5 Tips to Survive Your First Day

Even after surviving a series of first days in kindergarten, two schools and two tertiary institutions, I found myself turning and  twisting in my bed on the eve of my first day at work in Pichonkun’s. I started having jitters and felt sick to my stomach as I reached the security post to register myself. You see, the downside of having a chattery monkey mind is that I always end up having wave of thoughts when something major is about to happen. I didn’t want to mess up, I had all these expectations on how well I’m supposed to do, also I kept playing the guessing game of how it’ll be like working there. I sorta panicked!

I blamed myself for wanting to be an adult all the time. It happened! Clearly I wasn’t ready for this. C’mon, I was a 23 year old whose parents had just dropped her to first day of work. I took a deep breath. I got this. So, this time, despite the nerve-wrecking description as above, I had a plan in mind.  So, here are few things that I consciously (if you’re even slightly paranoid like me, you’ll tend to be extra self conscious)  did on my first day :

1. Keep a notebook in hand (at all times)

First day mean lots of new information. Unless you’ve got excellent memory enough to win IQ contests (which I obviously don’t), it’s always good to have a notebook to write down anything and everything. Although I probably did not need to know the size of bolts used in an air-conditioning unit, I was glad that I wrote down some of the other useful things. Also, if you like me, have tough time matching names with faces, it’s good that your write down the names of people you meet. I wrote notes on their work stations or some ‘descriptions’. I think this time I remembered more people faster than during other times.

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Or you could try hard to peek at their name tags the next time. 😛

2. Ask questions

A lecturer once told our class, ‘Don’t make assumptions and make ass of yourselves!’. As much as we are all told to make assumption in Engineering schools, it is not a very wise thing to do in life. If you’re doing on-site tasks, it is even more undesirable to assume things. You wouldn’t want to lose a finger just to avoid looking stupid for asking a question. In most places, people are more kind to newbies, they’re happy to explain do’s and don’ts. Sometimes, what you may think is obvious may not be. If you’re in doubt, ask!.

3. Leave your expectations 

Just because someone you know has gone to this place before, and has shared their thoughts with you, don’t expect the experience to turn out the exact same for you. While it is always good to refer to someone to gain information, it’s not very advisable to have preconceived notions before you have experienced something yourself. Your circumstances could be different. This place you’ve heard not-so-nice things about could turn out to be awesome, and another place where your senior seemed to be so happy be at may not be a great place for you after all,. So, wherever you go, on your first day, go with an open heart. Expectations could damage your morale.

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4. Smile.

Smile. You don’t want to come across as snobbish. Some of us *clears throat* do not have pleasant rest face. I’ve even stood in front of mirror trying to fix my resting face (okay, now you can forget that you ever read that sentence!). If you work in a place where everyone wears the same uniform (like I do), it takes time to recognise the bosses. During my first week, our GM actually sat in the same aisle as me for lunch, and I had no idea. High chances that my rest face didn’t give very good first impression. People notice the newbie. It’s always good to nod and smile as you see strangers along the way. You get to pick one, either be the budak baru sombong  or budak baru yang senyum tu. If you’re the latter, chances are you find your job easy in future.

5. Take Initiative

During my internship, I learned one important lesson; don’t expect people to teach you every thing.  I have heard of my peers and seniors who took pride in doing nothing much during internship, because their bosses were too busy to entertain them. When you’re not being assigned to anything within a week, you should take initiative. Browse through the PC at your work space. Read the available documents (SOPs, policies, working instruction), basically anything and everything you have access to. It is not a good sign if you’re sitting there doing nothing.  You can always ask your colleagues if you can help them with something, or if there’s something you could do.

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When you leave a place, make sure you gain something.

It’s now been three months since my very nervous first day at Pichonkun’s. Safe to say, I survived. Coming to think of it, it feels all funny that I was even that nervous. But it’s always like that, isn’t it? We all have anxiety and stress when going to a new place.

If you too are anticipating for your first day soon, keep the above in mind. 😀 Good luck!

4 Resolutions I Always Broke

I’m amongst millions of people on planet Earth who thinks it’s imperative to write down my resolutions as the new year dawns. Some years, I even plan weeks ahead, strategizing my resolutions, planning how in the upcoming 365-ish days I will become this person worth being a TEDex presenter. I soon came to realize how some of my resolutions were repetitive year after year, reflecting how ‘progressive‘ I was. New year’s resolutions can be likened to making babies; it’s easier to make them but keeping up with them could be the exact reverse *awkward pause*.

This year, I resorted to analyse why I keep breaking these few resolutions of mine, and attempt them in a different approach. Here’s the final results of my analysis :

Resolution #1 : To lose weight.

On the first week of the year, I will browse through every weight loss article online, trying to plot my way to be Deepika Padukone look alike within 3 weeks. Then, I tell myself that next week I’d start running 5 km daily, eat healthy, reduce carbs and etc. I once ate mashed cauliflower for a week, eventually when life got busy, I ended up munching on potato chips for lunch. I never did ever get on the treadmill.

Lesson Learned : It’s a PROCESS. Start slowly, but be consistent. Eat healthy and work out to your capacity. Do some research to help you through the journey. Like the one below, not very community friendly though.

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Okay, well. Not all sources are as trustworthy. 😛

Resolution #2: To be part of the 5 a.m. Club

This one has been on my resolution list since I was 14 when I sat watching The Opera Show on TV. On the show, they discussed about successful people who woke up early in the morning and how it led to their success. I have my alarms set to ring from 4 a.m. just so that I could snooze every one of them and go to bed. Some days when I’m on my disciplined mode, I used to wake up at 5 a.m., revising, reading or writing. This too usually does not last. On the days I had to go to bed late, I console myself to tarnish my 5 a.m Club attendance.

Lesson Learned : I think this was on my resolution list solely because I thought it’d be cool if I was in the 5 a.m. Club. I wasn’t really convinced about this theory. Yes, it’s always a good thing to follow the leads of successful people. But, if you do not truly believe in something, it’s not worth pursuing. In 2017, I’m not carrying on with the 5 a.m club resolution.

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Important question before resolution.

Resolution #3: To be happy.

Well, I am a happy person. I have not faced great tragedies in life. But, I always wrote this on my resolution lists because I thought I needed black and white announcement to myself. I never scratched this one from the list every single year I wrote it. I kept believing better things will unfold as the new year comes.

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Some days of the month makes it all more complicated.

Lesson Learned : Resolutions needs to be clear, better if measurable or quantifiable. Happiness is an ongoing process that has no deadline. This year I resorted to listing down all the important things in my life, making a mind map to what I wanted to accomplish for every one of them.

Resolution #4: To make the scar on my forehead fade.  

I think my parents are most concerned when this resolution never get crossed year after year. The scar on my forehead is self-inflicted. If I were to say that it’s skin picking disorder, certain person would roll their eyes saying that I am developing the scar just so that I could tell this cool story. *rolls eyes* But when you’ve been doing something for almost all your life, it’s hard to stop.  I pick on my forehead when I read, write, study, sleep or when I’m just bored or zoning out.

Lesson Learned : Bad habits are hard to break. Very hard, may I add? But it’s not impossible. Quoting my skin doctor, “You just need little bit of cream and lots of discipline.” I am currently making the best progress ever that is even surprising to my parents.

So, learning from these four recurring resolutions, I think I made better resolutions this year. Hope this helps you to reflect on some of your always-broken resolutions (opppss! if I am the only one with broken resolutions). Do comment below on some of your resolutions, or how you broke or achieved your 2016 list.

*raises imaginary glass for all your resolutions (and mine) to work this year!*

Why 2016 Became My Favourite Year?

It’s that time of the year when there’s plenty of reminiscing and memories-videos popping up on your social media feeds. As a self proclaimed word bum, it’s my utmost pleasure to help you spend your last day of the year reading this post, although you’re actually not bothered at all how my year went (heeee. Thank you for reading this though. Yes, you!).

So, 2016 tops my list of favourite years ever since I came into the world, kicking and crying (1994 is a close runner-up because I probably was a happier person when I slept 15-16 hours a day). Here a list (duhhh..) of why this year is my all-time favourite, some of the lil things, some of the major ones :

1. It’s been a good year for me academically. I scored my highest GPAs during my final year.

2. I graduated with my favourite set of people.

3. I read complete set of John Green’s (and while I could’ve bought the books in local bookstores, I had the books imported for me all the way from Goa and Sydney).

4. I also crossed another item from my bucket list (big shoutout to Keshy a.k.a Thenmoli, Seko and Lotus) – this should be left unelaborated.

5. I drove a car with no supervison beyond the boundaries of my taman. I then became the proud owner of red Cliff (everyone should name their car, no?)

6. Crossed another item on the bucket list, which is to purchase a blog domain.

7. I started with my first ever real job.

8. I had the best last days in campus, unexpectedly (thank you for relentlessly dragging me out of my room and driving me around, Keshy, Vimmy, Shaavesh, Vinod and everyone!)

9. It’s been two awesome years of Woofness.

10.  It’s been a year of plush toys gifts. I don’t remember having many plush toys as a kid. Now at the ripe age of 23, I find myself sleeping with a team of plushies. 

I am thankful for the beautiful memories this year gave me. Thank you to all souls who have been part of my happy journey in 2016. To all my kawans, who always have the kindest, most motivating words to tell me (you know who you are), lots of love to you.

Let us all look forward to a better 2017. Wishing all my readers the best of everything and strength to face every challenge that life has in store for you. 😀

HAPPY NEW YEAR, y’all! 

Gingerly Heaven – Teh Halia Titiwangsa

While the Malaysian hipster café scenes are becoming increasingly famous and Instagram worthy, there are old-fashioned, simple hawker stalls that still attract many customers. One such hidden gem is Teh Halia Titiwangsa, which is a little tea stall located in Jalan Pahang, Kuala Lumpur. My father used to bring me here whenever we had to run errands around the area. He’s been a satisfied customer of this stall since his early working days.

It is an understatement to say that this stall serves the tastiest ginger tea in Malaysia for only RM 2.70 per cup. Its owner, Subramaniam Govindapillai, better known as Uncle Subra, has been serving his special ginger tea for about 28 years now.

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Uncle Subra single-handedly brews every cup of tea that’s ordered in this stall.

Besides its famous teh halia which is an absolute pleasure to one’s senses, the stall also serves assorted Malaysian teatime delights such as curry puffs, nasi lemak and pulut panggang (grilled glutinous rice in banana leaves).  These snacks are perfect compliments for the spicy hot ginger tea which is brewed to perfection. I prefer having my cup of ginger tea with plain bun dipped.

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Memories from childhood, no? Plain bun dipped in hot drink.

Unlce Subra says he uses about 300 kg of ginger on monthly basis. Besides serving his loyal customers, he also receives orders for different events around Kuala Lumpur, sometimes up to 5000 cups. Despite being in the business for many years, Uncle Subra has not put up any signboards for the stall. He solely depends on the reputation of his tea and recommendations of his always satisfied patrons.

Another special element of the stall is its setting that encourages people to make conversations and forge new friendships over a cup of spicy ginger tea. If you are up for a change of setting from the oh-s0-famous cafes, or looking for a place to have a classic teh tarik session, this is the place to go.

Teh Halia Titiwangsa operates daily from 2.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m., only closes for Deepavali.

Caution : Be ready to brace the hot Sun if you intend to go around 3-5 p.m. 

Location on Google Maps : Lorong Titiwangsa 5, Jalan Pahang, Titiwangsa 

This article was originally written as submission for The Star’s 45@45 Giveaway contest. 

Rainbow Hat Rises

You guys! I made it! After what seems like a coon’s age, I finally upgraded to blogging on my own domain. Damn, it even feels good type that out.

I first started blogging out of boredom whilst waiting for my public examination results when I was 15. It all started off with day-to-day rants, high school dramas and immature whining. I have since reformed into other things *clears throat* , hopefully for the better. This year has been very eventful and memorable, so I thought this too shall get in the long list of 2016 memories. I finally decided on a domain, a new concept and have been indecisively changing the design of this blog for weeks now.

I would like to thank every person who has ever read (extra love for your likes and shares) my posts on The World As To Thara , my friends who have always be too kind, my person who almost always as excited as I am about my blog posts, my sister for almost always identifying errors and keeping me on my toes linguistically,  and my parents for having to deal with my numerous design failures.

Here’s to a new beginning. And may the writer’s block stay far far far away.

P/s : I would be thrilled if you subscribed! 😀