Stay happy!

Midnight Thoughts Overflowing, eh?

Hello World. Again. It seems like all my recent posts will have this verse of “it has been a while since I last post something here, well hello again!”. So, I will not repeat myself, you have read it and it’s really here in my post.

I’m still wide awake now, surprisingly, though I was telling myself to go home earlier today because I have valid reasons to do so – I am very sick and I have a conference call tonight. So, in order not to waste my overflowing brain juice, I decided to write a blog post tonight, though I was thinking about writing one when I was walking home just now.

Today was a good day, or a happy productive day. No one surprised me with flowers or candies but it was just one fine normal day. I enjoy commuting to work, having breakfast with colleagues, enjoy wearing high heels to walk around, saying hi and hello to anyone that pass by, thinking about work, having silent moments with my work, taking away lunch, talking to my boss about anything, commuting back home, walking back home and playing with the cats, and having a night conference call. That’s life. I mean that’s a way of living happily as well. Who cares about traveling and seeing the world. Who cares about having a lover to text you every now and then. Everyday, you stand at the same spot, the world will still change and you still get to see different things and meet different people.

And so, why commuting can be fun? Every morning is an observation game. You are entering a cabin with all seats being occupied. Then you start scanning through each of the sitting commuters (ok, those that are not sitting in the reserved seats). Based on your judgement of who will alight at the next stop, you take a bet and stand right in front of the person. Sometimes, you may not want to take a high risk and you would take a 50% bet. So you rather go for those with school bags – either they alight at Woodland or Yio Chu Kang (game over). Okay, that was fun, at least to me.

Breakfast is something that I look forward to after dinner, and for almost 12 hours. Isn’t the feeling of “looking forward” a happy thing?

Though, I used to have more things to look forward to each day.

Oh. Brain is shutting down now. Anyway, my point was, living happily can be simple, it’s just a matter of how you define it. Trust me, just label everything in your life as a “happy factor” and reason with yourself to figure out a valid reason to say that. Okay, even more summarized if you still don’t get my point, BE POSITIVE!

Good night.

What matters to you as an employee?

So, I was so happen to bring up the topic of employee engagement over dinner just now, and my “interviewees” come from 3 different countries. Everyone has a different definition of employee engagement and what engage them at work. We talked about employee initiated welfare program, a cosy space for recreation, celebration over anything, long service award, camaraderie between colleagues and with managers, and so on.

But of all, there is one common engagement element that all of them (from different background and nationalities) agreed – communication. Be it the communication with colleagues, managers (and General Manager) or HR personnel. There is no doubt that everyone would want their voices to be heard, their views to be appreciated, and will be more than happy to see their ideas coming true if not be involved in realizing them.

I could feel their excitement when they shared how they are involved in such engagement activities. One of them even shared that, “as long as the HR and GM listen to us, we are happy. We may not anticipate any immediate changes but we are glad to be heard”. But at the same time, I could sense there was a little disappointment and sad-envy in another person as he can’t have such “treatment” at his site. Was it bureaucracy that shuts off that kind of interaction in a way or another? Why are those people we are counting on leave us? When will our right “Agony Aunt” appear? For how long more must we wait for him / her?

And how long more can I wait? 

These are their silent thoughts that were obvious enough to be heard.

The younger the generation is, the more impatient they are. The faster the world moves, the higher the expectations are. It’s getting tougher and tougher to satisfy everyone, especially in a multinational company, where no one-size-fits-all solution that could address this common problem.

So what we do now?

How about, don’t feed them til they are full (or they will get greedier)? Like the old saying, don’t feed your child, teach him how to fish. Why can’t we teach them how to fish? Teach them what employee engagement is and let them find their own perfect ways to stay engaged.

If they find money is everything to them, fine. Let them work the right way for money. If they want work life balance, fine. Let them manage their own time well. If they want empowerment, fine. Let them influence their managers. If they find values in their work, fine. Let them hold onto their beliefs in these values, don’t ever crush them.

You may argue that the system has to be there in order for them to enjoy these “ways of staying engaged”. True, but the more important thing is to give them all these skill sets to stay engaged in their preferred ways and not spoon-feed them with the system.

Someone ever told me that, “it would be nice to have flexible working hours but it would be even nicer and more beneficial if I can learn how to better manage my time!”

OT pay isn’t the only source of extra income, agree? They could earn even more if they have new skill sets or higher qualification.

“Managers don’t seem to engage us at all.” So be it. How can I make my managers engage me? I don’t know but someone should know and someone can teach us how to influence our boss.

“The work has no value. Day in day out, I’m just passing my days and waiting for my pay.” This is sad. Don’t you feel good if you could help someone to find meaning in his/her work (and life as well)?

Geez, this is so impromptu. Thank you, my dear interviewees. Good night.


True love lasts forever. Today she read the love letters he wrote to her 40 years ago. Once more, she falls in love with him.

Things may have changed over the years. Circumstances were harsh. People judged her. But their love were strong. Love may have faded when it became kinship. But she never leaves him. He never runs away. He bears all responsibilities. She is always there for him.

They never tell each other their love ever since that day. He chose his responsibility over her. She was disappointed. He knew. He kept quiet all the time. She was heart-broken. He felt helpless.

Years later. Once again, he had to fulfill his responsibilities. She said nothing but “take care” and a assured hug.

That’s unspoken love. Deep in the heart, they are connected, unbreakable, inseparable.

It is love that brings back memories. It is love that makes her cry. It is love that makes her stay. It is love that let her persist.

It was her choice 40 years ago. It is his love until today and forever.

Note: Always wanted to make this story into a film!!

Urgh those bubbles

The trick to perfect screen protector pasting?

Dont ever use the wipe cloth that usually comes with the screen protector. The more you wipe it on your new screen, the more dust particles you get.

Just remove the original off-factory screen protector, (dont blow the screen please), and paste your own screen protector instantly! Do it in a clean, closed room.

P/s: yay, finally installed wordpress on my mobile! Mobile does replace PC, dont you think?


Bubbles.... T.T stupid wipe cloth cheat my feeling.

Fast Deal – How Customer Services Affect That

So, another free advertisement post from a satisfied customer.

Last Sunday, my friend and I were rushing for a movie called “Blackhat” (*Shriek* OMG LEE HOM!). It was 11.30am when we reached Vivocity, finding our way to GV – 11.45pm, dropping by a few fashion outlets – 12pm, found GV – 12.10pm, deciding which movie to watch (hesitate between Blackhat and Theory of Everything, no way. Lee Hom – first priority) – 12.20pm, bought our tickets – 12.25pm. Next, deciding what’s for lunch.

Well, it was a quick agreement that we were going for Sushi Tei but looked at the queue, we were not going to make it for Blackhat! So we turned back and strolled around a few restaurants. We stopped by a Thai restaurant which I didn’t bother to look at the restaurant name. There was no queue – great! It was 12.35pm.

The first question that we asked the receptionist was, “how long must we wait to be served our food? We want to catch a movie at 1.15pm”. The girl said they could try to expedite the dishes for us but was uncertain whether they could meet our time frame. But seeing this pair of “hesitating customers”, her manager came forward swiftly to assist her. He assured us that they could serve us food as soon as possible although it depends on which dishes we order. He also quickly make a few suggestions of dishes that could be served fast. Pineapple rice was on the suggestion list so we agreed.

We were ushered to a nice seat and we made our order. It was 12.40pm. We were speechless as my friend wasn’t really happy about all the rush. Opps, sorry. :x The silence seemed like forever until the pineapple rice arrived, followed by the mango sticky rice. It was 12.43pm. We had our food without talking much. Haha, then it was 12.55pm. I wasn’t just eating my food. I was busy observing how the restaurant is being run. And yes, I forgot to snap photos of my food! Urgh.

The Pineapple rice did look like this! Stole this pic from their website :x

The Pineapple rice did look like this! Stole this pic from their website :x

A waiter took orders then keyed in orders. Another waiter served the food, then received another order. On the way, that waiter noted someone who wanted to get the bill. Another waiter (I think they call the managers “in charge” or something) came out with the bill. That first waiter cleared some plates. A customer raised hand at the waiter, another waiter noted and came over. (Yeah, that was me asking for my bill) The whole process was so fluent and you see no waiter avoided eye contact with any customers.

This is what I called COLLABORATIVE, PROACTIVE employees. It was a well-trained culture, embedded in each of the employee – from the receptionist to the chef (I assume, just look at the speed of cooking my pineapple rice).

Within 20 minutes, they earned our money, freed up the seats and ready to serve more customers. Fast deal. Sometimes, when you see a long queue in a restaurant, it doesn’t represent how nice the food or how popular the restaurant is (may be, it’s just famous for the queue). May be, it simply shows how slow their processes are. I could name a few such restaurants but that’s not the point here.

I didn’t take note of the restaurant name until I find the services satisfying. From now on, I will remember this restaurant name for good reasons. However, if I were to leave the restaurant, feeling angry, disappointed ,and dissatisfied, I would have remembered the restaurant name as well – a reminder that I shall never ever step into it again.

All right, back to this experience. So, I guess you know which restaurant I meant. Tadaaaa, it’s the nice nice Thai Accent! And their tagline is “Hospitality with a Heart“. How true is that. Kudos to the manager named Hong Tai (hopefully I get your name right). With nice interior and nice food is not enough. Nice staff is still the most important factor in getting your customers and raising your profit. (Hopefully I can get a chance to interview their management team eh?)

hospitality with a heart by thai accent

Hospitality with a Heart!

thai accent at vivocity

Nice interior! Photo credit: Thai Accent website.

And the last thing we said before we leave the restaurant? “Let’s come back here again some time to enjoy the good food slowly!” =D

Happy satisfied customers come back and promote for you.

Why even the Public (Govt.) Hospitals in Singapore are so expensive?

Have you ever thought of how many patients does a doctor have to sacrifice in order for him/her to gain enough experience to be called a good doctor? How many failures (in curing a patient) does a doctor need to go through before he/she learns?

Fresh inexperience doctors are being deployed in public hospitals and they are the doctors facing the new patients daily. New faces, new cases, they try anything on the patients until the patients seem to be cured. They are unsure of anything so they conduct all kind of experiments and eliminate the possible causes using trial and error. They could even send the patients for multiple X-Rays, EEG, MRI scans and come back telling you that they still can’t find anything abnormal. (“Yeah, we just want to confirm there is nothing abnormal!”) Just how much damages had inflicted on the patients after going through those scans? Not mentioning the money.

It’s true that you can’t blame them for not knowing how to make the right judgement as soon as possible. I’m just wondering where have the experienced doctors gone to? Don’t these inexperience doctors need them as coach? Don’t the patients need the experienced doctors to save them from being harmed by those redundant experiments?

Let’s try this drug today. Doesn’t work? Let’s try another one tomorrow. Doesn’t work again? Let me increase the dosage. Doesn’t work again? Let me try another one.

Really? Is that how our human body react to the drugs? Able to adapt to new types of drugs everyday and show the accurate results overnight? Worse still, able to show the result at the time when the doctor comes to visit the patient?? (“Stay one more night for observation?” One more night of experiment you mean. There you go, money.)

I’m not a doctor and I seriously have no idea. It’s a pity to all of us, non-doctors, to have to accept whatever treatment that a doctor has to give us – be it right or wrong. We have no proof to show whether they are curing us or making our conditions worse. What is money compared to health? Nothing at all! Just have to trust them eh?

This is life.

Project Covalent – Introduction

Disclaimer: No guarantee that I will continue this post but yah, blogging is a good way to collect my thoughts!

Covalent is a scientific term describing the chemical bonds formed when atoms share electrons to form a stable compound. Each atom by itself may or may not be useful but when it forms bonds with other atoms (which may not be of the same kind of element), it becomes something useful in our daily lives. Look at carbon and diamond. A precious diamond is a result of covalent bond of carbon atoms. The bond that is formed is so strong that it would need a large amount of energy to break it.

diamond covalent bond

If we see this in the context of an organization, where each employee is like an atom, a covalent bond is formed when the employees share their “electrons” or rather the knowledge, skill sets, and expertise that they possess. They form “compounds” or teams with infinite possibilities. The teams formed are diverse, dynamic yet stable, and with strong bonds. Imagine an employee with good project management skill; he could bring his “electrons” anywhere with him to form the covalent bond with another employee with say, good marketing skill. Together with some other employees with other skill sets, they could form a team that would ensure a product is launched perfectly to the market on time. Then this employee could bring his “electrons” to form covalent bond with another employee who is so passionate about research and development. They could again form a team that would give birth to new innovations. In this diverse organization of ours, imagine how many covalent bonds we could form and how many high performing teams we could anticipate.

icon of collaboration among people

We always talk about breaking the silos in an organization. But how exactly can we do that? Silos are inevitable, and they are sometimes formed so naturally that we do not notice. We all have our personal interests and priorities. It is difficult not to have the mindset that when someone is ahead of us, we are at the behind. So if I lend you a hand to push you to the front of me, I am behind you. But we should not just confine our perspective to what is in front and what is behind us while ignoring the bigger relativity. Remember, as an organization, when someone moves ahead of us, the organization moves as well; when we push someone forward, we push the organization forward too. The force is conserved. However that person may not always be running in front of us. There will certainly be times when someone else, including that person whom we helped before, may give us a push forward. Again, the organization is moving forward. If we could keep such dynamic, can you imagine how far we can go?
Having said that, if our people hide behind the silos wall and deny the ability to give someone else a push, how can we move forward? Perhaps, we should all push and demolish the wall of silos? Will that create more commotions and halt the organization movement? Alternatively, we want our people to stand up, to stand out from the silos and say, “Hey, I can do this, I can do that. If you ever encounter an issue regarding this and that, come and look for me!” We want them to stand out from the silos and say, “Help! We need someone with such expertise, can anyone help us?” We do not want experts to be confined within silos and similarly we do not want problems and failures to be kept in the silos.
the problems with silos
We want to build a culture – where our people are proactively sharing while learning and supporting each other. That would naturally break the silos and foster strong collaboration among our people. We know where to find resources, we know who to look for advices, we know what we can help… and we let others know as well. With that, teams will be performing better than ever before. Organization could move forward faster than ever before. The bond stays strong and it keeps on growing as new healthy blood are injected (let’s talk about new blood injection – or talent attraction, next time) and integrated well into the existing system.

It happens

It happened, it happened and it happens again.
There are times when you got so excited about a sudden inspiration or idea, you did research, you drafted out the plans, you visualized the outcomes, and you smiled to yourself, saying that “what a genius I am”.

Then, boom.

Someone is currently working on the similar idea while you are dreaming, while you are pitching to the people around you. Then one day, you see it, your idea, comes to live. Not done by you, the genius, but someone else. Everyone said, “see, someone else is already doing it”.

You collapsed, demoralized, blamed yourself for not turning your idea into a reality.

Then, one day you got the eureka moment again. And the same process repeats.

You fall and fall again as it happens over and over again.

One day, you know the same idea is out there, and people has implemented it. Indeed, it is proven to be very successful. You know it is definitely something worth to implement. Then you proposed. But it happens again, “Yes, what you proposed is exactly what we are going to do soon”. You are still, slower.

But on a positive note, you are slower, but the original idea is still there. You just need that one try out of thousands to keep your work up to date with what you think you want to do, and get ahead of others.

And when no one believe in your ideas and dreams, it’s okay to be the only one to hold on to that.

“Hey mom, look. That fruit juice stall is selling one glass of fruit juice at minimum $5.90. Every month, I would be earning more than what I earn for a year right now if you let me start a fruit juice stall instead of sending me to university.”

Haha, no way. I will be called an ungrateful child if I say that.

One day, I will be a First Class Graduate fruit juice seller and I will be grateful that I am not a secondary school fruit juice seller. Phew.


他们说时间是最好的治疗师 – 能够治好所有的伤痛,能够冲淡所有的回忆,能够让一切化为无。vintage clock
他们说有时候感情宛如泡沫,在那最艳丽的时刻就会消失了。Bubbles flying at the beach
他们说有时候爱情像流沙, 一不小心就会陷下去,越挣扎就越陷越深。

Thumbs up to the Customer Service!

I have recently encountered two cases whereby money was charged unreasonably. I lodged complaints and were very satisfied with the customer services and actions that I received. In this digitized era, customer is not the king but customer with social media is the king. Retails and service providers understand the power of social media and the threats that it can bring upon their business. Therefore, they ensure that customer relation officers and complaints handlers take cautious steps and actions that will make customers happy and satisfied. Well, being satisfied is often not enough as these are the passive customers. What they want is “Promoter”, customers who are satisfied and happy with their services and promote to tell their friends and the whole world! Like me! Haha, I think it’s worthwhile writing this post to share the experience I had with these 2 service providers since they make me happy! ;D Yes, I do it for free and I can always complain for free too. I have always wanted to create a blog or platform for customer advocates but nahhhh, no time to make it big yet.

Raffles Medical

So, I was sick a few weeks ago and I decided to go to the nearest clinic – Raffles Medical. Well, on the plastic bag, it writes 24/7 but be reminded that’s not the case for all clinics.

It was my first time there. I rarely visit the doctor when I’m sick but I need an MC this time round. The consultation was fast as usual, same for all clinics so far. The doctor prescribed me 5 types of medicines which include paracetamol, cough syrup, lozenges, throat swelling pills, runny blocked nose pills. To be honest, my condition wasn’t that serious. Then I proceeded to the payment counter. I was charged a certain amount. (Whut?! No way I’m gonna fall sick again!) I asked for corporate discount and hey, to my delight, there is 5% discount! While happily thinking how good my company is, to my utter surprise, the final bill is 14% more than the initial amount! I questioned the cashier, she can’t do anything about it. She said calling to the finance team to alter the bill to the previous one (before discount) will be too troublesome. I was not happy at all!

So I walked home, ate my medicine, and send them a Facebook message. I think I am being kind for not posting on their Facebook wall. Haha. Anyway, the admin replied me the next day asking for my IC and phone number so that they can look into the case. A few days later, someone from Raffles Medical HQ called me and told me that they are looking into this matter and it seemed that their system was having an error back then. She asked me to give them a few days to analyse the problem further and will get back to me as soon as possible. Well done. Calm tone, assuring words, that’s customer complaints handling technique.

A few days later, she called me again and informed me that that was indeed a system error that they did not issue me a corporate discount. Then she asked me to collect the good-will cash reimbursement for the discount from the clinic I visited anytime. :D

I am therefore a happy, satisfied customer.

Last night I received a call from an old friend. We worked on a common web project 2 years ago (from 2012 to 2013). We created a website on and purchased a premium plan package. That costed us 74.5 USD (50% discount) and we used her card to make payment. After the end of the project, we decided to discontinue the website and agreed to change the payment method from her card details to my sister’s card details.

We thought it is all settled. We didn’t check the email, we didn’t login to the Wix website anymore.

But she was charged 149 USD on 20th December, as a recurring payment for yearly premium plan. We were surprised. Her card provider is unable to cancel the transaction and we don’t really have much hope that Wix will actually respond to us.

But they did. Faster than what I could imagine.

I sent them an email last night, saying that we did not intend to purchase the premium plan and demand a refund. (Opps, now I feel bad for sounding quite demanding in my email) There is a support function on the site where we could schedule a call. I tried my luck. I scheduled a call for today, 6AM to 7AM Singapore time, and gone to bed. I prayed hard that this could be solved.

The next morning (today), 6AM, I did not get any call. I was slightly disappointed but did not lose hope as I can still call their direct line later. Then at 7AM, I received a call from Wix! It was an automated call and I have to wait a while for an available operator to attend to me. The timing is just nice, my laptop is up and Gabriella (sorry if I spell your name wrongly) talked to me.

She listened attentively and when I said, “umm….I wonder if we can get a refund?” She replied affirmatively, “Yes sure!”. I could see snow of happiness and relief falling upon me. She then asked for my Wix account email. She performed a check and told me that a refund has already been issued to me on 30th December. O_O Huh? She put me on hold and did a confirmation with her supervisor. She came back to me saying that the plan has been cancelled and a refund has been made. My friend should be able to receive the amount back within 7 to 10 working days. What a relief!

Thank God!

Thanks Wix team too! Now I believe that their customer support is really something! ;)

Happy New Year!