March 2006


Carol & Jeff

http://www.thisandthatpodcast.com/

Jeff rocks ! You must listen to him and partner in his podcast show, "This And That". Cool stuff. It offers "conversational snacks" and one viewer aptly puts it: "A more mature, refined, and less obnoxious version of the Dawn and Drew show."

It used to be Jeff and Pat in "This And That". Now, it is Jeff and Carol. I really think Jeff and Pat made a good team but I must be fair that Carol is new in the show and she needs time to groove around. 

Jeff is my good friend; the gals are not – I mean they are Jeff's friends. Without Pat and Carol, "This And That" would probably be less entertaining, so kudos to the gals for making the show fun to listen to!

What's the latest? 

A friend commented that my blog is a gossip column when I asked him if he has read it recently. Piqued by his remark, as soon as I went home, I switched on my lappy, popped up my blog page and pored over every word in search of the slightest trace of a gossip. Was my most recent entry about the anniversary celebration of the volunteering group that I am actively helping out a gossip? Was the entry about my family reunion a gossip? How about the sharing of a success story of a close friend? And what about my writing about the joy of meeting a long lost friend, was it a gossip too?  

After poring over all the entries , I was not convinced that I have a gossipy blog, so I looked up Oxford dictionary for the meaning: 

 Gossip                                                                      

  1. Trivial chatty talk, or writing;
  2. Rumour or talk of a personal, sensational or intimate nature.

I wondered if that friend of mine meant my blog is trivial chatty writing (and therefore not worth a read); or did he really think that I am spreading rumours in my blog? Hmm, did I not detect a slight tint of contempt from his look when he made that remark? 

Besides those bloggers who love to sensationalize news, there is another group of mature, civic-minded, responsible bloggers who write issues that are close to their hearts and concern the society. I relate myself to the latter. But sad to say, whatever we write has little credibility to some people, and by default we are just a bunch of gossipmongers. To me, people who stereotype bloggers are narrowed-minded beings and have very little contribution to the advancement of a thinking society. Maybe it’s time that I strike out some names from my contact list.

Flyer Cynthia & Volunteers Cheryl Tay Cheryl In Action

The dynamic, big-hearted volunteers from WMD were again in action last Friday, helping to take the message to the weekend crowd at the travel fair that child sex tourism is an offence. Guess which celebrities came to help? Cheryl Tay and Cynthia Lee !!! The girls seemed to have truckloads of fun at the travel fair distributing fliers and educating the public on fighting against child sex tourism.   

As a volunteer with WMD campaigning the cause, I have heard many horrific stories about the exploited women and children in the neighbouring countries. I feel deeply for them for the pain and suffering they are going through. Since I couldn’t be involved at the travel fair last Friday due to my busy schedule, I am now doing my bit here to spread the message to my readers.    

My message for Singapore men: It is a shame that Singapore men have become notorious for traveling to the Indonesian island of Batam for cheap sex with girls. Guys, you are not helping the girls by sleeping with them. Because there is demand for young girls and there is money to make for supplying them, the syndicates either kidnap the girls from the villages or trick them into the flesh trade with false promises of jobs in town or overseas. For your information, the average wage of a child prostitute should be $1,186 but she gets only $32 !!! A meager income that is only enough to feed herself and left nothing to send back home or pay the heavy debt that the brothel claims that she owes. You are helping the syndicates and the pimps to get rich, and you are making yourself a partner in crime !!! Guys, we are watching you. You can run, but you can't hide.

WMD message for Singaporeans:  Please help stop paedophiles from preying on children by reporting abuse. If you know a friend or a relative who is visiting child prostitutes in Thailand or Batam, talk to them. Point out to them the harm they are doing to these girls. 

If you suspect a girl or woman is being trafficked for sex or is powerless to get out of such a situtation, call: 

  • HOME (www.home.org.sg) at 6341 5525 or 6341 7538, or make reports at their help desk at Lucky Plaza #06-22 from 10am – 6pm on Sunday. 
  • AWARE at 1800 774 5935

Or, if you want to play an active part in fighting the scourge of child sex tourism, sign up as a volunteer with the women’s advocacy groups in Singapore. I will point you to the right organization to join.

We can help make a difference and bring these women and children some hope !

(Find out more information on child prostitution issues by visiting www.stopchildsex.org.sg)

Dog's life

Is there such thing as employee privacy nowadays? I wonder. Recently I came across an interesting news in a back-dated copy of TODAY. It says: “PARENTS, if you call your child’s teacher at all times of the day, it could constitute harassment.” Apparently, there is a concerned trend that parents now demand for teachers’ mobile phone number and expect teachers to be at their beck and call 24/7 hours. The article cited the response of the Minister of State for Education, Mr Chan Soo Sen, that teachers are not compelled to disclose their personal contact numbers if they feel uncomfortable doing so. In addition, he warned that: “Anyone found guilty of abusing a civil servant could be taken to task in a court of law.”

Now this is interesting – parents being sued for harassing teachers? How about teachers suing school principal for harassing them after working hours? Not that I have heard of such harassment happening in schools but I personally had prior experience with my bosses expecting me and my colleagues to be at his beck and call 24/7 hours. We were to disclose our mobile phone numbers without given an option to say no, and were expected to answer his call whenever he had work issues to discuss regardless of how late into the night it was when everyone desperatly needed a rest after a hard day's work. Doesn’t that constitute harassment?

According to most employment contracts, employees are expected to put in at least 42-44 hours in a week in the office, and that excludes the extra hours put in after office hours and the occasional weekend assignments. It also excludes the time spent on answering office calls when we are home.

I really do think the bosses' incessant calls during the nights and weekends qualify as harassment. I am seriously contemplating bringing this issue up to the constituency MP and have him discussed it in the Parliament with the Minister of Labor. But hey, wait a minute, I am not protected under the Employment Act and the Minister of Labor might not want to address the issue. Even if he would, I can anticipate his response anyway. The Minister would urge Singapore employees to be flexible about working long hours and answering bosses' phone calls at home; we must learn to be competitive so to keep our job and compete with the foreign ‘talents’; and more importantly, we must count our blessings and complain less. On top of that, the Minister would add that for whatever it takes to keep our job, we must not let work compromise our family life and the ability to procreate; we must strive to be an all-rounder and never be quitters.

Do Singapore employees have a case against the employers for harassment? Hmm, maybe not.

IWC Stage audience 

Disappointingly, the 2 internet whiz 'kids', iPood guy and partner, failed to impress me at "The Internet Wealth Code" seminar. The prelude to the seminar deserved a big round of applause but not the seminar.

The 2-day event unexpectedly turned out to be a series of mini sales previews with each speaker making using of some air-time to sell their coaching service and package deal. I was aghast that, instead of solid learning of the industry secrets , strategies, tips and tricks from the 'gurus', all I got was boredom. Newbies to internet marketing might find the seminar acceptable but not me.

The event was a short change. For paying $495 for the seminar, I expected at least coffee and tea to be served during the breaks. But no, the organizer decided to make their money worth by supplying only water to the 350 guests. But there wasn’t enough water and glasses to go around and I had to resort to drinking tap water to quench my thirst!

Throughout the 2 full days, the audience was systematically lured with irresistible offers given out by the speakers. Huge discounts were given to make the offers looked like a steal. Outside the hall, some helpless people confessed how confused they were by the array of offers. I assured them that there was no need to rush to buy, and they should do some research or talk to people to find out more before jumping on the bandwagon. My logic was simple: Those internet marketing gurus are surely gurus of consumer's psychology too, and they have a way in getting people to buy things from them. My advice to those folks was: When in doubt, stay calm and in control. Learn to say 'NO' to those offers.

The power of hype was irrepressible and it started to look scary.

("The Interent Wealth Code" seminar was organized by Success Resources Pte Ltd on 24-25 March, 2006 at YWCA Fort Canning Lodge Hotel.)

banana Personal Rating: Can give it a miss if there is a repeat.

 

 Earshot Cafe Flower Food  Cheque Watching Reception Reception 2 Gals

On 8th March, WMD celebrated its first anniversary at Earshot Cafe in Arts House. Besides recognizing WMD volunteers for their hard work, the greatest reason for celebration was hitting the target of $25,000 in donation to UNIFEM Singapore.

The event would not be possible without the kind sponsors for the venue, flowers, food and drinks. Neither would it be a glamorous event without the presence and support of the local celebrities – Karen, Beatrice, Michelle Cynthia and Nanz. 

The highlight of the event came when WMD presented a S$25,000 cheque to UNIFEM. A great sense of achievement swept over me (Hey, I am the champion t-shirt lady!). S$25,000 wasn't a huge sum but it certainly was the sweat and efforts of all volunteers combined. We ladies vow to work harder this year and do whatever we can to help the women and children out of the pit, give them hope and a better tomorrow.

Happy Birthday, WMD! Ladies, a big round of applause for ourselves!!!

 Finger Nails Toe Nails 

Sandals Blue Ring

I love my pinky nails! Sweet, yeah? I spent 2 hours in Nail Palace to have my nails done. Cost me less than $30. It was worth it. I came out beaming with smiles. Totally satified.  

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