Archive for December, 2013

I stood behind someone who looked like one of my ex-boyfriends from behind in the train going back to the office from lunch today and remembered how a year after he bitterly broke my young and foolish heart, I ran into him on New Year’s Eve [being my name saint day!] at the unlikeliest of places.

I was with two friends I’ve known since childhood, both of whom at that time I thought were my BFFs till the end. We were celebrating New Year’s together. Jeffrey was the only one of the four of us who was attached at that time and being the responsible boyfriend, he had begged off spending New Year’s with us in favour of his then girlfriend.

So we were walking around Heeren and we ran into this dude, who didn’t see us at first.

It being New Year’s Eve and all, and it being a year after the heartbreak, I decided to go up to him, say hello and wish him Happy New Year. The plan was that the two friends would come with me and say hello as well since we all knew each other from way back when and they really shouldn’t be tainted by the breakup. Anyway, it would be a socially awkward moment which I thought then would be less awkward if the other two friends came along. It would just be like primary school friends running into each other and no big deal.

I walked slightly ahead, approached the dude and said hello. He looked uneasy and wouldn’t look at me straight in the eye. I turned slightly and realized that the two friends did not follow behind me as planned and was nowhere to be seen. I was slightly thrown off.

I took about a small moment to re-group, then went through with the random pleasantries and wishing him a Happy New Year [complete with limp handshake from him], then walked back to look for the two friends, who were found hiding behind a wall.


From the incident, I learnt two very important lessons in life:

1. People who cannot stand by you while you seek closure to an emotionally complicated situation are not really your friends.

2. People who hide behind walls and watch you self-destruct are not worth your time and effort.


In celebration of my name saint day this year, I am having dinner with Rebecca: the friend who, after drinking lots of Margaritas with me to work out my angst, did not stand by to watch me self destruct by running away to Egypt after rainbows in the dessert.

She introduced The Other Half to me. I went to the money changer, sold all the USD I had and married him the following year.



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Rebecca came over to meet me for lunch on Tuesday and I was a little late because I had to give a ra-ra talk to my staff before the holiday season. During lunch, she told me about how her friend got a bad staff review and I had replied, “Well, now I don’t get reviewed. I hand out reviews haha.”

That was when I realized that in this one year, I have gone from just doing the work to being an employer, being responsible not just for my own work but for the work of at least 4 to 6 other people.

I am therefore past the “up and leave” stage: I can no longer up and leave because I am responsible for all of these other people and their jobs.

It’s scary. I make these decisions, sometimes on a whim, and it affects all of these other people. Like the day I decided to re-draft all my templates for standard letters, or change work flow. I swear when I sent it out I could hear everyone outside wanting to kill me.

But I have also grown to love these guys and girls. We have each others’ backs. After all of my staffing misadventures, I appear to have finally found a bunch of people I enjoy working with. There are more of us in this shithole together and somehow that makes it more bearable. There are less down days and more up days.

So my hope for the New Year, work-wise, would be that we are able to maintain what we have and get better and better at what we are doing.

And I really should stop buying ink. I probably have enough to last the rest of my life and then some.


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mints from secretary T

mints from secretary T

It’s Christmas Eve.

I’m so disinterested in work I can’t believe I am even sitting at my desk.

Doodles with the ink I got from my Secret Santa!

Doodles with the ink I got from my Secret Santa!

So if I don’t check in before tomorrow…

gingerbread house with baba-yaga (!!) from secretary A

gingerbread house with baba-yaga (!!) from secretary A

Merry Christmas!! Happy feasting 😀



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day 350

Someone called me in the morning and told me that his wife was pregnant.

Nothing really wrong but it was a little TMI for me because I’m not close to said person on a social basis so it was just random and awkward.

I asked Secretary M to get me an envelope without a window so that I could put money in it to pay someone.

She returned with what looked like an ang pow but with no colour.

“Where did you get this?”

“Oh! I bought it some time ago for a funeral.”

“WTF?! I can’t possible put money in it to pay a living person knowing you bought it for a funeral!”

“Use it! Look! It’s shimmery white!”


Don’t evet fight with your secretary. Gets you nowhere.


I met a guy at lunch about a pen he was letting go so I ended up carrying a brand new pen in its original casing to Court in my orange handbag, dreaming of inking it all afternoon while queuing up.



One of the first few people in Court I met was Lace, who scolded me because I told her to buy a secretary a pen for Secret Santa last week.

“The person I was shopping with told me it was old fashioned!!”

“So what did you buy in the end?”

“A T-shirt.”


While waiting around with Champagne Truffle, I asked him who he drew for Secret Santa.

“You, actually. What would you like?”

Okay. That wasn’t the answer I expected. Anyhow, we settled on a bottle of green bulletproof ink.

Then he said, “Now I can surprise you by not buying the ink.”

What. The. Hell.


So I told Lace about how Champagne Truffle told me he was my Secret Santa.

“Why did you ask?!”

“Because I wasn’t expecting it to be me!”

“What do you expect him to say when you asked?”

“He could say, ‘Look! A bird!!’ ”


“So was it A who called you to tell you that his wife is preggers? He’s the only person I know who is capable of being this random.”

“Look! A bird!!”

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Just so you know I weren’t kidding about the downs of my job:

Right after I had that feel good moment at work on Tuesday evening, I proceeded to spend Wednesday afternoon in Court queuing up for so damn long for some chain collision matter which didn’t belong to me but I was doing someone a favour by attending that every second person who walked past me said to me, “Eh? You haven’t gone in yet?”

While I was queuing up looking more and more pissed off by the minute, some dude said to me, “Don’t stress. Your skin is breaking out.”

Then when I was finally done, I couldn’t get a taxi and it started raining.

When I finally crawled back to the office looking like something the cat dragged in, downed a shot of something alcoholic and started to clear my paperwork, The Buddha walked past me standing at the fax machine waiting for a fax transmission receipt and nonchalantly remarked, “Your hair is in a mess.”

When I was finally ready to go home long after the sun had set, I couldn’t get a cab again.

And all of this while I was under flu meds.

I don’t even.

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small victories

The father of an ex-boyfriend once told me, when I was in my first year in practice, that I should try to get into commercial / corporate work because that’s where all the big bucks are. He is a businessman so I supposed making money is very important to him.

I remember telling him that I really like what I’m doing; I like litigating my little claims, taking my small victories and going home to bed with no problems falling asleep. I would rather do this small work and make a modest income than to burn my nights and weekends chasing money. Plus, my work makes me happy and that’s all that should matter, really.

I supposed he was probably aghast at how unambitious I am. Many people are. But then, that just means that my priorities are different, not that they are wrong.

The end of the year always makes me a little pensive, a little introspective. Maybe it’s the cold weather, or maybe the impending end of something. This will be my tenth Christmas with the Firm. This weekend, I have been asked to attend an alumni lunch for my tenth year out of law school; without quite feeling it, I have had the same (sometimes shit) job for the last ten years.

And at the end of today, after I have finished a standoff with someone (and won), after signing all of my letters and am gearing up to go home, I realized that I still feel the same way about my work, you know? There are ups and downs but it still makes me happy and excited. Everyday is a new day. I complain about solving problems for people but hey, I really like solving problems, you know?

And that is really all that should matter.

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