A project lead’s life is quite misarable. This professional normally lives out in a pressure cooker. Add the occasional occupational hazards and you have the right decoction of depression and agression. Suddenly one day Steve my boss with whom I had a love hate relationship buzzed me on the pager. Hello Steve, what can I do for you?
Steve said something like “get to office tomorrow early by 7.30AM, you and Yew Ju will go to Tanjong Pagar, from there a motor boat will take you to one of the ExxON islands. Do a feasibility study of their PDP9 system there. We need to submit an estimate to their tender this week before our chairman goes to HongKong for business”. I blinked and said OK. Steve added, dont take any personal belongings there. This is a special boat for you and will get you back to mainland by 4.30PM. Dont take any personal items including your pager.
Wow. This sounded like a 007 type of assignment. Myself and Yew Ju alone on the island on business!!
Yew Ju was our sales lady. She was responsible for the product sales and services. She allways had a smile on face while we matched with a scorn of equal strength.
She had just graduated from Australia and into her 2nd Job with our company. Thinking of those beautifull tea smoged brown toothed smile of her, thanking Steve, I set my alarm clock to 6AM, went to bed.
The shrill phone woke me at 5.56 AM, keeping my eyes closed – lest I loose sleep, I mumbled a deep hello. Mohen how are you? Did steve tell you the info. ooh it was the sales pitch Yew Ju.
Without knowing wheter to thank or curse my luck, confirmed that I would be in office on time. Just grabbing a pair of sandwitches and one big glass of water, ran to my office.
At reception she was there, chit chatting with dolly our chatter box recptionist. Since she was of indian origin, I would cooly pull her leg. She being slightly older, allways took it in right spirit.
Welcome Mr mohen said dolly. What luck. I hear you both are going out on a date. All I needed was her encouraging words lest my team suspect one plus one and broadcast my marriage plans and as fate would have it, Yew Ju was on the wrong side of twentees just like me.
Mouthing some nicities, I just took my official looking book and pen and told Yew, I will see you at carpark. The ride from office to tanjong pagar pier was about 30 minutes and I just got some stuff on this Exxon guys. Exxon was one of the leading gas drillers and suppliers in Asia Pacific region. They had some workman at drilling site – the island and a PDP7 mini system which captured their attendence details. Only one ferry went to that island and returned. For security no body was allowed. We were to do system study for the replacement of the aged PDP 9 with a new client server architecture.
The early morning breeze, followed by the slow sweet talking of Yew Ju nearly put me to sleep. Here we are she announced. We parked the car, got into the security office and after leaving our personal belongings boarded the waiting power boat.
It was a 45 minute drive for the power boat from Singapore main land to Exxon’s Island. Just seeing the vast sea made me forget the thumpping 650 HP diesel engine. Every time I am in front of nature like sea or sky, I just get lost and wonder what a small speck of a human being am. Also having been brought up in Bangalore and never seen sea’s except in Rajkumar, MGR movies, these kind of trips made me have tears in eyes.
The loud blaring of the yatchs horn sounded the end of my day dreaming. We got out carefully and it requires skill and patience to execute the jump from the bobbing yatch to the private pier ( collection of some odd tyes and old wood).
Me jumping out was easy by Yew Ju was panicking seeing that she was wearing a mini skirt and more worried about the new dress tearing than getting a full mouth of salt water.
I had to hold Yew Ju’s hands and with a spare tyre rammed in between the pier and bobbing piece of boat, she jumped literally into my arms! She was thankfull while I was apolegtic as the brand of scent she wore nearly made me vomit my only piece of food for that day. Little did I know that would be the only one for the day too.
We went on a factory tour, seeing huge machinary which drilled, made noise and produced crude. Mr Chan was incharge of the shift. He showed us the system and some reports. I made my dutiful notes, keeping an eye on Ju who would go “shoo shweet” when she looked at a pussy cat or a wild poison orchid. The last thing I wanted on my hand was a missing Ju along with our schedule dead lines.
It was just 30 minutes past 1 O Clock and I had finshed my assessment and estimation. The chan fellow had gone out 10 minutes back for a smoke and came back to escort us to lunch.
Mohen! rang the shrill voice of Ju. Since she was a singaporean, she spoke all the english words in the same way. Only my trained ears based on tone modulation could understand what lie between those words. This sounded like she was in trouble!!
I Just ran out at the high speed outside the shift managers office.
… to be concluded.