear at me in front of a crowded hospital area that I will face own suffering and cancers as her because I will not back down on wanting her to practise good hygiene after toilet and using a proper walking stick. She told everyone that I am a very bad daughter.

I stayed cool and told the same audience that my mum need not swear or curse at me as I am already suffering pain everyday since 18 years old and that my pain never lets down. Plus I am single and so my karma is a wicked one as I will not have the luxury of a child or sibling to care about me when I grow old.

I then smiled at mum and said…”satisfied now?”

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