Sunday, July 26, 2009

My first hormonally-charged tantrum was when the Resident Bureaucrat placed an ultrasound picture of the baby in a file* he took home from work. It was a plastic zip-pouch file that had been given away as a freebie during one of their corporate service quality standards day or something or other.

"The baby file," he said, handing it to me.

I took at look at it. Printed on the front of the file were various comic strips** aimed at brainwashing workers into giving better quality service. The comic strips didn't make the slightest bit of sense, and I'm being kind by saying this.

So I got mad, that first, the Resident Bureaucrat would be given a file like this to take home, thus having his intelligence insulted, and second, that he disagreed with me and didn't think his intelligence was being insulted by being given that file to take home.

And finally, I am a bit of an anti-establishmentarian, and campaigns like these annoy me. So I got mad that he, knowing full well my anti-establishment streak, would consider putting the ultrasound picture in a file like this.

So I seethed, I stomped, I spat, and then I removed the picture from the file and threw the file on the floor for good measure. Totally irrational, I know. But that's a pregnant woman for you.

Later, in a book for fathers-to-be, I read a paragraph that said this: "Pregnancy is a minefield for fathers-to-be. Even the most innocuous remark can drive your partner to tears or make her madder than hell at you. Be careful what you say. When in doubt, bite your tongue and say nothing, and you will be better off in the long run."

Books like these only reinforce the belief that pregnant women should be allowed to behave badly. Not that I'm complaining.

Of course, I'm sure the Resident Bureaucrat wouldn't be so quick to blame the hormones. He would probably say something like that I behave like this all the time, hormones or not.

*In accordance to his anal retentive character traits, he files everything, even at home.

**The comic strips almost defy description, but I will try.

One strip went like this:
The first panel shows a boss and his staff having a conversation.

The boss is telling his staff: "Hi, Collin, can you assist me in the upcoming briefing session?"

And Collin goes: "Me? Why me? Why can't you ask John? Why must it be me? Do I really have to do it? I am only supporting the department and I can't speak as well as John, you know."

And then under that panel are the words "BE PROFESSIONAL" (emphasis not mine).

The second panel shows a scene "a few weeks later, after appropriate coaching, counselling and training".

Again, we have the same boss and staff having a conversation.

The boss says: "Hi Collin, can you help me in the upcoming briefing session?"

And Collin says: "Sure, let me check my schedule to make sure I am available. Why don't you also give me the slides so that I can prepare myself for the briefing."

And underneath this panel are the words "I CAN, I WILL, TAKE OWNERSHIP OF THE SERVICES WE PROVIDE."

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A second comic strip has a boss telling his three staff: "Good news everyone! We have not received any complaints from customers ever since we changed our warning letters to reminders..."

And the staff sitting there are going "Yeah! Alright", and one staff even says: "Wow, wonder who came up with this wonderful idea?"

The second panel shows the boss commending one particular staff, saying: "Your suggestion to change the letter from a warning to reminder was a brilliant idea. What was your inspiration?"

And we see that staff thinking in one of those dream bubbles about how he once saw the outside of an HDB flat with the words "REMINDER PAY $S OWE $S" scribbled all over.

And underneath the panel are the words " BE INNOVATIVE: Offer alternative solutions, don't F.R.O.W.N"

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If your reaction to my description of the comic strips was "huh??", yes, that's my reaction too. You see what I mean.

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