Those whom I have met and known in real life would be familiar with the two watches on the right. The Citizen and the Tissot. More Citizen than the Tissot since I have not worn the latter for quite a while already.
The Citizen has been with me for 10 years. I bought it at a City Chain store at Great World City mall in Singapore and was the watch I bought since I first worked on Taobaoland shores.
My worjk required me to deal with both the factories locally and the customers in the US, hence the need to keep track of multiple time zones.
Then business started to take off and we were doing very well in the few subsequent years.
Now that I have a few extra dollars in my pocket, I bought the Tissot in a watch shop in Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong Kong to celebrate the good fortune in 2003.
2006 was the start of the decline as the USD rapidly depreciated against the RMB, making exports increasingly difficult. Then there was the knee-jerked labour laws that when into effect overnight, resulting in scores of factories closing down and leaving the country to cheaper locations e.g. Vietnam.
We followed suit in 2008 as Dad decided to call it a day to his business and career. I hit the ground running, starting work at the new place in Singapore 3 weeks after my return.
All I could say about the new job that it had no future (read: brain dead boring) as far as I could see. So when the project was completed, I left the company to take a proper break.
I enjoyed my break initially waking up to Kopi-O every morning, followed by gym and a leisurely lunch with friends.
However, as the days wore on and the next job nowhere in sight, anxiety sets in as the numbers in the bank book starts to dwindle.
During this time, I noticed the coincidence of the watches I wore with the rise and fall of my fortunes.
Next thing you know, the Tissot is off my wrist and the Citizen back on as I boarded the plane for Taipei on the 5th day of Chinese New Year 2010.
3 days of negotiation and I got the job. I was back in Taobaoland, starting work a week later.
The company here in Taobaoland is a family business with the Alpha-Male, the patriarch of the tribe.
He conducts his meeting as though he is talking to his children and one wrong step means you are going to get a dressing down in front of everybody at the meeting, regardless of your rank/position.
I would like to think that I am holding my end of the fort fairly well but I cannot claim it to be perfect. There are the occasional lapses from time to time and that means getting bombed at the meetings or worse, stepping on invisible landmines and getting yourself blown into pieces.
The above is a Tiffany pen given to me as a gift, a nice upgrade from the black cheapo plastic pen (the clip has broken off and the Marina Mandarin logo faded) that I koped from the hotel back in April 2010.
Again, I noticed that whenever I leave the meeting room in tatters, it was this pen that accompanied me into the meeting earlier.
A switch back to the modest plastic pen and it seemed all subsequent meetings became smooth to the extent of being uneventful.
Then there was this one other time, when I rushed into the meeting, forgetting to leave the silver one behind. No prize for guessing the outcome of THAT meeting.
So the question remains.
Jinx or just pure repeated coincidence?