Showing up

Diane Keaton and Woody Allen in Annie Hall (1977).
Diane Keaton and Woody Allen in Annie Hall (1977).

Yesterday, I wrote about my love affair with Cassandra.

One of the related stories that appeared after the article was something I wrote back in 2009.

In it, I described how I got my internship at Pioneer magazine, where:

According to Edgar Lee, one of the Senior Editors then, the choice was between myself and another girl. We weren’t shortlisted; we were just two kukubirds who were interested (or silly) enough to apply for that position.

Well, I thought I got it because I sounded earnest enough during the telephone interview. Actually, I got the gig because the other girl didn’t pick up her phone.

I had completely forgotten about this, but reading it again made me chuckle.

I guess it lends some credence to the Woody Allen quote about how 80 percent of success in life is showing up.

Reinventing the office line

These office items and gadgets, some of which were on the cutting edge in 1988, now all fit on a smartphone. Well, except for the coffee. Photo by Buck Ennis.
These office items and gadgets, some of which were on the cutting edge in 1988, now all fit on a smartphone. Well, except for the coffee. Photo by Buck Ennis.

So you know how I like to predict how and why technology should change to cleave to our modern ways of living, right?

Hence, for my next trick, I’m going to ask: Technological powers-that-be, when are we going to turn our office numbers into work numbers for the mobile?

And mind you, I’m not talking about call forwarding.

I’m referring to an actual office line that can be combined with our present personal mobile phone line – but which we can choose to switch off when we’re out of the office.

Think about it. To create a clear divide between the professional and the personal, we have:

  • Personal e-mail addresses and office e-mail addresses; and
  • Personal phone lines and office phone lines.

Before the advent of mobile data technology, office tools were often fixed, and we had to enter the office to use those specific tools.

Now, we can do almost everything on the go; we can make personal calls on our mobile phones, and check our personal and office e-mail on the same device.

So at which point did companies say: “Hey! We’re gonna stop developing technology for office phone lines because there is no need to.”?

Because of this – lapse? change of focus? – we now have work-based communication taking place on our personal lines.

Some examples: Whatsapp office group chat messages, or text messages and voice calls from clients.

It’d be nice to have the option of setting “away from office” auto-replies on our work phone lines when on leave or after leaving the office, so we can draw a distinction between work and leisure.

Therefore, I’m calling this right here, right now, Lare-style: There’s a portion of the technology that’s lagging behind everything else when it comes to the modern office telephone line.

Technological powers-that-be, please do something about it. You’ll more than reap the rewards when everyone starts adopting this service.

Signed, sealed, delivered

Signed, sealed, delivered (PHOTO CREDIT: Pet Piggies)
Signed, sealed, delivered (PHOTO CREDIT: Pet Piggies)

So I’ve just submitted separate Presentation and Participation grant applications for two publications I’ve been working on:

  • The Zookeeper’s Boy and Other Poems, a collection of 30 poems which I’ve written over the last six years (inclusive of my time at Toji – in fact, the bulk of the poetry was written while I was at Toji); and
  • Standing On The Shore, a graphic novella that I wrote last year, and which will be illustrated by a Singaporean artist.

I know we’re only at the applications stage, but I’m really so proud of how everything materialised and coalesced.

From the project management i.e. coordinating meetings and pulling together the team, to getting quotations, to calculating the budget, to figuring out how to fill out the forms, and – allow me this moment to humblebrag – all while having to work on the documents during pockets of time at night when I got home from the day job, or on weekends, or during my days off.

But the going was really made easier with the encouragement I received from the different people who provided active constructive responses at all points of the journey, such as how to improve my work and, at the very minimum, acknowledging and indicating – verbally or otherwise – their support for my artistic goals.

Suffice to say, I’m pretty pumped and looking forward to finally publishing my work – if I secure funding, that is.

Keep your fingers crossed for me and wish me luck!