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.

取舍

活着,就要面对许多选择。

年纪越来越大,责任越来越多。做出最适合自己的决定变得越来越重要。

年轻时,什么东西都要。总觉得自己的精力太多,要做什么都可以。

年纪越来越大,慢慢学会如何“取舍”。取,是一种精神。一股冲劲,取争取自己所要的,不让此生交白卷。舍,是一种智慧。学会舍弃对自己不利的追求,把更多的时间和精力花在对自己更有利的事项,这就是一种智慧。

所谓年少气盛,总有些不够成熟的意思。

我也快30岁了。虽然不是很老,却也经历了不少惊天动地的事。每一件事,都是一个学习的过程。看尽了生老病死,生离死别,慢慢学习释怀,解开束缚。

愤怒就像一个包袱。紧紧用双手抱着,你就无法拥抱快乐。放下沉重的包袱,你才有手把快乐握住。

学会要争取什么,才不会无厘头的碰钉子。

什么该争取,什么该放弃,这都是非常主观的,没有一定的对或错。重点是选择你真正想要的,只要不是伤天害理的事。

你,接下来会选择做什么?

#Thrive: Making a better tomorrow

The choice we make today, affects our tomorrow. If we want a better future, we need to work on it today.

You want to go to the Maldives for a holiday, you have to start saving now.

You want to lose weight, you have to stop snacking today.

You want to have a healthier lifestyle, you have to stop smoking now.

You want to become an author and publish a book, you have to start writing now.

Someone asked me today, why am I making myself so busy, killing all my weekends with lessons, readings and assignments, on top of a full time job. (FYI: This is for short term. It will be over in a couple of weeks.)

Because I am preparing for my tomorrow, a better tomorrow.

#Thrive

Why I stopped buying #tissuepapers

Tissue paper packs

I’ve stopped buying pocket tissues from shops for a long time. It was a conscious decision.

These tissue papers you see above are from one person- an uncle in wheelchair in Middle Road. He’s the same person I chose to “buy” tissue paper from in my earlier post in 2014.

There should be more. I’ve used some of them, and many times I see the uncle sleeping, so I just left the money on the tray and left.

It’s not only this uncle who is doing this “business”. There are so many others, and not just in Middle Road.

Most of them are old, on wheelchairs, and some are handicapped. What can we do to help them? How much can they earn by selling 3 packets of tissues for $1? (Maybe $2, I don’t know for sure, because I always give at least $5.)

I mentioned this to a friend, I want to do more to help them. How many packets of tissue papers do we need? How fast do we consume them?

My heart aches, especially when I see the elderly, and they are all alone without family to take care of them. These folks remind me of my grandparents. I love my grandparents dearly, and I did anything I could in the past to protect them when they were still around. This explains why I cringe each time I see old folks who are alone, and suffer just to earn some money to survive.

I have been thinking, what can I/we do to help these people who needs help? It’s obvious selling tissue papers won’t get them enough money for living expenses and medical bills.

I keep these packets as a constant reminder of how lucky I am. The collection will only grow. I get them faster then my consumption.

I will continue to #Stopbuyingtissues from the stores, and think of how I can help all of them better, not just one uncle.

#Oldfolks #Singapore

Thoughts after watching “I hugged the Berlin Patient”

I watched the documentary movie “I hugged the Berlin Patient” today, by Edgar Tang. The movie was produced in 2013, and I’ve only watched it today.

I came across the movie on iTunes. Googled about the movie, and found it interesting enough to buy it to watch on my iPad.

The Berlin Patient- who is he?

He is Timothy Ray Brown, the first person in the world to be cured of HIV and Leukemia with a stem cell transplant.

Edgar Tang had a dream, a crazy one. Without much details, he went to Berlin in search of leads for interviews. Very inspiring spirits. I can sense his passion, especially having been in the TV/broadcast industry for 6 years, I know how difficult/easy it can be to get a show out. Sometimes you are lucky, sometimes you wished lady luck is on your side. Unpredictable.

I found it so relatable also because Tim recovered from Leukemia. Though not the first man to be cured of Leukamia, but he had relapses after 2 transplants. No one says with a transplant, you definitely will have a clean bill of health. Edgar, he is a cancer survivor, he had lymphoma.

Each time I come across any blood disorder or leukemia profiles, I get overwhelmed with emotions. I lost 2 very important people in my life to Leukemia, 2 warriors. First it was Queena- a good friend who made a big difference in my secondary school life, then it was Melvin, my dearest baby brother.

The movie “I hugged the Berlin Patient” has an interesting narrative. It wasn’t as simply as Edgar telling his adventure and Tim’s story on camera. I don’t want to be a spoiler and share the details. Edgar’s effort deserves to be watched and appreciated.

To be honest, I didn’t think I would be so touched by the show.

I have a habit, to write to people to tell them how I feel about their product (be it a book, blog post etc), even when I don’t know them. So I went online to search for possible ways to contact Edgar. I found him on LinkedIn, and given my premium account, I can write InMails to people who are not my contacts. So I wrote to him to thank him for the awesome show. I don’t expect a reply from Edgar, though it will be nice to have one.

This show will not let you understand the pain of a cancer patient. But you will see how hard the patients fight for a way to recover, but how difficult it is in reality. Even when you do recover, the very toxic chemotherapy leaves you with nasty side effects that you have to live with for the rest of your life.

I strongly encourage you to watch it. Especially if you do not know who is “The Berlin Patient”.

Imperfections

Your worth is not determined by others. You are worth based on who you are. You don’t live life in pain or happiness based on the scores other people give. People may view you with imperfections, but don’t let it get to you. Take the feedback constructively.

There’s no need to punish yourself with unhappiness or anger experienced by others. It belongs to them, not you. Instead, create happiness so that you can share to cheer unhappy people up.

Perfection, imperfection, all so relative. We all know milk is good for healthy bones growth, but it’s toxic to those lactose intolerant. It’s the same logic.

Yes everyone is different. But everyone deserves to be master of their own life and destiny.