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So, why do guys luv football (or any sports for that matter)?

Well, because it’s our nature? LOL. Actually there are quite a number of female friends of mine who luv to watch football. Some of them even support the club that i’ve been supporting since 1990 – Manchester United. Erm….some of them started watching football (or Manchester United) because of …..David Beckham.

Mmm, i m not sure about other people but for myself, i started watcing football since 1989, influenced by my dad. He’s a MU fan and at that time, i was in primary 1. He always asked me to sit down with him to watch the game. At that time, i was thinking “what is so nice bout football? one ball, chase here and there like idiots” and i fell asleep within 5-10 minutes.

1 year later, i started to enjoy the “idiotic” game more. And in 2000, i became a die-hard MU fan. 2004, i started to watch every single MU game including those at 3am on weekdays. πŸ˜‰

It’s nice to see the team you support win things…and see the youngsters becoming successful, the newcomers blending well and showing you a bag of tricks….. and most importantly, is to watch and enjoy the game with my family and friends. πŸ™‚

Believe me, when you watch skillful players dribbling and doing crossover…it’s entertaining. Of course, it’s never fun to watch a bunch of idiots (all 10 of them, excluding the goalkeeper of course) chasing after every single ball from 1 end to the other end (i donno why…but the word Malaysia suddenly springs to my mind). If a team doesn’t play entertaining football, even a football fan like me will fall asleep.

So, there you are – excitement (esp when the team you support is losing…but too much of this is bad for your heart..so..it’s better to have the team winning πŸ˜›) entertainment (skills), family (my dad’s influence) and friends/colleagues (can talk more esp wif fellow MU fans). Some of you might say $$$….but it doesn’t apply for me because i don’t bet. πŸ˜› Not when the thing you’re trying to bet on is a round thing. Hahahah.

So fellow football fans, be it guys or gals…do share with us why do you luv football? πŸ˜›

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This phrase is a very common phrase, used widely by the authors of motivational books, by leaders, counselors, etc. We hear this line almost every week. But most of us don’t really realize it.

For myself, i’ve known this ‘theory’ since many years ago but till today, i must admit i cannot really control my emotions properly.

Just yesterday, i did something which i shouldn’t have done.

I reached home quite late (10.30 pm…. so stewpid, 10pm went back from KL City and got stuck in a ‘mini’ traffic jam). I was very tired then my friend (ex-classmate) messaged me in MSN and said “HAHA, Rooney KAKI PATAH !!” I was like ….er… ok. So? Then he repeated the same thing…and i must admit, i got pissed and said “Aren’t you bored? You know I am die-hard Manchester United fan and you have been cursing my team for few years now. I’m bit tired with all your curses”

Somehow, my friend got offended and the conversation ended there.

To be honest, i am really a die hard MU fan. But the thing is, i don’t see a point of making a joke over someone’s broken leg, be it my favourite player or someone i hardly know. Guess i’m not really a person who can take certain ‘jokes’ lightly. I guess i really need to change on this.
Few minutes later, I’ve realized how stupid I was to behave that way when the line “you control your own emotions” came to me. Yeap, i CAN control my emotions and i really shouldn’t make such a big fuss over someone i don’t know, no matter what my friend did or said. It’s no big deal actually. A few wrong words basically ruined my friend’s mood and worsen my day.

In the end, i promised myself not to repeat that. Nothing is big enough to worth damaging my friendship with my friends (ok, pardon me for the weird English). After all….i’m quite sure MU can still win without Rooney. hahahaha.

So here, mst apologize to my friend Rob. πŸ˜‰

p/s… i seriously doubt he actually checks my blog…and oh yea, he’s a Liverpool fan. πŸ˜› That should explain why he likes to curse MU πŸ˜€Β 

p/s… this is just an example of me and my friend. Sometimes, i lost control of my own emotions against my family members as well. That hurts the most. Maybe that’s why i feel i must really learn to control my own emotions…Β 

I have this idea of integrating work and games together. I’ve told some people about it. 1/10 said it’s interesting. Another 1/10 told me to go for whatever i believe in. 2/10 said i’m crazy and 6/10 just said that it’s impossible.

They actually made me believe that it’s impossible until i found this article in Entrepreneur.com. Apparently, there’s someone in the US who is researching on the same thing.

So my dear readers, do you think this is a good idea? I know it’s not going to be easy especially to some people who are anti-games.

Here’s the link.

Are You Game?

When we were kids (ah….those were the days….), school used to be our 2nd home. We eat there, study there, sleep there (yea, i used to sleep a lot in classes). But as we grow older (suddenly sound so sad), our 2nd home is no longer our school but our office. We eat (sandwiches? biscuits?), sleep (nap?), work and study there. We spend 8 hours a day in our office and sometimes more than the amount of time we spend at home.

That’s why it is quite important to choose the right company…it is just like choosing your life companion. Unless, of course, you are someone who job hops a lot. πŸ™‚ If that’s the case, you don’t need to find the right company. Any company which pays well, will suit you. OK OK, i am not encouraging anyone to do that. Job hopping is a very bad thing especially if your objective is to gain quick money. If you job hop because you want to try many different industries, then it’s not entirely a bad thing.

Anyway, there are 2 major factors that you might want to look into when you start to hunt for the right company:

  • Core values – what are the core values of the company? Do they believe in the things you believe in as well? This is perhaps the most important thing that one should look at. If the company believes in slave driving and you prioritize work life balance….then it’ll only shorten you time working for the company. Also, it depends on whether the company provides the opportunity to learn. Does the company offer trainings or you are on your own? If it is on your own, does it actually fit what you want?
  • Industry – some companies are involved in different industries…especially the big companies. In these companies, you get to learn about different industries/fields and maybe find the right one for you. However, most companies focus on 1 or 2 industries. If you want to learn about IT, no point to work for a company which only does publishing.

Other factors will be things like benefits, salary, location, opportunity to learn, etc etc. But i believe the 2 major factors are as stated above. Do take some time to read Cirnelle‘s post “The kindess of a boss” which in my opinion, is a good post. She talked about the 2 different systems for a company – the Nanny or the Organized Chaos. πŸ˜€

Hope it helps. πŸ™‚

Ok, i’m pretty sure that 90% of you will say it is bad. πŸ˜€ To me, it’s good AND bad, depends on how you see it (gosh, i do sound like someone working in a consulting firm).

If you haven’t read my previous post on Family vs Work, do take few minutes to read. I find the post very meaningful (ok…now i’m back to the old Alvin Lim).

I just came back from dinner with few senior colleagues and they talked about our ex-colleague being workacholic. This ex-colleague (let’s name the person ABC – not air batu campur…or…er..in English is mixed ice?) of ours was quite an extreme person who has nothing in his mind but work, work and work. He is the type of person who will go back to office and work after dinner or during weekends. The type of person who always get his ideas at weird hours….3am. The bad thing is, well, he’ll call you up excitedly and let you know about his ideas!

Gosh, i’m fortunate that my boss is a family man.

To be honest, I myself can be quite a workacholic. I can work very long hours but my style is not the typical 9-5. I like to take short breaks in between….maybe to play games or watch animation or read comic or sleep. After that, i’ll continue to work. That’s my style and if i am working on something i am passionate about ….i can really work for long long hours.

But that’s just me and my own world. I am sane enough to know that i shouldn’t call up someone at 3am just to shout out my ideas to him. Work life balance…this is important.

I believe if you do have some “life” ….be it in between your working time (like my preferred style) or after your work, it is good enough. Don’t be overly absorbed in your work.

Some companies (especially chinaman styled companies) actually like to hire workacholics. They hire you to do more work for the same (or lesser) pay as the rest of the applicants. Isn’t that better? πŸ™‚

But these companies should also realize that a workacholic might cause other problems such as poor work performance (long hours will make you tired, regardless of whether you are batman, spiderman or superman), unhappy subordinates (don’t think you want your boss to call you at 2am right? or a boss who penalizes you for working lesser amount of time than he does), etc.

For me, work is important but your life is more important. After you retired, what is left? Your spouse and maybe your family…but it is definitely not your work, and not the company who you’ve worked so hard for. When you are sick, who will be there for you (besides the doctors)? Not your ex-bosses but your family and friends.

Life is more than just work, work and work. πŸ™‚

I’m currently reading a book called “The Secret“. It’s a good book actually. Not because it teaches us how to ‘cheat‘ our way by using the “Genie of the universe“….by wishing what we want and imagine we have it, we’ll eventually get it.

To me, things like this do happen because our human brain is so wonderful and powerful that we can actually do many many things which only a mad scientist will think it’s possible. Human beings can heal themselves (ok…i speak as if i’m not part of human race) by just focusing on happy things etc. There are miracles happening around us…people who got their cancer cured within months. It’s not impossible.

I even came out with my own Vision Board or so-called Mission Statements board…where i post up all my “wants” and “dreams” so that i will look at them and visualize everytime i wake up. And i’m feeling grateful for the things i have now and will visualize the things I want (remember the power of daydreaming? yea..just don’t get too much of it, you’ll get addicted).

However, i believe the book or the Secret didn’t say one thing – efforts. You dream, you visualize and you hope…you feel grateful and you feel happy……but you need to make an effort to fulfill your dreams. Your dreams won’t come to you. You hope and hope and hope for a good company to come and hire you….but you will need to improve yourself, to learn more things, to excel in your field of expertise so that this company will notice you. When it does, it might come to you and offer you a job (oh ya, and you need to make an effort in the interview n stuff…u get what i mean). BUT, at this moment….you hold the key…you decide whether to accept or reject. True, you’ve visualized all you want before this…but if you say NO…in the end, whatever you have visualized will go down the drain. No?

The key is yourself…not the universe. I do believe there’s a greater force in the universe doing all these nice n wonderful things, but there are more things that YOU control.

Anyway, I personally love this book because it really made me feel better….feeling grateful, being happy with my life, and thinking about the positive things, focusing on the things i want to achieve, etc.

Not sure whether you’ve read it. Haha. And the author even came out with a DVD and some free video clips in Youtube.

Here are the links.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=phL0RLKL8bcΒ 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2MqciSMOmkΒ 

Before you all proceed with my post….please take a few minutes to read Cirnelle‘s post onΒ  “Counting Hours“.

Done? Ok, that’s all I want to say.

LOL. Ok, just trying to be funny. πŸ˜›

Let’s get straight to the point (i’m actually rushing my work now). Do you agree that if one works late or long hours, it means that one is a good employee? I’m pretty sure most of you will not agree….but how many of you is actually doing something like that or have a boss who thinks like that? I’m sure most of you will say “Yea, I do work late, so i think i’m a good employee” or “I have a boss who only rewards those who work late” or “My colleagues always say that I never do my work because I go home earlier”.Β 

Oh please….we’re no longer in ‘that era’. This is the knowledge worker era. What matters most is your work performance, your knowledge and of course the overall results. If i were to start my own business, i will of course set a timeline for all the employees to complete a certain task…….and to do some proper quality check on the end result. I wouldn’t even bother whether they come to work or not. As long as they are there when there’s a scheduled meeting/appointment…..then i’m fine. Come to work late, go back early or work from home, I don’t mind at all. Why? Because working late or long hours DO NOT mean you’re a good employee.

Let’s see….if you work late…maybe it’s because you have unreasonable deadline…….or, you wasted too much time during the actual working hours? Either way, you are neglecting your private life (family life…friends..etc) when you start to work late. I actually know some people who spend most of their time in office chatting, reading newspaper/online news, surfing, checking shares (ok, i do this, but not that often since the site I used only update once every 1 – 2 hours), watching youtube (that’s why it’s famous), etc (you should know as well as i do πŸ˜›). In the end, they are forced to work late in order to finish their assignments.

There you go…work late doesn’t mean you’re a good employee. Good end result + good work attitude + work delivered on time = good performance = good employee.

So, start doing yourself a favor…….don’t treat yourself like a machine which works 9-5 (OK machine) or 9-7 (GOOD machine) or 9am – 12am (candidate for employee of the year)…..because you’re a human and not a machine. Fully utilize your working hours, and go back home earlier….regardless of what your boss/your colleagues think of you. A boss will always reward those with good performance, not those who works late but lousy performance.

Again, feel free to post any comments here πŸ˜‰

Some of my friends have been working in small companies for few years. You might say that some people prefer to work in smaller companies. True. But these friends of mine always have this mentality that big companies or so-called Multi-national companies (MNC) are actually better in terms of prospects and rewards. They like to say “Alvin, your salary so high la…jealous leh” and I’ll say “Nope, my salary actually quite low” and then they’ll say “Don’t bluff la, MNC sure high pay 1”.

Then it struck me….and I’ve asked few of them “If MNC is so nice to you…why don’t you join MNC?”. And well, you should be able to guess what is the answer they gave me – “Don’t want lah…MNC a lot of politics”. 😐

SOOoooo, the question is…. does it mean working in a big company will expose you to more office politics? Answer is YES. Why? Because the possibility of being involved in office politics is higher, when there are more people in the company. Human beings are the cause of politics in office. So with more people in a company, the possibility of having some screwed up individuals will be of course, higher.

However, one should not be afraid to join a big company if one really likes the company and what it is doing. You can always try to change team (or company) if you are being dragged into something you do not want to be involved in. πŸ˜‰ In big companies, you can at least try to change project team…or division or department. If you work in a small company with office politics……..well, where else can you escape?

In the end, it all boils down to one thing – luck. πŸ™‚ Just do what you like …if you wish to try your luck in a MNC, do it. Don’t be afraid of politics because if you are unlucky…..you’ll be involved in the politics even if you don’t work in a MNC. πŸ™‚

I’ve been debating with my inner self for months now……..whether to have my own domain and host it somewhere……or to stick to this default WordPress. I love WordPress, so I believe i’ll use their tools even if I do get my own domain and hosting.

Now…the million dollar question is… (no, you don’t get the million dollar if you help me answer this question)…. is it better for me to start my own domain?

I’m asking this because most of my friends who own a blog (or few blogs) do have their own domain and hosting…..and well, I’m from IT background…so i’m supposed to be more adventurous than just stick to my default WordPress thingy. So, for those who already own their personal domains………do give me some pointers ya?

Pros

  • I can have my own domain name…www.alvinlim.name? er…www.alvinlim.com has been taken. =_= so much for having a ‘famous’ name……too many Alvin Lims around.
  • I will be able to avoid all my previous articles from being washed away……..just in case WordPress starts to hate me.
  • I can put some advertising stuff to earn…maybe RM 10 per month? Currently, WordPress doesn’t allow any form of advertising.
  • I get to prove that i AM indeed IT savvy……
  • I will be able to add some ‘cool stuff’…erm, like the one Jamy has in her blog…the top commentator thingy?

Cons

  • I will have to restart my Google ranking…….
  • I will have to use my own stats counter.……
  • I will have to find a good hosting service….get a domain name….which will cost me around RM 100-300 startup fees.
  • I have no idea how the visitors can use their existing wordpress login account to post comments….and not having to register themselves again.
  • I have to go through the entire installation process for WordPress, which I believe is not THAT hard…erm..right?

Let’s see…I believe most of the cons are coming from my Laziness. πŸ˜› So, people, please advise. I know as a blogger……having your own domain name and your own SPACE (and not WordPress‘ space) is the first and most important thing to do. Well…if someone can just provide me with a proper instruction manual…? Just kidding, I can Google for it easily (but if anyone of you have such manuals…I don’t mind you know). Just let me know what are the nice tools, if there’s any. πŸ™‚

Do feel free to teach this ‘blog noob’…or as Jamy would say, ‘dinosaur’ anything…especially things related to blogging πŸ˜›

p/s ….hope my bosses won’t see this….malu la, IT people ler.

p/s ….this posting proves something……..i’m a victim of our ‘spoon feeding’ education system πŸ˜›

Turnover has been on the rise nowadays. I’m not sure how applicable is this for other companies…but I do know that it’s quite high for the few companies that I know. And I also know that having a high turnover rate will not help any organization/company and it will give more workloads for the Human Resource people.

And then people start to ask…..why don’t these organizations or companies have a proper employee retention policy to lower the turnover rate? Good question. To be honest, most organizations/companies in Malaysia do not have a proper employee retention policy. They feel that it’s too troublesome or costly. Well, I must give credits to those who do have……but as far as I know, most do not have or are doing a very bad job with whatever retention policies they trying to implement. And for those who do not have any at all…..maybe they think retraining their employee is a cheaper way?

No idea.

After asking bout retention policy……..people will ask WHY? Why so and so want to leave? Why this? Why that? Some people will just say “oh well, it’s a stupid company” or “the company management sux”. I do agree that some companies have very inexperienced and sucky management team…….but I also believe that they are not the main reason someone wants to leave the company. Most of the time, I realized it is the direct supervisor who is forcing people out of the company.

The supervisor is the one who will manage the employees. The person who is closest to the employees or the front line men. He is the one who will look after them and also the one who they will complain or voice their opinions to. Whatever the top management does, the employees will not know or will not see that clearly. In the end, it is the things the supervisor does that will involve them.

When someone leaves a company…….the person might say “Stupid boss la. That’s why i left!”. But the actual boss of the company has nothing to do with the guy leaving the company…well, most of the time anyway. If it’s a small company, the boss is most likely the supervisor. If it’s a big company……do you seriously think the CEO or the Managing Director will actually force someone who is 3 levels below in the organization chart to leave the company? He most probably won’t even notice the guy that much! And well, how much do you actually know your CEO if you are a lower level executive?

In the end….it’s not really the top management that is responsible for the employee retention policy. Everyone is, especially the leaders……any leaders. You might be a team leader, a division lead, a practice lead, a senior manager, project manager, anyone…….but as long as you have subordinates under you……you are responsible for them, their welfare, their career path..their future. If they choose to resign…well, it’s either they found a better opportunity….plan to change their field….or, well, they’re just pissed by you. πŸ™‚

Anyway, the above is purely based on my personal opinion. Do feel free to post up your comments. πŸ˜€