Friday, 18 March 2011

Are You A Team Player?

Teamwork ethic simply means that we have successfully created an environment in which the rewards for working together outweigh those of working for one own's interest. But do people care about ethics anymore? It is a much spoken issue but hardly practised by many. A known fact which is knowingly ignored.

Trouble may stem when there is a rivalry between two or many ambitious colleagues especially when new opportunities surface and these people begin eyeing the same opportunity. Those who work with or close to them will get caught in the fallout of their machinations. Judgement, morale and productivity will all suffer. No one will come out a winner. Ambitious people who let personal priorities get the upper hand will destroy a great deal of goodwill, waste energy and upset everyone.

Effective leadership contributes to effective teamwork. It is not about bosses giving good recommendations for promotions or awards to their subordinates or gaining popularity for leniency. It is all about their ability to motivate and inspire people to work together as a team. A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't want to go, but ought to be. However, bosses are not necessarily leaders. And if bosses themselves are caught in the web of self-promoting and visibility, subordinates can easily lose faith in trying to make a difference because these bosses will be too busy with themselves to notice the difference their subordinates have brought to the organisation.

We cannot be blaming one person, though, for the failure of teamwork. Individually, are we team players? How much are we willing to contribute and sacrifice as a player to the team we belong to? If we do have the sense of belonging and loyalty towards the team - our team - every work or task becomes easier to complete. Everyone will be seen as a piece of strength that in unison, no force may be able to shake or break. Otherwise, we would better not consider ourself a team at all.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011


I have received this fowarded email for the umpteenth time for the past thrree years and I think it's a wonderful advice any mother could give to her daughter(s). As the matter of fact, it's an advice which any woman out there must heed even if it's given by a friend. Friendships and relationships with our girlfriends should not come to a halt once you think you have found the perfect man to spend the rest of your life with. Happiness is not at the pinnacle of our life by "activating" one relationship with a man and keeping the other friendships with our girlfriends quiescent, when the latter have seen us through thick and thin before this one man appears in our life. This is indeed, nevertheless, a matter of my opinion. 

What follows is the forwarded email and I am happy to share it with you...

A young wife sat on a sofa on a hot humid day, drinking iced tea when with her mother. As

they talked about life, about marriage, about the responsibilities of life and the obligations of

adulthood, the mother clinked the ice cubes in her glass thoughtfully and turned a clear, sober glance upon her daughter... 

'Don't forget your sisters,' she advised, swirling the tea leaves to the bottom of her glass. 'They'll

be more important as you get older. No matter how  much you love your husband, no matter how much you love the children you may have, you are still going to need sisters. Remember to go places with them now and then; do things with them...' 

'Remember that 'sisters' means ALL the women... your girlfriends, your daughters, and all your other women relatives too... 'You'll need other women. Women always do.' 

What a funny piece of advice!' the young woman thought. Haven't I just gotten married? Haven't I just joined the couple-world? I'm now a married woman, for goodness sake! A grownup! Surely my husband and the family we may start will be all I need to make my life worthwhile!' 
But she listened to her mother. She kept contact with her sisters and made more women friends each year. As the years tumbled by, one after another, she gradually came to understand that her mother really knew what she was talking about. As time and nature work their changes and their mysteries upon a woman, sisters are the mainstays of her life. 
After more than 50 years of living in this world, here is what I've learned:

Time passes.
Life happens.
Distance separates.
Children grow up.
Jobs come and go.
Love waxes and wanes.
Men don't do what they're supposed to do.
Hearts break.
Parents die.
Colleagues forget favors.
Careers end.

Sisters are there, no matter how much time and how many miles are between you. A girl friend is never farther away than needing her can reach. When you have to walk that lonesome valley and you have to walk it by yourself, the women in your life will be on the valley's rim, cheering you on, praying for you, pulling for you, intervening on your behalf, and waiting with open arms at the valley's end..

Sometimes, they will even break the rules and walk beside you...
Or come in and carry you out.

Girlfriends, daughters, granddaughters, daughters-in-law, sisters,-in-law, Mothers, Grandmothers, aunties, nieces, cousins, and extended family: all bless our life! 

The world wouldn't be the same without women, and neither would I. When we began this adventure called womanhood, we had no idea of the incredible joys or sorrows that lay ahead. Nor did we know how much we would need each other.. 

May all the wonderful women out there be blessed for sharing their life with us.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

People Around Us

The biggest energy drain on us is relationships. Some relationships are positive and mood elevating. Others, however, can suck such optimism, serenity and sanity out of you. To me these people are emotional parasites who drain not only our physical energy but also exhaust our emotions. The "cancerous" ones can even make us believe we are unworthy and unlovable.
Others can inflict damage with smaller but frequent remarks such us, "Dear, you are thinner now. Are you sick?" or "You are just being overly sensitive!" or "You should wear brighter colours my dear. You look pale in this". These can throw us off-balance sometimes when they poke into shaky self-worth areas just too often.

The "Me First" group of people have a sense of self-importance, entitlement, hog attention and crave admiration. Everything is about them. I get scared with these group of people because they lack empathy. If we don't do things their way, they become gruelling or cold.

The "Poor Me" group of people feel that the world is always against them. Everyone is to be blamed for their unhappiness. If we try to help them, their tales of woe might just kill us in the end.

The "Controller" are people who like to dictate how we are supposed to be and feel. They have an opinion about everything and often start a conversation by saying, "You know what you need?" ...and at the end of the conversation, we will feel dominated and demeaned.

Finally, there are the "Drama Queens". They have a flair of exaggerating small incidents into tragedic dramas. We can get exhausted listening to their excuses or stories. If they catch cold and we ask how they are, the answer will be, "...terrible. I feel like dying." If they ran over a snake, they will traumatic for the rest of their life.

It's important to get hold of oneself and choose with whom we would like to be around with. We should be healthily assertive and keep our expectations realistic. We need to take an inventory of people who give us energy and those who drain us. Spending time with loving, nurturing people and setting limits with those who drain us will indeed enhance the quality of our life.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Crossing the Border

 A short break from the frenetic and mad rush of the daily working routine is certainly good for the physical and mental system, especially when the company is right. The two-night stay in Hatyai was indeed memorable because there was no schedule to be followed, everything was done at the spur of the moment and everyone got to shop as, where and what they wish. 

Malaysia-Thailand  Border

Malaysia-Thai Border: Some things have not changed over the years. After stamping the passport and upon signing it, the Thai immigration officer unashamedly asked for RM1.00 as a token for obliging us before returning the passport. For those who are visiting the first time, their first impression unfolds what awaits them once the border is crossed.

Mayflower Hotel, Hatyai

Paying RM98.00 for a two-night stay is definitely cheap in comparison to 3-star hotels in Malaysia. The room is quite spacious and comfy with a roomy bathroom. In Malaysia, this room will no doubt be at least RM160.00 per night. If anyone is interested for a body massage, the charge for a masseur is only RM35.00 for a whole two hours. No wonder Hatyai is a hot spot for many people from all over the world.

This notice was posted on the wall at the lift in the lobby. I guess it is only meant for one guest's inconvenion which was the concern of the manegement...hehehehehe

 This nasi lemak is creatively served at the Salma Muslim Restaurant which is located adjacent to the Mayflower Hotel. The rice fragrance is enough to open up your appetite early in the morning.

The restaurant also sell one second-hand chair, and it is placed at the entrance. Customers will not miss it. Anyone interested? I assume there must be something special about this chair...

All the ten of us move from one place to another in the town of Hatyai in this vehicle called tut-tut. We need to bargain the fare which ranges from 13 baht to 20 baht per head, regardless of the distance from one point to another as long as it is within the town area. Though cramped up, it was fun riding in it.

Deep-fried Lobsters

Every night the stretch of road nearby the hotel will be occupied by hawkers selling varieties of Thai delicacies but this one caught my eyes. Mouth-watering but I did not buy any because the food is not covered. One has to just be extra careful with food intake in foreign land.

Tribute to Coca-Cola

Coke is still very popular here that a monument was erected to commemorate it. A friend was very excited seeing the huge bottle which was contsructed by piling up coca cola bottles systematically, that she refused to barge until I snapped this photo. The onlookers were amused looking at the photographer and the photographed.

I tried raw oyster for the first time and walla...I love it. Just squeeze lime on it and place some grinded chilli as well as vegetables before stuffing it into your mouth...yummy!!!

 Opposite the hotel is a row of massage parlours which seem to be doing good business. We gave the foot massage a try on our last night stay there and it was awesome. The masseurs are skilful and the charge is only RM25.00 an hour.

This was one page of the menu at Hamid Muslim Restaurant. It has among others Air Tebu - Sugar Can, Air Asam Buiw - Apricot, Mangga Ranum - Ripness Mango...hehehehehe...

 The fun we had in Hatyai finally came to an end when we left for Sultan Abdul Halim Airpot at 2pm. We ate a lot, we shopped a lot, we laughed a lot and I guess that says a lot about this short break...

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

As I was passing...

... I saw these few things which I managed to capture with my Canon 550D.

         Bandung:  A creative way of tagging the restaurant. It is read as Mutu 5 Bintang Harga Kaki Lima.

Taman Safari, Indonesia: The place is filled with wild animas and no one is allowed to get down from their vehicles. Nevertheless, the signboard is more funny than dangerous to me.

Johor Baharu: This was placed at the back of the taxi driver's seat. It is indeed the result of Communicative English which has been so emphasised by our Ministry of Education.

Tanah Lot, Bali: For those who do feel they are dignified, I'm sure this will make them think twice before littering.
Shenzhen, China: First I saw this from where I was seated in a ferry from Shenzhen to Hong Kong...

Then, when I turned to look to the right, I saw this...ah well...
Beijing: Rocking Fork or Fork Rocking?

Bali, Indonesia: As coffee lover, I find this to be instantly boosting my crave for a cup of coffee
Beijing: ...and I innocently asked the tour guide what can you get there...
Cheras, KL: Even after alerting the mistake made on the banner, nobody bothered to do anything about it. Can you spot the mistake?
Sharing makes life more interesting. Thanks to the technology which has evolved tremendously in the last few years, what I saw as I was passing at some of the places I visited are able to be shared with my friends.

English is Fun, isn't it?

My dear students of J2.3,
I may be out of your sight on Friday 4th March, but I have posted something for you here to ensure that we will still be in each other's mind. Have fun completing your task.

Remember my dear students, in attempting to complete your task, honesty is the best policy to adopt.