A POTATO TO SAVE YOUR DAY

A POTATO TO SAVE YOUR DAY

I remember exciting school days donning my team jersey and representing my school in competitions. On competition day, usually a weekday afternoon, none of us school team members could pay attention to our teachers in class. We’d all be eagerly awaiting only one thing: early release from class, so we could have our pre-match meal before the rest of the school had recess. The excuse was we needed to eat a certain number of hours before the competition to allow for proper digestion to boost performance. In truth, those early meals made us feel special, because in our school-age minds we believed we’d earned the right to them by being selected for the team. Young and cocky we were, then.   Those pre-match meals were unguided, unscientific carbo-loading sessions based on each other’s “good ideas”, consisting bananas (though you could only eat so many), bread, rice, pasta, and potatoes which we could really pig-out on. Occasionally a teammate would go overboard and instead of getting a lasting energy boost, he’d be bloated, sluggish and sometimes throw it all up. Those were the guys the rest of us were careful not to stand close to on the pitch.   It’s funny but somewhat fitting that years on, when I bump into old teammates, those same guys who used to puke potatoes (and whatever else they’d eaten as their pre-match meal) are now not only much larger in girth, they’re still puking although it’s not during the heat of competition, but after a night out partying and drinking. I guess those old buddies are the real athletes, they still have the...
IF YOU LIKE PINA COLADAS (A PINEAPPLE STORY)

IF YOU LIKE PINA COLADAS (A PINEAPPLE STORY)

If you like pina colada… The tune of that smooth song by Rupert Holmes (1979) always puts me in a relaxed, easy-going mood. Listening to that song and thinking of sipping a cool, sweet pina colada, you’ve also got to imagine the correct ambience for it. Afterall, it’s not like a beer which can be gulped down anywhere. No, to really enjoy a pina colada, it’s important for the setting to be right, that’s just the kind of drink it is. Onboard a cruise ship, in the privacy of your suite’s balcony, or with friends on the breezy deck as the sun hangs low in the horizon, something like that perhaps.   It was also on my mind: can a pina colada work without pineapples? The reason I pondered this was because throughout the current cruise season, here at Sofresh we’ve been supplying tons of pineapples to our cruise ship clients. Well, my research informs me that pineapples are a key ingredient in making a perfect pina colada, from the pineapple juice needed to the pineapple wedge on the rim of the glass.   So the answer is no, a pina colada just cannot work without pineapples. And thus our cruise ship clients will keep ordering massive amounts of pineapple from us each season. Or course it’s not all for pina coladas onboard, although I’m sure there’ll be a lot of those served. Pineapples are versatile and can be juiced, added to salads, cooked, made into desserts and so on, all of which to keep the many passengers onboard happily and healthily fed.   And healthy pineapples are indeed....
STOP HEADACHES WITH WATERMELON

STOP HEADACHES WITH WATERMELON

There’s something about Singapore’s weather that gets to me. This isn’t exceptional I know, because Singapore’s weather gets to many people, both Singaporeans and foreigners. After a while, one comes to accept the local weather. Like algae and moss that grow on rooftops, leave it alone long enough and you take for granted it’s just there. You might even start appreciating its beauty and the character it gives the roof when viewed from certain angles. And that’s the thing, it’s about perspective.   And so too with Singapore’s weather. Say what you may about the heat and humidity that can feel oppressive at times, it’s undeniable that the same weather allows for a lot of outdoor activities. With mainly low-to-mid-30 degCel temperatures in the day, most days stay conducive enough for plenty of leisure and sport under the sun.   I once had an enlightening conversation with an avid motorbiker who loved Singapore’s weather… I mean, how could anyone love it, right? Well I was wrong. He told me Singapore is paradise for him, because he could ride his beloved motorbikes almost everyday, all year round. Back in his home country his BMW, Harley-Davidson and classic Kawasaki motorbikes stay parked in his garage for half the year, because the weather just won’t allow any way to ride safely – Perspective!   If you think about it, we do have relatively moderate and user-friendly weather here in Singapore. I know, lots of us Singaporeans like to complain about our weather especially to overseas friends. But many of my overseas friends also like to complain about their home weather, which they...
THE RESOURCE OF HUMAN CAPABILITY

THE RESOURCE OF HUMAN CAPABILITY

I attended an interesting two-day workshop on Human Resource Capability last week (hence no blog post). It was conducted by the Singapore National Employers Federation, or SNEF, and I found it to be enjoyable and of great practical value. So from me, “Well done and thanks, SNEF!” The workshop was insightful in that the course materials and activities, discussions with my fun course mates, inputs from our very experienced trainer, and talking-shop during lunch and tea breaks led me to discover some falsehoods and a truth about HRM.   Human Resource Management is strategic. HRM is so much more than the administrative role it’s often confined to. It’s a function that belongs in the arena of top management, knights of the round table stuff. It’s driven by serious research, multi-approach staff surveys to capture data and identify areas of critical value, charts that project all sorts of numbers vital to building a company’s road map, and myriad rules and principles applying to all kinds of operational and business scenarios.   So, when manpower is often represented to top management as statistics, it’s easy for HR managers and executives to be regarded by colleagues as aloof, devoid of compassion, even inhuman. That’s not only a big falsehood, but a grossly unfair one at that. I once knew a HR manager who found out on a Friday that he had to conduct lay-off interviews the following Monday after a company restructuring exercise. Thing was, only he and his boss knew who were on the list, so it would be a last usual weekend for his unsuspecting soon-to-be-former colleagues. The poor man...