I think, therefore I write. (我思,所以我写。)

Cogito ergo scribo

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Updates on work

I was actually working from "home" again yesterday. Nowadays i can and will do that rather frequently due to three reasons.

Firstly, i have been sleeping late and hence finding it more and more difficult to wake up early. So sometimes after i switch off the alarm on my mobile phone, i'd continue to sleep and ended up too late to go into office already (it would be very obvious if i were to step into the office after 9.30am).

Secondly, i've lost all passion for this job. Going to work has become such a dread for me. I am sick of the work that i'm doing. I am sick of the f*cking HR policies and benefits (or the lack thereof). I am sick of dressing up and then get all sweaty by walking to and fro the MRT stations. I am sick of carrying the heavy backpack and stand and walk for so long. Hence working from home is the best for me; at least i can still find some motivation within and become more productive.

Lastly, it was because both bosses are not around. Little boss frequently travels to other countries for projects, while big boss has been officially transferred back to HK and will be station there from now on. Uh huh, for some cost saving measures, HR calculated the number of days big boss spent in SG and noticed that it is a waste of money to keep a house and car for him here when he is travelling all the time. They decided to sent him back to HK, and whenever he is here, paying for the hotel accommodation and cab fare is still cheaper than paying for the fixed amount of house and car rental.

That is actually good for me, as it means that i can choose not to go into the office when both of them aren't around. It doesn't really matter since my job can be done as long as i have a laptop and Internet connection. In fact, again, i'm more productive this way!

Anyway, on the job of producing the design document that i was assigned to do, it is progressing but not as what i would have wanted it to be done. It was very frustrating last week because of the differences in opinions between the UK lady and me on how we shold approach this task. She insisted that it should merely be a restructuring of the content by just shifting the text around, but i'd think that if we were to do it, then it should be done right and hence we should re-write all the parts that do not meet the standard of a "formal" document.

To me, there's a certain way to write a formal document. The writing style, tone and words we used are different when we talk, write email, blogging, or write a formal document such as a proposal, technical document, research paper, article, etc. The original document that was written by the Americans is not really up to my standard of being "formal document", as it was written in a colloquial style.

For instance, we would see something like "the system allows you to choose serveral options". I would re-write it to "there are several options in the system" (mind you, this is not a user manual but a design document that defines how the system should work).

For sentence like "The depreciation method for the company is straight-line", i'd re-write it to "Straight-line depreciation method is chosen for the company".

Yes, the before and after mean exactly the same thing, but we are writing a formal piece of document, aren't we? Or are we simply writing a conversational transcript?

She said i was finessing with the words and it is a waste of time. She also said that by rewriting the English, i will only upset the Americans greatly while not adding value to the document at all. She then commented that i was being overly perfectionistic, and there is nothing wrong with the original English anyway.

I do in fact agree with all her comments. The thing is just this: was i tasked to just make it right, or was i supposed to make it perfect?

I was told to produce something as good as what we had in Asia, and that is and always have been something near perfection. But then she told me a different approach altogether. So i told her that i gotta get direction from big boss.

So when i first spoken to big boss about this, he told me to ignore her and continue to make it perfect. Then the UK lady wrote a nasty email to big boss complaining about we wasting time, while time is money. She then managed to convince the CIO as well, and hence big boss told me to do it her way, i.e. only copying and pasting the words around to make the document flow better.

Well, for me, i was only doing what i was told, and it turned out to be not what they wanted. It was fine with me actually, as this will make my job so much easier, as i really do not enjoy re-writing other people's work (i would rather come up with something myself than to correct other's work).

What i was frustrated about is more on how i was faulted for being "too fussy and too picky" when i was told in the first place to bring the work up to my standard. Am i supposed to apologise to always want to do things to perfection? Isn't this what have been making our team famous within the group, i.e. whatever the APAC team produces is always the best and none other?

Somehow, this whole issue also has some elements of office politics in it, and that is also the part that i totally hate. I only want to do my job, and to do it well. I do not wanna be caught in the middle of a power struggle, and my work gets affected along the way too.

Anyway, so the task i have for this week is to restructure the document and no longer writing it.

Oh, and about the office move, it has been officially announced that we are not moving anymore! But the catch is that we will have to reduce the office space so as to still achieve some sort of cost saving. We will have to give up about 30% of the existing space, which means that everyone will be very close to each other in future, and we probably would have to forego some of the facilities that we have now, such as the big conference room and pantry.

Anyway, i must give it to that HR woman. So she managed to have the top management agreed for us to stay put. This proves that she will get whatever she wants by any means, including using and manipulating people. Now the more i am disgusted with her.

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First, you are doing things approprirately. you are not fussy or try to be difficult. Come on, who want to be fussy AND create more work for oneself. So, no need to apologise or to think that you are wrong or not doing the right thing. I dont think we will feel happy about the outout if we dont do things to our best believe and knowledge. right?

I dont see anything wrong with you writing it approprately. I am very surprise with their level of acceptable standard of writing. How come that woman associate "doing things right" with "resulting in upsetting those americans"? Is she trying to say that the americans are so egoistic that they cannot accept an asian to do things right for them? They cannot accept someone to help them to improve their documentation? why can't they see it from the point of "improvement"? and that you are helping for the good of the Company? why they see it as being "defeated"?

The woman said that no need to "waste time and money". Huh! She is just trying to cover up for not letting the americans to have a chance of feeling "defeated" if you are able to do a great job.

Dont worry, any smart and reasonable person will know that you are not fussy. They know that actually, the best way to do is like what you are doing. Now, they just want grade B, not grade A. I can understand how frustrated when we are asked to just do a grade B job. This will affect our reputation and brand. But, since now it is their instruction to do grade B job, that is their problem lor.

keke, you can change the statement to "The Company adopts straight line depreciation method"... ha!

Well, it was indeed hinted that since English is the native tongue of the Americans, it would upset them greatly to have an Asian, whose mother tongue is not English, to correct their writing, especially when "there is nothing wrong with the original English".

So you are right that i am instructed to produce a Grade B job, and this is due to office politics! I really hate that.

And the sentence you suggested is good, but then they want it to be kept as "The depreciation method for the company is straight-line"... *shrug*

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009 @ 6:11 am: Some thoughts on faith
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 5:42 pm: Sad
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 5:43 am: The baptism class
Sunday, November 08, 2009 @ 6:25 am: The past Saturday
Saturday, November 07, 2009 @ 7:50 am: Some posts from the past
Saturday, November 07, 2009 @ 6:52 am: Two worlds
Saturday, November 07, 2009 @ 5:44 am: A note - love yourself
Friday, November 06, 2009 @ 6:09 am: Random updates
Thursday, November 05, 2009 @ 6:16 am: Stressed
Wednesday, November 04, 2009 @ 4:42 am: A new skirt