Sunday, April 29, 2007

Bukit Jalil Golf and Country Club isn't the closest venue

It was the worst ever company dinner I have ever attended. I thought last year's was a let down due to the entertainment. This year, I was determined not to go. However, Yen convinced me otherwise. She said that she was nominated for an award, therefore I thought I'll go support her.

In my mind I was thinking, if I didn't go I'd still have to send her there. Bukit Jalil Golf and Country Club isn't the closest venue. If I didn't go I'd still have to drive there and back, twice. In the end, I thought, what the heck?

So off we went yesterday. It took us 20 minutes to drive there. When we got there, the parking bay was outside on a patch of grassy area. It was not tarred and most of the comments that I heard from the people that got there at that time was, "What kind of parking is this?". It's a good thing that I did not wash my car.

This year, the committee for the annual dance and dinner party really screwed up big time. They set the starting time at 6.30pm. Well, generally, most of the people got there before it started. When we got in, the hall was not even half full. It was bare. 30 minutes passed and they realized that they could not wait any longer. The MCs got on stage and started without waiting for the rest to arrive. The MD made his way up to the stage 10 minutes later and made his speech. Of course, it was not heard by half of his employees, cause they weren't there to begin with!

The food was crap. It was a 6 course dinner and they served Tom Yam soup for the second course. Last year, at least the committee had the decency to offer Sharks fin soup. Sure it wasn't real shark's fin, but nevertheless it was classier. You mention Tom Yam soup to me and I immediately think road side food stalls. What an utter waste of time. To make matters worst, the food was not even that tasty and the fish was not even fresh.

Looks like it's true. It gets worst each year and the only way I'll be going to next year's dinner is that I make manager and am forced to go. Otherwise, I will not even bother.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

This thing can plough a field or fly an airplane

So, the new Brabus showroom from Naza has opened up in Bangsar Baru. If you told me 10 years ago that this piece of land would be some developed building, I would have laughed at your face. And now, I laugh at myself cause this building is huge!

Now I've never really been a fan of Brabus, basically they take a good ol' Merc and tune it up into a big mean monster. Don't get me wrong though... I like tuning. It's precisely those mini tweaks and added horsepower that you can squeeze from the engine to give it a little more extra boost.

So here's what I found on Wikipedia:

"Brabus's primary focus is to achieve maximum engine performance through the increase of both horsepower and torque. Customers can either buy cars straight from Brabus or send in their Mercedes to be customized and/or overhauled. If a customer orders a car from Brabus, Brabus buys the particular car from Mercedes and then modifies it in-house according to the customer's requests. Brabus actually has no price list for its upgrades since the modifications vary so much, but realistically anyone who needs to ask probably cannot afford the level of upgrades provided."

Amazing isn't it? So you get to buy a precustomized model or get them to customize a brand new one for you. Hmmm, I wonder if Naza offers this? Or do they just bring in parellel imports that have been modified?

so, enough of that. How would you recognize one if you saw it on the road? First there's the signature black. You could get it in Silver, though I've only seen a handful. The other signature look would be the twin foglamps on this nice example of a CL.

Now not long ago, Clarkson tested on of these babies. This is the Mercedes SL 65 also known as the T65 S. Yes, this baby has a bi-turbo 12 cylinder engine. It develops a massive 715bhp and get this, 1,100Nm of torque! This thing can plough a field or fly an airplane. Plunk one of these engines into a light aircraft and you'll be flying from KL to Vietnam. Amazing isnt' it? The torque had to be electronically limited to stop it from tearing the whole gearbox apart.

So what do you get? A super cool coupe/convertible, ultra cool black paint job and a car that you can basically fly within APAC. Funny why they don't mention the consumption. Maybe it's because the engine is so thirsty that when you're gunning it at full throttle, you'll run out of gas before you hit Thailand.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

How fast time passes when you do not notice it

It was a wierd day yesterday, after attending a wake. We found out on Sunday afternoon from Yen's brother that her granduncle had passed away. I must say, it's really strange to have meet someone for the first time and to know a month later that he has passed away. He was 88 years old. My grandfather was 84 years old when he passed away.

My condolence to Sarah and her family too for their loss. Her father also passed away over the weekend. The department gathered some collection and was brought to the funeral by Joyce. I could not attend as I was at Yen's granduncle's wake.

I cannot explain the feeling that came over me. I mean, it's been a few years since I last attended a funeral. I started observing around and noticed that some neighbours' gates had a red cloth tied to it. Then one of the funeral parlour workers brought a whole bunch of joss sticks and planted it opposite the house. It felt numbing and I didn't move once I sat down on the table. A lot of them were Yen's relatives or parents' friends.

As I was sharing with Yen, the last funeral that I went for was Uncle Jaya's... Ivan's father. He was a friend of my family and they were a close group. It was scary and at the same time it brought a lot of people together. Many friends of my parents that I have not seen in years due some fueds, many of their children who have all grown up. I could still remember back when we used to run around the neighbourhood carrying battery powered water guns and spraying each other. We'd go for the potluck dinners, eat quickly and then it was out to the roads with our ice cold water filled guns.

So 10 years or so later, we've all grown a lot older and matured a lot more. How fast time passes when you do not notice it. I guess it's true that you never know when you will leave this world. Look at the latest Virginia Tech Uni killing, what could have drove a person to murder? Those people were caught at the wrong place and at the wrong time. Tomorrow, you could go out to a store or the bank, minding your own business and something could happen. There's no way to cheat fate. When your time has come, you'll have to go.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

we sat at the same table... again!

Yen and I finally found a bridal photo exhibition that we wanted to see. The company was called Ivory Romance, based in Loke Yew. But before that, we went for dinner at Manhattan Fish Market and for some strange reason, the 2 times that I've been there with her, we sat at the same table... again! And this time, I took a shot of the picture that was hanging on the wall. Interestingly isn't it?

Well, we saw the ad in the newspaper a few days ago and they had one featuring an outdoor shot with a couple standing next to a horse carriage. It caught our attention and it really was the one we both agreed on. I tried to search for the company's website online, but however the URL does not exist.

Anyway, we both were sold on the spot and we signed up for the package. The shots were pretty impressive and the costumes are provided for both the man and woman, so they'll match. So we've got that out of our way, the next that we need to do on our list is probably to start looking for restaurant quotations.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

It was called Sincere Accord Sdn. Bhd.

So, today is the day that the courier company promised to deliver the shipment to me. I actually received a call from the forwarding company on Thursdady night telling me that they can schedule the delivery for Saturday afternoon between 2pm to 4pm. I was thinking, wait a minute, I'm not working on Saturday and they are doing the delivery on the weekend?

I immediately told them that I wanted it on Friday and they told me that they could not do it before. What's the point of telling me then if you can't do it on a week day? They said that if I could not be there on a Saturday, then they told me that they will schedule it for Monday. So in the end I told them that I will be there. They said that the driver would call an hour before coming, sometime after 12pm. So I agreed.

I called up the Dell CS hotline on Friday morning and told them the situation. The lady who took my call said that she will personally check with the forwarding company. After a while, she confirmed that the note to the driver was that he will call 1 hour before coming.

With that in mind, Yen and I made our way for brunch. We had chicken rice in Happy Mansion in PJ. Right after brunch, I was heading towards KL when the driver texted me asking which Tower in Uptown 5 was I in. Bugger! I immediately called him and told him that I was in PJ and I would be heading to Uptown. I made an illegal turn, sped as fast as the car could take me and I ended up in Uptown. I saw a Skynet truck parked on the shoulder of the curb. It was the delivery man. I rushed to find a parking by the side of the road in front of the truck and went to collect my package. Looks like Dell really made a killing from the PC Fair sales. He had a lot of delivery stops to make. Judging by the amount of boxes in the truck, there were at least another 30 packages to be delivered.

As much drama it was trying to rush there so that the delivery guy would not leave due to no show, it was well worth it. My Fujitsu gave up on me a month ago. Speaking of the Fujitsu, I took it to a place in Jalan Kuching which accepts trade ins for used notebooks. I told them the problem and they said that they'll do a diagnostic on it. If it is repairable, they'll let me know how much and probably deduct it from the selling value. It's good to know that they didn't just rip me off by telling me that it's broken and they'll give me a 100 bucks for the hardware.

While I was there, I noticed a Honda spare parts shop. It was called Sincere Accord Sdn. Bhd. I had to check it out and see how much the prices were. The lady owner sold me a Japan made oil filter and a 4 litre bottle of semi-synthetic VTEC LEV engine oil for RM 80.00. I paid RM 98.00 for that same thing in PJ Paramount. So, guess they are really Sincere. So for all you Honda owners, that's a new place you should check out. The address is JALAN SELINGSING 4 ,OFF JLN KUCHING ,TAMAN SRI KUCHING ,51200 KL. You'll need to make a U-turn at the Kepong roundabout if you are coming from KL. Take the first turn to your left when you see a bus stop. Continue left at the T junction and just follow the road. Take the first left and first right. You should see a flat on your left and the shop is on your right.

Like I said, I could not wait to start blogging from my new laptop.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

don't let the cups drive you


The next time you drink coffee, remember this story or better still, when stress hits, drink a cup of coffee and think of this story.

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.

Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups made of Porcelain, Plastic, Glass and Crystal. Some ordinary looking, some expensive, and some were exquisite.

He told them to help themselves to hot coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in their hands, the professor said, "If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap looking ones. While it is but normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress."

"What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups and worse, you were eyeing each other's cups."

"Now if life is coffee , then the jobs, money and position in society are the cups . They are just tools to hold and contain Life, but the quality of Life doesn't change.
Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee in it."

So folks, don't let the cups drive you..., enjoy the coffee instead.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

that box with the huge DELL logo

Just received an email in my inbox telling me that my order has been shipped. Basically you can sign up for a notification with Dell and they will let you know once your order has shipped. It's nice to know that you don't need to go to the website to keep checking, although I did just that. I kept signing on to the Dell website to check on my order. I was getting a little anxious when they didn't have any updates on the 17th.

True enough, today when I checked, the laptop has already completed their building and testing stage. So that would mean only one thing, I am going to receive a phone call tomorrow from the delivery people to schedule my delivery. So right now, I'll see that box with the huge E logo arriving in my office anytime soon.

Just spent the whole day in training today. I must say, this is one of the most interesting training sessions that I have attended while in FedEx. One of the Senior Manager who conducted the session seemed to think highly of me. I shall not speculate, though I may have what it takes to apply for an operations manager, I will not get the chance until the opportunity comes. This training session does not guarantee that I will be a manager, but it will provide me with a chance to apply for it when the opportunity presents itself.

So now, time is really counting down, whether I will continue to remain in FedEx or will I switch to green anytime soon. Only time will tell. Hope to be blogging from my new laptop sometime soon.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Just put the cup there and press the button

So, this morning when I arrived in the office, I fired up Outlook and I find and email from my HR manager who has sent me a list of tasks that I need to complete before the workshop that has been scheduled for me tomorrow. Great, this fella really knows how to send it to us in the shortest notification time. Ended up, I've wasted a good night. Yen and I had to complete the assignments for tomorrow's workshop. It's so stupid, if you want us to come prepared with answers, at least send it to us a week in advance!

What's worst, the modules were completed half a year ago and he expects us to somehow find it in the deepest parts of our memories and recap what we've learnt online and write out a summary. If pigs could fly. So I spent the whole evening of the day printing out the course program book and finding the answers for all the questions to prepare the summary. Since Yen and I were attending the same workshop, I thought I'd print a set for her. Little did I know, she had already gone through the thing and informed me that I need to have 4 print outs of a certain logsheet and another 5 print out of my daily schedule. She did not print a set for me... Yes, I am upset that I could think of printing a set of answers for her and she did not even print out what was needed for me.

So I've received wind that the problematic staff has been dealt with and it's about time. She will receive no pity from the likes of myself nor my fellow reps. To hell with her and her attitude. It's like I always say, nip the problem in the bud and show no mercy. Another update is that the office has gotten one of those Nestle coffee machines. They have a wide selection of Nescafe, Cuppacino, Mocha, White Coffee, Teh Tarik and Milo. Now I have had a few in one of my station visits last month and I find that the Mocha was the best. It's basically Milo with Nescafe, but it just has that right amount of froth and the best part, I didn't have to make it myself. Just put the cup there and press the button. All I can say is, it's about time.

So speaking of time, one of the activities had me jotting down what I'd do in a day. I must say, the list started to look rather repetitive. Check emails, sign into complaints, work on complaints, update yesterday's complaints and callback on complaints. It's no wonder why life started to look sad. I deal with so much negativity in a day, it's not funny anymore. You end up asking questions on why does a company fail so many times, that it becomes a routine? Of course, I've been assured by my MD that the failure is just 2%. All this 2% is really making my head spin and I think working here has shortened my life by 10 years.

Monday, April 16, 2007

if we were on board a ship, I would lead the mutiny

Oooo, received a call from the bank today and that signalled Dell to start production of my new laptop. They have this neat software that allows you to track the progress of your laptop as they build it. Kinda reminds me of FedEx's online tracking.

So, they have given me an estimated time of delivery, which is on April 23, 2007. So the first stage is "Order Received", the second stage is "Work in Progress", which all happened on today. The next is "Manufacturing Build Complete" and then followed by "Shipped From Factory".

Now according to Chin Hooi, he got his laptop within 4 days after the order was received. Now, I'm going to see how fast they can complete the whole delivery. Boy, oh boy... this is really exciting. Just counting the days before the laptop is delivered to me.

So today, just when I thought the dust would settle, I go find out that my boss is on leave. No one can believe it when they read her email. Here she goes telling people not to take leave and she herself is doing it. I tell you, if we were on board a ship, I would lead the mutiny. Unfortunately we are in the new age world today and we have rules. So that means no mutiny, but I can still dream.

I just caught 300 over the weekend. Some say the movie was boring because it was shot using a green screen. But I really loved the film. The movie had all the right elements, the cool "Matrix slow-mo" fight scenes, killer moves and 300 Spartans ready to die for king and country. You have gotta love the attitude and funny puns used in the lines when talking to the enemy. Now, that's my kind of attitude. Really, these men were all clear on one goal. They knew what they had to do, no matter what. These Spartans were born and bred to do one thing, which is to fight and to kill. It's amazing how they are trained to be the ultimate killing machine. Give a Spartan a gun today, and I think he'd be the ultimate marine.

So the boss is on leave for two days, gone from the office. If a mutiny were to happen, this would be the perfect time. The staff are anxious and everyone's asking why is the whole ship rocking? Are we taking in water? Is the ship sinking? Sigh, it was no wonder the Sr Manager was in the HQ today. Her rounds keep things in check so that no mutiny were to happen to one of her "ships" with her captain away. Sorta like an Admiral taking command of the flag ship while the Captain is on shore leave. It really makes everyone of us question her leadership. One minute you are telling us not to go on leave, the next you are on leave yourself while the rest of us are suffering here everyday operating with minimal manpower.

I'm really counting down the days before the Green bottled beer factory calls me in to sign my Offer Letter. How I wish it would be soon... At least in the new company, if I was stressed out, I'd just go the lounge and drown my sorrows with a nice cold one while watching TV on the two flat 42" plasma screens. Now that's what I call an employee's lounge. That's where you can really relax and let the day's stress just roll off your shoulders.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

it covers spills, surges and drops

After much drama over the week, trying to get Ming Tzern to meet up to get the order in for the hp, turns out that we spent the whole afternoon buying the wrong laptop! Instead of a Core 2 Duo, he ordered a Core Duo. Damn, finally I thought, the heck with it I was going to the PC Fair and buying one from there.

I told him to cancel the order and I will try to pick one out from there. After much walking, I didn't managed to buy anything. One due to the amount of people there and two, I could not get anything on the spot that was good. The ones that had stock on hand were either not that reliable brands or were running Core Duo chipsets.

After today, I finally decided to go back to my original plan, which was to order a Dell. After spending two weeks with Merv's D410, I'm pretty much sold. Sure, it may feel a little plasticky, but it's the most affordable and also reliable. For one, I bought Dell's 3 year Complete Cover support. Yes, it covers spills, surges and drops. It's cheaper than the hp and it's still a reliable brand.

Chin Hooi just got his last week and according to him, he has already called their helpline. For one, his unit had a loose connection in the LCD screen and the display had a bit of a problem. When the service people arrived, they had a spare LCD on hand waiting to change just in case. Now, that's what I call being prepared. In fact, they will go to any location you are at, it doesn't have to be your home. I've arranged for mine to be sent to my office. Since I'm there most of the time, it'll be better for them to send it to me at work.

I've just gotten my order confirmation today and it should take 5 to 7 days for them to deliver the shipment. I won't hold my breath on that as with the response from PC fair, I think Dell will have their hands full. Last week was Penang, and this week is in KL. Come next week, it'll be in Ipoh. Since the units are built-to order, I doubt they will have any ready. So hopefully, come next week I will be able to return this to Merv and have my own laptop once again.

Friday, April 13, 2007

So, small mall... small car

Came last year, Zoe moved back to Bangsar and Wan Yee is on his way back. The renovation work is completed and it will be a matter of time before he comes back. And yet, we will say goodbye to another, Merv and his wife will be moving out from Terasek 3 to Ampang. Oh well, guess we must all move on one day.

Fortunately for Yen and I, we will continue to reside in Bangsar. I thank my parents for this as this is a good place to live in. Though it's becoming a centre for shoppers who want a different alternative to the megamalls surrounding our city, people have come to love small township malls such as Bangsar Village.

The first time when they suggested that they were going to build a shopping mall in the old Hankyu Jaya, as it was formerly known, I thought it was a joke. When Hankyu Jaya shut down, it was becoming a white elephant. Like a sore thumb sticking out from the heart of Bangsar. It used to be a great landmark for people coming to Bangsar, "Oh yes, when you see Hankyu Jaya on your right, turn right at the traffic lights". Then it became the old abandonned building. Now, it's been fully restored, with the new wing opened. I must say, they have totally turned things around. With the cafe bistros and cake shops, it's a nice place to be.

For those days that you don't want to go to a mall with so many people, a small township mall is a nice place to be. I somehow wonder, how will the tenants keep going? If you have been there, you'd notice a lot of boutiques which has taken up lease with the owners. One would wonder, how long will these tenants stay? It used to be very easy going to Bangsar Village to have coffee, but with the amount of traffic that it has attracted, it's starting to become a hassle. For residents coming out from Bangsar Terasek area, you'll get caught in the cross junction between Terasek and Telawi. The cars are all bottle-neck no thanks to the traffic lights in the Telawi-Ara junction. Oh well, that's Bangsar for you.

So, this brings me to today's posting. The all new Perodua Myvi SE. A colleague of mine, Franco just bought one. It took two weeks to order and they delivered it to him just a few days ago. So, small mall... small car. The Myvi has always been reviewed as a good car, economical, spacious, good looks and brilliant to drive as a city car. It's also Perodua's only car with LED rear lights. Now, they've gone and release the SE model, which comes with a good looking bodykit, a roof spoiler, bright meter cluster and leather seats to match. I just took a ride in Franco's car and it's not what I'd expect it to be. You know with Perodua cars, they're going to be small. This one had the big and spacious interior, sorta like the Kenari but without the bad looks. The Kenari was like a washing machine, but with the Myvi, which is based on Toyota's Passo, the build quality is good. It felt high and sitting inside, it felt different as compared to the Kelisa. It had all the good features of each Perodua make all-in-one. It had the height and space, inherited from the Kenari. The nippy handling from the Kelisa. The built quality, from their parent company Toyota. It's all you would ever want in a Perodua.

So to the members in Parliament, there's no need to make such a big fuss on one comment by a British car critic. Like I said, all in all, it was good publicity. If Perodua keeps coming up with such innovations, they'll be the number one car manufacturer in Malaysia soon.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

today has been a day of many surprises

Continuing the birthday entry, today I received the biggest surprise in my department. My boss bought me a cake and my reps all bought me a pen and a name card holder. I was really touched when they called me over to one of the cubicles to say that they were going to sing me a birthday song.

To all you guys, Sow Hon, Vijie, Wan Nee, Ann, Carrie, Sarah, Salwa, Michelle, Jaya and to those who have left the department Yee Hann, Doreen and Poi Yee, thank you for the lovely gift. It really caught me by surprise. Thanks Woan Koon for purchasing the cake.

They even engraved my name on the pen, how thoughtful. I must say, today has been a day of many surprises.

Unusual Birthday Wish?

So it's my birthday, we're gonna party like it's my birthday...

Yesterday I had my flu shots. FedEx provided it to all employees. I took it because it was free. No harm in getting it since it's provided by the company. Of course they'd inform me that there will be some minor side effects as with all vaccines. I was working when it hit me. My head started spinning and I felt a little dizzy. A colleague from the IT department came to ask me whether I was feeling dizzy. Turns out he was having the dizzy spells too. Others complained about numbness in the arm that the jab was given. I know for sure that I was dizzy and I had lost my appetite for dinner. Went straight back to Bangsar to tarpau and ate quickly.

I slept early too, by 10 something I was already asleep and in lala land. Woke up this morning and the headache was gone. Somehow I felt that today was going to be a good day. Now, what would make it even better is that I will receive a call from my future employer telling me to go sign the offer letter. Believe it or not, I got that call, but it wasn't how I expected it to be. The HR manager told me that to hold on and that they are hiring a new GM for the department. Asked when, and she told me very soon. So there will be no rush and that I have been assured of my job prospects there. My CV is good and that they will confirm a place for me once the whole reorganization settles down.

Unusual birthday wish? You bet! This is why I keep saying, be careful what you wish for, for it may come true... and you may regret it.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

So in the pursuit of happiness...

The "Pursuit of Happyness", Yen and I watched this movie last night. Basically it's abou"t the story of one man, who has lost everything in his life and hitting rock bottom. Chris Gardner spent his live savings venturing into a business of selling bone density analyzers, he and his wife moves to San Francisco and plan to make it big there. However, it was tougher than he'd expected and ends up trying to sell one unit a month to make ends meet. Eventually, his wife leaves him for not being able to pay for rent and other monthly expenditures. He begged his wife to leave his son Christopher with him.

Yen asked what I thought about the whole film and how I felt. I mean it is sad to know when someone goes through a tough situation. Losing everything, including your car and house, having nothing to eat and no where to live, it is devastating. However, Chris and his son, still maanages to pull through. They would live in the subway toilet, put up in the shelter and preserverence and hard work eventually paid off. Of course being a broker also contributed to his success later on in life.

Being down on one's luck is really hard to go by, imagine everything you did hit a dead end. I would have given up there and then if I had not watched this film. If this show thought me one thing, it's that no matter how bad your situation may get, there's always a silver lining in the clouds.

Yesterday being Good Friday, Victor sent me an email with a powerpoint file depicting the meaning of Good Friday and why it's such a holy occassion for Christians. I never knew the true meaning behind it, all I thought it was the day that JC died being crucified. Well I have learnt that in the crucifix, normal prisoners were hung there, with their hands tied instead of nailed to the cross. At the base of the feet, there would be a small platform for the prisoner to stand onto while awaiting the slow death. If the Romans got impatient, they'd just break the knees and the prisoner eventually will have most of his weight hung down on the cross, sufficating to death. In JC's case, he was nailed to it and you can imagine the pain he'd gone through. He was sinless, and at that point, he thought that God had neglected him. As we all know, JC had to suffer, even though he was innocent to save mankind from their mortal sins. He arose on Sunday.

I spoke to Uncle Roger this morning and every year on Good Friday, the sky would be covered with dark clouds and there would be thunder and lightning around 3pm to 4pm. There will be very little rain, and the thunder and lightning symbolizes JC's last breath. However, this year it is the first time that the sky was clear.

So in the pursuit of happiness, what should you be pursuing? What really makes you happy? Some people, it'll be habving financial security. Some people it would be having a good home to go home to. How does one feel happy? I know that I am happy being with Yen and that we will be gettinng registered this year in June. A lot of people think that they are happy being where they are today. I guess, being contented is the true way to being happy. There's no point aiming for a Ferrari to be satisfied if you can't afford one. Sigh... looks like it'll always be a dream car.

Friday, April 06, 2007

He destroyed a Kelisa

Yesterday a piece of interesting news caught my attention. It seems that Datuk Abdul Rahman Sulaiman, the Deputy Minister from the PM's department was worried that the Clarkson did the piece our country's best selling Perodua Kelisa.

Sure, the car did score high points in quality in the JD Power Asia Pacific customer satisfactory survey, but most of us buy a Kelisa because it's affordable. That's satisfaction for you! Without a doubt, if you asked me I'd buy a Kelisa over any Proton model any day because the built quality is a lot better and dare I say tougher?

So what if Clarkson did that piece our beloved small car? He destroyed a Kelisa. If you made something bad, you'd have to be prepared for critics. On the bright side, I think it's great that a Malaysian made car got featured on Top Gear. I mean, the Savvy was so ugly that it was only mentioned in the "News" section, where a picture of the Savvy was mocked and made fun of. This would be due to the marketing strategy that Proton took in the UK. Since they owned Lotus, they advertised the Savvy as the "First Lotus". Of course this didn't fare well there. It was bad enough that the UK has lost all of their national cars. Rover, gone... Ford, US owned... Mini, became a German... Lotus, became Malaysian... Roll Royce, became German as well... Bentley, ahh the sporty saloon became German as well... so what's left? So you can see why that taking that marketing angle on the Savvy would have been a bad idea.

Come to think of it, my first encounter with the Perodua Kelisa was when I met Yen. This was the first Kelisa I drove, it has a white facia meter cluster, giving it the supposedly sporty feel. But that's not going to fool anyone. I mean, being in the car, the plastic and fittings feel a lot more solid that those on a Proton. For a 1.0 litre car, it felt nippy, small and nice. I guess the original Daihatsu car was meant to emulate the Mini. Of course sending her the clip of Clarkson having his way with the Kelisa was a bad idea.

You know, jokes aside. The Kelisa, which I thought to be a bad name cause the fish that it was named after is the Arowana. How can you compare that to such an elegant fish? But due to it's good value for money, most people buy the Kelisa as a first car. I mean, in the gang alone, a few people own a Kelisa. Yen's got one. Ka Seong's got one, Sue Ann bought one and Rudy's sister has one.

Looks like Perodua's got it right this time by discontinuing the Kelisa and coming up with a replacement model. Just look at Proton, they milk each model for it's worth. It's like milking a cow and when there's nothing left, they still continue to milk it hoping that something would come out. THe first ever produced model, the Saga is still available. When was it produced? 1985? 1986?

I'm actually looking forward to the Kelisa replacement model. So far, I have nothing but praises for Perodua, kudos! Keep up the good work and remember, a little critic didn't hurt nobody. Instead, it looks like a good opportunity for Perodua to use it to their advantage. Try hanging a Vios with a one tonne weight in front of it's grille. I would bet you that if you did that to the flagship model, the Camry, it would still fall off the same. Big doesn't mean tougher.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

One freaking day before holiday, all hell breaks loose!

A recurrence of Tuesday's nightmare. The staff who was on EL, was again absent from work. Ever had one of those days where you know things would go wrong?

It started off with my pants, a pair of Renoma khakis that was bought less than a year ago. I found pink patches on it and I immediately knew who's clothes had affected it in the wash. My stupid, useless, bum of a sister who had purchased a cheap piece of cloth that she calls a blouse... The red dye was of course unwashable and it caused part of pants to have a pinkish plot around the cuffs of my pants.

After that, an SMS came in, the staff who had messed up my day's schedule again said that she will be on MC, so a sick leave again. Strike two! My boss immediately gave me a ring and asked if I was at the office. I said no and she informed me that she will be in the call centre overseeing from there and asked me to arrange and take care of the department accordingly. In my mind, I was already summing it all up to be a shit day. One freaking day before holiday, all hell breaks loose!

I got to the office without any hiccups. Got a copy of the Sun from the foyer and took the lift straight up. Again with 50% manpower, we had to struggle through the eve of the public holiday. First news that hit me, inbound flight delay. Sigh, this was turning out to be a swell day.

I didn't manage to do much of my work, I had to follow up for my rep who did not turn up. By mid day, things started to slow down. There were less calls going into the call centre and they had met their service level by the end of the day. I managed to complete the backlogs and went to finishing most of my audits.

Then when I came home, the darn Internet was not working. I tried switching modems and yet I could not connect. I dialed the streamyx hotline and they diagnose it to be a timeout issue. My line was still connected, for the past 6 1/2 hrs. That explained why I could not connect. Who fault it was? Well, the genius sister again.

Today was also Rahkee's last day with us. So, looks like the Malaysian team will be facing the crisis that I'm going through right now. They have had 3 resignations so far and from what I've heard another will be leaving by the end of the month. Just when you thought things could not get any better. Either something is deeply wrong with the department or it's just bad management skills. I would think it is the latter.

Yen tried to cheer me up tonight, which I am grateful. We went for Bakuteh in Jln Ipoh. She still brightens up my day.

Comparing hp and Compaq

I was pondering this question this afternoon while chatting with Chin Hooi. What is the difference between hp and Compaq?

We all know that hp owns Compaq these days. So are the built qualities getting better? If they are, then why are Compaqs still being sold cheaper as compared to hp's Pavilion series?

So he used this analogy, something that I could comprehend with that thick skull of mine. A hp is pretty much like a Lexus, solid and luxurious. A Compaq on the other hand would be your Toyota. So one's a GS300 and the other's a plain ol' Camry. Now that really made sense immediately!

Well, today's a lot more easier as compared to yesterday. It's been so long since I've worked on traces and it felt really wierd. It's like going into the swamp and getting your hands dirty. Really putting your fingers in the muddy waters and doing the labour. It was quite a hectic day yesterday compared to today. I could see most of my agents having more free time to browse the Net. Usually, they'll be piled up with work that they have time to even go to the toilet.

You could tell when it was going to be an easy day at the office. Time moves a little slower, it took ages to reach lunch time. And today, I remembered to pick up Yen's aunt's cheque book. You see, when it is hectic, you really can't remember what you're supposed to do until it's too late.

So, I have made my choice to buy the "Lexus" of the laptops. I'm not saying that the Toyota isn't good, it's just that the Lexus would make it a more worthwhile buy. Come to think of it, it is true. You see, the Pavilion has a nicer finish as Ming Tzern puts it, pretty much like how a Lexus has a better looking car than the Toyota. You know that the Lexus has been engineered by the Japanese to become the number assassin to the German marques out there. Who could have ever thought that a Japanese brand could outsell German marques in the US?

I couldn't believe it either until I looked at one and got into one. I still remembered getting into an ES300, one of the more rarer models. My mum's boss had one and when I got into the driver's seat, the meter cluster was all blacked out. Bear in mind this was like 1997. When you inserted the key, the steering column automatically adjusted itself downwards and the meter cluster illuminated. Now this was quality. Back then Bimmers and Mercs only had the standard meter clusters that had a orangish hue that made it look old. Lexus was first to come up with illuminated dials that lit up when you inserted the key in. Now that was a leap in technology!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Work... with 50% of the manpower?

Today was probably the most tiring day that I've had in a long time. We had almost 50% of the department missing, 1 was promoted, 2 tendered their resignations, 1 was away to help out the call centre, another was on annual leave and the last one was on EL. Rudy, this is why I hate people in my department who takes EL. It really messes up everyone's schedules.

I spent most of my morning following an urgent case for my rep who went on leave. Then after that it was finishing most of the reports for last month. After I cleared that out of the way, just when I was going through my emails, my boss tells me that the rep who was on EL did not call nor show up. The rest of the day was spent doing follow ups and closing whatever that I could. It's going to be a long day again tomorrow if she does not show up.

This is the first time that I'm blogging using Merv's laptop and I must say the small form factor is just nice. The 12" screen makes it perfect to just put it on my lap in front of me. I'm typing this while laying on my bed face up. I used to do it with the Fujitsu, but that was rather heavy. With this Dell D410, it's just nice. Easy to type with and small, looks sleek.

I just received a call from Maybank today. Turns out that they have not processed my application because I have an existing Master card that was sub to me by my mum. They called me today to verify whether I was going to cancel that card and I told them yes... for God's sake, kill the card if it's going to expedite the approval. These people really do take their time with the work. Kinda reminds me of the old government run departments.

I still recall going in to Customs to apply for a CJ5 form for importation of goods exempted from tax. If you went at the wrong time, you'd be made to wait for them to finish their morning tea. I mean, these people clocked in for hardly 3 hours are out on a tea break. You could set your watch by their department. They go according to breaks just like clockwork, never missing a second.

It was so busy today that I totally forget to collect the cheque book from RHB on behalf of Yen's aunt. Must make mental note to remember to collect it tomorrow. Heck, what's with the mental note, it just goes missing like most of the post it notes that I have with me. I must say, ever since getting rid of the pocket PC, I'm having problem remembering things. People always say that paper is a lot easier, but most of the time, I loose the papers itself. There's no backup!

Which brings me to my topic, where's the backup? I mean we are having a crisis here in the department and the boss isn't even worried or bothered that her department staff are suffering. I can see it in their faces, the amount of work that should be done by 13 people are being pushed to the 7 young brave souls. They cringe the moment they step into the office and do not clock out till it's late. As for me, I couldn't be bothered. I'll just leave the moment the time comes. I've had my share of staying back late and I must say, to hell with it! They are not paying me enough to sit through hell and come back in one piece.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Laptop Laid to Rest...

Over the weekend, Yen went back to her hometown for the Qing Meng festival. So I had the whole weekend to myself. It all went well until the laptop died. It had several symptoms over the past few weeks, but most of the time I managed to restart it. On Saturday night, went over to Merv's place to get it diagnose.

Yen was telling me that this is so much like a patient going to see the doctor for consultation. Actually come to think of it, that analogy really did relate very well. The laptop's served me for a whole 4 1/2 years. Over this period, it's been in and out of the hospital with a major heart transplant. The hdd was replaced on time but that lasted like only 5 months. It was an ailing machine that had to be put to rest.

No matter how much we tried to save it, it kept breaking down. Kinda reminds me of my first car, the Astina. That one really broke down a lot. When it was handed to my hands, it was pretty much 8 years old. Things were starting to give way, the radiator had a leak, clutch died and it had a top gasket leak. It went in and out of the workshop every other week. I was about to contemplate a B8 transplant but my dad stopped me. So what did I do? I did the next best thing, sold the damn thing and got myself a Wira turbo. And to top it all off, when his car had a broken windscreen, who's car he drove at full throttle all the way down Terasek? Nothing puts a smile to my face more than putting the foot down on the accelerator and feeling the g-forces pushing you back to the bucket seats.

Now, back to my dilemma, I'm stuck without a laptop till I get mine from hp. In order for that to happen, Maybank has to send me my credit card for Ming Tzern to place the order through hp's portal. Depending on when the morons from Maybank sends me my card, then I will have to wait at least a week for the laptop to be processed and sent.

Thanks to Merv, he's loaned me his laptop for the time being for me to be accessing my mails from home and doing what I spend most of my time doing, reading forums. Ahh, life's good.