Archive for April, 2018

April 17, 2018

coincidence

If you’ve been following this blog, you’d know that my mom took her own life after battling a bout of depression a few years ago. She did a lot of planning to take her own life, right to the details on how she wanted her funeral to be handled and the location of the receipt for the niche to put her ash. I had to go through her suicide notes, and the most difficult thing that I had to contend, was to learn that she’d been planning for her death all the while being normal to us and I was unknowingly appointed to handle the aftermath of her death. (she did say sorry to me in her notes for that).

One of the things that I had to do (that wasn’t part of the note), was to dispose of the car she died in. It was parked at that very location for many days, way after her funeral. I was the one who bought the car for her, and drove it back from Perak from the used car dealer. Wasn’t a great car but, was practical. The morning that my mom disappeared, we were toiling in worry to search for this car, and none of us found it until the gardener noticed it hidden in a basement with the engine running and inside it, my mom’s body. The car was in a mess when we got back to it after the funeral. Its interior was filled with the odor of gas fumes and it had broken glass in its interior (rescuers had to break the window to get to my mom). Out of obligation, one of my mom’s brothers offered to sell off the car for us, so he drove it off to a used car dealer somewhere and was disposed of for an insignificant sum of money. Out of grief, I did not feel like taking the money so, I donated all of it to a charity organization. I never saw that car again after signing the documents at the used car dealer that day.

Fast forward 7 years later, about a few weeks ago… this car made an appearance right in front of our apartment’s guard house. My wife Emily was the first to notice it, and she alerted me. “Dear, I saw your mom’s car outside our apartment! How did it end up back here?”
“That’s just a sheer coincidence”

It made a few more appearances outside our apartment compound, and was no longer seen again… until a week ago, it was parked at a parking lot right across my car. Apparently, the person who had bought the car that my mom died in 7 years ago, moved to the apartment unit at our ground floor, which has a parking lot right across my parking space. What are the odds of that happening? So many people in Penang and so many apartments to move to, and it ended up right across where I can see it all the time. And now, I get a grim reminder of how my mom looked like when she was in her rigor mortis state whenever I get home from work every day… I just hope my mom won’t appear in it and flag me over to have a chat… Because that’s just wrong, that car is no longer hers, goddamn it.

michaelooi  | experiences, personal  | Comments Off
April 4, 2018

plan for success

One of the important things that I always do as an engineer, is to have a contingency plan for my work. If you do not know what that means, it means that I always have tricks up my sleeve when shit goes bad. I believe in this like it is my religion, and also believe that all engineers should do it (have a backup plan for your plans). I use this motto not only for my work, but also for my travels and my life in general. Shit can never go too wrong for me, and I am proud of this.

Anyway, my manager disagrees with me on this. One fine day, I was altruistic enough to share my plans for a test development work for a project (along with its contingency) with a global team of engineers in a conference, and post the meeting, my manager pinged me through the instant messenger in a concerned manner. He told me – “You should not plan for failure. There’s no room for failure, you can never fail. You should only plan for success”. It’s not verbatim but, you get the idea how dumb that sounds. I surely have plans for success lah, duh… like whooping beer and wagyu steak to celebrate it, right? But that was not what that cibai meant. I was initially confused with what he was trying to tell me so, I quipped back a shot in the dark reply to him – “I wasn’t planning for failure. I was planning to not fail. In case shit goes wrong – which it always does in engineering – I would ensure that I have a backup plan, and therefore, not fail entirely.”

But because he failed his English, he couldn’t comprehend that and proceeded to give me a lengthy lecture with his irrational reasoning. I couldn’t understand half the shit he was saying and I had to explain to him about Murphy’s Law in the simplest form that I could. He ended up not being smarter but, being sore in the ass because I wasn’t docile enough to go with a ‘yes boss’ stance and deign to make his day by giving him the opportunity to feel important. *flips double bird*

I don’t quite remember how exactly this got resolved but, it ended up with me doing whatever the fuck I want, and there was absolutely nothing he could do about it (because he doesn’t know how). So, that confrontation amounted to nothing but wasted time and spending resources (electricity, bandwidth and space time utilization) for a non-value added purpose. I guess he didn’t plan for this (failure to convince me to be stupid)… and had to rue the day he was born.

michaelooi  | work shit  | Comments Off