I have to confess something before I start this entry proper: I'm writing this because I fear if I don't, I'll have so much stuff to catch up on by the time I do --- and then I'll never write again --- and this will be my shortest-lived journal yet.

On with it then.

Monday: Work. No e-mail. However, I did get a phone call asking me if I had received my e-mail set-up disk and information yet. I told them no; they checked on it. It turned out, due to some ingenious searching on my part, that while they had created an e-mail account for me, the dolts had neatly truncated my name while they were at it, rendering me [email protected] sg -- as though Chow were my last name and Balasingam my first name. Dolts, as I said already. I had to bicker with them a little over the phone to straighten out my name ([Ed: Actual email addressed deleted to avoid spambot], thank you very much). They promised me I'd have my mail stuff by Wednesday. I found out later that the reason they'd called was 'cause my boss ([Ed: identity deleted]) had sent an e-mail to their boss to politely bitch them out. Heh.

Dinner at Buckaroo's all the way north in Sembawang because I felt like it and Terz didn't mind driving up, even though it wound up being just the two of us. On the other hand, because we'd mixed up MRT stations, he wound up waiting for me at a different station and then I had to take the train back and so on and it really wasn't that bad --- but I was glad when we finally had food in front of us. Buckaroo's --- yum. But I don't recommend their hot dog.

Tuesday: Work. Still no e-mail. I told myself to give them till Wednesday, as they'd promised, to get their act together.

Wednesday: Still no e-mail. Calling didn't work. I bitched louder because I told them I needed the account to send some important stuff up to the bigshots for approval. This was a half-truth; my colleague, with whom I was working on that case, could've done it for me, but it would've been better if it had come from my personal e-mail account. You know how these finagly work things are.

Thursday: STILL no e-mail. More calling. A promise that the thing would be ready --- and it finally was, after lunch. I told them in no uncertain terms not to dispatch it up to the twentieth floor, but that I'd head down to the seventeenth to get it. Get it I did, install stuff I did --- and voila! E-mail. Finally. But I didn't get to play with it right away. First I had a Division meeting that lasted about two hours, and I was happy to report to my Director that I finally had e-mail.

Of course, once I had my own account, the deluge of work really started flooding in, plus I had (still have) to figure out e-mail etiquette. Who do I CC stuff to, and in what order, etc. The whole protocol thing is starting to drive me wild, although it's still much better than the days of sending documents around in files and requiring them to be dispatched in a certain order to various bigshots.

I think last week was tiring because of all the going out we did, though. Too much of a social life makes focusing on work all that harder the next day. On Wednesday night, I had to go to this Press Club/Public Relations Academy New Year Party. My bosses were hoping it would be a good chance for some of us to meet the press, but as it turned out, the members of the press were mostly male, old enough to be my dad, and all keener on their beer than on any real schmoozing. Also, they were largely Business Times reporters, which meant they really weren't keen on meeting education people. My colleagues and I hung around a while to be polite, then ditched the party --- insofar as it was a party. I walked over to Brewerkz to join Terz and his cousin, and we had a much funner time over there.Terz hadn't seen his cousin in over two years and it was my first time meeting him; all in all, it was a perfect meeting of minds (and alcoholic propensities, though we didn't consume much that night) and we're sure to hang again.

Thursday night, I hung out with my best friend Tris. Terz, meanwhile, continued his photography project by taking pictures in our apartment of our friend J. I can't wait to see the pictures. Tris and I talked and talked and talked, and then shopped a bit, and I got a big brown faux leather bag. I'm into big bags --- the kind large enough to stash a jacket into --- these days. I think it's because I want to be able to carry home work files (if necessary) without them being visible to the public and marking me as a Civil Servant.

Friday night, we saw Black Hawk Down. I was going to write a review of it over the weekend, but I got lazy. I was also going to start work on my thesis proposal (due January 31) over the weekend, but that didn't happen, though I did think about it some --- in as vague terms as possible so I could tell myself that I was thinking about it. Black Hawk Down was all right. Terz and I figure that this system of watching a movie with each other (he saw Serendipity with me and I saw BHD with him) seems to help us cull good movies to watch, so maybe we'll keep up with it.

Saturday I went to work and spent several hours surfing on the internet. I mean, I did some work, but most of it couldn't be done because I was waiting on e-mail replies from other people, and since our organisation operates on alternate Saturdays, they probably weren't around to reply to me. Saturday night we had dinner at X's --- he and his girlfriend are really excellent cooks --- and then lolled around watching Legally Blonde. That movie is not as objectionable as I thought it would be. Another couple, whom we rarely see, was at X's too, so we spent some time catching up too.

The really (non-)exciting thing over the weekend was that I got to take home the crisis phone. It's a cellphone whose number is given out to all school principals to contact in the event of a crisis. It hardly ever rings, but when it does, it's bad. So here I was, new kid on the block, taking the phone home on Saturday and praying so hard that it wouldn't ring all weekend. I wound up carrying three cellphones around with me all weekend: my personal cellphone, the crisis phone, and the work cellphone assigned to me, because that one had all the contact number of my colleagues on it (which I intend to keep separate from my personal list of numbers). Fortunately, none of them rang.

Sunday night, we took my dad (and mom, of course) out to dinner 'cause it was Dad's birthday several days before and, bad girl that I am, I hadn't taken him out yet. We had Thai food at Lemongrass at South Buona Vista, which is always nice.

And now I'm tired already. Today, work was busy and I barely got to surf the internet at all. So this is what a real job feels like.


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