It’s been quite a while…

Rants December 10th, 2008

… since I last blogged about something sensible.

And something sensible means… something about my life. Well, it had been all work and no play since a few months back because I got really tied down work all the research stuffs going on in my life – and also scheming on how I can get out of NTU to join its rival. It’s been a long while since I last wrote about anything personal, so here it goes.

*blank*

Yeah. Pretty much that. I had been marking exam papers, and it’s not something that I should write about. I had been working with overseas institutions on research and it’s not something that I should write about too. I had been attending events like Soy Joy’s and Fleishman Hillard’s and it’s something that I am supposed to write about. Then again, I got so bogged down in the last 2 weeks that it’s probably post-mortem already (yes, post-mortem on the post-mortem) that I will probably wait some more so that it becomes a memoir instead of being an old and stale story.

But most importantly… I am on the move again. Yes. I have until this Saturday to move out, and I was planning to return to my parents’ place. However, even before I stepped into the house, my mum and I argued over SMS – yes, SMS, again. So, I guess the move back won’t materialise at all. That is one thing, but the prospect of having to find somewhere nowhere to stay… erm…

Yup, so that’s really the frantic of the week. I know MacDonalds’ is my friend, but I am not sure if he’ll mind me dawning at the 24 hours restaurant for weeks. Not to mention the smell of unbrushed teeth in the morning, coupled with an aura of bad breath and dangled hair like a lion’s mane. Yes, I am officially homeless. Leading a nomadic life is one thing – at least nomads have somewhere to live in. Me? I’m pretty much on my own.

Rental prices are going down, but still ridiculously high at some places. Cheaper ones are usually located in some ulu place that requires the change of 2 feeder buses, 1 LRT and 2 changes of MRT trains before I can get to school. Now, that doesn’t sound too appealing a task to do in the morning. Yet, I still remember the times when unemployment rates in Singapore was on the rise, and the government preached to its people – “don’t be fussy, take any job that is available”.

Well, I bet no one in the government ever know what it’s like to travel from one end of Singapore to the other end by 8am amidst crowded trains and buses. Save for the recent increase in frequency of buses and trains during peak hours, most of the government officials up there probably think that space is aplenty in the train cabin during peak hours. Which reminds me that… SMRT wanted to remove more seats so that more people can stand?

Hello?! Don’t the management people understand what “personal space” is all about? Come on, do they really expect people to squeeze some more? It’s already disgusting enough to have someone breath down my ear; and now they want bodies packed “back-to-back”? Calling the trains sardine cans is definitely not appropriate cos’ the sardines probably have more space than the people in the train!

However, there must be something that I have to admit. The cockroaches are fast disappearing from buses – especially those on board SMRT 171. Thankfully, the buses are getting cleaner and also progressively replaced by the new SMB buses (I think it stands for SMRT Buses, not Social Media Breakfast). I admit that there is now more standing space in the newer buses compared to the older ones, but at least the so-called standing spaces are really meant for wheelchair users. Perhaps that might have been a smart way for commuters to accept having lesser seats, but at least the buses are fitted with watcha-call-that-thingie that allows wheelchair users to wheel up the buses.

Hmm… seems like what started off as aimless writing resulting in something after all – more rants. Perhaps it’s just my favourite past time. Oh well, time to grab dinner I guess. Sigh. Bumming time again.

No, it’s not your regular bus cheaters who tap their EZ-link cards way before they alight. It’s not those who try to pretend that they have tapped (personally, I have seen a bus captain asking an ACS boy in Mandarin to tap his card; the boy looked blur as sotong – sorry, I digress). In fact, it’s not even Singapore that I am talking about, but our friendly neighbour – Malaysia.

You see, a friend of mine got cheated of his bus ticket and was led to this crappy bus that isn’t what he paid for for his journey back to Singapore from Kuala Lumpur.

The modus operandi is simple. The cheat goes up to the unsuspecting victim, pretends to check their tickets, holds on to their tickets while leading them to some cheapo bus, pays the bus driver and goes off with the bus tickets. The unsuspecting victim will think that the cheapo bus – unlike whatever they thought they paid for – is the bus for their trip home. Meanwhile, the cheat touts the tickets to unsuspecting buyers.

Repeat cycle for as long as they want on the same ticket.

Unfortunately for my friend and his buddy, the latter gave chase and was thrown onto the ground. All effort to stop the cheat failed and he ran away. The buddy is now in hospital while my friend… is thankfully attending his meeting.

Malaysia boleh! BN boleh! Everything boleh!

Ed: I thought I read a Straits Times article on something similar except that there was no mention that it was a bus ticket cheat. I can’t seem to find that article any more. If you happen to have read it or remembered where it was, do leave me a comment here. Thanks!!!

I received a notice of service suspension from PacNet recently citing that I failed to make payment for services rendered. This is totally ridiculous because I made advanced payment in June 2007 to beat the 7% GST that would be chargeable for payments made after that date, and for that matter, I made a year’s advanced payment. How am I sure that I didn’t make a mistake? Well, I got one of their "portable MP3 speakers" for making a year’s advanced payment.

The thing is, I called them up this morning and asked them about the outstanding about of S$29.87. They said that I only made a payment of S$25.00 in June and none of the S$100++ payment that I made was reflected in their system. So the message that was sent to me was that – unless I can prove that I made payment to them, I can go suck thumb.

There are a few things that I was careless about. Firstly, I didn’t check the following month’s bill to make sure that the payment was reflected. This was because I had made advanced payments to PacNet in previous years (I had been with PacNet since it was "TechNet times"). Secondly, I should have kept the receipt. So now, I can only sit back and suck thumb.

Literally.

I am just amazed that for a company that big (at least somewhat big in the context of Singapore SMEs), something like this can go wrong, and they are asking their customers to bear the brunt of their mistake. Attempts to speak to their manager was futile and the customer service officer was totally not helpful except that "she’d get back to me again". I am so pissed off about the entire incident but I know that there is nothing else I can do. The valuable "@pacific.net.sg" email address was all I needed as it had been with me for the longest time. Even though I have my "free mail" accounts, a "non free mail" account might some times be still useful because registration at some sites do not accept "free mail" accounts.

So now, it seems like my previous payment had been "forfeited" in lieu of my "sucker" loyalty to PacNet and I have no choice but to fork out more money to prevent legal actions being taken against me. Is there anything else I can do?

I simply hate calling UOB call center. It’s been 20 minutes and I am still on the line listening to their tape which… seems a little out of tune by now. Seriously, I thought they would have digitized everything… but it has this zao sia tone to it as it played:

We thank you for your patience. All our officers are attending to customers at the moment. Please hold, we’ll attend to you as soon as possible.

Apparently, it’s either I am a very impatient person, or they have a warped idea of what as soon as possible means. In the end, the call was picked up at the 25th minute with the entire call ending at the 28th minute. I asked the person on the line if it’s always this difficult to get through, but the excuse came as that this was peak hour or prime time. Then again, isn’t it always prime time whenever I call? Even at 4am in the morning?

Anyway, I’m cancelling all their cards. I’m quite sick and tired of going through this every time I need to inquire on something.

Then again, I don’t like to post such senseless entries that:

  1. probably won’t make any sense to anyone,
  2. no one else really bothers, and
  3. the intended audience is not listening, nor reading,

But all I want to say is… stop clogging up the damn screen!

st-clogging-up-my-screen

Seriously, with all these ads flying out from left to right and popping out out of the blue and blasting their ads off, not only do they make navigation much more difficult, but also scares the hell out of me with the sudden volume! I definitely wasn’t expecting that when I was at the library.

So, straitstimes.com, please be consider to your customers and stop blasting ads on our screens and into our ears.

Ed: And you know something about those [X] close window links? They are so specific that clicking a pixel out of it launches the ad anyway.

… the 小妹妹 who was sitting behind me did it not once, not twice… not just three times! The worst part was, she left me in devastation; and looking at her innocent eyes, I don’t think she did it on purpose. However, what she did left me helpless for an hour and I can do nothing to help salvage the situation.

Read the rest of this entry »

Miss my cats…

Rants October 26th, 2007

I miss my cats horribly. If Ryan has disappeared irresponsibly, I hope he is dead now. He can’t just disappear like this. He better be either seriously ill or be 1/2 dead for not letting us know where he is. I don’t care about him now. I just want my kittens back. =(

My 3 Little Darlings

My litte kittens are young, innocent and trusting. In fact, everyone says Mac (the on with patch) is the most affectionate of them all. Why must Ryan disappear with the cats? He doesn’t have enough cat food or cat litter to last them for 2 weeks! I think they are all dead now.

Why Ryan? Why must you do this to me and the cats? The cats are innocent. If you have to run away or disappear, why can’t you just give Alice or myself a call? You are a bastard, Ryan! You are a damn bastard! I hope you will get your just desserts!

Oh well, I usually wake up from the wrong side of bed a few times a year… but today was extremely bad. So, when I apparently got a random feedback request from HP, I guess it was their unlucky day because, while the facts are not changed, the tone reflected my utmost unhappiness.

The service engineer who got back to me knew nothing about computers. My problem was about not being able to get into BIOS. He asked me to reinstall windows, following which, gave me a range of keys, e.g. F10, F8, F6, F2 to press during boot up in an attempt to get into the BIOS. Now that they have collected my notebook, I have got no idea what’s happened to it. I am extremely disappointed with HP’s level of service. I have had previous products and have been down to the service center previously. Never have I seen such disdained level of service. To add to this, my notebook was barely 1 week old.

The difference between how I’d have put it on a sunny day is probably something that is more subdued, more read-between-the-lines statements; but I’m utterly in the worst of my moods today and thus I didn’t mince my words a least bit. Then again, the level of service everywhere is getting from bad to worse, amidst raising prices. Bus fares, MRT fares, GST, chicken rice, duck rice, noodles, fast food…. Oh wait, fast food is shrinking… literally. The KFC chicken pieces I had at Funan shrunk almost to the size of drumlettes.

Hell hath no fury as a woman scorned. Hell hath no fury like a woman’s wrath.

Execution of the kitties

Rants September 6th, 2007

The presence of my kittens have led to my eviction from my previous place of accommodation and has left me pretty much homeless. Currently putting up at my friend’s place, I am not sure when my presence will be frowned upon and if I have indeed outlived my welcome. Calls to home owners have also frowned at the idea of having cats in their house, let alone 3 cats; and a typical teleconversation goes this way:

Me: Hello? Is that Maria?

Maria: Yes this is…

Me: Hi, this is Jean, I read that you have a room for rent?

Maria: (excitedly) Yes yes! We have 1 common room for rent. 350, all inclusive! PUB, cable TV, aircon… but don’t use too often, har, newly furnished place… you’ll love it! When would you like to come down for a viewing?

Me: Wow! Sounds good! Erm, how about this evening?

Maria: This evening’s fine! Are you renting alone or with someone else?

Me: Erm.. alone… but I have 3 cats.. can I …

Maria: (interrupts) No cats! No cats!

Me: Oh, but they are only…

Maria: *hangs up phone*

Me: …. 11 weeks old….

Sigh… and this is repeated for the 1,584 people that I have called. Okay.. maybe it’s just about 160… but still, I am a little tired of calling and getting rejected. So, I am thinking of either:

  1. Bringing the kitties down to SPCA, which will probably ensure a painless and quick death
  2. Letting them roam the streets and let them get knocked down by cars
  3. Pass them to the next door neighbour with 2 german sheperds…

And because they are only 12 weeks old, they cannot be sterilized yet. Yup yup. I am feeling a little lost. 🙁

Cheated badly…

Rants August 27th, 2007

I had been taken for a ride over the weekend. I am not sure if the other person thinks that it is a good joke or prank, but I am definitely suffering the repercussions of his joke. I am not sure why he would want to continue this game, but I just found out that he’s not an entirely honest person. People may not want to blow the whistle, but I don’t think that he deserve my kindness now.

I had been kicked out of my house because of my 3 cats and now I need to look for a place to stay. I put a short note on my MSN stating that I was looking for a room. Ryan Lin (Webzoomr) saw that and offered his place for me to put up, at least for the time being. He’s a nice person, at first, and offered the master bedroom since I am a girl. I insisted on the smaller room but he insisted otherwise. In addition, he didn’t want to accept rent from me, which I was surprised by, but we agreed to split the cost if I were to use the aircon.

So that was it. Arrangements were made for me to move in last Friday (24/8/2007) evening. Apparently my cats and his dog would take up a room and he and I will take up one room each. He supposedly had an appointment with the “Yolk guys” in JB on Thursday and was spending the night there. He was supposed to come back on Friday night and I was supposed to meet him then.

And hence, my friends and myself waited. And waited. And waited. No sign of Ryan. Eventually, as it approached 12 midnight, one of my friends offered me his place for the night, and faced with no signs of hope, I shifted to my friend’s place for the night. There was a case of a guy being slashed and my friends and I hoped that nothing bad happened to him.

At his place, I went online and Ryan was on MSN. He mentioned that he had the wrong food and had diarrhoea. Apparently, he was back at the hotel after seeing the doctor and would not be coming back on Saturday. The earliest that he would be back would probably be Sunday morning. For the rest of Saturday, I was basically left doing nothing. I had my PC with me, my laptop, 2 monitors, a luggage, 3 kitties and their stuffs. Basically, I was immobilized. Zilch. Saturday wasted. No work done.

Come Sunday. I ping’ed him in the late morning and early afternoon. Apparently he was supposed to check out at 3pm, then 5pm. Then he went offline. We talked over MSN and I told him that I would be waiting for him at the McDonald near his place. And again, there was no show. No even an SMS. Sunday night was gone.

Today, I checked my email and he said that I couldn’t move in. One apology. No reason given.

Hey, Mr Ryan Lin @ Maung Myo Thwe Lin @ Webzoomr, if you didn’t intend to let out your place, why don’t you just let me know earlier. You made me wait for 3 nights, wasted my entire weekend and gave me the number of some other guy by the name of Mike for me to look for him for a place to rent? What do you take me for? A fool? I think I am really a fool for believing you in the first place.

Now I am stuck outside, PC, Laptop, monitors. luggage, kitties and stuffs in hand and I’ve got nowhere to go now. All thanks to Mr Ryan! I might be able to find accommodation shortly, but I am now on the losing end and may not be able to find a place for the kitties.

If you have a solution for me, please email me or let me know. I am pretty much in dire straits now.