Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Anxiety

I am attending a make-up class on the software tool used for enterprise project management. I already attended a few sessions in the past but was unable to complete the whole training. Often times I leave early or could not attend the day's session due to some pressing concern. I now appreciate the training because I could now focus on the details. In fact I have a chance to sit across the table from the lecturer. Luckily he can't see me blogging across from him as he is busy lecturing to the others on the conference call. Most participants have called in from Thailand, China and Japan. I am the only attendee in the Singapore office aside from the lecturer.

The lecturer is quite good in his communication skills though I often have difficulty explaining things to him. He is more a talker than a listener. So we get into problems when I try to persuade him with my point of view. As a talker, the best approach is to try to ask probing questions and move him towards the direction that will explain my point. But he is a nice guy and his communication skills is quite good. He is diligent and studies his area well. The previous person in his position was also quite good but did not have his focus and diligence. Not because she was lazy but because of too much work; handling many responsibilities at the same time. In fact I like working with her and she now works with the boss man in my previous role.

Last night I slept a few minutes after midnight. I arrived home late after a meeting with the team from head office. I watched the HBO series 'Rome' when I got home and had a modest dinner of toasted bread, Cheddar cheese, anchovies, Camembert cheese, wine and a chocolate bar. It was the same dinner for the past few days. One good thing about being home alone is that I am less inclined to overeat. I was able to watch 2 episodes but fell asleep near the end of the second episode. I slept in my son's room so I could use his air con and read some of his Japanese Manga comics about a Japanese Samurai. I woke up at about 7am, had breakfast of oatmeal and cashew nuts and orange juice. I was able to exercise in the rowing machine for about 15 minutes while listening to William Faulkner's audio book.

This morning I met the human resource head, my former boss, on the way to the office. I think we shared the same train. We talked about my impending overseas transfer and he asked me about the status. I told him about the remaining issue on my starting date and that he needed to reply to a mail to confirm my starting date. I can now speak more in the open about the transfer. In the past, I would not like to speak about it until things are at a more concrete state. I feel that speaking about a possible event this early may affect my luck adversely. I think this attitude affects my enthusiasm about the transfer. The overseas team are very happy and enthusiastic but my replies by email may not be as enthusiastic enough. I guess I never felt such candor and openness in the past.

I feel like I am more like a wound-up ball waiting to explode. I am always in defensive mode looking for traps laid out by my enemies. I guess it is this fear that prevents me from relaxing and trying to be myself. I am more in a cautious and alert state, keeping watch of possible aggression and deception. I guess it is this state of agitation like being in a perpetual state of alertness. This is preventing me from being a writer or speaker and just living a relaxed normal life. I often try to review my past to determine when I started to live this way. Perhaps it was when I lost my first love in college or my dad's explosion of anger and harsh whacking to enforce discipline or maybe the frequent comparison to other people that affected my self-esteem during my early youth.

I was always called a quiet man, not noisy and verbose. Perhaps keeping more to myself, being comfortable in solitude. Now I am trying to break this mold with my Toastmaster experience and interactions in work. In fact I think that I should be more an extrovert and be a vocal person to succeed in work. So I am trying to change myself which is not the lesson expounded by current literature that speaks of focusing on your strengths. My actions for self-development in recent years have been to improve my weaknesses I think. I don't know if I have elevated myself to a higher level but I feel more paranoid and agitated. I guess it's all the changes and anxiety arising from the changes in the organization.

It's a strange time to be anxious; being in the midst of the Christmas season. Sometime I think that I can no longer understand the way the office works. Especially working with the people in the office. It seems like there is no order and coherence in their words and efforts. I feel that their works have no clarity or structure. Of course, they all talk but nothing significant is really being said. So that is why I want to transfer. I hope that I can better adapt to the new world than trying to understand today's generation of personnel at the office. It is also these seeming incoherence, a babble of confusing tongues, which give me stress as well. Maybe as the mind ages, it looks for simplicity and order.

No comments: