Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

Harassed For Work When On Annual Leave

One thing about our work culture in lil red dot that could use some improvement is that work fellas should not contact the other when on annual paid vacation or after office hours.

I laughed when I read in the papers that a former actress contacted work staff after work hours and was reported to HR in Paris where she lived and work!

I loved it!

Singaporeans have been so used to just texting people what they want or to get something done in the middle of the night, on public holidays, or in the wee hours of the morning!

I get text messages at 2am!

I got so mad today as the minutes of meeting took a toll on me and it was the straw that broke this camel’s back.

I snapped!

I took a day’s paid leave and had wanted some self time. Instead I am inundated with work.

Crazy deadlines given to me to complete minutes of meeting held last night ending at 6 pm to be done in 2 days when I am on annual vacation, followed by off site meetings or on the way to the clinic to see my doctor.

I challenged the person asking for it and said that I will approach the Board to say it is humanly inhumane to set such a criteria of work. Sheesh!

The incompetency of some people who cannot churn out the minutes or get their act together and need a longer lead time and in so doing sets such an unreasonable time line to me is unacceptable.

Why 2 days? Because the moron who is doing the circulating needs 1 week to send out an email!

I literally lashed out! 1 week to push your fingers to tap out an email to send to the people in the meeting for vetting of minutes and I get 2 days to create minutes of meeting that took 1.5 hours?

Illogical really!

I get harassed from different work mates for things they want.

I told Ms Feisty to tell them that I was on my way to get self cremated. Can they wait? Even after I die, I need to buy a coffin and so, stop harassing me for work.


To add to the sarcasm, I told Ms Fesity to hang a sign on my office door, waiting to be cremated, you have to wait!

There should be a rule for colleagues to respect one’s work times and not unnecessarily bother one who is on vacation leave or in hospital.

When I was in hospital for a month and post hospitalization convalescence, I worked the same 12 hours as emails, text messages and calls kept coming to me.

All Singaporeans need to learn work life balance really and allow one to heal or spend time with their families.

Boon and bane of being efficient. Maybe I need to be less efficient so people will stop looking for me for work.


904 Publishing Streak On WordPress & New Moans!

Ok, it seems I am admittedly verbose, with heaps to say on paper or print! But I have genuine grouses and lemony stuff to report 😉

I am happy that I am at 904 for continuous publishing as it is my self achievement of being disciplined to blog about stuff.

Besides the humor streak in me, I assure you that there is this very frightened and stressed out being in Garfield Hug that has tons of think thoughts about her future and where it is heading.

Since I do not have that much needed crystal ball to gaze into, I do not know what tomorrow brings.

Each new day is a surprise for me and sometimes, it is manageable and sometimes it is not.

My follow up consult with my new found surgeon, Dr Bones is another shocker to me. Ok – I know that I will be forever in need of a slice and diced but to hear it formally from an accomplished surgeon is a reality check!

I am genetically predisposed to a lot of bony issues.

Dr Bones said that we will be seeing a lot of each other as I had a multitude of bone issues that cannot be solved in one go.

I agree with him and am glad to have found him as he can take care, wholistically, my spinal structure or skeleton i.e where damn bones are!

For one, I am pre-disposed genetically to bone spurs and so, every now and then when a bone spur reaches a sizeable threat, it is “out you damn bone” time.

Dr Bones is a pious Christian and he openly told me that he only takes care of “real patients” and not fake ones i.e. those without heart.

I could tell he is a sensitive kind soul and he shared with me that he inherited a down and broke patient whose leg was supposed to have been amputated but decided on reconstruction.

Having been tapped out of SGD1 million in medical costs racked up, he was taken in by Dr Bones.

Dr Bones is doing it pro bono to help this patient.

I am glad that Dr Bones see me as a “real patient” – by definition, a “real patient” is one who carries no airs and is not difficult in character to manage.

Dr Bones is very wary of my case as he is unfamiliar with my medical condition and he is apprehensive, taking a conservative approach.

Dr Bones will do what he thinks is best for me to remove some pain, but NOT ALL PAIN!

Impossible he says, given my medical condition.

Sigh! I know I am born to suffer.

Dr Bones, like Dr James, both echoed the same – God has HIS plan for me! Gee for crying out loud, email me the darn plan as God seems to have forgotten about me.

So, now, I have as a 2 in 1, two good surgeons with spiritual encouragement. A boon and a plus!

Dr Bones will definitely need to remove the culprit bone spur that is causing me arm mobility issue and will not do anything to the inflammed scapular except to do a steroid jab in the operating theater into the joint.

He hopes this will abate the inflammation and allow me to lift my arm.

Next is my left foot. It seems I have an extra piece of bone that has come loose and needs to be removed and the ligaments redone! I asked a simple question as to why my foot hurts so much when I walk and Dr Bones looked at the Xray and delivered the news!

For now, I always joke and say that I cannot even lift my hand to slap any one who offends me. Looks like I have to add, I cannot even kick anyone who offends me too!

Sigh….more lemons sent my way!

Lemonade or other lemony treats anyone?


Daily Worries

I worry about how to care for my parents as they age.

I worry about end times in my parents life span.

I worry about life post “after parents are gone to heavenly realm”

I worry about financials.

I worry about how long more I can physically work given my many surgeries.

I worry about my coming surgery on 27 December 2019.

I worry about my own old age.

I worry about my own mobility issues as I age, given I am single.

I worry if I will have enough finances for my old age.

I worry too much.

I should just live one day at a time and address the nuances as challenges or little hurdles to cross then it comes.

It is a curse to have a brain that actually likes to be mentally prepared for all sorts of scenarios and be the strongest in the family to react decisively.

Automatically, I become the go to guy and problem solver, by default and the one who speaks, naturally bears all cost.

Sigh! What a year end reality check on my life! Blahh!

Garrrrrfieeeeld where are you, I need a hug!


Isolation Or Self Time

Other than the radio that is playing in the background as I work on my laptop to do my blog posts, I am surrounded by silence of human kind.

No noise of any sorts.

No chit chatting in the back ground.

Just Garfield, my inanimate furball left in a heap where I left him. He seems tranquil and serene, with his beady eyes staring back at me.

Have I become isolated?

I prefer to think of it as self time.

Time to recover from each time, I spend an entire day of rushing about to get my parents to their medical appointments.

I get frustrated as I have to yell at the top of my voice as my mum is hearing impaired and she would tell strangers that I shout at her.

To the public, I am an abuser of the elderly as I shout at my mum. Sigh! If only they knew that she will not cooperate and choose to listen when she wants to listen and blare out to the public that I shout at her.

On the other hand, whilst I am looking out for the call numbers on the leder board for their appointment times to be called, Dad will keep asking me what is the number!

What is the point dad? I would hiss back? You keep asking me and you forget. What is the point of telling you when you are of no help to me?

As for mum, she keeps harping on why it is still not her turn to see the doctor?

It is typically a 2 hour wait at the government hospitals to queue and see the doctor, despite an appointed time of say 10am.

Again, I would hiss at mum, be patient and wait your turn!

Then, when it is almost her turn, mum will want to go to the toilet and I will then miss a heartbeat as I must hurry her to the loo and back otherwise, I will miss her turn and rejoin the queue for another 2 hours.

Next is rushing to get their medicines – another queue of an hour at the least and then tell them to sit and wait for me at the seats at the drop off/pick up point as my car is parked quite far away.

Whilst I am trying to dash off to get to the pharmacy, mum insists they have to eat lunch!

Gee…12pm on the dot and the food at the hospital is not as fun as I was planning to take them to a nicer place for their favorite curry fishhead.

Can you not wait till 1pm?

Of course not!

I drop everything and shuffle them to the cafeteria and order them some food.

By the time I picked them up, it was 1pm and on entering the car, mum complained that the food tasted bad! Hrrumph! I told you so mum but you will not listen, so there!

Next was to rush them both to another location for their next doctor’s appointments.

I was hungry and tired and by the time I could sit down and have a bite, it was almost 4pm.

I was famished but wait….I had to order their tea break before I can sit down and shovel food down my gullet.

But by then mum wants me to take her to the store that is selling her favorite biscuits and so, after quickly shovelling food down my throat, I shuffled her off to the store, but not forgetting to remind my dad not to move away from the table and sit quietly there, sipping his teh si and wait for us. I do not need him to be wandering about and getting lost.

Mum ended up buying a lot of things and despite my torn shoulder tendon, I had to painfully lug her purchases back to the food stall where I left dad.

Tired, in pain and pooped out, I cannot say out loud my suffering. Who is to listen at my moans?

I look back at what I endure each time. This is called “parenting” of elderlies and I had to do it as there is no one else for them.

My sister nor brother are not bothered and even if I told them of my physical pain or tiredness, I will not get any sympathy.

I get crabby and snappish at the end of a 10 hours shift with mum and dad and so, today is my self time – my selfish isolation time, far from humans to recuperate and get well.

When I grow old, I will have no one to help me but me, myself and I.

I leave it to what will be, will be.

I will be a lonely old coot with no one to grumble at except Garfield. Hopefully by then Garfield still has enough stuffing to be with me wholesome like.


Pigeons – Birds Or Scavengers?

This is the path that I take to get to the Botanical Gardens and it is usually littered with pigeons, lots of them!

Pigeons are now somewhat a pest in lil red dot.

They multiply very quickly and would descend on hawker centers or kopi tiams (heartland coffee shops) as left over food sits on the table until the cleaning crew cleans the food plates and utensils.

They would swoop down and feed.

Seniors would also throw cooked rice or bread crumbs on the grassy verge of their block if flats to feed the pigeons.

Genorosity if table scraps and bread crumbs thrown to feed the pigeons make them come back.

So much so that they become bold to pick or peck food off plates that the person is currently supping on.

Plus, these pigeons love pooping on cars, diners or on tables and chairs.

These faecal matter are a danger to public health.

The humble pigeon is no longer just a bird, but a nuisance and or a pest.


Building Ice Castles In The Air

Ambition ran high in my schooling years,

I did not have any fears.

I aimed to be a surgeon actually but when the sight of my pet doberman being stitched up made me faint, I knew it was out the window.

A dream of an ambition nuked, just like a melted ice castle.

I had the gift of the gab and fluency in the English language.

I figured I could be a lawyer.

By the time I reach graduating age, the lawyering days went downhill and more lawyers were out of jobs and a tightening of licences to be a lawyer dwindled to save the profession.

Another ambition bites the dust.

I decided to be an all rounder at work. Hmm..not only did I become an all rounder at work, physically too! HA!

I took on purchasing, operations, management, accounts (I hated this), administration before finally settling down on human resources.

If I had gone straight to human resources without walking the ground, I think I will make a bad human resources person as I would not understand operational requirements or what makes a person tick.

Am I artificial intelligence (AI) proof?

I have to keep up with softwares and new ideas or trends.

I am methodical in thinking and so, I spend time deriving the path to the goal of a software development to help reduce my workload.

Statutes or laws surrounding humans must be interpreted and input into the software such that the right values or sums of costs to be paid as wages, social contributions and the like.

By working with people in Africas, Americas, Australasia and Asia, I learnt the different rules and laws that affects humans.

The mantra of Be All You Can Be, is true for me.

Whilst the economy changed and tide ebbed and flowed, I tossed with the waves. When tsunami hits, I hit the ground wrecked, injured and a little bit wiser.

When the calm stills the waters, I sail and aspire new heights.

So do I need riches, glorification of titles or a long time available job?

I choose the latter.

Riches come, riches go.

Titles mean squat if it does not pay well – CEO is nothing more than Chief Everything Officer. I rather be a low titled person but the getting the best of pay for little work to be done.

I need not show off my capabilities. Low profile attracts lesser office politics and I get to survive.

Give me survival skills anytime as riches, can be shortlived as office politics will always reign supreme is my take.


Sunday Thoughts

Mr Docile is having a lovely time in Barcelona, Spain and shared that he is enjoying the scenery and glorious food!

Typical Singaporeans who travel the world with a discerning palate.

I know he loves good vino as well and am sure he and his family are having an epicurean feast for each meal.

My shoulder is hurting and will continue to hurt till the darn bone spur is removed surgically.

I reflected on friendships and relationships again.

At different stages of my life, I have had friends who showed up again after a lapse of years and or made new ones.

The blessing in all this is that I was never “abandoned” when I needed a friend or help.

However, I do get upset when I approach a person for help and they choose to ignore or the person I “expect” to help me does not offer help.

Is “expectation” wrong?

Can a wife expect a husband for help? Or is it wrong to have expectations?

Can a partner expect the other to be there for each other?

If I made a promise to another and I do not fulfill is, am I, the promisor at fault or the promisee?

Promises (yes sounds like I am in Kindie, like a kid with pinky promises) are not contractual I guess but I do like to keep promises I make.

If I cannot keep a promise then, I would refrain from promising anyone I can do this or that.

I was berated for expecting a promise to be kept.

I was chided that I had “expectations” by the promisor.

I am old fashioned and a romantic at heart.

I give trust and love – would help where I can, to be best of my ability in deeds as I am not of philanthropic net worth to be dishing out millions of dollars!

Someone I know close to 31 years, would always throw something bad at me when I share any sadness or pain in health matters.

“My neck and shoulder is hurting painfully”


“Something bad happened to me. In discussion now with some people after class”

“What happened?”


“Tell you face to face when we meet” – silence ensued.

“Surgeons finally found the cause of my unexplainable shoulder pain. I have a nasty bone spur that is sawing my tendon when I use my arm.


“I have a strange illness and I have to be extra extra careful. Will be going to TTSH to confirm”

I have decided with much heartache that this is not a friend I need or want to keep any longer.

I cannot seek this friend’s help to lug groceries or help me with heavy household items. This friend will never assign or set aside time to help me to get food either as constant claims of terribly busy with alot of appointments in diary.

I often wondered why I cannot be penned in?

But my friend has time to champion eco causes, petition against a sentence passed by a judge for molestation charges and so on….

Would you keep this person who replies you like this?

I would drop this “friend” like a hot potato right?!

Silly me to keep this baggage for 31 years thinking a friendship or a relationship exists.


This & That

Eunuch has been very kind, not bothering me with work matters. He also took the trouble to send me 72 bottles of Brand’s Berry Essence. These are high in antioxidants and come in a tiny screw on jar.

It would have set him back easily $200.

I am touched by his kindess.

Monkey Lord sent me his best wishes and loads of good luck for each of the tests.

Ms Feisty has been working closely with me on the hundreds of items that popped up from work. When I return on 30 September, I am involved in an investor’s audit.

I hope we get the investor’s interest to get things going.

The economic climate is touted to be slowing down as Trump wages trade war with Beijing, Hong Kong is still at its peak for democracy demonstrations and key proponent of the Students’ Movement led by Joshua Chua has been busy at the White House.

Not good for businesses around the world.

Is globalization dead?

How can anyone afford to retire in such turbulent times – I say this with caution as there is no outright war or famine or anything of the sort but restructuring in organisations and usage of artificial intelligence has displaced jobs and Mr Fake It All is having a hard time keeping his job.

He texted me to ask if there were opportunities at my company as he was for sure, due to be laid off.

It will be hard for Mr Fake It All as he has 2 young lads and a wife who is a home maker. When he worked with me, I too, felt his level of comprehension for the area of work he is tasked with is rather poor.

Perhaps he has upgraded self? Or if I can gently advise him to take on a portfolio that is within his ambit of experience then he will not be facing job losses ever so often.

The economy is not buoyant. Many are facing the struggles or challenges of it and those in business for selves are fighting costs and fledgling sales.

I am never gung ho for self entrepreneurial risks and have always been a minion. I work my hardest, despite being ill or whatever – so long as I can speak and my brain works, I respond to work and get it done.

I am blessed to have a job and can provide for self needs.


The Enveloping Haze Around Lil Red Dot

The forest fires of Kalimantan and Riau Islands have caused our lil red dot to be enveloped in smoky haze.

It is unhealthy and typically funny good natured Singaporeans are up in arms making all sorts of video clips on the haze, making fun of it.

We are a strange lot of people. We make satire out of unpleasant situations and have a laugh over it as we know that our government is going all out through international relations (Foreign Affairs Ministry) to offer fire fighting help to Indonesian government if required.

One of the jokes coming out between governments is that the Indonesians claim we never thank their forests for 11 months of good quality air and instead complain over 1 month of bad air quality when they clear forests through slash and burning by local companies in Indonesia.

Another satire is that 2 ministers of each country sit and compare why the need to apologize for the haze by using a fart as an example that is released when they both meet. Shouldn’t the one who farted then apologise for the bad smell!

It is Friday and I am into the Dead Week of Hospitalization week and know that I will be back at work soon.

My shoulder still hurts and so does my neck but I am told that it takes 6 to 8 months for neck lacerations to heal and swelling to abate.

Ms Classmate is into Day 4 of her trip to Seoul, S Korea, and I am seeing the lovely scenic photos she sent me. She is what I term an Ajuma as she really embraces the Korean lifestyle to the point of learning Korean.

I do envy her ability to see life in a different perspective and live a life without baggage.

I am not anywhere near her level of intellect and wish to aspire for her outlook and life’s philosophy.

I am beginning to learn to let go of unpleasant things and let others do what they want, even if it brings me harm or unhappiness.

It is perhaps a way of past versus present life’s deeds.


Boon & Bane Of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

I have always worked in company jobs that require me to be on call 24/7 – twenty four hours a day and 7 days a week.

With AI, life gets even more demanding as whats app messaging requires an almost immediate reply!

I can hear Ms Feisty’s frustration when the message is sent and has 2 blue ticks (denotes the message has been read) but no reply comes.

I have gone through the eras of smart messaging services, cell phones, emails, now app chats.

As I work in tandem with demands, I also demand the same of my service providers.

So, I got a bit riled up when a surgical practice I am a patient of, is lost in Jurassic Park.

I can understand the need to maintain a 9am to 5pm clinic operating hours and keeping Saturdays strictly 9am to 1pm.

I called at 4.45pm, no one picks up.

No messaging service, no voice mail.

I dialled more than 5 times.

No email address for me to write to.

I can understand that the surgeon is holed up in operating theatres but if post operation has no administrative support for follow ups, then as a patient, am I left to my own devices?

I feel abandoned because this is the second case of “go fend for yourself”

When I finally received a human voice, I was rather strict to explain to the clinic that I am not so fortunate a being to work to suit their clinic hours.

If Saturdays have limited follow up slots then I will not be able to follow up.

I work from 6am to past 8pm.

I have a gruelling work schedule and if I am repeatedly told “limited slots” then do pray tell me if there is a slot 3 months, 6 months or 1 year in advance, I snapped.

Besides, why can’t the clinic move with the times and have smart messaging services so that physically no one needs to be at the clinic but patient needs are attended to for appointments.

Truth be told and I adopt the philosophy of Drs James Tan and Dr Pang Boon Chuan who did a 16 to 18 hour surgical procedure on me in 2013, what else can anyone do, post operation?

They both told me to forget about the need to do a follow up as it was unlikely they were going to unscrew the titanium rods and implants.

What is done is basically done!

If I suffered from any other issues, I will have to seek medical treatment elsewhere or force self to obtain an appointment.

I think with AI, businesses will change and those who refuse to change, either dies out with the trade and becomes obsolete or move up and innovate to meet new needs of the times.