What Results? Can Eat One?

I have been so entrenched in working life that I forgot that today is exam grades release. My friend from NTU whatsapped me this morning to wish me all the best and I was like “Results?! What?!” No wonder I slept so well last night.

Moving on to a larger picture – Results, honors grades classification, grades, marks….. I realised that they don’t matter to me at the end of the day. This status encapsulates the change in my mindset after being subjected to over a decade thereabout of Singaporean education. Sorry, I just had to add in the adjective “Singaporean”.

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With regards to that comment, I didn’t get that “good” results as compared to other cohort mates. Of course there would be 1 or 2 modules that play the role of a letdown every semester. In the past I would be so upset and beat myself over it. But this time I was nonchalant. Seriously, who cares what you have learnt in school? Your 4000 word essays/ Final year project/ Independent Study Modules/Thesis is not going to secure you a career (unless you want to go into academia but that is another story because no one cares what the shit academics are doing).

But your attitude is. Job hunting is a test of persistence and resilience. Your career is actually fragile – not in a sense where you get fired when you made a mistake, but more of allowing the stress to get the better of you and quitting on yourself.

Started with 100% enthusiasm and passion for History. Graduated with none. I have to thank my working experiences (past and present) for providing me with a direction in life.

TLDR, I can’t be arsed to type a long ass post because no one likes to read and digest 25,000 words. Ciao!

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I have decided to password protect the post below.

I don’t want to sully any reputation of any party or individual, nor allow this post to spread like wildfire and give birth to rumors.

Nevertheless, I am by no means deleting this post. Erasing part of my feelings is like leaving a void in the entire work experience. I want to keep these memories – both unpleasant and enjoyable, as bedrock to remind myself how far I have gone, should I look back one day.

Hello Kitty Cafe Singapore

Disclaimer: If you happened to chance upon my review, I am informing you in advance that my review is not a photo spam or a food porn fest. Our visit to the cafe was under rushed circumstances so there wasn’t a mood for pictures. So… you may want to read another review, or go experience the cafe without any prior expectations in mind! 

The opening of the cafe coincided with BF’s flight to US for his work-travel programme. Knowing that I am a fan of that overrated mouthless cat (or a girl, whichever you choose to believe) with a ribbon, we decided to have dinner/supper at the cafe before catching his midnight flight.

As of the afternoon the news reported that people had been queuing for about 3 hours or so to get in. Had a bad feeling that the crowd will get worse during dinner time and I didn’t want him to end up missing his flight. And so I got pretty angst during work which got me to posting this:

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Long story short, we queued about 2-3 hours as well (with much grumbling from my side). What was annoying was that there were a couple of empty tables (some cleared, some uncleared) visible to us from the outside. But apparently the staff didn’t let the customers in, until much moments later. Maybe they didn’t notice, or maybe it is some other reason we don’t know.

BF’s parents came to pass him his luggage for check-in while we were still in the queue. His dad kinda got displeased with what we were doing because catching a flight is more urgent than queuing for a cafe that will be permanently based at the airport. And in the end they ended up joining us for a bite. I felt really guilty having to listen to his dad’s  incessant angry nagging throughout the meal.

The slip up was that drinks were served after we finished our main course, and we got informed that they ran out of desserts. Since it is their first day in operation, I will let them off for that. But since the cafe operates for 24 hours, running out of stock  on food items is not a forgivable excuse. After all, people are here for a pleasant experience, not one that is memorable-in-a-bad-way.

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Yup this is us!

For those looking for a review, here’s a summary.

Decor– Not excessively pink nor cute-sy. The decor is based on the theme of a garden (like what is reflected in its name), so orchids and other flowers of sorts pre-dominated the white interior. There are statuettes since no themed cafe would be complete without them #justsaying. It felt touristy because of the orchids but that is just a personal vibe.

Service– Plenty of room for improvement, that’s all I can say. Given all the previous instances of the Hello Kitty mania in Singapore, I thought maybe they would have a better gauge of consumer market to prepare them for the incoming demands. We were lucky in a sense that BF’s dad hurried the staff and manager about 3 times and used BF’s flight as a bargaining chip to get our food served quickly to us, but there are many other criticisms by customers posted online which you can read.

Taste– It was average and portion was smaller than expected. Maybe my taste buds sucked, maybe we ate our meal in a hurry, or whatever.

Dish aesthetics– Yeah it was alright for me.. but judging at customers who pointed their phones at all sorts of angles at the food (as observed during queuing), the chef might have done a good job.

Price– Off budget for a poor graduate like me. Was prepared to pay but his parents footed the bill.

2nd visit? Not for the time being. Maybe when the novelty wears off and the queue gets shorter or something.

So knocked out with a 6 day work week. Ciao.

Management Trainee Week 2

The root of the story goes a long way back. Since time immemorial, I hated maths, accounting and anything to do with numbers. In kindergarten and primary school I often cried while doing math. My mum’s temper was the foulest when it comes to this subject as well. She would get impatient and angsty because no matter how she explained a certain problem sum to me, I couldn’t understand the logic behind it. Oh, and Andrew Er and Fabian Ng are my sworn enemies (Singaporean kids who grew up doing maths assessments and attending tuition classes will know these names).

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What else… My mum also signed me up for this abacus programme in primary school as well. If my memory didn’t fail me, I did until mental grade 2 (the syllabus grades are in a reverse order, i.e. grade 11 is the lowest). Yet I am still unable to master the life skill of counting money somehow.

How does all these backstory link to the present anyway?

I am currently into my 2nd week of a Management (or is it Executive? Aiya who cares) Trainee. While my peers were mugging for their final exam of their student life or embarking on their graduation trips, I started work. I didn’t want a break because… no particular reason. I felt that I didn’t need one. As part of the job scope I had to rotate around the different on-the ground operational roles before being shifted to the back office. And yes I have to do even more cashiering! Partly because there is a lack of manpower who are familiar with the point-of-sales system and other responsibilities like cross-selling, making product recommendations, informing them the ingredients in the dishes etc etc.

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Okay I am not like that actually. I just found this pic funny. 

Embarrassingly enough, there were numerous times I broke down during and after work. Reasons were aplenty to be honest:

-Keying in the wrong orders and causing the runners to go on a wild goose chase for the customer and the kitchen to prepare the wrong food. Somemore it was only after I processed the payment and everything that I realised I got the order wrong.

-Making a gazillion mistakes with the register and blanking out when trying to rectify it, with the looming background of a long queue of hungry angry customers pressing you to hurry up.

-The guilt feeling of having my colleagues to clear up the mess which I have made, which made me feel really helpless.

Coupled with the fact that I have to calculate money under stressful conditions with the pressure of accountability made the whole experience a lot more worse. I often ended up tallying the earnings about 3 times just to ensure they are correct.Sometimes I would arrive to different amounts each time! How the fuck is that even possible? And not forgetting the problem of incurring shortages. I felt that it was always my fault because I was the one manning the register till the end of the operating hours, hence it was my responsibility to take the blame for creating deficits.

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Work has been better since my last major breakdown. Had an insane 12 hour shift last Friday, having to battle the lunch and dinner crowd. My voice died and I really wish there is a screen in front of the register reflecting the customers’ orders so that they can double check and I don’t have to shout to repeat their orders.

But all in all, working on the ground is all about exposing your vulnerability to others, realising your flaws and of course learning how to deal with them. In Brendan Rodgers’ terms…

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Thankful for those who helped me to cope with the school to work transition; my colleagues who helped me time and time again when I encountered trouble and created shit for them; and most importantly my BF who accompanied me home after work even though it is during his exam period, put up with my grumpy mood and fatigue, and having to worry when I have meltdowns and all.

Going into my 3rd week out of the 3-6 months training. Will be doing other roles as well but still have to tank the cashier for 4 out of 6 days. Yes I only have a day off, and I specially reserved it to be on Saturdays because I want to go for ballet.

What is Sunday? Can eat one?