The biggest news affecting the company was released today. It shook the world, and I found out via a facebook status update. So did most of my colleagues – who read it on google news, yahoo news, facebook as well.
Sure, there’s some corridor chatter, and water-cooler talks, but it’s strangely quiet and calm – no word/email from corporate. A normal day at work. Everyone’s huddled at their work station, continuing with the daily grind. Life goes on. Stuff still needs to be done.
But I guess that’s how it’s supposed to be, isn’t it?
His biggest legacy was not in building the best products, but in creating a system and institutionalizing processes that can continue to run even without him at the control button.
If we had all descended into chaos today, I think I would have been more afraid and he would have failed as a leader.
In law, there is the “Doctrine of Proportionality” – where any measure that is adopted should not have any greater effect than what is necessary to achieve its intended objective.
Not so in real life.
Our coexistence with the birds* has reached a “containment” (to use a Cold War term) phase. We are arming ourselves with the “Super Soaker Tornado Strike” (under the Lethal Weapons Section in Toys R Us) to scare them off.
Note*: The original 2 baby pigeons have grown up and flew off, but the pigeons are refusing to leave. They are coming back with more twigs to build a bigger, better nest. Just this week, we had to clear off a dead decomposing baby bird in its nest.
” There is no magic like traveling alone, without friends or colleagues to condition one’s opinions. It is the very loneliness that makes travel worthwhile: to be in isolation with historical forces, with only landscapes and books as guides.”
[from: Robert Kaplan’s Eastward to Tartary]
Planning for my solo travels again, with adventure & common sense as my guide and a camera & guidebooks as my companions. It’s nice to be able to travel on my own sometimes. It frees me from the expectations of others.
I have an irrational fear (and dislike) of birds.
It’s most unfortunate then, that a family of pigeons have decided to make my air-con ledge their home.
It started with Mr. Cinical pointing out the 2 eggs on the ledge.
They hatched and out came 2 baby pigeons. They were the ugliest things I have ever seen, big beady eyes, rough skin pink with bits of black feathered fluff. They have not learned to fly, so they wandered around the ledge all day, stretching and flapping their wings. They chirped (rather loudly) for food in the morning and evening. Their parents (an all-black one and a green-necked/grey one) stand guard all afternoon on the ledge, occasionally flying off to forage for food.
The chicks used to be afraid of me, running to hide behind the air-conditioner whenever I go near. They have since grown braver and our relationship evolved into an uneasy tension. I’m afraid they will fly into the house (anyone seen/read Alfred Hitchcock’s Birds?) and they are afraid that I might throw a clothes peg at them.
I can’t wait for the chicks to grow up and fly away. I can’t stand the thought of my ledge being their permanent home. And horror, what if they think they are house-pets and they see me as a landing pad?
But as with all relationships, the uneasy tension has now become grudging acceptance. In the wee hours of Saturday morning, when there was thunder and lightning, I found myself wondering how those chicks will survive in a thunderstorm. I caught the adult pigeons cooing and pecking each other affectionately on Sunday afternoon and I smiled to myself.
It’s conflicting, I know. But I think I will miss them (just that little bit) when they finally leave.
I think Mr. Cinical is facing a mid-life crisis of sorts or perhaps he has ran out of (new) gadgets to entertain himself with. I have been assaulted these few days by his begs, pleas, threats, bribes about us getting a new car. A car which we can ill-afford. A car also known as the BMW Z4.
Take 1 (Appeal to the Heart)
Me: It’s still a NO…We can’t afford it..Blah Blah…expensive…crazy..Blah Blah.
Mr. Cinical (with bright pleading eyes): You know, I have never asked you for anything ever since we have been together.
Me: No. You asked for my hand in marriage, don’t you remember?
Mr. Cinical: Argggggggggghhhh! No!!!
Take 2 (Attempt at a more rational approach)
Mr. Cinical: You know, I’m not technically asking you to okay the purchase of the car.
Me: What do you mean?
Mr. Cinical: Think of it as a stock buyback. The company usually has to seek the Board of Director’s Approval before a stock repurchase. But this approval given doesn’t necessarily mean that the company will exercise it.
Me: That means it’s still conditional upon my approval right? It’s still a no.
Mr. Cinical: Do you agree that my success had brought about some degree of material comfort for you?
Me: Hmm, yes, to some degree.
Mr. Cinical: Then you should be buying me dinner.
Mr. Cinical: Since you agreed that my success has benefitted you, you should be buying me dinner as a form of reward.
Learning point: Always think before you answer. Particularly if you are married to someone who’s learning the art of asking questions.
Mr Cinical: I attempted to reserve a Banyan Tree Villa in Bintan for Valentine’s Day, but it was all booked out.
Me: Oh, so what’s your alternative plan?
Mr. Cinical: Nothing. And I thought it was the thought that counted.
Me: Before marriage, it was the intention that matters. After marriage, it’s the action that counts.
Mr. Cinical: And I thought it was the other way around.