The One With An Awful Lot Of Rants

September was terrible. September felt like a goon in a B-movie set in Tondo. Laughable but very capable of punching you in the gut and leaving you in the gutter to cry.

On the left corner of the ring, we have my dad’s side of the family suing us for an inheritance from our grandparents that we didn’t want. Extorting us for money as if paying for nearly all of their expenses all their lives wasn’t enough. You have my dad’s older brother, who relied on my father for everything, finally turning his back on us as if to say “fuck you” to everything that my father did for him. You have cousins whose weddings, jobs, medical needs, were taken care of by my family, disrespecting my mother as if it was equivalent to the “Thank you” that we never got from any of them. And on the right corner of the ring, you have my mom, who cries at every single memory of my dad. Her blood pressure levels shoots up every time we get a letter from some municipality, anticipating another made up case that our cousins seem to enjoy doing. We’re always one memory short of spending another night at the emergency room.

My sister, every morning, sends a barrage of messages, wondering how we’re doing here in our little corner of the world. Asking about our mother. Asking about our house. Asking about our messed up family. On top of a barrage of messages from my mother about everything.

It’s my dad’s birthday this Sunday. Emotions are high.

And it’s hard to prioritize everything. I should know how since I do this for a living. But everything is important. And everything is overwhelming. Work’s been fun but I will be lying if I say that I’m not tired. Of thinking. Of thinking of other people. Because there are so many people to think about. More important than the numbers. Because I see them everyday. And I talk to them everyday.

And I really just want to curl up into a small ball and stay in my apartment all day, never going out. I’ve gotten used to going to sleep at 4 in the morning, when the universe is quiet and people have forgotten me. And I bury myself under my blanket, and my pillows, with only the humming of the airconditioning in my ear. I wake up at 4 in the afternoon because the curtains are drawn and the light is never allowed to get in. I wake up at 4 in the afternoon, still unwilling to rejoin the world and I just want to keep on sleeping. I’ll go out only when everything is over and it’s all sunshines and rainbows again.

And it’s a conundrum really. As much as I want to be left alone, I am always partially awake at 6 in the morning waiting for a “Good morning, how are you?” that I never really know how to answer. But it never comes.

I just need 5 minutes of normal.





The One With The Recruiter

1  Welcome    LinkedIn

I saw this post on my LinkedIn newsfeed today. Maybe I’m just being too anal about it but I feel like if you’re a recruiter and you want to get people of good quality into your organization, you should show credibility too. I don’t know how much credibility you’re showing to the people you’re trying to recruit if you don’t even know when to use “you’re” and “your” properly.

Then again the post got a lot of likes and comments; but I wonder how qualified those people who engaged with the post are if they did not find any issue with the “you’re”/”your” mistake.

I won’t even get into the content of the post itself because I feel like that’s going to be a longer rant.

Disclaimer: I’m not the best English speaker in the world and I don’t have the best grammar, but there is no excuse for a “you’re”/”your” mistake for that kind of post in that particular channel.

The One With All The Pho

I’m in Vietnam right now. Been trying to squeeze in as much fun stuff as I can in between work. So far I’ve managed to:

  1. Ride a motorbike and live to tell about it
  2. Eat frog legs, ostrich, and octopus
  3. Make friends with a girl from HongKong from a random tour and ended up dancing and drinking with her in some roof top bar.
  4. Sing at a local Karaoke with my colleagues (it’s becoming a tradition for our regional gathering!)
  5. Stuff myself with local food

Work hard, play harder!

The One With The Bad User Experience (QuickDelivery)

How appropriate that I just did a talk last Wednesday at the office about what User Experience really is (Hint: It’s not just about the interface).

Tried to get lunch delivered but I didn’t want just normal fast food fare so I tried out QuickDelivery (TooAnyOne). Went through their list of participating restaurants and found that they were also servicing PI Breakfast and Pies (how appropriate for my grease needing, hung over state). Tried to order online only to be told that I was outside the restaurant’s zone and was asked to place my order via phone call instead. So I did just that. After being asked for my personal details first by the agent who was probably hard of hearing (had to repeat myself several times on all of her questions), she finally got around to asking about which establishment I wanted to order from. So I told her. There were few seconds of silence after that. She was probably looking it up their system. Then she asked me again. Twice. It was starting to get really annoying, but I just chalked it up to hunger and impatience. The worst was yet to come.

When she finally got the name of the restaurant correctly, she then proceeded to tell me that they don’t service for that restaurant yet.

“Excuse me?” was the only thing I could say. How could they have the restaurant listed on their site, with online order feature available for it if they weren’t servicing the restaurant yet? She then told me that it was for promotional purposes, it was just up there even if it wasn’t operational yet.

It was all I could do to not go apeshit on her. It wasn’t her fault anyway.

So I went back online and left a feedback on their website.

I was a first time user and I had a super bad experience. Important detail that should never be left out. An hour later I got a call. It was from their customer service team. She said that they got my feedback, apologized for the miscommunication and said that the restaurant I wanted was available for delivery. She also told me that I could place my order now. It was an hour later. Did they honestly expect me to just remain hungry because of a failed attempt at good service? So I said no thanks. So she told me afterwards that I was now a VIP customer – whatever that means. She didn’t bother explaining it to me. We hung up. Half an hour later, I got another call. From a different representative this time. He told me the same things that the first rep told me just a while ago. This was getting ridiculous. I told him that they really should start coordinating with each other because even this attempt to make up for the failed service earlier was just making things worse. They’ve called me twice about the same thing with just a 30 minute gap. Don’t they have customer logs or something? He apologized and told me that he’s giving me a P150 voucher for the trouble and that they’re crediting it to my account so that the next time I call to place an order, I’ll get an automatic discount of the same amount. I really wouldn’t be surprised if that failed. Not that I would be calling anytime soon to check anyway.

Their site was also pretty difficult to navigate. So many clicks. I had a hard time finding the list of restaurants and when I did, they had several links for the same restaurant but with different branches. The order window was so small. And the menu is a different link from the order window. Make sure you remember what you want! You can’t order online if you live in an area that’s outside of their zone — but don’t worry, you just have to make a phone call (sarcasm).

It’s pretty easy to get twitchy about these things when the work you’re doing is pretty much related (Web, User Experience Design, Usability, and all those other buzz words etc).

I ended up trying out their competitor (City Delivery) who did not have a better interface (equally annoying), but the service was a lot better. Had Mr. Kebab delivered and all was well after that.

The One With The Relevant Murakami Quote

This is one more piece of advice I have for you: don’t get impatient. Even if things are so tangled up you can’t do anything, don’t get desperate or blow a fuse and start yanking on one particular thread before it’s ready to come undone. You have to realize it’s going to be a long process and that you’ll work on things slowly, one at a time.
Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood


This is why this book will always be relevant in my life.

In a span of less than 12 hours I found out that 2 of my friends are doing exactly what I want to be doing in life… be somewhere else.

1. Friend will be moving from Barcelona to Ireland in October. One morning he just woke up and realized that he wants to live in Ireland. And now he’s going to.

2. Friend will be moving to New York in January. After going back and forth from Geneva to NYC for the past 3 years, he just decided it was time to move there.

I was supposed to go to San Francisco for the fall semester. That’s not happening anymore. I’m seeing more of the world now than I have ever dreamed of. And I really love my job and can’t see myself doing anything else anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean I still don’t dream of uprooting myself and planting myself somewhere else until my roots take hold. I still do. Every day. More than anything else, really.

The One With the Unplanned Purchase

Retail therapies are my thing. If I had an infinite cesspool of money, I would buy everything that the world has to offer as long as it’s on sale.

So I’ve been retail therapy-ing my way into being ok since June (the whys are for a different entry). I’ve been buying clothes left and right. Bought a ton of stuff for the condo. And been buying make up I’ve been too lazy to put on.

And my latest irrational purchases list is a 2nd hand camera. Tried to justify this by telling myself that I’ve rekindled my love for photography during my recent travels and a cam phone is too limited for me. I’d bring my DSLR if only I didn’t have to lug around a laptop (because my travels are usually for work) + if it wasn’t dead.

So I bought my friend’s Fuji X10 that he was selling for such a steal. Plus since friend is a photographer, I was sure that the camera would give me a bang for my buck… Yeah I’m justifying it again because I shouldn’t be throwing away money just to make myself feel better.

But it is a pretty camera.


The One With A Quote

“As long as you know where you stand, stay there.”

As said by my friend, Jules.

Relevant because so many things in my life right now are kind of wibbly, wobbly (heh. a cookie if you get the reference) and I’m not quite sure which action to take anymore. So there…


[edit as of September 3, 2014 10:50am] Ok. I take it back. I’m not actually sure any more where I stand so that’s a new problem altogether.