“I find myself in an odd clinch between adjusting to Singapore culture and defending my parent business without clashing too strongly with the emotionless and non-responsive representatives of architect firms and construction managers. Coming from the US, where we speak out when unfair dealings occur or agreements are ignored, it is surprising that in South East Asia, large construction firms are under the impression they can produce sloppy and incorrect craft without reprimanding. So I stepped up to the plate and started to show some teeth. The kitchen construction is delayed. Within a lot of us, we have to adjust to new guidelines and deadlines and jungle around with sensitive deliveries. Product orders are a difficult task for kitchen machinery; maintaining a good relationship with vendors depends on both ends being efficient and accurate. I am a bit of a wreck, overworked, and I can’t sleep well. ”
I had a dream this morning: I lay in bed looking out the window, fascinated by the other buildings across, swerving left and right. It was a storm outside. Suddenly, I realized it was my building swerving. I was the one in an unstable house.
Uncertainty has never been my favorite of all feelings. I am analytical and quite logical. As fast as I can adjust to most circumstances, the confrontation with inaccurate floor designs and the daily discovery of botched work is infuriating; having to debate and negotiate with inflexible and rather unwilling construction managers is awful. When I point out the obvious solutions that should have been adapted from the gecko, I receive ugly looks and fascinating excuses. So, I confront basic thinking and the lack of good planning. Sometimes, my boss looks over my shoulder. I feel as if my credentials as an excellent chef are being tarnished by having to be a bulldog on the construction site, and I dislike my momentary position. We now see a light at the end of this tunnel.
My Sous Chef, Chris Black, is being a good backbone these days. Adjusting quickly to my ideas and staying calm admits the never-ending daily dilemmas. Hyzue from the front house F&B is equally important and has shown leadership strength.
To cheer up our situation, I painted invitations for everyone in RWP and hope we will all get together for a Christmas party on the 28th. We will play “Elephant Christmas Exchange.” It’s a fun game where everyone brings a unisex present that is placed under the tree. All get a number, and in that order, number, one by one, retrieve a present from under the tree. The first one now unpacks it in front of everyone. Number two now can either “steal” his present or pick one from under the tree. He, too, unwraps it, and when number three comes along, he either can take the present from one or two or pick himself a new one. Once you have “stolen” a present, it finally belongs to you. It’s a fun game.
I better keep returning to the construction; it started to look like a kitchen yesterday. Within, I am getting more and more relaxed and excited.
Ulfi yesterday asked me: You are so stressed out about the construction; how are you going to feel when you guys have to prepare for the opening? “That, dear friend, is absolutely joy and no stress to us…”
Where is my coffee?