2010 = Year of Change and Opportunity

So I started out this year not knowing what it had install for me…

As the days go by, turning into weeks, then into months, the path leading to my future becomes a little less murky. I can’t elaborate enough that despite having clearer and clearer vision of what the immediate future holds for me, it’s still – sad to say – biased towards my studies and career.

As a person, I’m still in limbo. Financially, I’m secure – or should I say – I’m still afloat and I know better than to just use up all my extra finances for nonsense stuff. I’ve been procrastinating transferring my extra budget over to my personal savings (from my payroll account) because I have to apply for an online account from our payroll bank, which would take a few banking days to complete. I should have taken the time last year to do this so it would have been easier for me to save. Now it’s too late. Our company’s about to change payroll banks and there’s really no point in having to go through all the paperwork in order to open an online account.

I guess the real reason why I’m delaying the transfer is because I’m afraid to carry a lot of cash with me for fear of 1) losing it due to my clumsiness (and ever-present forgetfulness), and 2) getting robbed. I know, I know… the Sun would be up, bright and shiny when I make a withdrawal from my ATM… Hmm… Why don’t I carry a nondescript envelope then?

Ah, no! That’s gonna make it more conspicuous.

I guess I’ll just have to suck it up and just be real careful.

There’s an alternative though. I can use up all that money to pay some debt! Yeah! LOL! That sure would take care of minor financial concerns. Hehe.

Oh well, I’ll have to wing it in the next few days.

Speaking of careers. The news in Wallstreet today should be about the planned acquisition of RiskMetrics by MSCI. *sigh* Another company acquiring the company I work for. The good news about it is that it would make the whole company even bigger and, no doubt about it, the uncontested leader of risk management and investment tools, plus governance and sustainability products. Another good thing is that, as far as I know, MSCI doesn’t offer any sustainability products or services. Which would mean that the group that I belong to is relatively safe from any retrenchment risks. I can’t say for the higher ups who are usually the more vulnerable whenever mergers and acquisitions occur. I hope there won’t be drastic changes in the management structure. We’re not even finished with adjusting to KLD’s presence in our ranks. Whew!

As for my studies… well, I’m on my cramming mentality again. I keep putting off choosing the topic for my International Economics term paper. It’s just supposed to be five pages, God damn it! How hard can it be to choose out of three topics – two are typical subjects but the third choice allows us to choose even further among three books and do a book review about it.

I should get my lazy ass off the couch and start doing something if I wanna keep up my good performance this semester. My office performance is so-so. Can’t really say I’m soaring. Let’s just say there’s good things going on and not so good things – not really bad, per se – just something that I know I can figure something out to turn in to one of the good things.

Oops… I’m babbling again… Hehehe.. But, hey look! I got a couple of paragraphs from just my ramblings. LOL!

Okay, don’t ask my why I posted the picture of baby white tiger, alright!? I just typed “opportunity” in Google Image and that’s one of the images that popped out. Of course I know how to use Google, dumbass! I’m a research analyst and I’ve been one for more than three years so I do know what I’m doing, thank you very much!!

Hmpf!

Uh…

I think I’m having a psychotic episode now! LOL!

Is this the result to too many changes this early in 2010? I hope not!

Anyway, I think the baby tiger is cute. Just look at it! It’s soooooo cute!! Maybe I could adopt it?

But the point the picture is trying to convey, I think, is white tigers are rare (they are also mutated forms of the normal tiger) and even though they are rare and technically mutants, there is an opportunity for us to take care and nurture it. Hah! Look at that! I made some dramatic argument! Teehee!

On to changes and opportunities. The acquisition is a “fluke” and, except for the usual management structural changes, it’s gonna be business as usual for me (and for most of my colleagues, I would say).

Okay, enough pointless ranting! I’ll end this post with something optimistic: I know I have a lot of opportunities this year. What they may be isn’t exactly one hundred percent clear. I do know that I have the chance to grow and develop my skills, my person, and most of all my relationship with all the people around me.

There! Hope that puts me in a good mood for the rest of the week!

Speed Reading

I just took a speed reading test here.

According to that website, I read at an average of 272 words per minute (wpm). After reading it, I took a simple comprehension test. My result was a whooping 91 percent (I got 10 out of 11 question correct).

Now, to quote that website:

If top readers read at speeds of above 1000 words per minute (wpm) with near 85% comprehension, they only represent 1% of readers. Average readers are the majority and only reach around 200 wpm with a typical comprehension of 60%. This seems surprising since most readers, actively reading work documents, newspapers, magazines, books or the contents of a computer display are practicing daily for at least one hour. With such an intense training everyone should be close to top performances.

So, if I’m just above the average 200 wpm but my comprehension is way, way above the average? What does that mean?

If I were to compute my effective wpm (ewpm) using the same technique that the website used, my ewpm shows that (272 x 0.91) it is 247. So it’s obviously, three times less than the so-called speed reader.

Reading efficiency is reading speed weighted by comprehension rate and it amounts to 200 x 60% or 120 efficient words per minute (ewpm) for the average reader and to 1000 x 85% or 850 ewpm for top readers.

But according to the website, I’m supposed to be twice more than the average reader. So, clearly I’m not an average reader. Further reading shows that I might fall in the “oral reader” who are described as those who need to supress subvocalization. Subvocalization was not discussed in that article, however, I previously read another article here, before taking that test.

It’s true though. If I’m not “quietly” reading to myself – voicing the words softly – I find my tongue moving around as if I were actually speaking. So…

To break the habit, try to be conscious of it. When you notice yourself pronouncing words to yourself, try to stop doing it.

Let’s see if I can do this…

Wish me luck!

Sources: http://www.wikihow.com/Learn-Speed-Reading, http://www.readingsoft.com/

The Five S Program: Seiri / Sorting

Seiri or sorting is the first step in the program. Basically, it is about arranging your workstation so that everything essential in daily work is within easy access/reach.

Phase 1 – Seiri (整理) Sorting: Going through all the tools, materials, etc., in the plant and work area and keeping only essential items. Everything else is stored or discarded.

Sorting involves a short decision making when beginning this step. You have to decide which things/tools in your workstation are essential and meant for daily use, which are meant for weekly use, for monthly use, and so on and so forth. Those that are only occasionally used should be stored nearby and for easy referenced. Obviously, tools, equipment, and references that are more often used should be handy.

A very simple (and maybe silly) example is your notebook. For very obvious reasons, you’d want it within arm’s reach, of course. Other office supplies, such as pens, notepads, reference books or guides, staplers, and staple wires may also come in handy if they’re within reach.

As a result of the sorting process you will eliminate (or repair) broken equipment and tools. Obsolete fixtures, molds, jigs, scrap material, waste and other unused items and materials are disposed of.

The objective of this step is to clean up the work area. Cleaning up not only makes things look nice, it makes it easier to spot maintenance needs such as an oil leak. It improves safety. It eliminates clutter and confusion. It removes tools, equipment, supplies and waste that interferes with getting the job done.

So, there you go. It’s time to sort through your workstation. Especially, as we are just beginning the new year!

Sources:
http://www.graphicproducts.com/tutorials/five-s/index.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5S_%28methodology%29

The Five S Program

I first encountered this methodology at my first job – in a call center, no other! But since then, it has stuck with me. Maybe it’s my inherent obsessive-compulsive (OC) personality. Maybe it’s a combination of both. I really don’t care. It’s working for me.

Anyways, I noticed today that everything in my work station (even the way my PC files are organized or how my window tabs are arranged) is organized and arranged to adhere as much as possible to the Five S style (5S). I find it really helpful when I know where things are or where I placed them. For example, my calendar (calendars) is located just beside my right-hand monitor or mouse. So when I need to check on dates and months, I only have to turn my head a little bit to see. Another example is the project framework. It’s located beside my left-hand monitor where I usually have my working file on (the reference documents are on the right-hand monitor) so I can easily reference it (there is that problem of having to come closer because the print was optimized to fit one page but…).

So… what is it all about?

“A Five S program is usually a part of, and the key component of Visual Factory (Workplace) Management (VFM). And 5s and VFM are both a part of Kaizen — a system of continual improvement.”

Kaizen was created in Japan after World War II. It means “continuous improvement”. It comes from the Japanese words 改 (“kai”), which means “change” or “to correct,” and 善 (“zen”), which means “good”. The system needs to involve every employee in the company’s hierarchy. “Everyone is encouraged to come up with small improvement suggestions on a regular basis. This is not a once a month or once a year activity. It is continuous.”

“In most cases these are not ideas for major changes. Kaizen is based on making little changes on a regular basis: always improving productivity, safety and effectiveness while reducing waste.”

The other system, VFM, refers a system of visual cues communication tools that relay information visually at the time and place it is needed. “Visual controls make working areas user-friendly by answering questions; identifying equipment, materials and locations; describing actions and procedures; and providing safety warnings and precaution information.” In other words, it makes things simple by “labeling” them with the intent of imparting as much information as possible with limited resources for the benefit of the intended user without having to clutter the workplace (that’s just counter-intuitive). VFM uses correct and appropriate labels, signs, cues, indexing, etc.

So let me give you an example (see image to the left for the actual view of my “My Documents” folder). My folders are organized this way:

A_[project 1] – usually the project where I spend the most time working on.
B_[project 2] – the next most important or time-consuming project
C_[project 3] – and so on and so forth

If both projects take 50-50 of my time then I usually give them equal weights. So instead of A then B. I would put A1_[project 1] and A2_[project 2]. I always reserve “z” for Z_Archives, which is for old folders or after reorganization of my files, documents, etc. This is just an example of how I create an efficient system for documentation and filing purposes.

Next on our plate: Seiri or Sorting, the first step! I just gave an example of this above.

Sources used:
http://www.graphicproducts.com/tutorials/five-s/index.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5S_%28methodology%29

Why I’m A Treasure At Work

Because I’m only inefficient when I’m acting stupid and letting my emotions run.

Because I practice a lot of good and practical work ethics.

Because I’m just that good and helpful.

Anyways, it’s Friday the 13th again! Wohoo! Enjoy! Try not to let a black cat cross your path. Mwahaha!!

“Ber” Months

Yep. Holloween, All Saints’ and All Souls’ and Christmas Day is just around the corner…

Been a while since I’ve posted anything on this blog. It’s been a very crazy August. Two very – and I mean very – long and fun-filled weekends (out of town trips). Hehehe…

Anyways, I really have to work because we have a deadline at the end of the month and there’s still a lot of things to do.

But here’s something that might cheer you up (wake the eyes of others):

NRC_not_trusted_site

No Boundaries

After a day (well mostly just the afternoon of today) of bashing some person regarding language and some other topics, I decided be more mellow and lie low for the rest of the day…

***

Okay, totally unrelated to the song that I’m about to post right now… Oh well…

No Boundaries

Seconds, hours, so many days
You know what you want
But how long can you wait
Every moment last forever if you feel you’ve lost your way

What if your chances are already gone
Started believing that I could be wrong
But you give me one good reason
to fight and never walk away

Coz here I am still holding on!

Every step you climb another mountain
Every breathe its harder to believe
You’ll make it through the pain (or through all your aches and pains)
Weather the hurricane
To get to that one thing

When you think the road is going nowhere
Just when you’ve almost gave up on your dreams
Then take it by the hand and show you that you can
There are no boundaries (x2)

I fought to the end to stand on the edge
What if today is as good it gets
Don’t know where the future’s headed
Nothings gonna bring me down

I’ve jumped every bridge and I’ve run every line
I’ve risked being saved but I always knew why
I always knew why

So here I am still holding on

Every step you climb another mountain
Every breathe its harder to believe
You’ll make it through the pain
Weather the hurricane
To get to that one thing

When you think the road is going nowhere
Just when you’ve almost gave up on your dreams
Then take it by the hand and show you that you can

You can go higher
You can go deeper
There are no boundaries
Above and beneath you
Break every rule coz there’s nothing between you
and your dreams

Every step you climb another mountain
Every breathe its harder to believe
Yeah…

There are no boundaries
Every step you climb another mountain
Every breathe its harder to believe
You’ll make it through the pain
Weather the hurricane
There are no boundaries (x3)

Inefficiency & How to Counter It

I hate it when I have to do something over and over again and for what? Because there’s no definite and explicit coordination between the parties involved. This could’ve been solved quite easily. There’s some overlap between sections so why is there a need to do everything all over again? What a waste of valuable time.

Oh well… If you’ve ever felt this way about work then just try and relax. Listen to a calming song (because you can’t really do anything about it but try to improve the work process for the future):

(Donna Lewis)
We were strangers starting out on a journey
Never dreaming what we’d have to go through
Now here we are and I’m suddenly standing
At the beginning with you

(Richard Marx)
No one told me I was going to find you
Unexpected what you did to my heart
When I lost hope you were there to remind me
This is the start

(Chorus)
And Life is a road and I wanna keep going
Love is a river I wanna keep flowing
Life is a road now and forever wonderful journey
I’ll be there when the world stops turning
I’ll be there when the storm is through
In the end I wanna be standing
At the beginning with you

(Both)
We were strangers on a crazy adventure
Never dreaming how our dreams would come true
Now here we stand unafraid of the future
At the beginning with you

(Chorus)
And Life is a road and I wanna keep going
Love is a river I wanna keep flowing
Life is a road now and forever wonderful journey
I’ll be there when the world stops turning
I’ll be there when the storm is through
In the end I wanna be standing
At the beginning with you

(Bridge)
Knew there was somebody somewhere
Like a light in the dark
Now I know that dreams will live on
I’ve been waiting so long
Nothing’s gonna tear us apart

And Life is a road and I wanna keep going
Love is a river I wanna keep flowing
Life is a road now and forever wonderful journey
I’ll be there when the world stops turning
I’ll be there when the storm is through
In the end I wanna be standing
At the beginning with you

Life is a road and I wanna keep going
Love is a river I wanna keep flowing
Starting out on a journey
Life is a road and I wanna keep going
Love is a river I wanna keep flowing
In the end I wanna be standing
At the beginning with you

Dirty Piano Beat

INSTRUCTIONS:

Put your iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc. on shuffle.

For each question, press the next button to get your answer.

YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS. DON’T LIE

1. IF SOMEONE SAYS ‘ARE YOU OKAY’ YOU SAY?
Time to Pray – Andrea

2. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF?
Fallin’ Down – Goo Goo Dolls

3. WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?
Street Love – Lloyd

4. HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
Ride With Me – T.I.

5. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE?
Bossy – Kelis (to boss around people!!)

6. WHAT’S YOUR MOTTO?
Rise – Bonnie Bailey

7. WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
I Don’t Need A Man – Pussy Cat Dolls (what?????)

8. WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
Keep Holding On – Boyce Avenue

9. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
Cobrastyle – Teddybears Sthlm & Mad Cobra (what the hell is this????)

10. WHAT IS 2 + 2?
Don’t Lie – B.E.P.

11. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?
I Will – Beatles

12. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
Colourblind – Darius Danesh (Yeah!! Old school!!!)

13. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
Do You Believe In Me – Eric Gadd version

14. WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Unknown Title – The Bitch Hotel

15. WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
Gimme the Light (Remix) – Sean Paul (hahaha!!!)

16. WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
Indo Smoke – Warren G & Mr. Grimm

17. WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
Orange County Girl – Gwen Stefani

18. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR?
Disco Club – B.E.P. (You must be joking! This quiz is a joke!! Why this??!?!? Hahaha)

19. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
Baby – Pharell & The Yessirs feat. Nelly (Shoot! I have a baby?!?)

20. WHAT ARE YOU DOING RIGHT NOW?
Try – Nelly Furtado (trying what?)

21. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
Tears Dry On Their Own – Amy Whinehause

22. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
Makes Me Wonder – Maroon 5

23. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Gimme Some – Kardinall Offishall feat. The Dream (Hahaha… Oh yeah…)

24. WHAT’S THE WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN?
Manila – Sandwich (I beg to differ…)

25. HOW WILL YOU DIE?
In My Arms – Mylo (Whose arms?)

26. WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU REGRET?
What A Feeling (Flashdance) – Global Deejays (LOL! This quiz is ridiculous!)

27. WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH?
What’s Left of Me – Nick Lachey (Maybe… Sometimes)

28. WHAT MAKES YOU CRY?
Cry For You – September (Wow! Coincidence! There’s “cry” on the title… but this song is a club song so… yeah… makes me cry ‘coz of too much booze and fun…)

29. WHAT SCARES YOU THE MOST?
Instrumentals – Alchemists

30. IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE?
Salt Water – Chicane

31. WHAT HURTS RIGHT NOW?
Paris – Chicosci

32. WHAT WILL YOU POST THIS AS?
Diry Piano Beat – instrumental