Sunday, September 16, 2007

This Week in Food...

For the past 2 weekends, I made banana nut bread. It was a huge success. I have mastered every recipe that I have found online. Thereafter, Rob wanted a dish of his own. So, this weekend, he made marble cheesecake!

Look! ... if only he wore an apron.

To complement the udon, we bought pre-made tempura. All we had to do was deep fry it. It was better than I thought it would be.

At last, I made fried banana!! I always eat it whenever it is available in restaurants. Little did I know that it was so easy to make!

Saturday, September 08, 2007


On my second week of work, a guy walked in with a group of friends. He wanted me to open an account for him. Unfortunately, I am not finished with my trainings; so, I would be unable to do so. As a result, I gave him the personal bankers' business cards. However, he insisted that he wanted my number, and that he would wait for me to finish my trainings.

Perhaps, I was naive; I thought he really just wanted me to get the credit for it. However, the matter was not as simple as it appeared. On the next morning, I got a call from him. Apparently, he is a manager from Chase. He wanted to recruit me to his new branch that he will open in Manhattan. He figured that he can benefit from my Chinese language skill.

I told him that I am not a personal banker; instead, I am in the management program. He grew silent, and accepted my rejection.

I did not want to appear to be disloyal. Thereafter, when I told my co-workers, I told them that I wouldn't have considered it for a split second. On the other hand, they were giving me advice as to how to handle the situation. I was told that I should at least figure out how much he was to offer me. Obviously, when you're doing that, you're pulling people with a much higher offer. At the same time, another co-worker advised me that I should consider the location the next time.

Apparently, they were all too familiar with it. I guess, next time, I will ask how much they would offer me - just to cure my curosity. Then again, I am not going to become a personal banker when I'm in a training program to be an Assistant Manager.

Overall, everyone is surprised how quickly I was recruited. Now, I wonder, of all the customers, how many are there just to scout and shop?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

My First Week of Work

My first week of work was rather interesting. My time at work is split into two halves. On one end, I am at the lobby helping out; on the other, I am doing independent study/training.

The highlight of my week was probably the video that I have watched on security/safety measures. It included a list of things I should do in case of robbery, health emergencies, natural disaster, etc. Since it is confidential, I don't think I will disclose the details.

New York is the center for everything. A few years ago, we had the 9/11 terrorist attack. In recent years, NYC has been notorious for blackouts. More recently, there was the steam pipe explosion last month. At last, I have heard 2 incidents last week that banks were robbed in the city. Not to mention that when it rains a little heavily, the subway stops running. So, as you can see, the video was definitely the most important thing I will ever learn for work.

Aside from that, I have gotten to know a bit about everyone at work. Right now, I just want to learn everything so I can start hitting my goals and get my bonuses/commissions.

On a lighter note, I got my name tag. Underneath my full name, it says "I can speak Cantonese" in Chinese. If only it was possible, my manager is probably dying to add "I can speak a little bit of Japanese/Mandarin, too." LOL. However, aside from Spanish, the only other non-English prospects I see are Koreans. Too bad I never tried to learn Korean seriously.

The best part of last week was probably my paycheck and my 3-day weekend. I'm so glad we have Labor Day off. We saw "Halloween," "A Battle of the Wits" (Chinese movie by Andy Lau), "28 Weeks Later," and Japanese drama. We also went to Dave and Buster (the adults' version of Chuck E Cheese) with a group of friends. Moreover, we went to the 3rd or 4th mall/outlet in the past 2 weeks to shop for work clothes/shoes.

At last, my biggest accomplishment yet- After our yummy slice of Banana Nut Bread at Starbucks, we made a whole loaf! It was so yummy and unhealthy. The ingredient included about a cup of sugar, a cup of butter, etc. I have never made something more successful.

Monday, September 03, 2007



That is the percentage of total taxes withheld from my bi-weekly paycheck.

10.7% went to Federal Income Tax (FIT)
1.44% went to Medicare
6.2% went to Social Security
2.52% went to New York State Income Tax
1.68% went to Queens City Income Tax

What did my net pay equal to? Zero, practically.

This isn't even the end of it. I won't qualify for medical benefits until 2 months later. And, by then, I'll probably have my deductibles, too.

Aside from that, it was a pleasant surprise that my paycheck arrived in my mail exactly at the end of my first week of employment. =)