Monday, August 27, 2007

A True Dilbert Story

The banner?!?! It’s the banner. You got to be kidding. You’re killing me.

The four sentences above were what I said on Friday August 24 driving home. My department’s Fiscal Year 2007 4th Quarter report was supposed to be completed on Friday. Instead, the report was finished late today. Why? The reason was the banner needed to be changed. The freakin banner.

I spent the entire day replacing the banners, changing the colors for the dividing lines, subheaders, and page footers for the 102 page report. Most of the reports were from templates. The reports from Word took the most time. WTF :-< Who created the Anchors? I never heard of Anchors.

My company’s first fiscal year month is August. Think of August as my company’s January and July as my company’s December. Today is August 27, 2007. According to my company’s Fiscal Year 2008 calendar, August 27, 2007 is the first day for Fiscal September 2008. My company is in September, the second month for 1st Quarter Fiscal Year 2008, and my department finished the 4th Quarter Fiscal Year 2007 report. Oh, I forgot to mention it’s the draft final. Key word is “draft.” Drafffft. *shakes head* I wonder what’s next? And I have two assignments I need to start Tuesday: one is the Fiscal Year September report and the second is for a presentation on Wednesday.

I finished calculating the numbers and creating the rough drafts weeks ago. I don’t know why my team took long to send me their reports, numbers, and write-ups. Were they slow? Did they have other higher priority assignments? Were they working harder and not working smarter? Or am I too good for the job I started five months ago?

Objectively speaking, I don’t know the true reason why I was told to change the banner last minute. Perhaps, there was a legitimate reason. For now and thinking practically, my answer is, “you’re kidding . . . the banner.” *complex huh look*

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Innovate Infinitely

15 years ago, I started attending San Jose State University (SJSU). I graduated with a B.S. in Economics and a Minor in Mathematics in Fall 1997. I took Academic English II, a remedial writing class, in my first semester because I failed the freshmen entry writing test. I missed passing by one point =(

The class required the students to write three essays. The essays were graded number 1 to number 5 with 5 being best and 1 being worst. No letter grading. I scored a 4 on my three essays. That was good. Each student must talk with the professor and the professor provided feedback. I remember my third talk with the professor. The professor said my scores were good and my writing was consistent. I forgot whether the professor demanded me to improve my writing.

Throughout my five and a half years at SJSU, I was consistent in my education and classes. I never found anything to improve my learning. I believed in the attitude “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” I never failed a class and never dropped a class. I failed to innovate my learning, innovate my studying, and innovate my skills outside college. For example, I studied my classes the old fashion way: attend lectures, take notes, go home and read the book, and study my notes. I prepared my exams two weeks before exam day. I failed to find a better way to study back then.

Another example is I didn’t read any books outside my classes. I thought everything I needed to learn was at SJSU. I was wrong. Textbooks taught academic education and failed to teach practical and life lessons. I also failed to innovate myself as a student including meeting new people, finding new interests and hobbies, seeking new adventures, visiting new places . . . the list went on from the small stuff of eating new food to the big stuff of finding a part time job too late. I worked part time on Summer 1996. I should have worked at a job earlier, but at least I did something ^^

Since 2004, I have been catching up—catching up on five and a half years of failed and missed opportunities at SJSU. I say with confidence I have learned new skills, acquired new knowledge, met new friends, visited new places, and experienced new experiences. I continue to keep my eyes open, my ears listening, my brain expanding, my nose smelling, my hands feeling, and my mouth communicating.

Who taught me how to write? Lydia Ortega, Professor of Economics and current Chairwoman of the Economics Department. Thank you for teaching me how to write. Students, if you seek to find something to improve outside your classes, learn how to write better. Innovate your writing skills. After you complete the writing, find something else to innovate. Innovate infinitely.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Hate Something? Do Something Else

At Anime Expo 2003, there was a person I wanted to avoid. Many people know the feeling. We want to avoid the person or persons. If we see any of them, then a good day turns bad. Our face turns gloomy just seeing the person's face. Unfortunately, I saw the person. But fortunately, Anime Expo 2003 is one of my all time favorite conventions.

What happened? Anime Expo 2003 was a blast full of good fun. My face was smiling. The convention was personally considered "the perfect con." (Today, Anime Expo 2006 is my all-time favorite con.) When you hate something or someone, find something else to worry. The world is huge. There is much to do in the world today. We live in the Information Age. Again, find something else to worry. Find something else to do. Do anything to remove the hate something or hate someone from your mind, from your presence. Out of sight, out of mind.

Furthermore, don't sweat the small stuff. If something happens and it's not going to matter one year later, then forget about it. If someone cuts you off driving in the freeway, forget it. If you spilled milk, clean it up, and forget it. If you didn't win a contest, forget it. If a stranger said something insulting, forget it. Find something else to be productive. When you accomplish something else, you feel good and the bad feelings from the hated something or hated someone is forgotten.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Ceiling Above Me Never Changes

Yesterday and today boredom struck me. It started around 6pm yesterday at work. I was finishing my assignments for the day and continued working on my team’s 4th Quarter 2007 Fiscal Year report. Then boredom feeling entered inside me. My emails were read. Nothing new at the forums I post. I watched videos on YouTube, downloaded mp3s, and watching too many videos got boring—at least for me I can’t watch hours of hours of YouTube.

I arrived home at 7:50pm. I checked the refrigerator to see what I’m cooking tonight. My Mom said I’m cooking steak. Great :X Nothing new. The same broiled dinner. (In fairness, my Mom stayed home for the week because she’s working on an outfit for my sister.) I cooked dinner; however, I ate cereal, nuts, bread, and a banana. I wanted something different.

At 9:30pm, I realized it was later than what I thought. I prepared to work out at the gym. The workout was modified because I was short on time. My gym closes at 11:00pm. I stretched, rode on the stationary bike, jogged on the treadmill, and did sit-ups. I arrived home at 11:20pm. I showered and brushed my teeth. At midnight, I went to the Internet to download anime fansubs on my laptop. Throughout the night, the boredom feeling remained inside. I wanted to do something different and I was still wide awake. I turned on my work laptop and watched two episodes of Bleach, a popular anime series currently. I watched anime on my lunch hour in the weekdays only. Watching anime on the weekends is rare. I went to sleep at 1:00am.

I woke up today at 8:30am. For breakfast, I ate toast, potato chips, and peanut butter. For me, I dislike peanut butter and jelly together. I must eat separately :-P Today’s breakfast was unhealthy. My breakfast includes Cheerios and/or oatmeal and fruit. The “do something different” mentality remained inside me.

I arrived at work at 10:00am. Traffic was light, especially for a Friday. I logged on, checked my email for priority requests and immediately response, and then I brushed my teeth. Then I worked on my weekly assignments and my team’s 4th Quarter 2007 Fiscal Year report which is still not done. I received word the report is going to be finished next week. *Sigh* I was done with my portion last week *__*

I ate lunch at 1:50pm and watched two episodes of Bleach. After lunch, I finished my weekly assignments. I received bad news my team’s 4th Quarter 2007 Fiscal Year report might be revised. No way. My team is waiting next week to confirm from two people in our department. Between breaks, I checked my personal emails, watched a few YouTube videos, and sat quietly and looked at the ceiling.

And here I’m now. Waiting patiently. Staring up the ceiling thinking what could I have done differently and what I can do differently in the future ~~ The last two days I felt like my weekdays are the same, same, same. Get up, go to work, come home, cook dinner, and go to sleep. I work out at the gym two days a week. Other days I do my usual whatever such as updating my webpage, read a book, do home errands, or if I’m really tired, I sleep early. My usual whatevers have been my usual whatevers. Nothing new. Nothing different. I have 1,005 songs on my mp3 player I listen at work and at the gym, yet when I listen to a song I could have sworn I listened to each song 1,005 times. I want to hear something different. Eating dinner and bringing lunch to work the food have been the same. It’s either broiled or something my Mom made which tastes plain. I’m tired of Cisco’s cafeteria food, and it’s expensive to eat out many times $-(

What’s worst? Being depressed or being bored? Fortunately, these feelings of boredom, depression, mellowness, sadness, any negative emotion, feeling, and attitude are temporary. Feeling down motivates me to find a way to get over it. In time, I find something new to do and my boredom is removed.

After work, I do something different. Depending on what tonight’s activities are, I buy pizza for dinner for everyone ;-)

Side note: I plan to sign up at Napster to download mp3s. I have a 30 day trial coupon.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A 12 Year Mistake

I remember in elementary school I made lots of friends. How easy was making friends in our youth? Jerry Seinfeld said it best: You like cherry soda, I like cherry soda, let’s be friends. Or how about you and a group hanging around and everyone played tag, hide and seek, or dodge ball. It was easy getting along with others when we were children. Sometimes, we don’t get along. I had my share, too. My fourth grade and fifth grade were the best years for friends. My classmates got along with each other. I was one of the least popular, least smartest, and naïve such that I behaved like a toddler ;__; Regardless, many of my classmates treated me with respect and invited me in activities such as recess football.

Moving ahead to my first semester at San Jose State University in fall 1992. I concentrated on my classes only. I didn’t make any new friends. I didn’t participate in recreational activities. I just studied such that I knew when Christmas vacation comes, my friends from college and those remaining in high school meet up and hang out. I didn’t need any new friends. I didn’t need to meet new people.

From August 1992 to September 2004, I met a handful of new people (excluding my workplace co-workers) and made three new friends. I met the three new friends in 1997. I hung out with most of my high school friends during my college vacations. My 12 year mistake was I failed to continuously meet new people and make new friends. In September 2004, I attended an anime convention. I wore a costume for the first time and participated in a gathering where I met people. The event was a wake up call. Why did I do wrong?

What if I started to meet new people, participated in recreational activities in college, find new hobbies and new interests, and instant message and chatted online during the 12 years? Maybe I could have been married? Maybe I could have been a better person? Maybe I could have a better career? Maybe I could have lived somewhere else? Maybe I could have new hobbies? Maybe I could have different values? Too many maybes, too little time to dwell on the past—the could haves, should haves, and would haves (oops, I said the word “will”).

Nobody can ever have too many friends. It’s a small world. Since 2004 when I started to meet new people, some of the new people I met knew others and those others I met them at another event. It’s the circle of friends. My circles are overlapping and I’m creating new circles. I’m re-learning how to meet new people, to make new friends, and to be a popular person. A popular person is not being the “Big Person On Campus.” A popular person is a person who is being liked. If you want to be liked, then be helpful to others, present yourself with positive character, possess the charming attitude, influence others to be better and to take the next step forward, be a good listener, smile--in short, have a friendly personality. You’re not going to make new friends every time you meet new people in a social instance; however, it’s a small world and you may see them in the future for which you may become friends at a later date.

Who you know is more important that what you know. Schools fail to teach the lesson.

Side Note: September 2004 was the first time I met new people. The event was JapanTowne Anime Faire 2 (JTAF 2). If the event took place before August 2004, my 30th birthday, then the event is my number 1 most memorable moment in my 30 years of living.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

One Lunch Day In 2000

In the year 2000, my last company, Colliers International, moved to a new office building outside Downtown San Jose. I walked from the office to downtown to purchase a sandwich at Togo’s, a sandwich restaurant like Subway. I ate Togo’s sandwiches two times a week and on days I work out at the gym.

I remembered a homeless person on the corner during one summer day. The person held a sign saying all hope is loss. I walked on the other side from Togo’s because I didn’t want the homeless person to look at my sandwich. Regretfully, when I arrived back at work, I should have purchased two sandwiches—one for myself and one for the homeless person. I messed up.

The instance above is an example of using money as a tool for good. There are situations, events, and circumstances where one can use money to benefit a group of people, help a person in need, create action to start something positive, and show appreciation for someone who helped you. We all want to have lots of money. There are instances where money is best used spent to give you and others a smile.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Something New To Me

Since 2006, something new has been happening to me. It's a new experience I continue to understand and to learn. It's a new experience some people acquired at a younger age. It's a new experience I sometimes forget how to respond, how to follow, and how to model from those who do it naturally. The experience is being thanked by others and appreciated by others for who I am and what I do.

My family has been helping me out. They pay me back for food and groceries. They rarely paid me in the past, and, honestly, I never expected them since we're family. I always say forget about paying me. Recently, my family has been consistent in paying me back. Also, my parents have been letting me go out more often. My family had lots of family events and I participated in them in the past. There have been fewer family events today so it's good timing. My family has been opening up trying new ideas and ventures. Maybe they are taking my example of living more active and trying something new attitude *hee, hee* And my family seems to be talking to me more. It's mostly small talk. It's just that they are saying more. I think my family is appreciating what I have done with appropriate action.

My friends welcome my presence and they thank me for being part of their lives. I receive appreciation in the form of constant and sincere thanks. I receive items such as CDs with mp3. I receive information I use at a future date. I receive answers for my questions, even when I think my questions are dumb. I receive money to help me buy food and items for special events. I receive welcomes when I hang out with my friends. By being with my friends, I become a better person. They share their experience, share their adventures, and share their friendship with me. And I become a better person. I'm learning a lot from them and my life has become less dull XD Yeah, my life is still dull . . . yet I see bright and happy days ahead. I really thank my friends for being a part of me, a part of a better me.

Before 2006, I thanked others and I appreciated others for helping me be who I am today, for being my friend, and for being someone who welcomed my presence and my friendship. Before 2006, I performed the extra effort, helped out a little more, and extended my assistance to my family and friends. Many times, I received no clear appreciation such that I ask myself, "Am I important to my circle of friends?" Or "Am I really helping my family?" Furthermore, I never received clear cut signals from my family and friends I'm welcomed, I'm appreciated, and I'm part of their lives. My confidence was low when I met new people, hung out with my limited friends, and participated in family activities. I felt unimportant. Was I a good person to be with or a pain in the ass?

To repeat, I continue to understand and to learn how to behave when I'm being thanked and I'm being appreciated for my actions, my attitude, my knowledge, and my friendship to my family and my friends. All the experiences are making be a better person. I'm innovating myself. By being with my family, my friends, and meeting new people, I want to learn who they are and I want them to learn who I am. I'm not used to being on the receiving end. I have always given my thanks and appreciation.

Make sure you show your appreciation to you family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, strangers, anyone who took their time, spent their money, shared their experience, and/or give information such as referrals, tips, and street directions to you. Never assume the person is appreciated. Tell them, show them your appreciation. Do some action. Say "Thank You" with sincerity. Return the favor at a later time. Treat the person or persons out for a meal. Offer something the person or persons might be interested. Do something, do some action to recognize and appreciate their assistance appropriately.