Monday, June 09, 2008

The Day I Turned 24

Birthdays in Nuffnang is a really special thing.

We have a rule in the company that nobody is allowed to come to work on their birthdays.

Everyone automatically is required to take the day off on their birthday, a day off that is not deducted off any annual leave.

My birthday however was a little different.
I woke up in the morning like any other day and went to office in the morning. It was my birthday and I at least wanted to spend half a day with the people that mattered to me ie all my colleagues at Nuffnang that I see every other day.

I also had a meeting on that day.

Two weeks ago, one of my clients scheduled an important meeting in KLCC that happened to coincide with my birthday.

I was a little cautious the morning I walked into the office on my birthday because I kinda knew that the Nuffnang team was planning something for me.I discovered their plan by accident.

The week before when one of my colleagues were out of the office, I went over to his computer to make sure he sent an e-mail out to a client or not, an e-mail he was supposed to CC me but I didn't get. There I saw an e-mail that said "Boss's Birthday".

I was tempted to open it, but I decided not to spoil it for everyone (including myself), so I left it as it was and didn't tell anyone about it.

But I knew they were planning something (I had intended to keep my birthday quiet but I guess Facebook gave me away).
So in the morning I was on FULL ALERT.

And true enough, the surprise turned up.

One of them asked me a little later in the morning
"Did you see your blog? There's a surprise there for you".

I went in and I saw that my leaderboard ad unit on top of my blog had a little birthday banner on it. I smiled and said "Thank you everyone".

Then I turned on to ask one of my colleagues
"Am I getting paid for this ad?"

Then later on in the morning while I was on the phone with a client, we received a delivery from one of our very nice clients. A string of balloons tied on a basket with a nice card and chocolates.

I was happy. Enough surprises for the day. I thanked everyone, including the people who sent the balloons and I rushed off for my meeting at KLCC next.

The meeting was scheduled for 12.30PM but my client wanted to meet me a little earlier to buy me a birthday lunch at San Francisco Steakhouse there at 11.30AM.

At first I said "No need lar.. not much time left also.. we go Food Court can already".

But my client said
"What?! It's Friday!!! Do you know packed KLCC Food Court is on Friday lunch hour ?"

So fine we went to San Francisco Steakhouse.

As I sat down, she looked at me and said "I have some bad news for you. Apparently the CEO of the company has just decided to cut all advertising on blogs for whatever reason.

This company that my client represented was one of the largest ad spenders in the country and it had taken us the longest time ever to actually rope them in as a client of Nuffnang and now they were telling us that they were cutting all spending on blogs.

I was shocked but still not too worried since Nuffnang fortunately isn't dependent on one big client for its survival.

Probably seeing that I wasn't worried enough, she added more salt on to the wound.
"They've decided that not only are they going to cut all future ad spending on blogs but also cancel all the current campaigns that are running now".

That was when I started to panic. How do I go up to all our bloggers who were supposed to participate in a campaign that is running now and tell them that "Oops.. sorry, client changed their mind".

My mind raced for solutions and at that point, all I wanted to do was get out of that damn lunch and back to the office to do some damage control.
Then suddenly from behind me, I heard a small crowd sing
"Happy Birthday to you.... Happy Birthday to youu...."

See how surprised I was!
I turned behind to see some of my other clients, friends and the Nuffnang team from our KL and Penang office walking towards me with a cake. The first thing I did was turn back to my client and asked

She smiled and said
"No it's just a joke... we just wanted to make you really sad before we surprised you".

For someone who was expecting some sort of surprise, I really really didn't see that coming and I guess it felt so real for me because they managed to get my clients in on the game with them. ISH!!!

Well done guys... a very good surprise.

We had a nice lunch and I took the rest of the day off. I went to The Curve (Duhh.. my favourite hangout place) to watch Kung-Fu Panda and then came back into the city for a dinner I had with a few good friends and clients at Michaelangelo at Pavilion.
It was at that point when I realized that I am indeed the luckiest man in the country.

It's not because I'm part of what is the fastest growing internet and most exciting internet company in the country nor because I love my work... but because many of the people I work with today, be it the bloggers, clients or colleagues... all are the very best of my friends, something that I most certainly can't take advantage of.
After dinner ended that night, I headed off to Poppy to meet some other friends to dance the night away, waking up the next day to have another small dinner with Kenny Sia and Ringo who had just gotten back from Bali.

To all my dear friends... from those who were there to celebrate with me to those who were kind enough to leave me wishes online or via SMS, thank you for being such a wonderful part of my life.

And finally to Kenny, Ringo and PinkPau who had planned another small surprise for me the day after, thank you.
I am now 24 years old.

See? They even got me a behloon for my birthday.


§pinzer said...

Happy belated birthday Mr. Tiah, sorry I couldn't make it, was travelling in between flights, literally!

you're the man yeah.. let's go places together. though hor, i have to say this... I DUN LIKE UR HAIRCUT LA!

yes, mohawk sucks on u :P

[fong88] said...

happy belated birthday!!!!u look so cute in the last pic with the balloon..haha..

JuLJuL said...

Haha. Happy belated birthday! May all your wishes come true. I like the behloon too. =)

nyx said...

i beg to differ from tocktock. i think your haircut is mighty cute... tee hee!

Boss Stewie said...

spinzer: lol! recommendation from my hair stylist.. saying that it makes me look younger to compensate for my recent one year aging


jul: yay! i like behloon

nyx: hahahaha

synical: really? haha

cheesie said...

wtf. i look like i've got bunny ears.

KY said...

yea cheesie you have 2 horns on your head, stewie only got one horn in his balloon pic.

Pwinncess said...

Happy belated Bday! :)

Boss Stewie said...

cheesie: haha no u look pretty

ky: hahaha!

pwincess: thank u :P

michelleho said...

Not only Facebook, PacMee also announced to ALL your followers that it's your birthday!
GLAD you had a nice nice birthday! What is life without family and friends, huh? Hehe...

Caneeliea said...

Happy happy belated bday Tim! Only 24! So young still! hehe..

Unknown said...

A belated happy birthday to u... was busy celebrating my mum;s bday.. ahhaha.. on the same day.. well.. i din knw it was your bday as well

meow said...

happy belated birthday! ur hair style looks cute, haha...

yapthomas said...

NICE!! :)

Kay said...

hahahaha!! Boss Stewie looks so cute with his new behloon! hopefully nobody pops it!!

michelle said...

happy belated birthday..

Christine said...

Glad to know that u had a great time on ur birthday.. :)

Boss Stewie said...

aww thank you for the belated wishes guys :P

Jeffro said...

HAPPY BEEEE-L8ted Behday!
so many behday meals..
Gosh.. Wish I could have that many to eat!

Ohkulala said...

i'm a lil late but happy belated birthday!!

Unknown said...

hahaha yea Happy birthday. Hmm.. It really rocks to be Tim Tiah ho.

§oŁЇtǺ®ÿ ®o§ě said...

I love behloons too!! xD

anyway...Happy belated birthday stewie!! wtf! you only 24?!! oo damn!! xD

Jason Lioh said...

The last picture, its like a kindergarten child, holding a balloon, with a big school bag, waiting to go to school. LOL.

Happy birthday boss!

1 year older, 1 year wiser and 1 year richer. :P

peggy said...

happy belated 24th boss!

nice to see you all smiley like a kid with behloon :)

RealGunners said...

Belated Happy Birthday boss =)

Poor thing, I'm sure u don't get even April Fools pranks that's more cruel than this..

immi said...

big boy lor! :D

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday sir!

Rachying said...

Happy Be-be-belated Birthday to You! Anything/ Whatever! =)

Twinkle said...

HAPPY biRTHDAY to u Boss! Many happy returns to you and all nuffies.

- m i c h e l l e - said...

I want behloon also!

ladybird said...

Happy belated birthday Boss!

Genova said...

happy birthday boss...

Anonymous said...

I was staying up the whole night following the live blogcast on Apple's WWDC 2008 Conference in San Fransisco from 1am this morning online.

I browsed the last 4 months of your blog though. I must say sex sells like hot cake.

Happy Birthday Timothy.

Peanut Butter Jelly

Patricia said...

haha! behloon! pink one samo.. happy belated bday..

Mrs Chong said...

happy belated birthday...u really look a bit funny with that behloon la..wait a minute..make that A LOT!!! Like a small kid holding behloon. Can't believe u actually loves behloons lor

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday boss!! i kinda thought you were older XP BUT, all is well.=) The behloon rocks man! looks damn funny on you haha. anyway happy birthday again!

ku E said...

happy belated birthday timothy! aww... still very young...

p/s still remember me? ;)

apap said...

haha! TIMOTHY,i m one day younger than u. FYI,i got a fren who has d same day,same month,same year,same english name like me! LOL~what a coincident.

dweam said...

happy birthday boss stewie all the way from Singapore from Miss Chipster. haha.

glad you had a great one! =)

joshuaongys said...

last picture best!

Simon Seow said...

Boss, I want a happy birthday leaderboard ad on my birthday too.