Saturday, June 30, 2007

My Milky Way

My feet ache. I was wearing a skirt to work on Thursday. So whenever, I wear that skirt, I will match them with my white heels. And then later in the afternoon, Fredrik decides to take Haakon and myself to visit the '6th Malaysia International Gift & Premium Fair 2007' at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. The place was so huge and we walk from one end to the other end and my feet ends up with pinkish blisters :( We were given samples, exchanging business cards, grabbing catalogs, inspecting merchandizes and I walk out from the hall with 3 big full paper bags! I’m glad that Fredrik brought me along. It was nice to leave our cubicles, mingle, practice our social skills and meet new people we would not have otherwise met :)

There were so many local trade companies who participated and set up their booths at this year fair; with many of them displaying common items, only a few which have brought in some unique merchandizes. We were looking for merchandizes that comes with a low cost price tag but with a high perceive value in the market :) Redemptions, gifts and premiums are a niche market. Unlike BonusLink and RealRewards programs that reaches the masses, our clients consists of Banks and Oil & Gas companies who reward their members exclusively. But I find some companies who are doing redemption just for the sake of doing it because every competitors and players in that industry is doing it. I browse through some of their catalogs and many of the feature merchandizes can even be bought more cheaply in the hypermarkets. These redemption points are easily earned as when consumers spend a certain amount in a single receipt, consumers are entitle to earn certain points. For example, when Guardian was running a promotion for its Winnie The Pooh Series – every purchases of RM25 and above, consumers is entitled to get 1 sticker. Consumers must collect all 25 stickers to get the soft toy of their choice. Meaning that if I were to get my hands on the Piglet, I have to spent RM25 x 25 = RM625 to get the toy. With that quality, I think it’s cheaper to buy it at Toy R Us :) But for some consumers who tends to buys a lot from Guardian will just think it’s free and it’s just simply rewarding for being a loyal Guardian consumer. I think it’s a psychological thing :) Making a purchase, swap the card, collect the points and voila – redeem the desire item from the catalog and it’s free! Whether the points are perceived as free or not, I’m not going to waste away the points that I have collected because it comes from a hard-earn purchases :) People in this industry think that redemption is a way to reward loyal consumers, enhance the customer relationship, communicate to consumers on a daily basis – partially its true but I also think that the Merchants are the one who eventually gains more because I know of some consumers who spend crazily just to earn points to redeem the item that they wanted when that item can be purchase reasonably at somewhere else. Why make more transactions when you can buy the item where the selling price is less than the purchase transactions? And these points cannot be accumulated and bring forward. If the points are not sufficient to redeem something, the points will be burn off. And there are consumers who will make purchases to make-up for the loss points. It’s like making consumers spending unnecessarily. Of course Merchants have come up with a genius idea now where customers can top-up with cash so the points will not be wasted :) I missed M13. There was so much of bargaining power back then. We are talking by the thousands. Here the volume is embarassing. It’s skill not scale.

On another thought, as I was standing, peering through the high glass window – the Petronas Twin Towers was standing majestically before me. But this time looking at the structure, it evoked a different kind of emotion. In a single moment I thought of life before city lights. The millions of people who have looked up at that very same sky. And the very same millions of stars looking down on people passing by. People who weaved stories about the world they don’t understand. A world of eternity - existing and evolving, hovering above me and my family every evening. At this point of my life – where I am standing right now, I don't seem to feel anymore. Or maybe it's because I don't want myself to feel, because it's all too much trouble. And there was also a sense of pride glowing in me – the structure reminds me that comes 31st August this year, my country will be celebrating 50 years of nationhood :)

Thierry Henry – Good luck in Barcelona. Arsenal will miss you. And so do I :)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

COGITO

It was one Father’s Day that the family will remember :) I accidentally and unintentionally knock into another car; a blue Mercedes Benz, in front of McD at Section 9. The damage was very minimal – just a dent and a few scratches; below the lights and above the bumper. Thus the event witness my first time entering the police station, lodge a police report and was fined RM150 for the ‘inability to control the vehicle’. I misjudge the distance; I really thought that I could actually overtake that lady driver :)

Lewis Hamilton – Impressive! Impressive! Impressive! He is such a flawless driver, driving exceptionally well and what a grand debut he has made into the Formula 1. He finished all his races on the podium and he manages to secure the first spot in Montreal and in USA. He re-writes history. It’s just so thrilling to watch a rookie who races so amazingly. And I want him to beat Alonso! – It just brings back those memories of the past era where Michael Schumacher competes neck-to-neck with Mika Hakkinen. But last time it was Ferrari vs. McLaren. Now the competition is heating up between the team mates themselves – Hamilton & Alonso in McLaren and Massa & Kimi in Ferrari. No longer are we going to see a repeat of the situation where Rubens Barrichello was instructed to give way to Michael Schumacher in order for the latter to collect the maximum points. In this new season where the younger generation rules the track, it’s fair play all the way for the drivers with equal opportunities and technical support. I’m rooting for Hamilton :)

And David Beckham – I have to say he is one great footballer; especially on his signature free kicks but the brand name, hair cuts, tattoos, fashion statements and a posh lifestyle will always made the headlines first. I have to admire the way he picks himself up again after being told that he can’t play in any matches with Real Madrid and stepping down as England captain. It was like a repeat of 1996 when he was rejected by club, country and critics. Of course he was compensated handsomely with the millions of dollars that he will earn when he signed up for LA Galaxy and not to mention the Hollywood glamour. The Beckhams have become close friends with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Finally the Beckhams are penetrating the American market after capturing Asia and Europe market share. Nonetheless, Becks remain persistent and the long rest that he have actually do him good because he came back as a better player and he was rewarded for it as Real Madrid beat Mallorca at the Bernabeu. He won the La Liga. He is back in the England squad.
If anyone who have read the sports section in all the major dailies – there is actually a picture of Victoria, the mini-Beckhams; Brooklyn, Romeo & Cruz; picture together with the Cruises at the stadium – a genius marketing cum branding ploy. Just as Tom & Katie were there to endorse Brand Beckham – Real Madrid & Becks were there to endorse Cruise. And I think Sir David sounds good :)

Had a lunch date with Chihiro today – companionship and conversations was great fun! Chihiro left M13 earlier than me; I admired Chihiro great courage to switch careers. There is limited promotion, increment, social networks…but somehow the ability to contribute back to society…that satisfaction is priceless. I would love to do what Chihiro is doing right now but…our priority is different. Maybe another 10 years down the road.

Baby sis is coming home :)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Karma & Effect

2 weeks ago, I missed out on Torres farewell party, so I tell myself that I must attend Sverre Magnus exit bash and meet up with The Others :) Last night I finish work early, carpool with Saggi and Eloise to Telawi Street Bistro. It was a great party! I knew the familiar faces; I was happily floating around to different individuals all night, talking, chit-chatting, catching-up and taking silly pictures. It was FUN. And I really missed them very very much – Nikolai, Tommy, Torres, Sverre Magnus, Stavros, Pierre Andre, Trix…I still can’t find such camaraderie in the new workplace :) So overall it was a fun night, as the night wore on, there is still much laughter and merriment :)

I’m staring out into the night
Trying to hide the pain
I’m going to the place where love
And feeling good don’t ever cost a thing
And the pain you feel’s a different kind of pain

Well I’m going home
Back to the place where I belong
And where your love has always been enough for me
I’m not running from
No, I think you got me all wrong
I don’t regret this life I chose for me
But these places and these faces are getting old
So I’m going home
Well I’m going home

The miles are getting longer, it seems
The closer I get to you
I’ve not always been the best man or friend for you
But your love remains true
And I don’t know why
You always seem to give me another try

So I’m going home
Back to the place where I belong
And where your love has always been enough for me
I’m not running from
No, I think you got me all wrong
I don’t regret this life I chose for me
But these places and these faces are getting old

Be careful what you wish for
‘Cause you just might get it all
You just might get it all
And then some you don’t want
Be careful what you wish for
‘Cause you just might get it all
You just might get it all, yeah

Oh, well I’m going home
Back to the place where I belong
And where your love has always been enough for me
I’m not running from
No, I think you got me all wrong
I don’t regret this life I chose for me
But these places and these faces are getting old
I said these places and these faces are getting old
So I’m going home
I’m going home

-Chris Daughtry: Home-

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Other Side Of The World

Last Sunday, Seelan invited us to attend his big bro’s wedding at Bukit Jalil Golf Club. It was a very lavish and bollywood affair :) The ladies; young and old were dressed to their finest…silk sarees in a variety of colors – red, pink, maroon, blue, green, brown, silver, gold – it was one ceremony that was exploding with colors. The ladies were also glittering from head to toe as their bodies were accessorize with gold jewelries; full of earrings, nose rings, necklaces, bracelets, anklets. However, the men folk were not that impressive, dressed in conservative colors of black, white, blue & gray. It will be a nice change if they can match the ladies. The ceremony was conducted in Tamil; everyone speaks Tamil, only a handful of the younger generation that was able to communicate in English. So we were very clueless as we don’t understand a single word of what the priest is saying through out the whole wedding ritual and blessing service. We make guesses by observing their body language :) Only 28 fair-skin guest witness the big day; surrounded by 180 of the bride & groom’s family members. Proud that we blended in, yet stood out :) It is actually good to have a multiracial facade in such events – it brings the communities closer. The buffet was delicious and there was no long wait for the food :)

I love doing events. I like to see the movement of the activities that bring events to life. I enjoy watching people coming in with their equipments to set up their booths, canopies, lightings, audio & visual system, displays, people rushing in & out, I like it even more if it is being conducted – indoors. The FNCC PartnersRewards Redemption Fair was held at the Astaka Field; it was hot & humid and my legs were aching :( I haven’t stand for such a long period of time since my days at Mirabell & FOS. The 2 days event didn’t end on a successful note; only manage to garner 40% of the 10million points. For me, it was a very poor outing. The management needs to do a post-mortem to find out where we went wrong. Was it the location, the dates, the communication, the merchandize? I find the location; even though it was in the central of the city, but the Astaka Field was not easy to find if you are not familiar with PJ. Customers will give up looking for it. The dates were Monday & Tuesday – it was also the first & second day of school reopening. The dates are fine with me because the customers are mostly SMEs and they will be even busier during the weekends; especially for those who owns restaurants, grocery shops or petrol stations if the event was to be held on Saturday and Sunday. I’m not sure how strong the promotion communication to the members was though; did the Key Account Managers manage to reach sufficient members to create awareness of the program that will eventually influence them to come for the redemption fair? The merchandize was unattractive. Lots of last year items. More like a jumble sale to me; to get rid of old stocks. I met people from HQ; we talk to each other on the phone and corresponded through email a lot but didn’t know how each other look like :) We chatted, caught-up and laughed about random and inane things.

The Bitch actually praised me for a job well done. I am totally shock – NOT. I don’t need those from her. She is a carnivorous. She bites. I enjoy working more under a male boss than a lady boss :)
I am happy that I am finally contributing. I have been here for a month and I manage to clear off the More Than 28 Days Backlogs and 21-28 Days Backlogs. The 14-21 Days Backlogs have been reduced significantly as well. My next challenge is to reduce the 7-14 Days Backlogs. The Less Than 7 Days Backlogs cannot be eliminated because that is the time frame for the deliveries. The trick is to reduce the Turn Around Time. On Wednesday, I was given the responsibilities to handle the Chevron project by Haakon which will take off next week. To be honest, the real reason Haakon brought me in is to do troubleshooting for the backlogs. Once all of the backlogs are clear and the Quantum Buffer System is in place, this position is no longer required. Nonetheless, I have learned lots :) But I can't do these forever...I have yet to feel what I want to feel.

Grey’s Anatomy is on now! :)

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Crash Into Me

Tuesday – Celtic’s farewell dinner at Sushi King, Subang Parade. A simple affair; with Seth, Wyatt, Damian and myself in attendance. The atmosphere was completely casual and relaxed. Everyone updated each other, chatted briefly, had a few laughs. One by one we are leaving…but I think all of us left with good experiences, beautiful memories and enriching personal growth :) It's for the better.

The Month of May has been rotten for me – where I have been feeling empty. It was a big step - I couldn’t click, I was not in the same wavelength, I felt out of place, I felt like I didn’t belong, I actually felt bad that I didn’t add any significant value. I was young, too na├»ve, too happy, a trouble…

But things have to change. I am a quarter-of-a century this week :) No doubt that I am still chasing, I am still running, I am still growing, I am still learning. But…I am not going to waste away my days anymore. There is so much to do and see. So much to live for. So much to love :) It’s time to settle into a new routine and discovering a new life. I want to do it, I have to do it.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

trying to find a sense of stillness in my heart

The weeks were a blast. Teng Teng got married! :) So it was another gathering for the SMKSSAAS gang :) M was in da’house – together with Andrew, Jack, Kevin and Samarkand. It has been 8 years since we graduated in 1999 – over the years, all of us has evolved as individuals, from a young single graduate, charging through life with the relentless pursuit of EVERYTHING :)
The bride was beautiful and glamorous. The dinner was simple and relaxed, with a whole lot of lovely personal touches. It was a nice night.

Callum came back! I was a little bit upset that I was not informed, yet was delighted with this nice surprise :) We make a good start…but as usual, the ending part is where Callum have to leaves again :) I’m used to it by now. Now you see me, Now you don’t :)

Torres drops da’bomb.
Amadeo drops da’bomb.
Sverre Magnus drops da’bomb.
CELTIC DROPS DA’BOMB…oh my gosh! This is totally crazy. Of all person, Celtic. Looks like the last one standing is Seth. Champ of the game :)

My laptop crashed due to a conflict between the hardware and the software – and I lost my precious collections of pictures, music, stories, diaries…everything. It’s so heartbroken :(

The Operation Process is so routine – I’m bored, I want to feel varieties. It’s just so easy for someone to say things out loud but to actually delegate to another person to carry out the mission, it’s just so difficult. Maybe this one is not ready to let go, and the other one is not ready to receive them yet.

Reflection – hated it.