Friday, March 31, 2006

View from Above

7:48 pm and I'm writing from a cubicle neighbour's place. Staff are using my PC to redo their assessment, I haven't even started on mine. I'm double booked this evening, have to meet my brother and also drinks with a customer. To add to that I'm exausted from the trip to Johor.

Yep, took an early flight for a contract nego in Johor. Then rushed back to the office to finish up work and the hellsent PPA. Haven't had dinner, but ate some leftover grapes in the meeting room from this afternoon's meeting.

I'm tired of a lot of things. Work is just one of it.

Cutback 24 hours ago, I was having drinks with buddies from work (which I hardly ever do really). Then we retired to a mamak and were joined by a few others - whom I'm meeting for the first time. There's Mr Moviemaker, the engineer and the expat-at-home - all from the company, or at least were ex company. We went to a bar later on and had red coloured drinks in a very smoky interior. The band was nothing to shout about, had a discussion if they were from a local or from a neighbouring country.

As the night wore on, the red liquids began to get drained. I began to get very fascinated with the way the lights created nice patterns on the ceiling fan, purple and green flowers. After a final round, they hopped to another place just down the road. I began to risk missing my flight the next day - so I hobbled home.

Cutback to today, made the flight. Nego was surprisingly easy. But work is still piled up. More than I thought. There were shipment problems and things to settle. But what the fuck..

Felt: Tired and Fed up
Seen: The News on TV3
Heard: Fly FM

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Stupid Assessments Part Deux

HAHAHAH.. Screw the damn PPA.. I've to submit it tomorrow and am currently very very "happy"... heheheh.. going off for more happiness now... AHHAHAHAA...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006



true love -
like touching clouds
of heaven,
and the tingling calm of
delicious silky laughter.

desire -
like the anxious hope
of patience,
and eyes long awake with
long forbidden hunger.

Copyright ©2006 Rizal Repin

Is it ever going to end?

I can't believe they are making us redo the entire assessment again. For the love of God! Help us!

Well its 7:15pm and I'm just about to recalculate the entire assessment ie. redo, because of another top-down decision. Apparently the way we were doing it was not reflective of whatever it is it was supposed to be reflective of. Someone said that the big boss wanted to give someone the pariah rankings.. so he can't just be selective on the figures for whoever the unfortunate soul is, he has to hit the system and make it similar across the board for all of us. This would maintain an aura of fairness, however at the expense of logic. Cest la vie..

Something Creepy?

Its been written already.. so if you want to read the stuff about that creepy thing which got my hairs standing on end almost all night, read here..

Anyone for a game of old maid?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Its still early and my blood pressure is already up. Time to take a breather. There' a lot of politicking and maneuvering going on nowadays. I think its more of the hazards of the position. We've got external partners trying to get more control and heads up on our operations, got managers lobbying to get their staff higher grades, shipowners on my ass, plus the Gods of productions need to be appeased practically daily. I've got a lunch with one of them, hoping to resolve several outstanding issues by making some food offerings and the ritual kow-tows.

Hmm, looks like the time has come to see the high priests..

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Ever done something that you probably shouldn't and now you are wondering how to live with the consequences? That's kinda what I feel like right now. Human life is like that, always living in some sort of regret. Part of what makes us human I suppose.

I learned not too long ago (as part of a negotiations exercise) that all decisions are made at a moment of strong or high emotions. A person can be the most analytical guy in the world, however at the point of the decision, at the micro-second where he makes the call, the one little thing that pushes him over the edge.. is the emotion. If you are able to control that emotion, you can control their decision.

Think about that for a while.

We're all such emotional creatures, its a wonder if there is ever such a thing as the "rational decision."

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Poem Day

The Manic Mistletoe

A manic Mistletoe came to me,
on a snowy December morn.
She said "Kiss me! Kiss me!"
"Before this special day is gone."
"What special day?", I asked
"What auspicious day is this?"
"A season of good greetings?"
"On a quiet day of bliss?"

The before I could continue,
she kisses my face with glee,
a sloppy, sloshy, smoochness
that drips down to my knees!
"Eeew! Gross!", I say
"What a disgusting, sickly smooch,"
"Don't do that again Mistletoe,"
"I'd much rather kiss a pooch!"

"Hee hee!" said the Mistletoe,
"Hee tee-hee, tee-hee"
"Smooching wet lovely kisses,"
"Kiss me! Kiss me! Kiss me!"
The manic fairy flips a wing,
and flew up high away,
then dives down in spiral lights,
so beautiful if I may say.

"Wait little Mistletoe," say I
"Don't go away just yet,"
"Are you real? Are you true?"
"Are you some sick man's little pet?"
"Kiss-kiss! Me-me!"
She wants to smooch again!
Horrors and No! Thought I,
No more saliva stains!

The manic Mistletoe came up close,
her mouth drips with spit.
If you've met with fairies,
You'll know this disgusting bit!
My mind begins to reel,
I have to think quick,
The phonebook! Get the phonebook!
Oh God, this is sick!

She puckers up her lips,
and closes her eyes shut,
I tremble at the thought of it,
the slimy little slut!
I waited till she's really close,
and the air stank with drool,
then slammed the phonebook shut,
and squashed the goddamned little fool!

Copyright ©2006 Rizal Repin

Friday, March 10, 2006

Performance Planning & Assessment (PPA)

Wish I could run down to eat. Right now I'm just waiting for the GM to get in the office. He just flew in from India this morning at 6am and was reportedly heading straight to the office. Since the bugger is not in yet, he must have gone home first.

Our PPA is due next week 17 March. I've got to assess 6 people. The weird thing about our system here is that managers are assessed by their peers. So other than my Senior Manager, I also have 5 assessments from my staff and 3 assessments from my peers. Here's what they think of me, these were done during mid year review (yup we have 2 to 4 assessments per year!) - spelling and grammar left as they were..

Plus: "He is an effective manager. Able to understand his subordinates well. "
Minus: "In the area of task delegation, there's still room of improvement."

Plus: "Good communication both verbal and writing."
Plus: "Very committed and reliable individual and meets deadlines despites his busy schedules."
Plus: "The incumbent clearly demonstrate, in his daily routine, a profound leadership quality that can be accepted by the superior, peers, subordinate and even established customers."
Plus: "Friendly but very firm. Can be branded as one of Petronas future LEADERS."
Plus: "Very competent in Propylene trading. Have good and reliable networks. Shows very stable emotional behavior espescially dealing with third parties."

Minus: "Cost control and monitoring, i.e. to enhance his skill relates to business analysis and economic modelling to enable him to tip top in all fronts."
Minus: "He should be considered for job rotation within Petronas OPUs and at least one oversea assignment." - This guy wants to get rid of me!
Minus: "Need more management skills. Need skills to be a true leader."
Minus: "Sometimes can be very tempremental, needs to be improved."

Anyway those are just some of the comments, which really only make up of about 25% of my rating. The other 75% are hard data and sales/trading targets. As you get higher up, as much as 50% of your rating can come from your peers and subordinates. So you better be a good boss. You can't screw your staff and expect a good rating, at the same time, can't treat them too well that your peers think you're too easy to bully. Plus your boss also comments, but I can't see where he puts his comments. Can't read it.

Can we cheat this system? Any ideas how?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Long night

It's 3am and I just got back. Not quite drunk, rather high - still ok enough to slip the cops basically. It was one of those days - and became one of those nights. The whole morning was spent with the new CEO. He's a nice fler. Then spent the afternoon working a board paper. My boss escaped by heading out for training. Then at the end of the day, claimed he was too tired to come into the office and asked us for a meeting at his hotel. Dumb ass.

Evening was more interesting. More debauchery and drunkenness, in true oil and gas style. Had a customer from Singapore come in - wanted a night out. It was Mr Beemer's customer, and since he's out of budget, I had to cover for this case. So I dutifully followed Mr Beemer to a dinner and then followed by the ole karaoke session.

Dinner was nice. I wholeheartedly recommend Pregos.. Its a very chic Italian joint at the Westin. Very nice food. Excellent service. Cool crowds and fantastic Italian wine. We had 2 bottles - after trying out several. Ended up with an Aussie Merlot and Italian Chianti. Our customer picked the vintages, so fortunately for us he wasn't totally lost when it came to wine and we came up on top.

Food was great. The other two had racks of lamb and I took this weird salted seabass dish. The fish came whole and covered in salt. Huge rock ones. So the waiter took 5 minutes to carve out the fish and present it to me. It was nice, though I should have had red meat.

Pregos apparently has a fantastic one of a kind buffet on Sundays. During brunch around 11am to 3pm on Sundays they serve a buffet with food from their ala-carte menu. Which I find to be damn cool. Best part is buffet includes free flow of champagne and cocktails! Wow.. drunk on Sunday afternoon, gotta try that next week. Bad news is the price: RM 150 plus. But since the food is great, and if you like champagne then its a good deal.

We retired to SS for the karaoke session. Pling thought it would be a sleazy joint, but really its not that bad. It's got girls, but the place is not seedy - its the one on the ground floor of KL Plaza. The rest of our "kakis" joined in after a while and we ended up with 10 people in a rather large room: 5 boys and girls.

My last visit to SS, I ended up with Arlene, fake name forgotten. She was one of my mom's ex students at BBGS. Small world. So you can figure out how that turned out. This time it was Kris, real name Aliana. She's a 27 year old mother of 3 from Terengganu - mix of Thai, Chinese and Malay. So that went well too. But she's a looker though. Could easily pass off as a college student.

Anyway, we really meet interesting people out there. Kris started working there to make some money and put herself through school. But that's what they all say. As she mentioned her kids, I said I was married too. She mentioned she was divorced, but dating some dude in Singapore. She asked if I was trying to have kids, so I said yeah.. sort of. She thinks babies are more like God's gifts. There are people out there been trying for ages, but never got even one. Then there are those like her, screwing around when she was 19 and got preggers to her then boyfriend who became ex-husband some years later. So point is you can never really plan - things just screw up with you and you just have to make the best of it. I tried to agree.

She planned to get through school and open a boutique or a cafe. Sigh, 9 out of 10 GROs I meet say the same thing. But they never really get around to doing it. Very few in fact I know who actually have a business outside. In the end, if they get lucky, someone marries them. Those with luggage (kids) fare even worse. Most turn to prostitution or end up doing GRO work until they are no longer wanted. After that, they usually disappear.

She left early with a friend, around about 1am. The rest of us hung around until about 2am before making a move. Mr Beemer said it nicely on the way out; "We have to find something else to do to entertain, someplace where there are fewer people so desperate for love."

Happy International Women's Day?

Seen: EPL Football action
Felt: Helpless
Heard: Karaoke voices

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Busy day

Wow.. its been a very busy day for me. I don't know how they manage to justify just one manager running this whole damn outfit. Sometimes it just doesn't make much sense. There really is too many things to do - if I had to do everything on my own I think I'll be having meetings all day long. With finance, risk management and operations/logistics. So nowadays really learning to rely on the team - actually they are on their own now most of the time. I just pick out the meetings I need to join to speed things up.

Had two meetings just this afternoon - practically took over my lunch hour. Then the internal meetings. It seems that all my work is centered around deciding things, disturbing people, making sure things get done and going to meetings. Sucks.

Spoke to the new CEO for the first time today. Not bad the fler, can joke around some more when my ship is going to hit demurrage in 12 hours! Ok lah, at least not like the last one - screw you upside down, ask you to quit (usually because you're "not worth it") THEN try to resolve the issues. But on the plus side, these angry CEOs are usually predictable, which makes life easier. I'm still not sure where the new guy is coming from, can't read the fler yet. Well, meeting the bugger tomorrow, so we see lah.

Anyway, now I'm hungry. But cannot eat, stomach still don't feel too good. Could be the cough medications.

Felt: Queezy
Seen: ESPN Live
Heard: Fly FM

Monday, March 06, 2006

fish porridge


Had my favourite fish porridge last night after dinner - just before sleeping. I think the thing has been out too long already. Not 20 minutes after I finished downing a bowl, my stomach felt weird and the porridge wanted to come out again.

This was about 2am maybe 3am, so what to do lah.. sat it out and had some gassy drinks to burp my way out (my usual remedy). Worked, but today still feeling rather queezy. Could be the lack of sleep.. ugh. Could be the bad porridge.

Recently been sick or injured quite a bit. Since CNY got problem after problem. Wifey also same thing. Hopefully we're just getting rid of all the bad karma now so that second half of the year we're much healthier.

The girlfriend of my beemer driving friend, let's call him Mr Liverpool also down. While doing a CAT scan for something in the tummy they found a tumour like subtance in the kidney. Now have to operate and suspect cancer.. alamak.. so we just can hope for the best.

At LB: today we're going to have a training session at 8-10pm on communications/presentation. At 10.30 there's a team gathering - for Duke Zacc's team. Hope I can make it pass the training lah.. very tired already.

Felt: Tired & Sick (no kidding)
Seen: Academy Awards (parts of it)
Heard: Marion Raven

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Poem day

eyes closed

eyes closed
the obliging censure
sight thickens, soulless to words.
hearts beat
hands tremble into the fire
burning blood, a soulful brew
lips moved
kissed censured glistened eyes
like nectar, sweet sorcerous wine
eyes closed
the obliging censure
fuels old but simple thoughts:
- eyes closed,
to me?

Copyright ©2006 Rizal Repin

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

What is it with these quacks?

I went to the doc's today - again. Must be 3rd time these last couple of weeks. Firstly, he still says I'm getting better, although the cough I went to see him about more than a week ago is still there. So he did the usual checking and says this is a new one lah.. the first one almost got better then I caught a new virus or something and he begins loading up the prescription. This time he tripled the amount of medication I have to take. Get this, I'm being prescribed asthma medication, despite not having that condition. Then he gets me a bunch of allergy pills just to round it up.

Problem with doctors nowadays is that they don't really treat the condition, they address the symptoms. Have headache? Have some painkillers. Got cough? Hmm that could be, bacterial, viral, asthma or allergy.. here take them all, tell me if it gets better.

The docs I had growing up used to be able to explain why I'm probably having headaches, our conversation would last more than the requisite 5 min check that they now perform. How can you diagnose anything in under 10 minutes? I remember sitting down and talking for 30 minutes with some of my old doctors - they ask everything, what we are eating, excersise, work, any injuries et cetera. For example, when I had neck pains and back pains, the doctor said my pains were a result of the viral infection on my throat. Did he ask if I did any heavy lifting recently? No. Did he ask if I had an accident that may have caused the problem? No. So I volunteered the info, but did he take it into account? No. Something wrong there la. He just wanted me out so he can give me my required pain killers and see the next guy in line.

While exchanging horror medical stories with another friend. She mentioned her experience with a couple of doctors who went overboard with the examinations. Getting rather touchy and stuff. When she told the bugger off, he just brushed it aside and cut the visit short.

What are they teaching in med schools nowadays? Or is it like everything else in our life and even the medical profession has become something about money only.