Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Animal CSI Workshop

I have attended the Animal CSI Workshop organized by DSPCA last Friday.

I actually almost couldn't make it because all the admin people in the office are either on holiday or sick. But as I said, my boss is the nicest boss ever, he let me go and do receptionist himself. See? I am not happy with my work not because of the people nor the stuff I do. I am ok with that. It is the whole corporate way that makes everyone the same that pisses me off. My boss is a kind man and he offered to do that because there was not many people in the office that Friday and he was the boss in the office. I am sure if he was travelling and I would ask the second-in-charge, he would have said no. (It has actually happened before) Because in the corporate world, everyone is trying to cover their arses. I am not blaming them because they are victims themselves - bi-product of the corporate way of management, making everyone generic. Anyway, I hate you Corporate World!

Back to about the workshop...

It was such a great feeling again to be with a room full of people who all cares about animal cruelty. There were vets, vet nurses, cops, social workers, SPCA inspectors, etc. I felt so at ease to be with these people. And for once, I am not the 'weird one' who cares about the animal.

I was listening to the lecture from 9-5, I didn't feel one second sleepy or bored or anything that like (unlike the time in the Corporate). I was so excited that I almost couldn't even eat my lunch. I was also knitting while listening to the lecture, no one stared at me nor asked silly questions. Then I started day dreaming about if IT is my life, a life as self-employed an animal behaviourist, going to conferences, lectures, cat-sitting that fit into my schedule, knitting while doing all that. That's not too bad at all! I need to have a life like that!

Then come Monday, back to the Corporate, feeling worse than ever, it's like people giving prisoner a taste of freedom and lock them back in. That's how I feel, I feel worse than before. The urge to get out of here is bigger than ever.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

My first animal conference

I have attended my first Association of Dogs and Cats Homes Conference yesterday.

Actually I have only half attended because I couldn't get out of work (all administrative staff is either on holiday or ill, I was alone), but I am happy enough to be there for at least part of it.

The conference was held in O'Reilly hall in University College Dublin. Look! It's a nice place, isn't it?

I couldn't make most of the lecture, I could only make the evening event for the exhibition, networking and dinner.

So I arrived at the registration and found my pass there. It felt so good that my name is actually on a conference pass for an animal conference. It gave such a I-am-in-this-new-business feeling. I browsed around other people's names, they are all from different existing animal companies or organisation, I was the only one without a company name. I felt a bit uncomfortable at the beginning knowing that I would probably be the one who know the least about this business, but I didn't feel too nervous, I mean I might not know about animal business but I do know how to go to conferences, I have been some because of my work, so I figured it would be too different.

I started browsing around, talking to exhibitors, played animal care professional. It was fun and great to know it is one step closer to my self-employed road to this new and exciting industry. Though I had difficulty to remember that I AM in this business now and presented myself differently from my day-job. Instead of sayingm, 'Hi, I work for xxx bank', I have to say, 'Hi, I am starting a pet-sitting business, how are you doing?' Some practice is definitely needed.

I met quite a few people from DSPCA, it was great to see them again and hanged out with them during the dinner. I have never ever seen the vegetarian option during a hot-folk dinner to be the first one that needed refilled! Hey, it is an animal care conference!

It was so great to be with whole bunch of people in this business in the same room, talked to different people who care about animal, passionate about their welfare, bringing new products to the market for the animals and their human companion, etc. Everything is new to me and exciting. I am so glad to be there.

Plus, there is always the goodie bag...

( Proof of co-existance of day-job and 'road to self-employed' : business suitcase thing behind the conference bag)

Question: Is it weird to be so happy to have a bottle of 'URINE OFF' and a box of cat treats in my bag?

I am officially in this business.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Corporate so-called care to the community

I have told you, the 'What-the-f...' corporate moments just keep coming up. Maybe it is me. Well, it is me who got really pissed off by the system and seeing more pissed off things everywhere.

Today we have been told that we are encouraged and entitled to two days off per year, to volunteer in organisation that is working on aspects in the community that the corporate committed to. (The last sentence is a bit long and difficult to understand, right? See what we have to put up with sometimes with these corporate people). Or you can claim the hours of other causes that you are passionate about. The reason is of course they care about the community, also they can claim the hours we work in those organisations as expenditure.

I have been volunteering in the animal rescue shelter for a few months now, so I spoke up and said, well, you guys can claim my hours and I got the days off.

Guess what they said? (I swear, I have all respect to the person who said that coz he is one of the best boss I have ever had) They are not sure if animal rescue is along the line of 'caring about the community'.

I am not fresh out from college, of course I understand the whole thing behind all these committment to the community blah blah is about corporate images and stuff. But 'animal rescue is not along the line of caring about the community' is just too much for me to take in under my current 'anti-corporate' mood.

Monday, April 20, 2009

I am back!

Guys, I know I have been disappeared for a while. There have been a lot of things going on for the past few months since my last entry, starting by crazy Christmas knitting...

I don't know if I shall do this Christmas knitting thing again. I thought it would be fun, but it turns out (like many of you have already known) to be very stressful to make sure everyone is happy. I am a PA by trade, it is stressful enough as it is to make sure everyone in the office is happy with the Christmas party! (turns out, like every year, they are NOT happy, there is always someone...)

Then January, I was still struggling with my Christmas knitting, depressing January, I don't have to go in details, you know what I mean.

February, the coursework from my Cat Behaviour course starts to roll on (I will tell you the details in the coming days, coz it is so funny that it deserves separate entries).

March, the big trip back to Hong Kong. I was so freaked out that my man won't like my hometown, won't like my folks (vice versa of course), my friends will think I am an alien because I don't dress the same, etc.

I have been feeling a bit depressed after all these months, it is a long story, will you get a cup of coffee or tea and listen?

Here is how it goes...my grandmother was seriously ill in the hospital in December, well, she was dying, we all knew that. You know when you got to the point that all of your family couldn't do anything but wait? On top of that, as you can imagine, there will always be legal stuff regarding to inheritance for time like that. People are crying, fighting, etc. I am sure I am not alone, it happens to a lot of family.

However, I realise one thing is not right. I went to work every day, I have to put on a smiley face.

Some people in the office knows about the story, but I work in a bank. Those of you who work in a corporate environment will see what I mean. In the corporate world, there is just a lack of human touch that you are SUPPOSED to have a smiley face. You are SUPPOSED to be professional, banker looking, etc. I don't know if it has ever happened to you that you sit down and think, 'hey, that's not right, I am a human being!' Then the ball starts rolling. I realise working in a corporate environment is not right. I am sure many of you feel very comfortable about it, but I realise I don't. I hope I can explain myself clearly. Imagine if I were to work in a shop in a village or I am a farmer, the whole village of people won't expect me to smile and chat away while they know my grandma is dying, right? That's what I am saying if you see where I am getting to.

I just can't stop thinking about this subject. I talked to Stephanie from a LYS the YarnRoom. One of the thing she said keep haunting me. She said, 'I have tried all these, being corporate people and all, but I am so happy now to be running my little yarn store.' I looked at this woman standing in front of me, in the cold and rain of Ireland, minding her little booth in the Sunday farmer market, she is contented. She went on to say, 'because you know all your efforts goes to your own benefit, not of the other, that's a good feeling.'

As if it is a sign from some superior power, I fell into the story of Jenna Woginrich, then I just come to an awareness that, 'hey, I am not alone to feel that; spending most of your waking hours in a cubicle farm, staring at the screen, dressing the way you are supposed to and pretending you love the company, etc; is not humaine!' Especially all the financial crisis that happened since then makes us realise, we are just a number on a piece of paper to those corporate executives. Hey, crap, I do have a number, that's the number I use to communicate with some far away IT help desk people when my computer has a problem. To the company, I am not my name, I am the number. There are people around me who worked for certain companies for 10 years, they have a laugh and share 8 hours every day with their colleagues and bosses, one day, they could come to you and said, we are going bankrupt, sorry, don't come back tomorrow, we won't be able to pay. A company with 20 staff won't go bankrupt in one day, it is just bad behaviour not to tell people until the last minute if you ask me.

However, this enlightment is not totally a pleasant thing, because now, I am just thinking of GETTING OUT OF HERE every day! It is driving me insane!

It is all too depressing. I couldn't bring myself together to write about all these until today because there was just too many things happened in my head in one go that I wasn't sure I could put them down without sounding negative. Thanks to some of you who left comments to cheer me up on my writing, I am back here today and will be around from now on.
I am not just sitting here and whining about my life though, I do have an action plan! Once I finish my first year of Cat Behaviour study, I will start up a cat sitting company to serve the Dublin area. I would rather to be working with cats and their owner who care about the same thing as I do than figures, targets and balance sheet. So if anyone of you are looking for a cat sitter with professional training, I am here!

I am so going to read these books and rest assured that the topic of my road to self-employment will keep coming back from now on.