Thursday, September 29, 2005

Something worth writing down

It’s been quite some time I didn’t update my blog. However, today there are 3 things I would like to write it down.

First, in the morning, I was told by my manager that I would need to provide a presentation to a group of staff regarding about my job function (QA for ERP software) in the evening, after he has done his presentation. So, I asked him what I should present. I’m a technical guy and the audiences are more functional part of the software. He told me that just present the functional part of my job. I did ask him whether I can join his presentation and what he told me was, there is no such need for me to attain. Since it was sounds easy as he mention, I didn’t do any preparation for the presentation. Then, evening came and after he has done his presentation, he came and informed me to do my part of the presentation. When I arrived to that meeting room, I was a bit shocked after seeing so many people there. Even though I was told to show my job function, but I didn’t bring my PC there where all my tools were stored in it. This is because I thought it was so easy that it can be done on my manager lap top. Anyway, I calmed myself down; downloaded the appropriate tool to the laptop; do a little bit of testing on the tool and then start the presentation. I asked a technical question that I shouldn’t ask, and they all look at me with the blurred look on their face (This is why I asked my manager whether I should attain his presentation to know how much they have learned, so I can continue from there). Without any hesitation, I start my functional tool presentation which I used in my job function. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. (Of course it didn’t work, because there wasn’t any rehearsal done in the first place). Error message box was prompt out and the whole group laughed. Luckily my manager cut in just in time and said the tool actually performing validation check (which is true). Then I carry on the second tool and explain the functionality and the objective of the tool. However, this tool wasn’t run as well because there is a security locked on it, not allowing me to run it. Presentation still went on with just explanation and no actual function was done (And they all do believe me that the tool actually works!). It took me by surprise when I show the data comparison part of the tool, where it shows some invalid data was found on previous test, and the whole group was very paying attention to it. In the end, after the question and answer section, and everybody are leaving, I was told by one of my colleague that I didn’t mention my name in the presentation (So, my presentation was a failure in the first place. hahahaha). It doesn’t matter anyway as long the group understand what’s the whole presentation all about (or do they?).

Second, after I have finished my work and on my way going to the bookstore to check out some books, I saw one of my secondary schoolmates. I found him when I was on the escalator going down and he just called out my name after he recognized me. Then, a sense of shame running under my skin because I forgot his name! (Gee, I’m getting old is it? Shame on me) Nevertheless, I walk to him and shake his hands. I felt he understand that I forgot his name. Anyway, we chat about where we have been all these years and which company we are working with. After exchanging our name cards, we go to our separate ways. It was rare for me that a secondary schoolmate still remembers my name (Maybe I was the rare one who always forgets schoolmates’ names). This is because I wasn’t that popular in school. (I’m not really active in clubs or a top scorer in school either. I think I was shy boy then.) Anyway, it is great to meet him back again.

Third, in the bookstore, I didn’t have any idea of what book I should be looking for and then suddenly I remember I wanted to write the presentation event down on my blog. Since I was enjoy writing, so why not just get a writing book and improve my writing instead. I started to look for a book titled “How to write your journal”, which I have been looking it before just for temporary curious. However, I didn’t found that book but I got this one instead, “The little red writing book”. Sounds like “The little red riding hood” fairy tale book but the content are very good for writing. I check out the others as well (imagine a book about writing fails to attract people to read it) but this one is the best.

Finally, it’s good to have something to write again.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Shoe Hunting

Last week Sunday was my younger sis’s birthday. She mentioned about that she needed a USB pen drive for her work before, so I thought of getting one for her as a present. After I have cleaned up my room and done my laundry in the morning, I drove straight to the city center to get the pen drive. Beside that, I wanted to do some shopping as well.

By the way, I didn’t go for shopping for quite some time (Just for clothing and I know it’s normal for guys) and I wanted to buy a pair of sneaker. I have a pair of converse sneaker which I bought it when I was studying in Australia. (That was about 4-5 years ago) After 4 -5 years of torturing on that shoe, it is starting to peal off a little and the shoe bottom is almost gone out of patterns. However, I still wear it for any outdoor activity since there are no holes in it or anything that makes my foot uncomfortable. Until Friday, I found my shoe gone. After some questioning with my family, I found out that it was my younger sis who throws it away when she was cleaning the front yard. (Maybe it’s just too old, but it was my favorite pair of shoe. By the way, some advice for the girls; before throwing out any men (related or non related male) clothing stuff; please do let them know about it. As men stuffs tends to be rare, more expensive, last longer than women stuff in terms of clothing.)

After getting the pen drive at Low Yat Plaza, I went to the nearby shopping plaza to look for some shoes. What I had in mind on that moment was getting a sneaker or boots that comes in leather. This is because leather shoe tends to be last longer, I think. After checking out the price, brand and style; I found out that they all looked or cost almost the same. Mean while, I heard one of the customer conversations with the shoe store owner where the customer is looking for a particular shoe name started with the word “CAT”. The customer described how great the boot is and he wears it for 3 years already (See…!) Unfortunately, the shop owner didn’t sell that brand anymore. From his statement, I know the brand and the price (since every brand almost cost the same) of the shoe that I’m looking for.

So, I went to KLCC shopping center to look for that shoe, which I remember I saw that brand before in one of the sport outlet. After 20 minutes of driving and walking, finally I reached to the shop and found that brand. I choose one of the design (sneaker type with leather made), which I found it very good looking and asked the sales person for my size. Unfortunately, they are out of stock, and even for the other color. I was disappointed at first but somehow in my heart say, I wanted to get that shoe no matter how.

So, I start off another journey to another shopping mall which located in Cheras. I took me another 20 minutes to reach there and again to my disappointment, there wasn’t a shop there sells that brand. (Please don’t laugh until roll on the floor). So that leads me to the next location, Mid Valley which is near on my way back home. I reached Mid Valley eventually and it took me another 20 minutes (I know, this is madness.) Guess what, it fails me again. (eeerrrrrrgggg!) It seems that, a lot of people having the same size of foot and taste as me. Or is it fated that I couldn’t get my hands on that shoe? (Question that has no answer really doesn’t do me any good at this moment). After walking out disappointed from that shoe store, I had my next destination in mind which is the Sunway Piramid. (This one will take me another 30 minutes of drive *sigh*). Anyway, my body tells me I need a break and I agreed with it. So we both (mind & body) went to a cafĂ© and enjoyed a ice blended mocha (for the body) with some magazine (for the mind). While I was enjoying my mocha, my mind keeps telling me to give up this shoe hunt madness and go home. I was really tempted by it and beside; I have tried to hunt it down for 3 times and failed miserably. Nevertheless, the spirit to hunt the shoe down was still there, but the body and mind disagreed with it.

After finished the ice mocha, I’ve decided to check out the books at MPH before driving to the next destination. Browsing through the fashion section, I found a book regarding fashion for men. In the book it stated that, men’s clothing doesn’t necessary has to be branded or expensive. Anything that looks similar in terms of style and quality will do just fine. Thanks to that book, I stopped my hunting madness instantly after reading that line.

In the end, I end up with a book, a CD (I liked the songs of the group so much until I wanted to get the group’s CD) and a pair of sneakers after traveling for 4 places. Instead of ending up with one item, now I got 3. Not a bad hunt, eh? :D

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Think twice before paying

Well, the story starts like this. A month ago, I went to my life insurance company to settle one of my life policies (I mention it before in my blog "parking space"). I wanted to cancel the policy because it just too expensive for me after holding it for 2 years (Life is getting harder and harder these days). So, i went there and talk to the customer service personal. I asked her how to cancel the policy. What she told me is to change the payment from credit card to cash and let the policy lapsed. Since it was just that simple, I agreed and signed the document. It’s just only a piece of paper and there is no customer copy for it.

After a month and guess what, they still charging me to my credit card. When the credit card bill came and after I have saw the familiar amount appear in the list, I was really mad. (Anybody would say anything from this point, I think I have covered most of them) I start asking myself questions that I have no answer for it. Example, what the hell is going on here? It all went to worst until I can’t even sleep well that night.

The next morning, I still keep asking myself question that I don’t have answer, which I don’t know why I still doing it. Nevertheless, I gave the company customer service line a call to clarify the issue. A girl picked up the call; I mentioned my name and gave her the policy number politely (Until this point, I was able to holding myself asking “question that have no answer” to her successfully). I asked her regarding the payment type for the policy and the reply just as I expected. It didn’t change at all. I told her the whole story and she started to panic. (I think any staff would panic because most likely they would get a call like this with a lot of shouting and screaming) I asked her what are the procedures to refund the money back and she told me to write a letter about it and fax it to them. I was calling from home and there is no fax machine installed. Further more, I don’t want to mail the letter where it might be lost on the way there. The only choice for me to settle this issue is to go to the HQ personally on Saturday.

And I did. It was Wednesday I made the customer service line called and I felt much better after 3 days has passed. This time, it was another personal who served me. I told her the whole story and the reply I got is “It takes some time to refund your transaction. Please check your credit card account after 2 to 3 weeks time.” I didn’t shout or scream and I agreed with her again. (I think shouting and screaming doesn’t help much here) However, i requested a customer copy of that form just to be saved. Anyway, the issue will be found whether it is solved after 2 to 3 week’s time.

Using credit card to make automatic payment indeed, does provide a lot of convenient and time saving to the user. However, it also gives the user a lot of headache if something goes wrong with it.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Stop driving and start walking

Okay. It’s been going on for 2 days already. I haven’t announced it on my blog but anyway, I announce it now doesn’t do anyone any harm either. (Why not postponed it to 2 years? Not a bad idea, eh?)

Well, it’s project that I have been telling to my friends and colleague before I start taking action on it. (Well, the project might fail in the first place. So, it’s better to keep it low profile) It is a project about “Stop driving and start walking”. That was the new title when I was writing this blog. The original title was, “Taking LRT* go to work for a month” and the progress so far for 2 days is so far so good*.

I have been driving to work for years already and the idea of this project came from increased petrol prices, lack of parking space (I have mentioned about parking space issue in my blog before), encouragement from colleague, and recently, one of the giant corporations has booked half of my usual parking place for its own staff only. All these issues lead to the success creation of this project and I really appreciate to their contribution.

So, what are the advantages and the disadvantages of taking LRT? Well, let’s look on the good side. No traffic jam, lower transportation cost, less pollution to the environment and that’s all I can think of. (I bet there are more and I’ll put it into the blog comment when it pops into my head). Now look on the bad side. No more listening to my favorite radio station, although no traffic jam but the amount of time taken from home to work seems the same, distance from my house to work doesn’t seems closer.

Anyway, lower transportation cost takes most of the point of being advantage by taking LRT to work.

Beside that, in my blog profile, I have stated "A normal office working people that you will see them all around walking in the city every morning when you go to work.". Before this project I was bit far from the statement; now I felt I’m much closer to that statement because I walked around the city instead of drive around.

*LRT – Light Railway Transportation

*So far so good– this rating is based on, my car still in one peace at the LRT car park when I came back from work. I haven’t been robed, pick pocketed, harassed, molested, insulted, and mugged so far.