The Misadventures of Sibeh Sian

You can call me Sian. Sibeh Sian.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The long and short about I Am So Dead II

I was feeling fatalistic after typing my previous entry because I knew I was in for a royal screwing from my Boss for not preparing the presentation. I couldn’t take an MC because I have already tried that stunt before, and my Boss had promised to make good his threat of giving me the sack if I do that again.

When my mum passed me a box of soon-to-be-expired mooncakes to bring to the office, I cryptically said “Sorry Ma, I have not been a very good son”. My mum replied by saying “Silly boy, in Ma’s eyes you are the best boy in the world!”


As if all the above was not bad enough, I had to call for a taxi because I was already late. In the cab, a thousand and one things raced through my mind, including life and death matters such as what shall I do if I get fired, how am I going to support my mum, what shall I eat for lunch, and how much the cab fare was going to be.

Then, in the air-conditioned comfort of Comfort (no pun intended), a bold idea struck me on how I can get myself out of this fix. It was audacious, but I had no choice but to set my plans in motion because when I reached the office, the meeting was already well underway.

Boss: Ok, we’ve come to the last item on our agenda. As you all know, I have been working on how esprit de corps can be improved in the office. As part of these ongoing HR initiatives, I’ve tasked Sibeh Sian to research on the works of famous western HR gurus, and he will share his findings with us today.

Boss: Ok Sian, you can start now.

Me: Haha, good morning everyone. I will start by telling everyone that although I am talking about esprit de corps today, I have no Esprit vouchers to distribute, hahahaha. . . .

(I thought I was funny, but silence reigned in the meeting room)

Me: Ahem. . . . I am going to be very frank: I have not done any preparation for this presentation.

Me: Ask yourself this: when was the last time you took a breather at work to look at the picture of your loved ones at the desk? When was the last time you really enjoyed your lunch? When was the last time you laughed, and when was the last time you sat down and enjoyed a piece of mooncake with your colleagues?

Me: Your answer to the above questions is probably a “I can’t remember”. And the reason for that is that in our relentless quest to bring profits to the company, we have perhaps neglected the simpler things in life.

Me: I have prepared no fanciful presentation slides for you today, nor have I prepared any fanciful quotation from western self-help gurus. This is not because I overslept and failed in my duties, but because the key to office camaraderie is there in our hearts all along. We must realize that if we can take a step back and start appreciating the simpler stuff in life, the office will be a much better place to work in. We don’t need some rich ang mo to tell us that.

Me: I propose we change the way things are right here, right now.

(I took out the box of mooncakes my mum passed me earlier)

Me: I apologize to everyone for being late for this meeting, because the famed Katong bakery I bought this from doesn’t open that early.

For some reason, someone started clapping in the meeting room, and everyone followed. I almost peed in my pants.

So while everyone was enjoying the mooncakes in the meeting room, my Boss came up to me, shook my hand, and congratulated me on a job well done. He also asked me to post my speech in my blog , which I did :)

Sometimes in life, you get out of the stickiest of situations in the most unexpected way.


With Love,
Sibeh Sian


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