Who are you at work?

Posted by Gingerblossom at 8:21 PM

Friday, March 27, 2009

I was talking to a colleague about dealing with different personalities at work and was reminded of several personality tests that I took at a previous job. The tests were part of a training course to help us better understand how to manage people. The one I remembered most clearly was the Myers Briggs test. Looked it up online and did a condensed version of this test again. ( Do the test) 

It seems that I've turned into doormat at work :( I'm an ISFJ ( Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging) type personality, categorized as a "Protector". Below is the description according to Keirsey.com. Note the line highlighted in Red. sad sad sad.

"We are lucky that Protectors make up as much as ten percent the population, because their primary interest is in the safety and security of those they care about - their family, their circle of friends, their students, their patients, their boss, their fellow-workers, or their employees. Protectors have an extraordinary sense of loyalty and responsibility in their makeup, and seem fulfilled in the degree they can shield others from the dirt and dangers of the world. Speculating and experimenting do not intrigue Protectors, who prefer to make do with time-honored and time-tested products and procedures rather than change to new. At work Protectors are seldom happy in situations where the rules are constantly changing, or where long-established ways of doing things are not respected. For their part, Protectors value tradition, both in the culture and in their family. Protectors believe deeply in the stability of social ranking conferred by birth, titles, offices, and credentials. And they cherish family history and enjoy caring for family property, from houses to heirlooms.

Wanting to be of service to others, Protectors find great satisfaction in assisting the downtrodden, and can deal with disability and neediness in others better than any other type. They are not as outgoing and talkative as the Provider Guardians [ESFJs], and their shyness is often misjudged as stiffness, even coldness, when in truth Protectors are warm-hearted and sympathetic, giving happily of themselves to those in need.

Their reserve ought really to be seen as an expression of their sincerity and seriousness of purpose. The most diligent of all the types, Protectors are willing to work long, hard hours quietly doing all the thankless jobs that others manage to avoid. Protectors are quite happy working alone; in fact, in positions of authority they may try to do everything themselves rather than direct others to get the job done. Thoroughness and frugality are also virtues for them. When Protectors undertake a task, they will complete it if humanly possible. They also know better than any other type the value of a dollar, and they abhor the squandering or misuse of money. To save, to put something aside against an unpredictable future, to prepare for emergencies-these are actions near and dear to the Protector's heart. For all these reasons, Protectors are frequently overworked, just as they are frequently misunderstood and undervalued. Their contributions, and also their economies, are often taken for granted, and they rarely get the gratitude they deserve.

Ugh. So which type are you?

i don't fancy going back there again..

Posted by Gingerblossom at 8:20 AM

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

So it was a terrible trip. I ate only 1 proper meal and that was on my first night in GZ. After that everything went downhill... box lunches that tasted awful; a hard as rock bed with too soft pillows which gave me the worse backache ever; getting pushed at the lift lobby by a fat, obnoxious and obviously drunk man; making last minute changes to a presentation till 4.30am; sleeping 3hrs; crazy cab drivers who try to run me down if I'm not in the cab or swerve so hard I nearly fly out of the cab. 

Can you tell that I really don't want to go back to Guangzhou??

The heat is on!

Posted by Gingerblossom at 9:41 AM

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Landed few hours ago in Guangzhou. First impression - very HOT. It was 29 deg when we landed. 

My dad's in GZ too. He's heading off tomorrow towards Nanning. Got to see my dad for couple mins at the airport before I headed to the hotel with my colleagues. So that was real nice even if it was only for a few mins. 

Had a v late dinner. Most places were already closed but we managed to find a decent little restaurant to eat. The soup was ab fab. The great meal has put me in a more positive mood for tomorrow's ordeal... where we have to rehearse our presentation with our client contact before the actual presentation to a bigger audience on Tuesday. The heat is on for me to learn what I need to say in Mandarin and hopefully remember to say the right thing on Tuesday!   Have this awful vision that I will start in Mandarin and less than 2 sentences later, revert to an all English presentation :( . It has happened before and after that I had my chinese presentations scripted. Scripted, I can memorize. On the fly, I can't translate lots of industry terms much less a full concept which is set in stone in my head... in English, not Chinese! 

Thumbs up to Coldplay's publicists!

Posted by Gingerblossom at 8:31 AM

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Watching Videoscope (Starworld) feature on Coldplay. While enjoying their fantastic music, it occurred to me that there was also a Coldplay concert on cable last friday and there's a Coldplay related contest on AXN tomorrow. Something about winning tickets to watch Coldplay in singapore on 23 March if you can identify the Coldplay song played in tomorrow's episode of CSI.

All I can say is they've got darn good publicists who have been hard at work promoting them across Asia as they travel through Singapore and Hong Kong next week.  Why oh why aren't they coming to Beijing?!

When policemen wore shorts...

Posted by Gingerblossom at 8:22 PM

Friday, March 13, 2009

...Dan was still a little boy!  Guess which one he is. Even he doesn't know for sure. He was found on Facebook and tagged in this photo by a primary school/ JC mate whom he doesn't even remember. 

When winter ( and spring) feels warmer than summer

Posted by Gingerblossom at 7:48 AM

Thursday, March 12, 2009

One thing that has puzzled me since coming to Beijing is how locals seem to tolerate heat much better than the cold. Given that its cold for almost 5 months a year, you'd think that people born and bred here would deal with the cold better than they do with stifling heat.  You would also assume that for someone coming from the topics, a Beijing winter would feel like hell even after several layers of clothes.

But it appears not.

It's frigid outdoors but indoors, most places are warm thanks to central heating. I love the toasty feeling but I hate it when it gets ridiculously hot. That's how it is in my office. Now that I've gone back to work, I remember why it is that my wardrobe used to be stocked with racer back tees. It was simply too hot in the office to wear anything with sleeves! My old seat was far from any window and come winter it would get so  stifling that I had to request for an electric fan ( which is impossible to find. No one sells fans in winter) . I had to make sure the fan blew only at me. Because everyone else sitting nearby; who were already covered from head to toe; would complain that it's too cold! Cold?? There I was hyperventilating from the smoke-soaked stuffy 32 degreee celsius air and people were feeling cold? Am I missing something here??

Then I realised it wasn't just me. All the foreigners who come from much warmer climes find the winter heating in our office intolerable as well. I'm now seated closer to a window, which can be opened to let in cool air from outside. But it's still too warm! The heat has irritated me so badly that I've taken to wearing regular cotton skirts without leggings ( but with boots still), short sleeve tees and my thinnest pair of jeans with peep toe shoes. I've even stocked a pair of slippers to wear in the office. Got some strange looks along my 200metre walk to work and locals in the office asking me  “你不冷吗?”. No, I am not. I feel like a chicken that's being slowly roasted from inside out! All that's missing is a tray under me to collect fat drippings. 

How ridiculous is it to feel warmer in winter than in summer? I'm almost grateful the heating will be turned off next week. 

Coco Curry House - Jap curry fastfood

Posted by Gingerblossom at 7:31 AM

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Checked out a Jap curry place at B1 of Gemdale Plaza ( Maison Mode) and it was yummy!

Prices ranged from 25 - 50RMB for a plate of curry soaked meat/ veg & rice. You can choose your desired level of spiciness and how much rice to have. The amount of rice ranges from 200g to 500g... though I can't imagine eating 500g of rice!  I had the Hamburger Curry - a breaded and deep fried meat patty with generous amounts of spicy curry - topped off with an extra serving of potato croquettes ( comes in 2 pcs).  The meat patty had onion bits in it which made it super tasty. Dan had the Katsu Curry. The pork was tender and freshly deep fried, which made it taste good. 

My only complaint is the lack of fresh shredded cabbage which is typically a complimentary side at most Jap restaurants when you have curry. Salads here were separate orders.  Without the salad, the curry seemed like a very heavy meal. In fact I was full till the next morning! 

Coco Curry House claims to be part of a famous Japanese franchise with more than 1000 stores in Japan. You can check out the parent company's homepage for more info

Verdict - a great place for a quick, delish and extremely filling meal. Decor reminds me of conveyor belt sushi joints i.e small, plastic-y so definitely not a place for a romantic meal! 

Desperately seeking the old Hungry Rambler

Posted by Gingerblossom at 4:35 AM

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I don't know if its because I haven't worked in a while or if something else has changed inside my head,  but somehow, work doesn't feel the same. It's the same office, pretty much the same people, same type of work but somehow, I've felt like something important was missing.

It hit me what it was on Thursday morning.  What's missing is the passion I use to feel for my work, that little spark that made me willing to stay late or work from home till 2 in the morning, that desire to not just complete the task, but to complete it beautifully.

That old Hungry Rambler seems to have disappeared. In her place is someone who knows that going home to prep and have dinner with Dan is a zillion times more satisfying than pulling off an event. An event is just an event What impact does it have to the betterment of my life? None.  So the new Hungry Rambler is trying to reconcile work with this new attitude. While sitting at my desk at 10.30pm one evening, I almost wished for the old Rambler to come back. The Old Rambler wouldn't have felt that awful staying late at work. She wouldn't have felt that it's a waste of time.  She would have taken some pride in finishing that silly proposal.

first day back at work

Posted by Gingerblossom at 5:28 AM

Monday, March 2, 2009

Except for the new faces, it was almost like I never left! My email account, it appears, was never really deleted. Just temporarily taken offline. So this morning, I had over 700 new unread mail messages that have accumulated since the day I left. Freaky. I trashed them all. 

Was assailed by momentary doubt today on whether I could get back into the swing of things when I started going through a couple of proposals and brand presentations for a new account I'm to work on. Couldn't seem to understand it ( nothing to do with language, it was in English). I read, then reread it trying to figure out what we want to communicate.. I could see the process, but I couldn't see the end positioning. Maybe I've gone stupid after 6 mths of bumming. Asked around a little and realised... No one who's read the presentation seems to be able to tell me what's the positioning! 

Phew.. I was rather relieved that it may not just be me after all.  Fingers crossed I don't say anything dumb at tomorrow's client meeting!