Monday, June 08, 2015

Heavy Responsibilities & A Heavy Heart

.As I am writing this post, I am hoping that the two missing persons from the recent Sabah earthquake can be found, as it will bring a close to what has been a roller coaster of emotions for the past few months that we Singaporeans are facing.

My boss has given me new responsibilities since my previous post in this blog of mine. I am to take charge of the new gal, who she recruited to replace my friend at work. A new lunch slot has been allocated to me. I have to lunch an hour later, so that I can guard her. I am still interested in my job, but this responsibility seems to be of a HR function. Although I cannot doubt my boss’ trust in my capability. I was hinting to mum that I have some thoughts about moving on, but my mum is not in favour of it, for fear that I will not meet by a boss that will be mindful of my physically challenged state.

Another thing that is stopping me is because my manager’s current health condition & the fact that I feel that I am still learning a lot, despite being here for nearly 8 years. My department colleagues are willing to share their knowledge and sometimes we learn together. I think it is something which I do not see in my previous jobs.

Hopefully, things will be better in this half of the year.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Hoping for A Smooth May

I was hoping for a smooth month of May as the “choosy about work” colleague had left the company.  I had been asked to take over a small part of her portfolio while the rest was distributed among the rest of the department.

Little did I expect the staff employed to have the same bad working habits as the departed one, as the staff that took over blurted out that she was in contact with her almost everyday. My boss’ and my concern was that this departed staff must have influenced this new gal with her bad working habits. It got so bad that my boss asked me to take charge of her. The problem with this gal was she is quite young, about 20, and does not like to be controlled. Despite telling her to cut out the bad habits, she got worse than her predecessor. 

I had not expected the predecessor to teach her all the bad habits that she had. Because to me, it is always good to depart from a job nicely and peacefully, so that when your new employer asks for references, your ex employer can give a good reference for you.

On a happy note, to free myself from all these unhappy stuffs at work, I have restarted my NACLI course for Certificate in Community Development. I must say I have learnt a lot in the past two weeks during my Partners In Harmony & Effective Meetings Course. At least now, I know that Hari Raya Puasa is not Malay new year. It is a celebration that they are able to overcome difficulties by fasting.

I am also happy to receive 2 emails from IRAS yesterday. I will be receiving 2 awards for my contributions for the IRAS VES exercise this year. One is the outstanding volunteer award,  the other being a long service award for 10 years of service for the exercise. The best part was all of us who were nominated will be getting the awards. It has not happened before. The whole team was nominated and everyone got it.

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List of winners

 

Top 3 CC – The Serangoon CC 

Long Service Awards

  • Paul – 10 years
  • Haris – 10 years
  • Jason – 5 years

Outstanding Volunteer Awards

  • Paul
  • Haris
  • Chun Feng
  • Jasmine
  • Meiqi
  • Jianyi

Commendation Award

  • Juliet
  • Jessie
  • Grace
  • Jason

I would like to congratulate of you for getting the awards. You deserved it as your contributions & efforts helped to make VES at the Serangoon a success !!!

 

 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Busy Mar & Apr

March & April are usually the busy months for me as a tax professional serving in a chartered accountant firm as it is usually the busy tax filing period for me at my work.

It did not help that my manager had been on long leave to rest for her illness and I had to cover her duties at work. Not that I am complaining to get any increase in pay from my bosses, but I think it is very common that when your colleague is not around, the rest have to chip in to help. It is sad to see that someone in my office complaining about having too much work and shouted at my boss for that. I think that was the last straw from my boss, who accepted this person’s resignation and asked her to go without completing her notice period.

Luckily, to keep myself sane from all the antics and politics at work, I was fortunate to have done these activities.

Baby Jack’s 1st Birthday Celebration – 28 Feb 2015

My long time KTV group friend, Raymond’s son had celebrated his son’s birthday and invited some friends over for a simple buffet lunch. It was nice to have caught up with friends, especially some of them for whom we have not met in a while.

CNY Gathering at My House – 1 Mar 2015

A yearly event where I would invite friends to my house. Although most of my KTV friends were not able to make it, my IRAS volunteer friends’ presence were appreciated as well.

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Ann’s birthday celebration – 20 Mar 2015

Would like to thank Ann for inviting us to her birthday dinner. We certainly hope that she liked her requested birthday gift from us and put the gift to good use.

IRAS Volunteer E-Filing -  21 Mar – 18 Apr (Weekends only)

A yearly affair which I always will help the residents to e-file their taxes. I was glad that I was able to have my own team of volunteers, as there was a huge reduction in the number of VES Centres. I was glad that the chaotic scenes that happened at other Centres did not happen The Serangoon CC, although those residents referred from other Centres, some were really unhappy and were shouting at us. We were to clear those referrals within 10 minutes when they reached. On the busiest day of the centre, we really had no chance of a toliet break. By the time we ended, we were surprised that we had served 189 taxpayers in 5 hours.

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Paul would like to express his thanks to the following people for making VES 2015 at The Serangoon a huge success!!!

  1. Our liaison officer, Juncai. Thanks for listening to our feedback and bringing it up to your bosses. Also thanks for contributing your laptop & printer for the VES.
  2. Fellow volunteers:-
    1. Jason  – for the test run of the system, and contributing your laptops & printers for the VES. It is not easy to transport 2 laptops & 2 printers from your house to the centre by walking
    2. Meiqi – for designing our name tags, and suggesting for us to put counter numbers to allow taxpayers to identify us easily
    3. Jasmine, Grace, Jianyi, Jessie, Chun Feng, Juliet & Haris – for being part of the team to help the taxpayers to e-file their taxes
    4. Angela, Linda & Gordon – Thanks for your for being part of the team to help the taxpayers to e-file their taxes on 18th April at the special session

Demise of Founding PM, Lee Kuan Yew – 23 Mar 2015

I felt sad that it happened as I feel that even though some of his policies may not have resonate well with me, but the amount of contribution that he has made to Singapore to where we are today.

I paid a visit to Istana on the day of his demise with 2 of my friends. For the rest of the week, I wore sombre colours as a mark of respect for him.

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Year Of The Goat 2015

It has been a while since I last blogged, as I have been occupied with my work in office. Before I start, I would like to take the opportunity to wish everyone a happy lunar new year. Hopefully, everything you touch, will turn into gold. Hahaha.

Besides being busy with work, it is usually the period that I would start registering to be a volunteer at the upcoming volunteer e-filing exercise, that will happen on 21 March 2015 this year and will end on 12 April 2015. My mum & my IRAS volunteer friends have encouraged me to continue in this activity, which I have been on for the past 10 years. I am glad to say that I have acceded to their request and I will be leading a team of volunteers at The Serangoon CC again this year. 

I would like to thank my team mates & liaison officer  for showing the faith in me to lead the team. I was quite surprised that I managed to form the team within a day, will and way before the official registration was out. I would like to welcome 3 new team members to my team as well. I will not be revealing the names here, as there is a volunteer, who is jealous of the minimal effort that I made to form up my team, saying that my team was made up of a majority of senior volunteers.

Just to set the record straight, I had only made a phone call to each volunteer who have joined me in the last year's session, and asked them to indicate if they wanted to continue this year. I was rather surprised that most of the regular volunteers of the team indicated that they wished to continue. In fact, 1 of them, pulled her friend to join us, while the other, was pulled in by liaison officer, as the centre, she used to volunteer at, was no longer in the list. I was quite surprised that this person decided to join us, as the distance from her place to the centre was rather far. I also did not expect this person, to pull in another two volunteers to join the team. The final member of the team that completed the team was a returning volunteer, who volunteered in the past.

I have always believed that if you have treated people with respect, the other party will treat you with respect. I have always been willing to share my knowledge about what I know, instead of bragging about my experience. As I feel that, even with my work experience in an accounting firm as tax senior, there will be some areas which I am not aware as I have not come across at work. 

I hope that this year's exercise will be smooth flowing, given that the number of centres have been drastically reduced. I hope that the plans that I have put in place with the liaison officer, is sufficient to cater to the expected crowd. 

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Whirlwind Month With Full Of Shocks & Surprises

Hello, to all the readers of my blog, sorry to have kept you all waiting for my 1st blog post for 2015.

It has been a whirlwind January for me. I have been pretty busy the last month due to the issues that is happening in my office and I am expected to be busy this month as well after something unexpected happened at work last Friday.

This incident made me realise that you should treasure your life, every minute of it, be happy, be positive and try to banish negative thoughts and negative people around you and do what you enjoy doing.

Just hope that the dark clouds hovering over my office matters will be over, and all of us face it with positive mindset.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

My Year 2014 In Review

Frequent readers of my blog would know that I would usually do a review to usher in the new year.

The year had been fraught with air disasters. The disappearance of MH370, bombing of MH17 & the crash of QZ8501 were partly the reason that made me not wanting to fly for holiday. The other reason was my work, which I will elaborate later.

Work

It has been a busy year for me at work, due to changes to the PIC Scheme. Some clients have chosen to take advantage of the generous PIC Cash Payout that our government has put in place, but end up doing the form themselves wrongly, thus we are spending more time than usually budgeted to correct the errors.

We are already so busy that we had no time to play office politics, but I am surprised why some people choose the time when we are busy to sow discord among colleagues, try to make boss angry or unhappy by giving issues at work. Everyone in the working world should know that you should do whatever job that your boss has assigned.

The atomsphere at work was pretty bad this year. I hope it will be better in this year as one of the key factors to the disharmony has been removed. I shall not go into details as to what happened as we have been placed on gag order not to disclose anything. Personally, I do not wish to say anything further, otherwise there would be people who would misinterpret and I would get the brickbats again.

IRAS Volunteer & Grassroots Work

This year marked my 10th year volunteering for this exercise. I decided to take it upon myself to set up a tax queries team among the volunteers to get fellow volunteers in the tax industry to help the others as I felt that the IRAS helpline was a little difficult to get through, and they had to serve 22 centres of volunteers. I also took it upon myself to conduct additional training session for volunteers who are keen to learn more. It was certainly good to see returning volunteers continuing in the exercise. The high take up rate resulted in the exercise being closed for registration in 4 days after it was opened.

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Grassroots work took me to a new arena, as I decided to take up the Certificate in Community Development. I thought it will be good for me so that it will be able to help me more in my community work.

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I am also glad to share that I have been appointed as treasurer of my RC again for a 2-year term starting today.

Friends

I just have this to say about the friendships that I have in the last year. You win some, you lose some. When you are in need, those who stick with you are those who have faith in you and will walk the path with you.  I am glad to say I have quite a number who have been standing by me when I am in need.

Family

A year where my brother graduated from the university and stepped into the workforce. Although his first job did not turn out well, I certainly hope it will be better when he starts his new job on coming Monday.

BGR

I always get asked this question since I was 25. Last year drew a blank again. I have been asked by friends and family to try to get myself attached. After a nasty experience of giving out my number to a possessive gal last year, after just chatting with her for 15 minutes, I prefer to take my time to know the other person better before plunging into a relationship. I would like to thank my friends for their efforts to pair me up with close friends.

NDP

I had the opportunity to attend the NDP at the Float last year. Although it was only the Preview, it was indeed a fun experience catching the NDP live. I would like to thank my friends, Angela, Meiqi & my brother for accompanying me to attend the NDP with me.

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I hereby wish everyone have a fruitful year ahead. May the year be filled with good tidings ahead. =)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Thanks for The Birthday Wishes

It has been a long while since I last blogged. I had been busy with work, no thanks to the corporate tax deadline. It was fortunate that I have asked my boss to participate in the Form C e-filing trial. I was quite glad that she actually agreed to this, given that she was a little apprehensive about e-filing when I joined in 2008, and put me in charge of all the liaison works with the IRAS officers.

The year has been tough as companies tend to be aware about the PIC Scheme. Some companies felt that they have grasped the concept of PIC Cash Payout and tried to save cost by getting the so called consultants to do the claims for them. Some even did it themselves. These people ended up making mistakes in the PIC Cash Payout claims, thus making us spend more time in working on the tax computations as we needed to amend their mistakes.

It did not help that my department was embroiled into some office politics, which meant that some time, meant for more productive work was wasted on this.

Despite all these, I am glad to say that I am still enjoying my job, despite the seven year itch approaching. This year will mark my 11th year in the industry.

Despite having to work on my birthday, I decided to keep my spirits up by buying a cake for my colleagues to share my joy for reaching 35 years old. I am glad that most of my colleagues enjoyed the cake. =)

I would like to thank my friends, colleagues & relatives for the well wishes and gifts. =)

 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Seeing Fruits Of Labour

It has been a while since I last blogged. I have been busy with my work & grassroots volunteer work.

Today, I am going to share a story, or should I say my thoughts about working life. Maybe after reading this, you guys will understand why I am still in this company after 6 3/4 years.

Here it goes:-

In 2003, I was a fresh NS Man, having gone through the rite of passage as an Admin Support Assistant, despite my disability. I was always being misunderstood by officers in the course of my NS stint, perhaps due to my disability and this was the first time that SAF had people of my disability in their ranks. I am glad that I managed to fulfill my obligations as a male Singapore citizen, although I got a satisfactory grade at the end of my service. The stint would actually allow me to look at things from  different perspectives.

My first job, which I found in 2003, lasted half a year. I left the company after feeling stressed by one of the management level staff, who kept pushing me a lot of work and giving me a lot of stress by scolding me. It did not help that another management level staff felt that I should not be employed due to my physical disability.

After a frantic search for half a year, due to the recession and job interviewers who minded my disability and wanted to cut my asking price, I found a job which I stayed for close to 4 years. Although I was not allowed to use Paul as my name for my work at this company, as my boss at that time claimed this name is also the name of his son. In the end, I left the company due to the company’s management showed distrust & lack of faith in my work. Also, I felt that the pay I was getting did not match that of my peers that I was getting.

My current job took me about a year to find. During this period, I nearly lost faith on a few occasions as  prospective interviews drew a blank due to they minded my physical condition. When I first started this job, I was not thrilled by the prospect that I was losing out on annual leave and study leave, as it was definitely lesser than the previous job. But as the years went by, I am thrilled by the annual increments that I was given, the different aspects of the various types of tax cases that I was exposed to, the experience of my co-workers & partners. These are the factors that make me strive to work hard & go the extra mile for my bosses every time.

Although there is always office politics at play, I guess it happens wherever you go, wherever you work. It is how you manage it. For me, I choose to volunteer my services at the annual Volunteer e-filing exercise and grassroots volunteer, which I did not expect myself to be doing it for so long and so well.

I am always thankful for what has been given me & I strive to give back to the society more for what is given to me.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Oct VES Group Gathering

This is a delayed post, which I should have posted some time back. I did a major VES group gathering for the IRAS VES Group on 11 Oct and I was cheered that 19 people came and we celebrated the birthday of 5 of our volunteers, Jasmine, Juncai, Jianyi, Deqing & Meiqi.

Here are the photos. We must thank Jason for his selfie stick.

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MYOB

This is a song that I wish to dedicate my nosy friend cum colleague now. Wish to tell her that TO MIND HER OWN BUSINESS AND STOP ASKING WHERE I AM HEADING TO EVERY PUBLIC HOLIDAY EVE OR EVERY FRIDAY.

It does not mean that I am special in my own right, that I cannot go out with my other friends. You are not my mum or girlfriend. I am not your boyfriend, so it means I do not need to report to you where I am heading to or who I will be with.

I think you should cut down on your lateness in work, your urgent leave & your “always take MCs antics and check your own professionalism & mannerisms before commenting that people ill-treat you or not giving you the benefit of the doubt.

This singer is special, just like me. I agree with the title of the song, which means “Leading My Own Life” and the lyrics. Hope I can find this song in KTV one day to sing.