Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Stranger: Hello, is this 01#-### ####?
Stranger: I'm calling from Migrant Marketing (sounds like that). Did you fill up any form in Giant, Tesco or Carrefour in the past few months?
Me: Not that I can remember. Maybe or maybe not, because it's usually in a rush to leave, so maybe I did.
Stranger: Ok, because I received your form here. Your form was chosen to win two prizes, one is a 5 days stay in any hotel within Asia, and a RM350 shopping voucher for oen hypermart in Malaysia. Don't worry, this is not a sales or tele-marketing. We won't ask anything from you, only that you come over to get your voucher and stay for a 45 minutes talk.
Now, I'm familiar with this approach. They will try and convince you to purchase some kind of tourism package, or whatever package during that 45 minutes talk. Some talks are filled with thugs, some are not, but in this situation, you have all the power to request the talk to be held at cafes. Why? If they say that they need to use projector, say that you can just view with them at their laptops because all insurance and unit trust agents nowadays are already doing that. So why not these packages?! Also, right before you say "Ok", you must ask "The talk is only for me alone anytime?", if they say "Yes", later they cannot say "Oh, you must sit in a meeting room because others are joining you." Back to conversation.
Me: This talk, what are the times to attend?
Stranger: You can come anytime and straight away just sit for the 45 minutes talk and then collect your voucher.
Me: Okay, maybe I'll come during the weekend.
Stranger: That's good, ok, we just need a few information from you.
This is the place where the spider sense tingle. Earlier ones I don't mind so much coz I have friends who went for the 45 talk and walk out with voucher, albeit being scolded and pissed by the 'company'.
Me: What kind of information do you need that's not on the form you received?
Stranger: Like your full name?
Me: What name did I put on the form?
Stranger: It's not clear, so we need your full name.
Me: So, the only thing that's clear on the form is my phonenumber?
Me: Ok, please fax the form back to me and I'll write it clearly and fax back to you.
Stranger: It's ok, we can just take it via phone.
I knew then that this company simply call any phonenumber to start the scam, therefore I can easily lie about who I am. They don't even know my name!
Me: I'm a lawyer, so this involves some legality issues. I need the fax.
Stranger: The fax machine is in another department.
Me: That's ok. I'll wait.
Stranger: Ok, we'll fax back to you later in the day. I'll call you back after we fax. Thank you.
Me: How can you know my fax number when only my handphone can be seen clearly?
Stranger: *Hung Up*
Beware of random dialed calls. I think the next time, ask them your name and your address if they claim that you won something.
You can actually see the video just using RealAlternative instead of getting Freeware FL*V Viewer (but up to your taste actually).
Next software to download is the Freeware FL*VExtract (searchable on goo*gle), downloadable at http://www.moitah.net/. Also free since it's Open Source, so no legalities issue to have the software. When you run this software, the window below appears.
You can click what to extract, so since this post talks about extracting MP*3, just tick on Audio, and then drag and drop the file onto the window. Straight away the MP*3 will be extracted into the same folder as the file.
Bear in mind that the MP*3 will be about 1.5MB (compared to a good quality at 5MB). For me, to have it in the phone to listen during leisure moment is good enough. Quality is not a major factor as long as it's listen-able.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
When I was in Sabah, I continued my usual english speaking slang as I do in KL or any other places, but when it comes to speaking malay, I ended up trying (unconsciously) to imitate their slang, in bahasa baku and in their speaking intonation. At the back of my mind, I know they're not pleased with it, but somehow, try as I might, I always swerve back to their intonation. I guess sub-consciously I am trying to speak their way in fear that they might not understand if I am speaking the normal bahasa slang I speak in KL, albeit not much of a KL slang either.
Then I remembered speaking to a chinese national, whom I know he understands english very well, having listened to bombastic English presentation by an Indian professor and an English one. But, due to his slang and inability to conjure proper English words to articulate what he wants to convey, I ended up speaking like a kintergarten kid, choosing the simplest of words and semi-consciously and purposely includes broken grammars.
And then again, when I remembered speaking to some mad sailors, I mean mat sallehs at conventions, seminars and talks, though I don't speak the slang, I tend to also want to use bombastic words according to the words they use in their sentences. There are so many other times that I really find myself emulating the words they use, or the intonation that they speak.
Amazingly, I never stop to take note or realize whether they do the same thing when they're talking to me.
So, psychologically, am I a follower?!? No leadership to control my own personal manner of speaking?!?
Worth a study.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Painting Title: Camera Flash In Snowstorm
Painting Title: The Darkness Of Black
Picture Title: Step Into The Light To Heaven
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
1. Explain the situation
2. Explain how the situation affect me
3. Blame the establishment / system
4. Give guidance to improve situation / Forgive (sarcasm part)
5. End by reminding to improve situation
Most of my parking ticket complaint (whenever the meter is not working) usually contains "Saya memaafkan kelemahan sistem pihak tuan. Dengan itu, saya memulangkan surat saman....." and I will be writing one to
Anyway, below is a cut & paste (censored) of a complaint email that I sent in 2005. The email was replied by the GM of the restaurant, and then the COO of the corporation who owns the chain of outlet. I won't publish that email, but suffice to say that if we exert our rights as customers, we'll get what we want. We are lucky that we manage to get an email that we may print and give to any outlets who might cause problem, or else give him a call.
Dear Mr (censored),
This email is not to seek retribution for our bad experience in (censored), but to suggest that what happened to us does not repeat itself to other patrons. Please place yourself in my shoes while reading the remainder of the email.
(Censored) is our 'place', where my wife and I had our first date. We frequent (censored) at least once a month, and we save every one of our receipts dining at our 'place'. We have our own favourite food, my wife's being (censored).
My wife is now pregnant with our first child, and being pregnant, she would have cravings. Last month, she craved for (censored) and French Fries, so while at (censored) branch, we requested if we could have (censored) with a mixture of tortilla chips and fries. The manager was kind enough to grant our wish, stating that fries is cheaper than chips, therefore it was alright to mix the both, except that we're not allowed to top-up for more chips. We thank (censored) very much for that. We have a receipt to show our mixed order.
Today, 21st March 2005, my wife had the same cravings since noon. I requested an early leave from work to bring her to (censored), however, this time we were told that such a request has never been allowed. We argued stating that we were granted this wish before, but it was not allowed. My wife and I were too distressed with it, that she promptly canceled her order, and I did the same for mine, except that we've drank, therefore had to pay the RM18 for the two drinks.
This is not about the money. Tears shed today is something I will not forget. It hurts us too much. Her cravings were totally destroyed, and had no more appetite to eat. I'm very sorry that (censored) have lost a regular patron, as the hurt cannot heal. I don't mind if this happens at any other times, but not when my wife is pregnant as she is.
I do not blame the manager on duty today, nor the manager on duty the other day. I blame your establishment's system. Please standardise your rules and regulations. If specialised orders are totally out of the question, make it known to all managers that no requests is to be entertained. If all managers are empowered to have their own judgment and decisions, please tell them to state that "I cannot allow such a request during my shift as a manager here. I'm sorry." rather than "We don't do such thing." because I have a black & white proof that there were such thing.
I'm writing this email in hope that no other patrons face the emotional hurt that we faced today, especially in making their loved one, during a sensitive and emotional stage, felt so depressed and hurt. We wished that we were never allowed such a request previously, at least it won't hurt as it did today. We also wished that we're at least given one last chance for such a request.
Good luck in your business.
Monday, February 18, 2008
I'm trying to see how to detail out this post without really revealing my son's name, which will be difficult. Anyway, it doesn't really matter, just as long as I don't spell his name outright, 'google' will not be able to find it.
I knew that one day people will start having problems pronouncing his names. Just yesterday at a CNY Open House, it was difficult for anyone else to pronounce his name properly. So here, for my memory, and everyone's understanding to why his name is that, I'll list out the history of how his name came to be.
Early in the marriage, I'm already told that my wife would like a name that starts with the 'z' sound, but not wanting the name to be listed last in any alphabetical list. Therefore, we decide on a 'dz' beginning. At the same time, we don't want common 'dz' names like 'Dzulkarnain', 'Dzulfikah' or 'Dzulkifli'.
Therefore, instead of finding a 'z' sounding name and adding a 'd' in front, I've decided to find a 'd' sounding name, and put a 'z' sound at the front. So, names like Daniel, Darren would sound like Zaniel, Zarren, however they sound too awkward. I went through a whole list of 'd' names and settled on the name my son now have.
I am totally aware that without adding the 'z', it totally coincides with the name of the boy in Omen 1,2 and 3. In fact, when I first thought through the list, that name really came from the movie. However, it's just a movie, and just too unlucky that they decided to name the son of Satan with that name. At least I didn't name my son Lucifer.
Anyway, so that's how we arrived to his name. His second name is consciously picked out from arabic two-syllable words. We just changed the spelling to place another 'z' sound at the end.
Friday, February 15, 2008
As a real example, few days back we formed a team to do a specific task. Now, this task involves meeting some people with the hopes that they meet up with us, and thus invest in us. This huge event have several teams set-up, and while our work do not overlap other teams, the results may. For instance, another team is in charge of a bigger scaled picture, to get huge organisations to meet up, and then to invest in us.
Our team, is supposed to go to 'other' places and secure a meeting and hopefully they invest in us. The problem here is, the sentence of "Team A has secured 'number of meetings' and 'amount invested' as their KPIs". This means that should we have the meeting, just because we're in the same company, the meeting number or the investment goes to Team A. To try to focus it down to just "Our KPI will be meetings and investment from organisations in this 'other' places" cannot work, because they may meet with us now. Then they take their sweet time, and six months later approach the organisation as a whole and Team A gets the KPI.
So in the end we dropped the KPI, and concentrate (and try to find other KPIs that other teams did not include into theirs). I find this lessen the earning power of the organisation, but for the sake of having a value placed on the team, it has to be done. Or else the team do the work, but it is never reflected as another team takes the results we obtain, then at the end of the day, our team gave 'nothing' to the company. Also, shared KPIs cannot be accepted anymore as our team was one of the last to be formed, sort of an afterthought.
Now, that s*cks. Hehe.... finding unique KPIs is quite a challenge.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
I acknowledge that I exudes a certain kind of aura that makes me untouchable. No, not untouchable as in "invincible", but people tend not to touch me. Maybe I look too serious, or I really emit some kind of message saying "don't touch me". I've noticed this for a very very long time. Some girls who tend to laugh at a guy's joke and hit him. Some guys like to lean their elbow on another's shoulder or back to look at computer/newspaper together. Some people pat each other on a job well done, or to perk someone up, etc etc. There's a lot of touches in a single day. However, I do notice very well that at times before a certain pat comes, it's held back. It's like they think "Hmm... maybe I shouldn't pat him." or something. Anyway, this is not an issue to me. So be it.
Ok, what's this about eldest daughter?? I wanted to write a post about this since middle of last year, but thinking about last Friday's incident, I think I'll just write about it. Why? Coz' eldest daughters (who has a younger sister) seem to be immune to this 'aura'. But I guess, it's in built in them. For brevity sake, I'll call these people EDWYS (Eldest-Daughter-With-Younger-Sister).
My first experience in noticing this EDWYS syndrome (haha, no lar, not a syndrome lar) is during a lunch meet I had back in Dec 2005. I think it was at DeliFrance, The Weld. I was halfway eating (with soup and all) when she suddenly said "Taste a bit!" and just plopped her spoon into my soup and tasted it. I was shocked (but didn't show it lar). As I got to know her better, ya, it seems that she can actually ask any men looking at her in the LRT "Yes, what are you looking at?" and these sort of things which usually other girls will just tend to ignore.
Then I met another two EDWYS, who seem to be able to treat me like a buddy rather than having that distance between male-female relationship. Like one of the boys, kinda-feeling.
Then, last Friday, haha... Queen Bee, I guess you'd never expect I'll write about you here. Anyway, last Friday, at a cousin-in-law's engagement lunch, this EDWYS who might be tired due to her pregnancy, leaned her head against my shoulder. This was a first! Eh, KB, I'm not complaining, just stating a fact. Of course in my own opinion, KB would have already summed me as a close cousin since I married her close cousin. However, I doubt any other girl cousins or cousin-in-laws whose not EDWYS would have done the same.
So, then, I did bring it up to KB, about whether it's true that EDWYS tend to have a different mindset when it comes to guy-girl relationship, a different kind of boundary within the friendship. That, guys are not so distant after all to EDWYS, and that they can easily be buddy-buddy with any guys. She recalled to having a friend who's also EDWYS, and is somewhat 'braver' in this kind of situation, be it with guys or life in general.
Anyway, this is just my view on EDWYS. Now that KB realises that I commented on Friday's incident (she doesn't know why I suddenly would bring it up the other day), don't be too conscious the next time you're being yourself. The other EDWYS is so conscious about me commenting on her "tasting of my soup" that she's even afraid to ask for a taste of what other food I eat the next time around meeting at lunch.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
But seriously, why do we think so lowly of ourselves? We do we explain a situation by putting the worst in our mind?
"Hmm, the interviewers went out to discuss my asking salary. I'm sure they're laughing about it now. Nevermind, when they come in, before I'm humiliated, I'll tell them that I want less RM500 from my asking."
"He just wrote a blog about pity-monger. Does he mean me?!" - Hey, I'm serious. At least three people asked me whether I was writing about them.
"I've always been having breakfast with my buddy every morning. Why is it that this morning he even refused to talk to me, and then went out of the office for breakfast with another colleague?! What did I do to him yesterday?"
"Why even bother trying to get myself certified? It's not like I'm going to have a change of luck if I do. I might even fail, and that'll make me feel worse. Better just stay the way I am."
"There's no way I'm making the sales call to that guy. He'll surely close the door on me."
"That girl is cute. I thought she smiled at me just now, but I'm sure she saw a friend of hers behind me. I'd like to approach her, but nevermind. I'm not worth her time."
The destructive nature of humans imagining the worst is why I adopted Nike's "Just Do It" in my life since 1995. Instead of waiting for the right opportunity (where time will allow for more negative thoughts to settle in), Just Do It.
Real case scenario, approaching a complete stranger just to befriend coz' she looks pretty decent, and her looks ain't bad at all either, and doesn't matter what the future will be. That was a do or die scenario, coz' it was in a hotel lobby and she just checked out. So, Just Do It. Looking back at it, I didn't give myself time to stall and think negative thoughts coz' of the other motto I hold "If you think you can't, you've lost without even trying." and smaller motto that I used to tell a Johor friend "If you don't try, there's 0%, if you try, even on a 0.001% chance, you can hit." For anyone who really did try without planning or stalling, you'll notice that when you're 'doing' it (as in doing whatever that you fear), you see yourself from far. It's like, it's not you doing it, but someone else and you're actually looking at him from above. Zombie-like feeling. Anyway, to cut this story short, we became long term friends, even until now.
Real case scenario 2, my interview in the latest company. It was superbly difficult to go through two interviews sticking to my asking salary because I knew it was a ridiculous jump from my previous job, and I knew once they hand it over to the HR to process my application, further reduction is to be made. So, why reduce it willingly during the interview. But that question "Your asking salary is ###, isn't that high?" is really a killer, at least to me. But heck, my foul mood helped me not willing to negotiate. Hahaha... hmm... mood plays a factor in confidence and blind bravery, but that'll be another post.
I think we really cannot stop ourselves from this weakness. We will always, even for generations to come, will always have the tendency to imagine the worst possible outcome for any event. And I think sometimes that's good to plant your feet firm on the ground. If you're too aloof, thinking yourself too highly, you'll see those people in American Idol who are superbly confidence in themselves that they totally bluff themselves blind! And when they get thrown out, they fuss and cuss. That's an even worst way to grow up, to be supported blindly and love blindly by family and friends, no honesty and no critisicm. Back to the topic.
What I hope is that, we minimize this weakness. We need to balance it properly against real wisdom, things that we know, probabilities on a similar situation. Those who balance probabilities and accepts them do well. Just like a salesman who happily faces rejection because he knows that by the 99th rejection, he'll get one sale. At least he gets rejected, than stalling and retreating.
Hope the best in your life against this weakness, and if possible, use it to your advantage, however that is. Believe in yourself, and share with others.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
First of all, we get rid of Wyclef Jean first. The beat of his song really caught my attention on radio, especially the "dollar dollar bill yall" call during the chorus, which I thought earlier was "yoller yoller bill yo" (as in, hollering out for a guy named Bill, duh!). Lyrics are good, quite deep. Interesting choice of a life situation to sing about, but I guess it only happens in the USA and other countries with neighbours not doing too well. I suggest you find his song on youtube, and check out the lyrics on any lyrics site.
Ok, to Paul Arden. This specific thought he placed was interesting to read at first. Just as a summary, he stated that there's no wrong decisions. Everything in life is about decisions, so whatever decisions we made, it's the right one. Why? Because if it's the wrong one, we would not have chosen it. He quoted "Everything we do we choose. So what is there to regret?". Why I revisited it again and again is because I feel there's a flaw somewhere in that logic. It's true that we choose to make a decision when we're at that crossroads. Then we make selective judgment according to our experience, knowledge and intuition. When we made it, there's no turning back. That's true. I agree. Nothing to regret.
This is true when it comes to current decisions and long-term impact-type decisions. Like what course to take. We cannot take law thinking that we might wanna do medicine. Whatever study decisions we've made in the past, cannot be undo and restart, unless you really don't mind another 3-5 years studying. Some people restart, and they do fine, but majority don't. Whatever choices we've made, we must stick to it, and eventhough we might think it's "the wrong decision", we can right it by continuing our focus on it. Stepping back will really kill our choice, and we might just think that the other decision is worst and come back to the first one. How much time would we have lost?
In The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift (Hahaha!! I can't believe I found one life's lesson in this show), anyway, in this show, the Jap dude (I don't care about his name) was looking down on a lot of people at the crossroads, and said something like "Look at all those people. They're letting fear lead them.", and when the white guy asked "What happened if they don't?", and the Jap guy answered (though totally out of the question), "Life is simple. You make choices and you don't look back." Now that's a way to go through life. At a decision crossroad, make a choice, and never look back.
But then many gurus say "You need to look back to know if you've made the right decision." I'm not gonna debate with myself on this. It's simple enough to note this fact. Back in 2003 when one Renault driver (I forgot who) tried to make sure Coulthard did not pass him in the Spain track, he actually went slower two seconds per lap. That shows that looking back, you move slower in front. I think, look back when you've hit a wall, or you see something that will bring you to a complete halt. No mouse runs halfway in the maze and turn back before reaching a dead end, so should we. What's a little challenge? Some people think the littlest of challenge means we've made the wrong decision.
I won't talk much on that, I guess the above pretty much sums it up.
The flaw in Paul Arden's thoughts?! A decision that involves another human, do generally brings to a 'wrong choice'. We see a woman chasing a man holding a handbag. It could be the man is the thief, but then again, he might be the hero, picking up the woman's handbag and continue chasing after the thief in front of him. We see two suitors for a girl, she chooses one; and who would have thought the one she chose was a faker, only intending to inherit her riches by giving all the false evidence of romantic and gallant poise of a gentleman. Decision that involves another being can usually be the wrong choice. That's my opinion.
Monday, February 11, 2008
That episode reminded me of a very unethical advertising done by either KFC or McD in the late 90's. It was about having a meal for only RM4.99! In the advert, it even showed one kid approaching the counter with the RM5 in the hand. Funny thing is, he got what he wanted. How about that 5% government tax?!
It's a wonder how the advert got onto the air at all. So many parties would have noticed the mistake (or consciously midleading claim), but I guess all wanted their share of the advertisement money that nobody cared. That time I was wondering if there was ever any kid who go to the counter and got disappointed because the real price for the meal was RM5.24 after tax.
Cost of luxury, as what hit the little kid who thinks that RM5 could have bought that cookie. Another friend from Kedah got into a shock when he bought two scoops of ice-cream from Baskin Robbins. My friends and I were too late to stop him when he approached the counter. It seems that major cities and major brands are a dangerous boon to unsuspecting people who places value of products from what they are used to. It's sad when it happens.
Another memory (back in 1994) of such a cost of luxury is seeing a mother of two kids (girl and boy) who bought 3 beef burgers (that time was RM1.99 each) and shared one drink in Ampang Park's McD. Yet another memory (back in 2003) seeing one poor child's request to TV3 was just to have KFC for the family.
I think I've repeated many times. What is common to us is a luxury to a massive number of people. I hope everyone, little kids, big kids, old folks, can experience their wish, and be happy, than be disappointed most of the time, due to the only limitation being $$.