Tuesday, July 08, 2014


I don't know how others do it. But human interaction exhausts me. This week and most of next will be spent in two offices across two cities, 14 hours a day. Some people asked about lunch, I said no. If it has nothing to do with the work at hand, I prefer to eat alone at my desk. If I don't have emails or papers to clear (so that I don't have to go home at 8pm), then I'll chill out. It's my down-time. Often I don't see a point in jostling with lunch crowds. Either I pack food from home, or a sweet assistant will grab me a salad or sandwich, and that hour is spent with a book, the laptop or by the window.

Suddenly, this second half of the year sees the work calendar flooded till November. Not complaining about the volume of work. Love it. But I just don't fancy the human interaction that comes along with it. It's draining. I'm not sociable by nature and very much prefer my own company over sitting down with those who aren't in the circle of intimates. I don't even like phone conversations. If I can, I rather email than to call or meet someone, even though the latter would be the wise option to shorten negotiations and erase doubts.

It's definitely time to take stock of how I prioritize paid work over non-paying projects. It's been great doing non-paying projects because the early half of the year saw less paid work. Now, it's booming. I wouldn't say the non-paying projects see a huge increase in workload, but everybody seems to want something done within the same time frame. That sucks. Everyone's demands are urgent. Whose do I cater to first?

Yesterday it came down to having to push away paid assignments for say, a non-profit-making Project Z which is more like a hobby. I resented having to do it just to avoid conflict with Project Z's partners. I had a paid project sealed, and I had to give it up for a no-matter-what-also-lose-money Project Z of which by now I've little patience for. There's declining interest in Project Z, and because of it, having to earn S$1200 less for that date in question (not to mention a loss of confidence in my efficient scheduling) resulted in a sharp decrease in overall enthusiasm for Project Z. I doubt it's a momentary annoyance. When a hobby turns too serious, I become damn siann because that's not the premise of the hobby to begin with. Something's gotta give. And they'll have to be the projects I don't have the tenacity to complete because it's an ongoing interest without an end date. The irony of that.

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