Monday, December 07, 2009

And I Stayed In During Lunch For This Entry

Skipping it today as i felt i have neglected this blog for sometime.

For those of you looking for race/training inspiration, i am very sorry to dissapoint you with no updates on any training (secret or otherwise) in this blog.

I've been busy with work. So busy that i feel doing an IM at full 17 hours cut off might be easier. Having said that, i might need a miracle to pull through that 17hours in 2010.

We are now at almost the end of 2009. With just three more Fridays to go, of which each and everyone of them (for me in Selangor, that is) are a Holiday.

That would meant i need to squeeze in more hours per day to make up the time losses. Not an issue perhaps as i clock in extra of 25% and perhaps more than my "only required" 40-hours week (or 8 hours a day).

Things has been pretty turbulence at work. While some of you might digress that i should not talk about work. I tend to agree. Externally, it is no secret that the pent up frustration might be due to me burning out at work and having to deal with ultra demanding client. Ego is a big thing and more so if you are dealing with someone top of their class and are meticolous and hate "unexpected" turn of events (which more of the time, is really beyond my control).

"Damn if you do. Damn if you don't" kinda case. The chinese would say "ghost also you, God also you".

Internally, it has been challenging as well. The program i am managing is not returning any profits but it is not due to any team member managing it any worse. The whole contract were setup about three years ago when all charges back then were predicted not to change over the period of the 3 years. However, we all know that changes are inevitable and the first blow came in when the sub-cons started justifying their cost when the crude price increased. The amount tendered were also on the lower scale and perhaps, the main intention back then were to secure this particular client. No one came close to the pricing and even one consultant could not meet with the basic criteria, leaving only this company and another competitor.

Some of you might ask me what i do for a living. While the company i worked in does environmental work, it is not those environmental work you are thinking. What i really do is to assess a site for potential risk to the environment. Think of it like an EIA, but just more focused and niche. There are ONLY three main consultants in Malaysia that does this and ironically, the other two were started by people that left this company i currently worked in. Staff pinching are a norm and i sometimes question the morality of these people, bringing so much confidentiality knowledge from one office to another.

Obviously it is a dog eat dog world out there.

What these consultants failed to realise is that we (as in the consultants) are being played out by the clients. It is no secret that some client choose to squeeze blood out of stone by proclaiming your pricing to be high when they compared you with the LOWEST pricing from the other bidder.

In business, you win some, you lose some. You can't expect a company operating on overhead to give ultra low pricing and as the client, still demand for top notch quality, right?

A case of having the cake, and eating it. A case of squeezing blood out of stone.

I've been praised and put on the podium a couple of times for jobs well done. Heck, i saved client USD1million this year alone and still counting and i was the first winner of their "Cost Saving Award". I got nothing but emails.

No one seems to remember that for long. I am being judged by the numbers i bring in. At this point of time, with a yearly RM5Mill project which is not returning any profits...numbers don't lie. I did a bad job. Period.

As you can see, i am getting frustrated. I am a passionate person. While the above seems to be minor, i have not reveal the full extend of my frustration. Like some of you would say, it is simply not right la, "not professional". Don't talk to me about being professional when some of them lacks the fundamental behaviour of an executive, let alone be civil about it. Back stabbing is not "ON". Not when you were sincere in your work and gives nothing but 110% everyday. It sort of takes the fillings out of the pie and leaving you with just the crust.

Some of you had came forward and offered me to submit my CV. Give me some time. I am updating them still to be relevant for the things i am possibly applying.

The office senses this too, and just last week, i had a long chat. Long enough for some possibly drastic changes. I am constantly seen as a threat to my peers. I've unseated my ex-manager and has raised over-favour of another more senior staff. And now, i am asked to take over another senior's position in the company's "horizontal promotion". From program management of one client, i am now asked to take charge of all the clients WEF 1st Jan 2010.

This supposedly give me more time to be at home.

This also meant i don't need to deal with the ultra demanding client anymore in the micro perspective.

But is that a good thing?

I hope i am not going to be frustrated again. Easier said than done as now, i am in direct line of fire for ALL programs with the Large Program Director - the very reason for my internal pain. I make no secret in this and i've asked him to remove me if he feel i can't live up to his expectation. he has not done so since and i assume that he find not a single reason to remove me. I don't think he will find any. Call me arrogant. But that much i know that i am that good.

As for life. Losing out to work meant i get less time with the family and for myself. I am mentally drained by the end of the day and i often without purposely doing it, take it out on wifey or the kids. I regret it after that. I love them. No questions about that. But sometimes, my behaviour are less than desirable. I tried keeping them in check. Work is causing havoc in my personal life.

I've spoken to wifey about this many times. She has asked me to quit. She believes with the drive that i have, i will have my talent better appreciated elsewhere. With the drive that i have, i can work for myself.

It feels good to have someone supportive.

But she too know, that i am not one that gives up no matter how bad things become. She knows i am a fighter and i do not bend or made to admit mistakes for others. I am not made for that. She knows that. She also know, one of the reasons i did not want to leave just yet was because i do not want to leave the team in a lurch; not forsaking the project managers and field engineers that works directly under me and leaving them without direction. For that, i believe, i am living up to my "Serve to Lead" concept - something ingrained into me when i was in Royal Military College.

I leave no man (or woman) behind. It is a group effort. Never I, always Us. But as a leader it has to be SINGULAR to take the blame if anything goes wrong. Never put the team's morale into jeopardy. Make them run like well oiled machine. That is priority.

The line between WORK and LIFE, is indeed, a thin, fine line.

I've been missing out on training. I no longer uses the iron level as an excuse. Not when wifey threaten not to let me race. I took a run yesterday alone from home to TTDI. I think i was overly eager and pushed myself a bit too hard. I believed i might had clocked my best 5km distance yesterday from home to TTDI park. The same can't be said about the return journey from TTDI park to home.

I walked in silent pain the last 1.5km. It is never graceful to feel that. At this point of time, finishing IM10 will be a miracle. But i will try. Currently the other Stupe in me is winning and i just need to exorcise him and triumph over him. Races to me are always personal. Personal in the sense that it involve me and myself. I do not use others as benchmark. I do not compare myself with others nor will i openly tell someone how bad they perform just that i feel good, even if it meant a sub-standard race results.

Lately, my mum in law hasn't been feeling too well. I am careful not to tweet/facebook/write/blog/share about this as well. I have to respect my wife's family. I dare to put this up because until wifey told me it is ok to just say "MIL is not feeling well".

Promise me that you readers will keep her in your prayer, a'right?



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