28 November 2007

let me serve you

This part of the world is currently enjoying an expensive consumer lifestyle. We're slowly but surely being given what the rest of the consumer world recognizes as customer service. But with all the staff training sessions and plethora of new(?) products, do we really care if service is with a smile but the product doesn't live up to advertised quality? Will we part with wads of cash simply?

Yes. No.

I'm a sucker and I spend. My latest acquisition, a new broadband service. 2 to be precise. Maxis Broadband and iZZi. I got a full refund for the latter after only 24 hours. I must admit, iZZi is more cost conscious but reception is slower than Streamyx. I live in the middle of the city where there are 4 antennas covering a combined 53km radius. When I returned the wireless modem and get my refund, the sales staff asked if I lived in a condo cos the higher you go, the better the reception claiming the antennas are placed on hilltops.

I'm sorry. Pardon? RM98 a month. 12 months paid upfront + activation fee. Came home with the modem and CD-ROM. Couldn't install. Drive back in traffic only to be told I needed to download a driver which was not included. Got it. Came back home. Plug and no play. 100kbps was the fastest speed I got for living ground level.

So, I decided to sign an 18 month contract with Maxis Broadband. RM138 a month. Only needed to pay RM100 activation fee. No problems connecting. All sorted in 20 minutes of signing up and logging on. I'm now clicking an average of 650-800kbps at home. 2 Mbps around the city centre. Blazing (for now.) But 18 months, you know?

iZZi and Maxis staff smile a lot. Very friendly. Great.

So how?

We're suckered into a snappy lifestyle.

Slowly but surely, we're losing the battle.

THEY are winning the war.

Let the buyer beware. Blue pill? Red pill?

21 November 2007


November has seen me emceeing several 10th Anniversary events. I just came home from one.

I thought it was funny but then, you know the universe has a way with things. I realized today that 2007 marks 10 years since I decided to return home. 1997 must've been quite a year.

What happened then? Let's take a short walk.

1) I graduated from Uni. A political scientist (really?)
2) Tony Blair is appointed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
3) I failed my final auditions to enter The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art AND The Guildhall of Music & Drama
4) I played Macbeth in Germany (maybe that's why i failed to get into Drama school)
5) I retire from acting, packed up and came home.
6) President Bill Clinton bars federal funding for any research on human cloning
7) I get a job as Research Manager for a production company
8) Diana, Princess of Wales...gone
9) Mother Teresa too
10) Hong Kong returns to China
11) I'm asked to join The Instant Café Theatre Company
12) Stock markets around the world crash because of a global economic scare
13) The term "weblog" is coined by Jorn Barger
14) I decide to stay and not go back to Europe
15) My career as an actor in Malaysia begins.

Ta-da! 10 years on, I know who I am and accept the joys and pains the universe has showered on me.

Yes, this is a feelgood post. We live in a bad place now and we need to unlearn and relearn the lessons we learnt so many years ago. Things will always change and we must change with them. How else can we walk freely forward?

Stay locked and stubborn if you wish. Your choice. I made mine.