Sep 29, 2010

International Traveling Cats

A few months ago me and my husband were contemplating on adopting a stray cat in Singapore. Now that cat is in New York City with my husband and mother in law.

It was almost impossible for us to adopt Mini Marble at first because we were short on money. But we love her as much as we love our 2 other cats Dapper and Thumper. It was a painstaking process of getting her paper done and moving her first to the Philippines. But things fell into place and now she is in the Big Apple, her final destination.

December 2009 @ Pasir Ris Void Deck

January 2009 @ Pasir Ris Void Deck

February 2009 @ near Pasir Ris void deck in front of White Sands
Although we were really hard up for the past few months, we decided to adopt Mini Marble around March 2010. She disappeared for a week on March. It was then me and my hubby missed her so much that we vowed we would adopt her no matter what if she showed up again. And luckily, she was back!

Dropped off some kibbles for Marmie after a run (March 2010)

We brought Mini Marble to live with us at our rented room at Pasir Ris. She stayed with us there until May 2010.
@ our Pasir Ris home March 2010
Then on May 2010, we brought home our babies to the Philippines

Philippines May 2010

Philippines June 2010

Philippines July 2010

Philippines August 2010

Philippines September 2010
Next year, my other 2 cats will be reunited with their sister. Another relocation for our International Traveling Cats.

Some amusing photos of the trips they wanted to make though =)

Sep 14, 2010

Daily thoughts - Dad update

The past few days has been a daze. My dad was brought to the ICU more than 2 weeks ago. He is home now but he will never be able to walk again. He had a heart attack that left him in coma for 2 days. He miraculously came out of it but it messed up his head so bad that he can no longer even get up from his bed to sit. Its very sad to think that I thought he still stood a chance to get well. I may have hoped too much. I am somehow glad I can still talk to him and he still knows who I am.

My dad is only 67 years old yet he seem older. All the stress and probably bitterness has taken its toll on his once able and strong body. The fact that he has been a chronic smoker is also among the reason for his illness. Ive known of ether people way younger than him that have succumbed to their illness. I think Im kind of lucky that I have been given yet another chance, a last one, to give him the quality of life he deserves.

I have given up my job overseas to go home and take care of him. 3 months ago he was still able to walk and take care of himself. His rapid deterioration has left me feeling helpless. On top of the fact that its really exhausting to run errands for him, I also dont have enough money to buy all the medicines he needs. I try to also put a straight face so that he wont feel bad. He constantly tells me he is sorry that he is making my life difficult. I try to reassure him its okay but I have to choke back tears every time I tell him that I dont mind.

Lately my dad spends most of his time cooped up in his room. He does not have much of a choice. We have'nt bought a wheelchair yet to take him out to have some sunlight. I am working on that though. Hopefully by the end of this month, I can raise the funds. So until then, Dad stays in his room and watches TV.

My younger brother and I take turns preparing his lunch and dinner. I like cooking his favorite meals. The taxing part is moving him around on his bed. I would usually need the assistance of my brothers to prop him on the bed in a sitting position. I would admit that changing his soiled diapers is the hardest part. This is the first time I have changed diapers. I never had the chance to even change diapers on a baby so this was really something major to me. Well after the first two days, Ive gotten quite used to it.

Again, my dad would usually tell me he is sorry that he is causing me so much burden..I reassure him its really nothing. After all, its time to switch roles. He took good care of us when we were kids. Whatever we are doing now for him is nothing compared to all the sacrifices and love he has showered us with.

There is not much time left. One of these days Ill have to accept the inevitable. But until then, I hope I dont let him down..

Tomorrow Ill have to buy those dunkin bavarian filled donuts he loves.

Sep 10, 2010

Youre hired!! ..but wait, there's MORE!

clipart courtesy of

The past few weeks have been very stressful and taxing. I have found a job but had to commute to and from work for 2 hours each trip. The shifting schedule is also driving me crazy. Ive never experienced this kind of training before where the schedule has to change every week. It takes a few weeks for our body to adjust. I wonder if the management of the new company Im working for even considered that before they subjected everyone to this kind of protocol. I find it unfair that we were misled during the job offer about the schedules we will be getting. I was told that my shift will only be during evenings. Also a 30% ND (night differential) seem rather promising. I later on found out that the reason we were given this rather "generous" bonus is because if your shift starts later than 6am, then you wont be entitled to any of the ND. Guess what, the shift during the regular work hour begins at 8am next week. So what is up with that??? Apart from that, I was also told that we will get a change of schedule AFTER training. My schedule for the past 3 weeks were from 8am -5pm, to 4am-1pm, 11pm - 8am and 12am -am. The schedule for next week is going to be 8am - 2pm.

Another thing to consider is when you are applying for a job that says your job description is to handle technical support, make sure you ask the HR giving you the job offer whether the job entails also handling customer service. I have to clarify the difference between these two. Customer service involves the basic handling of customer queries like billing, account information, transactions etc. Technical support is more on the hardware stuff. There was a time that companies hired one agent only for Customer Service and a separate agent for Technical Support. I actually think that up to now, companies generally still practice that. However there are also companies that will not tell you during an interview or job offer that they are looking for agents to handle BOTH Technical support AND Customer service. Well Ive never hearid of an "integrated" type of agent wherein they expect you to handle both. It is possible. But the question is, are you willing to handle both for the salary of one?

So in order for them to cut costs, you bear the brunt of this by having to handle calls ranging from billing to hardware problems. Sure it is manageable. But why would you allow it when you only get paid for the job that requires you to handle the responsibility of one? The answer is quite obvious. Its either you have no choice or you were not told so in the beginning. You sign a document during the job offer thinking that you have nailed the perfect job only to find out that the dreadful stuff was in the fine print, or was not even mentioned.

Then there is the issue on medical benefits. All the companies Ive worked for gave their employees insurance coverage from the first work day. Not after training or probationary period, but once you start working. It makes sense of course since a trip to the office means you risk getting into an accident, getting sick or worse mugged. Its a fact of life. You are more inclined to get hurt outside of your house. So the odd thing now is, why should a company provide medical coverage only after youve finished your 6 month probationary period? During the probationary period is one immune to any illness or accident? I heard that a guy got shot in front of the office a few weeks ago. He has been with the company for 5 months. I wonder if he was given any financial assistance.

I wonder how can a company boast of a 100% coverage when it intends to provide it only during a conditional period. I prefer to get minimum coverage as long as it starts at the beginning of a contract. a 100% coverage is great however pre existing illness is not usually covered. Also, during my stint at all my jobs, Ive never been hospitalized. So Im not really worried about this. I just want coverage to ensure that my savings are not wiped out when I do get sick.

Dental benefits commence around the same time health insurance is given too. By the way, the company expect us to get rid of our wisdom tooth at our expense. According to them, we had those wisdom tooth before we started with them so it is not covered. In short, we cannot avail of it when we do get our health insurance coverage on the 6th month but I find it ridiculous to consent to getting rid of my tooth just because they refuse to cover it. I say, sign a waiver letter instead.
Frankly speaking, this is the most absurd requirement Ive ever come across. I refuse to get rid of my wisdom tooth unless my own dentist tells me its hazardous to my health.

A friend of mine told me that the physical exam was so rough he felt violated. I dont even want to think of what they did to him to make him say that.

Sounds like a nightmare right?

I wanted to bolt out if you ask me..

The silver lining is that I found wonderful people at this new company. The pay is okay but not really that great to go gaga over. Ive decided I may stay. But I have to talk to them about the schedule first. Also, my priority right now is time for my Dad. He has recently been discharged and is bedridden. He cannot even get up to use the toilet or feed himself.

From this experience, I do have the following conclusions and lesson learned.


I honestly think that lying to applicants during a job offer is a guaranteed way to increase the attrition rate of your company and gain a not so favorable feedback from potential applicants who happen to be friends with the disgruntled employees. I think it is fair that employees are told of the potential setbacks they may encounter. It is not right to lay out only the good things because one way or another, the employees will eventually know what the catch is.


There is a reason why companies offer a signing bonus or require a bond. ASK, ASK ASKI! Ask about anything you think is relevant: the schedule, the medical benefits, even the dresscode if necessary. it will save you the big trouble of having to find out the hard way.