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.

Kalat Kid In Europe: People are strange when they are strangers

My friends know that I am not the most sociable person in the universe. In fact, people scare me. When I’m on my own, I usually just try to disappear and blend in, trying not to draw any attention to myself. But every once in a while, shit happens and I am forced out of my comfort zone and I end up talking to… PEOPLE. Besides, having spent the last 2 weeks in Oslo and Budapest, a place that hasn’t been taken over by Filipinos (yet), it was kind of impossible to blend in. But it was easy, though, to not be seen… especially when you’re so short and you’re out of everybody’s line of vision. Sometimes they’ll just notice you when you end up face first in their armpits.

So I managed to be brave on this trip (or maybe I was just too bored, only having myself for a company… I can be quite a bore) and met a couple of people who were actually very interesting.

1. Alex (yes, I remember his name) – Location: Oslo.

Found myself in some cafe (which was really a pub) after having walked 30 minutes from my hotel trying to find Grunnerlokka. I found it, but decided not to stay there because it was crowded. Cafe Tamara, a few minutes off the grid was where I decided to have a beer and finish my book in peace. Guy comes over to ask me about my Kindle and then he invited himself over for a chat. I was sociable for 2 hours, ladies and gentlemen! I was freezing, my lips were numb but I still managed to have a good conversation about doing laundry, the perks of travelling for work (me) , living on your own (me) vs living in your parents’ basement (him), having lived in a different country (him), tanning, and people wearing shorts in the freezing cold (it was 15deg in Oslo that time at 7pm). A friend of his joined us and surprise surprise, his friend’s mom works for the company that owns mine! Talked about getting a promotion through his friend’s mom. “Hey, met this cool Asian chick over at Tamara’s. She seems brilliant. Maybe you could get her a job here in Oslo,” was my spiel. Alex decided that it needed embellishment. “Yeah. Went home with the first guy she met.” I decided that it was time to exit after that. Guy was cute though.

2. American Guy with glasses and Simon the Australian Porn director (I actually have no idea what he does for a living but we decided that for that night, he was a porn director) - Location: Budapest.

These 2 I met (well I met them with another Simon who flew in from London to Budapest because he was a good travel buddy, but for the purpose of this blog post and emphasis on my bravery, let’s pretend I just met the rest of these people on my own while I was in Budapest) while having beers at a ruin pub near my AirBnB apartment on my first night on official vacation. I actually can’t remember how we got to talking but we ended up talking about good drunk grub, weirdest food in Manila, babies as a delicacy, how to recruit women and men for porn, and how Guys in Glasses Volume 1 would be a sure hit in the porn industry. We also talked about the worst superpowers a person can every have (e.g. being able to control rain, but you only get droplets) and not having plans at all. Guy in glasses was gonna go back to the US the day after, but will be back in Berlin for a job after a month. Simon, the porn director, has been on the road for months and has no plans of going back home anytime soon. I also learned never to call an Australian, dude. Of course, I called the Australian, “dude”, twice (even after being told not to do it). Force of habit.

3. Hungarian Girl and her Canadian boyfriend, Jordan – Location: Budapest

They were so cute together, my teeth hurt. They just met the night before I met them at Szimpla (another ruin pub) at girl’s cousin’s wedding. Jordan was there with his cousins and they got invited to the celebration. It was basically a meet cute. They asked if they could share the table and I said, yes of course. So I was the unwilling prop to their flirting. Soon enough, Jordan’s cousins joined our little group, along with this Norwegian guy who was sitting in the next table but decided to turn around and give away some Snus. Girl bought us a round of shots. Jordan was telling us about how he’s been on the road for 3 months, and ended up sleeping on a park bench in Oslo one time. He was a landscape architect so he felt right at home. We talked about how safe it was in Canada that he could leave his door unlocked with the keys in the ignition and still have his car there a month later. How these guys managed to get me on my feet and dancing to some random hipster song, I’m not sure. I blame the shots.

4. Submarine designer – Location: Budapest

The bar was about to close by the time this guy introduced himself. I think he was waiting for his friend, got bored and decided he’d talk to people instead. He was English (and cute, too). And then he said the 3 most wonderful words I’ve ever heard: “I design submarines.” Tell me that wasn’t amazing. Of course when he went into the details, like he does it using Excel, I kinda just started drifting off after that. In my head he was this really super cool engineer, with blue prints and shit. I forgot what else we talked about because I got stuck at submarines.

And then of course, there were the special mentions:

1. Guy who opened the door for me while I was at the Oslo office. He worked at the 2nd floor, I was going to the 3rd. Couldn’t get inside the building because you needed a keycard for that, so I ended up waiting for people to go in and I’d just sort of, slink in after them. He asked me about my work, he talked about his, and then that was it. He was just worth mentioning because he was cute and quite the gentleman.

2. Different guy who opened the door for me while I was at the Oslo office. I got stuck and couldn’t get out. Too many buttons! So he opened the door for me and shouted “You’re free!!” Hilarious.

3. Bartender in this random pub in Oslo I just happened to walk into who handed me my beer with a “here you go, love.” What a cutie.

4. Wait staff in Budapest who kinda felt sorry for me because I was on my own (it was a date place, apparently) and handed me my beer and dinner with a “enjoy, love.” And every once in a while asked me if “everything ok, darling?”.


It pays to be brave sometimes or at least in my case, forced out of my comfort zone.

Schipol Airport in Amsterdam and the rape of my heart

August 17, at 645am (AMS time), I landed in Schipol airport for my connecting flight to Oslo, Norway.

It was my first trip to Europe by myself so for the first time, I allowed myself to actually look around and take in the visual candy that was this airport. Previous trips were spent keeping an eye on my companion, making sure that I wouldn’t lose sight of her because I’m an idiot at airports and I would probably not know what to do if that happened — especially at Passport control.

So anyway, back to being all alone, hungry and exhausted after a 12 hour flight…

The shops were just starting to open. And people in uniform were milling about: pilots, cabin crew and most importantly, airport staff (and this included shop keepers).

Can I just say: Schipol Airport knew what they were doing when they decided to staff up with mostly good looking people. And by people, I only really gaped at the men.

The baristas at Starbucks. The airport caddie drivers. The immigration officers who stamped my passport (and my heart). Even the workers who were repairing the E gates were good looking.

Security check was pleasant. Because I forgot to take out the small liquid bottles from my bag, security officer asked it was ok if he opened my bag and go through its contents. Of course I said yes. Officer was pleasant and made small talk. And he was probably one of the most good looking boys I’ve seen within the past 48 hours. He asked me where I was going. “Oslo,” I said. He ended up going through both bags and then he smiled at me and said “All good! Have fun in Oslo!”

I should have asked him if he wanted to go with me.

Thank you, Schipol Airport for the gift of good looking guys at 645am. My connecting flight was delayed, by the way. But I couldn’t find it in me to complain.