Monday, September 12, 2011

I'm looking for her too

H: i am waiting for somewhat sane lynn to return. i think i last saw her in 2008; traces in 2009.

If anyone has seen her, please give me a clue as to where she is.
Reward to be expected.


It's been a weird and dreadful day.
Never had I spent a day trying to resolve disastrous situations with the same person over and over and over again. Just when I thought a situation has been diffused, another one arises. It seems like to end a conversation on a positive note has been impossible, regardless of either of our attempts.

It's been a cycle of: indignant treatment--> hold temper --> diffused; new indignant treatment --> hold temper -- diffused. Repeat.

On the one hand, i am proud of myself for having diffused the many problems.
On the other, i almost feel like the whole holding temper thing is quite useless, because if someone needs to feel upset, no matter how many times you try to diffuse the anger, they'll find something else.
It's defeating.

Perhaps the key to all of this is that if the person is in a bad mood, just shut up and let them be upset without saying anything, regardless of how unreasonable they are. And dont bring up stuff that's possibly going to upset them. Everyone has bad days right, i guess you just need to let them have it in peace, like they let you have bad days in peace?

I believe that's how men deal with their wives/girlfriends because these type of bad days happen to women all the time, much of it because they're hormonal. And although men also have bad days, they happen less frequently and very rarely due to hormone, so we tend to forget they also need patience.

This is hard. Which only means putting up with me is hard.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Dear Air Canada


I just checked-in from Pearson Airport and received a really rude treatment from one of your staff. I noticed when I checked-in that my seat was a middle seat, despite that the travelling coordinator at my company paid a surcharge to allow seat selection. When I dropped off my baggage, I asked the service staff why I would get charged for seat selection if I ended up with a middle seat (who would pick a middle seat if they had the option, right?). Despite that I was being polite to her, she informed me that the reason why I got that seat was because my ticket was "cheap" and if I didn't pay that price, I would have gotten no seats, since the flight was overbooked. When I told her my seats were not that "cheap" as they were over a thousand dollars, she replied to me, in a quite condescending tone, "let's put it this way, there are many tickets that are way more expensive than yours."

I have the following concerns:
1. Whether her reasoning was sound or not, I implore you to see the problem with her attitude. Is it common for Air Canada staff to speak to a customer in this manner because she thinks they don't have money? I would have walked away without a problem had she told me politely that sometimes the surcharge is a way to ensure that you have a seat, since sometimes flights do get overbooked; however, she instead decided to demean me without a reason.

2. Is it really true that if I pay $1k for a ticket and you are overbooked, I would not be able to continue with my travel? If that is the case, I can hardly imagine that I would want to travel with an airline with operational strategies as such. I am sure that there will be plenty of airlines who would like to take my "cheap" $1500 and guarantee me a seat on the date of my travel.

Your disgruntled frequent flier,

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Eating Loss

I've always been the type that stresses for other people's lack of time management. When I watch people do things last minute, I cringe. I am the type of person that, when a project is due on a Monday, I will try to finish it on the Friday. If it's due on the Friday, it must at the very least be done by Thursday night. I cannot handle the stress of still working on something five minutes before it's due while fearing that it won't be done on time. (Yeah, I know, a load of fun to be with....)

When I'm in a relationship with someone, I have the habit of taking on their responsibility like it's my own. I hate having people work around my schedule, and i hate being the cause of anyone having to wait for me or cancel something because of me...and if I am a part of whatever time-management disaster that's happening, even if it is not my fault, i will stress. And the stress that adds to the existing stress is that i hate nagging. So if I see someone mis-managing their time, I'm stressed because they're mis-managing, and also because i feel a need to nag and i dont want to do it.

I think the most memorable incident that made me realize this was when I was in Seattle at the end of Adam's coop workterm. The plan was that his parents are going to drive to Seattle from Vancouver to pick us up. Adam was supposed to have packed all his things by the time his parents are here and we should be ready to drop off his rental car, get in the car, and leave.

For the entire week, before his parents arrival, I was nagging him to pack his stuff, offering to help him, provided that he tells me what he's going to keep, and what he's not. He was too busy. So the night before his parents came, we were scrambling to get him packed. The next day, his entire family waited for him all day until he was done packing and finishing running errands for his departure from Seattle.

The irony of this all was that he wasn't upset about making his family wait and no one in his family was upset about having to wait for him. The only person who was upset and stressed out throughout the entire ordeal was me. I was beyond angry with him about making his parents wait and about, frankly, waiting until last minute to do things. I absolutely despised that.

You would think that after learning no one else in the situation was upset, I would realize that stressing about things that were not my problem is stupid. But I don't. Throughout our relationship, this type of situation probably happened a million times. I'd be angry at him for not doing things at the time he said he would, or having to cancel on someone or something because he failed to have done earlier whatever it was that made him cancel.

Sometimes I think it's a guy thing, y'know. There are a couple of guys I know that seem to have this problem. They're good at doing things that are "important" on time, but when it comes to the little things in life that, to them, has room for readjustment, they will take advantage of it.

Not to say that I don't procrastinate...of course, I do; who doesn't? But I think fundamentally, the grey area is what is valued at being important for each of us. I am sure that I have procrastinated things in a way that pissed off someone else, who has a even more stringent timeline than I do.

The real issue for me here is two-fold:
  1. I take on the stress of someone else's mistake when it's not my fault and I shouldn't feel bad about someone cancelling someone else because of me if it's not my fault
    Why make a mountain out of a molehill when no one else cares and it doesn't affect me? I get it. I'll work on that.
    But what if I am the person that gets affected, do I still have the right to get upset?
  2. I volunteer to short-change myself because I am taking on someone else's stress (e.g., I can do the dishes if you have a lot of work to do at work, even though you played fooseball all day at work).
    This is probably especially bad for those around me, as Adam has told me many times that when I cut someone slack when I don't really want to, that someone will end up paying for the slack I cut later on anyway (i.e., him).
But #2 is slightly in the grey zone still. You have to cut someone slack sometimes for messing up their time management right? Sometimes a person will cancel on you or shed a responsibility making you have to take it on because they messed up. If it happens a lot, why wouldn't I get upset? If it happens just enough to irritate me, should I get upset?

Ok, yes, I realize this. Being upset is no good in general. Both my mom and Adam have told me that I get upset at these things because I put too much emphasis on fairness. "It's not fair that I have to do the dishes because you slacked off all day at work."

In life, there's no such thing as fairness, or so everyone else tells me. There is a concept in chinese called "eating loss" (吃虧). It's a very complex concept with a lot of implications,bBut put simply, the phrase can be used, really, any time when you feel like you've been short-changed on a situation. So the phrase can be used as such: "I hate going out with John because no matter what we do, I always have to eat the loss" (e.g., he's always taking advantage of me.)

When I was growing up, my mom used to teach me this adage all the time, any time I felt indignant: "Eating loss is the same as taking advantage" (吃虧就是佔便宜). It's a very buddhism-laced adage, as with most wisdoms in Chinese.

Being taken advantage of is the same as taking advantage? Honestly, it barely makes any sense reading it right now, how would it have made any sense to a five-year old child who is upset because your mom made you share your candy with your brother after he dropped his on the floor?

I won't get into how this phrase eventually made sense to me. But this phrase has also made me realize that the difference between fairness and pettiness is divided by a thin line. When you are eating the loss and you are complaining about being fair, according to Buddha or Confuscious, you're probably being petty.

1. don't be petty: cut people slack and be okay with it, it's okay to eat the loss for people you care about
2. don't stress about things that have nothing to do with you.

You can't control what other people do, and it's stupid to be upset at something you can't control. Logically,being upset at what other people do is stupid. All you can do is cut slack, be kind, and maintain an open-communication, especially when I know others are doing the same for me.

Monday, September 5, 2011


As an Asian, I don't have many eyelashes, so you would think that the probability of the scary scenario of living alone and having an eyelash go into and sting your eye without a person there to blow out for you to happen to me would be pretty low. Alas, that is not the case.

Living alone:1
Lynn: 0
Eyelashes on Lynn's eyes: -1

Cognitive Dissonance

Sometimes I feel like my lack of academic pursuit will be the biggest regret when I reach the end of my life. I loved every bit of the field I was researching while I was in school, and I've always felt like I have so much more to give.

Sometimes I feel like I'd fail miserably if I did pursue an academic career. Reading the papers of one of my favourite professors in Waterloo makes me feel so small, and realize that I'd have to put in 200% of my brain power and read and write academic papers everyday in order to be at 10% of his level.

I might as well not even try...right?