Wednesday, November 13, 2013


testing new waters...
...acrylic canvas paintings

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I just spent 3 hours writing all this up. 2.5 hours of those trying to get consistent font size in the blogspot editor. Unedited my ass!


I hate all those dental product advertisements. You know how they always show all that bacteria inside your mouth, I think it’s disgusting - it just makes me want to throw up. Except that it makes the mental picture of my own mouth even more disgusting which makes me want to throw up even more. Vicious cycle...


I was carrying my laptop in my hands and the mouse fell on the floor. So I asked a colleague – “Can you hand me my mouse?” ...and that just came out all wrong


A friend once complimented me on my email signature. He said "It's cool".
My email signature: "Sent from my Blackberry Wireless Handheld!"
I have decided we have been friends long enough.


Despite being a woman myself, it’s amazing how much I still need to learn about my fellow sisters. Like I recently learnt there is nearly no correct way of using “even” while referring to a woman. In any form. Ever. Period.


I recently visited a long lost friend. I was waiting outside her door when I heard her cat from inside. I was looking for the cat as I entered when she apologised, "I'm sorry I kept you waiting, the baby just wouldn't stop crying, I bet you could hear her from outside"...I told her I could. And that her baby was cute.


One co-worker once thought out loud: “I actually like not having a lot to do at work, and just having an easy day”. I told him he must be an exception. Because all of us just love working our butts off.


If you are confirming your attendance at a dinner at someone’s house, make sure you send the email to the right person. Or you’ll open a can of worms you never thought existed.True story.


I have recently received many marriage invites. Marriage. Not wedding. Marriage. And people often insist I stay present the whole time. I don't know how to tell them.


Another long lost friend (yes it’s lost & found day in High School Friends’ Universe) recently got back in touch. After a long update on her life, she said, “I can’t believe you are still single, but I am sure you have guys wrapped around you all the time”. I told her there are loads. Tom Cruise is one of them.


I just had my half yearly performance review. We just love sending each other off on holidays.


You know the difference between reality and perception? Like when women make a pout and think they look like Angelina Jolie, while in reality they look like they kissed a bee hive? I am a woman and I think this post is hilarious.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

packing up your house is weird, even if you are only moving two blocks away. just the entire exercise of going over all your stuff, finding things you had forgotten you possessed, old memories you thought no longer mattered - it all comes rushing back like it happened yesterday. and it doesn't really matter if those are big life changing memories or just small simple stuff - like that awesome dress you bought at that sale - it was such a steal!! Having to throw it away kills you -- so what if you never wear it and you have way too much stuff anyway. its not the dress that matters, its the memory.

moving houses is like giving up all the memories of all the years spent there and just moving on. its almost never easy.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

customer care the octopus (part 2)

......(continued from customer care the octopus )

The Winner:::: Singtel:

[This octopus is the uncontested winner at having a head-arm coordination - so much so that it almost definitely deserved an entire piece dedicated to it.

December: Buy a new BB. All excited go jumping along to the nearest Singtel dealer, show him the BB and get a new connection.
Dealer: "It'll get connected in 3 days"
"OK, but it does work with BB right?"
Dealer: "Ofcourse"

2 days later, call customer care in over excitement
After 10 min on IVR
"Ma'm we told you the connection takes 3 days to get activated. Please wait for 3 days before confirming" [Ok fine...huh!!]

5 days later
After 10 min on IVR
"I am sorry mam but your connection is not updated in our system yet. Please wait until Tuesday"

After 10 min on IVR
"I am sorry mam but your connection is not updated in our system yet."

"Huh? I have had this number for 10 days now. You said it'll get activated in 3 days! What's going on"
"I am not sure Ma'm. Let me find out and call you back"
[ Its ok, relax! wait for her to call back, she will sort it out]
Wait till evening, call back
After 10 min on IVR and 10 min of explaining the background to some one else
" you see, xxx had told me she will call me in an hour with an answer. Its been 5 hours and I still haven't heard back."
"Ok, ma'm let me arrange for a callback"
[But that's what she did in the morning!sigh...]

20 minutes later
"Hi Ma'm this is xxx calling from Singtel. We have activated your line. You just need to restart your phone and your connection will work"

3 days, 20 restarts and another IVR routine later
"Ma'm have you tried restarting your phone? Your connection is active"
Yes, I did tha..." [CLICK]

Needless to say by now I was furious, so I called them again - this time to scream!

After an extremely frustrating dialogue and many "call transfers to supervisors" later, ..
"Ma'm the plan you have bought is incorrect. It doesn't work for blackberry"
I am sorry what???????"
"Ma'm the plan...."
Ya I heard you the first time - I didn't buy this plan, your dealer sold it to me! And I checked with him! he said it WILL work with a BB!!!!"

People were turning to look at me. So I decided to calm down.
"Okay, can you change it to a plan that does work with BB?"
"Yes Ma'm, i can put you on blahhhhhh... it will cost you twice.."
"I don't want that, disconnect this number"
"Sorry mam your connection is under a 1 month contract, I can't disconnect"
But the connection doesnt work!!!"

Another transfer to supervisor, going by the number of transfer, I should have been talking to the CEO by now!!
"Your team is telling me they can put me on plan blahhhhhh at twice the cost"
"Sorry mam, but plan blahhhhh wouldn't work for your BB for reason blahhhhh"
"What???!!!!! Your team just told me it will..what kind of....pfff...okay there's no way I can buy a BB plan from you, so disconnect this number - I dont want this"
"Sorry mam but your connection is under a 1 month contract...."

[so you see dear customer....our dealer was a thug who sold you the wrong plan, our team is made up of complete idiots and our policies were designed by kindergartner who we paid peanuts and i don't care if you die of frustration, you chose us and now you must live with your choices....]


Finally 1 month later my number got disconnected

15 days later I got a bill. Registration fee + 1 month charges + 2 month charges in advance = S$150 ????!!!!

A similar battle to the above ensued over the completely ridiculous bill, only this time with the billing department. Finally they conceded that I should not be expected to pay anything to them.

And so they went overboard in their realisation. The next bill I received was a S$ -150 !! Yes..acc to them they owed me S$150! :D My happiness didn't last though, the next day I was the one receiving the call!! :P

Latest status - 5 months after I bought a connection that never worked , 4 months after it got disconnected ----

I have a bill that says "Amount due S$150 " ?????????????

And a cheque from Singtel "refunding" my S$150 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, May 07, 2011

customer care the octopus

Every once in a while life gives us a jolt just to show us how much we take for granted every single day. A few months ago, my life suddenly turned into a never ending live example of Murphy's law. My 3 month old laptop crashed, my brand new blackberry didn't work, my bank account got frozen for no apparent reason, I almost lost the roof over my head, my home internet stopped working for no reason (yes i had paid the bills!) , my home electricity account got disabled (yes I paid the bills for that too!!) .....nothing seemed to be going right.

And when prayers didn't seem to work, I did the only other thing imaginable;

I called up the customer care for each service.

Now Customer Care is a funny animal. Everytime I think of it, the picture of an octopus pops into my head. A big head called the Global HQ with arms spreading all over the world, encircling our dear planet from one end to another. You can imagine if you only had 1 head to manage arms that spread across the earth, it would get a little difficult to give the correct directions wouldn't it? Now imagine the customer care of every company as a separate octopus and you have a complex web of octopus heads and arms all entangled with each other, all of them trying to ...yes... answer your call.

Regardless of the hair splitting frustration I went through at the time, just as with everything else in life, hindsight is your best stand up comic. So here are the top 3 customer care experiences I had... in increasing order of frustration..err..I mean hilarity

#3 Call SBI Customer Care Singapore::

IVR : "If you know the extension of the person you wish to talk to then please dial the extension else press 9 for operator"
press 9
IVR : "If you know the extension of the person you wish to talk to then please dial the extension else press 9 for operator"
[HUH?? I Just Did That] Press 9
IVR: "Thank you for calling us. Have a nice day"

Sorry what???? I tried this 3 times, and then gave up and sacrificed my precious Saturday afternoon sleep to drag myself halfway through Singapore to get what I needed to get done.

#2 Call Starhub Customer Care Singapore::

"Hi, our internet connection has stopped working. It was working fine till yesterday evening, can you please tell us what could be wrong?"
"Sure Ma'm, can I have your customer number?"
"Umm.. sorry I don't have that at hand, I can give you the name of the account holder, can you search by that?"
"No Ma'm I need your customer number"
"I will have to find a bill for that, can't you find out through the name or my house address? Surely the address will be unique wouldn't it?"
"No Ma'm I need your customer number"
"Okay fine, let me find a bill, please stay on the line"
5 minutes later..
"I have the bill in my hand. But it doesn't have anything like a customer number. It has an account number, will that work?"
"No Ma'm I need your customer number"
[Is that an automated response??]
"But the account number should also be unique shouldn't it?"
"No Ma'm I need your customer number"
"Look I am telling you I can give you my address, account number, last bill date, a/c holders' name...but there is nothing like a customer number here..."
"No Ma'm I need your customer number. Without that I can't help you"
I hung up, unplugged all wires and reset the internet connection a few times. Eventually it picked itself up again.

Next month, I received a bill that read as follows:

"Dear Customer, please note that your current account number will be referred to as your customer number from now onwards."


I am thinking of sending that bill to their customer care center, just FYI.

#1 Call Dell Singapore::

Navigate through a labryinth of pages to find the correct toll-free number, a number that worked on weekends - because obviously I needed my laptop fixed urgently

24X7 toll-free no.1 : "Our working hours are Monday - Friday 9 AM to 5 PM. Please call again later"

24X7 toll-free no.2 : "This number is not toll-free and will be charged usual ISD rates. If you wish to disconnect, please hang up now"
[I did not hang up....]
[They did!]

Try again: "This number is not toll-free and will be charged usual ISD rates. If you wish to disconnect, please hang up now"
[I did not hang up....]
[They did!]

24X7 toll-free no.3 : "Hi, May I help you"
"Yes, I bought a laptop 3 months ago and last night I was checking my email when it suddenly crashed. And it isn't booting up now. The service tag no is xxxxx . Its under a 1 year warranty"
"Please hold on ma'm" ...

[2 minutes later]
"Ma'm where did you buy this laptop"
"Ma'm you've reached the call center in the United States. Let me give you a number for Singapore"

[What?! I have been paying call charges for ISD ... but this call didn't say it was not toll free!!]

"Yes please, give me the number"

New toll-free number: "Our working hours are Monday - Friday 9 AM to 5 PM. Please call again later"

A few more calls later I finally managed to find a shop that gave me the right number to call. A couple of months and many more phone calls and emails later, some one finally came and changed by hard disk. so much for my "urgency"! Of course since then I received their emails asking me to fill customer surveys, feedbacks and buy more stuff from them - everyDAY!! - until I did fill out a survey. The emails stopped coming, I think they read the survey! ;)

The winner of all the octopuses is an entirely separate story altogether ... coming up in "customer care the octopus - part 2"