Thursday, September 26, 2013

Onwards & Upwards but Down & Out?

Been a while since I posted but I’ve been super busy; with work, with Grand Theft Auto 5 and with a new bar that opened just round the corner from my place, but not in that order *wink*.

Tonight I'm sitting in that said new bar, The Tuckshop on 403 Guillemard Road, enjoying their selection of world beers. Globalization is not always a bad thing. To be specific tonight I'm on the Belgian Witbier, it’s not really Belgian, it’s actually produced by a local brewery here in Singapore, the Archipelago brewery; a pseudo artisan brewery. It's damn good beer though.

Tonight other than drinking I'm mostly people watching, it's something I enjoy to do quite a lot actually but not in a weird way; just something I do to pass the time, to clear my mind. Let me tell you what I can see from my vantage point at the back of the bar, forgive me in advance for being my candid self.

To my right I have a group of three Singaporean guys; on first impressions they all seem hormone imbalanced alpha male wannabes and they are entertaining two Thai girls studying here. The guys seem to have the same charm factor as blocks of steel but God love them for trying. At least one of the Thai girls seemed slightly interested when one of the guys was talking about his leather seats in his 1300cc Suzuki Swift. He might get lucky tonight but I doubt it.

The Tuckshop - 403 Guillemard Road, Singapore

Ninety degrees to my left I have a middle aged British guy with a very attractive local woman, they are enjoying a Brothers Toffee Apple cider between them and he is scribbling something onto sheets of blank A4. Intrigued I begun to eavesdrop, turns out he was actually giving her a lesson on British History, 101 style. I heard him tell her with words and pictures, the differences between Anglo-Saxon and Norman churches in Britain. Riveting stuff trust me. Wish my level of British history was this accomplished, I could bore the life out of annoying people who bother you while you’re sitting having a quiet pint. Good ammunition. Anyway, they seemed like a nice couple, she seemed generally interested in the religious architecture of the British middle ages. Hat’s off to her.

Straight ahead of me I have a group of 12 Filipino girls celebrating one of their friends birthday. Other than taking a picture every two minutes and having what seems like two iPhones each they aren't offending me in the slightest. Filipinos never do.

My second beer is half full or half empty, depending on your disposition and I've been contemplating for some time now whether to go home or to have a third. After re-reading the last sentence I've just penned I've convinced myself another one is OK, it's only 10:40pm and I ran 15km on the treadmill tonight, let me undo all my good work with liquid carbohydrates.

With my interest in people watching exhausted, let me dilate upon what's been going on as of late in the world of Jack Smith. Other than my little sister getting engaged, three prominent events that have occurred in rapid succession spring to mind:

1) Bye Bye Nicotine

So those of you who know me well enough know that occasionally I like to smoke a cigarette (or two). I started about 5 years ago when I was 23 and I've gone through various stages of the addiction. It never got out of control but at my peak I was smoking a pack of 10 or so a day. Deep down I never really liked it. My beautiful Chen hated it and let's not disregard the Pathology, it's fucking terrible for your health. I got to the point where I thought that as long as I had a supply chain related occupation I could never stop. Then one random Friday my good friend Claudio came into work and told me he was quitting. Inspired by his resolve I decided to join him on his endeavor towards the land of clean lungs. I haven't had a single drag since and that was two months ago.

Breaking The Habit

I feel fantastic about it but don't get me wrong it was difficult, borderline arduous. It took only three or four days until the initial 'cold turkey' cravings wore off but the little nicotine monster inside continues to live until this day. In certain situations he comes back to tempt me but I shall not yield. I'm sticking smoke free and hopefully for good.

2) Onwards and Upwards

After four years in Customer Operations, a Hero award nomination and multiple LEAP awards to my name I have finally gotten myself a new role within the big D. I am now officially 'Regional Inventory Manager APAC' although I don't actually manage any inventory. Despite the inaccurate title It's technically a promotion; more responsibility and more visibility (If I can deliver), I get to learn a new skill set with SAP APO while I try to get myself into the mindset of a demand planner without ever being one. It's a background role, a support role, reporting, analysis, something different and I am very excited about it while very nervous at the same time. It's taking me a while to leave my transactional mindset behind me but I'm getting there slowly and surely. Give me six months in the role and see how I feel, a bit insecure right now, but that's me, overtly negative.

3) Down and Out?

The Filipinos have just left, the photography has finally stopped (thank god), my third beer is half full (positivity) and the little nicotine monster is savagely trying to get me to succumb. The magic number, number 3 is unfortunately a sad story.

I shall begin with a picture.

Mr. Claps, Myself and the one and only Yi Sian @ The Big D Hero Awards in Singapore, 2013.

My ex-roommate, my mentor, my long lost older brother and my best friend Claudio, the winner of the Big D Hero award in 2012 has taken up abode in the United States of America. On the back of his award and after countless nights working like a pig to deliver for the business he was successfully (and rightfully) chosen for an international assignment overseas. His soon to be wife, Yi Sian (known as Grace) has also left the little red dot and joined him on what promises to be an epic adventure to the land of fast food, firearms and freedom. The new role I've just taken under my wings was his previously and despite my own merits in the Big D; my new vocation would not have been mine without his teachings and support. I never told him any of this so I hope he reads this. I love you man.

I have to do my departed friends proud by using the platform he created to delivery more than he did, for once my goal is not to succeed to fuel my own ego but to show my appreciation to a great man. Alcohol fueled sentiments over, I wish them all the best in the next chapter of their lives and know they will live life to the max and smash every obstacle in their way, wherever they are, it's just the type of people they are.

See you guys in Chicago in the not too distant future.