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Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

I lost. Emails.

It’s time to swallow my pride and admit how lazy I am to manage ever-increasing number of files and folders on my working laptop. Even lazier is to manage emails.

Hence, I’ve decided to heed my manager’s advice to install Google Desktop, an application that will perform indexing of documents and files, including Outlook emails.

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Teaming with Passion

Last Wednesday and Thursday, I attended a company sponsored training called “Teaming with Passion”. It was a course aimed at our front-liners, who deal with interesting customers everyday. Being a pre-sales technical consultant, I too attended the course and here I’d like to write a brief summary of what I had learnt.

Up until very recently, I had been chiding the concept of positive attitude, power words, inner strength etc. I thought I did not need them, and all of them are common sense, and discoverable upon needs. How wrong I was !

The exact reason I did not need any emotional help or encouragement before was because I did not push myself enough that time. Now with bigger responsibility, with performance being measured in sales figure, I am getting more and more serious at work. Stress level is high, and I cant sleep easily.

What I found most helpful from the course was about positive thinking. Heck, positive thinking is so obvious that I feel ashamed that I care about it too much here. But, during the course, we had to keep shouting “I am mental warrior”, “You are your energy”, “Today is a grrreat day” and so on. We (the front-liners) also sang unity-themed songs together, keep shouting the support each other, look at the eyes of our learning partner while talking to him/her. I suppose this kind of training system is what Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is all about, although I know too little about it to write here factually.

People cried tears of joy. Connections renewed among colleagues, and created among strangers.

When the course started, I mumbled to myself, “Am I going to be brainwashed here?” I’ve been to quite a number of sales-themed training/seminar, although being more technically inclined by profession and interest. LOL, my worry was unwarranted. I am now “brainwashed” and see nothing wrong with that.

Well, too busy to continue blogging, but if you were also like me before, dismissing self-help, motivation and encouragement as common sense or unimportant, you may want to check whether you have pushed yourself enough.

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Soft threat

I could not tell whether he was serious or just joking. My manager today said to me that, if I ever lose track of documents or emails again, he’s gonna have me install Google Desktop in my laptop.

No.

There must be a better way, possibly by means of good habit. I need to restructure and categorize my files properly. I don’t want to have my computer cluttered with documents, even if I’d still be able to retrieve anything fast due to Google indexing power.

But then I agreed to his suggestion. If I fail to find documents and emails again, I will install Google Desktop. Uh .. ! I just have to make a commitment to better self-organization habit.

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Efficient.

There is no way I can afford to be less than that. I need to submit two assignments on global issue, the first about China’s rise as superpower, and the second about effectiveness of G8. After submitting the two assignments, I will only have a month left to finish my Project 2 : Securing Internet Voting System with Trusted Computing Technology. That’s actually not my project title, I’ve forgotten the actual title after a month of not touching project. I’ve been touching something else.

Funnily, I still procrastinate and write this blog post. 🙂

Regarding Go, I completed the second league but the result is not yet published on MWA website. Also, from 23rd September to 30th September, I will probably be representing Malaysia in Nanning, China for Nanning International Weiqi Tournament. I will also probably be representing Malaysia in Korea Prime Minister Cup in Jeonju, Korea from 22th October to 27th October. Both “probablies” were there because I am not sure whether my employer will grant me unrecorded leave or not. They suddenly make fuss about the invitation letters not having letterhead.

I might as well fit in a little update about my work here. I have finally completed the VBA Excel programming to track our team performance although from time to time, there will be new feature request from my superior which requires me to continually do the development. Honestly, I feel like a real programmer now 🙂 , although in reality I really should be doing sales consultancy and familiarise myself with various telecommunication products.

Okay, time to start writing about China rise to superpower. The superpower term is wide-ranging, and may cover economic, political, military and technological prowess. Anyone who has any idea that they want to share regarding this is most welcome.

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For the past few days, I have been working on Activity Log system for our Sales Consultancy department. Under the request of my AGM, I reformatted, restructured and added formulas to our Excel activity log so that metrics such as conversion rate, engagement (prospecting), and revenue movement can be calculated automatically.

It started as a horrible task as the past logging system did not validate input, hence there were text when figure or date was expected. But by now everything is cleaned up and actual programming is already being carried out. At the moment, quick and dirty solution is ready and the performance metrics mentioned above are already available.

Scary ! Pretending to work or be busy will not help anymore as our performance is spelt out as number and can be compared against others.

For conversion rate, we calculate the ratio of closed deal against total number of quotation, proposal, tender, RFP and RFQ being given out. It’s horrible, because so many of our customers like to ask for quotation for fun 😦

For engagement, we total the project values being prospected, which may indicate our aggressiveness in sales.

Whereas movement metrics will show the result of our effort in monetary terms. This will encourage sales to chase after higher value deals.

Needless to say, there’s a lot of objections within our department to these performance indicators especially conversion rate. We do give a lot of quotations upon customers’ requests eventhough without any chance to actually make any deal. Even worse, the threshold is set at 40% conversion rate. I dont think even Zig Ziglar can do it (actually I dont even know who he is).

It’s regrettable that my passion to work on automated activity logging system has been mistaken by some as taking opportunity to escape my core tasks. I hate updating logs, I hate administrative work but I thoroughly enjoy building programs and computerised systems. Anyway, I’ve already got at least one person telling around that I dont have work to do (probably with some hints that s/he is the only one busy bringing profits to the company).

Yawnsy …

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I really should be sleeping now, but I’m saving the best for last. What’s not so best right now is, guess what, blogging. It’s seeming more pointless day by day, Except of course, I can easily evaluate my activities and life as a story line.

I took 2-day leave from office starting yesterday, to take up a guest lecturing job offered by a local university. My friend actually referred me, thanks Hafiz. The target audience was a group of 12 military officer who were to learn more about software development and information security in a one-year diploma executive programme (or equivalent).

Well the pay rate was RM100/hour, so I quickly took the offer. Now in hindsight, I realise the payrate was effectively much less, considering the amount of time and effort I had to spend to update my knowledge and to prepare the materials i.e. powerpoint slides, lab exercise, quiz. I was tasked to teach Cryptography, to my luck, because it was my favourite subject.

My audience were older than me, probably in their 30’s. Some late 30’s. It was funny that I could not really teach according to the slides, as most of the time I had to answer or explain to their questions, relentlessly bombarded at me especially on the first day. I was also asked about Internet, and broadband, and why Streamyx is slow. Haizzz why everyone asks me that?

On the second day which was today morning, I gave them lab work and mostly spent the time helping individual person getting things done. Like using Command Prompt, navigating between directories, doing binary arithmetic, along with using hashing and encryption software. I guess they enjoyed it. At least they insisted on finishing the lab and missed coffee break for that.

Part-time guest lecturing like this is certainly something I would want to do again. Not just for extra income, but for self-development and enhancing my resume. And of course, to give back to education 🙂 I however prefer to take weekend jobs as taking leave from main job for a part time job does not sound right. And would work against me in the office as well.

Another (unrelated) development is that I finally got my cheque book! So I got everything related to banking done now, after opening saving account and subscribing to Internet banking. Well, thanks to the Public Mutual fund lady who kept urging me to do all those to start investing.

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Finally, new workplace :)

Finally, I am at the new workplace. The environment is good, full of young people unlike previously. And to my suprise, the one sitting next to me here is Azharina, my senior at KMYS last time. So I didn’t start as a total stranger, luckily.

Anyway, the department is called Solutioning and Programme Management. I must say, HR did know better when they decided to send me here. Just now I connected to the department server, and was really excited to see the training materials and documents hosted there. Network designs, video lectures, telecommunication related Powerpoint presentation slides etc.

Probably, I have found a workplace where I can give my all. Anyway, I must give my all because everyone here is very experienced and knowledgeable despite being young. Yea.. yea.. I am competitive.

Equally troubling is the fact that people expect a lot from me. One of the new colleagues even told me that I can be quite intimidating with my academic qualifications. Pressure !

Honestly, in engineering and IT industries, I dont think qualifications give any indication of your expertise at all. For research-based companies such as MIMOS, IBM, Qualcomm etc, qualifications can be a relevant metric of expertise. But for operational and technology adopter telcos, I’ve seen too many non-academically-qualified technician outexpert those supposedly smart people.

To Go playing friends who have been wondering why I have been so inactive lately, it’s because of the new job, exams this weekend and multitude of unfinished assignments. Once I get my life back in order, I’ll kill you all hahahahaahhaahah.. 🙂

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