Month: January 2015

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 – 11.45am, 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. 😡 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 😡

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。