Getting Rid Of All The Rust

“If I tell you I’m good, you would probably think I’m boasting. If I tell you I’m no good, you know I’m lying.”

That was a quote from the late Bruce Lee that I used as my tagline in a dive forum. But whether it applies to my daily life from 17th November 2008 remains to be seen.

After 2 years and 7 months of freelancing (another nice term for being ‘technically jobless’), I am back to the life of a nine-to-fiver. That’s 8.30am through 5.30pm daily, and 8.30pm through 12.30pm on Saturdays from now on. Although life as a freelancer is much more fun, two reasons have driven me back into long-sleeved shirts, taking orders, wringing my brain for ideas, and lots of paperworks; namely:

1) at 42, being a freelancer could make others mistake you for a bummer. And with Wifey the wife now, it sounds odd everytime people ask her what I do for a living. Especially from her aunts and uncles, and,

2) in view of this global economic crisis, it would be more difficult to market my services as a freelancer – couple that with my health drawbacks too.

After leaving the telecommunications industry, and the corporate world, I tried to go into events management; helping out my father’s friend to lobby for events projects with state governments. But doing it for virtually no-pay was not my idea of a job. Travel cost money, parking cost money, petrol cost money, food cost money, and so on. My personal savings was wasted on a lot of things but I never got paid. In the end, I left, after the company looked the other way when I was involved in an accident on my way back from a meeting in Terengganu (having had very little sleep the previous three nights prior to the accident – and all because of the preparations made for the presentation in Terengganu). Of course my father was angry and started telling people I would rather dive and have fun, than work 9-5.

After that, I was invited by an acquaintance to do diving services, and I spent the rest of my money getting the right tools and experience for the job. It was good while it lasted. But diving in claustrophobia-inducing and extremely dark inlet/outlet valves of power stations, or doing inspection works and search and recovery works in strong currents and zero visibility is hardly fun as my father had assumed. Nor is the task of guiding inexperienced divers, or teaching divers from government agencies in hazardous conditions anymore fun than jumping off a building without a parachute. But it was good money – all until my health prevents me from doing anymore without exposing myself to unnecessary risks.

This new outfit I am in is an Oil and Gas company, and I have 13 job scopes to attend to. On the first day of work, I was to make an assessment on a proposal to acquire a vessel worth USD 13 million versus constructing a new one at USD 3 million less, but will not be operable immediately. I wrote my report immediately based on the technical specs that were given to me and made my recommendations to the board. I was told the board had decided to accept my findings and go with my recommendations. That was day one.

On day two, that was yesterday, I was told to prepare a study on the construction of marine spreads of offshore support vessels based on volumes of datas dumped onto my table on the global oil exploration, and take the current downward spiral of crude oil prices, and study the viability of the project, and prepare a paper for it. I am to wake up in less than 3 hours, but here I am updating my blog because my brain is working overtime and I have just e-mailed the study to my boss. I was also given the task to prepare an executive summary to be submitted to a petroleum giant. That requires more time but I will have to submit that by the end of today.

Were those the only tasks given to me on the second day? No. The boss came at around 5pm and gave me one whole bunch of resumes for the Assistant HSE Manager’s post and had asked me to go through them, and conduct an interview soonest.

Before he left my workstation, he slapped his forehead and asked, “You have not been confirmed yet, right? And I’ve given you the task to conduct job interviews as well.”

“It is my second day here,” I reminded him.

“Oh well, you seem to have a good grasp of the industry on your first day. I think you’re more than fit to conduct job interviews as well,” he laughed as he walked back to his office.

Gosh. Did I oversell myself during my interview session?

Anyway, Wifey returned to her former workplace on the same day I started work. So the routine now is leave home, send her to office, then drive to my office. But it feels so good going to work with her. We SMS each other often telling each other how much we love and miss one another. And at the end of the day, it is always soothing to see her smile as she gets into the car, and kiss me. Yes, I do miss the freedom of being able to hug her during the day, and do things at our own time. But it is good as she is less cranky now as compared to when she was a freelancer as I was.

Gosh, I have a little over two hours to sleep now.

Have a good rest of the week, people!

And, oh! One more thing. My description on the dive forum also states the following:

Cranky when not diving!