About Ted.

16 08 2010

I’ve been lagging all month.! Aku pun tak tahu lah kenapa aku rasa macam malas nak buat serba-serbi. Every morning has been a drag. I’ve been hoping for Saturday since Tuesday rolled around and while today still isn’t Saturday (will this week ever end?), it’s 10 p.m. and I’m still sober. That’s only one of the perks of telecommute. Kenapa aku malas semacam nowadays? Where is the enthusiastic ism in me? Nan ado dah. Illek!

But one thing for sure, I love working from home for several reasons. First, I get to make my own cup of tea – and boy, do I make a mean one – and I get to go for refills for hours. Second, I make my own breakfast. Okay so I can’t really cook but I do make eggs and toasts pretty well… if you like your eggs scrambled or over well especially. Making your own breakfast, no matter how you do it, breaks the corner café’s frozen pastries and breakfast sandwiches anytime in my book.

Then there’s the (not-so-small) matter of dressing. No corporate dress code, no power suit, no checking the cleavage or hem line… anything and everything goes. So I don’t normally dress exorbitantly anyway, but I do enjoy some edging-on-sexy items that are just not very fitting to my role at the office. Plus, who wants to attract these kinds of looks from creepy coworkers anyway?

Another positive about working from home – and my all-time fave I believe – is that I get to sit back on my couch and read the paper while sipping err. tea? Hehe… There’s no stress about departure time to beat rush hour traffic or to get that early-bird special on parking downtown. No worries about having to shovel the car out of the snow. No concerns over what’s going on outside at all. It’s just me, the couch, the tv and the tea. And some club or old Malay music, depending on the mood.

Finally, there’s the ability to juggle personal and professional matters all at once. I can tweet, Facebook, send emails, write blogs and plan events from the MAC, all while editing brochures and videos, answering RFPs, preparing slide decks, taking conf calls and setting my next tactical moves on the company laptop. I work 3 monitors at once, from 2 different PCs, and it makes me feel alive! So I hardly get to breathe – or break for a nature call – but that’s just something I’m willing to live with at this time.

There is but one downside to it all, and it’s not, as many would think, the lack of social interaction. Trust me, between Skype, conference calls, blog-hopping and cocktail hour (oh yes, we get those too at home), there is plenty of social interaction. No, the true downside to it all is that you can never go back to a regular job. When I go into the office now, I can no longer focus on just the task at hand. I need my excitement, my multitude of beeps coming from my 20+ applications running at once. I need my freedom.

Working in an environment where you need to create, such as education, you have to have the luxury to get up and walk away when the blank page stares back at you. You can’t expect good ideas to come to you from 9 to 5; they may come to you at 10 p.m., they may come to you at noon, they may even wake you up in the middle of the night. Alternatively, you also need to be ready to not have one single good idea for days sometimes. That’s something that those of you who have always done the 9-to-5 in an office have gotten used to dealing with. I no longer can. I can walk into my office at 7 a.m. and not produce a single lesson-plan-worthy piece until 3 p.m. that day. Not that I’m not doing other things in the meantime, but they’re just fill-ups. On the other hand, I can be sitting at home watching a movie and suddenly start typing away on the notes app on the BlackBerry.

Anyone working in a creative environment know that they need to do their due diligence; not many corporate types understand this. Seeing us surf the web, watch videos, attend conferences, read magazines… they don’t get that it’s part of the work. But it is. And when I work from home, I get to do this guilt-free and it makes me feel on top of the industry. I feel I know what’s going on, in real time, thanks to Twitter and the likes. I must be subscribed to hundreds of publications and RSS feeds – they keep alerting me to different news every second. I can’t possibly hear, read or see them all but I am aware that the world around me is continuously moving and that I need to move, move, move with it if I want to remain competitive in this line of work. THAT, my dear friend, is motivation. It’s something companies should learn, instead of locking their employees up in cubicles and forcing them to produce quality crap 8 hours a day.

Do I ever take a break from my work? Hardly. I’ve always got the Blackberry on, beeping, no matter where I am. I love what I do and I never want to let go of it. I am a smartphone addict, no doubt. I am your stereotype, the cliché of the man juggling a BB, an iPod, a Starbucks venti and a few shopping bags. But no matter what you think when you see me, I’m in work mode. There’s always an idea, a one-liner, a blog, something in the back of my head. I am constantly looking at the world through my working eyes. Even sitting with girlfriends over dinner, my mind’s rolling. Filming, recording, commenting. And so I never stop. But I enjoy it, and that’s all that matters.

And thats, about me. Ted.

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It feels like Monday

28 07 2008

It’s 3.16pm and after a hard day work, I am pleasuring myself with a nice chocolate ice blended and sweetly delicious strawberry doughnuts from Starbucks.

Oh dear friends, I really wish I can mock, bitch and moan about how disastrous my students were, but at this point, the best thing I can do is to accept the fact that I AM stuck with them, whether I like it or not. Come to think of it, as wrong as this may goes, I don’t really care as long as I got those paycheques. I like to think that everything happens for a reason, even if I don’t understand what the reasoning is. Seriously dude, if they do not wish to learn anything from me, why on hell should I bother draining my brain for them? Useless. Baik tengok wayang.

My class with A4 today was OK, we had some serious discussion on dam (the lake, not the main judi lah!!) and it’s good to have that intellectual conversations with them. I set up 4 groups in the class and they will be doing an English scrap book competition. The best creative book will stand a chance for a romantic dinner (iyoo lah!) with me and I’m gonna treat them for a movie, saja amek hati budak-budak tak salahkan? Bukan main riuh depa bertepuk. However, when I first delegate their groups, of course some of them were reluctant to accept that they had to be in group with si polan, si polan. Me being as sarcastic as I am, prefusely stand by my decision, saying that, you cannot have everything you want! I am your teacher, I am not your mother. You wants stuff within your will, get if from your mum. The only thing you gonna get from me is the reality and the reality is, it’s a harsh, harsh world outside. When you go to your university education (which I’m sure they will), you will again not been given any chance, in everything. The syllabus are fixed, the college are fixed (unless you nak sewa luar that’s ur damn problem), your classes are fixed, and supriseeeee… there is no such thing as a CHOICE. So don’t beg me for choices because I’m not giving you any. I MYSELF don’t have any choice when i did my degree, what makes you think you’re any special?

I never thought of myself as a control “freak”, but I am starting to notice I have unpleasant tendencies. And for what’s it worth, I ought to concentrate on my upper class students because at least, I know, they actually give that feedback that I want and yes, it was a nice feeling to be able to talk to them, share things you’ve been through and fluidly teach them that the world are not bed of roses. It has it thorns and sometimes it scratch you hard. It may look bounty beautiful but you never know honey.

Evidently, IF there’s a scratch, then know that it’s just a scratch. You’ll live. (“,)

Carrie Bradshaw