Sunday, July 15, 2007

Bad financial embarrassment

Ok, it's not me who was embarrassed, it was the family in front me at the check out counter in a supermarket.

I and my wife was having our weekend shopping to stock up our daily supply as usual. It began when I started to notice that the family in front of us bought large quantity of instant noodle. I told my wife this family is either going for a long vacation or opening a restaurant. In the pile of goods on the counter table, there were also a lot of snacks and junk food.

When came to the final total amount shown on the cash register machine, the wife pulled out a credit card to pay the bill. I can see the total amount and it showed RM240++. Meanwhile, the staff pulled out the credit card terminal and informed the wife that the card is not accepted. As usual, the first card is not accepted there's always a backup card. The wife looked at the husband while handing the second credit card to the staff. The husband said, "You lah" (translate: because of you) and obviously the husband was not being helpful at all.

Second card went in and still rejected. For me, I really felt the embarrassment for this family. The amount is small and the second card still even can't go through (I forgive people who had their card rejected in a jewelry shop but this is just ridiculous). The whole scene was screaming we have a crisis here. Their goods were all packed up and put in the trolley. Me and my wife, plus the rest of the people waiting in line wondering how they are going to fix this mess up. Fortunately, the wife has RM100 in cash and paid to the counter staff reluctantly. She asked the staff to charge the remaining amount to the card and finally, it went thru.

After we have paid our goods, my wife asked me why can't the wife just pay the staff in cash earlier. For me, who do not carry much cash in the wallet would understand that, if you low in cash you would in trouble. In daily life spending, a lot of places do not provide credit card facilities and you need to hold enough cash to survive (e.g. Buying your lunch in the cafeteria). So I can understand why the wife would reluctant to hand over the cash amount.

In summary, what did I learn from others? Always pay your credit card in full, or at least knows much credit left on the card because this will save you some embarrassment. ;)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Lock your car before open your gate

There was a crime happen in my neighborhood. It goes like this. There were a gang of 6 thugs waited outside the victim's house and they have plotted a plan to hijack the victim's car (of course, it's an expensive one). They were there early in the morning because they knew the victim will go to work at specific hour where nobody will be around.

Unfortunately, the victim changed his plan on that day and thugs were uneasy because it's going to be daylight. One of thug rode his motorcycle to the back of the house to check out if there are any ways to get into the house. He was lucky because the house owner's maid open the back door for some daily chores. He took this opportunity leap over the fence and charge into the house. Then, he threaten the family to be quiet or he will kill them.

Luckily, they all were at their room upstairs and one of them call the police. Nobody knows what happened to the thug downstairs as he left quickly after he can't find the car key (That's what we believe he's trying to find).

Here is the weirdest part. After he left the house, he and his gang went to a nearby house and tried to run down the gate (Perhaps they were angry when their plan has failed). One of them manage to get into the front yard of the house and the owner screamed after she saw what they're doing. Her scream shocked the thug and they left quickly afterward as they knew the police are coming.

After all these, I have came out some measures.
  1. Don't buy expensive car and live in a neighborhood that the car doesn't seems to fit. (If you have a Benz, you should live in a neighborhood where there's a lot of Benz. Go figure.)
  2. Keep a close eyes on the street before leaving the house. (Any suspicious person waiting outside? Ask your family to accompany you with an umbrella or better, a baseball bat)
  3. Have your family member to open the gate for you. Wake them up and tell them about Point 2 if you sees one. Let them close the gate for you rather than leave the car engine running and close the gate by yourself.
  4. Lock the car once you're in it. (The most basic of all)
I hope this will help. Please do leave any comments if there are some points I have missed.