End of the journey

Yesterday was my last day at Quadmark. It has been 4 months since I’ve started work there, and my contract has finally ended. There were times which I enjoyed the company of my colleagues, but there were also times that I thought of quitting.

I’m very thankful to have a chance to work at Quadmark. Kevin’s a really good boss. I would say that he’s one of my role models… if I ever become a leader in the future, I want to be a boss like Kevin. I remember the first time I went to Quadmark for an interview, I was quite skeptical about the company because it was located at an old building – Maxwell House. The moment I stepped into the office, there was music playing and I was like “oh wow that’s cool”…. and the place was really bright and modern looking, with a navy blue and bright orange contrasting colour scheme. There were also paintings hung on the wall, making the office look very cosy and friendly and artsy – for an art-lover like me, I just felt that this was THE place that I should work at. At that time, I remember comparing Quadmark with Google, it really felt like a miniature version of the Google headquarters case study I learnt in IO Psychology.

Apart from the modern and chic-looking interior design, one thing that I loved about Quadmark was the PANTRY!!!!!! (yes I’m a glutton) The pantry was always stocked up with CHOCOLATESSSSSSS – something that is uncommon in my house because my family members don’t fancy chocolates. I always felt like Charlie in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory whenever I’m at the pantry area, which was always filled with Snickers, Mars bars, Chips More chocolate chip cookies, and Tim Tams.

Besides that, there were also boxes of breakfast cereals and all sorts of hot beverages for the staffs. I mean, where do you find a company which takes care of your breakfasts?? And there were cartons of fresh milk in the fridge which you could pour into the cereals… simply amazing. You would take this for granted, but the pantry at SOTA (School of The Arts) had only biscuits (those that came in tins and are often used during food rationing exercises during total defence day) and Milo… I was expecting more since the school seemed quite rich… but at that time I was already satisfied to have my share of hot Milo. Here in Quadmark, I could have freshly brewed coffee from the coffee machine, or whatever instant coffee available, Milo, milk, or lipton tea or Japanese green tea. Totally spoilt for choice. The other places I’ve worked previously did not even have a pantry.

Although I only spent 4 months at Quadmark, it felt like I’ve been through a lot with my colleagues? I guess it was because of the Summer Party… that was really memorable. It was my first themed party ever and being part of the organising committee, I learned a lot about how to plan a party and I was glad that it turned out to be pretty successful. It also allowed me to become closer to my fellow colleagues.

My team went out for a farewell lunch with me and we ate at Salta Parrilla – an Argentinean restaurant located at Icon Village. It was my first fine-dining experience (I had lots of ‘firsts’ at QM!) but it was a pleasant one. However I felt that the food was not as nice as I expected it to be, considering that it totalled up to about $50 per person (paid by the boss!) or maybe it’s just that “I have cheap tastebuds” (the common expression used by koreans).

We had a complimentary side dish – bread with some kind of vinegar and olive oil. Not a fan of the olive oil + vinegar dip, it smelled like paint thinner to me. And the bread was just… bread.. LOL. I had lobster bisque for starters. The first few sips of the cream soup was good and refreshing – I’ve never had lobster (anything) before, so this “lobster soup” was a new tasting experience for me. But I felt that the portion was too big, by the time I had half a bowl of the soup, I was sick from the slight fishy-ness of the lobster.

I ordered grilled chicken with asparagus as my main course. Three pieces of grilled chicken were stacked up on some mashed potatoes. The grilled chicken was crispy on the outside but I don’t really like eating chicken skin, so I peeled some of them off. The chicken meat tasted a bit bland and tough, so I would suggest eating it with the mashed potato and gravy.

As for dessert, I chose something citrusy, instead of the other option which is Bailey’s custard + Icecream. My dessert was like sorbet + fruit jelly + some citrus puree at the bottom. I LOVE THE SORBET because it was so sour. My colleagues couldn’t take the sourness of the sorbet but I was enjoying every scoop of it. Best sorbet ever. The fruit jelly was like the usual  type of koniyaku jelly my mom makes but filled with loads of strawberries. And the citrus puree was just sweet. It tasted a little like blended orange pulps but it wasn’t tangy so I wasn’t sure what it was exactly.

Overall, the dining experience at Salta Parrilla was an enjoyable one, although I had problems using the fork and knife to cut up my grilled chicken. The waitress who served us was also very polite and answered to all our random questions like “Are you Filipino?”, “What kind of grapes are used to make the wine?” etc. Food-wise, it was so-so for me, but my colleagues enjoyed their steaks. The portion of food was also pretty huge, we got really full after finishing the 3-course meal.

In the evening, before I left the office, my colleagues gave me a farewell gift, which was an A4 box “bandaged” up with masking tape. I opened the gift at home, thinking that it will be just a prank due to the horrible (LOL) wrapping skills… The first layer was masking tape, followed by the A4 box, followed by the wrapper that wraps up A4 paper, and then layers of newspaper…. Finally I got down to the actual present, which was a photobook and an envelope. Okay, here goes the story. Remember I talked about the Hippie-themed Summer Party we had? My colleagues suggested to the boss to print out 3 copies of photobooks for the photos from the last 3 years of annual summer parties. The boss agreed and so I was tasked to create the photobooks using an online photobook designing software. Eventually when we placed orders for the books, my colleagues told me to order an additional copy of the Hippie photobook for Kim (aka the boss’ wife). At that time I didnt suspect anything at all, albeit feeling a little puzzled as to why the boss’ wife wanted a copy of the book when she didn’t work in the office…

So yesterday I found out that the photobook was for me and that the Kim excuse was just a cover-up. The inside of the photobook was also filled with lovely messages written by my colleagues. I get emotional easily and such messages are things that can make me cry in seconds LOL. In the envelope that came with the photobook was a groupon voucher for a 3-hour art jamming session with a drink. WOWWWWWWW. That sounds so cool even though I have no idea what it means. I guess it’s for me to go there and paint something and immerse myself in that artsy environment for 3 hours. It was really sweet of them to take time to get this gift (both the photobook and voucher) for me, even though I’ve only known them for 4 months. And the fact that they managed to put the gift together without me knowing makes me even more touched… because I always stay in the office… so they probably did it when I was out for like 1 hour or maybe after working hours. I really appreciate their thoughts and efforts! Thank you so much Quadmarkers!

I really love everyone!

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