Saturday, March 27, 2010

A week's break

It's my last day of a precious week-long break from work. Especially so, after coming close to burning out.


During the week, I went through my things and started sorting out stuff to be given or sold away, since I plan to migrate. On my first day-off, I framed a Chinese paper cut-out of 九十九個“福”字, symbolizing "everlasting good fortune", and gave it to a colleague SN O who will be departing after her marriage [Note: and also that her 3-year bond will be completed then]. My colleague was happy and surprised by her farewell gift. It makes me happy too, to bring cheer to my colleague who is my senior from the same course and had skills that I respect. My admin colleague was also surprised, she thought that the large framed artwork was very expensive.


I met up with some old friends. Amongst these are 2 dear long-time friends, who are currently running profitable businesses and are still waiting for me to take the plunge and join them in another business venture.

It reminded me of some comments my ward manager made recently about the difficulty of running a business, insinuating that we (her staff) did not have the ability for it, and thus should be grateful to our employer [Note: I do not doubt the benign nature of the founding members of my hospital]. Of course, my ward manager does not know that, prior to nursing, I started-up my own software consultancy firm. And, I had reputable international clients too. I gradually wrapped-up my business because I needed time to pursue a new interest -- nursing.

In short, I honestly think that bosses should not underestimate their staff. Which brings to mind some quotes from a book that I am reading, "Ideaship. How to get ideas flowing in your workplace", written by Jack Foster, illustrated by Larry Corby.
Follow the golden rule. "When we treat a man as he is," Goethe wrote, "we make him worse than he is. When we treat him as if he already were what he potentially could be, we make him what he should be."

Remember that they work WITH you, not for you.
Some of my ex-colleagues are still wondering if and when I would return to my old [IT] career. Afterall, we had fun working together and didn't do badly then either.


I had the time to finish reading some books and magazines. I was particularly impressed with the British "Women & Home" magazine. Its gender-stereotyping title did not catch my attention amongst the various magazines. It was its cover-shot that did it. Unlike most magazines in Singapore with pretty-young-things on its cover, the W&H magazine had a beautiful, dignified, attractive and sexy elderly lady for its cover-shot. I was so attracted by the spirit of the cover-shot that I flipped through its pages. Its empowering articles inspired me, and I thought, why not start a similar niche magazine for the matured Singapore women? I began to list the friends and contacts I could rope-in to start such a magazine. Then at the peak of my excitement, one single thought jammed my brakes -- I'm leaving Singapore, so why bother?


The cable company called to offer me 3 months of free subscription-TV access. They were surprised that despite years of being their broadband customer, I have never made use of their subscription-TV tie-up promotions. I told the promoter, "I'm an internet person, not a TV person." Anyway, the cable guy came to fix up the set-top box and viola, I had more TV channels than I could possibly watch. But then, old habits die-hard. After one day of being TV couch-potato, I returned to my books, magazines and the internet.


  1. i had just started reading ur blog. so are you in canada now? its apr now. =) i am from acc nursing dip too (i assume u r from acc. nursing). are we from the same batch?! hmm.. anyway, why the move to canada?

  2. Hi estlxlan,

    I think you're probably my senior from acc nursing. I am only less than 1 year into the job. Are you from same batch as SN O who is finishing her 3-year bond soon, i.e. mid-2010?

    The Canadian move story in a nutshell:

    1. Worked in MNCs for years. Foreign colleagues came and left, many urging me to venture overseas.

    2. Overcame my reluctance to relocate after a long-distance romance. Romance failed, but the wanderlust was implanted.

    3. Horrible work experience at my employment opened up my eyes to the future of work-life in Singapore [i.e. WORK only, and no life].

    4. Went through migration options of popular emigration targets. Narrowed down to Canada, Australia and NZ.

    5. Wanted a bilingual environment, because I think that it forces one to think from multiple perspectives. That is, the language used in one's mind reflexively frame's one's angle.

  3. who is sn O? lol... ong? ooi? oink? oh my God? my bond ended in 09 but in that same year a new one had began. seems like a good number of nurses are moving to canada. australia is no longer the prefered choice anymore. hm... where are u planning to settle in? or had already settled in...? keep posting ur experience over there, ya? it will be interesting to know how the life is over there from ur point of view. =) CHEERS!

  4. Oh, you're our senior then. Maybe 1 or 2 batches before SN O.

    Actually, when I applied for Canada PR almost 4 years ago, I was still in my previous career. Guess I'm lucky... some invisible hands seem to be guiding my choices along the way.

    I am currently in Singapore and working in a hospital here, although I already have the Confirmation of PR for Canada. I am arranging some paperwork before I go. Am keeping my fingers crossed that it will be this year. If not, latest mid-2011.

    Breaking the bond will be an expensive matter. The rules have changed for my batch. We are required to pay both the WDA and the hospital's amount, pro-rated by the months of service on the 3 year bond. Thus, the hospital may make a profit when we break the bond. Ha ha! Although I am sure they would rather have the personnel at work.

    Thanks for dropping by, and keep in contact!