an open letter to human trash

Hello guys, I present to you – human trash.
human trash

To put things into context, I am back to the long and arduous journey of job searching. The previous job I landed was a fail, so after a month, I went back to twiddling my thumbs at home. (And spending hours a day on the computer sending out resumes to companies/recruitment agencies.)

Somehow, an agent from Recruitment Agency X (we will call her Agent A), got in touch with me, and we proceeded from there, trying to find the right job match for me. In hindsight, I think I regretted this decision the most. I shouldn’t have approached new agents just because of their job postings. The previous agent that helped me get my job at StarHub was so nice and efficient, and I should’ve gone through her.

So after a day or two, she had two interviews scheduled for me the very next day. I was already not feeling very well at this point, let me tell you that. I could practically smell the flu coming my way when I sneezed. It was also around this time that I realised that I probably couldn’t commit to a 5 weekday job with office hours, due to other commitments that I had. I managed to get an offer for a part time job somewhere else, and I let my agent know about this – although I did mention that I would still attend the interviews the next day as it was too last-minute to cancel now. She acknowledged that, and said that I can attend the interviews and see which job I like best later.

Fast forward to today morning, the day of the interviews. I woke up with a splitting headache and a high fever of 38.5 degrees celsius – I was in no condition to attend the interview. Dropped Agent A a WhatsApp message, and bam. You guys can read her reply yourselves. Delusional bitch seems to think that I’m faking an illness just to back out from the interviews – which, to be fair, is a logical assumption. But a few major problems with this:-

1.LACK OF BASIC HUMAN RESPECT. Yeap. Nothing much to say about this.

2.UNPROFESSIONAL AS FUCK.
Hello? I would think that by this point in your career, you would know that whatever suspicions you might have about your client, you do not say this to them in such a manner. I am nineteen, and I know that this is not the way. You could’ve phrased in in another way – “Get well soon! Since I know that this job might not be what you are looking for, would you like me to reschedule or cancel the interview appointment completely?” Polite, to the point, like how a working professional should be.

3.IS THIS BITCH DUMB OR WHAT.
Admittedly, Agent A had every reason to suspect that I was pretending to be sick to skip out on the interview. After all, I did tell her that the job matches were wrong – I couldn’t commit to weekday office hours full time. I also told her that I got an offer for a part time job. Logical conclusion would be that this whole falling-ill act is to avoid responsibility, right? WRONG. I had no obligation to tell her that I got a job offer – I was telling her this out of common courtesy (a concept that she’s probably very unfamiliar with, in hindsight), so that she wouldn’t have to continue this arduous job matching process for me, with the false hope that I would take on the job offer. Does she really think I’m dumb? If I wanted to bail from the beginning, why would I tell her all this to give her reasons to suspect me? Or does she think her Ms Holmes skills are so spot on, and that she saw all these clues, that led her to this geeeeenius deduction that has to be absolutely correct? Girl, if people were so straightforward, and if all clues led to an absolute truth, and if detective work was really so easy… then you would be working for the police and not hear poisoning the world with your toxic customer service.

I hope that, for your sake, you get your shit together.

from SG to Bukit Indah pt. 1

There are two ways to travel to JB from Singapore – either via the Woodlands Checkpoint, or the one at Tuas. For nineteen years of my life I’ve been going to the one at Woodlands. Never have I stepped foot into the Tuas Checkpoint since it’s opening, which, ironically, was in 1998, the year I was born. Heh, talk about coincidence.

Since my family doesn’t own a car, we always take the bus to JB. Previously when we went to City Square Mall taking the Woodlands Checkpoint route, it was bus #170 from the bus stop opposite Kranji MRT Station. Things went a little differently this time, though, as we were going via the Tuas Checkpoint. Picking us up from the Jurong East Bus Interchange was the bus CW3, in all its bright yellow and blue glory. Unlike bus #170, which is a local bus, the CW3 is run by a private Malaysian bus company. Not that it makes much of a difference, except we can’t use our ez-link cards, and need to pay for our ticket in cash instead. The price was SGD $4 per person.

For four dollars, this bus ride sure covered quite a distance. The journey from Jurong East to the Tuas Checkpoint was longer than I would’ve liked, but I wouldn’t say that the ride was unpleasant. Although I am aware that this is not always the case (from anecdotes my mum would describe to me oh-so animatedly), the air conditioning was turned on at full blast, keeping us cool and comfortable. The view was also pretty good (by good, I mean as good as the views in Singapore get), and we were essentially travelling on a highway that was built across the sea. These waters might not have been the best I’ve seen, but they were expansive and danced brilliantly nonetheless, making it a sight to remember. Bottom line is, I could do this again.

My destination was Aeon at Bukit Indah. A departmental store spanning three levels, many Singaporeans will remember it as their favourite place to stock up on cheap groceries. Eateries in the vicinity here are very affordable too, more so than the ones you will find at City Square Mall (in JB Sentral, which you will find after Woodland Checkpoint), or in the city centre of Kualar Lumpar. Of course, this is speaking from a Singaporean’s perspective, with the Ringgit to SGD conversion making most things cheaper here than back in Singapore. Also, after all this talk about Aeon, you would think that we actually went in… but nope! Lunch is always of utmost priority – it even trumps shopping. For noon nomnoms, we stopped by a humble hole-in-the-wall restaurant called 面对面.

At first sight, this place would barely catch anyone’s attention. Peering through the glass doors, lighting in the restaurant looked quite dim, almost unlit. And in my book, unlit restaurants = closed restaurants… So frankly speaking, if not for the “open” sign hanging at the door, I wouldn’t know it was. But Ma who came here before only had good things to say about the place, so I leaned my weight on the glass door, and with fingers crossed, entered the restaurant.

Bestest. Decision. Ever!!! I credit my excitement more to the prices, than the actual food served. That said, the food itself holds its own too. Not life changing, but still good. We ordered more than enough for two – it was Penang Char Kway Teow for Ma, and Nasi Lemak with Fried Chicken for me. Then my cravings for fried food pushed me to try their deep fried dumplings too – Fried Dumplings (Original), and Fried Dumplings with Chives. After we finished all that food, we even got dessert, Chendol!

receipt

And only then, with filled bellies, did we finally walk through the automated doors of Aeon mall…

[Part 2 coming soon!]

muruku ended my healthy phase

Like every other person born in the internet era, YouTube plays a huge part in my life. It’s my go-to for video recipes, comedy skits. cute animal videos, and most recently, lifestyle videos.

For those familiar with the term, a ‘health guru’ on YouTube is usually someone that uploads videos about their life – with extra attention paid on fitness and diet. No thanks to them, I found myself being influenced and the before I knew it, I was stocking my fridge with frozen bananas, strawberries, and whatever other frozen fruit I could lay my hands on.

It was then that I began my daily routine. Every night after dinner, I would make a fruit smoothie (sometimes thicker, if we wanted something with more of an ice-cream like consistency). We always use homemade yoghurt that my mum makes. The bananas give it a delicious sweetness, and the berries the beautiful tinge of pastel pink or purple. On days where we want a fibre boost, chia seeds are also added – they give the smoothie a nice nutty flavour. And I always make sure to use frozen fruit so that my smoothie is icy cold without needing to add the additional ice – no one likes a diluted smoothie!

Oat balls seemed to be a trendy healthy snack, and relatively easy to make. It was simply a combination of old-fashioned oats, cashews, cocoa powder, and a sweetener of your choice. Because it was Ramadan at that time, I had jewel dates on hand, and that’s what I used. They are the the perfect binder too – sticky and sweet, great for keeping your chocolate ball snack firm and in shape.

I wish I could say that this phase lasted forever, but it clearly didn’t – otherwise I wouldn’t be writing about it here. You see, I shop for all my whole foods in the NTUC Warehoue in Joo Koon. They sell 1kg or 2kg bags of frozen fruit there at affordable prices (compared to Cold Storage), and you can find other things like granola and oats there too. One day, I was there doing my grocery shopping… and I chanced upon a huge back of muruku (the thick kind). I decided to give it a try and bought a packet, and little did I know that that was the worst decision I could ever make.

That leaves us here, today. That bag of muruku has long been polished off, and I am nursing a new packet. I have to physically restrain myself to resist the temptation of muruku, but then again I’m not trying very hard at all. I just hope that this packet will last me for at least another week.

Until then…

 

if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: The New MRT Map Display Panel

It seems that SMRT has been hard at work lately.

The East-West Line extension will be open to the public on June 18, signal testing is in the works for the North South Line, and it looks like a system update has been implemented for the MRT display of some trains.

While I’m not sure if this new system will be put in place for all new trains, I believe that this will  be the case at least for the North-South Line (or more affectionately referred to as the ‘Red Line’) for now. I had my first encounter with the new system on Sunday night, when I boarded the train towards Marina Bay from Jurong East Station.

To summarise the change simply, the usual physical MRT map pasted above the doors of the cabins have been replaced. In its place is a new electronic screen divided into two segments. The one of the left has has this has a zoomed-in map of the current, and next four stations. The one on the right displays a good-for-nothing island map, with an outline of the island MRT routes running through. After doors open at every stop, the display changes to show a countdown timer until the doors close.

I didn’t manage to take any pictures or videos on that day, but if you need a visual reference, do watch this clip uploaded by Mothership.sg.

Anyway, back to the story. I was horrified by the update – I didn’t see what purpose this change served at all. A summary of the problems below:

Removing the physical MRT Map –
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about making everything electronic – I do belong to the digital age, after all. But there’s really some major problems that haven’t been considered before this change was implemented.

SMRT couldn’t even get their shit together in the past, when all they had to do was switch on the correct lighting indicators on the physical map to show the train journey. Stations were indicated wrongly, people got on the train and got off – thinking they boarded the wrong train because the lighting indicators showed that the train was going in the opposite direction. You had one job back then, and you couldn’t do it. What makes you think you can do it now?

Another problem – what’s your back-up plan if the screens burn?

Only displaying the current and next four stops
What if I want to switch lines? Where is the next interchange? How will I know that?

That fancy island map display with the MRT route running through –
Someone please explain this one to me. WHAT IS THE POINT? The only purpose I can come up with is for aesthetic reasons – and even that leaves a lot to be desired.

The countdown to train doors closing –
I’m not so angry about this one – it is a thoughtful addition – just not well thought out enough. These displays are inside the train…the people concerned about the countdown are outside, those rushing to get into the train. The commuters that are safely inside are already tapping on their phones – they could care less about the countdown and when the train doors close.

— end of rant —

Well, that felt good.

I did some research, and realised that this new electronic system DID have a purpose to serve (shocker, I know). It’s so that the MRT staff won’t have to physically amend the MRT map of every train and every cabin in future, whenever there is a new line/station/interchange. I can appreciate that, but I don’t think this is the way to go about it. There are ways to make a system electronic and more efficient, without making it dumb. MacDonald’s managed to do it with their ordering kiosks. Shopping malls managed to do it with their directories. I believe you can do it too, MRT gods. But until you can come up with something that works, please just focus on making your trains run. That’s all we’re asking for and it’s the least you could do.

 

 

jobless, aimless & bored

At the beginning of this year, I started working at StarHub as one of their call centre temp staff. Last week, I quit – for a multitude of reasons. And now I’m jobless, aimless, and very, very bored.

For the first couple of days of unemployed life, I did nothing but ate, slept and watched (or mostly, RE-watched) dramas. I refined my drama stash (re-downloaded those available in higher quality, deleted some older dramas to make space for the newer ones, etc.). I went out (quite a fair bit), I spent money. A lot of it.

And along the way I rekindled my love for the drama Faith (Korean time travel drama, 2012, starring Lee Min Ho and Kim Hee Sun). The directing and editing leaves a lot to be desired, but somehow watching it again made me love it as much as I did the first time (or even more so).

Oh, and before I forget, I went to watch a Chinese Orchestra concert too! One of the pieces was a medley of the Goblin OST. So much feels, I could barely contain them. Reminds me of why I love live orchestra performances, and how much I adored the Goblin soundtrack. Seriously. Even if the plot might seem draggy (admittedly, it is), it is a very epic drama with very epic directing/editing/acting/soundtracks. Take my word for it. In fact, this rekindled love for the soundtrack might drive me to pick up the piano again to learn the some of the pieces. Both vocal and instrumental pieces were GREAT.

I plan to find and start a new job in July. I’ll probably resume the job search in mid-June – right now I’m not working too hard at it. In the mean time, I might catch Wonder Woman with my sister soon, or hopefully resume swimming regularly because I feel my belly rolls expanding. (For some strange reason, as I type this, my brain affectionately inserts images of korean BBQ…)

Today, I’ll leave you with a quote someone showed me last week. I slept on it and thought it was great.

Everyone can taste success when the going is easy, but few know how to taste victory when times get tough. -Byron Pulsifer

See you soon! -Q