Sep. 30th, 2013 03:04 pm
lloll4: wukong from Stephen Chow movie (wukong)
You probably think I'm insane to be so pissed off. Anal, too. I think I'm insane to be so pissed off, too.

While collaborating in a short report (god! It's just a short report, why is it so hard to explain things?!) over the weekend, I told my teammates that the document on googledocs had margins that were too narrow and looked strange. This was my diplomatic way of saying that side margins of 1.0cm (0.4inch) were not acceptable and could they change that to a 1-inch margin, please?

(On hindsight I've credited my teammates with too much ability to empathise with my quirks.)

I soon got an email from my teammate that said "Oh I used narrow margins haha, will fix" or the like, and not wanting to kick up a fuss AND assuming they got my point, I thought they would change it before sending to the prof.

Today I finally looked at the pdf they sent the prof (my bad, I should have asked for clarification there and then). 1-cm ETA: actually 1.27cm side margins. I hate it like burning. Die in a fire burning. It looks cheap and unprofessional. It'd be one thing if we were just sending class notes to one another. But since it supposed to be in report format, it behooves one to use a official-looking report format, no?

Hate it so much, enraged, and mortified that the prof received something from our group that looks... like we were skimping on paper by cramming everything together. Like we didn't know how to format a document properly. (The font was also a bit small, but that's not so bad.) To clarify, there was no page limit, so this wasn't even a half-assed way of squeezing content into required number of pages because we weren't intelligent enough to summarise the information further.

You don't have to say I'm making a big deal out of nothing. Much. I know it. But still not best pleased. I don't want to nag people about something so minor but it bothers me a lot.
lloll4: ice lolly shaped like Mickey Mouse (ponyo hands and feet)
If truth be told, I actually finished my internship on 31st August but didn't come to terms with it until, well, yesterday. When I met a friend for dinner on Friday, seeing her in black and white*, I actually felt a qualm that I was not at work being an intern. Luckily, that passed after watching enough explosions to flatten a mountain in Red 2 and life reset itself before my eyes.

Not that it was a bad experience to be an intern. Well, what's not to like, eh? Moments of work interspersed with boredom, being the eager beaver about, well, everything, frankly learning enough fascinating stuff that even my cynicial nature couldn't smother... all that for the fantastic allowance of $400 a month. It's a bargain.

Well, at least I'm still getting paid for my tutoring. Though I've lost count of how many times I've apologised over the last two months for turning up late/almost late for my classes because I was stuck at the office, damn it. I've always had a rather good punctuality record before this! I'm a bit annoyed, especially when that tutoring was the only way I'd had money to eat lunch and y'know, have money for transport to get to the office.

*Court attire is long sleeved white shirt with collar, black skirt/pants/trousers, and then black jacket; same rules for interns. And apparently what's-supposed-to-be-silk-but-feels-like-polyester black robes for lawyers in High Court. I'm always "really? Shakespeare in the Park?" when I see my boss and judges wearing robes. In what universe, aka non-Harry Potter-verse, do people think this is a good idea?

And white shirts: does no one share my opinion that they are a bitch to iron? I suppose I could get by wearing a this little thing but in tropical weather, no one wants to wear a long sleeve black jacket.
lloll4: wukong from Stephen Chow movie (wukong)
An encounter that's going to take some background explaining, but I wanted to get it off my chest.

So today my boss at intern!place said, "Right, the other side mentioned Pitt v Holt, we need to deal with that. [Intern], write a note on it."

I said, "Erm, I don't know if the Supreme Court decision is out yet... but I will check."

[It was. It is. It came out in May 2013. Press summary.]

A while later our super efficient Legal Executive helpfully gave me a printout. Assuming that it was indeed the SupCt decision, I thanked him and thought, "Damn, I should have printed that instead of reading it on my screen."

Then I read the top few lines. Court of Appeal decision, 2011? I approached LE and said (ok, I probably sounded too hesitant. And possibly garbled), "This is the Court of Appeal decision. Should I print the newest Supreme Court decision instead?"

Answer: "The CtAp decision is the newest decision."

Me: "But this is in 2011. There's a SupCt decision. It's, erm, by a higher court...?"

Answer: "The CtAp decision is the higher court decision."

*am mansplained to about courts in England* (Honestly, for a moment I really thought the CtAp was the highest court in the land... before I came to my senses.)

Me: "Yes, but if there's a SupCt decision - look, 7 SupCt judges to your CtAp 3! - and it's the most recent, shouldn't we use that instead?"

Answer: "Oh, I don't know where you get that, is it from your school database? We don't have that here."

Me: *why do you sound resentful of me for having access to the school database?* "No, actually I googled it, plus I noticed it's up on Bailii which is free. We should print that, right?"

Answer: "Print it, then."

I'm just... I dunno. Our LE is a qualified lawyer, everyone tells me very good at what he does, very efficient and smart. He's also very serious all the time. I do feel like he thinks I'm really slow, or something. Maybe I am? I do ask a lot of questions, and if that makes me sound stupid, well. Can't be helped.
lloll4: ice lolly shaped like Mickey Mouse (ice lolly shaped like Mickey Mouse)
Now we've seen everything: hail!

Did hail fall in 2008? I certainly don't remember that.
lloll4: ice lolly shaped like Mickey Mouse (ponyo squeezed)
I thought it was nice when my office had these huge windows, but now looking out, I just feel like we're being besieged, as the outside gets progressively hazier, like so. I suppose we could roll down the blinds but I'm morbidly curious now. We're now way past the 'hazardous' level of PSI 300 - it's at 400 now.

Reports say that Sumatra and Johor are just as badly affected, if not more so. Oil palms: you think they sound green, but not quite so.

It's June

Jun. 3rd, 2013 11:51 pm
lloll4: ice lolly shaped like Mickey Mouse (ponyo hands and feet)
Item one: Caught an ad for Vasantham (the Tamil channel) for a series of Bollywood and Tamil movies to be aired in June. All feature (judging by the ad) doe-eyed beauties and well, manly men gazing forlornly into the camera... and the tag "an unspeakable love".

I'm not up to date on urban-speak but I think "unspeakable love" usually refers to same sex relationships?

Item two lips, indifferent red two: AP article on coroner's inquiry of dead American was inaccurate - and they were called on it. As far as we know, the man was found dead with suicide notes and it emerged that he had suffered from depression. The man's parents theorised that he'd been murdered because apparently his work was to have endangered US security. Coronor will have the verdict next month.

Wiki page has links. I'm boggled that initially, the parents requested for FBI to lead the investigation. You're not in the USA!


Jan. 8th, 2013 09:09 am
lloll4: ponyo spits water (ponyo spitting water)
Equity prof: You will require 10 hours of preparation per week. (It looks it.)
Evidence prof: You will require 3 hours of preparation per week. (Hah!)

COURSE COORDINATOR: You should take another class because the one that you wanted, contract drafting, is full and it's unlikely to have dropouts.
MR: *stupidly believes* Yeh, ok, put me down for international trade.
CLASSMATE: Guess what! I got into contract drafting because someone dropped out at the last minute.
ME: Well, damn.

ETA: Emailed CC querying sitch. CC phoned back, things clarified. Faith in humanity restored. Heh.

(I don't mind international trade... I think? I haven't had a class yet. But I would have preferred contract drafting, not least because it has no exams.)

Dear prof, why is it that you not only persist in using Arial Narrow, a font I dislike, not just for class notes but also make it a requirement of the research paper?

Feeling sneezy, which I self-diagnose as a psychosomatic symptom of "going back to school".
lloll4: ice lolly shaped like Mickey Mouse (ice lolly shaped like Mickey Mouse)
Next term's schedule, which has just been released, makes me so annoyed. Because it contains core classes, I can't even drop them, so it looks like for 13 weeks next year, I'm going to have to take this utterly fucked-up schedule, which not only contains two 3-hour classes (not back to back, but ugh) in one day but also two night classes. I utterly loathe night classes, not only because I am so not a night person and not being a teenager anymore I can't go on after 8-9pm* but also this means I can't teach in the evening any more on those two days. This results in the really awful prospect of having to teach on other evenings, which does mean that all my weekday evenings will be taken up. The alternative is, of course, to do without an income stream, but you know, I like eating.

(I can't even take the damned module next year, because I finish up at the end of next year - all going well - and it is apparently only offered in the winter term for my course - and of course, there is no gurantee that even if I do the extreme thing and stretch my study plan out just to take it in winter 2014, it will NOT be a night class. Because the school's planning skills are so awe-inspiring, really.)

So it's Hobson's Choice.

I mean, really. I have already had to put up with all kinds of shitty scheduling problems due to shipping law but I can't blame anyone because it's an elective that I chose, so I keep my grumbles to a minimum, but this goddamn compulsory class's timing is giving me all sorts of die-in-a-fire rage.

*I can teach after that time***, but that's because I'm the one talking and in control. Plus in fact I'm already about to collapse on the inside; my latest classes - the ones I teach, I mean - last until 9.30. I stretch my concentration further by drinking lots of tea and giving myself surreptitious pinches to keep alert. To ask that I take a class from 6 to 9.15pm** is ugh... a little bit beyond human endurance? Keeping in mind you're marked on class participation. You have to do class presentations. It's just- I did it last term and it was very exhausting. I did it, and I don't want to do it anymore.

**The other night class is until 7.30pm. Not too awful timewise, but it does kill off any opportunity I have of teaching that particular evening unless I can arrange to teach from 8 to 9.30pm.

***I do, however, do my studying (and writing) late at night out of pure lack-of-time-ness and also that there are less interruptions at night. I keep nodding off between paragraphs. I'd really just prefer to study during the day, or mornings.

ETA: And that's not including the goddamn make-up classes. Because the school has a policy that if classes fall on public holidays, they should be made up on Saturdays. Which in next term number three. Three holidays, I mean. Two for Lunar New Year, one for Good Friday. All will be made-up on Saturdays the week before or after. And you know what, people have regularly scheduled stuff to do on Saturdays! Look, if I cannot teach in the evenings, then I have to teach on Saturdays, and I really cannot cancel on Saturdays more than once. It's my most heavily scheduled day of the week: 10 to 6. It's bad for my students and makes my boss side-eye me a lot, okay?
lloll4: ice lolly shaped like Mickey Mouse (ponyo squeezed)
"The Aconagua" [2009] EWHC 1880 (Comm): about an exploding ship and whether the carrier who was entitled to an indemnity from the cargo owner for damages after the chemical carried in it ship made it exploded. It's 58 pages long, of which roughly three-quarterss are about how likely the calcium hypochloride was likely to self-ignite if put near a heat source and I nearly lost the will to live even just browsing through it.

Roper v Simmons, as mentioned in the last entry, took up about 10 minutes of class time, hardly proportionate to the time I spent reading it. That's about 90 minutes I'll never get back. I should have just wikipedia'd it.

Gotta hustle tomorrow: two presentations this week. I so hate presentations, especially group presentations.
lloll4: wukong from Stephen Chow movie (wukong)
Well. Technically, the first week isn't over yet. Still have a course tomorrow (yes, Saturday) but I'm pretty concerned about what's going on with this course, aka shipping and admiralty law. For one thing, nobody knows where the class is supposed to meet! I think that's a pretty big omission, isn't it? Never mind if there was supposed to be any required reading. There's been zero news. Am losing confidence in it - if they were going to cancel the class they should have said. If it's a total wash, it's still not too late to drop this and take another class. Even if it means doing a shitload of reading (first plus second week) to get prepared in time for next week's class. Problem is, at this late date, there aren't many choices left.

Although one of the choices I was considering a while back, International commercialisation of IP, still has places, according to the school website. Even though I have no idea what it really means, except it sounds cool. Heh. (Class on IP is full - and anyway I'd always planned to take it in the summer or next year, if at all.) Sooo... I will have to see what happens tomorrow with shipping law class, since I've already blocked out a chunk of time for it. They didn't give me a reading list, I can't prepare anyway. There's a rumour it's on the 5th level of the SOE building, will have a look-see.
lloll4: ice lolly shaped like Mickey Mouse (ponyo grabs ham)
Also, this post is likely to be emblematically ironic of me being a blabbermouth.

Had dinner the other day with an old friend and discussed, among other things (including a moment when I realised I was, like, incapable of discussing philosophy), how she felt burnt out at her job and was thinking of maybe having a career change. Friend works for the government involving something confidential that she's been very discreet about - this will become (?) relevant in a while. So, we were discussing if she were really serious about a career change it would mean possibly getting references and those would have to come from either her boss or a trusted colleague.

And she said she couldn't because that would mean having to reveal her career plans.

ME: But you could talk to someone you trusted, y/n? And ask them to keep it quiet. You've been working there for so long, there's got to be someone.
SHE: The people in my office have revealed personal stuff without meaning to. I've witnessed it.
ME: *WTF?!* But *maybe I'm being idealistic here* they work with confidential stuff, they should be able to keep their mouths shut about a minor personal thing! Especially after you've asked them to keep it quiet!
SHE: No, really, they are good people. But it's just that they make a casual comment and personal stuff comes out.
ME: *still wtf-ing* So what you're saying is, the people you work with have loose lips.
SHE: They don't mean to! It's just that because the work we do is confidential, so we let our guard down when it comes to personal stuff.
ME: *am not seeing the logic* But you just said that you don't share much personal stuff with them. It's not like you're all a big cosy happy family there. *because if you were, then you'd feel comfortable discussing your career plans with them* You keep work separate from personal. Ergo, if you talked to a trusted colleague about a personal matter, you'd expect that matter to be kept under wraps, not blurt it out in the pantry or something.
SHE: You don't understand, you don't work in my office. You don't know what it's like.
ME: Well, yes. But- *wtf* So what it comes down to is, they can't be trusted with personal stuff. They can't be trusted to be discreet.
SHE: Well, it's the pressure of having a job like ours. We deal with confidential matters that we can't discuss it with other people, so we tend to be-
ME: Loose-lipped when it comes to other matters.
SHE: It's hard to describe it when you don't know what my office is like.

Uh-huh. Very true; I conceded her point. I have zero experience with, let's say, super-duper-sekrit government stuff; I have no idea what such departments are like. Maybe no one is trustworthy enough to talk to about a career change in such an office *wtf?* Maybe it's a problem of those particular persons. (Still wtf-ing. I dunno if I should trust my government when it appears that its workers have LOOSE LIPS.)

But I have worked in normal offices with normal commercial secrets (of varying importance) and look, we've all had to be discreet about work at one point or another. I don't blab about work to other people outside of the office, much less personal stuff where I have been asked, you know, to keep quiet about. I just keep quiet. I don't care what the atmosphere of your office is like: if a colleague tells you something and asks you to keep it quiet, then by gum you do not blab it while getting a coffee at the pantry or whatever.

I don't think this is an extraordinary expectation whatever line of work you are in, or how cosy you are with your colleagues. Yes, there are blabbermouths, but the solution is to talk to people who are not blabbermouths. You can't just explain it away by saying, "We handle confidential stuff and therefore we can't keep a secret." Because it makes no sense.
lloll4: ice lolly shaped like Mickey Mouse (sleepy ponyo)
Dear teammates of presentation:

When the prof specifies 10 pages and 12 point font Times New Roman, this does not mean we should have 1cm margins, okay! If the essay is too long, we edit. Carefully and judiciously if we have time and shrewd-ish cutting if we don't. I don't think I'm being uptight or overly pedantic by insisting on actual, normal margins... (1cm margins look dreadful, too.)

Soooo, the week of triple presentations is upon us (I mean me). The tough one that I was worried about, contract law, is over with, whatever its merits (not that good). Two more to go. Group presentations are just one of the many ways that inform me that I play badly with other children. Or rather, that my urge to start barking orders and take over everything to ensure that it is finished on time gets up and starts a fight with my urge to chill and be concerned only with my assigned segment. And I get stressed.

I should be raging mad - was pissed off when, while I was editing the completed shared essay (that was ready only by midnight), various people kept emailing to say "can you add this? Can you change this?" You know what, these are things you should have done that earlier - but now am just very sleepy. Cutting that essay down so it'd be 10 pages and look normal (as opposed to playing with margins) took time and I didn't get enough sleep. :((((((

Ok, ranting over.
lloll4: ice lolly shaped like Mickey Mouse (So?)
Look, I know there are still anti-sodomy laws on the books in my country. Attempts to de-criminalise homosexuality have usually smashed up against an overwhelming underwhelmed majority who wonder what the fuss is about and if asked, would probably tell you that they don't know any gay people at all so they're really more concerned with jobs and the economy, thanks. There is a small group who are trying to change things, and there's another small group that says homosexuality shouldn't be de-criminalised. Y'know, my beef is not really with group B, even though I think they are wrong. My beef is that when a person from group B writes an article saying that the laws shouldn't be changed because homosexuality is bad for the community*, it pisses me off when you say things like:

Read more... )
*I'm paraphrasing, of course.
**But which society's, eh?
lloll4: ice lolly shaped like Mickey Mouse (naruto)
Old news, but Twitter, don't use password as your password. Good grief.


You know what's annoying about applying to public sector jobs? The incessant questioning. Your father's occupation. Your mother's education level. The primary school you went to. How many O levels you had. Your hobbies. Your mission statement. *stabs*

ETA: When did Sistic increase its booking fee from $2 to $3???


lloll4: ice lolly shaped like Mickey Mouse (Default)

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