Saturday, March 17, 2018

FML as an engineer

My blog readers would know that I've sometimes whinged about work here but has never devoted an entire post on it but this time my need to vent means that a dedicated one must be entered before I literally explode. Here goes.

There is this senior nut-bag of a client who is notoriously difficult to work with but because of his experience will never be allowed to leave the company. Here's a little of his back story - he is a single 65 year-old who has never been married and genuinely complains on Fridays that the weekend is upon him and he can't continue working. Alas my department in the course of our work has to deal with him the most. So there I was this week running him through changes in process design for a project so that he could evaluate whether another round of safety review was required. There was a particular design change that was not an official one and I merely wanted to let him know that we might have to consider this in the next project phase as we were nearing the end of the current phase. It was a pleasant meeting up till that point when to my shock and horror and without any warning, he suddenly unleashed a barrage of insults.

He shook his head and said "it's shocking that you are even proposing this design". He proceeded to ask me if I knew anything about the equipment associated with the change and I replied "yes" to which he responded "clearly you know nothing, this is shocking". Then he went on to say that he's an expert in this area due to his past working history and explained to me what he thought was right. I loathe conflicts and so I tried my best to be calm and avoided escalation by not responding i.e. just listening and nodding as he carried on. People might argue that age and EQ are in direction proportion but clearly what happened proved otherwise. Basically what he wanted to say was the issue that prompted me to suggest the change would resolve itself without having to do anything (which was later verified to be correct when I discussed with my technical manager).
After his explanation, he went on to use perhaps the strongest words that I've ever heard in a work setting in all my years of professional life. Though not fully verbatim here's what he said:

  • "What you have proposed makes me want to vomit".
  • "If someone proposes this to me for real and not just a suggestion, I will make sure he doesn't get out alive."
  • "There will be blood on the floor".
  • "I have lost all confidence in your technical ability".
  • "You have caused a loss of reputation for your company".

I think I'll remember those words and that day forever because the venomous vitriol spewing out of his decrepit mouth was beyond the pale and unprofessional to the extreme. Invective like this doesn't come out of a sane person in a work environment unless he's about to quit or ready to be fired but that's not the case. So I can only conclude that he is not sane. In the interest of time due to the tight project schedule, I had to put on a brave face and pretended I heard nothing and continue to review the rest of the changes with him. Indeed, he went back to his normal self and the rest of the meeting resumed as if nothing has happened, which is further proof that if he's not a lunatic, he has some serious anger-management issues and character flaws. I still had to thank him for his time at the end which made me feel so pathetic.

It didn't end there because to my utmost misfortune, my project manager organised an ad-hoc meeting an hour later with him invited which meant I had to face him again! This second meeting was with all the other discipline engineers for the same project with that old man being the only client representative. I briefed the engineers (as well as my boss's boss who was also in this group meeting) what happened earlier and the more I talked about it, the more emotional I got and I almost cried (that was before the client turned up). My boss's boss actually said if someone used the word "vomit" on him he would laugh as he thought it was really funny. That was a disappointing comment coming from a person of his authority after witnessing how emotional I was. This gives you a flavour of the kind of environment I work in.

I'm not sure whether that crazy person had pent-up frustration from the previous meeting because of me or someone rubbed him the wrong way (which is not a difficult thing to do) in that second meeting but he stormed out as he thought the meeting was a waste of his time (I'll not go into details here). We all know that a group meeting is where one has to behave more professionally compared to one-on-one meetings but clearly he didn't get that memo and more unprofessional behaviour was exhibited, this time in front of everyone in the project. At least now they all know what I'm talking about (not that they didn't know about his temperament before). On and off I've heard similar complaints from other people but I think not many actually made formal complaints. But I did and I subsequently learnt that I was only the second person who has done that and that was enough as it was a repeated offence i.e. the higher-ups now will have to do something about it. The managers convinced me that it'll all be anonymous but I've been burnt before as a whistle-blower when anonymity went out the window due to HR-mismanagement and I was exposed as a result. I'm now hoping with all my strength that this doesn't happen to me again otherwise my future days there will be unbearable.

Just so you know the proposed change I mentioned earlier was not plucked out of thin air, it was a result of a discussion with my ex-technical manager. Because of the crazy project schedule, no one had time to give it further thought to see if it made total sense. If anyone were to be blamed from our side, it'd have to be my boss's boss who repeatedly failed to protect his engineers from useless project managers who regularly screwed up schedules resulting in unreasonable deadlines. These inept project managers rely on good engineers like myself to do their job and clean up their mess which is not supposed to happen at all! In fact, this all came about because of the ex ex-technical manager (now fired for how unsuitable she was for that position) who recommended a series of poor designs that ultimately meant that that old man had to deal with the installed duds after she left. That was when the loss of confidence in the engineers' technical abilities began and it never improved in his eyes ever since which explains (but certainly not absolves) his flare up. The stress coming from work itself is already tough enough, engineers on the ground level really shouldn't be exposed to stress stemming from not-up-to-scratch managers. But when you pay peanuts, you get monkeys and this situation will not improve unless that is changed.

As if things were not bad enough, I was told that the lead role for a big project that was promised to me by my ex-boss was going to someone else because I'm too good technically and need to be reserved for the smaller more complicated projects where good engineers are needed to clean up after poor project managers (i.e. the ones that are assigned to these unimportant minor projects). This is fucking rich right? It literally means that one gets better career progression and rewarded for being less skilled in his or her work??! What topsy-turvy logic! As usual my new boss didn't fight hard enough for me (perhaps because he was not the one who promised me the role) and I lost out in the end. Talk about a further loss of work morale, a day after being verbally abused by the client!

From all this venting, you can see that I not only work in an environment where crazy clients don't get reined in for bad behaviour, incompetent project managers shitting over everyone abound. To top it all up, bosses are constantly changing because they don't get paid and valued by the company well enough and as a result, their subordinates like us don't get the protection and career development opportunities that we deserve after working like dogs to mop up the mess we didn't create in the first place. If not because of how stable the work is where I'm at right now, I wouldn't continue slaving there and I'm pretty sure a lot of the other engineers are in the same boat as me. I've never wanted a stiff drink more than I did at the end of this rough work week but I didn't get a chance to drown myself with alcohol, perhaps for the better.

So until I retire (I plan to ease off e.g. become part time in ten years' time when I turn 50), I'd have to put up or shut up. My husband thinks that someone who earns a six-figure salary is expected to grin and bare it and repeats this every time I complain to him about work but frankly I think I deserve better. However I detest change and crave routine, so I'd have to stay in this stable rut for the foreseeable future until things get impossible to bear. Hopefully that day will never come.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Musical journey (91)

Looks like my musical journeys have taken an all-in-the-family flavour lately. My last musical post was a cover collaboration with my sister and this month's is a compositional one with her daughter. Of all the poems on my niece's blog, I have chosen one that best fits the format of a song and started adding the tune to it. Although very different from her musical style, I was glad she didn't think it sucked. Maybe one day I can jam together for real with her and her band sobs.

On the personal side of things I finally rekindled my love for nude photo shoots in nature and did one at Yarra Bend Park here in metropolitan Melbourne last weekend with another very hot guy. I've seen the first few final shots and loved them to bits and can't wait to see the rest. I'll post the series once all pictures are received and have been edited up to my standard. I hope you're waiting for it with bated breath (hehe). That is my 38th shoot by the way and it looks like I might really be able to achieve my pre-retirement-as-a-model goal of 40 shoots in 40 years. Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Musical journey (90)

You must have realised from the past months that I'm getting really lazy with posting on this blog which I started as a means to document the next phase of my life when I relocated from Singapore to Australia. Yes you're right, I'm indeed getting lazy. That's because my life is getting quite boring and I'm basically revolving between work and staying at home with the occasional socialising. I know it's my fault but I just feel so dead after a stressful work week and all I want to do is to vegetate on my off days. One other thing that impedes the development of my social circle is the fact that I don't drive but that's something I've made peace with years ago.

All that being said, things are getting slightly better as I've recently got acquainted with a new group of friends who are fellow exhibitionists and nudists and we've gone on several fun outings together. For instance, I've been with them to the nude Sunnyside beach and attended my first-ever nude masquerade ball as part of Midsumma 2018 celebrations. I've included a snap from that event below - can you guess which one is me? Let's hope my life outside work will improve this new year because my dead-end job with no career-development prospect is seriously not worth it.

Well that's enough whingeing for now. Here's my musical sharing for this month and is something that I'm trying for the first time since I have so much free time on my hands at home - my first musical collaboration with my sister. When I saw that she has set up her home recording "studio", I knew we had to do this especially now that I also have my proper recording microphone. I recorded my part first and sent it over for her to do hers. We then both attempted to mix the tracks together and the best-sounding one was selected in the end. A safe oldie was selected for this first attempt and I'm sure there will be many other collaborations with newer songs should this be a success. So here's our rendition of  你最珍貴 by 張學友 (Jacky Cheung) and 高慧君 (Francesca Gao). What do you think?

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Musical journey (89)

We're almost at the end of 2017 and to me the biggest thing that has happened this year is the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Australia which is something I've written at length here. This is significant because my marriage under British law which started as a civil union has been automatically recognised as of 8th December 2017. Just like that, I'm now exactly the same as any other married straight couple in Australia and enjoy the same rights. Also, my wedding finally has something concrete attached to it albeit done retrospectively.

I always find it a little strange that an entire community needs to fight so bloody hard just to be normal and boring like everyone else (I've penned a song themed around this fight for marriage equality here) but this is exactly what the LGBTI community has been doing for years and finally success! To celebrate, I participated in the Marriage Equality Victory March from the State Library to Federation Square in Melbourne and metaphorically spat in the face of every single homophobe along the route who has denied us what we rightfully deserve.

Although the official wave of same-sex marriages will only come in about a week, the excitement has subsided for me and life has returned to normal. The sky has not fallen and to many's disappointment no one has married their dogs or furniture either which means that everyone can now move on to focus on something else. See? It's not so hard after all right?

And speaking about moving on to something else, this month's musical journey is all about me (well this is my blog so everything must be about me!). I wrote this piece a while ago but the words describing my view of life and how I live it remain as applicable as ever. The last time I posted a rock song was eons ago so I reckon I need to do another one before the year ends. And there's no better visuals to accompany the raw energy of this genre than movie explosions and so that's what I chose for the clip.

This song shall be the loudest thing associated with my New Year's Eve because unless good friends drag me out of my apartment I'd rather stay home to shield myself from the drunken chaos that comes hand in glove with the last night of every year. That being said before it ends, I still want to wish all my blog readers a happy 2018. May at least one wish come true for you in the new year (we shouldn't be greedy!).


词 / 曲 : 锦泉

这是我   没有错 
直往直来   见风从不转舵
不退缩   不示弱 

话不多  你就别再啰嗦

像飞蛾   要扑火 

宁愿闯祸   也不想要错过
爱做作   那不是我 

敞开心胸   视野才能辽阔







飚高音   不换气   拼了老命
尽全力   不放弃   梦想不是儿戏




我想脱   就去脱   没人能管我
赤裸却  不寂寞   人人都爱我
我敢说   就敢做   从来不闪躲
你看不过   不识货   

哦拜托   远离我

这是我   没有错 


[This Is Me]

This is me, there's no doubt about it
Direct and unyielding
I don't go with the flow
Never backing down
Never showing weakness
I don't talk much so stop your yammering

Like a moth that has to fly into the flame
I rather cause trouble than miss an opportunity
I don't pretend because a fake is not who I am
Being open is the only way to experience the most of life

I don't fight to be the top in the world
I fight to be the only one in the world
Only when I outfight myself can I declare that I'm invincible

Your derision and sarcasm don't reach my ears
I'm not falling into your trap
'Cos I know the more silent I am the madder you become

I'll conquer those incredibly high notes in one breath if it kills me
I'll do my best and never give up because dreams are not playthings

I'm true to myself and so success or failure doesn't matter to me
What's the point of living if you don't get back up when you fall?

If I want to be nude I'll strip
No one can stop me
I'm naked and exposed but never lonely
'Cos everyone loves it

I dare to speak up and I'm true to my word
I never shirk when I'm called to action
If you can't stand me that's because you don't know any better
So please do me a favour and get out of my way

This is me, there's no doubt about it
The only way to live is to be true to yourself

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Musical journey (88)

I've written about being a gaymer here but in that post I didn't mention that it was from games that I discovered the nicest songs. In this month's musical journey I'm covering one from Final Fantasy XV, a game that I'm still playing since that post and will be playing at least till the end of the year when the last DLC is released.

Before I left the office yesterday my boss asked me to go enjoy the outdoors this weekend and not to game to which I replied "no promises". Well it has either been very hot or stormy lately and when he talks about it again I will use the weather as my excuse. I know I know, no excuses are needed for gaming of course, though I'm actually playing the "Frozen Wilds" DLC from the game "Horizon: Zero Dawn" this weekend.

The song I'm covering is called "King" by Lauren Aquilina and was featured in one of the game's teaser trailer. You might not think too highly of the song but when you've invested so much of your time in the game you get very connected to the plot and the characters which adds a lot more meaning to the soundtrack. I hope you can hear that meaning from my voice.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Same-sex marriage - it's a "YES"!!!


Pardon the language but we won!!!

This is just a short post providing the results (available here) as I'm at work now but we all need to take a moment to bask in this victory. It's going to be an ultra exciting time to be gay in Australia!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Same-sex marriage - "yes" vs "no"

This is not the first time the topic of marriage equality has been brought up on my blog but this time round it's more pressing than ever. If you don't already know, the Australian government commissioned the Australian Bureau of Statistics against the wishes of the people to conduct a plebiscite to ask the people whether Australian marriage laws should be changed to include same-sex marriage with the ballot forms to be sent and returned via snail mail. Before you think this is like a referendum let me tell you now it's far from being that. Here are the main things I think are wrong about this postal plebiscite.

1. This plebiscite is non-binding meaning if the result is "yes" the government is not legally bound to change the marriage laws.

2. This exercise costs 122 million dollars to achieve something that we already know i.e. the majority of the Australian people is in favour of same-sex marriage. The money can surely be better spent elsewhere.

3. This is an unrepresentative opinion poll because the younger more progressive people are not of voting age and hence can't participate in this plebiscite. For those young votes who are eligible to vote, this postal mechanism is sure to discourage many of them from placing their ballots simply because snail mail is no longer a valid form of modern day communication.

4. Under the banner of free speech this plebiscite gives the "no" camp reason to express homophobic views that normally wouldn't be aired in a developed and civilised country like Australia. This hurtful abuse has caused much anguish to the LGBTI community and the cases of vulnerable people seeking mental help as a result has surged despite the government repeatedly lying and saying that everything is fine.

5. Speaking about the government, this is merely their delay tactic to appease their conservative base till the next federal election. They had no choice but to conduct this survey because there are a lot of  people within the ruling party that want same-sex marriage legalised. This plebiscite is at the end of the day just an internal political tool used by the government to safeguard its position.

6. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has been known to bungle things (like the 2016 census - read more about it here) and cannot be trusted to run a plebiscite of this scale correctly. Also a lot of cases of ballot papers being sold on eBay or sent to the wrong addresses have surfaced which cast doubt on the accuracy of this survey.

We have what we call defacto relationships in Australia and couples (same sex or otherwise) who have stayed together under one roof for a period of time are recognised as domestic partners and as a result enjoy a lot of the rights married couples enjoy. Now before you think that's already enough for us it's most definitely not. For one, defacto relationships can be challenged and a full-fledged marriage can never be. This article summarises the issue perfectly and is very useful for someone trying to argue for the "yes" camp.

We all know what will happen come tomorrow at 10am when the plebiscite result is announced. The "yes" camp will win and the government is then supposed to hold a conscience vote within the party which is yet another opinion poll to determine if the majority of the party wants same-sex marriage legalised. This is where things will get inevitably delayed again which is the government's plan. The conservative voices will use the need to protect religious freedoms and opposing views to assert that the law makers are not in the position yet to draft something to ensure the "no" camp can continue living in their ever-shrinking echo chamber to vent their homophobic and discriminatory sentiments. The naysayers will also conflate issues again by bringing other topics like the curbing of free speech and protection of children into the picture and use age-old slippery slope arguments that will only make them look even more stupid and out-of-touch with the rest of the population. The current government will most likely succeed in delaying same-sex marriage till the next federal election when they will be voted out (based on every single poll done in the past few months) and the incoming party will legislate it within 100 days of being in the office (like they promised). However politicians are still politicians and until I see the same-sex marriage actually legalised with my own eyes I will never believe any of them. Yes I know this prediction is filled with pessimism but I'm a huge skeptic and I'm darn proud of it.

I'm not an Australian citizen (by choice) and so I can't vote in this plebiscite but I did witness my husband vote and that's the closest I got to participating in this pointless (yet crucial) exercise. It's times like this that I'm glad I'm not Australian. 24 counties in the world have legalised same-sex marriage to date and among them are far-less advanced countries like Colombia and South Africa. Talk about being backward! Why can Australia's closest neighbour New Zealand (a country with similar values and population demographics) do it without having the sky fall on them? The only explanation I can think of is because unlike the New Zealand's politicians the Australian ones are spineless individuals who put their careers ahead of the welfare of the people.

Same-sex marriage will happen eventually no matter how loud the "no" camp shouts or how rich and powerful they are. Even the conservative politicians conceded to that. I just hope that when it truly becomes legal it will be relatively painless to convert my marriage under British law to one that's recognised in Australia. We all know governments like to use red tape to charge exorbitant fees to make the simplest things happen so I do hope this conversion comes cheap too.

Lastly in the name of campaigning for same-sex marriage I've put in my bit to give more exposure to the cause (and myself - hehe). Below are self-made posters that have been my Facebook profile and cover photos since the ballot papers were sent out. Do you like them?

Let's see what happens tomorrow. Fingers and toes all tightly crossed.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Musical journey (87)

Once in a while I do musical collaborations with other like-minded song-writers but so far I've only posted collaborations in Chinese ( 爱无期限 | 爱 。感冒 | I Don't Wanna Cry | 跌倒 | 想想 | Stay Away | 不由自主的幸福 ) but this month's musical journey features an English one which I did the tune and my friend Garry did the lyrics.

Collaborations are fun because it gets you out of your comfort zone. Also it makes you want to strive to write better as you wouldn't want to let your partner down. I don't do a lot of such cross-overs not because I don't like to but there are really not many in my friend circle who is into song-writing, let alone collaborating on a song-writing project.

Hence here's a call out to those keen to do a piece with me, I'm absolutely open for business. Well at least I'll definitely try my best to fit these projects in now that work is getting even busier (I'm amazed that's possible) as I have formally kick-started the journey of my promotion to Senior Process Engineer and so have to outperform my old self. Wish me luck!

And while I wait for my next opportunity for collaboration, here's one celebrating love in all its glory. As with all my previous clips I only feature gay love as that's how I see it. So if you like see men kissing men, you're very welcome!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Musical journey (86)

Spring has begun this month and come tomorrow daylight saving is going to cause us to lose an hour. Work is busy as always which is partly due to inefficiencies but I think things are going to improve because we have had a change in department lead. Off with the hopelessly-useless and in with the hopefully-less-useless. My social life is a bore and that has not changed a bit for a while now but I hope the warmer weather is going to encourage me to be outside and mingle with human beings more. We can always hope right?

Ever since I finished the PlayStation game I've been engrossed with for months, I've gone back to song-writing and have written two pieces since and now it's time to do the recording and video-editing for them. In the meantime in case you're missing my topless KTV posts, here's yet another one of those. This month's musical post features an old-ish Chinese song titled "散心" and is one of my favorites. It has a really great melody and I always feel a little emotional singing it. I think I did really well in the clip – just try to focus on my singing and not on my body OK? 😉

Saturday, September 16, 2017

My Spreadsheet™

Everyone has their OCDs (obsessive compulsive disorders) and one of mine is the need to document my life as much as possible. I do this in different ways like making at least a daily post on Facebook and saving them at regular intervals but the most notable thing that keeps my OCD going is my infamous Spreadsheet™. This most wonderful thing in my life started as a way to manage my budget when I started my first job after graduation in the States but since then it has grown arms, legs and even wings and has become the proudest "object" I own.

I've alluded to my Spreadsheet™ many times on this blog but I've never actually shown you how it looks like and the details it contains. If I were to tally the amount of time I've spent on it to date, it'd be in the realm of 3 straight months of 24 hours a day! But it's so worth it because it's a very in-depth documentation of not only my life but Ision's too to an extent. It's also a useful tool to track price changes on things, places we visited, what we ordered in restaurants and even how the food was. In this post I shall open this major part of my world to you by first offering a blurred (for obvious reasons) typical tab in my Spreadsheet™ which I've split into sections that I'll describe in further detail.

Section 01
This is the heart of the file. Anything that involves money creates an entry with the dollar amount (currency conversion is built-in if it's not in Australian dollars) including inter-bank transfers. Notable events are also entered here as well as things like job application details. Every spending entry is categorised using numbers "1" to "9" so that amounts can be summed up in their individual categories e.g. "1" is for transport and "5" is for groceries. I can add as much details as I want under "comments" in the cell, details like what people had in a restaurant, bill payment details, things Ision cooked, breakdown of my salary/taxes and so on.

Section 02
The fields here track the amount I owe my mum in terms of allowance (most of the time it's a negative number!), amount of musical royalties I've obtained so far, frequent flyer miles, salary/overtime earned this month, amount I've set aside for holidays and the number of days I've skipped cardio/gym (and the reasons why). There are other entries here that shall remain a secret. Hehe.

Section 03
This is the high-level breakdown of my expenditure this month and to date. There are only 3 categories here namely "bills", "non-bill expenses" and "savings".

Section 04
These are entries of my weight taken in the gym on days I do weights. There's also a number that provides an average value to date.

Section 05
Details entered here on a daily basis include weight (yes I admit there's some duplication of information), work/leave hours, total number of leave hours left and the Australian-to-Singaporean dollar exchange rate. Under "comments" are details of the things that I did that day which means that this Spreadsheet™ is also a diary, which is one of its most important features.

Section 06
This section documents important events which are entered against dates.

Section 07
This small section contains the amount of superannuation contributions I've made and how much there is now in my superannuation fund and these give me an indication of the fund's performance. There are also entries of how much tax I've paid and after-tax salary I've earned for that financial-year-to-date. There are also now-defunct items that are near but outside the box e.g. things I need to buy or do.

Section 08
Here you can find a breakdown of my monthly expenditure i.e. the tallied amounts of the "1" to "9" categories against the amount budgeted for that category for that month. I'm alerted of an overspent in a category by a conditional change in format i.e. red font. This was the original intent of my Spreadsheet™ but clearly it's now so much more.

Section 09
The amount saved (i.e. post-tax salary minus expenditure) each month and to date, as well as any deficit and costs associated with relocation are documented here.

Section 10
This is a chart of my weight based on numbers entered in section 04.

Section 11
These are charts of my weight (in green) and annual leave balance (in red) based on numbers entered in section 05. There used to be fat and muscle percent as measured by my weighing scale at home but I found that was too much of a pain to do every morning (especially in the wintry cold as I need to remove all my clothes for the weigh-in) so I scrapped those entries. So you see, even OCDs have limits.

Section 12
The exchange rate and superannuation details entered in sections 05 and 07 respectively from this month and all other previous months appear here, along with the total amount of bank interest earned for the month and the total amount of money I have to date. These are used as inputs to charts in other sections. Every time the total amount of money I have reaches a certain target, the cell changes colour to pink. I'm also alerted should there be a decrease in the number compared to the previous month.

Section 13
I've cancelled my Singaporean credit card but when I still had it, the transactions I made using that card appear here. I only use this card in Singapore and the picture above covered a duration when I was there.

Section 14
This is Ision's work roster and work hours. Several years back, I managed to convince him to allow me to track his expenditure which means that he had to report all his purchases and provide me with the receipts. Knowing how opposite of such OCD-behaviour he was, I was really surprised he kept that going for 11 months. The only reason I could think of is he also wanted a means to track his expenditure but was too lazy or not Excel-savvy enough to do it himself. He eventually gave it up because it was too much of a hassle for him. The number of work hours in this section provides an input to calculate his salary which was useful during those 11 months but not now but the functionality remains. I now mostly use this section to track his non-routine off days.

Section 15
These are charts of the monthly earned interest to date (maroon) and the total amount of money I have to date (black) based on numbers found in section 12.

Section 16
These are charts of the superannuation I've contributed (light pink) versus the amount in my superannuation fund (dark pink) as well as the Australian-to-Singaporean dollar exchange rate (purple) based on numbers found in section 12.

Section 17
This section stores the amount of money I owe Ision and vice versa so that I can tally up the amount to  transfer to his account for each month. Tracking is necessary because we both pay different utilities for the apartment. Also, he pays for shared groceries in advance and I usually pay the total amount for our restaurant meals first. Hence these "overlaps" in payments require this section to be kept in tip-top condition. Ision trusts me totally to tally up the right amount (actually he might be trusting my OCD instead of me) but the evil inside of me can't help but wonder if he'll ever notice if I cheat a bit of his money via some "intelligent accounting". Of course I won't do that.

Section 18
With the problem of online fraud and identity-theft worsening, one really needs to track what gets deducted from one's bank account and I do that scrupulously using this section. When I started this Spreadsheet™, I only had a few bank accounts so it was easy to include details of each bank transaction (as exported from my online statements). However as the number of bank accounts grew, I now only itemise the dollar value and the corresponding date for these newer banks. Section 18 contains the original banks with the greater level of detail.

Section 19
This section tracks bank transactions for the newer banks in lesser detail.

Section 20
For the purpose of filing income tax, the amount of bank interest earned financial-year-to-date is documented here across all banks. I used to track the movement in interest rates for all these banks under "comments" but as the number of banks increased, I found that to be too much work. I still track the rates online but just not documenting them anymore.

Section 21
Here is a quick summary of how much money I own in 2 categories i.e. with and without including non-Australian bank accounts. It also stores the amount I have stashed in other depositories like PayPal and hard cash at home.

Section 22
Every month requires a new tab in my Spreadsheet™ and I create one easily based on a constantly-updated template. I also store superseded templates in the same file. As mentioned earlier, I started this Spreadsheet™ back in the States in 2004 but a hard disc crash led to a loss of all my data (as well as all my pictures taken in USA!) and so the current Spreadsheet™ only has tabs starting from November 2005 (i.e. it has 203 tabs to date). The huge lesson learnt was to always back the file up and I now have backups in multiple locations. This Spreadsheet™ is simply TOO important to lose!!!

The above picture shows a completed tab but when the month is not over yet, I have working sections within the tab that gets deleted eventually. The most important working section is the calculation of how much my payout would be based on the leave balances should I be retrenched this very minute and how many months I can survive without employment before the total amount of money I own starts to drop. It also contains a modified (very frugal) budget that is based solely on my bank interest earnings versus expected expenditure. This used to be very important when my Papua New Guinea stint ended when the possibility of retrenchment was very real but the industry has picked up now so it's less crucial. There are also other less important features not mentioned above e.g. documenting the movies I've watched in the cinema, my to-do list (including the crossed-out completed items) and projected bank interest calculations for term deposits.

The most enjoyable benefit I get from my Spreadsheet™ is the ability to have a retrospective look at how my life has changed over the years. However when I review the past tabs I never fail to pick up typos and errors in formulas. Making corrections and fine-tuning the massive file (currently 21.2MB) is a never-ending task but that's also part of the enjoyment. It gets really difficult too after a holiday when I have to transfer all my hand-written notes into the Spreadsheet™. That being said, keeping things as detailed and correct as possible gives me peace and calms me. You just have to see it from the perspective of someone with this particular OCD and you'll feel what I feel too.

I love you Spreadsheet™ and I know we'll have many MANY more years of fun together!