And a good Saturday morning to you from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City. Okay, so Friday was, perhaps, THE MOST EYE OPENING DAY so far of my time in SE Asia. Why, you ask? Well, if the subject line didn't give it away, allow me to expound a bit further.
So there were 2 activities on the docket yesterday - Happy hour with a vendor, followed by a surprise farewell dinner for a colleague. So it all kicked off at 5:30 PM with the Happy Hour, but the moments leading up to this little "Friday drink celebration" highlighted some BIG TIME differences in the work cultures of CLT and SNG. If I may offer my observations:
1. CLT on a Friday:
a. Everyone takes a long lunch.
b. Meetings at 4 PM are frowned upon - meetings at 3 PM are barely acceptable.
c. You WILL be at Cedar St. at 4 PM for a pint (or 12).
d. At 5 PM you could detonate a bomb in GWC and damage only some servers and grimy tables in the breezeway.
2. SNG on a Friday:
a. I was away from my desk for 2 hours in meetings and had 107 new emails, 14 of which were marked URGENT (none of them were).
b. I have invites for a 5 and 6 PM meeting that day (I declined both).
c. My desk is lined up THREE DEEP with people who have been waiting to talk to me about a "critical issue."
d. When I walk out the door at 5:30, I am the ONLY PERSON not on the phone and typing furiously at the same time.
e. The last email I received from my team on a FRIDAY NIGHT was 10:05 PM.
All I can say is, well: "=.="
Back to the story: A small group of us rolled over to Harry's Bar and Grill after work. Harry's is a chain in the Sing, and they have their own "Harry's Premium Lager." Lightning Rod - I recommend we sample at least one of these before your time here is up, as it was nice and refreshing.
The highlight of the night, however, came with dinner, as we rolled over to Chinatown for a farewell dinner at the Scarlet Hotel's rooftop restaurant - breeze. This place was AWESOME - great food (I went with the red snapper - let's keep the comments to a minimum, shall we?), nice wine, and best of all - SOME GREAT QUOTES.
So get this: I'm talking about something that didn't go my way, and I say something to the effect of: "But I got great news today as well. Brother Dan's treatment is going GREAT, and all signs point to a full recovery." The girls all seem happy, and then I throw in, "He's gonna come out here in May hopefully." And with that, the conversation STOPS.
Basically, they all look at me like I've just told them they've each won the lottery. I am mystified until one of them says, "Dan is soooooooo cute! He is the cutest Westerner EVER."
I will be honest. I SPRAYED water out when I heard this.
Then the conversation got REALLY good:
Future Asian Stalker #1 (FAS1): "Oh yes - he looks perfect."
Stunned Sammy (SS): "Dan Deets is the perfect male?"
FAS2 (oh yes, they ALL got in on the act): "Oh yes. Tall. Blonde Hair. Nice Face. It is what the Asian girls dream of."
SS: "DAN DEETS. We are talking about the Wild Card. Macaulay Culkin."
FAS3: "Oh yes. He was seated by payroll last time, so I had to keep thinking of reasons to get up and walk past his desk."
FAS1: "Yes - Sam you HAVE to put him in the office by us next time. That way we can look at him."
SS: "Tell you what, if I put him in that office, will you guys throw gang symbols and blow him up when I introduce you?"
FAS1-3: (stare at me blankly)
I then proceed to teach them how to throw up 2-1-3 gang symbols and how to do knuckle blasts. I am happy to report that they became QUITE GOOD at it by the end of the night. I mean, let's face it - I'm NOTHING if not culturally sensitive and THE AMBASSADOR for American culture.
We said goodbye to the gals around 11:30, walking back home and crashing a bit before midnight. We woke up 12 hours later this morning, and now it's time to get amongst it!
Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!
Sam and Jenny, Co-Presidents of the "I HEART DAN DEETS" Fan Club