I woke up an hour before my alarm went off, my eyes swollen and red (nope, I wasn't crying). My breathing was laboured and wheezing and I took a few puffs of Ventolin and a swig of water to control the asthma. There was absolutely no question in my mind that I wouldn't be able to go to work today - yesterday I was already coughing and having a hard time breathing while crossing the bridge to catch my bus, and everyone at the office observed my hacking cough and the fact that I still looked as white as a sheet. C, the senior account manager and the one I was working directly under, kept on asking me if I was okay and if I wanted to go home earlier. But I insisted on staying until the prescribed time and to keep to my hours. I don't want this company to think I'm a slacker or anything, and I do intend to just do the best I can despite this illness. But it seems that I won't be stepping out of the flat anytime today - thankfully, I have bread and Nutella and soup and crackers and I believe I'll survive for the day. ^_^
The first day wasn't so bad. I was briefed on office procedues, including making briefs, updates on various project statuses, and I had my role outlined for me. C and the other account manager, E, were very kind and friendly and plied me with chocolate and food, and gave me copies of all relevant formats so that I could familiarize myself with everything and were generally very inclusive, which I appreciated very much. I think the difference here compared to my old office was the amount of bureaucratic processes that I had to learn. I mean, now I was responsible for keeping track of billing and job numbers, financial things and other administrative matters that I wasn't quite sure of. Add to that the fact that the boss, Mr. L, already dumped two project pitches on me - one was for a slimming center here in Singapore, and another one was a jewelry retailer - which I have to research on and write a comprehensive report on them both in order for the company to assess what kind of strategy to employ in order to present the services to the client. I suppose it was quite unnerving when Mr. L sat me inside his office and told me, "Now you have to stop thinking like a student. Start thinking like a business lady."
*internally screams and wails in protest*
Still, I keep on thinking about how much I can learn and amass information in this position, and that there are so many new things that I have to start remembering and internalizing. I'm tempted to start buying books on publishing design and advertising just so I'm familiar with the terms. And of course, there's a part of me that's envious of T, the copywriter, because I keep on glancing at his computer monitor (sorry T, if you're reading this!) and I know how to do the things he's doing - press releases and scripts and all that, and that's something I'm happy doing and I'm definitely familiar and practised with. But ah well, the fact that I have a position and I have a job that enables me to stay here longer is more than enough. ^_^ And at least with this job, I can concentrate on writing again - there's several deadlines coming up, calls for anthologies and all that, and I do want to pick up my publishing speed again. And there's also another book project in the works, and I'm waiting to see how I can contribute to that.
And of course, now the countdown begins: The Boyfriend will finally be flying back from Lahore in a week's time; he leaves Pakistan on the 10th and arrives in Singapore on the 11th (long stopover in Bangkok), and both of us are just jumping up and down with excitement. Right now I have nothing but utmost respect and admiration for my couple friends who have managed to deal with long-distance relationships because honestly, I don't think either of us are built for the set-up. We constantly call or email or chat to the point that I don't want to leave Leandro anymore, and my phone is permanently stuck to my pockets for easy reach. Well, it helps that I'm sick, haha, and housebound. ^_^ But seriously, I've always been bad at being away from a lover, and I've never been away from a boyfriend for this long and this far away, so the fact that we can now start counting down the days until he comes home is something that fills us both with happiness.
So there. Despite the rather inauspicious beginning of 2008, I'm hoping that things will carefully right themselves, and that I will be able to do what I want and what I need to do, and to be able to grow as an individual and as part of a relationship, and to be able to finally, finally be happy ^_^