What not to say to a fed up customer

Dear UOB credit card,

We have known each other for a good 12years right? (Since 2005) You are probably the first proper relationship I have had ever since I qualify to do so. 

You also have the honour of being the first that I insisted on terminating. 

You are really a piece of work, I remembered that I first requested for the late interest charge wavier after numerous button pressing for a SMS reply (yes, for something as minor as a late charge waiver, why even bother to get someone to speak to me? You have more urgent matters to attend to. I get that) so I received a SMS within 5 working days that my request has been rejected. So I called to get a human to talk to me, apparent this was the second time that I requested for a waiver.  There was a charge on the card for a $10 McDonald bill and subsequently late charge of $60 + interest of a few dollars. The human answering my phone took the mandatory “minutes” on hold to clear with his supervisor and told me that the waiver has been approved. So that should end right? Nope, he went further to inform me that the next time I commit the devious and unforgiving offence of forgetting to pay my bill , I will not be given a reprevive. 

And so the fate would have it, I was travelling and missed the payment date and got the same late charges and interests blah blah blah. 

My fault, so I did the whole robot SMS request for waiver and guess what? My request got rejected. Surprise surprise .

Obi good right? Who asked me to be so forgetful , especially since we have a relationship of 12years behind us.

Of course any relationship expert will tell you that any breakup should be done in person. I did my best and call you up.

And your human voice reminded me that I have to pay off that late charge and interests before I can terminate the card. Well, I made sure I got the total charges paid off, and I did what is needed – cut off this toxic relationship.

So good riddance to you, UOB.  #uobsucks #saynotoUOB ūüėā

So it is true

Chinese believes that the Chinese Zodiac, known as Sheng Xiao, is based on a twelve-year cycle, each year in that cycle related to an animal sign. These signs are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. It is calculated according to Chinese lunar calendar.

The animal year when a person was born is called his zodiac year of birth. And I happen to be born in the year of the Goat.

So earlier this year (before Lunar new year), my colleague forwarded me this prediction for the year:

The Goat

Even though you may be diligent in your approach to work, there will be a strong chance that you may not see the career progression you deserve. This is because your superiors will fail to get your attention and it will be the reason you will feel as though nothing is improving in your career prospects. Simply hold your head high and keep on doing what you do, your efforts will eventually bear benefits further down the road.

I thought nothing of it as I strictly believe that hard work, best effort, and good attitude can and will overcome any difficulties. Then I received my annual increment result for last year effort – a pathetic figure that does not even cover inflation (btw I’m assuming the inflation is 2%).

Silhouette of Person Sitting Beside Body of Water

It is deflating because of all the effort and the sacrifices that were made, all the time spent working overtime when I can spend the time with my family, all the leaves canceled because I am needed at work. All the job offers rejected because I believed I will eventually be rewarded according to my contribution and hardwork.

But not so this time.

Of course, life is never fair and never will be. There will be people who will say, look at me, I have achieved a certain success in life (car, condo, money whatever), why take this so seriously? My reasoning is that all that I have achieved so far in life is through my hard work,

My reasoning is that all that I have achieved so far in life is through my hard work, effort and sacrifices, not hand-out money or inheritance. And all that was achieved was based on one key personal value:

hardwork = reward

And this is one of the values I was hoping to impart to E because I truly believe that nobody can fault hardwork regardless whether you are smart or dumb, talented or talent-less, pretty or ugly.

This is probably a depressed me trying to rationalise my feeling and I will snap out of this in a few days.

But at the moment, this work is shit.




Just a small matter of contradiction

So apart from BREXIT (yawn) and Trump’s next tweet, the next big matter of concern for most Singaporean would probably Budget 2017 – an annual national event that has everyone going ” what is in for me?”

I asked the same question myself and sadly, this year’s budget is a disappointment on so many levels.

One of the more disconcerting issue is the water hike. As the Minister puts it – “water has to be priced fully as it is a matter of national security, and consumers must feel the full price of water to realise its value”.¬†

The same minister further adds “The consumer must realise how valuable water is to us in Singapore every time he or she turns on the tap, right from the first drop. This is the best way to emphasise the scarcity value of water.‚ÄĚ

I get it – I really do. Hit where it hurts most and people will realise that it is a precious commodity not to be wasted. All for water conservation right?


Then the “gracious” move to quiet the protests all around. They announced a permanent increase in the GST Voucher ‚Äď Utilities-Save (U-Save) rebate for eligible HDB households.In order to help households offset some of the increase in water prices

One of three components under the GST Voucher scheme, U-Save allows those living in one- and two-room HDB flats to offset about three to four months of utilities bills, while those living in three- and four-room HDB flats may offset about one to two months’ worth of such bills on average.

For the layman, the supposedly “poorer*” you are, the more rebate you get to offset the increase in water prices.

*Uniquely to Singapore, your wealth status is determined by the type of housing you stay in (another grouse for another time)

So the nett impact to the “poor” is negligible and at the same time, the increase to the “rich” won’t even cause them to bat an eyelid.

So where is the “feel the full price of water to realise its value” and the education aspect of all these?

I would rather they tell me straight in the face that they want the consumers to subsidise the cost of the water than to make all these strange justifications that do nothing but contradict each other.

But like all pragmatic Singaporean, I will grouse about it and felt left out for a while…

… then get back to the daily grind because there is nothing I can do about it.


Uniquely Singapore – the closer you stay to body of water, the higher tax impact you will feel







The ugliest hotel in Singapore

Built on the site of the former Midlink Plaza at 122 Middle Road, the Lian Beng-led consortium (Lian Beng Group, Centurion Properties, coffeeshop operator Chang Cheng Group and a vehicle controlled by K Box chain owner Jason Lee) acquired Midlink Plaza , which was a nine-storey strata office and retail building, through a collective sale in 2011, brokered by Credo Real Estate, now part of JLL. The building that now stands in its place is the new Mercure-branded 395 heritage inspired (?!?! Рwhat is a heritage inspired room?!? Do they even know the history of Bugis area?) room hotels with some retail shops.

I happened to walk pass the bugis/middle road area and chanced upon this nearly completed building.

The picture on the left is the artist’s perspective (or rendering) and the picture on the right is the actual photo taken. And the problem is that it is not immediately apparent¬†which is uglier… Just in case the above photo is too small, below is a bigger photo for your inspection.


It looks like someone took a part each from three different drawings and put them together.

Of course, design is subjective and differing from people to people. Do let me know if you come across a uglier tourist-class hotel (new) that is uglier than this monstrosity.

Handling Disappointment

The Girl had an appointment in town so the whole family trooped down on a Sunday afternoon as a show of support. As her appointment will take approximately 30-40minutes, I thought it was an opportunity for some precious father-son bonding time.

So our idea of the precious father-son bonding time was spending time at the library building up our knowledge at the nearest toy store where E will be¬†running amok, trying to touch everything and pressing all the buttons of all the toys. The victim this time around was Isetan Scott’s toy department store.


He had recently also pick up a bad habit for asking people to buy him toys, no thanks to his doting grandparents.The reasoning that the daddy¬†didn’t get any toys when he¬†was young why the¬†precious grandchild has such different treatment doesn’t¬†resonant with them at all.

So without breaking the track record, he prompted selected one of the more expensive toy set whose box is bigger than himself, lifted it off the rack, turned around and looked at me with his happiest face and in his sweetest voice said,” Daddy buy?”.

Exquisite taste of my child – look at the price tag

Of course I redirected his attention to other toys that he has yet touched around the store and quickly let him forget this extortion  his request. I do have to make a note to say that he is quite mild and sweet in the sense that when we refused his request to buy, he seldom kicked up a big fuss.

And at the end of the bonding time, because he has been so well-behaved and also because Daddy was fascinated with Hot Wheels Colour Shifters car, we left the store with a gleeful boy (Elliott, not Daddy) and the said car to meet up with The Girl who had finished her appointment by then.

The car we bought was the same series but not the same model

Daddy managed to convinced him that the Colour Shifter we bought¬†was the best toy car ever and he quickly picked up the fact that when he showered, he can bring the car into the shower with him and see it changed colour. He also noticed the water splashing on the car on the packaging, and keep going on and on about “splassshs” or the “colour change”.

Such excitement, such joy.

So when we got home, it was funny to see him getting so excited to shower. So we quickly set up the bath, opened the packaging, and dropped the car into the warm water to see the colour changing effect.




But nothing happened. Nil. Zero. Zilch. Nought.




E looked at me and I looked at him and the car, willing it to change colour but it didn’t.

I panicked and ran to the kitchen and poured some hot water on the car, willing it to change colour but it didn’t.

E sat in his bathtub looking at me expectantly.

My heart sank – The Colour Shifter we bought don’t change colour (So scrxw¬†you, Hot Wheels). My first thought, how am I going to tell E that the colour changing car we bought doesn’t work?

In my panic mode, I called out to E and ask him to “err, go play with your shark toy first’.

And being a trooper like he is – he didn’t ask further and later continued to play with his car as if it is a normal car. We also hid the car after he has fallen asleep.

While I was trying to make sense of everything, The Girl wisely put it,” This will be one of many disappointment in life, he will learn how to handle it”.

But really, I wonder if it is E who cannot handle disappointment or his daddy who cannot handle E’s feeling disappointed.

In this case, the daddy has to learn to let go and let his child face the world.


But really, scrxw you, Hot Wheels. Never again.





Note to SIA

Dear Singapore Airline,

I do appreciate this nice little touch of sending me a reminder email on the previous flight search I did on your website. But you do know that one email is more than adequate right? Why do you keep sending me the reminder everyday?

If you are using technology to increase your marketing effectiveness, maybe you should also make sure the technology is smart enough to check that I have already made the booking on later session (via the same Krisflyer log in). What makes it worse is that I cannot hit the reply button to let you know that you have crossed the line.

SIA TaipeiAnd by the way, I have been flying with you for at least 10 years and being the member of your Krisflyer program for the same period and you still calling me “Miss”??

I do think this is a huge miss on your part, Singapore Airline..


Your irritated customer








“Malaysia’s attorney-general said on Tuesday that US$681 million transferred into Prime Minister Najib Razak’s personal bank account was a gift from the royal family in Saudi Arabia and there were no criminal offences or corruption involved.”

Business Times Jan 2016

Really… I wonder if the royal family in Saudi Arabia can give me a gift as well? I don’t need US$681 million, probably just US$1 million will do.

Oh, and if they do that, I will just keep it in my account and if ever I get “caught”, I can just return the money. No criminal offences or corruption involved.

Oh Malaysia, how ridiculous can this get?



Laze, Craze, Haze

No Haagan Dazs joke here please.

Okayyyyyy, it is time for the mandatory rant on the haze and how much disruption it has on the normal day-to-day activities we take for granted.

The past few weekends have seen us ducking into various air-conditioned shopping malls, avoiding any outdoor area or blasting the aircon around the house with all the windows closed. With a 19 months old toddler around, it is almost impossible not to go out of the house and probably easier to drain their energy by going out. While we humans are able to seek shelter in the air-conditioned mall, Moon, unfortunately has to stay at home.


Her only respite from the low activity level was the twice-a-day walk – which of course was less than ideal, it was usually short and quick to avoid the prolong exposure to haze.

I really hope that the haze will go away before all the lazing around the house will make us all crazy.

The two ladies in the family – with the haze in the background

Face-palm moment

Cannot make it lar!
Cannot make it lar!

Remember about this particular colleague that irritates people and particularly gets on my nerve? Well, he still does that consistently well, like how he hounded me for some information on a early morning of a Hari Raya holiday Рwhich I found out that information he wanted was only needed a week later and was a backup information.

Below was a classic moment where he (as usual, loudly and at the irritating tone which you cannot help but overhear) converse over the phone such that everyone around him can hear what is going on:

My neighbor‚Äôs telephone call just now…

JT: Can I ask about ….

Helpdesk: Your name

JT: John… I like to ask about……

Helpdesk: Where are you calling from?

JT: Just one of the developer looking at developing ….






Helpdesk: Can I have your email address?

JT: J.T@c-o-m-p-a-n-y-n-a-m-e.com