Thursday, January 15, 2009

Early Morning Meeting

I had an early morning meeting with the my old nemesis - the boss man. The project office head was sick so she called me and said to proceed with the meeting. So I went with the new support staff from our Indian outsource. The boss man was his usual self, challenging us to improve the report. So I spent most of the time defending the reports that we presented. We were a shooting target because he just came and attacked all the format we presented. All the points mentioned were good but I think that we always spend more time arguing about the formats. But with the impending transfer, my days reporting on the system status are few. I hope the new team will not be stressed to much with the boss man.

A couple of days ago, my dear friend told me that he needs heart surgery to remove a benign tumour. I was shocked and could not respond much. He is five years younger than me but he is brave and seems unconcerned about the coming operation. The doctors say that stress maybe the likely cause. I also have a few colleagues who have ailments attributable to stress. This got me thinking that I should not stress my kids to much. The grades of my youngest son depressed him and I think he felt some form of stress. It seems a fact of life here that people are stressed to keep up with the demands of life and work. I am glad to be moving to a more laid back atmosphere and hope that it will be less demanding for my family.

I told my other colleague whose sister has chronic kidney failure to explore alternative medicine. It is easy for me to say as I am not affected. But to look at a future with a dialysis machine is not much of a future as well. But being exposed to traditional Chinese medicine and other alternative forms of medication in Asia give me more confidence in proposing this action. In fact the only way to stay healthy is to exercise everyday. Every morning I bike or walk in the nearby park or use my rowing machine for about 15 to 20 minutes everyday. I also stopped smoking, drink lots of liquids and handle stress by blogging and Tai Chi and, of course, exercise. It's the only way to survive these days rather than just dropping dead of stroke or cardiac arrest as some young people are wont to do recently.

So this brings me back to the boss man and my son. I should not react negatively with stress after meeting with the boss man. I should also avoid stressing my kids with high expectations though I should gently challenge them to be better. I also should not take the load or problems in my work. There is always a procedure and an elevation process. The support team in India should get most of the load. Yesterday, there was a call from Thailand of the other system that we just deployed. It had a problem uploading files. Usually I would be stressed and focus on the issue until it is resolved. But with so many things to do, I did not pay too much attention. So I just wrote an e-mail to the support team to look into the problem.

I guess another thing that I should adjust to is my age. I am not a doddering old man yet but I guess I can no longer do the things that I used to do in the past. My tolerance to stress is not as great as before. So I should be smart and learn to pass problems to the appropriate channel. I should also respect myself and try to go home early instead of staying late to resolve issues. There is always another day to work on the problem. Another thing as mentioned by my brother is not to bring my work problems home. I am guilty of this habit sometimes though I do not shout or get angry when I get home. Usually I am just silent and a bit surly with my family, neglecting them and looking for my own distraction like reading books or Internet. I guess with age come self-awareness to hopefully improve oneself.

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