Lavina, our petite founder who runs on Energiser batteries, probably thinks sleeping is for the dead. She is fanatical about all things Snoopy and fountain pens. Lavina has a habit of laughing before her jokes are even told, but since we love her to bits, we just laugh with her anyway. The truth is, most of the time, we are actually laughing AT her (but don’t tell her that). A word of caution though, if she starts talking about books, you’d better run. Otherwise, before you know it, you will have to read one of her recommended books and submit a book review. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
MEEP MEEP. This roadrunner runs so often and for such long distances each time, we suspect she isn’t human. Known affectionately in the office as Mama Grace, Grace is the unassuming and level-headed chief editor with her masterful English. She doesn’t agree, but we think she is pretty bilingual as well. We wonder where the food she eats goes to because she is constantly hungry. If there’s one thing she’s obsessed about, it is wet weather plans. So, if you have a proposal for her, make sure you always have a Plan B (or C, D… ) in tow!
Shirley is our Super Administrator. Possibly the most task-oriented person you will ever meet in your life, her obsession with task completion can be exasperating if you are a procrastinator like us. She will hound you for assignments that are not yet due for months after, leaving you to wonder if you live in a different time zone! We secretly suspect that she lives in the North Pole, and that she’s actually Santa Claus’ wife. For with her bizarre love for the cold, as well as her generosity with presents big and small, she sure makes every day seem like Christmas!
Ummairah Bte Mahmood
As a percussionist, Ummi always gets us to move to the beat of her drumming with ease. Besides, you should see her amazing dance moves! You would never guess that this mother of four’s best move is the body wave. This hip mama loves pop music – so if you croon any tune from Backstreet Boys or Bruno Mars, she may say yes to anything you ask for. Our pretty mama is always game for challenges and makes her presence known to all with her loud and contagious laughter. Looking at the amount of chilli she consumes, she will soon be promoted to a HOT mama.
We can all probably blame Taiyang for Singapore’s hot weather. Her name – which literally means ‘the sun’ in Mandarin, reflects her sunny and cheery personality well. She has a smile as bright as a diamond, and an energy so contagious you never know what hit you. If that’s not enough to justify the high temperature in our sunny island, Taiyang is a huge fan of Mala Xiang Guo. We don’t know how someone can take that much spice, but she can have it for 3 meals daily!
Mak Yin Yong
Yin Yong is the definition of an over-thinker, but with her heart. Don’t be alarmed when she calls you up one day and overwhelms you with lots of tender loving care just because you chose to go for lunch alone. This animal lover is working towards becoming a vegetarian and her starter pack to a successful transformation includes a $3.50 budget for lunch every day; with compulsory dishes of curry and potatoes. So if you want to find out what you can get with that budget or where you can get the cheapest lunch, you know who to ask.
Shalene’s voice had us all on our knees the moment she opened her mouth to sing. With a soothing voice like Giselle from Enchanted, we are all hoping to receive chirping birds, squeaky mice and helpful roaches from her that could help us with the office’s cleanliness one day. Our gentle princess loves all things with wild flowers – on dresses, bags, you name it. She’s just sweet that way. However, you might not want to mess with her in the morning before she has her cup of milk tea, or when she’s undergoing food coma. Disney Princesses can have bad days too…
Pat Yuan Teng
Have you seen Yuan Teng’s unbelievably neat handwriting? It looks like a copy straight off the typewriter. Yuan Teng makes it her lifelong mission to get us to climb the stairs and dance Zumba with her whenever an opportunity arises. Though she eats like a mouse, she will eat anything as long as there is peanut butter and chocolate on it. However, please, please, stay away from her if you see her holding onto a camera, for she will not hesitate to take unglamorous shots of you and make you the subject of her memes!
If you ever thought mobile and computer games were only for guys or teens, Abigail will be the first to prove you wrong. Underneath her cheery façade, this mother-of-three is an expert in the game ‘Plants vs Zombies’! In fact, she is so addicted to it that she has even stitched a walnut toy to encourage her boys to get past all the levels! Agreeable and easy-going, Abigail always has a smile on her face and her positive vibes make our day just like that. Abigail is popular not just with adults, but also amongst children and would always be seen drowning in their hugs and kisses.
We suspect Irene has one of those mystical and legendary elixirs that can preserve one’s looks. How is it that a mother of three schooling kids can look as well-groomed as she does on a daily basis? She always looks dressed for town. Our hearts go out to you if you ever felt insecure going shopping with her. Trust us, we feel the same way, for this lady can fit into anything and everything with such effortless ease while we try to squeeze (unsuccessfully) into the same outfit. Talk about the world being unfair!
If Ratatouille had a sister, it would be Jess. But… in a slightly different way. This artistic, quiet lady owns ten dancing fingers that just can’t stop! She can turn scrap paper and art materials into beautiful paintings and cards; fabrics into bags, cuddly bears and puppets of all sorts; and even an old tie into a snake. This dedicated mother-of-two travels around Singapore so much ferrying her children around. With HPB rewarding us for walking 10,000 steps a day, maybe LTA should also award drivers for the miles clocked; we’re quite certain Jess would win that award! Fanatical about all memorabilia related to the Little Prince, she can probably open a museum with them someday.
They say the strongest person tends to tear the most. Cindy would be that superhero – she cries when she wins an award and when she watches her favourite Korean movies. She even cries while watching her graduating students perform on stage. Cindy loves experimenting with cool dishes for her two lovely children – she can whip up an interesting bento or an Instagram-worthy meatball spaghetti in half-an-hour! Cindy is one of the most fun-loving and good-tempered educators – her patience and good nature is seriously unrivalled, and we really wonder if ‘temper’ is even in her dictionary.
If you’re a victim of awkward situations, then you HAVE to bring Elizabeth with you. This extrovert will kill all the awkward silences, so much so that you wished she had a stop button somewhere. We suspect her head is filled with Google answers on “Things to talk about in different situations”. We will never understand how somebody can have endless things to talk about, even to cab drivers whom she hardly knows! But nonetheless, we appreciate having this friendly and bubbly girl who will always help us break the ice. We’re not too sure if she’s up for rent, especially when it’s the Lunar New Year season. But she’ll definitely be the best rental girlfriend you could have asked for!
Never judge a book by its cover – Megan is testimony to this statement. Looking at her tiny self and how soft-spoken she is, you would have never guessed that she owns an extremely powerful singing voice that can reach amazingly high notes. Who would have thought, as well, that her little legs would allow her to run a full marathon every now and then and hike up the highest mountain? So, before you label her as Thumbelina, do not be alarmed when she unleashes her superpowers!
Chong Wai San
If you have not tried Wai San’s Gula Melaka cake, you have not lived! Soft spoken and a little shy, she expresses herself best behind pots and pans. Throw her some ingredients and she can whip up a 9-course meal, with desserts included! And if you get the luxury to pick the menu, make sure you’re aware of this – she makes a mean sambal for noodles, rice and stir-fry! We are always ‘hinting’ to her via her Facebook posts on how yummy her food looks, in the hope that she will invite us the next time she cooks ANYTHING!
Nobody would have guessed that this demure lady is actually a percussionist and a mother of three. Besides jamming to anything she can lay her hands on, Jenny also loves a good book, or simply stoning with a cup of coffee. If you are thinking of a quiet company, Jenny is probably the person to hang out with. Her calm and unassuming demeanor can lead you to an easy chat or comfortable silence. However, be careful not to pique her interest, for her curiosity is endless. Her questions drive us crazy sometimes but we love her anyway.