It’s been an astonishing seven weeks since my last entry. I don’t think there was such a long lapse on www.cruzteng.com ever. I’m sure you know why — I’m in an extraordinary phase of my life. This transition from studio to office continues to take up much of my time and energy.
I’m asked on a daily basis if I’m adjusting well. It’s as though they can’t picture me sitting still in the office, or imagine that I have this insatiable urge to remain on air. I’m fine, honestly. There are indeed a lot of things which are alien to me, but I know that I have friends in Marketing, Promotions, Finance, Human Resources, Technological Support and other business units who would lend a helping hand. There’s also my well-trained team, and a new boss to count on. My VP — who is on sabbatical leave and only half a globe away in America — constantly buzzes me via Whatsapp. I feel very secure.
I’ve never had a desk bound job in my life. It is such a novelty for me to have my own workspace. It was mildly exciting to pick items from the stationery cupboard. Haha!
Because we are due to move out of Caldecott Hill in two years, I’ve refrained from buying too many items for the office. I don’t think I’ll take the bench with me to Mediapolis.
I did an entry detailing my schedule as a presenter a year ago. Here’s an updated version.
Mornings — I wake up to the morning show blasting on my trusty 18-year-old radio. The CD player is no longer working, and I doubt it can play cassette tapes anymore — not that I have any. The tuner function is in perfect condition though. Perhaps it’s because the dial is permanently set at 93.3FM. Ha! I can never jump out of bed right away. It is a necessity for me – not a luxury – to snooze.
Then I pick up my tablet for a quick look at the news before washing up. I used to get out of the house in ten minutes flat. I take much longer now – having to shave, blow my hair, iron a shirt, etc.
Most, if not all, media companies in the world do not have strict dress codes. Turning up in starched shirts and pants like the Shenton Way dudes would be considered grossly overdressed. Wearing a tie would be social suicide. MediaCorp isn’t a bank! No one is ever going to stop me from wearing tee shirts, but I thought I’d look slightly more credible in a smart-casual collared top with long sleeves.
10: 00 A.M. — On air! Not many programme directors in Singapore go on air daily. I managed to squeeze in a simple, no frills two-hour slot. I think of it as a sanctuary where I’m mostly undisturbed during this period. And more importantly, I see this as a way to stay in sync.
12: 00 P.M. — I’ve read several articles advising people to leave their desks at lunchtime, citing diminishing marginal returns. I’m actually fine with a packed box of food at my table. I don’t even mind what I eat, I say to different colleagues each day, “Please help me get lunch. Anything non-spicy is fine. And I’ll get my own Coke. Thanks!”
2: 00 P.M. — Google “responsibilities of a programme director“ and you’ll know what I’m busy with. In essence, I’m accountable for everything that goes on air, and everything that is directly or remotely related to the station. It was really tough in the first couple of weeks, because I couldn’t take afternoon naps anymore. Coffee helps. A lot.
There are a number of meetings to attend, and people would stop by for ad-hoc discussions. My door is left wide open, so I do constantly remind myself not to dig my nose while I’m seated in the office.
6: 00 P.M. — People start leaving, which means the number of phone calls and emails begin to dwindle. Half an hour later, I’d bark at my folks, “What are you doing? Go home! Work life balance! Get out of the office now!” And then I retreat to my desk and bask in the serenity of a quiet office.
8: 00 P.M. — I try to clear up after myself each evening, putting the files and stationery back where they belong, and closing the door only after seeing a clean and clutter-free table. I think I would make a great administrative assistant! Ha.
Nights — I sync my devices and look through my appointments the next day. I was dreadfully late for a meeting once because the item wasn’t stored in the calendar on my phone. I mustn’t allow that to happen ever again. I sleep after midnight — no longer worrying if I’d be able to to wake up in time for the morning show. Life’s good. Heh.