Tag Archives: mojo


I remember what it felt like to lose my mojo, and I definitely remember what being at the peak of my performance felt like. But the state I was in for the past two months felt like a whole new, unfamiliar level of mojo-losing-incredibly-hardpressed-and-unmotivated state of mind.

I’ve been where I am for a good seven years now. It first started as a part-time job, which continued as a college internship, and then a full-time hire offer. Seven years is no child’s play, and it always is a mix of job perks, company loyalty and passion for the job that people would often ‘suggest’ as reasons to my staying, for a good seven years.

Perhaps I have said this in one post or another of mine – I enjoy what I do, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say I love it. Well, at least not anymore.

In the recent years, I have mentioned of moving on, or away, from this place. But it never really stuck. It felt more like a rant, a rage, a temporary moment of anger and bad decisions lumped in one. About a couple of weeks back, I was offered a job as a copywriter – and to be frank, it’s not a job I’m entirely keen on, but it felt more like something I needed than something I should even consider wanting or not. It was then that I realised I really just want out.

The past two months were a nasty clash of deadlines and everything else imaginable – from travel schedules, to bad decisions, and funerals. It was overwhelming, but more depressing than the crazy deadlines had to be having a boss who thinks she knows best. From job hires to job allocations, travel schedules to problem solving skills, she is a heap of bad decisions and rash reactions. I don’t say this out of spite, but just as is. A lot of work gets unnecessarily doubled up, rejected with no further direction, assigned with no proper brief or account, all because she always has to have the last say. She’s a god when it comes to pretty things, which is absolutely good. We all love us some pretty things every damn time. But pretty things that look good and don’t fulfil its purpose is utter rubbish, if I may say, which is what most of our jobs are – pretty but useless, taking pretty useless almost too literal.

I always thought I had to bring the change that I wanted to see in my workplace, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. As harsh as it sounds, this place rejects change with all it’s got. It is absolutely contented with the standards it’s got, the wonky work system it employs, and the crippling work culture that it nurtures. No good amount of creativity can and will come from this place. This place is stale and stagnant, almost dead of its creativity. And I hate it.

It’s easy to just throw the ‘pack and leave’ card on the table, but calling it quits is yet another major problem. No one person who has left this company has had it easy, not with my boss. Four designers have left since I started with this company. The first was ostracized until recent years for ‘wanting a change of environment’, the second was labelled domesticated and unambitious for ‘wanting to marry, have kids and move to a different state’, the third was called a spoilt brat for ‘wanting a change of work culture’ and for using the magazine as her portfolio (which doesn’t even make sense because the designer was really only showcasing works of hers that were legit), and the last was only recently served a legal warning for posting our magazine pages as part of her online portfolio (which equally doesn’t make sense because she really did work on them), which needless to say, got her frantically removing them almost immediately.

Whether you quit, or you get asked to leave, either way it’s not going to go down well.

It’s sad (or pathetic, whichever) when someone of such a notable position is unable to be the bigger person, even in situations that do not call for any party to feel inadequate, intimidated or challenged. I don’t get it.

Is this what they call ‘office politics’? Good Lord, I hate it.

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I watched Wolf of Wall Street just a few days back, and I have got to say that Leonardo DiCaprio made selling those stocks look like tossing candies to a kid.

I came across a book in a store some time ago, something about how our everyday lives revolve around selling. From selling an idea, to selling a suggestion, to selling an actual something or just selling a lie, for that matter. I didn’t flip through the book, if you were wondering. I didn’t even read the synopsis on the back. I just stood there and thought to myself, “Okay. Maybe it isn’t really that hard. I just need to try harder I guess?”

You see, I’m a Project Editor, or so stated by the professional name that is printed on my stack of business cards. But in my reality, I do just about everything imaginable within a small company of four full-time hire. I churn copy, edit, proofread, check designs, art direct, style shoots, sort out the accounts, and I sell ads. I loathe the final one.

It’s bad enough that I somehow got suckered into many of these job descriptions that I didn’t initially sign up for, but the final one – selling ads, takes the cake of assignments I hate.

Chatting with a couple of my teammates sans my boss, I discovered the partial reason why I hate selling ads with every inch of my being – I don’t believe in my product. I am project editor to a mall magazine that is doing great. GREAT. It’s not even just doing mediocre. The publication on itself is doing great, going places (we have done fashion spreads in Tokyo, Shanghai, NYC, Siem Reap – to name a few, and we’ve got London, Milan and much more in the pipeline), and even making it on the iPad, like Harrods or Net-a-Porter. But the only problem is in its reach. It is pathetic, if I may say. Despite the fact that our titles turn 10 this year, people are still always surprised to know that I work for this particular huge-ass mall, with a supposedly awesome mall magazine that has not the slightest resemblance to your cheap product catalogues. You see, the problem is…nobody knows.

And the amount of lies I am taught to tell our clients so that they believe our publication is the way to chuck (oh, I meant “invest”) their dough, and that we are doing ‘absolutely well’ is really getting to me. We tell clients of our non-existent five-figured circulation, and please don’t even get me started on the amount of work we put in, for what seems like a sole play of self-gratification.

Don’t get me wrong. I have a new found respect for the people who sell things as a profession. I really do. I just hate that the product I’m selling is dusted with so much lies, and self-gratifying works, and the amount of effort put into every issue doesn’t justify its outcome; not to mention the purpose of all we’ve been doing since day one.

It’s been six years now. And I am tired. I didn’t see this coming, really. This ad-selling assignment with a meagrely commission (which I’m not even hard up for) was offered to me at the beginning as a ‘thing to do if I can find the time to’. But now, I’m pressed on every side to get paid ads in as if it was what I was hired to do. And FML that I don’t even know how to tell my boss I don’t want to do it anymore.

I was at Publika for lunch today. I walked the aisles of Ben’s grocer and I thought out loud, “I want to do their designs, or stack their gorgeous, gorgeous shelves. No. I want to own a grocer. My grocer.”

I just want to do something I love.
And earn a decent living from it.

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lost & (yet to be) found

I apologize for being out of action for awhile. I’ve been rather uninspired for the past weeks, and have found it hard to come up with designs and contents for this space. I promised a follow up to my dad’s 60th bash, and I will deliver it in the next post. Some things didn’t really turn out as expected but all was good. Thank God.(:

Over the weekend, I experienced probably one of my life’s most demotivating moments. I’m a sucker for gorgeous packaging- simple or elaborate alike, you see. But not everyone is. And while I make my purchases based on the aesthetic appeal first, many others do not. I understand that perfectly well, but it is what bothers me too. It’s like, the inevitable. I’m into designs- packaging, publishing and interior. And it’s somewhat disappointing to know that good designs go unnoticed or uncredited in my society. I helped a friend out over the weekend. She baked, I designed the stationeries and styled the set up. The ‘oohs’ and the ‘aahs’ went to the food, and the set up was probably just something that was ‘expected of’.

I know it’s hard to change the mentality of consumers/customers or whatever. I’m learning the hard way to stay in the background and do a great job while others go upfront and get the credits for a job done equally well, or lesser even. I suppose my job as an editor has made me the person I am- I care to read the credit line in every article/spread of a magazine, especially the team note that credits each and every contributor.

If I could cook/bake/design/style/manage all on my own, I would. But unfortunately, I can’t cook or bake to save my life. And I know that a gorgeous place without food that’s just as great would eventually fade out and diminish. Sometimes I reason to myself that maybe down the road when I do have my quaint little eatery, I can decorate it to my heart’s content and have people fall in love with the ambience first, above all else. I want them to love the place- my place, so much that they’ll come every evening just for lemonade and a good read. I mean, I could do lemonade.(: And that, would probably be my proudest and most inspiring moment.

On a separate but similar note, I feel like a total mess. Maybe it’s the hair- painstakingly growing it out from its Agyness Deyn state- that is progressing extremely ssssssllllllooooooooowwwwwww and making me look like a mushroom head quicker than you can utter ‘OH.’ I’m already doing a little spring cleaning while packing for Melbourne and I’m beginning to be under the odd impression that I’m a present day Ugly Betty- clad in mismatched luxury items from head to toe. Okay, maybe it’s slightly exaggerated but…I feel like a total mess. I do. And am utterly uninspired to step out the house with more than my pj’s and out-of-bed do.

If you feel me already, you’d know bleh is the Word of the Day. No, make that the Week, or the Month.

Dear Mojo, I believe I’ve lost you. Please return to me as soon as you this posting. The last thing I want to do is to crawl up under covers and let my esteem waste away.): Please hurry!

xx, me.

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