Saturday, May 31, 2008

Now I understand what Customer Service means.

I don't think any business can survive, not to mention, profitable, if it doesn't have good customer service. The reason is very simple: bad news spreads 10 times faster than good news... particularly in a society where everything is taken for granted, from good security to newspaper which is delivered to our doorstep every morning.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I work part-time at NEC, Sales & Marketing Department. Yes, I know Sales is different from Customer Service, but it doesn't make sense to draw a clear line between them. I find it ridiculous if the Sales personnel think that... my job is to generate Sales and you take care of the customer service aspect of the business.

I came to the front desk to return the keys I borrowed when a customer came to them complaining about table clock which is not working (He brought the clock in the afternoon as a gift for his friend). Everyone knows that giving a clock which is not working is worse than giving nothing at all. Our front desk personnel (who are part-timers, just like me) have done whatever they can to solve the problem, including offering one-to-one exchange, but he didn't quite like the idea. He only likes that particular clock.

I was there and as a guy who claims to be trained in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering from top school, I was asked for help. BUT I can't do much. I have never repaired a clock in my whole life and not interested to do it in the near future (I would opt to repair a financial statement instead). In addition to that, I don't think we can repair a clock with bare hand.

Finally I decided to apply my knowledge gained from my Entrepreneurship minor taught at top school, which is "Go the extra mile (s) to help our customer."

I called Swatch at Jurong Point to ask them whether it is possible for them to repair a clock (something that I am sure they are capable of doing, otherwise, why don't they sell mee goreng instead?). They can do it in 5 minutes for $8. I am not sure whether I can claim that to NEC or not, but nevermind, even if I can't claim, losing 8 dollars won't make me poor overnight.

I get the clock repaired (which took less than 2 minutes and cost me $5), and gave it to the customer (he is a visiting professor by the way). I offered to deliver the clock to his house, but he insisted to travel down to our place to take it.

Some things can never be learned from textbooks or middle-aged professors.

$5000 per month to do cleaning service job??

My friend asked me this hypothetical question.. "Will you take up a full-time cleaning-service job that pays $5000 per-month?"

Then some ideas started to pop-up from this creative brain of mine.

1. I will take-up the job for 3 months, do all the shit, and quit the job. Then I will take a nice vacation while applying for another job.

2. I will negotiate with the employer to let me work for 2 1/2 days instead of 5 days (and be paid $2500), and I will do Master degree with the remaining days I have.

3. I will advertise the job and pay someone who is willing to be paid $2000 for doing cleaning-service job (who is very easy to get). So, I will get the remaining $3000 by doing nothing.

Then my group of friends challenged me further. How about SIGNING A CONTRACT of doing that job for 1 year. If I break the contract, I get ZERO dollar. I have to do it myself and can't ask someone to do it for me.

For a lot of people, it might be a bit tempting, but for me, it's a no brainer, I don't want.

My life is too precious to do something I don't like. And my pride is too high to take-up that job. No offence of auntie cleaners out there, I think they deserve mountain-high recognition for the good job they have done. BUT. That's just not the job for me.

Then my silly friend asked me again.. "how if I increase the pay to $50,000 a month instead of $5000, but you need to sign the contract for 1 year?"

I only had 1 question for him....

"When can I start work?"

Moral of the story: In life, it's very important to have some kind of flexibility... and high dosage of sense of humour.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"Gema Kebangkitan - Catatan Harapan Anak Bangsa" is finally published!

It's a compilation of writings by Indonesian students, professionals and academicians reside in Singapore. The committee is called "Hope for Indonesia" (HFI).

I am one of the article writers, with my article titled "Dear, Can We Have More Susi Susanti? Please...", page 101.

Before the book was published, I thought... well, it's gonna be a book written by students, read by students. Then I started to read the articles, and I was totally blown away! Mind you, the writers include professional journalists, professors, doctor, and a lot of other competent professionals in their field. I feel absolutely honoured to be among the writers. I am only a humble student who happens to fall in love with badminton in the first game :)

As Haslim Mulyadi, the chairman writes in his introduction...

"... is an anthology of inspirations from Indonesian community in Singapore. The essays you will read in this book share common aspirations - all towards a better Indonesia. Through this book, we aim to convey the messages of hope, care, and best wishes for our country."

Because this is MY blog, I suppose you are curious what I write in my article (even if you're not curious, can't you just save my face by telling me otherwise? =P)

Let me quote some sentences from my own article there...

... Indonesia has been associated with the very top end of badminton superpower, maybe just like Brazil with soccer...

... People say, when you are in foreign countries, your patriotism drops to almost negligible. That is not true, not at all. We are Indonesians, and we are behind Taufik, all the way...

... I am here not to finger-point anyone, I have neither the expertise nor the authority to do that. However, I just want to say, I love this country, and with the current condition of its badminton, my heart is crying. I want my Susi Susanti back, I want my Heryanto Arby back! Not one Susi, not two, more of her! ...

... If Christian Sugiono or Krisdayanti can be their spokespersons, why can't Taufik, Chandra, or Sony be like them? ...

... My answer: because there are no marketing efforts. No matter how great the product is, if there are no marketing efforts, people will not know. If people do not know, they will not buy...

... If everything goes well, it is not impossible the next Susi Susanti will be born soon, and Indonesia will once again, dominate the world's badminton. And I will again, watch Thomas and Uber Cup with some friends, and we will shout again happily after we bring back Thomas and Uber Cup to Indonesia. Am I asking too much? Say "no" please.

The full article is available upon request :)

If you have any queries regarding this very engaging, entertaining, and inspiring book, you can reach the chairman at haslimm AT yahoo DOT com.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Tribute to Pretty Badminton Players!! ;)

We have tennis players like Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic, and Anna Kournikova who are blessed with not only talent in tennis but also pretty face.

The good news is.. in badminton, we also have!!

Let's start with these 2 girls, Kumiko Agura and Reiko Shiota

No wonder badminton in Japan is so popular nowadays... There must be other reason to watch a badminton match! :)

Who says we can't have a blonde in Asian-dominated badminton?

Karin Schnaase, a German... she is hot, isn't she?

Back to Japan.. Eriko Hirose, one of Japan's top players

Indonesia's Greysia Polii is not traditionally pretty, but she has fantastic sense of humour :D

So innocent!!! :) Guys, according to her friendster, she is still single.. (at least she claims to be so). I will DIE to get a girl like that. I mean, die happy :D

and this photo...

Hey, who is that handsome guy?? =P

However, noone beats Xie Xingfang..


More please!

Gosh, with body and face like that, she could easily become a model anytime she is bored playing badminton... But I think that won't happen so soon because she is currently world number 1. Don't you think life is a little bit unfair? =P

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Uber Cup Updates: Standing Ovation for Indonesia!

As I said before this match, it's going to be David versus Goliath... With China's singles are ranked world number 1, 2, and 4 (and the 3rd rank is also a Chinese but she doesn't participate in this tournament), and doubles rank 1, 2, and 3... we need a miracle, a big one, to beat this giant.

I didn't watch the first match because I went to church tonight. I heard from my friend that Xie Xingfang, world number 1 from China crushed Maria Kristin from Indonesia quite comfortably. No surprise at all.

I watched Indonesia's best doubles, Lilyana Natsir / Vita Marissa battled against world number 1 Yang Wei / Zhang Jiewen. Natsir / Marissa finally lost, but after an extraordinary battle. Even the commentator mentioned that was the greatest women's doubles match he has ever seen. My friends and I were absolutely mesmerized with every movement made by our doubles.

This is the best video I can find in the entire youtube, but I must tell you... the real playing is definitely much better than this.

If they play like this in every tournament they participate, I would be really surprised if they can't make it into world's top 5 women doubles.

Yup, you might notice that Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Indonesian president was there.

Well done Indonesia's Uber Cup team... You have done us proud!!!!

Getting Married, NTU students?

In our university's public folder, we can find.. well, almost everything. From tuition assignment to buy-and-sell computers. From jokes to lost-and-found.

But it's the first time I found a service like this...

Getting married, anyone?? :)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Thomas Cup updates: It has been a dark day for the Indonesians...

What can I say? I watched almost every second of the matches, and I felt that Indonesian players are not less talented, not at all. However, I think they lacked of drive to win, and lack of luck also.

Sony DK put a great show. Everyone knows it's not easy to be the first single of the day, a place that is usually reserved for Taufik Hidayat.

Markis / Hendra, world number 1 were terrific in the first two sets. However, they somehow deteriorated in the last set, which is the most crucial set of all. We all expected them to win, but again, they lost.

I have nothing against Taufik. He was as talented as ever before. However, I saw with my very own eyes how he has changed from Olympics 2004 to now. He was not hungry anymore with winning, titles, trophies. Yes, he has got everything. A successful career, a beautiful wife, a kid, and rich in-laws. That's why I always feel it's very scary if a sports player loses his/her hunger to win. Yes, if you read news, Justine Henin retires from professional tennis as world number 1, because she just doesn't have the appetite to win anymore.

Yup, what do you call a person with loads of talent, but lacks of drive to win? A Taufik Hidayat.

It's definitely painful for any Indonesian who still loves our country. We still hope that our Uber cup team will do us proud in the final round tomorrow. (Although they have already done us proud by going to the final). I know, it's David against Goliath, but we don't lose hope until the last breath.

Thomas-Uber Cup updates: We are through!!!

I am not usually very excited watching Indonesia's Uber Cup team after 2000. Yes because China dominates the women badminton for too long and their players are just too good. However, this year is definitely different.

1. We managed to hire Susi Susanti as our Uber manager. Yes, you're right, THAT Susi Susanti, probably the greatest female badminton player of all time. If Jose Mourinho can turn a mediocre club like Porto to win the Champions League, there's no reason for a Susi Susanti to fail to deliver.

2. We have got 2 good doubles. Forget about world's rankings for a while. Vita/Natsir and Jo/Polii are only ranked 9 and 18 in the world respectively (China's women's doubles are 1st, 2nd, and 3rd... and counting). Nevertheless, they're good doubles, comparable with those of China and Korea.

Lilyana Natsir / Vita Marisa, Indonesia's best women doubles, sometimes referred as "duo tomboy". You judge.. :)

3. Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Jakarta, where people shout, cheer, and smile happily despite increase in BBM price (Bahan Bakar Minyak = petrol etc). We are behind our Thomas and Uber Cup teams, all the way.

Well, forget about that for a moment. THIS IS THOMAS-UBER CUP!!!

And we are reaching our first final since 1998, by beating Germany 3-1 in the semi-final. What?? Germany?! Yes, I guess before this competition started, not many people would expect Germany to go all the way to semi-final. However, they are good, and they know when to fight and when to have fun.

It's China, favourite, defending champion 2 years ago, 4 years ago, 6 years ago (and yeah, counting) versus Indonesia (plus all its supporters).

My prediction? Well, China is stronger definitely. However, Indonesia will definitely give an excellent fight in the final. China - Indonesia 3-2 (I guess we will score points from at least one double and probably one single). No worries though, we were expected to go into semi-final and now we are in the final match already.

China's winning team 2 years ago. I told you, they are good. They are good.

As for Thomas Cup, despite unimpressive performance by Sony DK and Olympic gold medalist Taufik Hidayat, I still believe we have what it takes to reach the final. I would expect Taufik to win and at least 1 point either from Sony or Simon Santoso. As for doubles, it won't be easy for Markis Kido / Hendra Setiawan, but I think they are gonna beat, most probably Jung Jae Sung / Lee Yong Dae. OK Indonesian ladies, I know Lee Yong Dae has a cute face, and he can be a movie star if he doesn't choose to play badminton, but please support our country =D

Oops wrong photo, but don't you think Lee Yong Dae resembles Rain, the Korean superstar?

Yes Ladies.. I have already warned you ;)

So, I would expect 3-2 or 3-1 to Indonesia depending on which player (s) play first.
It's gonna be Indo versus China also in the Thomas cup final. It's gonna be very interesting! I shall postpone all my to-do list to watch the final! hehehe...

Like Mrs Clinton said, we are going strong, we are going through, we are going ALL THE WAY.
Indonesia, KAMU BISA!!!!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother Day!

Thanks for always accompanying me whenever I am down,
Thanks for always be there for me when I fall,
Thanks for teaching me the importance of hardwork and persistence,
Thanks for having so much trust and faith in me,
Thanks for teaching me to be honest in life,
Thanks for working so hard for us, your children,
Thanks for teaching me not to complain,
Thanks for giving examples how we must respect people,
Thanks for always reminding me to pray everytime, and to go to church everyweek

Thanks for being my number one HERO. You will always be!

I may not have the best house,
I may not have the best clothes,
I may not have the best car,
I may not have the best brain,
I may not have the best job,
I may not have the best face,

BUT I know... I have the best MOM in the world.

MOM, Happy Mother Day!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

You get PAID by sleeping. This is true!

Pack your bags for Houston because NASA wants to pay you $17,000 to stay in bed for 90 straight days.

Participants will spend 90 days lying in bed, (except for limited times for specific tests) with their body slightly tilted downward (head down, feet up). Every day, they will be awake for 16 hours and lights out (asleep) for 8 hours.

So, if you find difficulty waking up in the morning or you always feel sleepy during your work, maybe this is THE job for you :D

I thought only Angelina Jolie who can get paid by sleeping (Well, she get paid by doing literally anything. lol...)

This world is getting more and more interesting everyday.

Link here.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

10 FAQs for My Blog

1. How much do you love reading?
I once told my friend, it’s very easy to entertain me. Just leave me in a bookstore, and I will be alright. I once spent my whole day in the library, picking up books and read while drinking coffee in the café. The café lady must be really mad because I only drink 1 cup of coffee for hours.

2. Did you really cry while watching that Japanese drama “1 Litre of Tears” (Ichi Rittoru no Namida)?

Let me ask you first, what’s wrong with that? Boys do cry although they shouldn’t. I am generally very very strong, but I can be very sensitive when it comes to mushy things like that. I don’t cry in public though, that’s taboo for me.

3. Are the stories in your blog true? Or maybe semi-true?
I wish. But they aren’t. They are 100% fiction which comes out from my wild, wet and wondrous imagination.

4. How about your posts other than those stories, are they true?
I can assure you, they are 100% true. I am not interested in being liked, I am only interested in being right.

5. You seem to like writing a lot. Ever thought of becoming a journalist?
I am currently pursuing part-time diploma in freelance journalism, so I know I am going to get quite serious in writing in the future. However, for the time being, I just write for fun.

6. You seem to write about Christian stuffs quite often, tell me exactly, how holy are you?
1000 miles from that. I do sins often, and often when I reflect on them, I am too ashamed to admit that I am a Christian. But I try to be better everyday.

7. You are not like those typical engineers.
I know. I think movie actor profession suits me better *oops*
I never fall in love with Engineering although I got a bit of brain for Math and Science. If I could redo my degree again, I would choose law, business, or education.

8. How you get ideas for your blog?
I got them from newspapers (I read it everyday), my friends’ blogs, my own experience, or just straight from my imagination.

9. You seem to admire Jose Mourinho so much. I hate him!!!!

Same here. Anybody in his right mind should hate him. However, he got result to show and in soccer, result is what matters at the end of the day… unless you got face as handsome as David Beckham of course.

10. Any regret in life?
We can’t turn back the time, so why regret? Life is too short and too exciting for us to regret something in the past. My life is not perfect, it will never be, but the show must go on.

Kaka: I Belong to Jesus

Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite (Kaka); born April 22, 1982 in Brasilia, is a Brazilian midfielder who plays for Italian Serie A club A.C. Milan and Brazilian national team.

He won 2006-07 Champions League triumph with A.C. Milan, the highest supremacy in football and FIFA World Player of the Year awards in 2007.

Lately, he was named in the 2008 Time 100, the annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world selected by Time magazine. The list includes people like George W. Bush, Pope Benedict XVI, The Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, and Oprah Winfrey. Even David Beckham is not in the list, makes Kaka the only footballer there.

“I might question whether soccer stadiums are the right venue for promoting religion, but in an age in which many professional athletes care more about cars, women and controversy, it's refreshing to see one who is committed to having a positive impact on the world around him.” – Kasey Killer

A devout christian, Kaká became engrossed in religion at the age of 12. "I learnt that it is faith that decides something will happen or not." He is well-known for revealing his "I Belong to Jesus" T-Shirt in many occasions, including after A.C. Milan beat Liverpool to claim their championship title.

Blessed with extraordinary physical beauty, I think he could easily be the next David Beckham, don't ya think so?

BUT NO. Kaka said, football is the most popular sport in the world, and therefore, it's his responsibility to show good values to the world through soccer.

Yes, like Kaka, I also Belong to Jesus! Do you belong to Jesus?

Friday, May 02, 2008

Finish my exam! YAYYYYYYYYY!!!

Tangible Cost
Extra supper 5 x $2.50 = $12.50
Red Bull = 12 x $1.20 = $14.40
Canned Coffee bought from overpriced vending machine = 7 x $1.00 = $7.00
Extra snack = $21.2

SUBTOTAL = $55.1

Intangible Cost
Weight gained = 1.5 kg x $50 = $75 (Stress makes you fat!)
Sleep loss = 33 hours x $20 = $660
Hair loss, pimples, wrinkles = $100
Stressful days = 14 days x $100 = $1400

SUBTOTAL = $2235



Feeling GREAT after finish exam = PRICELESS

IT IS DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Perfect answers for our problems.

You say: "It's impossible"
God says: All things are possible(Luke 18:27)

You say: "I'm too tired"

God says: I will give you rest(Matthew 11:28-30)

You say: "Nobody really loves me"
God says: I love you(John 3:1 6 & John3:34 )

You say: "I can't go on"
God says: My grace is sufficient(II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)

You say: "I can't figure things out"

God says: I will direct your steps(Proverbs 3:5- 6)

You say: "I can't do it"
God says: You can do all things(Philippians 4:13)

You say: "I'm not able"

God says: I am able(II Corinthians 9:8)

You say: "It's not worth it"
God says: It will be worth it(Roman 8:28 )

You say: "I can't forgive myself"
God says: I Forgive you(I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)

You say: "I can't manage"

God says: I will supply all your needs(Philippians 4:19)

You say: "I'm always worried and frustrated"
God says: Cast all your cares on ME(I Peter 5:7)

You say: "I'm afraid"
God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear(II Timothy 1:7)

You say: "I'm not smart enough"
God says: I give you wisdom(I Corinthians 1:30)

You say: "I feel all alone"

God says: I will never leave you or forsake you.(Hebrews 13:5)

Taken from this
blog. Thanks so much Gibran! :)

Help, I am addicted to Red Bull!

Yea I know it's bad for health. Yea I know I am gonna have sleepless nights. But I ask ya, who can resist its temptation? If you only sleep for 3 hours then drinking a can of Red Bull can make you feel like you have just had an uninterrupted 8 hours high quality sleep plus spa treatment.

It's been 5 days in a row I sleep less than 5 1/2 hours a day. It's not that I intentionally want to lose some sleep, but I just can't sleep more than that. And I feel OK. Red Bull is the best! hahahah.

My prediction before that Manchester Utd will face Chelsea in the final is absolutely correct! Btw, I made that prediction before the first leg of semi-final. SO, Anyone who is betting on soccer can approach me. I charge minimal consultation fee! :D

Manchester Utd versus Chelsea in Champions League Final. Manchester Utd versus Chelsea in EPL. Boring!
But who can argue that they are currently among the best football teams..

OK, Go back to study.