Tuesday, November 28, 2006

On the wrong ball

"Hey, I don't understand how you were not promoted. You perform consistently well on board what..."

"Well, put it this way; Those who are promoted, did they get it 'cuz they perform consistently well on board?"

"Uh..ya hor. You have a point."

Sometimes, it's not a matter of how hard you work, but how much sucking up to people smart you work.

Like Thierry Henry. He plays his guts out for Arsenal and France. Who gets the Ballon d'Or though? Some Italian who played for a club involved in a scandal, who now plays for some abomination of a club in Spain.

Really catch no ball...

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I believe the children are our future...

I'm not one to usually trumpet charitable causes but this one caught my eye.

MILK (Mainly I Love Kids) reaches out to disadvantaged children and youths by focusing on advocacy and fund-raising whilst working through their partners to implement preventative and rehabilitative programmes.

This is no NKF-esk foundation. Every cent goes to the fund, with costs sponsored or funded by the managment commitee.

As with all charitable drive in SG, there must be some prizes to "encourage" donor support. 2nd prize is a trip to watch an Arsenal match at the Emirates Stadium plus 3 days accomodation. I can live without the top prize of a Subaru R2 (without COE hor) , unless it comes with a cheaueffer.

So if you want to buy a coupon, or the whole book even, can gimme a ting-a-ling on my ring-a-ling. Or get in touch with any Singapore Gooner.

Knock on wood..thrice

The Singapore Gooners are really a dedicated bunch. Where else can you see a group of guys in a pub, 1am on a Sun morning, watching a big screen telecast of their favourite team? Mind you, these are not betting (at least, not heavily) people or some tikoh trying to score with chicks (there's none). Just honest to goodness fans who make the trip down faithfully for every Arsenal match.

The Bolton match was, in my view, a disaster. Arsene fielded a fairly "soft" team against our bogey team, due to injuries and suspensions to our starting XI. I say "soft" because that's the way Bolton plays against us, by bullying the ball off our feet. Heck, even the ref seem to be on their side, flashing the yellow card like he was in an auction. Like gooner4eva says... we need some good 'ol Martin Keown-type players to stand up to the rough play that some teams dish out to us. Cannot always depend on skills la...

The 4-5-1 shouldn't have been deployed in this match. Reason is Adebayor is not the lone striker that we can use in this kinds of matches. Theo, for all his tenacity, should have maintained his super-sub tag and come on to provide last burst of fire for the last 20-30 min. Why was Hleb not started? Someone tell me please.

We did come close, 3 times in fact. Damn woodwork just keeps getting in the way la. I always wonder why we say that, when in actual fact it's a case of the shooter not getting the ball into the net when we need it to be.

Like Sggooner says, doesn't matter what happens in the ManYoo-Chel$ki match liao...

Friday, November 24, 2006

No Ho Ho :~(

Dang, double whammy from rostering department.

I fly off to, of all places, Karachi on X'mas day.

As if that's not enough to take away my holiday cheer, they have me counting down to 2007 on a flight to Japan!


Monday, November 20, 2006

Moblog: Bored outta my head!

And no interneck too!

Postcard from Zurich

I am now sitting in the crew lounge in Zurich, Rolex country, sipping on my merlot while it drizzles outside with temperatures going down to almost 5 degrees Celsius. Wish I could sit down to some nice Swiss fondue...

I came off the plane this morning all aching as I was not operating on this leg, and had the "luxury" of sitting all the way through the night.

The 744 should be consigned to operate cargo flights only. This plane was a big hit when it started operating eons ago, but with newer aircrafts coming online, this dinosaur should really retire soon. The pitch is way too small even for Asian travelers, it gets very warm at the back of the aircraft while it is on ground, and the interior generally looks very dated. I was just walking around the aircraft for most times of the flight, as I did not wanna get back into my cramped seat on a full flight. I ate before the flight, and so didn't had much food on board. By the time breakfast was served, I had my eyeshade and earplugs on and slept till landing.

I think I should adjust to eating just enough from now on. Like not have the buffet and go ala carte instead when at a restaurant. I did well today; choosing to have a lamb fillet instead of attacking the buffet line (although I didn't expect a few slivers of meat with a large hashbrown). Dinner was a small Greek salad and a doner kebab. I feel lighter and not so stuffed like I used to. Hitting the gym was a good idea too. I have to keep reminding myself to be as active as possible. Have to keep up with the younger stewards, man.

Lucky thing I have my iPod and PSP with me on this flight. Swiss TV is the very boring, plus I dunno they gong simi...

Friday, November 17, 2006

Moblog: Running man

Finally got off my butt to do some running...

'Tis the season

Hide your adults! 'Tis the school holidays, the kids are running riot!

At work today, my supervisor kindly reminded us that the school holidays has started. I let out a slight groan. He jokingly said that most of us are not afraid to work with a full load, but are
terrified of dealing with Singaporean customers.

Indeed, the prospect of having 200 odd
Singapore-lang asking for the sky, while in the sky, sends shivers down my back. Adults ask, sorry, demand for newspapers; children who talk to me like I'm the maid at home; teenagers who only stare at the in-seat video and don't respond when you speak to them; tour groups behaving like they own the whole plane. Basically Singaporeans being themselves, la.

Many times I shake my head in disgust, while hiding in the galley. I've also seen other passengers looking on in amusement when they come across our fellow countrymen behaving as if they owned an international airline. I always hear or read about how Singaporeans prefer to fly Thai, ANA, JAL, MAS etc for "they are friendlier, smile more and go further". Well, if I were to swap places with the attendants of those other airlines, I'd bet they would come away bruised and battered too.

Here are some tips that I've come up with after a decade of service in the sky;
  • Pack light. If you can't lift your cabin bag overhead, chances are the petite stewardess will have trouble with it too. And give a hand, we're not the baggage handlers.
  • BYO. We don't have a newspaper for every single passenger on board. 80cents at the airport newstand will not burn a hole in your pocket. Share if required. You are familiar with the concept of sharing, right?
  • What's that? When someone speaks to you, remove headsets from ear. It's only polite. Plus we don't have to repeat the menu to you, many times over.
  • Use the attendant call light. Snapping fingers at crew will not earn you brownie points. And once is enough, we cannot magically appear in front of you.
  • Choices: One meal without rice/chicken/noodles will not kill you. Order a special meal if your diet requires that you can "only eat chicken, with rice...and carrots".
  • Special drinks. Have whatever is on the cart (juices, sodas, wines, beers) during the tray distribution. We can serve that special cup of warm milk (arrgh!) only probably 5-10 min later. You're better hydrated with the pre-cupped water anyways.
  • Patience. You are not the only one on the plane. You will most definately have to wait for your requests to arrive. We are not magicians, nor are we speed demons.
  • Smile. I smile at you, you smile at me. The world is a better place for it.
  • Washroom. Flush, please.
  • Children giveaways. Notice it's called CHILDREN giveaways??
  • And NO. We do not do upgrades, not in a million years. It's policy, like how you can never get more opposition into parliament.
Well, after all that, I have to add that there are indeed nice passengers that make me wanna go the extra mile for them. They are the ones that make it worth all the acrimony.

Happy holidays, everyone!!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I'll huff, and I'll puff and I'll....

Of most reality shows, I count The Amazing Race (TAR) as my favourite. The drama, the characters (reel or real), the strategy, and the twists & turns captured me so that I once followed one season throughout, catching up on repeats if I missed an episode.

When The Amazing Race Asia (TARA) came along though, I was skeptical. First I found that some contestants were expats living in an Asian country. I know that this is a globalized world we live in now, but I’m sure they can find 11 pairs of true-blue homegrown Asians to compete! The producers did mention that they wanted competitors to be able to converse in English. Puuleeese, if you can understand the Indian models’ thick accent, you can understand anyone’s master of English. Besides, they have subtitles right?

2 episodes and I’m beginning to wonder if it’s a poor cousin of TAR; like miniature golf is never really golf? The tasks, detours, roadblocks and fast forwards are trivial and lame. Draw a batik design? Push a noodle cart for 500m, while singing? Bowl dancing? Abseiling down 8 floors of a mall?

Come on, there are plenty of exciting things to do in Asia! Try looking for the clue box in some ancient Malaysian caves; buffalo racing in Indonesia; dragon boat racing in Hong Kong; ok so you can abseil down some mall in Singapore.

The way some of the contestants were huffing and puffing through the race (or were they acting, after all some are wannabe actors), they won’t stand a chance doing the actual TAR.

This is one reality show I’d not regret missing.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Writer's block...

After performing well at the Singapore River Regatta, I've been asked to write an article for the company paper. If you're interested, our ladies team came in 2nd in the inter-corporate event. Great credit to them; in a race where very few people gave them a chance, they proved that the gals in the air can do good on water too!

I have been assigned this duty since the last article that I wrote appeared in the much more widely circulated Group newsletter. I did my draft, sent it to my team manger for editing, who in turn submitted it to be further edited by the actual editor. When it finally got published, I couldn't recognise it as my own, save for a few quotes I got from the rowers.

Now, I have to tell you that I am not that good at writing. It's one thing to mash at the keyboard and upload onto my own blog. To send it in for publication, where a minimum of 7500 crew and more will read it, is another. I have to watch the grammer, the spelling, the punctuation marks, and stick closely to facts and figures.

Right now I'm tearing my hair out over the aforementioned article, and have a Friday deadline.

Great, just the way I'd like to spend my days off work.

UPDATE: Finally had it done 6pm Wednesday

Saturday, November 11, 2006

We made it into the Semis!

I really am surprised to see all 3 teams(2 mixed, 1 Ladies') from AirCrew Dragon Boat Club make it into the semi-finals tomorrow. Honestly, I was not too optimistic as the teams didn't row together at all since the July events, just the few odd trainings with a handful of rowers. However, paddle hard we did and were duly rewarded with good timings to make it into tomorrow's races.

I'm most impressed with the ladies team. They got off to a smooth start, fell back after 150m, but managed to inch forward from there on to grab 1st position, a photo finish. I rushed to the control to wait for the official result, and saw the nice boy scrawl a "1" next to the our team name. I jumped for joy and ran to hug all the gals, who were dripping wet! No matter, I was most proud of them!!

I now believe that we are a team to be reckoned with in the corporate events.

Tomorrow will be more of the same, plus an extra ommph from each and everyone of us.

Come support us!

Bad day at work

I usually enjoy my work. Sure there are ups and downs, but not many to constitute to a bad day at the office.

Until today.

Today I got my work appraisal.

While I can't argue with the fact that I could not catch up with the speed of the service, I was shocked at a line that was written on the appraisal form.

"More interaction with pax (passengers) is needed, at the moment it's rudimentary only"

Rudimentary!! That's to say I'm still an amateur at this! While I may not be that chatty a person, especially when sober, I wouldn't call my PR skills rudimentary! I would like to think that I come across as a professional when working in the premium classes. No corny jokes, no loud guffaws, no overtly-animated gestures. Just even-toned, short conversations with people who would have more on their minds; work or rest mainly, than let the service staff get all buddy-buddy with them.

How does one strike up a conversation with passengers who've just finished work in the office at night, travelled an hour or so to the airport and wish only to keep to themselves on board. Them watching their movies with their headphones on just screams, "Don't bother me other than to serve me dinner."

The next thing this bugger told me got me hot under the collar.

"You know why I didn't respond much to you when you spoke to me? It's cuz I was testing you, to see how far you'd go to break the ice with me."

Is he kidding or what?? I thought that's what the forms are there for, to be as transparent as possible when it comes to appraisals, right?!! He had to resort to his own pseudo-psychological test just so that I would communicate with him on a different level?

"Hey you dumb f##k, move your lips and tell me how you would like to run this dinner service! I can't f##king read your mind leh, what if my trolley set-up is not to your liking, how? And stop grunting when I ask for your opinions, people from this planet respond when spoken to!"

Bet that'll get him talking...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Please, move to the rear!

I read this article in ST;

"making public transport the way to go"

It's about how the recent PTC survey states that commuters are sayin that overcrowded buses are the 2nd highest complaint, after long waiting times. One line intrigued me

"Public transport operators insist the public transport system is under-used, even during rush hours."


Do they expect all their buses to be packed to the brim all times of the day before they are satisfied that yes, there are indeed cases of overcrowding during peak hours.

Anyone who's taken a bus in the morning/evening rush hours know how terrible it is to try to squeeze onto a packed bus full of commuters going to/returning from work. They are probably not in the best mood to give up their seats, move to the rear, or sometimes queue.

I used to take a bus to work, and I will attest that it is the worst way to start your day. You wear your nicely pressed work clothes, gel up your hair, sometimes put on a bit of cologne. At the end of the journey though, you feel like you have to repeat all the above steps again before heading into the office.

As if that's not enough, sometimes there's the oddball bus driver, I mean Captains, that seem to be rushing to stick to their schedules. Too many times I've experienced buses that jolt to a start, causing elderly and children to almost trip. I had on one occasion seen the driver, I mean Captain, ask an elderly couple to hurry onto the bus!

Dude, you drive a fixed route, going any faster will not end your shift any earlier, and if you are indeed late, put it in a report or something. Safety first! (Although they insist that the priority is for commuters to Flag Early these days, seriously...)

The joke is that the heads of these transport companies have never stepped onto a bus themselves, let alone during peak hours. I'd tend to agree. The good people at mrbrownshow have one episode in their podcast about it too!

Click here for said podcast

If you haven't heard of the mrbrownshow.com yet, which planet have you been on lately?!!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Where everybody knows your name...

Although the Elizabeth Pub is not the official Arsenal pub in town, many SG Gooners will beg to differ.

Where else can you find more than a dozen faithful supporters 10pm on a Sunday night at a pub in town, knowing well that they'll have to drag their behinds back home to get some sleep before facing Big Blue Monday? It's sorta like the classic sitcom "Cheers", where everybody knows your name.

Other than the other odd hotel guests who goes there for a nightcap, I also spotted other types of audience.

One is the friend of a Gooner who decides to sit in on match day. They are the ones who ask which colour jersey Arsenal is wearing for the match; what are the words to our cheers; and of course the perennial favourite - what is the offside rule. Being the nice people us SG Gooners are, we explain patiently the ins and outs of the game to them.

It really helps when your friends are gorgeous babes, like Shai's...

The other is what I'd like to call the betting people. They are only concerned about the scoreline, and how it would affect their pockets. Even then I'm still not too bothered. It's only when they start mouthing off at the players/ref/tactics when the match is not going their way that gets to me. This person could've just stayed home, turned his TV and PC on, and made his bets throughout the match on his mobile without pissing the real fans off. NO. He had to come to an Arsenal joint and rile people up with his thoughtless comments, out loud. Sad, really sad.

Farhad got a nice birthday surprise before the start of the 2nd half, with a cake any SG Gooner would like. Happy Birthday Farhad!!

The match? Well, you know where to look (here, here and here) for the full analysis.

2 words; Referee kayu!!

Sunday, November 05, 2006


My friends tell me that I blog too infrequently.

Well, I do have to travel quite a bit for my work and without a laptop on hand, it's kinda rare to see me posting every other day, unlike SG Gooner.

I had just came back from a week-long flight to Frankfurt/New York. There's no haze, the shopping's good, and I still managed to watch parts of Arsenal running circles around CSKA Moscow. Good trip in my books.

I went down to Timbre on Sat, thinking it to be another atas poser joint, but came away impressed. Other than the fact that The UnXpected were performing there, I enjoyed the ambience there. Plus the food was yummy; the pizzas are like pratas with toppings, really. The company of a few good Gooners were a bonus and more friends of mine saw Shirlyn in action, which has to be good.

Chris was nice enough to hand me a slice of his birthday cake. Happy birthday Chris!

Tomorrow cheong Liz pub for West Ham v Arsenal. I remembered they sorta helped us keep Spurs at bay last season in the closing stages, but they are just rubbish now in the English league.

So, 0-3 to the Arsenal I say!!