Thursday, April 27, 2006


Online chat is a truly wonderful thing. Brings people together no matter where they are. And when you need to tread on thin ice without really confronting the other person, sometimes chat could be a good mediator of sorts.

I've been asked a couple of times why I don't initiate chats, and thus might have come across as unfriendly, or a little... how shall I put it... unfriendly. Ok, I guess there's no other way of putting it! Well then, hear me out, my friend.

I shall begin with the "it's not you, it's me" line.

Because that is truly the case.

Those who are close to me know that I could yak a lot at the right place, at the right time. But other times I just clamp up like a seashell hiding the soft insides from the world outside. It's nice and quiet. I don't have to make small talk and accidentally disturb someone who might be having a bad day (and perhaps get my head chopped off then). Having said that, I don't mind it if people come and make small talk with me. Ask, and answer. I just don't know how to do the asking on my part. Answering is much easier, yes? Saves my poor brain from having to rack up some ice-breaker questions.

And once you get the ball rolling, chats flow naturally.

Or not, in some cases. Can't be helped there, we just naturally chat well with some people, whilst other conversations die a natural silent death.

We use instant messaging at work very often, where us lazy buggers won't have to get up and physically seek the other person out. The boss occasionally buzzes me if he's working out of office or in another meeting room, to have quick checks on things. This also reduces the number of ringing phones and too many voices in the air. And especially useful for gossiping catching up on the progress of a project while being able to access workfiles on the computer at the same time. (So what's the latest news, boys and girls?)

At rare occasions, I'm the seeker. I sniff out a few preys whom I know wouldn't mind me disrupting their peaceful (or busy) thoughts with a few nonsensical statements or questions. I do have a very, very small select audience whom I disturb on a regular basis, out of habit. Some things you just can't do without, alike a good cuppa in the morning to give you that buzz.

About 99% of the time, my instant messenger sounds are all off. I dislike the drings, knocks and slams that interrupt my music at their most melodious moments, or when I'm concentrating on something and suddenly get the fright of my life with a very loud "dddrrrriiinnnnngggg!!!" from a caller. And for this, I hardly ever monitor who comes on or goes offline, and admittedly quite ignorant about it. I don't even look at my MSN chat list; most of my contacts are on Yahoo. MSN is just slightly better for file transfers, otherwise it's there as a not-so-happening alternative.


Don't feel slighted if I don't seem to be the one to say "howdy" every morning (thanks for the greeting, Simple American!) or asking me if I still have a cough around midday (which I do, Seng Kor). When I have the time to spare, I could be quite talkative (like in the afternoon with karipap boy, Fantasyflier), or type one sentence every 5 minutes when I'm busy (don't get offended ya, Lin Peh?). Girl chats are fun with the cool chics (Kat, Bkworm, Selba, King's Wife, Zara's Mama & JoMel). Oh, and not forgetting about the weekend culinary experiences between sifting flour and trying not to mess up the keyboard (more this weekend, LB?).

Looking forward to tomorrow morning's regular meeps, Jimbo.