First two weeks of September 2015

Standard

T recently told me that their HR talked to him about his performance the past year, and told him that once the company’s CEO lifts the order of not giving out bonuses/raises this year, they’re going to give him a pay raise of 13%. I think the HR told him that so that he doesn’t switch companies. I’ve been joking about it telling him to look for a new job so that his pay will increase (much faster than if he stays at his current job). I know he’s not gonna move yet though, he’s pretty happy at his current job, which is good.

While we were talking about that, T asked me if I’m gonna get a pay raise once I celebrate my first year anniversary with my company. Yes, that’s right. A month left before I celebrate my first work anniversary. Wow, feels just like yesterday when I first started, and now, it’s been almost a year and I can say that A LOT has happened over the past year. Going back to the topic, I wasn’t sure if I was getting a pay raise because I hadn’t talked about it with my manager, but I really hope that I do and that it’s at least 10%. Is that too much to ask?

It’s already the 14th of September, which means that 2 weeks have come and gone. J and R have been stressing out about October, and they’ve been complaining about how busy they are, but to be honest, I don’t feel it as much. I don’t know if they’re deliberately “saving” me from the stress, or if they just don’t want to give me the workload but whatever. I’ve already told them numerous times before that they can just give me work to do, but if they don’t want to or if they don’t trust me enough to let me handle it (who knows?) then I won’t force them to.

This is a breakdown of what’s happened the past 2 weeks:

For some reason, RE invited me out to lunch. I had helped her look for an English document that she needed, and then after that, we got to talking and then she asked me if I wanted to have lunch together. She also bought me a cup of coffee the day before, which she says is what friends normally do for each other. It’s just a “shame” that she’s the wife of someone we don’t really like in the office for his work ethics, which makes me a bit wary of chatting with her or getting close to her, but well. We went to this hotpot place near the office. It was a bit noisy at the restaurant so we had to shout a bit and it was hard to hear each other.

T and I went to Wufenpu to look at clothes again. I made up my mind that I wanted a playsuit and a two-piece outfit but I couldn’t find them anymore! I don’t know if it’s because we didn’t go to the same alleys, or if the stores changed their clothes, but I didn’t find what I was looking for. We also went to Raohe night market for dinner and I was also able to buy a classic Longchamp shoulder bag knockoff there. It’s this sort of bucket bag (is that what it’s called) wherein you can basically just throw all of your things inside. I also bought a dress and 2 tops.

One of our newly-cooperated Korean agents was in Taiwan for a business trip and they decided to drop by the office supposedly to talk business. R said that when they were in the meeting, the Korean agents apparently said they only wanted to come over to chat, not really about business. Weird. They were almost an hour late too. Tsk, tsk.

On the first Saturday of the month, it was high time that I did my laundry and that’s what I did. I also organized my bed and my closet. While eating lunch, we watched the first installment of the Minions movies. Yes, you read that right. It was my first time watching a Minions movie. I don’t know why but I just never watched any of it. It was all right – cute. In the late afternoon/early evening, we went to the gym to work out.

I think we stayed at home on Sunday because we were both lazy to go out and it rained. We watched San Andreas, which talks about the devastating effects of an earthquake especially if you’re not prepared. It was pretty cool, although I don’t know if that would really happen. I hope not. Originally, we thought that it was based on a true event but when I googled online, I found out that it was fiction (or maybe it was inspired by a lot of earthquake events in the past?)

D treated us to sushi/sashimi because he asked me to translate this 5-page feasibility study in a week. I jokingly told him that I should get something in return for that (because it’s not easy, and it’s not as if I’m not busy with other things), and I also told R about it so V and I worked on the document and in exchange, we got sushi/sashimi for lunch! Yummy.

Lorr is back in Taiwan and this time for her master’s degree. We met up because she needed to get something from me, and I also had some things to get from her. I took her to one of my favorite restaurants around the office, French Cafe. I’ve probably been to this restaurant 4 times now. It’s not something I’d want to eat everyday, but I wouldn’t mind eating there every so often. I think I’ve written a post about it before.

We were only able to talk for less than 2 hours because I had to go back to the office for a conference call with India. Ugh. I’m not even supposed to be part of that but D asked me to come in case they didn’t understand what the other person was saying. He previously told me that I would just be on the sideline listening and maybe interpreting some things but then at around 5:30PM that day, they told me that I was going to be the main speaker who would communicate with the people on the other end of the line. WTF, right? I didn’t have time to prepare! We thought we had to give them a company introduction as well as our performance and volume overview, but it turns out they were the ones who would mostly speak and we would just listen. Whew!

On that day as well, K gave us the email list that we’d been asking from her. At first, she said that she couldn’t give it to us so we asked her to send the emails on our behalf and then a couple of days later (probably because she was too busy with the event), she gave us the list and told us that we could email them directly. I didn’t want to waste the little time we had left so after the conference call, I started drafting the emails and sending them out. Stayed really late in the office and was among the last 3 people left. Eep.

I met up with Lorr again for dinner because our previous one got cut short, and I wasn’t able to bring what she was supposed to get from me. Tsk, tsk. We met at Gongguan and went to my favorite Mediterranean restaurants Sababa Pita Bar. We ordered two things, and we feel like we were tricked because the waitress said they didn’t have our second order and so she suggested something else. Turned out she recommended something that had the exact same ingredients as our first order, only it was in a pita pocket! After dinner, I went with her to her dorm room to check it out. Since her roommate was there, we ended up going to the lounge to continue chatting.

The company that I work for is a member of FIATA (International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association), and one of FIATA’s annual events is their World Congress. It is almost a week-long event filled with seminars, information exchanges, networking sessions, and tours. This year, they held it at Taipei and being part of different local (and international) associations as well, the big bosses felt it necessary to attend the event to show our support. I was surprised when I found out that I was chosen by our President to be one of the attendees because the registration fee is expensive (in my opinion, at least) and I’m fairly new in the company. At first, I was really nervous and I was stressing out about it since I’ve never been to something like that and I suck at networking/socializing but when we got to the venue, and after our initial meetings, I became more comfortable.

J says I might be able to go on a business trip to HK next year for a conference. Let’s see if that materializes. R has also told me recently that I might go to the PH on a business trip some time next year, but as of the moment, it’s still in the works. J has taught me not to really believe what other people say / not to believe the plans until they’re actually there right in front of you, or until they actually materialize or you have something concrete in your hands, such as a plane ticket or an itinerary.
 
After an entire afternoon of semi-networking (I call it that because the schedules weren’t pre-planned so we didn’t really get to meet a LOT of partners/agents), we finally called it a day. It was really tiring to keep smiling and talking. J and I were attending the gala dinner and we had time to kill so we went to a nearby weekend market to walk around. We ended up buying bagels from Good Cho (which I’ve read about before but haven’t tried). I bought double cheese bagel to start eating (because I was hungry) and bought 3 other flavors (sesame, cheese pimiento, and something else) to take home. Aside from being a weekend market with stalls selling goods from small business owners, the area was also a former military housing (?) so you could still see some houses and stuff there where you can take pictures. I’m planning on taking T back there next time. There are small hills there where people sit down and enjoy the view of Xinyi district, so we can buy a bagel or ice cream and just sit there to relax. Heehee.

After walking around for a bit, we went to J’s apartment because she wanted to change her outfit for the gala dinner. She lived nearby so it was

more convenient. I didn’t have the same “luxury”. We took the MRT to the dinner venue and to cut the long story short, it was an evening of eating, watching some cultural performances, and talking a bit with our tablemates. I found the menu to be a bit weird in that it didn’t take into consideration that the guests would be foreigners who may or may not (mostly not) skilled in using chopsticks. A lot of the dishes served had bones, were in shells, were slippery, or were round, which were really hard to get/eat using chopsticks.

I was really tired by the time I got home, but I still managed to watch Self/Less with T. He told me he had just downloaded it and the quality was already really good considering it’s still showing in cinemas. I find it a bit unbelievable that the main character, who’s a self-made tycoon(?) can feel guilty about taking someone else’s body when in the first place, he paid a lot of money and had to go through the trouble of dying and whatnot. Or maybe one of the things that the movie wants to show is no matter how certain we are of our decisions, external factors can have influence and make us question our decisions. Humanity and all that.

Upon the recommendation of my friend Jad, I started reading A Story for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. It took me a while to finish reading it because it’s a bit long and I wasn’t really in a reading mood the past couple of weeks, but I finally finished it last Sunday. It’s a good book in that the stories are really interesting, and it’s very informative (although I didn’t care much for most of the info/details inside the book, oops). I’ve started reading Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In because I’ve been wanting to read it and my sister bought it on Kindle. I feel like business/inspirational (does this belong in that genre?) books are easier to read in terms of speed because it’s pretty straightforward.

A couple of months ago, T bought spa (full body massage) coupons from Groupon. We’d been meaning to go there and we finally found the time (and because the coupons were expiring this month) and enough body pain (HAHAHA) to go there. I liked my massage because my body was reallyyyy sore. I just find it unacceptable how they ask you which parts hurt and then they mostly focus on those parts (too bad for T because he said his lower back and neck hurt and so his lower body didn’t get massaged AT ALL, tsk tsk). Therefore, it’s like he didn’t get a full body massage; instead, he only got an upper body one. Siiiigh. As for me, I said that my lower back, arms, and calves were sore and so I pretty much got a full body massage. Good thing.

After the massage, we walked around the area trying to look for a place to eat. We couldn’t find any that we liked/looked appealing, and there weren’t a lot of restaurants in that area, so we ended up eating at KFC. Hahahahaha. When we were done eating, we passed by this dumpling food stall that had a lot of people eating outside, and we decided to try it out to see if it’s any good. I liked it because it had a tamarind soup flavor to it. Hihihi. Aside from that, it’s a pretty regular dumpling.

That’s basically it!

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About Therese

27 years old | Chinese-Filipina | University of the Philippines Diliman - BA European Languages (Spanish major, Speech Communication minor) 2011 | National Chengchi University - MA International Development | Working in the freight forwarding/logistics industry Learning to believe in myself more and not being afraid to seize opportunities ♥

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