Today, I am feeling a little… “generous” (I’d have used the word “magnanimous”, but the word is a little too over-bearing for me). I have decided not to commence on a civil suit against Nokia (but still reserve my rights to do so). You see, I sent a phone in to their service centre and told them specifically not to update the firmware because I know for sure that they will erase every single thing there is on the phone. This was even made black-and-white on the collection slip that was given to me – that the firmware will not be upgraded. For a start, Nokia does not have fantastic services. I mean, sometimes they are good; but most of the time, they are quite bad, to say the least.

Anyway, I collected the phone a few days later and lo and behold, the phone’s firmware was updated. In fact, the service representative at the counter even though me so. Apparently, no one reads whatever is on their job sheet. In fact, the manager and the head of department even waved it off as being routine work and that it’s not really the fault of the engineer. Of course, they finally admitted that it’s negligence but it’s probably because the evidence against them was too glaring.

Nonetheless, Nokia doesn’t seem to have a good sense of PR. Apparently it’s not the first time they have put their customers off. I had been a Nokia fan for many years and if this goes on, I might just jolly well take on another phone (any suggestions?). It’s also little wonder that they suffered a fiscal loss this year (or quarter?); but unless they do an overall revamp of their service level, the whole situation may just get worse.

Of course, with this post, their PR agencies may see me as being anti-Nokia and never invite me to any launch events again. Of course, Nokia can take this as being constructive and look into how their service centres (ironically “care centres” who do not really care at all about their customers). Now, did anyone remember the time that a lady had to get a court subpoena to get her refund back?

I rest my case 🙂

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Editor: If you have no time to read through the whole post, you should join the Facebook here first: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=101036602014 🙂

I discovered this gem while I was walking along CHIJMES sometime before Christmas about 2 years ago. I saw the manager putting up Christmas decorations on the glass doors of a newly opened Starbucks! Yes, that became what I affectionately call RC2 – RC for Raffles City, and 2… just to differentiate from the first outlet that’s located at the entrance of the City Hall MRT station. The term “RC2” has since been popularly known amongst all my friends, some of whom have totally no idea why it’s called as such, but to some of us, it’s more than just an acronym.

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You know what it is about RC2 that I like? It’s the feeling of home. Haha… Starbucks will probably not like this idea, but the place is really nice and cosy and makes people feel right at home. I remember the mugging days and my favourite Tazo Chai Tea Latte, 4 pumps Chai, less milk more foam. Well, it’s since changed to no milk and all foam, but yeah, they always get my order right. Well, almost always. 🙂

My hang-out days

Yeah. Those were the days! Tian Hong will hang out at RC2 whenever he is off school (or when he doesn’t have classes – officially or otherwise; just kidding) and Ridz will be there to do his work. In fact, both of them were there so often, they probably know every staff that had been there. There was this unique table with 2 lamps (pictures coming up soon) that had an entire power bar, where geeks like us will quickly snap up. Now, I will not mention how anti-social we were when *ahem* some of us *choppe* seats while the rest of us made our way down to RC2. Subsequently, there was a time it became a rather popular blogger hangout area (ok, just the few of us bloggers) that if we were to go down any time, we will spot someone familiar.

Card games days

Yeah, there was also a time when I was hooked onto card games and a few of us (not just bloggers), would gather at RC2 to play card games like Galaxy, the “castle-building game” and probably another one that I can’t remember. These are days that I don’t need a power point – basically meant that I didn’t have to blog, nor do any work. The games owner will get his cuppa coffee (and refills) and we’d play games until the store close – and no, we did not start playing from the time RC2 opened, it’s usually from 7 or 8pm onwards.

Celebrated my birthday

Yeah, I celebrated my birthday at RC2 last year. It was supposed to be a surprise celebration with Alice bringing in a surprise birthday cake… that was not lighted. Anyway, it was pretty memorable because the whole Jean gang came down! Woohoo! Yeah, even the not-so-regulars who hung out every now and then at RC2 came over as well. Following the mini party, we played games again! Haha… what a way to spend a birthday 😛

Mugging days

Yes, I mug too. In fact, I am a professional mugger 😛 There’s this girl who is really nice working at RC2; and I never really got her name, and I don’t see her there nowadays 🙁 I heard from her colleagues that she’s either Sharon or Kaiting, but I regretted not asking for her name when I saw her. Sigh. (Editor: Okie… seems like her name is Kaiting) I remembered there was once when I was having quite a bad cough and she handed me a pack of Strepsils! I think she’s really sweet and hope that I will be able to get in touch with her again.

Business and working days

Well, not really, but since the few of us are in the “business” of social media (blogging), we sometimes get together to talk about all things tech, scandals in the blogosphere, upcoming promotions and programmes, get-togethers and all. It’s a really nice environment because we have the choice of comfy chairs or the long meeting table that we plug our laptops in – 8 in all, to be precise, without using 3-way plugs. I think the environment, the people and the location could have also played a part of getting Miccheng and perhaps Bernand down as well. Oh well… no more common place for hanging out and working at the same time…

Watching Jeremy draw

Haha… yes, that’s this artist who used to be at Starbucks to do his drawings. I no longer see him there now and I wonder where he’s been to. I peeked at his artwork once in a while and I quite like it. I really never got to talk to him (although he seemed to talk to everyone else – am I that scary?!) and wonder where he’s been to. Those were the days where he will sit at the comfy sofa just next to the glass door and draw away. Through some sheer luck from my nemesis, I found out that his works are sold on here.

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Last days at RC2

It’s kinda sad that RC2 had to go. In fact, I only knew about it just barely 1 week before it was due to close. Well, I spent the next week’s evenings at RC2 – going down every evening after school and the remaining weekends there – not to mention the mini goodbye party that we had on the last Friday of the week. For the first time, I tried Cappuccino Cheesecake and I realise that I should just stick to the Lava cake or the puffs if I don’t want my lactose intolerance to act up on me.

I also spent the last few days taking photographs of the place, and with the staff who used to work there. I guess it’s going to be hard to find another place to match this place. Personally, I’d rather they close SB-RC (the one in front of the MRT station).. haha… but seriously, from a business point of view, it probably makes sense to keep SB-RC and close SB-R2 because RC faces the rush crowd and opening 24 hours next to McDonald’s mean that customers now have a choice between Starbucks Coffee and McCafe (personally, I have not tried McCafe but I don’t think I’d want to…).

So, what makes RC2 special?

Well, so what makes RC2 special… at least to me? I guess it’s the people. No, it’s definitely the people! And of course, the location and environment. A whole group of the RC2 staff will be moving over to Bugis, while about 7 will be at RC. RC is… well, different. It’s usually very packed (but that’s what gives it sustainable business); but because it’s so busy, there’s hardly any time for the barista and the customers to interact – short of just taking their orders and preparing the drinks. So – it becomes business – cold hard business. However, while it is important for businesses to establish relationships with a client/customer, I am not sure how it can apply to a coffee-chain like Starbucks, since the model seems to be one that targets take-away customers rather than dine-in customers.

So really, it’s probably the people at RC2 that makes it special – not to mention that they always remember my order of a tall Tazo Chai Tea Latte – 4 pump Chai, no milk all foam, Tazo Chai Tea Latte. Yeah, it used to be less milk, but since everyone’s definition of less is different, it’s probably good enough to have 1/2 cup water and all foam 🙂

So, after today, Kenneth and a couple of others will be heading to Bugis, while the rest will move on to RC, with a small number ending up at One Fullerton, Shaw Tower and this outlet at the end of Selegie (what is it called again?) As for regulars like myself, it’s either back to Cathay (but even most of the staff at Cathay are no longer there), Vivo (1 or 2) or maybe try out One Fullerton (but the parking is… $5! Ouch!). Either way, I think I will miss everyone there.

Goodbye Party – Were you there?

Yeah, this is probably one of the saddest party that I have attended this year. Most of the barista were there and we took lots and lots of photographs and exchanged lots and lots of hugs. It happened on 19th June 2009. Were you there?

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Petitioning against the closure of RC2?

Ok, in the age of technology, when all things are free, I’d think that getting “signatures” for a petition against the closure of RC2 is futile. It’s probably a business decision to close RC2 because of overheads and dipping businesses – and petitioning against the closure will only hurt everyone because there’s probably just not enough support for the business. A decent amount of money has probably been spent on the infrastructure and it is probably well considered before the decision to close RC2 is made.

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Keeping in touch

So, while there is really nothing much we can do about the closure, I am hoping that all staff, regulars and fans of Starbucks RC2 can join the Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=101036602014. I have taken some photographs on the last few days at Starbucks and hope that everyone can chip in a little to keep the memories of RC2 alive 🙂 (yeah, cynics will ask what the point of it is; but then again, they are not cynics for nothing). So, while RC2 is no longer there, I hope everyone can still keep in touch!

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And I thank all the wonderful barista that has made RC2 feel so much like home 🙂

Last day at RC2

08:20am

Argh! I am late! I am supposed to go over to RC2 for my morning breakfast at their last opening!

09:30am

Okie.. better late than never… 😛 Got myself a Tazo Chai and cold water 😛

10:00am

*snap snap snap* *snap snap snap* *snap snap snap* *snap snap snap* *snap snap snap* *snap snap snap* *snap snap snap*  Met some other regulars who only knew of RC2’s closure today. *snap snap snap* *snap snap snap* *snap snap snap* And she took the “last day” sign away 🙁

Met Angela as she came in – not to work, but to go through her studies.

10:20am

Okie, a little hungry. Got the peppery chicken puff. It actually tastes pretty good! 🙂 But the potato curry puff I got the last time can’t really make the mark. I still don’t know why Starbucks changed vendors for their food.

10:30am

*munch munch munch*

10:45am

Argh. Chicken shreds stuck between my teeth! (ok, that’s too much info)

13:30pm

Okie… space getting a little tight…

13:45pm

Large group of people came in. The place is starting to get noisier. But this is probably the last time that such a crowd can be seen at RC2.

15:20pm

Ok, I am hungry again and bought another Peppery Chicken Puff. Yum yum… 🙂 And finished it in 40 minutes. Heh.

17:45pm

The guy sitting next to me is actually from Duke-NUS!!! Okie, it’s a small world! And he is taking Dr Tan’s subjects!!! Hahaha… yeah, I know the tensions that he’s facing now…

Notice for all Borders card holders: Today is the last day to get a discount of up to 40+ % if you purchase 4 or more books. The coupon is available at http://email.borders.com.au/sg/2008/20081226/t0k/coupon-02-sg.asp

Well, I did my purchase last weekend with my usual gang… or rather, I did my purchase with the usual gang from which one of them had a Borders card. Heh. Ya… no choice lah. Recession.

Reposted on another blog

And so it is…

Personal December 21st, 2008

The big day today! Woohoo! Besides Rinaz’s wedding, it’s also the day that I finally move all my stuffs to the warehouse! Yes, after dragging my feet for 2 whole months, I have finally moved all my stuffs to the warehouse storage. Actually, the truth is that, it’s almost 200 bucks to store these stuffs per month, and it’s rather silly to just move them in early and waste monthly fees on it.

Well, now I have a $200 overhead every month, which effective brings my monthly earnings into deficit levels. Hmm, perhaps I should start a sale and sell off my wines and alcohols at cheap, low prices… to the tunes of $10 for a bottle of Absolut Vodka and perhaps $5 for a Gordon Bleu. Oh well.

And yes, we watched Yes Man after Rinaz’s wedding today. It was a rather impromptu decision because I just realised that 18th December had just passed and that Yes Man is showing in cinemas now. Thanks to DK’s HP laptop, and his Internet connection, I became the “counter girl” and we got 8 people to join us for the movie. Yuhui could have joined us for the movie, not for the fact that only second row seats are left, and that the next movie started at 12:20am.

We settled for the later show in the end because we didn’t want to risk breaking our necks.

The show is actually quite funny; then again, so are most of movies with Jim Carrey in it.

*spoiler alert*

Read the rest of this entry »

Happy Birthday to me!!!

Personal November 13th, 2008

Woohoo! Another year has passed and I have grown older. Again. Haha… Yes, I am finally 21, again. =P

Life this year had been more difficult than usual, with many things happening everyday. I just hope that things will be smoother for the years to come. =) In the blogosphere, this probably means more endorsements, more ads (*gasp*!), more activities like… driving up to Malaysia, going to places of interests in Singapore, more bloggers outings… and of course, writing about it after all of it. =P

Anyway… HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!! =)

I would have been writing about something on euthanasia, but since it’s just going to be less than 24 hours before we know who will rule America, I thought I would just give my count here.

I think Obama will win. Definitely, without a doubt. Uh-uh. Not even a single doubt, not even a single speck of dust on a black board.

I mean, it’s so obvious, isn’t it?

Just a trivia, the Democrats are typically economically driven while the Republicans tend to look inwards. George Bush is a Republican and concentrates a lot on how to get rid of weapons of mass destruction and bring about world peace; although there are people thinking that it’s because of the oil.

The Democrats tend to look at economic activities, and at a down turn like now, it’s probably a good choice to look at a Democrat instead of a Republican because there is a chance that the Republican will just incur more debts in beefing up their military.

Well, Obama is a Democrat while McCain is a Republican, so who do you think will win? No doubt, the people of the United States deserve a change.

Anyway, on a separate note, I saw MM Lee this afternoon. He seems to be quite well and able and was apparently here at Raffles City for some event. Well, I had to go off first, and so didn’t get to see much of him. A pity I didn’t get his car number, else it will be a good time to buy 4D. =)

Yup, that’s about all from me. I guess it’s just a bimbotic moment that I decided to write this post. =P

Hospitalized: Day 3

Personal October 28th, 2008

It’s almost been like a holiday camp if not for the drip that hangs from the side of my bed. I slept past midnight yesterday, but it had been a good sleep. The only thing I remembered was the doctor waking me up at 7am to tell me that I can be home after the antibiotics’ done. Erm… I would have thought that I’d be home today, but it turned out otherwise. Sigh.

Today turned out to be a rather quiet day. No visitors and all. Then again, it’s a reflection of how little, or no friends I have. And again, perhaps I like it this way. It’s quite pointless to trouble people to visit you in hospital. It wastes their time and they might not know what to talk to you about.

Today happened to be a rather gloomy day as well and it rained slightly in the afternoon. I like the smell of rain somehow. It relaxes and freshens me up a little. Of course, i won’t say the same for the visitors to the Istana, which is open to the public since it’s Deepavali today. Speaking of which…

HAPPY DEEPAVALI TO ALL MY HINDU READERS!

Hmm… not too sure if that made sense. I always get confused with race and religion and am often not too sure if a festival is celebrated by people of a certain race of if it’s celebrated by people of a certain religion. It’s just like Chinese New Year and Christmas. Everyone just celebrates regardless of race, language or religion, but I am sure it helps to build a democratic society, based on justice and equality, so as to achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for our nation!

Sorry for the rattling. Staying in hospital makes your mind wander more than it should.

Yes, so day 3 is rather quiet. So quiet that I ended up on a spending spree on clubsnap – not a good thing, I tell you. I probably bought a whole bunch of useless things that I am going to sell of at the end. Consolation is, they are bought second hand price and I hope I can still sell them at the same price later. =P

Alice came during dinner… after my dinner. Dinner was coney dog for me, with meat sauce on the side. It tasted… ok, but I had to dip the corney dog into the sauce. In the end, I gave up and just ate the bread, then the hot dog, then the corn in the vegetable sides and left the onion soup for Alice. I am not a great fan of onion soups. =P

Today, Alice brought a 3-pin plug along and so there was no need to deprive someone of his or her defibrillator. Heh… and we spent most of our time searching for stuffs on clubsnap. Sure, it’s cheap little things but it may just add up if we are not careful. If you are wonder, we follow the 2/3 rule – that all used stuffs should be at most 2/3 of their new counterparts – and be of condition 10/10. Ngiao hor? Ya, I know. =) I am a poor student.

So basically, that’s what we did the rest of the evening – surfing the net. Then again, if not, there’s nothing much we can do except staring at each other, which is not exactly very healthy. So yeah, and I didn’t manage to inform people that I won’t be home tonight. Oh well, no one will miss me any way. =)

Hospitalized: Day 2

Personal October 28th, 2008

Didn’t manage to sleep until pretty late last night. Well, at least according to hospital time since lights off is at 9pm. Dinner was alright yesterday – think it was minced meet with some other stuffs. A friend visited me until it was past the visiting hours, but for some reason, the staff didn’t chase him away. Most staff thought that I am a foreign talent – or at least a foreign student, because I wasn’t accompanied by my family members, which is probably a typical sight in most places.

Breakfast this morning was nice, but the IV drip wasn’t. Yeah. My right hand is swollen from the bite while my left hand is hurting from the IV. It isn’t exactly a nice thing though. Alice drop by some time during lunch with her own food. Hmm… speaking of which, hospital food seems to be getting better – as long as you stick to either the Chinese or Malay menu. The Western one can barely make it, but it’s edible. =)

It’s been a while since I had been in a hospital setting with 5 other people. I preferred the B ward with 6 people because I think I enjoy the company of more people – non-screaming ones, at least. Yeah. There’s at least one other patient in the next section that kept screaming in pain. I really pitied him. I used to think that there’s nothing that morphine can’t do, but perhaps I am wrong.

There’s also a stark difference between the nurses now and the nurses when I was born. I remembered that as a kid, nurses don head dresses and are usually very… senior. There seemed to be no way that a patient can defy a nurse and the head dress in itself seemed like a Captain rank to a new recruit. Nurses nowadays, however, are more friendly, more chatty and joke a little more; which is good to loosen the tension.

Hmm… the IV insert is beginning to hurt and I wonder how long more my veins can take it before it starts turning red and bursting. Sigh…

Anyway, the same friend visited me again in the evening and brought with him more Qian4 Bian3 Wen4 Da2 Ti2 to amuse me. Heh. Nothing beats a cold joke to bring my attention away from the pain on my left and right hands. In the meantime, Alice had to… ahem, borrow the power plug from another bed by plugging of his defibrillator.

Heh. Of course, I am kidding. The bed’s empty.

The Western food dinner was so-so, but not too bad. I might have preferred Chinese food, but it could be worse. =P So, I should just count my blessings for edible food since as far as I can remember, it’s better than the last hospital food. Oh, did I mention it’s prepared by the same company that does your airline food? =P