I have been doing a lot of archiving of my work stuff these days. And I was pretty amazed to find so many concurrent projects in 2008, especially around 3Q!
I was tied up with a major policy review that included a few series of public consultation sessions, forum replies and speeches, which all eventually led to a major marketing and public comms campaign. This cute banner is one of two - for lack of a better word - "tangible" proof of my work since 2003!
In the midst of it all, I had to go for a two-week developmental course. The course was interesting enough but I was always distracted by oh-so-loving thoughts of work. It was a horrendous two weeks as I had to work at night.
And after we rolled out the package, more things cropped up and even more people wrote or call for clarifications, which didn't taper off until two months later. We were concurrently doing up the budget requirements for a lot of things - that was one mega spreadsheet that wasn't fun to check and certainly not easy to build a solid justification. I mean, there's no way to measure ROI for some things!
And the package wasn't the only thing on my plate. I was also involved in research and statistics. We were at that time in talks with a prof to engage him as a research consultant, which involved preparing a lot of research outlines. Then a regular stats report was due and we had a media conference on it - the second "tangible" proof of my work - right before Singapore Day, which thankfully marked the end of it all!
Also, all the time, I was going for my weekly Japanese prep class for JLPT 2, my three-hour break between work in office and work at home.
No wonder I slept only three to four hours on most days in July and August!
Come, mf, you deserve a pat on the back! *pat pat*
But no, I want no repeat of that period of time! Too much instant noodles, too much supper on the way home (once I made a cabbie uncle wait for me outside McD at midnight!), too little exercise, too little time to rest and be with friends. Result? Too fat and tired and unhappy.
Yet, I can't say I didn't enjoy it.
I learnt a lot about work, for one. Apart from the policy review per se, everything was new to me. I had never set up a call centre, bought ad space, dealt with creatives, printed thousands of pamphlets in four languages, or seen that many zeroes on a budget spreadsheet. With LH, my direct boss, on maternity leave, I had to carry more responsibility too.
I also learnt about myself, specifically about my limit. It was stretched a lot, and then more when I thought that was it. I had Berocca (which I'm sure helped me beat my mid-summer flu! I fell quite ill in November when the adrenaline died down..) every morning and coffee some afternoons or nights to keep me going - caffeine doesn't usually keep me awake but it did seem to have a psychological effect on me. Perhaps I refused to go to bed laden with sugar from the frap? Oh ya, it had to be Starbucks java chip or mocha frap. I had expensive taste :p
And very importantly, I felt recognised and appreciated. I was very happy when RQ sent me to NDR that year - I got to see my work being announced! :) Towards the end of the major comms, a colleague in another agency came up to me to - effectively - "congratulate" me for doing policy, comms, presentation and emcee. At the end of the media conference for the policy announcement, we were hanging around outside the room where minister was giving an interview, and all relieved, I said to PS, "I'm very happy." He smiled and gave me an unexpected pat on the back! And did I mention the relaxing bonus for that year? (Relaxing because it paid for my spa package!)
Wow, I was good!
PS: Yup, this is a self-praising exercise. After all, I won't be able to out-achieve 2008! Nor do I want to! Although writing this made me feel just that little bit hungry for that adrenaline rush...