Saturday, September 11, 2004

Dear Anderson...

Dear Anderson,

First of all - I don't want to be seen as a spoiled brat by complaining about every little single thing to you, but I really don't want to have to watch my back day in, day out as I come to work in the office.

I am happy working here, and I hate that feeling of us fighting among ourselves and hope that everyone - you, Fresa, Isaac, Lalitha and myself - despite the amount of work and stress we are under - can still be a happy team who is always supportive of one another.

For the past 2 weeks maybe, I have been having problems with Lalitha. Somehow we don't see eye to eye anymore. But I didn't quite take that matter seriously. I thought, "I'm sure it's normal that everyone has got their own ideas on how to work things out" So I went back to acting normal.

I don't know if you know me - I'm actually quite a simple person. I just want to work, take home my pay, get along well with people I work with, and then go out party on the weekends! So when it's obvious politics and backstabbing is so apparent and right smack in my face - I want to ignore it all and hope it can go away, but honestly, it won't. Yet, at the same time, I don't want to have a bomb set off by someone explode in my face and yet I still don't know that I'm dead. Do you know what I mean?

1. When Ms. Lim from Sin Chew called last, last week regarding the wrong ad size that we sent in, she said something like, "But I asked you and you said it was STAR's size!" I would never have said that. STAR and Sin Chew have never have the same ad sizes - I would know. I know this like the back of my hand. I go to sleep, and when I wake up, I can even tell you that STAR is 24x5 and Sin Chew 26x6. But she insisted that I told her that. And the best part, she insisted that the conversation took place 2 days ago, and the problem is - I don't even remember having this conversation with her.

She says she's new. Fine. But these are the ground rules of the house that you should pick up fast! One month is not new is it? I'm not asking you to list down the programmes of UCSI, but merely the ad sizes! I'm not putting the blame on her yet for sending the wrong ad size, but just the fact that she was SO DAMN QUICK to point the finger at me.

2. Fresa asked me 2 days ago, "Eh, you were out of the office for 2 whole days, weren't you going around with Lalitha for the photoshoot?" I said "Yes, of course, why did you ask?"

Fresa's reply was - "Lalitha told me she handled the photo shoot all by herself for the past 2 days, that's why her leg muscles were cramped from running here and there by herself. So I was wondering how come you weren't with her since you were out of the office for so long hours"

I know this trivial - but trying to make other colleagues see that all the credit belongs to her when something was done by two people? I don't think this is right at all. Something goes wrong - she quickly points a finger at me. Something goes well, she goes around telling people that she did it all by herself.

3. Friday morning when I came into the office for a little while, I asked her if she has called Kristal yet. She mumbled something and said that she has. So fine, I'll let her handle it. But around 11, Kristal called me and asked me for the ad. I said, "Eh? Didn't my colleague Lalitha call you yet?" Kristal said no one called her. She said, quickly get the ad out by 12! That was when I messaged both of you.

4. By 4pm, the ad still is not ready - but I don't know what Kristal promised Lalitha, or the time extension given. I called Fresa to see how things were at the office, she said she's waiting for the Chinese translation to be sent over.

So we chatted for a bit, and that's when Fresa asked me, "How come you didn't tell Lalitha of the deadline?" I was shocked. I asked her what she meant. She said Lalitha told her this is so rush because Doreen only told her of the ad a few days ago!"

This is COMPLETELY INSANE. This is NOT the story at all. Remember how we told Marketing that the ad for China Press on the 12th will be the last of the International ad? But no, somehow at the last minute, she didn't want the International ad to come out anymore, not even on the 12th as per agreed by Marketing.

And I only told her of the deadline a few days ago? Hello? The September Media planner is stuck on the wall in our office.

5. At 6:30pm, she sms-ed me asking me for the password to log on to my computer. I didn't reply. I called Fresa. Fresa said she wanted to use my email to send it out to China Press. Why I don't know. So I didn't bother giving her my password. I'm sorry if what I did was wrong - But after what she said about me to Fresa all afternoon, you'd think I'd be mad right!

Besides, maybe I'm paranoid, but I don't want her to use MY email address, with MY name on it, to send it a VERY LATE ad to China Press. Who knows who she might CC it to. I just want to protect myself that's all.

6. At 11:15am on Saturday morning, I was still sleeping. Kristal from China Press called to say she still has not received the ad. According to her, Lalitha promised to despatch it over first thing Saturday morning but till now, still no sight. I told her to call Lalitha's mobile, but she said she's been calling for the past 30 minutes, and she can't get through.

I said to give me 30 minutes, I'll get up, and go over to the office to email her the ad. She said OK. A few minutes later, Lalitha called me, "Ad on the way," she said. She said I need not go into the office. The way she said it, it was more like trying to keep me out of this, not the "nah everything is settled, don't worry, you stay where you are lah!" type.

So I called Kristal and said that I'm going into the office no matter what, if the despatch arrives before my email does, call me. So when I was on the way to college, she called to say she got the ad.

7. About the Royalty Free and Rights Protected images... After I left the office that day, Fresa and Lalitha stayed back for a while more. Fresa told me the next day to be careful of Lalitha. Apparently, after I left the office that day, Lalitha called (assumingly Henry) to complain that I didn't tell her when I knew the pictures were RP pictures.

It was Lalitha who picked up the catalogues from Anna at her office. It was Lalitha who packed the books and sent it over to Puchong. It was Lalitha who directed Eric which pictures to scan and use from the catalogues. I only saw the end product when they presented it to the client.

Even that time, during the conversation with you, she kept saying I should have told her, or that Anna should have told her. But hey, come on. Let's be real - if you don't ask, who's gonna tell you? I've never even seen the catalogues Anna passed her, how was I supposed to know what pictures were they?

The first time I saw the book, I immediately knew it was not RF pictures simply because Royalty Free pictures all are themed like, "On Campus", "Hands", "Young people in Love", etc. Besides, the procedures of using image banks photos are always standard according to Anna. She will pass her clients a set of catalogues and etc. But when they decide to use a picture or propose a picture to the client, they will always call her FIRST before using it, before proposing the pictures to their client. If she's worked in huge agencies like Gray before, shouldn't she know these?

8. When Fresa tells Lalitha to double check certain things with me, Lalitha shows displeasure. Like the "Visitor Pass" incident that Fresa related to me. I was with Frank taking pictures. One of the maintenance guys came to our office and passed Lalitha an old sample of the Visitor Pass. Kit wants new ones designed. When Lalitha passed the job to Fresa, Fresa asked her, "What size? Any more details?" Lalitha said to, "just do lah!" Fresa asked her to check with me. She immediately said, "Why? You have to start from scratch anyway!"

These are merely the few incidences that really made me rather unhappy. I don't know what to do and I hope you do. But whatever it is that you do - I don't want you to mention that I've told you all these. I don't want to be seen as I'm backstabbing her now. I don't even know if I am but everyone basically wants to protect themselves.

Thanks for reading such a long email.


Posted by Doreen at 2:31 pm