A love letter to Singpost

Dear Singpost,
I have a story to share with you, on the difference between good and bad customer service.
 
Me: I have an important mail containing legal contracts to be sent out. I am resending the same set of documents out again because the delivery service I used previously lost the mail. I need to make sure this gets to my recipient this time round. Do you do same day delivery to this place?
 
DHL: I am really sorry, I would love to help, but we don’t do local delivery.
 
Customer service officer sounded very apologetic and sorry for me.
 
Me: I have an important mail containing legal contracts to be sent out. I am resending the same set of documents out again because the delivery service I used previously lost the mail. I need to make sure this gets to my recipient this time round. Do you do same day delivery to this place?
 
Singpost: Yes we do. By using Speedpost, you will be given a tracking number, and you can check the status of your mail by phone, or online. You will be notified when your mail is delivered.
Customer service officer sounding very excited and hardsell.
 
Me: Don’t read off the script. You guys lost my previous mail…..
 
And Singpost told me I could use Speedpost Express Service for me to get my mail to my recipient within 2 hours. But when my mum went to the post office to send it out via Speedpost Express, only then we found out it’s for corporate customers.
 
Not giving up, I checked online, and found I could use Speedpost Priority. However at the post office, the rude Singpost staff told my mum there’s only a Standard service, and gave the “use it or leave it” attitude. I was on the phone with my mum and I heard everything. Singpost, this is the kind of customer service you give. I guess the monopoly is doing a disservice to Singaporeans. We have no choice when it comes to mail delivery service, and that made you complacent. If you do a search over internet on the complaints and number of lost mails, blunders Singpost made, you will find it disturbing.
 
Dear Singpost, you have caused not only anxiety, but also wasted so much of everybody’s time. I had to make so many calls over the past few days, and to be put on hold, just to trace my mail. My mum had to help me get my papers in order again. And my recipient had to run about her office, checking with the mail room over and over again. We all have important work to do, yet we are wasting so much time because of your mistake. To top it off, your attitude has been unacceptable.
 
Success is not just about how many different types of mail service you provide to customers. It’s about the quality too, if you can win your customers over with competence and empathy. What is the point of having so many different services when customers are always trying to look for alternative mail service because they don’t trust you? Customers end up using you when there is no alternative, not because they trust you.
 
It’s okay to make mistakes. But more importantly it’s important to understand what went wrong, and make a genuine effort to make things better. I was anxious the mail got lost. But I am even more disappointed by your arrogance and complacency. It only reinforces the idea Singpost will fail again.
We can have several telcos in Singapore to have competition, so that customers can have options and better service. There will be new bus operators to offload the stress on existing service. Perhaps it is time that we put an end to the monopoly of our mail service as well, since previous fines didn’t seem to help and make Singpost service better.

“You can be unhappy.”

I recently watched a documentary series on Channel NewsAsia, “Facing Death”. It talks about the challenges critically ill patients and their caregivers face.

I could very much relate to all the stories mentioned. I saw shadows of myself within the show.

However one thing struck me the most. A consultant from Dover hospice said in her interview they need to let patients know they can feel sad, they have a right to do that. We try so hard to fight for happiness everyday, but have we forgotten sadness belongs to the other side of the coin. Everyone is trying hard to construct the ideal world of “happiness”, but what does it really mean to be happy? In the ideal world, we were told to share happiness, never sadness because it will make us look weak. Often we hear people say “never be judgemental”, but unfortunately we all start forming images in our heads with every little bit of information.  We size people up. Unfortunately, it will never be a complete picture because we will never know the complete picture. It’s not about looking beyond what is apparent, it’s about moving beyond the apparent. (On a side note, recent campaign by MCI is about not being judgemental. I personally think it’s a meaningful campaign,  and I hope it achieve good results in reminding people to have more empathy. You can look at the series of videos on their Facebook and YouTube page ➡gov. sg)

We watched the movie “Inside out”. We talked about sadness, we admired him.  But has it really changed our lives?

It is sad to think that we have to deliberately remind ourselves it is okay for one to feel sad. There is always a cycle to everything in life, and they go up and down. Nothing will stay up there forever. Did the pursuit of “a happy world” made us lose the sense of empathy?

The best way to connect with people is to show empathy. And empathy is shown by accepting and acknowledging people for who they are. It can be as simple as telling someone “it’s okay, you can be unhappy.”

I am the badass

Life is an uphill. I walked. I climbed. I stumbled and fell. Covered in bruises, cut and bled.

I continue to walk, with injuries. Limping sometimes, but I try to move whatever inch I can. Remember the times you injure your knee, and you try to take the stairs with an abrasion.

It’s a long road ahead with no end. I can’t change the path I took in the past. No magical eraser can do that. I will continue to move forward.

I missed a step recently. I may be in pain recently, but I will survive.

Call me the badass.

我哭了。

我已经很久没有收看新传媒的电视节目了。但是我知道《志在四方2》将在电视上播出,只是不知道确切日期。我很期待这部电视剧,却不知道它已启播。所以我到了Toggle网页,如果已经播出了,我会观赏随选电视。找不到。后来发现原来今晚是首播。

看着,看着。我不知不觉哭了。

我的心情是激动的。我看见了熟悉的工作环境。我看见熟悉的工作模式。我看见熟悉的场景。我看见熟悉的机器。这一切的一切,勾起了许多美丽与难忘的回忆。即使是当年发生紧急状况时的那种焦虑,现在回想起来也是甜蜜的。因为一个简单的梦想,我吃了不少苦,却也成就了许多。因为年少气盛,横冲直撞的态度也让我撞得头破血流。但很庆幸的是每一次的经验都教会了我很多东西。

我以为以前爱看电视是因为工作关系,不过今天我发现爱看电视是我的本性。我还是会目不转睛的锁定荧幕,即使是广告。我毅然决定离开电视圈,往另一个梦想迈进。这是一个很崎岖的道路,充满了荆棘。有时真的感到很疲惫,也很沮丧。不过回想起当年的闯荡电视生涯,我也挣扎了不少,但我最后还是克服所有的困难,也闯出了属于自己的一片天。我通过自己的方式,走出一条属于自己的路。以前能做到,未来也肯定能做到。这未来肯定就在眼前。

我会继续勉励自己。我的未来就掌握在自己的手里。想哭时就尽情的哭。想笑时就尽情的笑吧!

All Progress Takes Place Outside the Comfort Zone

progress and comfort zone

Image source: Canva

It’s been a while since I last met my buddy. It’s always a discovery process to talk to her, I will learn more about myself through our conversations. And the following quote is the conclusion of our meeting today:

If you find yourself stagnant, maybe it’s time to take the leap. Embrace the certainty of uncertainty.

I GIVE UP!

It takes a lot of courage to say “I GIVE UP!” Sometimes it will mean that you have to open yourself up to many uncertainties. It is terrifying to think of the unknown. Have you ever come to the point of being so sick and tired of something, and you just want to give up? However you can’t bring yourself to make that decision, because you are not sure of what will happen, and you force yourself to press on? I think this is something that all of us can relate to.

As the saying goes, when one door closes, the other doors will open. When your hands are full, you cannot hold on to new things that you want. You got to let go of what’s in your hands, before you can pick other things up.

If you are feeling lost and fed up, maybe it’s time to say “I Give Up!” Give yourself a break, you will find it easier to take a step back and think through what is it that you want.

To thrive in life, you need to know when to let go of certain things. It’s tough and painful, but it’s a necessary evil. Once you let go, you can do the things YOU WANT.

Mark Twain

Life as a 30 years old

Every decade is a milestone in life, especially for me.

My life changed dramatically with this year’s birthday, and big 3 has been very exciting though challenging thus far. I’ve got a new job, picked up new skills, met so many new people! It’s awesome, and I have no complaints.

Age is but a number, it shouldn’t stop you from doing anything that makes you happy. Believe in what your heart tells you, but don’t forget to listen to advice of people. Good listeners go further in life. 

Day 32: #Celebratelife365

Every incident is a learning experience. A bad thing can be good, a good thing can be bad. I learnt that there is no definite black and white to one thing. A bad experience can teach you to be more alert in future, and while a good experience is definitely something welcomed, but it can also lead to complacency.

This came out of a conversation with a friend today. It’s a good reminder. Thankful for good friends, friends who help make you a better person.

#Celebratelife365 #Thrive

Day 31: #celebratelife365

Oh wow! I’ve just realized my #celebratelife365 project is now into day 31. It’s been a month already!

I still remember more than a year ago there was a #100happydays project. It went viral! I love it, and I took part in it! Everyone wants to be happy, and sharing photo updates are so common now that people are more inclined to pick up. That’s one campaign that I can still remember, and a brilliant use of hashtag strategy.

I work with various brands nowadays, and I work out a different strategy for them. However my project has NOTHING to do with any brands. It’s really a reflection and execution of my personal views of life and the world . If you insist, “I” am the brand.

Someone asked me my age, because she was curious. She said I am much more matured then my age. People who are close enough to me will know I’ve gone through some major ups and downs in life. A broken marriage, and the arduous journey to singlehood. Being a caregiver for 10 years of my life, fighting endless battles for my loved ones. Losing people closest to me, and it’s one after another. All these taught me to grow up faster then my peers. A friend used to tell me my life is too full of drama. And my reply is always the same, I didn’t ask for all these drama. They just happened. And in my best friend Queena’s words, she said to the reporter regarding her illness, “it’s your life, and you just have to live with it.” 

After learning more about Buddhism, I learnt to appreciate these challenges more. Besides living with it, I’ve learnt to see them as important lessons in life. As much as I don’t wish for these things to happen, but when they do, I’m glad I learnt how to manage these difficult situations, and survived! I have skills my peers don’t have. I learnt to move on much faster and not harp on what happened. I can devote more time and energy to think of how to make things better, or ease the situation. Instead of panicking, I’m calmer then others. These are one of my greatest assets, though some people do think I’m rather cold when there is a crisis. I’m not cold, I’ve just learnt how to compartmentalize my emotions and thinking better. (Though my friends will probably say I’m a crazy woman always saying funny stuff to make them laugh, doing nonsensical stuff sometimes just to entertain them.) People who doesn’t know about my personal life wouldn’t think I have such a “drama” life when they deal with me on a day to day basis.

It’s because of my past all the more I want to see people happy, and share laughters. Cherish what you have in life and not lament what you don’t have. You are richer then what you think. I hope my sharing brings happy thoughts to your mind, and puts a smile on your face.

Cheers!

#Celebratelife365 #Thrive

Day 28: #Celebratelife365

It’s been a while since I felt so relaxed. No more cramming of readings and lectures during public holidays and weekends, and I can truly enjoy without a countdown timer in my head. Thankful for the Good Friday holiday, I was able to do something fun.

I made a trip to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple today, more specifically the museum and explored the place. I visit the temple at least once a week to pray, partly because it’s so near office. I will go to the temple during lunch time, and then walk over to my favourite vegetarian shop for lunch.

I’ve been wanting to visit the museum, and I marked it in my calendar to do so today. There are 4 storeys to explore, including a rooftop orchid garden. I claim Buddhism as my religion, and find great pleasure and meaning in visiting temples. For the record, I’ve flew in to Chengdu just to see the Big Buddha in Le Shan and visit some of the famous temples in 2014. (One of the crazy things I do!)

Also, today is the 15th day of the second lunar month. I make it a point to visit the temple to pray and be a vegetarian on the 1st and 15th of the lunar month. I am very used and comfortable with being a vegetarian. I was once a vegetarian for 9 months. I did that after my grandfather passed away, and I hope by earning merits for my grandfather in his afterlife by being a vegetarian.

When I was still in junior college, someone predicted I will become a Buddhist. Back when I was younger in secondary school, I believed in Christianity, and followed my dad to the church. Big life events happened, one of which was my best friend passing away, and that changed my life. My godmother brought me to temples during weekends, and I gradually learnt more about Buddhism. I didn’t thought of myself as a Buddhist then. It was much later on when my grandfather fell very ill, and I was so scared, of losing him. I was in university then, and I was not ready to lose him. I was desperate. I prayed. I prayed hard for him. I prayed it’s not cancer, but some other illnesses which are more easily treated. God answered to my prayers, and he was found to have TB and not cancer. I thanked God for it, and kept to my promise that I will do more good for my prayers answered. And I got even closer to Buddhism, and eventually called myself a Buddhist.

I do not call myself an expert with Buddhism, I know too little. Although I took a term of Buddhism class, but that is not enough. It is a constant learning, and exploration. But I do know something. I have been a blessed girl, and I will continue to learn to grow empathy, and be kind to others. And we call this “merit”.

Merit for myself, merit for my family, merit for friends. Whoever it is for, as long as we try to be kind to one another, we can make this world a better place to live in. Thankful for Buddhism, I am constantly learning how to become a better person.

I always believe every religion is good, and it teaches everyone to practice good. It’s the calling of every individual. And I call this “fate”. I am not saying Buddhism is the best religion in the world, and everyone should believe in it. Believe in what is best for you.

Hope everyone had a good break today.

#celebratelife365 #thrive