On the Frontlines

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It’s been a while since I’ve set goals and eventually obtain them, but once I do I can’t seem to stop!

Today just want to share my experience in the past 3 months in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. I just got my PvP rank up to 38 and finally got to wear the piece of gear I’ve always wanted! I know, I’m taking a game quite seriously but in fact I’ve learned a lot of things about myself, and how to deal with people. Sounds ridiculous even to me, but the fact is real people do hide behind their character and do all sorts of things because they’re still protected by anonymity part of character creations in MMORPGs. I know I do :)

So in the past few months I’ve done over 270 Frontline runs, and have 95 wins so far. Frontlines is a 72-player PvP battlefield where 3 teams of 24 fight each other over territories in order to accumulate points. First team to 1600 points win.

My observations:

1. Always greet your team mates! – I noticed that when you just say hi to the team, the morale just goes up! It also makes discussing tactics a lot less awkward for me. I didn’t wanna be one of those who only speaks up when sh*ts going down or when we start pointing fingers. Also if you’re the first one to speak up, they’re more likely to be open to your opinions because you were nice from the start.

2. Everyone needs to be on the same page – Simply saying to the group ‘THIS is how it’s going to be done’ isn’t going to cut it. You’re being put into a battlefield with 23 other allies you don’t know, and probably don’t give a hoot’s ass about winning. What I tend to do is ask ‘So what’s the plan?’ and get as many ideas as we can. We discuss roles, establish ground rules and begin the game without having to guess what to do. Also if you have no tactics, go with the team. Don’t go off by yourself.

3. Don’t insult people – If you want to be heard, or you need someone to pick up their game, they’re not going to listen to the string of curses you’re throwing at them. Often when I ask someone to do something nicely, people listen, and it goes well. It’s the simple manners that people tend to forget in the heat of battle. People will also remember you by your actions and may lose any respect they have for you, so keep that in mind.

4. Getting irrationally angry, but still maintain good sportsmanship – This happens to me a lot. Sometimes I get killed, and my opponent starts tea-bagging me. After I re-spawn I would either move onto another area… or hunt them down and kill them, but NOT teabag them afterwards. It’s just plain rude. Them being a jackass is no reason for you to stoop down to their level.

5. Congratulate your team on the win! - Chances are they’ll be in such a good mood they’ll re-queue back in and you’re likely to win again! Don’t let your team effort go unnoticed!

6. Never give up! Don’t lose hope when you’re 200 points behind. We managed to go from the bottom and come out as winners just from getting our act together. But if you’re 500 points behind… well too bad, game over. Don’t take it to heart, and don’t lash out on your team mates. There’s always a next time!

7. Be a team player, don’t run off and try to be the hero – Because if you run off by yourself, most likely a swarm of enemies will be after your ass and your team won’t be around to cover you.

8. Be understanding of healers – I levelled my healer and tried her out in Frontlines… gosh it was hard. I realized how to work with healers as a damage dealer afterwards. I felt bad every time I ran out of their heal range and they couldn’t heal me in time, or when we couldn’t protect the healer. So don’t give your healer crap when you don’t get heals – they’re doing the hardest job keeping people alive. Think of how you can make their job easier.

9. When you start to notice a losing streak happening, stop! – It’s time to take a break! The new kids are now out and about and they probably will suck the fun out of the game for you. I noticed that the team tends to lose when I begin to see more and more unfamiliar faces. Also the other teams are too tired of you winning, and have probably gotten their act together to gang up on you. :3

10. Make friends and have fun! – It makes it so much easier when you get to know people and have fun fighting alongside them… or even against them! Making friends on other servers and other teams helps me with maintaining an ongoing interest and motivation to achieve my rank.

That’s it for tonight! Hope this will come useful to me in the future :)

Catherine.

So I Quit My Job…

I was officially there for 1 year and 2 days.

And I was expecting this wave of relief to overcome me.

But it didn’t happen! Instead I dived straight into research and planning what’s going to happen next in my life.

I didn’t quit out of the blue – quitting has actually been on my mind for a long time. A few of the factors that lead to myself acting upon my decision were:

1. The retail world is full of dumbasses.

I’m serious. I worked under someone who does not how to do simple maths, lacked common sense, inefficient – everything you DON’T look for in a job posting. They claimed to have had 20 years of retail experience – doing what exactly? I was told that I work heaps better and I’ve only been in retail for one year. Fun fact: while I had to work my ass off for a secure place in the roster amongst nearly 40 people [team got cut down to 5 people from 40], they secured a salary through bullshitting an interview. I had to get out of there before I turned into a total idiot.

2. My boyfriend’s manager was worried about my design career.

Quite sad that it took someone else’s manager to tell me that I need to put more time and effort into sorting myself out and finding out what I really wanted to do. He could tell from a glance that I hated retail when I told him what I was doing. A lot of his advice stuck with me from that single encounter. He said, and I paraphrase, “If you’re not stressing over something when you get home and have the time to play games, watch movies, something’s not right.” I guess it really hit home… but I still do love my gaming time.

3. When my area manager said I was “just mucking around”.

I had a lovely chat with my area manager and he asked me if I was studying. I said no, I graduated a while back. He asked if I was working elsewhere. I said no. He said “So you’re just mucking around then?”. I wanted to throw whatever was in my hand at him. But it really hit me how true it was. How long was I gonna float around for? FYI, he resigned two months before I did.

4. When I designed a logo for a friend’s online baby clothing store.

Whilst I was still employed, I whipped up a character for a friend to use as his logo. It was the most fun I had in a while doing something design related. I didn’t even want them to pay me for it, I just had lots of fun with it. And it got me thinking… this is something I’m willing to do for free… whilst my job requires the idea of a weekly payslip to drag me out of bed for work. Hmm…

5. The amount of time I spent complaining about work.

Well this relates to point #1 up there but yeah, I did find most of my free time was dreading and complaining about work with my colleagues and my boyfriend. My work-life balance was whacked up because there was that much to be stressed out about. Although being able to vent it out was good and relieved a lot of pressure, it started to become an recurring cycle.

6. Stocktake in fast moving consumer goods retail sucks. BALLS.

Period. Never going through that again.

7. Potential business opportunity.

I had a random chat with my brother and he had a business idea which coincided with mine. It was something I wanted to do but had little confidence to achieve it on my own. Maybe it’ll work out this time, with his support. AND no, it’s not anything dodgy like pyramid schemes. It’s still design related :).

That’s it for the massive spontaneous update on where I’m headed in life. I’m glad I was able to leave on relatively good terms with management so I’m left with no regrets.

Thanks for reading!

Catherine.

Silent Screams

Prior to writing this entry I was curled up under two blankets trying to escape reality. It’s been a year since I have been working as a retail assistant and I think I’ve just about had enough of it. 

Staying at this job goes against everything I stand for – I never wanted a job to feel like a job. I wanted a job that I would enjoy doing even if I didn’t get paid to do it. When I first started out, it was like a dream come true. I worked with an awesome group of people and made friends – friends who understood me within 2 months unlike others who still can’t connect with me after years. I used to come into work 1-2 hours early, just to hang out. I stayed back at work for 2-4 hours, just to help out. I didn’t mind that I didn’t get paid for those extra hours. I worked 40 hour weeks without anything to bitch and whine about. Instead of being tired, I was always full of energy, and I loved my life.

But that happiness was short lived. Everyone I cared about here began to leave one by one for greener pastures. I had to report to a person who I didn’t believe in nor inspire me one bit. I could not work under a person who could not work in a team, dictates rather than leads, does not follow up on their own work, steals credit, and is an emotional wreck. 

12 months later

I’m questioning my values. Why am I making myself stay here. My workplace relationships are damaged beyond repair, I don’t intend to move up into higher positions here, am I just gonna be one of those people who work for money and disregard their morals?

I feel myself sinking lower and lower into the ground each passing day. I sit in my car dreading the final minutes before each shift, preparing myself for the worst. This is a sign that I should quit, right? I think of quitting all the time but what is holding me back?

I love what I do here. I loved the beginning where everything was so perfect, with the perfect team and all. Maybe there’s a part of me that clings on to the thought that one day, if I wait it out, things will be all right again… even though I know they won’t be. 

I’ve tried changing, I’ve tried fixing things, but everything just repeats itself. It’s a vicious, endless cycle. 

What if…

I’m left thinking about what could have been. What if I wasn’t accepted in the first place? Would I have done that internship in Canberra? Would I have started my own online store? Whatever it was I would have been doing… would I be happier than now?

All I know for sure is that anything is better than this.

Rain

I found a collection of creative writing that I did in year 10 (8 years ago). A lot of writing I did back then was generally about going through the teenage stages of life, but amongst them were… what I consider now to be the masterpieces of my younger years. My writing has come back to re-inspire me and show me the way back to being self confident about my work, when there were no wrong answers. Enjoy :).

—————-

Wednesday 6th September 2006

Rain

I am the rain that falls onto the trees
To give them life
Just sun will not suffice

I am the rain that falls into the rivers
For the fish to swim
Or for people to use as a bin

I am the rain collected in tanks
So people can drink
Or to rinse in the sink

I am the rain that falls in the reservoir
Taken to houses when plenty
No use to anyone if empty

I am the rain that runs through taps
With a purposeful use
Or just for waste and abuse

I am the rain that falls on the ground
In puddles is where I can be found
Before I make my way back to the clouds

I am the rain that connects the earth to the sky
Eternally separated as the years drift by
With lingering hope, I wish for this:
To bring the people’s hearts together
That peace and calm will remain forever

Catherine Nguyen
10 Catherine

Brand New Map

I found a collection of creative writing that I did in year 10 (8 years ago). A lot of writing I did back then was generally about going through the teenage stages of life, but amongst them were… what I consider now to be the masterpieces of my younger years. My writing has come back to re-inspire me and show me the way back to being self confident about my work, when there were no wrong answers. Enjoy :).

—————-

Wednesday 28th August 2006

Brand New Map

I want to make something out of my life,
So I’ll start with ending all strife.
I’ll draw a map out of the air,
Including things to make the world fair.

A left turn to achieve my dreams,
Walking east to start new means.
Running west to make amendments,
Looking up to count all my achievements.

One look to the back for desert ranges,
Look to the front for future changes.
Two steps forward for motivation,
A thousand steps come to revelation.

A stop to rethink priorities,
What comes first, what comes in the twenties.
A pause to get through obstacles,
Things in life can get a little bit subtle.

Show what I’m made of at checkpoints,
To let them know that I’m not spoilt.
I’ll fight to construct my creations,
Nothing will get in the way of my intuition.

It’s never too late to start,
Your life is made of what you carve.
Through roundabouts and winding roads,
A heart and mind stays true and bold.

I’ll be on my way.

Catherine Nguyen
Class: 10 Catherine

BACK-ON – wimp ft. Lil’ Fang (from FAKY)

tsuyogari no uragawa ni yowasa wo kakushiteta
nigenai yo kore kara wa… mou ichido ano sora e!!

tsukuri agetemo kowashite mata tsukutte
nanbyaku kai mo again and again!
demo makeru itami ni nare sugiteta
mitomeraretakute karamawatte
tsuyogari miseta tokoro de
sore ja jibun ga munashiku naru dake ja nai?

uh ikou ka! it’s time to wake up!
me wo samashina! tsuyosa wa meikaku
forget the fear and doubt you gotta burn it up
ichi ka bachi ka sa! asu mo futashika
sadame nante kowase fight for yourself!
me wo sorasuna fly again!

‘tsuyoku naritai!’ to negau koto de
furueteta hane wa yami wo kirisaiteku
kimi ga iru kara mou kowakunai yo
sono te nigitte mou ichido ano sora e!

dareka no tame ni nante 1mm [ichimiri] datte
ugoita kotosura nakatta
demo ima wa kinou made no boku ja nainda
tatakatteru bokura wo tatakawanai
hitotachi wa warau kedo
sore ja imamade to 1mm [ichimiri] mo kawaranain ja nai?

Are you ready for the battle to the next stage! te wo nobashite
tsukamitoru no sa chikara wo everyday!
Up side down! joushiki nante blast out!!
dare mo ouitsukenai spiido de right now!
nando datte toberu with the follow wind
me wo sorasuna fly again!

‘yowasa datte kimi no tsuyosa’ to
oshiete kureta kara boku wa mata tachiagareta
kimi no tame nara donna itami mo
koete koko kara mou ichido ano sora e!

tada no way! nante hakisuteta toko de
sore de okay! nante sekai ja nakute soredemo

‘tsuyoku naritai!’ to negau koto de
furueteta hane wa yami wo kirisaiteku
kimi ga iru kara mou kowakunai yo
sono te nigitte

‘yowasa datte kimi no tsuyosa’ to
oshiete kureta kara boku wa mata tachiagareta
kimi no tame nara donna itami mo
koete koko kara mou ichido ano sora e!

[Lyrics] EXILE TAKAHIRO – Love Story

hitotsu tsutaetai kotoba wo mune ni daite
kyou mo mada onaji michi aruku

sora ni kiseki wo motomete miagete mo
dokoka de mita kumo ga saegitteita

mabushii kaze ni kono mayoi mo
fukitobaseta nara

ima todoketai yo kono yume to
seiippai no ai wo tsumekonda kara

saa tobira wo akete
futari no mirai wo mitsukeyou
kowagaru koto wa nai no sa

toki ni kirei na hitomi no oku ni aru
hi no hikari ga todokanai basho

maru de fuyu no owari sae mo kizukenai hodo
kajikande furueru hana no you ni

ryoute de yasashiku atatamete
sakasetai kara

mou matasenai yo kimi dake ni
kono okurimono wo uketotte yo

sou me no mae ni aru
futari no ai wo hibikaseyou
tokubetsu na MERODII wo

koko kara hajimaru STOORII wo
terashi tsuzuke you

ima todoketai yo kono yume to
seiippai no ai wo tsumekonda kara

sou me no mae ni aru
futari no ai wo hibikaseyou
tokubetsu na MERODII wo

You were meant for me…