My Secret Valentine's Day Location

By Jonathan Tay

I have a confession to make. I am a closet IKEA fan (I’m also a big fan of its tables and chairs as well). I love IKEA so much that I even know the Swedish furniture giant’s proper pronunciation – it’s pronounced ee-kay-ah.

Ever since I got my own place, IKEA has become a regular hang-out location for me and the missus. Gone were the days of sipping lattes at coffeehouses while the day wanes with jazz and the aroma of coffee beans. Weekends are now typically spent at IKEA, cruising through colorful displays of household products and domestic drama.

On Turning 20

By Melainne Chiew

Photo courtesy: Badger W.

Almost tried to pretend it wasn’t coming.

Foolishly left the calendar page at ‘January’ as if doing so would sufficiently repress all memory of an approaching fact. The age I’ve been dreading for the longest time. Especially when you soon realise you’ve hit the first quarter of your personal life expectancy. Like a mid-life crisis, except mine’s a quarter life crisis.

Fill 'em up (because I don't know what else to say)

By Juliet Soh

"Basically, it's like... we asked 500 consumers about how they feel about the product itself, and yeah... most of them actually said that they were satisfied, and actually want to continue buying it and stuff like that. So... yeah... I'll move on to the next slide, which will actually show you how we upgraded the marketing plan itself to..."

Do you speak like that at an official presentation?

I know of many people who do. When people get nervous, they excessively use what we call "fillers" - words that don't add value to what you're saying. Common ones include: basically, it's like, yeah..., actually, itself, you know, right...

What's wrong with it, you wonder. It's wrong all over! Try removing the fillers from my first paragraph and you'd notice how redundant fillers are!

Backpacks & Business Shirts: You Are Not Mountain Climbing

By Farhan Shah

[This entry is partly inspired by my colleague and partner-in-crime, who blogged about women and high heels here]

While hanging on for dear life during my customary morning rides on the train, I also enjoy looking at the different denizens in the same carriage as me, who all either seem to be surgically attached to their smart devices or dozing off with their eyes open.

It was through these morning observations that made me realize this incredibly bad fashion faux pas – a large number of men in business shirts like to carry large, shapeless backpacks that make them look like oversized school children.

Don’t believe me? Just hang around any train station during peak hours and observe carefully. Besides wearing badly-tailored clothes (which deserves its own blog entry), a lot of men carry backpacks that look suspiciously like the ones they carried during their schooling days.

The Misfortune of a “Difficult” Name

by Melainne C.

People have always had some difficulty pronouncing my name. Not that it was particularly difficult, but it seemed to be a little bit of a tongue twister for the less articulate. Even as a child I often asked my mother how exactly my name was pronounced.

When I was younger I had welcomed it, glad that I had the proud badge of individuality emblazoned across my heart. I didn’t have to share my name with a hundred thousand other Melainnes, didn’t have to meet another Melainne, be confused with another Melainne, or turn around accidentally when some other Melainne was called instead.

My peers cursed and swore at having another Michelle in the class. They’d tell me jealously, “I wish I had a unique name, too!”

“Am I glad!” I’d think secretly to myself.

Poll Results: What do you do when you feel burnt out?

Running at the relentless pace of the indifferent urban jungle, what are the most common remedies to recharging a toiling body, mind and soul? According to a short poll conducted by JobsCentral, the most popular solution to dealing with a burnt out, would be to put away the mundane stress from work and go on an overseas trip.

The poll which was conducted between 3 January to 26 January, 2012, garnered a total of 186 votes.

Happily Ever After....... Not

by Melainne C.

With the sudden deluge of broken celebrity marriages once claimed to be “made in Heaven”, one wonders about the true essence of Marriage and the meeting of soulmates — if such a thing even exists.

Words like “Divorce” and “Separation” and “Legal Custody” thrown so carelessly around immediately brings the thought to mind: Why get married after all, when it’s bound to end anyway? Why enter a legal union only to leave, ashen-faced, broken-hearted and increasingly bitter at the world, not to mention the Divorcee label shamefully plastered across every identification document you own?

Perhaps everyone who marries sincerely believe theirs will never end.

The other day I was at the top of a certain flight of stairs when I saw an astonishing sight — An old couple, easily in their late 80s, slowly inching their way up with only the support of each others’ hands and a single wooden walking stick. They seemed quite breathless, the woman more so than the man, and yet nothing from the raucous world around or the curious stares seemed to bother them the slightest bit.

I was right in front of them when it all happened.

No more sloths, please!

Picture Source:
By Jacelyn Lim

In the midst of searching for that “perfect holiday job”, I felt like my friends were slowly morphing into sloths.

Meet Mr Sloth who lives to sleep and eat. He moves so slow he’d resemble your grandpa walking on the streets.

While I can’t comprehend the extent of procrastination some of my friends have adopted, many people have also questioned my sanity when I applied for an office job with fixed working days when I could - and should, as my aching tendons tried to convince me- have rested for the next 6 months while taking up a temporary job.

In fact, many of my friends are still taking their time AS JANUARY BEGINS TO BID FAREWELL, in finding one.

“This job’s paying me too low.”

“This job requires me to SWEEP THE FLOOR.”

“All the workers there are foreigners.”

“The uniform is so ugly!”

“I have to wake up at 7am if I were to work here!”

Vignette: A Day in the Life of an Office Worker

By Winifred Tan

It is 9am in the morning. You trudge into the office, make some small talk with your colleagues, sit down at your desk, wiggle a little to make yourself comfortable, and settle in for a day’s work.

For the next 4 hours, the only sounds emanating from your corner are of the clicking mouse, your fingers tapping away frantically on the keyboard, and the occasional murmured phone call.

Best Shoe Forward: Office Edition

By Juliet Soh

Shoes. They say women can never have enough of them.

I am guilty. I have so many shoes my family had to clear one cabinet recently to house all of them.

Even so, I don't think I've had enough. Nude heels, strappy sandals, black court shoes and oxford boots with tartan prints are still missing from my collection... I'd probably think of more if you ask me later.

With fabulous shoes come great responsibility and my mantra is simple: If you've got pretty shoes, flaunt them! Show them off to as many people as you can!

That is why I don't understand ladies who wear slippers to work and/or around the office.