It’s Got Rhythm

I am learning to love
the sound of my feet walking away
from things not meant for me,
to things that are.

It’s got rhythm.

Writer, Author, Storyteller

The tortoise or the Hare?

There is no such thing as “maintain” when you are working on improving yourself. Everyone else, too are working on improving themselves.

In life’s race against the clock, you either are improving or declining. I was involved in competitive swimming as a parent of an athlete swimmer. I used to hear competitive swimmers say after a race, “they maintained their times”. If taken rightly, they use that as a “dig their heels in there for a moment”, as a new minimum standard and move forward from there. Then, good.

But, many of the swimmers use their “times maintained” to be construed as they did well, at least they did not drop in times. The danger of becoming complacent, too relaxed or make excuses; can set in. Now, if they are racing only against their personal time clock, they may be able to give themselves some takeaway from there.

In competition there are two races that really go on in each race. One, you race against your personal best time clock, always. This competitor – the clock; will always race you.

The second is you race against other athlete competitors.

So, the moment you “feel comfortable” about having “maintained your time” in a race; your competitors are working hard at beating their times and beating you, their competitor. The goal for most real competitors is to race at the Olympics and World Championships.

They have to have “Kaizen” in them. Kaizen is a Japanese word for continuous improvement.

Michael Schumacher, 7 times Formula 1 World Champion, is arguably the best of all times. At his peak, he accomplished many records – having won 7 world championship titles, winning 91 races (the most number of races at that time), getting the most number of pole starts, amassing the most number of points, amongst many others. When asked at a press conference what it felt like having chalked up so many firsts, Schumacher said, “Records are meant to be broken”.

These two races can basically be applied to anyone – one, is we continue to improve ourselves. The second is we race against others in our workplace, our profession, etc. This is good as it continues to raise the bar or the new record to break. I think mankind has always been competitive by nature.

When you break that record, don’t forget to spend some time celebrating the achievement. This is “living in the present”. Don’t spend too much of time there. Otherwise, it may turn out to be “The tortise and the Hare”.

Then, back on the racetrack to start a new race to beat the latest record. We should always ask, “How can we make the best, better?”

In order for your life to be great, you must first learn to appreciate it. Don’t forget to add “having fun” in all you do. Fun helps people to relax. It is sometimes regarded as a “social lubricant”, important in adding “to one’s pleasure in life”. Fun can help reduce stress. . For children, fun is strongly related to play. Somehow, they have spontaneity and an inventive way in extracting fun from it.

Are you the tortoise or the hare?


In the meantime, I am going to have Tou Foo Fah (Chinese for soymilk custard) with liquid brown sugar. A little while later…Oops! forgot to take a picture of it. “Walloped it one shot” (local way of saying, “whacked it” or “start eating and finished straight away”).

Tou Foo Fah – yummy!


Have you thought about “Customer Service”?

A must have in any big, large or for that matter, any business. So, it seems. Have we really thought about it in today’s context? Is customer service to serve the customer or the customer to serve the business?

Let us take Hisbiscuit (not its real name, but true incident), for example. It was Friday, May 29th, 2022; mid-morning. We called Customer Service on their toll free line to make a complaint about a scam, well… duped half way into it. After half an hour, we were still waiting on hold for a representative to speak with us. Maybe, we’d still be on hold today, if we kept waiting.

One of the most common phases you will hear on the phone, or see on a website 24 hour online live chat of the business is, “We are experiencing a high volume of calls, you may have to wait longer than expected”. In this case, the message was, “We are experiencing an extremely high volume of calls, you may have to wait longer than expected”. Another message follows, “Do sign up for our online service or download our app, so as to enable us to chat with you “live“”.

The thing is, you can call any time of the day or on any day and guess what? You are going to receive the same message.

So, you go to their website. One of the most “hip,” “I gotta have that on my website” functions you will see on a website, usually tucked away somewhere until you become inquisitive and hit a button on the menu, pops up. Suddenly, it springs out of nowhere: “Chat with us. Live Chat.” Most don’t mention… “Live chat with real robots”. But guess what…again? Go on…guess. Awww!…give it a go… An instant reply comes on from “Eva”, “We are receiving a high volume of chat messages, you may have to wait longer than expected”.

Then out of frustration, you decide to chat with the “Chat with us. Come on, give us a go!” chat. You ask a question. Eva replies, “I am sorry, I don’t quite understand the question”. Or a completely unrelated answer comes out based on keywords in the question. This reminds me of the old television series, “Mind Your Language”.

How do you think the business establishment can address this almost any time of the day, almost every day of the year problem? You are right! Hire more people to handle Customer Service. Not more “Eva” and “Ken” robots (a.k.a. automated “customer service representatives) with their “I am sorry, I don’t quite understand the question” replies.

To be fair, there are some, only some…companies that state the live chat on their website is automated.

There are some with actual, real people to chat with you. There was one who sent me his cell phone number and asked if we could communicate directly, offline; because he could offer a better deal than what was stated on the website that he was linked to. How’s that for customer service?

Have you ever thought about it? You are filling up an online form and come to the end of the form. You have to prove to the computer, which is a robot; that you are not a robot! You have to tick a “I’m not a robot” check box. Think about it.

It is different if you are inter-acting with a real person, a human being on the other end of the communication you are having, and that person wants to know if he or she is dealing with you a real person or robot. It baffles me as to what is stopping a robot or autobot or botbotbot from ticking that checkbox. Not that it is going to disintegrate,…or is it?

~ More to come on “Customer Service”.

Tell us your experience or thoughts of Customer Service and how you would like it to be.

As for Hisbiscuit, we still have not managed to get through to them.

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Mind Your Language

Image by Pixabay