Monday, February 18, 2008

second & third day @Spore

on the 2nd day, Nizam & i made a quick tour to City Hall & Orchard Road by taking MRT. it was still early for the shops to be opened and we just walked around and had breakfast at Orchard Rd. we had to go to the office around noon as we had lunch appointment with Belinda (publishing manager), Lily (editor) and Lela (publishing specialist). had lunch @Tig & Olive at this mall called VivoCity which is located opposite of Sentosa Island. it was a great opportunity to get to know them and lunch was very heavy that it made me extremely sleepy. after lunch, returned to the hotel straight away to get a good rest & prepare ourselves for the ‘battle’.

just a quick info :
Singapore Budget Night is done on yearly basis. it requires you to work overnight and has very tight deadline. after the budget has been announced by the Singapore Government, the team will need to extract relevant info, write, edit & compile to meet the 6am deadline. its very crucial for us to meet the deadline as we would like to be the first to inform our subscribers & also for them to receive the information first before anyone else. work usually starts the evening before around 7. team for this year budget consisted of 5 tax & accounting editors, 1 sub-editor & 1 senior production editor. there are 2 versions of report; a downloadable PDF version & a print version with both in newsletter format.
i received a call from office around 7pm asking me to come to the office to check if there are graphics involve but thank God, no graphics only tables that need to be tagged. after dinner (provided by Belinda), Susie (one of the editors) treated us teh tarik to keep us fresh. i finished my 1st part just before midnight but Nizam took quite some time reviewing his part and i only managed to continue my 2nd part at 4. by 5 we were busy checking, making amendments, adjusting the layout etc. web version was successfully sent to get it uploaded as PDF version but encountered some technical difficulties with the print version. the advertisement which was supposed to appear at the back of the newsletter failed to appear and the total of page number was not in the correct format.

i tried to fix the format but it just would not work. time was running out and there was no one to turn to (its 5 in the morning!) and last resort was to call the helpdesk person in Australia but if only everything else fails. the clock was ticking, tension was building up & i felt so frustrated. my mind went blank that i could not think of a single solution.

arggghh!! really wish i was not there. u could just see my expression then..i felt like a loser and almost break down into tears as no one there was able to shed me some light. whatever it is, tried not to panic because if i did, i could never finish my job & they will definitely not going to like it. i might be no longer an employee of WK if i fail to accomplish my task as i was their only hope to get the report out perfectly. so there i was staring blankly into the monitor & praying for miracles to happen when suddenly this idea hit me. it was not a brilliant one but it sure could save us from that critical situation. the editor-in-chief who was monitoring & standing behind me for the past 1 hr (i was too stress to actually realise she was there!) agreed!

after one final check, the files were successfully sent to MPG printer in Australia by 6.45am. we were actually 45mins late but thank God we were still on schedule. the email alert was sent before 7am & received a “Well done & thank you for all the hard work and the maintaining calm under pressure” (calm under pressure? u sure or not? :P) compliment from country manager, publishing manager, editor-in-chief & even the printer who never commended us before said we did a great job. and i quote “Salute to the budget team. Your efforts are commendable!” it meant a lot to me as that was my first budget report and the first time it was done in the system. congrats team, good job! *hooooraayyy!* it was an unforgettable challenging experience. received confirmation from printer at 8am saying that files have been successfully converted and ready to be printed. to celebrate, we had breakfast before heading back to the hotel for a quick nap.

touched down @KLIA at 3.45pm & arrived home around 4. home sweet home. i slept till 7 before hubby woke me up as we had to go to his parents house to celebrate daddy’s birthday. happy birthday daddy! everyone was there & it was a nice evening to conclude the day. although it was one exhausting long day but it was filled with different emotions and most of them were actually good.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

first day @Spore

S’pore’s trip was thrilling yet exhausting! departed on Thursday @3.45pm with hubby sending me to KLIA and accompanied me till Nizam arrived. then checked in and wandered around the duty free shops to buy some chocs for the editors. at first, thought of waiting for Kak Mas (my sis-in-law who works in Hermes, KLIA) as she can gets us good discount with the chocs, but since the expenses were covered by company, why bother to get a discount :P while waiting for the boarding gate to be opened, we decided to quench our thirst & fill up the time at a nearby cafe. although Nizam & I are in the same team for 2 yrs, still feel a bit awkward to be with him as we seldom talk that much before. conversation was restricted to work related matters only then, and now we are a lil bit open in our conversation. the first few hours were difficult but after that, it was easy breezy. before boarding, paid Kak Mas a short visit to say a quick hello & goodbye.

it was an uncomfortable, ear-splitting atmosphere in the plane. we were seated at the very last row and i have to sit in between Nizam & this man who did not look very pleased with these 2 lil girls in front of us..they cried all the time! there was an unpleasant smell too in the plane, maybe BO..*yucks!* i felt dizzy & nauseous and had to refrain myself from throwing up. touched down at Changi Airport @4.35pm and checked into M Hotel, Anson Road. the hotel is strategically located at the centre of town and its only 5 mins walk to the office. very convenient but a bit far from any restaurant or foodcourt. i have this big room by myself..excited? not really. we had to go to the office to test our system logins and most of the editors have gone home. the logins were successful and had dinner with our ex-colleague, Alice who is now working in S’pore. we managed to spend few hours updating each other with latest news & gossips. she gave us some ideas on where to go and how to get to it and even walked us back to the hotel. it was so nice of her..thanks Alice! hope we can meet up again ;)

the day we reached, it was V-day. they really celebrated it here. candle light dinner, roses & chocs and..i dont miss that at all. me & hubby dont celebrate this except for that one time where we went for double dates with our MMU friends. V-day is just not our thing plus its not our tradition too to celebrate. retired to bed around 11 while watching American Idol and that ended my day 1

view from the hotel room, the red building is the office