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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Right, but Not Correct

I really have to share this inspiring story which I heard through one of Ajahn Brahm's CDs.  This is a story he always tells when he is invited to conduct wedding blessings.  This particular story was told when he was in Malaysia.  This story explains very well what it means when "you are right, but not correct."


A husband and wife had a wonderful dinner at a restaurant in KL.  After the dinner, it was a cool night, so they decided to take a stroll through a park and enjoy the evening together.   As they were walking, hand in hand, in harmony, suddenly they heard a sound.
Quack, quack!
The wife said:  Did you hear that, dear?  That was the sound of a chicken.
The husband said:  No, dear, that was not a chicken.  It was a duck.
The wife insisted:  It's a chicken, dear. There! I heard it again.
Husband:  It's a duck!  Chicken don't go "quack quack".
And they went on arguing: Chicken! Duck! Chicken! Duck! Chicken....
until the wife started to get tears in her eyes.
Then the husband, looked at his wife with the tears in her eyes, and remembered why he loved her in the first place.  So, quietly he said: I'm sorry, dear, I was mistaken, it was a chicken after all.
The wife smiled through her tears and said:  Thank you, dear.
And they went on, hand in hand, strolling at the park in peace and harmony and had a wonderful evening.  And the chicken went on calling Quack, quack!

In this instance, the husband was wise, because he remembered there are more important things in life than being right.  He understood priorities.  How many times have you got into an argument with your loved one or family because of some really trivial matter, just like in the story?  When the husband insisted on "Duck!", he was right, but not correct.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Baby Xin's visit to Domain apartment

These past 4 days, J had taken the whole family back to his hometown to visit his sister.  Only Baby Xin and I did not go due to some work commitment that I had.  So during the weekend, I was left alone with Baby.  
Today  I had some more repairs to complete at the Domain, as well as a short-term tenant moving in, so I had no choice but to bring Baby Xin along.  
The good thing is that being a toddler now, she easily adapts to new environment, discovering ordinary objects that fascinates her.  Here are pictures of her at the Domain lobby, where she had fun playing on the mozaic stone seats.  So it was a great pleasure to combine my "work" as a landlady, and spending time with her.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Handling a Team

I realized I have blogged less and less about "Work" here, even though that is part of my theme.  Increasingly, it is difficult to keep a blog about work when there are so many challenges and I only want to blog about success and happiness and keep the negativity at bay.
Still I would like to be thankful for the learnings that I get, so that I keep improving myself.
Photo from: http://munei.co.za/team.html

One of the lessons is what do you do when you lead a team who may be less enthusiastic than yourself?
By "enthusiastic", I mean having the passion, the drive to go out there and execute the plans even though all the odds are against you. Doing whatever it takes doggedly, even though immediate results may not show.  And this is critical especially when you need urgency and action amongst your team to turn the situation around.
I spoke to several people regarding this, and the feedback was always the same.  When this happens, you talk to the team first, to ensure that they all understand the situation and what needs to be done.  If they know and they are still not doing it, it means that their hearts are not there with you anymore.
Worse, if there are negative people in your team, not taking ownership of their portion of work and even infecting the others with their defeatist attitude.
For most of these people, the solution is only to change the job environment.  This is where management skills will come in to handle the situation properly and objectively, not emotionally and judgmentally.  It is better this way for the person and for the manager.  The person in the team will have a chance for a new lease of life in a different work environment, and the manager gets to hire a fresh start who would not have all the burden of negativity of a long-ailing business environment.

For me, the most important is your immediate boss knows that you are doing all you can.  That way he or she can support you and vouch that you have tried your best.  In my capacity, if I am still needed here, I would do what I can, which includes weeding out the weak chain-links that do not work, and bringing in new links that will make the team stronger.  Sure, the results would be devastating for a while where the technical know-how and business relationships disappear with the old team.  But a fresh start works better than the same old doldrums of non-performance.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Bicycle Seat for Baby

While I was away on company trip, J bought a new bicycle for Yuan.  This bicycle has a metal holder behind the seat, so in one stroke of ingenuity, J thought about installing a seat on that metal holder.
This is how he did it.

He removed the legs from the Ikea high chair that we have at home, and fastened the seatbelt onto the metal holder.  So the seat is now secure.  It is so much fun watching the kids take turns to ride the bicycle with the baby in the seat.

Friday, June 3, 2011

My World Vision Stamp Collection

One of the charities I support is World Vision.  I have sponsored a child since 2006 (I think).  Each year World Vision will send an annual progress report with a picture of the sponsored child and some of his writings. I think my sponsored child was 5 when I started, and he is now 11 years old.
I think it is a great charity to help underprivileged children in remote areas, for only RM50 a month.  Sometimes we don't know how much RM50 a month can do, especially in areas less fortunate than ours.

I am especially thrilled because World Vision takes the effort to select beautiful stamps to send the annual progress report of my sponsored child.   As an avid stamp collector, I show off my World Vision collection here ;-)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Successful Eye Surgery for Correcting Squints

These past 2 days I was on leave, because yesterday was Yuan's eye surgery.  She had a squint problem in both eyes.  While most are squinting inwards, her squint is outwards.  If we leave the condition for too long, she will have poor eyesight.  After I took her for the eye checkup, the paeds ophthalmologist recommended for surgery, so we chose this May school holidays to do it.
Before surgery
I didn't tell Yuan about this until the day of the surgery because I didn't want her to be afraid.  After Yuan changed into the ward clothes, the anaesthetist came along and explained to her, and she seemed to understand and was very brave about it. Yuan underwent general anesthesia, and the surgery procedure took only half an hour. We went to the eye centre at 9am and checked out at 1.30pm, so it was a hassle free, daycare procedure.
When Yuan came out she was asleep, and upon waking she was fretting because she couldn't open her eyes. But this was already told to her before the surgery, so she calmed down.  As a post-surgery gift, Yuan got a stamp album, something which she has been requesting for a while.  She couldn't see it, but she could touch it and count the pages in it.
Today we went for the post-operative checkup and I was delighted and thankful to hear the doctor said that Yuan is doing very well.  Perfectly straight eyesight, no more squinting upon testing.
For this week, Yuan has to refrain from swimming and avoid getting bath water in her eyes.  Besides that she needs to apply eye shields when she goes to sleep to prevent accidental rubbing of eyes.  We can see that the corners of her eyes are still red from the surgery scars, Yuan calls them vampire eyes.
Now I learnt that all kids before entering primary school, should have a routine eye check up with an ophthalmologist.  Another thing I am thankful about is, when Wei had his eye check up yesterday, he has perfect eyesight!  No problems, despite all the computer games, iPad games, tv etc......