what do you do? 

I’m in a crowded bus on the way to the great North, north of the city that is, to meet up with my partner who’s off to Hongkong tomorrow over the weekend. I wish I could surprise him with tickets to join him myself but a guy can dream. 

I have been spending too much brain power at work over the recent few weeks as am currently trying to get a grip on a new process that was given to me. So far the results have not been stellar, and I am beginning to think that they are starting to have regrets on why they hired me in the first place. So much for not meeting service levels over the past few weeks, right after I was awarded with a commendation after an efficiency project for my former process. 

And that brings me down to work. What do you do? When you get asked the question, what do you say? How do you begin to explain your job to someone who doesn’t know anything about it? In the same way, say it’s career day at your kid’s school and you were invited to speak to junior high school students on your career, howwoudl you begin your talk? How would you describe your job/career in such a way that the students would find it interesting? Well, is it interesting in the first place? 

I bet you would never have had an idea that people were actually hired for the things you currently do before you got hired. Apart from the standard careers like doctors, firemen, etc., at least those people you would have a pretty good idea of what they would do at work, you have seen what firemen do and you would have gone to the doctor once or twice as a kid.

But I work in a bank. Does that make me a banker? What does a banker do? I would never have imagined as a kid that I would work in a bank one day, much less have any sort of idea what working in a bank meant. I would imagine them holding money, lots of it, and keeping money. Money goes into a bank so people wouldn’t spend it. And then when they are ready to do so, they take it out of the bank. Hmmmm. That doesn’t exactly would like what I do right now. I have been working in several financial institutions for the past 13 (?) years and I have yet to see actual money in the office. One office I worked for was even paperless in a sense.

So again, how would I describe my work/job concisely and accurately to someone who doesn’t have a clue about trade financing and markets?

I’ve thought about it over dinner and realized something. The job title. When you’re young choosing what you want to be when you grow up, you’d always come up with the same worn-out answers for the generic careers, and I don’t mean generic in a bad way, generic because it’s widely aspirational (?), commonly looked up to, or known. I have yet to meet a kid who wants to become an FX trader or compliance officer.

So what’s the point of this again? I’ve completely lost it, I’m sorry. Oh, yes: what do you do? One could start to answer the question more sensibly by making comparisons with other types of careers jobs which are more relatable than the title risk and product controller. Security guard. I’ve heard that on one training session before. I am like a security guard for trades. Hmmm. Close enough.

So what do you do?


icebreaker 022

Tell an inside joke you share with your friends?

I can’t remember any specific inside joke that I have shared with my friends. I don’t know. Well we do laugh about things that happened to us in the past, quite often but nothing specific comes to mind right now. I guess I am not really a “joke-y” kind of guy, neither are my friends, but in some circles, I would consider myself occasionally funny. Occasionally. In some circles.

Do you work out every week?

I try to work our every week, but sometimes I miss my bed too much and opt to lie down instead. Some people say that it’s actually a yoga position, so I guess most of the time I am still doing yoga. In bed.

Did you grow up in a small or big town? Did you like it?

I grew up almost right mack in the city. Our street comes about a main national highway, although we’re still a bit more tucked in that we don’t get too much of the noise that comes with the traffic. It’s not much a a neighborhood in general, but our house is in a compound of apartments which share a common inner yard, so I guess we had most of our childhood spent playing with direct neighbors. As we grew up, the location made much more sense since it was within a few minutes of anything substantial, and commuting was convenient, traffic aside.

Do you pick at scabs?

I remember what my mom used to tell us when we were young, my three other brothers and me. She said that we had legs like girls since we didn’t pick at our scabs, unlike our girl playmates and neighbors who had a lot of scabs on their legs. It was weird hearing that from our mom, but it was true. Until today, my older brother, the one before me, has what has got to be one of the smoothest and whitest legs on a guy you’d ever seen, and they’re not even that hairy. In local terms, his legs would be compared to long radishes.

Oh wait, could this question possibly be referring to psychological scabs, or is that just me overworked and too tired to think of a coherent thought right now? I don’t know. Maybe for another post: picking at psychological scabs.

How many boyfriends/girlfriends did you have?

I have had a few boyfriend flings, and a couple of girlfriends. I have been around, on hindsight, but that’s not my scene anymore.

What would you want to say to your latest ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend?

I had this idea of writing letters to my exes before, and maybe some of the people I had dated in the past. I guess I got happy too soon that I got over it and moved away from that project. I may want to revisit that soon, I suppose but yeah, I say it could get in the way of my happiness for now. If i had anything to say to any ex, all of them, I guess: have fun. Hahaha.

Can you live without internet?

I saw this post on Facebook the other day about a job opening to be a hermit in Austria (?). The job is to stay at a beautiful cliff house with no electricity, heat or internet for a few months. It doesn’t come with a salary though, and it wouldn’t exactly be a hermit life since there would be visitors coming in to sink in the few and all. For a whole eight minutes I had seriously though that this could be a great “job” (it doesn’t really pay anything, so must be called some volunteer thing), for me. But than I realized I was looking at it on my phone.

So, no. I don’t think I can live without internet. I have come to the point that I have too much invested, financially and psychologically, in connectivity already to be able to go back to a life without it.

icebreaker 020

What is something you had to learn that you hated? 

Hate is such a strong word. I can’t really think of anything I learned to hate. Maybe I’m still in the process of learning it.

Would you consider yourself straight, gay, bi, or something else? Why?

I have claimed in the past that if anyone ever asked me this question in person, I would willingly, without batting an eyelash, answer truthfully. And I have been asked this question before by my former team at the office. The only problem I see about it is, I don’t know the answer.

I don’t have a girlfriend right now, I did have a couple in the past. I do have a boyfriend right now, although I would rather use the more politically correct term partner. I don’t enter into relationships if I am not into it for the long run, that’s another reason.

Could I fall in love with a girl? Yes. Could I fall in love with another man? Yes. But as I am now in a committed relationship of course I won’t. And I am not looking into that in the future.

Sexually? That is a non-functional for me. Sex is sex is sex is sex. I’d have it whichever way I want or can get it really. So sexual I do not have any specific preference, I think.

Sounds like a long-winded answer to a simple question. But yeah,its a non-answer too.

What is your religious view of things? What religion, if any, do you call your own?

I was born and raised Roman Catholic, essentially Christian by all respects. That’s the thing about religion, it’s not something that you actually choose to begin with most of the time, you’re mostly born into it. Even though some parents would say that they would be fine with whatever religion their kids would want to go into when they are older,  it is pretty difficult to switch ideologies after a certain age, much less with the myriad of religions you get to learn about as you grow older.

I think  religion is more of a spirituality that you are comfortable with, a set of ideas and concepts that your conscience can grapple with, along with the set of rituals that reinforce those ideas and concepts. I used to dream to become a priest when I was young but then again I outgrew that when I stepped into public high school.

My partner encourages me to hear mass with him and his family one of these days and I honestly wish I could want to take him up on his offer more than ever. I was raised a Catholic school boy so I guess getting back into the rituals feels like I’m going back to the days of my childhood when it was simpler and safer, easier and rigid too at the same time. One of these days I guess.

What would you wish for if you found a genie?

I’d wish for peace. Peace of mind. And satisfaction. Which actually defeats the purpose of a genie in the first place.

Made fun of someone for being fat?

Yes,  but not at to their face. Maybe my brother at one time when I was young but that was more out of anger or spite instead of fun. I think he still has those physical scars to show for that one of many altercations that we had when we were young, I doubt if he could remember any of it though we were really young, and a bit really violent, which is odd since we’re really a quiet set of brothers actually,  even as we are older. 

Had a three-some?

Yes. And it’s definitely not like in porn where everyone is having such fun. Maybe it was just me and my experience, but it was not as good as I think I had imagined it to be. Maybe the next one will be better, I don’t know. 

Narrowing Down the List, Sort Of…

I went though a couple more options earlier tonight for a prospective laptop purchase and I ended up slightly more confused than before. At one point in the evening I was already ready to bite the bullet and just get it over with and buy a goddamn something, but then a lady and her son walked into the store and checked out the same unit I was buying. They asked exactly two questions and just bought the thing. I was confused even more. Was it supposed to be that easy?
I can’t even imaging producing a shortlist of the laptops I’m thinking of getting but I think I do have to, in no particular order I think.
MacBook Pro with Retina Display 13-inch
MacBook Air 11-inch
ASUS Zenbook UX303LN
ASUS Zenbook UX32LN
HP Envy Touchsmart 15 Q006TX
Dell XPS 11
Dell Inspiron 5547
Dell Inspiron 14 7437
Acer Aspire E1 472G
Lenovo Z5070
Lenovo Z510
Samsung Series 7 NP740U3E

icebreaker 011

How do you get re-energized?

I eat. A lot. That is according to most people I know who have seen me eat. I don’t think it’s something to be ashamed of, although the question does not point to anything of the sort. So yea, I eat to get re-energized.

I guess it really depends on what sort of energy you would wish to reintroduce to your system. Music gets me energized. and so does food. Still, food.

Do you want to go back to school?

No. I do not want to go back to school. School left me some weird aftertaste. Really weird. I’d blame it on… I don’t really know. I guess we are all entitled to our impressions of how school should feel and the experience of it should be remembered, but although I could remember a few instances that I really had fun, most of them were just with people from school, but not school itself. Yes, college, I am talking about you, and you too high school.
I do think, in a more generic form of an answer, school is life in general. I think I learned more about life outside of school, on the way to and coming back from school, and trying to get away from it, but no, not school. Come to think of it, the more you use the word school, the more uncomfortable I get.
I do wish I could go back to pre-school. That was fun.

Do you have a significant other?

No. Technically, no. I do date once in a while. Although technically, I do not. In some cultures and for some specific people who I know, exclusively dating someone would count that someone as a so-called significant other. Technically speaking, someone, or another person with whom you are significantly invested in, either emotionally or spatially (time and/or proximity wise).

So there. Technically, I do not have a significant other. As I am reading this, I can hear my few friends who are reading this asking me all sorts of questions already. All in time, offline.

If I didn’t know any better, I would…

…have an answer to this question. I think the question presupposes some sort of veiled ignorance or pretends that there is something actionable that I would love to not have known, otherwise changing a prior course of action. Same thing as regret maybe? I don’t know.

What is your favorite car?

I do not have a car. I do not drive. Hopefully, not yet. Hopefully in the future, yes. But if I id have a car, I would still go for a Suzuki Jimmny. Fire engine or petrol red, unless that color is not trademarked to Suzuki in general.
For now, I love taking cabs when they’re there when I need them.

Without looking, guess what time it is

It should be about 2:54 am. And I am off by 13 minutes. It’s just 2:41 on the clock.

Have you ever ridden on a motorbike?

Yes, but I have never actually driven one. I do wish to own one someday, if only most of my friends and family think that it’s a very bad idea, given the attitude of drivers and the traffic situation in the city in general. But then again, I still want one. That would be wicked cool.

What time do you get up?

I am not too keen on the time I actually get up, unless I am running really really late for work or some appointment. I would say I do get up when I really really have to pee or if I’m really really hungry.