Friday, January 18, 2008

Fried Calamari

fried calamari

Originally uploaded by nicodemus_chan.

Went to Marché to have lunch.

My favourite is always the Rösti. (It's also one of the cheapest dishes to fill you up there.)

I decided also to have fried calamari as I thought it was apt with me being jobless.

"Chao Yao Yi" (Fried Calamari) in Cantonese means being laid off/retrenched/fired.

The company I worked for went bust. The word of the day is "insolvent". And 70 staff had to become creditors! We were owed our salaries for December and January, plus our salaries in lieu of notice period.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I Will Survive

I Will Survive

Originally uploaded by nicodemus_chan.

At the end of the creditor's meeting at Price Waterhouse Coopers.

Well, nothing new that my lawyers didn't warn me about.

Basically none of the staff will actually get any money.

We all submitted our POD (Proof of Debt) detailing how much money is owed. Each staff was between 2 1/2 to 4 months salary, depending on how much leave he had left.

That's one quarter of a year's salary!

But there's nothing to pay us anyway, the liquidators PWC are the first ones to be paid. (Nobody does things for free.)

And what can they pay us from some furniture, obsolete PCs and servers?

Some already had new jobs, others were still waiting for calls to come in.

This is my 3rd retrenchment due to closure of companies. (That's the way the .com/Web 2.0/startup world works.) But it's the one that left the worst of tastes. In my previous two instances, I was paid in full including severance.

This is the first time, I'm owed money. And quite a lot too. The investors just pulled out without considering the welfare of staff who were already owed backdated salaries.

Lesson learnt: If you're doing a startup make sure that there is a clause that makes sure that investors make a final cash injection before they pull out to pay for salaries and severance pay.

I have colleagues with families to feed, rent to pay and they had already used it up to tide over their unpaid December/January salaries.

Are the interests of the poor trodden on for the rich? Was it ethical for them to do so? You tell me.

Monday, January 14, 2008

40th Blood Donation

40th Blood Donation

Originally uploaded by nicodemus_chan.

Milestone for me.

My 40th blood donation in Singapore! (41st donation. Did it once in Malaysia).

Got an SMS alert from the Blood Bank on Saturday to donate as stocks were low, so dropped by on Sunday after church to donate.

Had to wait almost 2 hours as the alert triggered a spike in donors. Still, the doctor prefers regular donors as Singapore has one of lowest rates of blood donation as compared to other first world countries.