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  1. Is it a marker of age, slowly but surely creeping up? Or of a latent desire to appear more appreciative of the finer things in life than I’m naturally inclined to do? Either way, it started about two months ago when I stumbled upon an old room spray that I used to give a few puffs through my revolving door of dorm rooms through uni. I’m not going to reveal my age but my uni days were... let's just say, more than a few years back - and also more than enough time for you to seriously start questioning if a product has expired. But before doing the sensible thing of embarking on a quick Google search, I found myself giving the nozzle a few squeezes and… as it turned out, it smelled the same as before. This bottle has certainly seen better days... Nice! Thus ensued a once-every-two-days spray right before bed. The scent for this pink bottle is Red Berry and Fir, to be clear - with very sweet, almost cloying notes that are fruity at the same time. Perfect for alleviating anxiety (deadlines and existential questioning alike simply move from a schooling environment into a working-world one, eh?), and activating some drowsiness. (Aside: My internet sleuthing later on brought me to the conclusion that room sprays don’t technically.. expire? They generally only diminish in potency, although it’s still possible that some concoctions can go bad. The best way to tell, again, is with how the smell goes.) This past week, I rediscovered a door gift we had received when attending the reopening of the Mercedes-Benz Centre at Alexandra (which coincided with the launch of the current-generation E-Class): An AMG-branded scent! Described as a “classy tea-like scent in a harmonious blend of freshly brewed white tea, delicate white florals and a hint of citrus notes”. Yum. For now, I’ve defected over to this side (unless you work for a rival German brand, who doesn’t want their room to smell like a Mercedes-Benz showroom?). But having two scents to play around with is great for whenever I want to switch things up. I suspect I will spend the remaining half of the year assembling an even larger collection... Room improvement program? It’s no secret that there is more than meets the nose when it comes to scents. The impact of smells on our psychology is one well-documented and researched part of the equation. The other half, of course, comes down to the idea of image-building (self-image too). I’d venture that a scented apartment feels immediately more expensive than a non-scented one, while adults who wear perfume just have… a different sort of aura (whether or not it’s always a good aura is another topic altogether). This portion arguably has a (dollars and) cents aspect too: The perfume industry was valued at USD 50.8 billion (!!) in 2022 alone. In this case, I’d say my recent intrigue with scents is a mixture of both. I’m super thankful that since my mid-20s, I’ve had a room to call mine and mine alone - but as a generally fickle-minded person who shared a space with my brother/sister for more than half my life, I’ve also found that I still have little clue as to how I consciously define a welcoming and cosy space. While a ‘room improvement program’ - based on the bare canvas that I inherited - has technically been in the works ever since my sister got married and moved out, all I see now is essentially extra clutter over that two-year period. And unfortunately, until that clutter disappears (I'm working on it...), this will also never truly be a calming space. To that end, there is a large part of me that believes that infusing the room with a distinct, ‘upmarket’ smell may forcefully induce a sense of familiarity and ease whenever I step back in after a long day out. But the other big part is just the impression that I have that it will help zhng it. Another slight aside: I started writing this mid-week, got sidetracked by other work/events, and in the interim, my TikTok algorithm started feeding me a ton of ‘room transformation’/ideal room/ideal apartment videos. Here's one that I enjoyed: I know it's very idealised and that most rooms that appear on social media are rarely kept in a pristine state, but here's another... (I'd say even the pre-cleaned-up iteration was quite nice already.) At this point, I must also quickly note: I'm fully aware that the idea of having a picture-perfect, Pinterest-ready room in your mid-20s feels can feel very rich in Singapore. Having one’s own room already - much less one that is so beautifully curated - is likely still a massive privilege to the average Singaporean at this age. Still learning When thinking about my “room improvement program”, the platitude that kept popping into my head was ‘The grass is greener where you water it’. If I had to distil the recent scent-obsession down to one goal, I guess I’m trying to make the metaphorical pasture that is my room as green as it can be. Anyway, does anyone have any tips or special things they do for their own rooms to make it a welcoming space to return and retreat to? Hit me with anything - I’m keen to learn! - Matt Additional photos from Unsplash (Jeroen den Otter, volant)
  2. Lately had seen too many complaint in this forum, seem like many of us are unhappy about CPF, Life, property, Car and Money. Come across this article ( see link below) which is very enlightening. Hope you fine some happiness in you life no matter who you are😄 http://drwealth.com/2014/12/10/singaporeans-are-unhappy-and-poor/?utm_medium=DISPLAY&utm_source=OUTBRAIN&utm_campaign=NOV2014&utm_content=ARTICLE24_LIFESTYLE
  3. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/commentary/work-life-balance-covid-19-hybrid-remote-great-resignation-wave-jobs-2682751 Many of us hold on to work-life balance as an ideal, without acknowledging the blood and sweat that make it possible in the first place, or how it’s not always feasible in our circumstances, says business writer Keith Yap. SINGAPORE: Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, working norms, especially in knowledge-intensive industries, have changed forever. Many of us have become skilled practitioners of working from home, attending Zoom Meetings with smart tops and pyjama bottoms, and eating lunches with Netflix instead of co-workers. In light of other trends like employees reconsidering their priorities and quitting their jobs, the narratives surrounding the future of work has percolated into online discourse. From TikTok to Harvard Business Review, the Internet is replete with advice on navigating this brave new world after the pandemic. While narratives about work are varied and fragmented, the motif of workers' burnout remains consistent. As offices in Singapore fling their doors open to welcome back all workers, many are pushing back against burnout in favour of pursuing work-life balance. Many of us visualise a seesaw when thinking about work-life balance, with the ideal of work and life on both ends perfectly level. It’s a zero-sum game and our language reflects any perceived imbalance – work “eats into” our weekends, we worry about "sacrificing" careers if we have kids and take parental leave. The hypothetical employee who’s achieved the coveted work-life balance looks like this: They enjoy autonomy in their professional life. They work a remote job, log in at nine, be ultra productive and go offline at six, commuting to the office only twice a week. They can reject all work communication outside of those hours. The rest of their time is protected for better pursuits, dedicated to dabbling in the guitar, cooking risotto for the family and catching up with pals every week. JOB MOVEMENTS AREN’T ALWAYS LIFESTYLE UPGRADES But a closer look reveals two key problems. First, a rigid conceptualisation of balance assumes such a lifestyle is immediately attainable for everyone, especially more junior employees. The Great Resignation Wave should not conceal the fact that many workers are leveraging the moment to move up in the same industry to get higher pay and more flexible work arrangements. But to make such moves, workers need bargaining power. They do this by spending most of their waking lives for years honing their craft, developing an edge to differentiate themselves in a crowded labour market. If workers at the beginning of their career prioritise flexibility and autonomy, they will end up compromising on picking up and perfecting skills required for career progression. Granted, one can reject the prospect of sprinting up the corporate ladder and trade progression for flexibility. This trade-off is laudable for some but impractical for others. However, current discussions assume job movements are unconditional lifestyle upgrades, without acknowledging the blood and sweat that made them possible. And with the new slate of responsibilities, the exigencies of work might mean compartmentalising work and life becomes even more challenging for all but the most senior roles. COMPANIES CAN’T ALWAYS PROMISE WORK-LIFE BALANCE With the spotlight on employee well-being, companies are embarking on more initiatives like offering mindfulness workshops or meditation apps, even giving employees mental health off days. Workers point out such efforts do not address the root cause of burnout: Exhausting work conditions. More are calling on corporate leaders to re-examine working hours and their expectations of employees. But here lies the second problem: Despite the best efforts of employers, the realities of work often make it difficult for companies to promise work-life balance. Any seasoned worker knows projects often take more time than expected and are prepared to work overtime to meet deadlines. The inconvenient truth is that a company exists for-profit and must outperform competitors. Thus the paradox of work-life balance is two-fold. To provide it indiscriminately, the company risks compromising its mission. To pursue it indiscriminately, the worker risks compromising career progression. EMBRACING WORK-LIFE RHYTHM INSTEAD It might be high time to discard the term “work-life balance” and that mental image of a seesaw. Let’s embrace instead the pursuit of a healthy “work-life rhythm” - a rhythm that moves with need, alternating between periods of hard work and deep rest over time. This can facilitate professional development and organisational growth while alleviating worker burnout. During periods of hard work, the worker is focused on project completion and will expect an intense workload. This could mean working past office hours regularly or even burning the midnight oil on some occasions. In return, companies can guarantee a minimum of work-free hours (such as weekends or mass block leave) so workers can tend to their personal lives. Conversely, professional obligations would be kept to an absolute minimum during periods of deep rest. During a company-wide lull, staff don’t have to worry about lingering work responsibilities, and can take on new hobbies or go on extended vacations. This would mark a divergence from our current practice of leaving workers to manage their leave schedule. Wouldn't we feel a nagging pang of guilt if we scooted over to Bali while our colleagues were working, even when we intuitively know there is not much to do? Conversations on work-life rhythm aren’t yet mainstream, though proponents compare it to seasons. Just as there are seasons for planting, harvesting and resting, we go through life phases where we can give our all to work – whether it’s building a business or designing a product – and where we must dedicate ourselves to family. Beyond the debate whether we should shift towards four-day work weeks, perhaps we should also be talking about 10-month work years. A GREATER APPRECIATION OF LIFE WITH EXTENDED PERIODS OF REST As a healthy work-life rhythm will benefit Singapore greatly, the Government can take the lead, as it has done so by calling for flexible work arrangements to become a permanent feature. The Government can continue actively engaging industry players through incentives and dialogues to shape better work norms. At a national level, such a work-life rhythm creates a society where no one is compelled to work laboriously throughout the year. It could empower more individuals to devote their spare time to work of public importance such as volunteering, political participation and the arts. Other more career-minded ones would improve their skills to be more productive at work. Most importantly, there will be a greater appreciation of life with extended periods of relaxation. We can focus on our family and friends, which goes a long way in countering burnout, cynicism and angst. COVID-19 has forced us to re-imagine the future of work. It might be time to retire the pursuit of the ever-elusive work-life balance. After all, isn't the whole point of a seesaw to enjoy the alternating rhythm of ups and downs instead of always toiling to balance ourselves perfectly?
  4. The regulars of our reviews might have noticed that there are now more than a few of them that feature cars shot in the depths of night instead of the bright afternoons, as has long been our usual practice. I'd like to think they are making a stylistic contribution to your overall viewing experience on the site, although truth be told, the serenity, absence of traffic, and overall quiet isolation (as well as the predictability of artificial light), have all been stronger draws for me to head out to shoot under the cover of moonlight. Expect to see more night shoots from us in the near future! I can’t really whip up a smooth transition here, so let’s just move on to talk about that isolation for a bit. Those used to looking from behind the viewfinder, I think, should not be too alien to the appeal of a quiet photography session. Many of the great photographers including Henri Cartier Bresson and Elliot Erwitt shot predominately alone. Then there's Vivian Maier, who did not gain recognition for her work documenting the streets of Chicago until after her death - something all of you struggling to gain traction on Instagram ought to think about. Photography is commonly imagined to be a quiet and solitary hobby/job - or it is, at least, in the fields where the object of said photography is predominantly the street or landscape. I like to think it probably is equally isolating in other fields. Darkroom work isn't exactly best done in a crowded room, and even today I’d like to think editing digital photos is typically done alone. But as is the case with many things in life, there are exceptions to the rule. Consider, for example, Philippe Halsman, who not only worked with Salvador Dali to produce this astonishing piece of work, Dali Atomicus (that apparently took a total of 26 attempts to get right), but also was a dear friend to the surrealist painter. Would the same shot have been possible if the two did not have a close working relationship? I highly doubt it. Look up the photograph and you’ll find images of the exposures that were rejected for one reason or another - Dali Atomicus was no doubt an excruciating piece to get right. It’s no wonder Halsman always saw some strange artistic value to blowing up a few cats (remember, this work was all shot on film). I doubt Philippe Halsman would have been able to accomplish this exposure were it not for his relationship with Dali I'm not sure what sort of life Halsman lived, being in such proximity to one of the greatest artists of his own time - note that he was also in contact with Albert Einstein, whom he also famously took portraits of, and additionally had worked for Vogue in France before fleeing to the U.S.A when war broke out in Europe. But prior to all this, he was sentenced to prison after being convicted for the murder of his own father, where he contracted tuberculosis to boot. Now, I'm no fan of the stereotype of the hungry and struggling artist, but perhaps a bit of a life lived in the darkness is fundamental in bringing out the best of our creativity. If you’d allow me to introduce another artist who was also convicted of murder, I'd like to have you consider the works of Caravaggio. Caravaggio is arguably best known for The Taking of Christ, but my favourite from the artist is The Calling of Saint Matthew. There's just so much to unpack here - notice Christ's halo here is barely visible, the cross in the window atop his outstretched yet not entirely tensed gesture - a dark foreshadowing of course, how the other tax collectors on either sides of Matthew lean away to add to the composition of the painting, and how two of them are even so obsessed with the coins on the table they miss the divine in their presence entirely. It's a beautiful work, no doubt. But of course, the most beautiful part of the work, is how the light is depicted - an allegory for the illumination that would from henceforth guide Matthew's later years. The YouTube channel Nerdwriter1 puts it quite beautifully (watch the video above) - witnessing a Caravaggio must have been shocking to anyone that has only known the flat light of the works of the renaissance. And that, is exactly what I want to point out today (and what I think is most important for all who want to shoot in the shadows) - to remind you to keep looking out for the light, even in your darkest hours. For all those who are struggling with their work when behind the camera, take pause to think about how maybe dynamic range and the ability to lift your shadows is not exactly all that useful in creating images that tell a moving story. Use the light to add visual hierarchy to whatever it is you're trying to shoot, and let everything else take its proper place - obscured away in irrelevance and in the shadows. Caravaggio is a prime example of this technique - it is precisely because of the dominance of the shadows that such a tiny stream of light is given such predominance, so much so that even those just vaguely familiar with the biblical tale will recognise instantly just what the story being told here is. And for those who are struggling with life's greater challenges - don't give up just yet, as when you're behind the camera, keep looking for the light. There's no doubt plenty of challenges out there: I'm sure inflation rates (even here) are wearing away at the ability of many to live comfortably. And the World Health Organisation has announced as recently as November of 2023 that loneliness is now a 'global public health concern' - not the sort of news that bodes well for a global society that's supposed to be emerging stronger post-pandemic. Can't find that zest for life? Perhaps you need a bit of company that shares the same passions as you do? If you're feeling alone, look for company - the photography community here is greater than you know - and there's plenty of other support groups out there I'm certain. Your greatest achievements are yet to be accomplished. If there's a calling, then keep working at it and let all else find its own place. Hell, you might even achieve international renown only after your last days are done. And for those for who things have truly become dark - remember, help is always at hand. Make that cup of coffee. Call 1-767. Don't let the light go out just yet.
  5. I came into my first (and current) job with a lot of wariness: Not wanting to rub people the wrong way as the newbie; careful to self-censor my random quirks for fear of judgement. Just treat it as a workplace and be as professional as you can, was my guiding thought for the first few months. With time, however, a welcoming team sets you at ease, and the freedom to express yourself comes out a bit more. More than two years in, I finally did it: Bought a desk shelf, and fully embraced the thought of personalising my workspace. (Again, a caveat before we proceed - I am new to this entire work desk decoration situation, and am not putting pressure on myself to craft the world’s best personalised workspace, or clinch any design awards in the office. Please pardon me if all this sounds very trivial.) Cleaning - and building - up Even in our old office, I always had little bits lying around on my desk - a 1:32 diecast of the Volkswagen up! bought in 2019, to commemorate my first (and only - thus far) Frankfurt Motorshow visit - then as we moved here, other items like a small plushie of the ebi fry character in San-X’s Sumikkio Gurashi series, gifted to me by family. But for fear of my desk growing messier than it already was, never dared to venture further out in adding more items on. I don’t recall now when it was that the urge to simultaneously clean things up (sorry Des/Denise) while entertaining myself a bit more kicked in - but right at the dawn of 2024 (my Lazada order history indicates 5 January), I finally decided to get a shelf to house everything. Things have been changing - I’m still figuring out what items I want to see daily - but following a team bonding event that we had over this past week, a new tenant resides on the shelf’s top floor: A terrarium of my own making, which stares right back at me now whenever I need a break from my screen. Flanking the other end of my designated work area, bits of what put a smile on my face have also gotten stuck into my name tag - my participant number for an unforgettable media event last year, a picture of a car I adore, and a card from a good friend that… basically calls out who I am as a person. (Here, I have no shame.) All of this is still work in progress, naturally. But anyhow, the point is that injecting my work space with small yet significant parts of my soul has brought me invaluable joy, even if the act doesn’t seem significant in itself. Unsurprisingly, this topic has gotten its fair share of discourse online too. The office is inherently an un-private, and perhaps rather intrusive space - you’re basically at the beck and call of whatever or whoever requires your attention in a professional setting. In counteraction, a study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology noted that “higher personalisation at work reduced the adverse effect of the experience of low levels of privacy on emotional exhaustion”. On a less verified internet-sleuth level, however, I personally enjoy this take by a commenter on Quora, who singles out notions of control, connection and consistency as some of the driving forces behind why we like to personalise our workspaces: “Personal objects give a sense of control in an environment where people often complain of having less and less of it. They offer permanent connection to familiar and reassuring symbols in an environment which increasingly pushes people apart even though they might be in the same open-plan office. Their presence provides consistency in an environment where unpleasant surprises can occur at any time.” I’d like to think that specific material objects - when carefully chosen - can be powerful storytellers for their curators too. When I look at the POPMART toy, for instance - permanently frozen in a stance of faux-attack - I think of last year’s roundtable of blind-box opening at Christmas dinner with my siblings and cousins; laughing at the corner of my sister’s place over red wine and potato chips, while singing along to 2000s mandopop hits. The single, isolated hour of terrarium-making also counts itself as one of my more treasured memories over this tiring week - and I have no doubt the feeling of warmth it gives me will continue to wear well in the months to come. Something to hold onto No matter how much we love our jobs, the undeniable fact remains that work will often confuse and frustrate. In turn, any source of joy we can hold onto - whether small or big; human or inanimate - is of inexplicable comfort. Things don’t have to be static either. As life brings with it routine changes, so too, will new objects of joy fall into frame. In turn, embracing this state of flux - knowing you are in full control - is exciting. Among the decisions I know I will not regret from 2024, buying this shelf will most certainly be one of them. But for now, I think I’ll get cracking with narrowing down its next tenant… - Matt
  6. Quite a huge fuss was kicked up in the office last week about the capitalism that drives Valentine’s Day (actually it was largely a monologue from one loud singleton). "Valentine's Day is a scam! Don’t bother dining out on Valentine’s Day!”, we were told time and again. Cue cricket-like silence, and blank stares among the rest of the team. Exaggerations aside, I’m generally of the opinion that people should feel free to spend their money however they like. But here, I couldn’t help but agree that the essence of a day of love is regularly buried under the pressure of (expensive) gifting - especially when one considers that the traditional centrepieces of 14 February are rose bouquets. Assuming that the majority of flower-receivers do not bother drying them out, spending on something that will wilt and be chucked in the trash, sounds downright wasteful. Furthermore, emptier wallets do not always translate to fuller hearts. Again, however, I fully admit to having no right to making meaningful statements on what people should or shouldn’t do on Valentine’s. (Don’t take any love-related advice from someone who’s single; the Mycarforum Blog - in my eyes at least - is also not a soapbox.) As such, I’ve decided to let curiosity and fascination guide my exploration of the topic - and in particular, explore why, how and in what ways the idea of the rose has become the centrepiece of Valentine’s Day. (Considering all this is coming from a person who’s practically been single his entire life, bear with me too, if much of what is written here is already excruciatingly-common knowledge.) The genesis of red roses As with most objects of significance, it appears that it wasn’t just a single event that set widespread appreciation for the rose in motion. Naturally, Greek mythology appears to have had a role, with this narrative seeing Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty playing the protagonist. The first red rose was apparently created when Aphrodite, in her attempt to save her lover Adonis from a murder plot, ran through a rose bush and cut her ankle on its thorns, with her blood turning a white rose red. Romantic, yes, but more in a tragic than idyllic way. In more traceable, recent history, red roses have also been associated with one Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, an English writer and poet from the Victorian era. TIME Magazine does a far more comprehensive (and better-written) writeup of how she popularised the romanticisation of flowers and secret love letters - but the interesting tldr is that she had accidentally misinterpreted the ‘language of flowers’ in the Turkish language. (The whole idea of secret messages was not rooted in sentimentality or symbolism as she had thought, but um, rhyming.) Anyhow, given the combination of her status and the more restricted roles of women during the Victorian era, the practice took flight. Above all, of course, there are far simpler explanations for “Why red?”. Colour psychology tells us that red is often associated with emotions such as passion, love, sexuality and anger - all suitable for Valentine’s Day and relationships on the whole. The economy of red roses Retail prices of flowers - red roses included, naturally - rise during Valentine’s Day. That should not come as a shocker. What might be shocking, however, is taking in the exact amount spent on them in a year. According to research and estimations done by a professor at Boston University, roughly 2.8 billion cut roses are sold in the country on Valentine’s Day alone, translating to about US$3billion spent ($4.04billion in SGD) for the occasion. That’s a lot of money for businesses. As someone that doesn’t buy flowers, I shall not claim to have even the slightest idea of how much they cost - but this writeup by Value Champion from 2022 states that most bouquets can set you back between $70 to $150. Cheaper alternatives apparently go down to $20 - which, as already mentioned, is still quite a fair bit of money for an item that will perish in a matter of days (assuming you’re not the kind to put the effort into drying them out). The environmental impact of red roses As you’ve probably noticed, Singapore’s streets are not lined with rose beds (in fact, this probably applies for most of the globe). Roses stem from a few main exporter nations - including the Netherlands, Colombia and Ecuador - and they need to be carefully and quickly transported so that they remain fresh for whichever lucky girl (or guy) you’re passing them to at dinner time. This, in turn, involves quite a number of planes and refrigerated trucks. A recent op-ed by The Washington Post included this amazing interactive infographic that illustrates the journey that roses take after being harvested. This is effective enough on its own and I won’t belabour the point, but I do like the phrasing of this comment by the writer, regarding the relentless pace of the race to get roses to florists/supermarkets during the season: This fast-moving game of romantic commerce never stops. The single-most interesting takeaway from the article, however, is the revelation that a bouquet of flowers - comprising Dutch roses; Kenyan gypsophila - in a British supermarket can end up being more carbon-intensive than an 8 oz. cut of steak from a Brazilian rainforest. I’m sure there are further intricacies to the stats, but still, that’s food for thought. On the flip side, climate change appears to be looming over the Valentine’s day rose too. Rising temperatures and drought have apparently impacted rose exporters including Kenya, Colombia and Ecuador, in turn, affecting when roses bloom. Then there’s also what happens after Valentine’s Day is over: Wasted bouquets. Back in 2022, an online florist in the U.K. had already noted double-digit wastage on red rose bouquets post-14 Feb. The article above talking about the impact of climate change also notes that a huge and unnecessary spike in demand for red roses is created every V-Day. Non-floral alternative(s) to the red rose Considering all this, the logical course correction from hereon is that less attention should perhaps be poured into red roses. And on this note, it’s actually been nice to see that people have indeed been turning to more creative alternatives. It’s not just less resource-intensive/environmentally-friendly floral options, too, though those are good places start. Yahoo News did a delightful writeup back in 2020 about how younger Singaporeans were turning their backs on red roses, and instead turning towards other alternatives, one of which includes… edible bouquets. Dining with my Valentine’s dates on that 14 February evening (my dad, mum, and sister, to be clear), I also noticed something interesting on Sushiro’s menu: Image courtesy of Instagram/@sushirosingapore For what they were worth, the salmon roses were quite reasonably priced, but it’s worth noting that many of the edible bouquets are incredibly expensive. This store, for example, lists an 8-piece har cheong gai bouquet for $90 (although to their credit, one has to factor in that there are still flowers, on top of labour costs). I fully expect that these bouquets beg the question of why one wouldn’t just head on to a proper restaurant/eatery and do without the fancy coloured paper and ribbons instead. Still, I think a counter-argument can be made that it's not everyday that one gets a bouquet of nuggets or chicken wings/drumlets nicely wrapped up, and the entire process of being a recipient could ignite some laughter and amusement - both of which are harder to put a price. Food for thought Considering that so much of what drives the economy of flowers on 14 February appears to be socially constructed, I don’t think it’s controversial (nor groundbreaking) for us to routinely question what exactly is important in the celebration of love. Genuine flower-lovers shouldn’t be punished for seeking joy and delight in receiving and beholding beautiful bouquets. Still, the question of whether everyone has such innate floral appreciation remains. Once again, this isn’t a sermon on what couples should or should not do (or buy) during Valentine’s, but an invitation to reflect on what all of us truly value. In fact, if everyone is aligned and prudent with their finances, a bit of extra money spent every 14th of February can surely go a long way into injecting some much-needed colour into a relationship - whether or not that colour is red. If so, who’s to deny a couple of these added joys? I'd just venture a guess that flowers don't always come out on top. - Matt All images taken from Unsplash, unless stated otherwise
  7. With all the negativities & cheating, its good to also show the good side of humanity. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_R0rlNiNzk
  8. Okay.. i think we have to live with the increase of population.. so let's think positive.. 1) bigger promotions by merchants.. 2) more 24hr shops 3) .....
  9. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/dog-owner-fined-for-causing-pet-unnecessary-pain-throws-11143444 If I no money to see doctor, who can I charge?
  10. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/millennials-gen-z-work-younger-companies-big-read-2846841 The attitudes of millennial and Gen Z workers towards work have emerged as a perennial sticking point among employers, with some saying that the younger generation is not motivated to work hard and is too "choosy". SINGAPORE: Since about a year ago, as the economy started to bounce back with the loosening of COVID-19 restrictions, business owner Adam Piperdy has noticed a change in attitudes among younger job interviewees at his firm. “Right now, it is kind of the employee interviewing the employer,” said Mr Piperdy, the founder of events company Unearthed Productions, referring to the youngsters’ tendency to question what the company can offer them, instead of the other way round. Mr Piperdy believes that the pandemic - which gave young and old plenty of time to reflect on careers, relationships, health and other life issues amid intermittent lockdowns - has changed the “idea of work”, with younger workers having a more “aspirational” outlook. “The idea of a fixed contract, a fixed nine-to-six job, it really doesn’t exist anymore. People want to have a lot more freedom … that kind of flexibility to work anywhere, when they want,” he added. For instance, many of his new employees stated in their job interviews that they wanted to do freelance work during weekends, something that was “unheard” of until recently. “Five, six years ago, if somebody came to you to say, ‘Hey boss, I want to take (time) off to do some side projects’, you of course will say no and say that your work comes first, your clients come first. But (today), that would turn away a lot of these talents," he said. “That has forced us to rethink the entire landscape and how can we bridge this gap of them wanting to aspire something for themselves and at the same time, try to meet our business goals." Echoing some of Mr Piperdy’s sentiments was business owner Delane Lim, who noticed that young job seekers have become more “choosy” when deciding on which offers to accept. Mr Lim, co-founder of FutuReady Asia, a social enterprise focusing on youth and leadership development, noted that in particular, many small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) have been struggling to hire young talents. “Some (SMEs) have said that (some) young people are a bit more entitled, they expect a higher salary but they expect a balanced job in the sense of working hours," he said. “If you are good as an employee, then I think employers will be able to accept and find a way to repay you. But if they have not been proven on the ground that they can (deliver) without supervision, then I think having that demand is too early.” However, Mr Lim stressed that not all young people are like this. “There are still a significant number of youths who will still work hard, who want to learn, and are realistic about their expectations.” Indeed, the attitudes of millennial and Gen Z workers have emerged as an employer’s bugbear in recent years, with words such as “entitled”, “picky” and “watch-the-clock” being bandied around to describe the younger generation's approach to work. And the pandemic appears to have encouraged such attitudes even further. Some bosses have even taken to social media to voice out their concerns. American think tank Pew Research Center defines millennials as those born between 1981 and 1996, and Gen Zers as those born from 1997 onwards. Earlier this month, public relations firm founder Tjin Lee received flak for stating in a social media post that it is increasingly hard to find motivated young people to work. She also noted in the post, among other things, that potential hires in their 20s had asked about “work-life balance” and “flexi-working options” as their first questions during their job interviews, and that there is a “worrying” trend of people expressing on social media that they would “rather be on holiday than in the office”. Speaking to TODAY, Ms Lee later said she has learnt to "see both sides" of the issue and was glad to have sparked a conversation about work ethics. She also felt that her post had been "greatly misunderstood" to mean that she was promoting hard work at the expense of work-life balance, though she said she could have been clearer about her intentions and meaning behind the post. This is not the first time a business owner has been lambasted online for his or her comments on young people’s work ethic. In 2020, Mr Lim himself posted on Facebook about how several young graduates that he had interviewed for a job did not seem “hungry” for the role. Like Ms Lee, Mr Lim also noticed back then that applicants had made a range of requests - including not wishing to work on weekends, asking for transport allowances and a team of junior co-workers to assist in tasks as well as more annual leave and higher salaries. Human resource experts and sociologists told TODAY that the apparent negative impressions that some employers may have of younger workers can be explained by the different circumstances that the millennials and Gen Zers grew up in. Mr Adrian Choo, founder of career consulting company Career Agility International, said that older generations were more focused on the rat race and getting ahead in their careers, during a time when Singapore was less affluent. “The younger generation, a lot of them are still living with their parents … so their immediate priorities may not be about getting married and starting a family, they are focused more on self-actualisation,” he said. This “self-actualisation” involves learning new skills and gaining new experiences as opposed to being preoccupied with climbing the corporate ladder, for instance. TODAY also previously found that the pandemic caused younger workers to reshuffle their priorities, with some seeing the turbulent times as an opportunity to pursue their passions. Negative labels aside, some experts pointed out that it is not often easy for young people to make sense of what they are doing, or feel motivated, when they are faced with the current state of the world, with its litany of woes ranging from health crises, armed conflicts to severe heatwaves. National University of Singapore (NUS) sociologist Tan Ern Ser said: “(Young people) desire to do well in their career or business and live the Singapore Dream. However, the path ahead they confront isn’t always easy: High cost of living, income and employment insecurity, stiff competition at work, and, in some cases, being part of the sandwiched generation." He added: “These may combine to produce disillusionment and, in some cases, a lack of motivation.” So, what do younger people in Singapore feel about work and more specifically, traditionally celebrated values at the workplace - such as hard work and loyalty - that may or may not require a rethink? And where, in the grand scheme of things, does work fit into their lives today? TODAY interviewed youths aged between 23 and 35 to find out. WORK HARD? NAH, WE RATHER WORK SMART While claims that the younger generation eschews hard work may not be totally baseless, those interviewed also said that youngsters may not feel motivated to work hard due to good reason. They also do not believe working hard in itself is the key to doing well at work. The idea of hard work has changed for the younger generation, said Mr Isaac Neo, who works in the security risk industry, where he monitors risks facing his clients when they travel overseas. “We grew up in more comfortable times … Our nature of work is very different and we deal mostly with technology, where so-called ‘hard work’ is less visible,” said the 28-year-old. “In the past, hard work meant that you put in the hours to churn out output, and if you stayed in the office for long hours, it meant you were working hard, but that’s not the case anymore.” Mr Neo said that it is up to companies to adapt to these new definitions of "hard work", something he feels that his company has done well. “I’ve been lucky to have bosses who just leave me alone to complete the work, and as long as it’s done, they don’t really care if you’re in the office or how many hours you clock a day,” he said. “And I think that should be the way that hard work is viewed - not about the amount of hours you put in, but how good the final product is.” Some younger workers also said that they often feel exasperated when there are no clear rewards for their hard work. One 32-year-old employee, who works in the corporate secretarial services industry, felt that among her peers, there is a consensus that their hard work is not often appreciated. “We still value hard work, but it’s just that a lot of the time we don’t feel like there’s reciprocation,” said the woman who wanted to be known only as Ms Kuan. “The way the older generation perceived hard work, they don’t really do the kind of obvious rewarding that the younger generation expects." Associate Professor Kang Soon-Hock, the vice dean and head of the Behavioural Science Core at the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), said that younger workers are not necessarily averse to hard work, but its definition for them may differ from their seniors. “This cohort is more accustomed to using technology to multitask as well as to shorten work processes that may traditionally have taken more time to complete,” said Assoc Prof Kang. “However, their actions may not be viewed positively if it goes against the existing norms or practices at their workplaces and in the process, they may be perceived to be more inclined to take shortcuts or have short attention spans.” Agreeing, Mr Piperdy from Unearthed Productions said that the traditional idea of hard work as staying more hours in the office is no longer as applicable in today’s world, where there are many “productivity applications” such as work chatting application Slack and work management software Asana that have made work more efficient. “Honestly, if an (employee) works for 10 hours but produces only two hours’ worth of good work, it doesn’t matter because it’s only two hours’ worth of work,” he said. YOU WANT LOYALTY? SHOW US THE TANGIBLE RETURNS Loyalty to a company is a two-way street and has to be earned by the company in tangible ways - such as offering employees a clear career progression or increased remuneration in the short to medium term, say the younger workers interviewed. Mr Neo, who has been with his security company for almost two years, said that he is happy there as his bosses allowed him to change roles when he felt that he was “stagnating”. He started working in 2020 as a security specialist, which involved working 12-hour shifts, often at irregular hours. While he didn’t mind slogging it out at the start, he told his bosses that he would want to eventually switch to more regular working hours, as the previous arrangement was not the best for his health and social life. “They were very flexible, they allowed me to go into a new role, and in fact they encouraged it,” he said. A new employee at a local bank, who wanted to be known only as Ms Wong, said that like many other young workers, she is in pursuit of a “growth” mindset and will not hesitate to leave her company if better opportunities arise elsewhere. The 23-year-old, who is a month into her first job since graduation, said that a company that she joins could “easily fire" her, so she should think twice about being loyal to it. “If the company is treating me well and I feel like I can grow from it, I will probably be loyal to the company. But if I find that there is another opportunity out there that can make me grow even more … loyalty is out of the window,” she said. Her view resonated with Ms Kuan, who said that in general, a job should be perceived for the objective benefits that a person can get out of it - such as long-term promotion prospects and fair remuneration. “(Loyalty) has to have substance … It cannot just be touchy-feely words such as ‘we are family, friends’ - none of those, I don’t think the younger generation will buy into that,” said Ms Kuan. Employers, too, agreed that the definition of loyalty has less of an emotive meaning these days, where tangible returns to the employee have to be more readily considered. Mr Jimmy Lim, an inventory logistics manager at a data company, leads a team of 10 employees with up to a third of them being millennials at any one time. He said that these younger workers have fewer financial commitments since they are less likely to have children or large loans to pay off. “It could be very reasonable for someone to just throw in their (resignation) letter and say that 'enough is enough',” he said. While firms can bow to the pressure and promote these workers or raise their salaries in a bid to keep them happy, some employers felt that it may not be a good long-term solution when it comes to retaining them in their respective industries - especially those such as law and engineering, where attrition rates are high. “We can adhere and listen and agree to their demands, but it can only take them so far,” said Mr Lim. “At the end of the day, if they don’t have a good footing in their career, there is a good chance that they may just (quit or be retrenched by their company)." WORK-LIFE BALANCE IS NOT JUST ABOUT ENTITLEMENT Most young workers whom TODAY spoke to prioritised a healthy work-life balance and many said that they would raise this during their job interviews. Ms Wong, the bank employee, said that from the very beginning of her working life, she decided that she wanted to actively pursue her passions outside of work. “I am going to be spending about 40 hours a week on this job, so I want to have time to do other things like travel, experience new things … I would really value a company that can give me a good work-life balance,” she added. However, she would not mind working longer hours should she enjoy her job, or if it is of meaning to her. Indeed, some young workers are willing to put work-life balance aside to pursue causes that they strongly believe in. Ms Esther David, 26, said that she started her own tuition business three years ago because she enjoys helping people through teaching. However, to ensure the success of her nascent business, she had to put work-life balance on the back burner. At the start, Ms David would often work from early in the morning until near midnight, to ensure that she was teaching as many students as she could. This was all in the name of making a name for her fledgling business. “No one gave me any guidance, and I felt that I worked very crazy hours," she said. Ms David’s business, still a “one-person show”, is due for an expansion soon as she is looking to hire more tutors. She has about 30 students from secondary schools and junior colleges. She said that her business is now stable due to the hard work she had put in. Still, she would not advise others to follow in her footsteps as it was “not great for mental health”. Some young workers who are fortunate enough to be in jobs that they enjoy said that having a work-life balance is still integral to such enjoyment. One social worker, who wanted to be known only as Mr Yeo, said that he entered the profession about eight years ago because, like Ms David, he enjoyed helping others and felt that social work was the best avenue to do so. The 35-year-old said that while he finds great meaning in his job, he is very clear about the boundaries between his work and his personal time, and tries his best not to engage with the families whom he is tagged to after his working hours. “I’m strict with my boundaries, because you need to understand your role - as a social worker you are not a saviour, but are there to facilitate their growth and progress,” he said. “You’re not there to say, ‘if you’re in trouble at night, I’ll come and save you’.” He believes that this is not an uncaring approach, but rather one that is healthy and will sustain him in this line of work. “I know of workers who … cross a lot of boundaries and instead of thinking analytically, a lot of them are very emotional, and this is very dangerous,” he said. Some employers are beginning to adapt to the changing demands of employees, such as offering more flexible work arrangements. Mr Lim from FutuReady Asia said that he has had to put aside some “cognitive biases” when it comes to setting expectations for working hours and arrangements. For instance, while he used to be opposed to people not reporting to the office pre-pandemic, he now acknowledges that a lot of young workers have a “gig-economy mentality” and would rather be working towards key performance indicators (KPIs) rather than meeting the required working hours. “They want to have KPIs given to them, but they do not want to report to work,” he said. “In the past, this was quite difficult to accept, but it is the norm now, so we have to negotiate (this) arrangement with them.” He added: “If they are more upfront with us on what motivates them, then I think (this arrangement) is fine." Weighing in on the issue, Assoc Prof Kang from SUSS said that questions from young job seekers at interviews about “work-life balance” and “flexi-work options” should not be trivialised or seen as a weakness in the younger generation. “These are important questions … Employers should also be sensitive to the fact that, more often than not, they have a multigenerational workforce and they need to manage both their own expectations and their employees’ to stay ahead of the curve,” he said. Indeed, young employees say that even small gestures from their employers can go a long way in making them feel like the firm is serious about a healthy work-life balance. Ms May Phyu Sin, 30, who holds a marketing and social media role at a fintech firm, said that her firm set the right tone from the beginning of her time there. “I was told on my first day of work that I might see some messages after working hours but I can always reply the next working day and I am not expected to respond immediately," she said. "This goes a long way to show the company cares for their employees." HOW IMPORTANT IS WORK TO THE YOUNGER GENERATION? In the past, one’s life would typically revolve so much around the job that the person’s identity at times ended up being tied to his or her career. But this is less likely the case for younger workers today. Some, such as Mr Yeo the social worker, are eager to keep their work and identity separate. Mr Yeo reiterated that asking questions about work-life balance during job interviews is not about self-entitlement, but because youngsters care about boundaries and about having a life outside work. "It shows that the younger generation doesn’t put their whole self-identity in work, which is a dangerous thing,” he said. “If your whole identity is on work, and if you lose your job, your whole world crumbles.” Nevertheless, some youths recognise work as a big part of their lives and seek at least some meaning from it. Mr Neo, the security services employee, said that his attitude towards work is that it should be fulfilling enough for him to “not mind doing”. “(Work) should be something that you wake up to every day and you don’t feel like it’s a drag,” he said. He added that as he moves on in the next stages of life such as marriage and starting a family, he will look out for jobs that fit into his longer-term plans. At the other end of the spectrum are “older” young workers saddled with responsibilities such as raising children. Unlike their younger counterparts, they are focused on staying in their current jobs, which provide them with financial stability - which is a priority for them. One video producer at a media company, who wanted to be known only as Mr Tan, said that having a five-year-old son meant that the goals for his career have shifted. “As a parent, I think work is like a way to have money to pay the bills and it’s a bonus for me that I like what I’m doing,” said the 34-year-old. When he was younger, Mr Tan said that he had aspirations to become a “bigger name” in the media scene, but then as the years went by, he learnt that he was also content with being recognised by a smaller group of people who work with him. He added that he negotiated for favourable working hours so that he could spend more time with his family, but this also meant that he was committed to working harder within those hours. “Having a child made me respect my work-life balance more,” he said. “Let’s say if I work from nine to five, by five o’clock, I’m out, but from nine to five, I will work as hard as you need me to.” WILL YOUNGER WORKERS GROW OUT OF THEIR CURRENT MINDSET? There is an argument to be made, however, that the younger generations will in time grow out of their current ideals about work, or re-evaluate their priorities at different life stages. Some of the attitudes could also be ephemeral. For example, some experts felt that the clamour for more work-life balance could very well be just a phase brought about by current conditions, with the recovering Singapore economy coinciding with a severe labour shortage in some sectors. Mr Choo from Agility International said that the years of feeling “stifled” by the pandemic, along with the lack of travel and social time with friends, may have led youths to put their wellness and short-term gratification as their immediate priorities. The improved economic situation has also given these young workers more career opportunities, which may have led to their perceived “choosiness” from the employers’ vantage point. “Because of the shortage of talent in the market now, the younger generation has choices, and that’s why they are able to be more in control of their career decisions," he said. However, these conditions currently favourable to employees will not last. And hence, these attitudes, though justified now, may not be sustainable. In addition, just like the older millennials whom TODAY spoke to, the younger workers may soon have to accept that their future responsibilities in life will require them to revisit the issue of work-life balance. “The Gen Zers that have decided to focus now on their non-financial goals will ultimately have to wake up and smell the coffee,” said Mr Choo. “Because of the increasing home prices, increasing cost of living, someday they will have to refocus on building their financial security, and a life of short-term gains may not be sustainable … they may come to regret it down the road.” POTENTIAL RAMIFICATIONS FOR YOUNGER WORKERS, EMPLOYERS AND SINGAPORE If the “choosiness” that embodies the current employees’ market - at least from the employer’s perspective - persists, it could inadvertently dampen the competitiveness of the local workforce, some employers said. Mr Lim, the business owner, said that it is still not clear whether the current attitudes among young workers will “be a new trendsetter for employment in Singapore”. He noted that amid the current labour shortage, it will be no surprise for firms unable to hire local employees to turn to foreign talent - be it bringing them in from other countries or having them work remotely overseas. “For the employees … once they see that jobs are now being taken up by other labour sources like foreign workers or more mature workers willing to take the job, then I think (by then), their options will be quite limited,” he said. Agreeing, Ms Carmen Wee, founder and chief executive officer of HR advisory services firm Carmen Wee & Associates, cautioned that some younger workers could be left behind if they are unable to compete against their peers in Singapore as well as their counterparts from other countries. “If (the younger generation) continues to be average and mediocre, and other people upgrade their skills and have more to offer in their resumes, then obviously they may not be as competitive when they go for job interviews, and promotion prospects will be affected," she said. "There could come a time where there is a recession, and retrenchment is on the way, then they could be on the chopping board.” She added: “These are the inevitable realities if one chooses to not pay attention to one’s career longevity and employability.” However, employers and experts both agree that the younger generation of workers has their own strengths. Ms Geraldine Kor, country managing director of telecommunications firm Telstra's Singapore office, said that what she has seen from the younger workers at her firm is that they are willing to learn new skills as long as it is in their areas of interest. To channel the workers' interests, her firm provides, for example, training opportunities in different fields ranging from coding to business analytics. By doing so, the firm hopes to match young workers to new skillsets that they are passionate about. "The organisation benefits because workers come away more motivated, and also more skillful, and as long as they feel engaged, the company gets the retention ... because once they have the passion, their potential really gets manifested," she said. Agreeing, Ms Wee said that due to access to social media, the younger generation has developed more diverse interests. “There are a lot of global and social issues that they are interested in, because they want to make an impact," she said. She added: "They are the ones who have very firm beliefs around how society should be run, and how society should treat the more marginalised." The challenge ahead is not so much about how to deal with the work attitudes of the younger generation, but how mentors and employers can harness the energy and passion that many of these workers have, she said. “These are good causes and we need the young people to have passion to articulate their point of view,” she said. “Because they are the ones who are going to live on this planet in the coming decades, and they will have to deal with some of these issues. If they have begun to get involved, it is a very good sign.” This story was originally published in TODAY.
  11. Recently been doing appraisals for my guys and this question came up. People always like to ask why i promote this guy and not them. caused quite a bit of unhappiness. i guess it's quite normal. Then i came across this article. found it a very good read. hopefully it will help you guys in your career moving forward. Food for thought on a weekend!
  12. Vid

    Miracle of Life

    From conception to birth. An incredible video showing the beauty of nature. [thumbsup] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZk4hT7ncv0
  13. Nice article! Appreciating the ‘money value of time’ - TODAY (todayonline.com)https://www.todayonline.com/commentary/appreciating-money-value-time-1770456 This sums it best for me: @Throttle2 is der aldy
  14. Hi folks, so I just quit a company I have been working at for the past 7 years to join a new company. Before leaving I had done the usual stuff of handing over duties and created a spreadsheet of the outstanding cases with their current status and follow up. Considering I left on good terms, I sent out a thank you email to everyone I worked with before my departure so they would have known. Yesterday was my last day and today I have been getting calls from my former employer on projects that I was involved in for advice and info. I'm contemplating if I should just ignore these calls or answer them to avoid burning bridges since word gets around eventually. I know this is probably not the right platform to seek advice on such matters but just wanted to get quick advice. Any advice would be appreciated! TYIA.
  15. kdash

    Treasure life...

    just attended a funeral wake of a senior who passed away in his mid 40s due to asthma... he can be considered to be a mentor to me and some of my friends when we were starting to play in music bands... sort of lost contact in the past few years and then suddenly heard the news... could tell that his wife was trying to keep it together... it seems so sudden and unexpected... not really considered a personal loss, but a sobering reminder to me nonetheless to treasure our life and the time that we have with our family and loved ones... peace... (PS to mods: please feel free to tag on to any relevant existing threads if any. thanks.)
  16. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/cnainsider/grieved-when-baby-born-blind-visually-impaired-world-possibility-15002458 Read the article this morning. Super mum and super dad! Amazing parents and child. Hope they can be an inspiration for everyone. Value your loved.
  17. From CNA: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp...1238785/1/.html Life on Mars? Maybe not: NASA Posted: 22 November 2012 0755 hrs In this photo provided by NASA's JPL, this is one of the first images taken by NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars on August 6 (AP Photo/NASA/JPL-Caltech) WASHINGTON: NASA downplayed Wednesday talk of a major discovery by its Martian rover after remarks by the mission chief raised hopes it may have unearthed evidence life once existed on the Red Planet. Excitement is building over soon-to-be-released results from NASA's Curiosity rover, which is three months into a two-year mission to determine if Mars has ever been capable of supporting microbial life. Its Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instruments have been sending back information as it hunts for compounds such as methane, as well as hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, that would mean life could once have existed there. In an interview with US broadcaster National Public Radio, aired Tuesday, lead mission investigator John Grotzinger hinted at something major but said there would be no announcement for several weeks. "We're getting data from SAM," he said. "This data is gonna be one for the history books. It's looking really good." A spokesman for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is managing the project, appeared to pour cold water Wednesday on the hopes of space enthusiasts looking forward to an earth-shattering discovery. "John was delighted about the quality and range of information coming in from SAM during the day a reporter happened to be sitting in John's office last week. He has been similarly delighted by results at other points during the mission so far," spokesman Guy Webster told AFP. "The scientists want to gain confidence in the findings before taking them outside of the science team. As for history books, the whole mission is for the history books," Webster said. Scientists do not expect Curiosity to find aliens or living creatures but they hope to use it to analyze soil and rocks for signs the building blocks of life are present and may have supported life in the past. The $2.5 billion Curiosity rover -- which landed in Gale Crater on the Red Planet on August 6 -- also aims to study the Martian environment to prepare for a possible human mission there in the coming years. US President Barack Obama has vowed to send humans to the planet by 2030. - AFP/fa
  18. Has anyone considered getting one of these travel homes to run around the region? There's not much camping culture in Singapore, and even in Malaysia, there are almost no powered camper parks to plug into standard camper vans. Some interesting campers when I was looking around. https://www.volkswagen-vans.co.uk/range/camper-vans-t6 Given these campers cost upward of 200 to 300k, and with COE limited life expectancy of 10 years, it got me thinking what else can I get for the money. Of course, trailer homes are cheap, but driving up or camping in Malaysia in one just screams "Rob Me"!!! The other alternative I can think of is to live off a boat. http://asiapowerboats.com/buy-a-boat/preowned-yachts-others/ A simple used one costs about the same as a 4 room flat( no COE), with only question being the repair/maintanence cost and docking fees. I know some docks have power points that can be plugged in to run A/C and the ancillaries, so it makes for a reasonably comfortable living, albeit a small space Does anyone have an idea what the fees are like?
  19. What say u? https://medium.com/the-ascent/get-rich-and-drive-a-toyota-camry-3acb4288a5b6
  20. I have read many many times that human life trumps everything in many Covid19 discussion. Personally, I don't think so. To me, there is always a limit to how much economic pain, in terms of dollars before it does not make sense to save that one more life. I just want to put some numbers out there. We have almost used close to 100billion for Covid related expenses. What does 100 billion equal to???? Let me put some numbers. Our average annual income is slightly less than 70k. Assuming we work from 25 to 65, that is 40 years. So that is 2.8million per person. Assuming he works as a slave and does not consume ANYTHING for his master, he will average 2.8million in his lifetime. so many slaves do we need to make 100 billion? 35000 slaves... I am not saying a human life is work 2.8million dollars because it isn't. I am just trying to get a feel of how much is 100 billion.
  21. If the owners do take care of the oil changes I am positively sure the failures will be minimal, though the question if the gearbox is as durable as the standard auto is questionable, as many sites have indicated that a well cared CVT gearbox has a lifespan of 120-160K km, while an standard box will last far longer with minimal maintenance! Are the above infos true? My Airwave gearbox just gameover at 220 000 km. A mechanic I spoke to told me that this is a very common problem. One of his customer's Odyssey game over at 160 000km.
  22. Just sharing my own experience with Circles after reading an article on Stomp. For those who are on Circles.life, please check ur month billing after deductions. Been using Circles for nearing 2 years. Past few months I've had extra deductions for overseas data usage. Usually just negligible few cents that many people may not find worth the hassle to contact them for refund etc... For the overseas data charges, during those period I was indeed in Malaysia but data roaming already set to off and also using msia sim card. Contacted Circles.Life via the app chat and was refunded without much issues. Recently signed mum up with Circles as she was complaining Starhub bill ex and only 3GB data (on starhub old contract plan). Some hiccups with the initial signup but all was resolved. Monthly bill was $18 and would be $18 for the next 1 year. All was good until this month she told me this month her bill $38. Found it strange why $18. Never exceed also. Upon checking her app, noticed that the unlimited data setting was turned on hence the extra $20. Contacted circles via the app again and was told we'll receive the rebate in the next billing. shall see. Just read this news on stomp also seems like not a one off. For my mum's case, it was automatically set to ON for the month of October. Glitch?? Mum doesn't use the app. As with all monthly auto deductions be it credit card, debit card or giro, please make it a habit to check your bank statement. https://stomp.straitstimes.com/singapore-seen/circleslife-gives-refund-after-stomper-finds-out-he-was-enrolled-in-unnecessary-add Circles.Life is performing a refund for a Stomper after he was automatically enrolled into an unnecessary add-on service that cost him an additional $20. Stomper Nautical said: "I terminated my line with another telco and ported over to Circles.Life. "Circles.Life has an $18 monthly subscription plan where I can get 20 gigabytes of data, so that got my attention and I subscribed to it on Oct 14. "Everything was great but after about three weeks, I received my bill. "I didn't select any of their Plus Options. The whole time I was subscribing and even before at the roadshows and websites, I never saw anything about this Plus Option. "Turns out, I was automatically enrolled in this service that gives me unlimited data. "Also, since my bill for the month of October should be pro-rated, I should be charged about $10 instead of $15. "I sent an email to Circles.Life on Nov 7 but didn't get a reply until yesterday (Nov 11). "They called me and apologised. They also said that they will waive the disputed charges. "I think they should be more transparent when it comes to billing. I was automatically enrolled and I don't even need that much data. "I only used about four gigabytes of data the previous month and my monthly subscription entitles me to 20, I don't need unlimited data at all. "What if other people were to be in a similar situation. "Some are not as tech-savvy or they may not have time to take note of these little details. Some people may find it troublesome to dispute these charges and would go ahead with paying for it. "I think it's unethical and Circles.Life should be more transparent in how they bill their customers." In response to a Stomp query, a Circles.Life spokesperson said: "We reached out to the customer via email and explained the situation. "We are also performing a refund for the disputed charge."
  23. As the title says, feeling a little bit emotional (no, not cos 7th month and RadX coming out of hell ) So, here goes: Work has been trying and many ppl are resigning (like average 4 per week kind) , stress levels are at an all time high.It's becoming a struggle to decide whether to leave or stay. Decided to go for a walk at vivo rooftop to get some fresh air, destress, take in the sea view, and contemplate my future. Guess what, I bumped into my recent ex with a new guy, being all touchy and stuff, and it was shocking! We still did admit very recently that we had feelings for each other and very recently just met. I wish her happiness but it was just shocking! Supposed to go there to destress but now IDK how to feel! Life has been a series of unfortunate circumstances and quite of a downward spiral of late and I just wanna rant Mods please delete if there's a similar thread or if it's deemed pure rubbish. Also, I realised I'm really pathetic when my good friend borrowed my car to go on a date cos he knows I have no one to go out with (ok maybe I'm overthinking and it was cos he knew I as sick and on MC) Seeking advice on life and whatnot from ma bros here who know and met me, and even those that haven't! P.S if got any single good looking xmm above 20 to intro also lmk HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA JKJK Ok rant over, Peace Out ! #millennialcrisis #help
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