Heartache

Well, let’s just say that this isn’t something that you want to see when you get back from a day’s out.

But this is exactly what I saw just now when I got home from shopping.

OH.MY.GOD!

I have no idea what happened. When both mom and I got down of our car to inspect, there was nothing suspicious about it. Not attempted theft cos nothing was missing. The CD player is intact, nothing was out of place.

So, what happened?

We were standing there, shocked when one of our neighbours commented that when she came home around 11-ish, it was already damaged. We got out of the house around 10-ish, so, it mush have happened within that short period of time.

Mom quickly drove the car out to the mechanics – might as well get it repaired asap. Dad would probably nag non stop even if it’s not our fault.

According to the mechanic, there are two reasons:

1) Small stones being pelted or hurled at the windscreen
2) The intense heat from outside/inside the car may cause a small crack and eventually shatters the whole thing

The second reason, although possible, seemed unlikely due to the large gaping hole. Am not exactly sure, but if the mechanic says so.

The damage? RM300….

Knackered

It’s a long break ahead but why am I not feeling overly excited? Looking at the same document I have been looking at over and over again for the past few hours makes me feel tired. I know this is just the beginning where I don’t know what to write, where to begin and whether I’ll get to finish at all!

Sigh.

Yes, am alive! Am I?!

Aaarrgghh… these few weeks had been ultra busy!

I can’t believe that I have been flying every weekend for the past 3 weeks! Let’s see, it all started with KL-Singapore, then KL-Kuching, then KL-KK, then KL-Jakarta, then Jakarta-Medan then KL-KK again… Gosh.. AirAsia should probably give me an award for as the most frequent traveller of the month!

Ok, maybe this will settle down soon but it’s pretty tiring, if you ask me. A friend asked just recently – do you love this and are you ok with all these? My answer would be, yes, I LIKE but not love, and I am fine and ok with all these. At least I get to see places and meet new people, right? And the most importantly, I get to learn new stuff, right?

Gosh, I hope this is worthwhile.

 

Life? What life?

OMG… I have been working and working non-stop. And in between, dash off to some travels, report writing, budget planning, agents visiting and how could I not forget – assignments. Thank goodness this is going to be my last elective. And after this – right after I hand this assignment in – I move on to my new job. Busier, I suppose, but luckily all I have left for my MBA would be the thesis. I guess without much need to memorise for exams will be easier. I remember telling my new boss – all I need is just a laptop and internet connection. Well, I certainly hope so!

These days, it seems that I come home just to eat and sleep. No time to even read the newspapers nor watch TV. No time to clean my room nor pay my bills (opppsss… bills!) It’s getting kinda ridiculous that I pay almost RM1k for the mortgage every month and all I do in the house is eat and sleep. Sometimes, I don’t even eat!

Gosh. Can I have my life back please? Is this going to be worse?

I think I’ll go for another massage one day before I leave Monash

Life is…

… treating me well but change is hard. Does a person’s ability to adapt to change deteriorates with age? Hmmm.. Yes, I haven’t really been updating this and maybe I should. Do the ones I know who read this still read this? Drop me a comment, please! I know you are busy with your kids (and one which is coming out real soon)!

But then again, I’m very afraid of saying anything related to work here cos it’s pretty much sensitive and obviously, I don’t hope that it will go viral!

Anyway.

I have not mentioned it here and perhaps I really should cos maybe when I read this again some time down the road, I would just laugh it off and say, ‘I’m okay now and I’ve never been better!’

Hopefully.

I’ve been getting too comfortable in my last job and sought for a change (or so I want to think so). It’s high time actually and I didn’t want to end up doing the same thing everyday for the rest of my working life. I loved my job, my colleagues, the environment, the goss and obviously, the ‘knowledge’ I had gained over the years working with my last company.

I was doing some reading on the ‘power of knowledge’ – not the general knowledge kind – but the ‘authority’ a person can have in an organisation when he/she seems to know everything. This power and/or authority is what shapes human behaviour in an organisation. And so…

OK. Nevermind that.

So, I did have quite a lot of ‘knowledge power’ in my last organisation. But when I moved over, it was different. Very different. Literally moved from a place where I knew everything to one where I knew nothing. I felt stupid everyday when I go to work. Heh.

I know its normal and of course I shouldn’t know everything here cos its a new company but then it can’t be helped. My new colleagues are of course helpful but many are busy with whatever they are doing. I feel bad asking them so many questions sometimes.

Gosh, that was when I start missing my ex-colleagues. Sob, sob…

I missed the laughter, the arguments, the goss, the teasing, their antics. I missed walking around the office, me goofing around, ‘kacau-ing’ other colleagues from other departments, getting news about so and so. I even missed the ding-dong sound of the QMS!

Yes. It’s crazy.

Funny thing is, it’s not like life is bad here. Of course, each organisation would have their bad and good points. Plus, I already know that things can get very tough over here before I even attended the interview. (Got comments from some contacts). Colleagues are, thankfully, nice people.

But then again, I foresee a very good opportunity, somewhere I can learn something different. Different challenges. I wanna know whether I can really make it outside my ex-company where I was so comfortable. While my performance was good in my ex-company, I didn’t really know whether I did well because of my helpful colleagues or was I really good in doing things. (Yes, insecurities!)

So, determined me wanna leave and explore the bad, bad world outside.

Sigh.

People say that this is transitional, and I really hope so.

Customer service, where art thou?

Read this piece this morning over my must-have cup:

Make good service a way of life (Source)
At your service with Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan

Keeping the customer satisfied should be the most important consideration for any service provider – be it in the public or private sector.

A COUPLE of days ago I received an e-mail from a service provider. They gave me three options to activate my service; do it via e-mail, SMS or by telephone.

I chose to confirm by e-mail, as that would have been the most convenient given my job demands. Lo and behold, I get back an e-mail message asking me to confirm my confirmation via, SMS and telephone.

On another occasion, now as an internal customer, I was invited to a meeting via e-mail only to be told that I had to confirm my attendance in the attached form that was to be faxed back to the organisers.

Whether an internal or external customer, I found the complete absurdity of bureaucracy in full action in both instances.

Service must make sense.

Common sense must always prevail in service rendered to us common people. It must serve people of all walks of life, in all income clusters from various histories and family backgrounds, and nationalities.

Service must be time-sensitive and it must be agile to times as well. What may work today may no longer do so tomorrow as priorities change, expectations grow with maturing public and global demands.

This holds true in any country, any service and no less any public service delivery.

In each of our defined daily roles — be that of a hawker, a housewife, an unemployed or a student, a CEO or a public official like myself, we each look for one thing and one thing only when we seek a SERVICE.

That when we turn up to a point of service, it is delivered as promised by the provider with basic human courtesies extended.

No amount of technology advancement can replace this elementary and essential need we all want from a service — public or private.

I have received many complaints of public service delivery and its officials – not on lack of technology advancement and modernity – but mostly on the runarounds given to the public by our officials.

Whilst we must work and hold to laws inscribed there is nothing stopping anyone from making life comfortable for a customer when he/she visits a foyer with a long waiting queue.

Officials could do the” McDonald” for instance where a staff would go down the line to take orders. By the time you are at the counter your order is ready for collection.

We could offer refreshments to make the wait less taxing. Even seemingly inconsequential actions such as answering the telephone courteously could calm a somewhat irate customer. Nothing beats the pressure gauge more than to ring a line with no answer or when it is answered, you find that you need to call another number for your problem to be solved.

Recently, when the systems failed at the Immigration Department in Pusat Bandar Damansara (PBD), the whole team decided to compensate the customers – who were kept waiting – by working the next day, a Sunday, at the nearest office to complete the interrupted work.

In its simplest form of service innovation, this action would leave a long term positive emotional impact on a customer.

The fundamental essence of service to me is respecting the sacredness of time itself; sacredness of the customer’s time. The customer is the most important person, not the provider.

When we keep people waiting without notice and set expectations (in whatever form), it displays total disrespect for that person.

Arguably, strength of character is the main denominator to extending “boutique” service.

Where there is strength in character, integrity follows. Where there is integrity, what is expected of one in any situation and of any task is delivered and delivered to nothing less than excellence and fineness.

When we have people with the right attitude and character delivering service, their quest for success will be driven by making life as simple and comfortable for customers.

Even when things break down, technology flounders on a bad day, your customer service remains intact. In the instance of the Immigration service, even when systems failed, the service itself did not break down!

How one handles and manages the customer can make a potentially explosive moment into a “it’s not a big issue” second.

Based on this rule — we make for an environment where officials will always look to innovate, improve, refine the delivery system.

Making it simpler, efficient and no doubt satisfying for our CUSTOMERS. The quest for modernity and hardware advancement will be driven by the software needs — i.e. the customer’s convenience and comfort. There is order to the rule. Things are not done in vacuum and on a perceived need any more. When we have these basics of SERVICE in our tenets and charter, the public service delivery would move Malaysia to great heights globally, making it a formidable brand.

Public officials must reach out across the aisles to all our partners and critiques. Every one of them is our customer; even our harshest critiques.

As service providers we must accept criticisms as a gift, a gift for improvement without which we remain stagnant and torpid. We must work off humility and integrity as our points of reference.

Every public official must have the competency of a “Public’s Complaint Bureau.” Complaints management must be the “problem” of every official.

Engagement with stakeholders, including the media, must be the scorecard of everyone in the service.

Without engagement, we will continue to operate in our own world view — an ineffective proposition by any means, not simply for the Public Service but for the public and country at large.

When public officials revert to the basics of real service we inculcate a culture of quality, precision and excellence in the public service of Malaysia.

On a day when all is broken, the fineness of our Service Delivery will remain remarkably intact!

A very ‘enlightening’ piece, I must say, which I doubt every reader of The Star do not know. But, errr… Tan Sri, since you have noticed it and are aware of it, what are you going to do about it?