Friday, June 29, 2007

My Last Day At Staples

These last few entries, I know, have been boring. They've focused and revolved around my feelings. But this time, I'll share something special that happened today.

I ended my time at the store with a bang. Two sales, one camera perfect sale with all the class attachments (minus ESP), and another laptop sale with an ESP. Well, really the camera sale was Chad's, I just chipped in when I could. The gentlemen was really nice, really patient, and so I let Chad deal with him, but I focused on doing my last ever closing announcement with the store. Slow, cautious, with emotion. I wonder if I'll ever go back and work there. Maybe, maybe not. I do know I'll pop by and get things, but it's different being the customer, as opposed to being the salesman. I'm very sure Chad will fill in my shoes very quickly.

Best thing is, Steve, like a really big brother or a very young dad, whipped out his camera and got us photos, photos of everybody together at Copy Center! I will definitely want one of them... I'm leaving my contact information with the store, just in case anybody there wants to contact me.

To Steve: It was really great working with you. You're really my favorite manager, for I've not met another manager effective and yet friendly at the same time. I wish you all the best in your Staples career.

To Sheen: You're a great consultant man. I'll keep the offer open to rejoin the store later in the year if I have the time. And don't forget, we go exercising after your GRE!

To Chad: You'll become an awesome salesperson in no time. Keep going, you'll reach there soon!

To Vanessa: I'm gonna miss poking you man... And I'm sure you'll miss punching me. =P

To Graeme: Good luck with your next job! I wish you all the best, may you achieve your dreams step by step.

Last Days at Work

These last few days at work have been somewhat emotional. Understandable, given the fact that I have worked at Staples 239 for almost 10 months now... I still remembered that my first interview was given by Chris, the covering manager, and then I had my 2nd interview, by Aaron. And then bang, I was hired. It was the beginning of my relationship with the store, something that I now will cherish very dearly.

It was a place where I put in my blood, sweat, heart and soul. Well, of course not more than my academics would allow, because after all, that comes first. But everything else... One could say that my life revolved around the scheduling. Could I go for a swim? Uhh, had to see whether I had to work or not. Could I go for dinner sometime? Sorry guys, I've gotta work on that day. Next time book me a week in advance. That kind of thing.

Now I'm going full time with the BC Cancer Research Center. This is gonna be fun, I'll get to work in a lab for real. But that means I'll be quitting from the store, Staples 239. Am I ready to move on from this job at which I've gotten comfortable with?

It's cliche, but one doesn't know what one's got until one's lost it. At times I took my job for granted, thinking I'd always be able to keep it, that I'd be able to excel at it. Well, it turns out no. These few days, I've been forced to sit down and think about what I've achieved at the store, what I've not achieved at the store, and what I can leave behind for future employees that come through the store. Well, I've decided on it.

I will leave a report on my HP training. Maybe I've already mentioned that. But I added in a small bit today. I added in a list of pointers to increase the effectiveness of the salespeople at the store. Some sharing of my own experience. I hope it leaves behind a legacy that can be continued - that others who come by will care enough for the business to leave behind their experiences for others.

Danielle, one of my co-workers who has made work much more fun and enjoyable for me, asked me to print something in color from the color laser that I just bought (that cost will be shared between me and Leon). I gave her a photo of the Morinaga candies arranged in a smiley face, printed on nice paper and with a note to go with it too. I'll miss working with her, that's for sure.

Tomorrow will be my last shift with the store. Well, technically later on today. But you get the point.

It will be my last shift with Steven, Vanessa, Chad, Carolyn, Sean, Colin, Sheen, Graeme, Anita, Clifton and Will. These are the people I will meet throughout the day. It will be my last closing shift with Colin, Chad, Graeme and Vanessa. These are the people I will close the store with. Steve, or maybe Rita as well. I hope everything goes well for them... and I'll have to get used to not seeing them around.

Au revoir, Staples 239.


On another note, I reviewed the offer of employment that was sent to me today. And that definitely cheered me up a bit. I have the option to go beyond summer, by mutual consent. That means I will have to make sure I'm an irresistible proposition for Dr. Takei to let me continue at his lab.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

My Letter to the Management

Dear Rita,

RE: Termination of Employment at Store 239, Staples Business Depot.

I’d like to thank you and the current management team for providing me with such a great time of employment over the past few months. I’ve had an amazing time here, having seen the positive changes that have been made since the new management team took over, especially with the reinforcement of the camaraderie and teamwork in the Computer Dept., my primary area of duties, and its re-organization.

I have found another job for the summer, at the BC Cancer Research Center (BCCRC), where I will be working full-time as a Summer Research Student. Hence, it is with a heavy heart that I ask to leave a place that I have literally called my 2nd home for the past 10 months. My new position will provide me with working experience highly relevant to my intended major, Microbiology and Immunology, and hence I have opted to go for greener pastures.

In order to facilitate my transition to a full-time job, monthly-paid at the BCCRC, I’d like to request to terminate my employment effective 10 July 2007 (two weeks from today). I feel that it would help if I could request not to be scheduled for the week of 1 July 2007, so that I could join the BCCRC on a more “regular” start date “i.e. beginning of the month. This would also give me more time to work on the project that they have prepared for me.

In return for this big favor, I am prepared to do a detailed write-up on the latest HP training module that I was sent for, to help coach my colleagues in the department as well as other potential computer department associates (e.g. Chad – he’s definitely great for the dept. too) on the stuff I’ve learned at the training session. With your permission, I hope you will allow this to happen.

Thank you again for giving me this opportunity to learn from you and the management team, and for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the store’s cause and goals. I definitely will cherish this chance given to me.

Yours truly,

Eric Asava-Aree

New Job = Uncertainty

It's been the first time in a while since I've been overwhelmed with emotions. I realize now, that it's really hard leaving a job I've loved and dedicated myself to for the past 10 months.

Yes, I'm leaving for greener pastures, for a lab job at the BC Cancer Research Center (BCCRC). And I am truly excited for it. I'll be heading for a place of employment where I'll be working on stuff that's unexplored, stuff that's being discovered... Exciting stuff. I once told Leon, that's what I want to be doing - something that many people can't do or won't do, 'cause that's something I view as cool.

Yet, writing the letter of resignation was so tough. There's so much I want to say to my manager, Rita, for she and Jenn have been like mothers to the store. And then there's Steven, who's really a Mr. Nice Guy, and who told me, it's perfectly okay if I go, because he'll understand the reasons why I'm leaving. I leave with a heavy heart, from a place where everybody's been so nice, a place where I've contributed my 110% almost every time I go to work. Yeah, almost -- nobody's perfect, eh?

Tomorrow I'm going in to speak to the managers. I'll have my letter on hand. Hopefully they'll let me off on 1st July, rather than 10th July. It really would help my employment with BCCRC -- I'd get to start on the project earlier, and it'll be a more regular start time of employment. I dunno. There's a lot of uncertainty in me right now.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Yay! Lab!

Yay! I've gotten my lab job. But that also means I have to tender my resignation from Staples. *sigh* I hope I can be released earlier...

Saturday, June 23, 2007



Friday, June 22, 2007

Lab Volunteer --> Lab Employment

I recently sent my friend Zigang some e-mails, and she provided a number of good pieces of advice throughout. That seems to be the power of having friends who are at least 3 or 4 years older that yourself (I dunno Zigang's age, and I don't plan to publish it anyhow =P).

---June 19 2007---
Hi Zigang,

Glad to be over after 13 months, that's for sure.

I don't have any plans, really, except to continue working at Staples and enjoy the rest of my time here. I'm looking for a lab that specializes in cancer research to volunteer with, because I want to get to know about the life of a researcher and get lab working experience. It may also lead to future employment opportunities. But at this stage, it seems hard to take the first step and write in... I have a feeling that I'm afraid of rejection. I'm not sure. Maybe I'm just taking this matter too seriously.

Now that I know that Acts 26 is the most important chapter in Paul's life, I'll definitely read it up.

Have a safe flight back to Vancouver!


---June 19 2007---
Hi Eric,

Rejection is often a necessary (and dim) doorway to the hall of success. It
is also a sift for golden opportunities.

If you are given ten boxes of similar size and weight and are told that nine
are empty but one contains a present that is bigger and better than you have
ever asked for, how would you feel after opening a few empty boxes?

Enjoy pursuing your dream!



---June 22 2007---
Hi Zigang,

Thank you for letting me know about that. It awakened my senses to reality.

So after reading your e-mail, I sent another to Dr. Fumio Takei at the BC Cancer Research Center, whose work directly deals with stuff I've just learned in MICB202, Introductory Microbiology and Immunology. That was on Thursday morning. Immediately, I had a reply from him saying that I could go down to the BCCRC and meet him at his office on Friday or Tuesday. Naturally, I accepted the invitation for Friday, and called him back.

This morning (Friday), I went to the BCCRC, where surprisingly, he said that he wouldn't take any volunteers. Rather, he would be willing to take me in as a paid summer research student if any one of his graduate students or post-docs were willing to. He asked me if I could go 40 hrs/week with them until the rest of the summer ends, and I said if I were to be accepted, I would immediately hand-in my 2-weeks notice to Staples. He also showed me his facilities, and introduced me to one of his grad students and one post-doc.

Now everything hinges on whether any one of his subordinates are willing to take me in to assist them with their project. Hopefully I will get to do something really meaningful and help out a lot if I do partner with one of them.

Thanks for giving your advice!



I guess it really is valuable. I'm glad I had a chance to at least speak to the researcher Dr. Takei. Now I really hope I'll be able to work under him for the rest of the summer.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Oh gosh, I actually biked to Broadway station from UBC (which is the entire 99 B-line route), went to Metrotown station to do my groceries, and came back by bike from Broadway station to Safeway. Over two hours worth of biking and sky-training and busing. And now for swimming with Leon. Ahhhhhhh...


Oh gosh, I guess I'm still waiting like a little kid for my summer term marks to be out. Gee. Kept on checking the SSC for the grades, but they're not gonna be out for a while anyways. I should just stop.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Friends places to go:

So after visiting a number of people, it's time to make a list of and count down how many more people's places I have to go to for food this summer.

-Charles: "mine" =P [Korean BBQ was awesome man! Thanks for the invite; if you need a sleepover during the summer, just let me know! Oh, and I have to crash your place again.=P]
-Cindy: Taiwanese food. Oh well, it's really an excuse for "just the four of us" to gather again. In White Rock too.
-Rachel: Real Chinese food.... yummy... [Ahh, I really enjoyed the atmosphere and food. Thanks for inviting me over for dinner!]
-Irfan: Ooh man, I can't wait to taste authentic Indian food!
-Leon: Oh well, I'll be moving in with you, so no worries about it.
-Si Rim: One more go at your mom's awesome Korean dishes man! And jamming too. Call Rachel down - all 3 of us need to jam again.

Ahhh, a great day. And all about food at friends' places.

I guess it's one of those rare days. A day when an old customer pops up and gives us a big order. We were up against $3600, and I handled $2500 of it! Then we popped up all the way to $8200. AMAZING! I sure hope Fred comes back again. Of course, he does make me tired, and I usually have to sacrifice my breaks to ensure he goes away smiling.

And then dinner at Rachel's place... authentic mainland Chinese food... OMG I have not had such amazing food for ages!!! And her dad's definitely a good chef - the chicken wings were amazing. I'm definitely gonna respect intellectual property rights and NOT try to figure out the dish. Probably won't be able to anyways. I wonder if Charles' parents are just as good. Wouldn't mind having real HK food at his place. And Josephine -- MALAYSIAN FOOD MAN! Too bad I haven't gone yet. And of course, can never forget Si Rim (Dr. Bass) and his mom - man, his mom makes AMAZING Korean dishes. (insert some moans of satisfaction here) Geez, I'm such a glutton.

But then again, I must be allowed to contribute somehow, otherwise I'd feel pretty useless. For example, at Charles' dinner, at least he knew about my cleaning habits and allowed me to wash up all the dishes, even though the typical host wouldn't want that for their guest. Then again, if his parents were around, they'd probably not allow it. But at Rachel's place, absolutely nothing: no washing, no helping to prepare food... it's like the guest is king. I felt like "aiya...", I was relegated to just setting the table and compiling the dirty dishes after dinner, and that's it. I guess it was the first time I wasn't allowed to do dishes. lolz. Aside from that, though, they're a nice family, had a great chat, gave me that homely feeling, so all in all, it was a really great trip down to Surrey. Two thumbs up for the food especially. After all, that's what the focus of this post is.

And so Josephine came by one afternoon, and she had fried rice which used kecap manis as the sauce, as well as BBQ pork, and a whole host of other things. The best part is, she finally refrained from using BALLS in the food. So I tried some, and it's amazing. A pity Charles wasn't around, I'm sure he'd love her cooking. 1.5 thumbs though, for there wasn't enough quantity - FRY MORE FOR ME NEXT TIME!!! (Actually, you're already assured of 2/2 thumbs Joey. =D)

And, 饺子 at Zhiming's place last Tuesday was really good too. And those 饺子 were authentic and tasty as well, hand-made by his wife, Haiying. They know my cleanliness habits too, so I guess they, in mock-despair, allow me to wash up. I had a chance to help out that day too; I washed the dishes while Zhiming made the appetizers, so it helped that I could contribute, even though I didn't bring a dish like Luo Pan and Jingchan. Nonetheless, two thumbs up for the food.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007



Saturday, June 09, 2007

Ahh, finally. Under control.

So in response to that addiction of mine, I've decided to delete Battle for Wesnoth from my computer and move it instead to my external hard drive. That'll reduce the impetus for me to play on it.

Thursday, June 07, 2007


I'm totally addicted to Battle for Wesnoth. I need help getting rid of the addiction...

That said, I did just have a great bike ride outside. No photos, though. Sorry! =P

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A Missed Class

Argh! So I slept in today, after playing "Battle for Wesnoth" yesterday for over 4 hours. I can't believe how addictive a turn-based strategy game can get. >.<

I think it's time for me to get back on track with my life. As if House every night wasn't bad enough. >.<

Friday, June 01, 2007

Woot~ 90.6% for CHEM233 MT2!

Woohoo! It seems all the slogging paid off. After a bad day at work, I come home to see my CHEM233 MT2 marks -- 39/42! What a pleasant surprise.

But as usual, with my nonchalant self, I must learn to control the elatedness and quickly settle back down to go for 100%. ;-) But don't worry, I won't kill myself if I don't get 100%. Goals were never meant to be attained.