Saturday, June 30, 2012

Work Ethics

We have different styles in working. Some people are serious, some are just plain laid-back. Some are overdoing it, some people are working smart. I love observing people while at work. I take a minute watching how they react to memos and spontaneous tasks given to them. Will they take it positively? How soon are they going to get their ass off their seat and start doing it? Our work ethics is a reflection of our character. I don't know how this topic came into my mind, it was probably because of this recent encounter with a cashier lady in a restaurant that gave me the idea to discuss the dynamics of work ethics.

What is a good customer service?

Normally, a good customer service is easily spotted at the doorstep of an establishment. The way the security guard smiles at you when you enter, the way crews would turn their heads away from their tasks unto you who is obviously looking for an immediate table. As swift as wind they will hand you the menu and will patiently wait for your order. They will not curl their lips when you are taking a century to pick a choice, they will gladly answer all your pertinent questions as if they care about your satisfaction more than anything else. A good customer service is not pushing for sale, but rather making sure you are well taken care of.

I, myself, is in customer service. I value the choices of my customer, if they will choose the smaller package against the higher one, I don't protest. It is the liberty of everyone to choose what is best for them, may it be cheap or expensive.

I had several encounters with excellent waiters who take orders. They are in almost every kind of restaurant, be it Max's, Cyma, Jollibee, or even carinderias. Understandably, expensive restaurants are on the league of providing good customer service, because with the price the customers pay, they definitely need to do a better job. But what I admire most are those people from small-scale establishments such as mami house or pares house that wouldn't mind giving suggestions, providing insightful recommendations, and perhaps even asking questions. I have seen waiters, who are frail and obviously not well-off, but exuding a great deal of charm and enthusiasm. It is as if he is doing the best job in the world. He doesn't mind if we change our minds in picking orders, because he wanted to give us the best service at the end of the day. This kind of people, I laud with utmost respect, I smile to them and give them the tip that they deserve and I say thank you in the most humbling way I can.

On the contrary, I have met the most stubborn and rudest lady a few minutes ago. She was wearing a heavy make-up, her hair is as bronze as a door knob and she is so sexy I was so surprised she was even working there. There were no guards at the door, I push it by myself and it didn't require much effort, but the moment I entered, five ladies are in the cashier and they were busy fingering their mobile phones (save for the one who was busy updating the ledger). I took the menu from the table and started picking my order. I choose one option and asked a question:

"Miss, the spaghetti? May peanut butter din?"

Her response took a while, I felt like my words weren't loud enough but I wasn't wearing any headphones at that time. She didn't answer so I just let it pass.

And then finally I took an order. I handed her a one-thousand peso bill, crisp and smooth and her eyebrows met.

"Sir, wala po ba kayong smaller bills?"

I sincerely told her none and I even showed her the contents of my wallet. Much to her dismay she went inside the staff room and I think everything will be ok. But she returned, still with peso bill on her hand, asking all of her fellow waitresses on whether they have a change. One took a moment to reach out to their cash box and there, there were like hundreds of one-hundred and five-hundred bills. The cash box is just under the cash register and I was so confused as to why she has to reach out to the inside and lingered there for almost 2-minutes when in fact she can even reach out under the register?

I'm still ok.

Just when she is about to hand me the change, I stretched out my palm as if to receive the bills on my hand, but she never put it on my hand. Instead, she put the bills on the table, counted it as if she making fun of it all, and dropped the coins from her fingers, falling to the table like drizzle.

Then I was mad.

After giving me the change she forgot to gave me queue number and the receipt because she immediately started chatting with the other ladies. I waited for her to remember that she has to give me that number and the receipt but she didn't so I throw her a dagger look and:

"Miss, di mo ba ko bibigyan ng receipt tska number".

She didn't get my ire? She was still rolling her fingers on her curly hair and continued chatting up with the ladies while she is handing me the receipt and the number.


I have a roller-coaster issues with cab drivers. I have zero to low tolerance towards naive drivers. My relationship towards first-timer drivers are one that has to be discussed in an anger management class. But I am starting to be more understanding now and apologetic as I have heard several depressing driver stories and I can understand the difficulty of their job and risk attached to it as well. So in this category, I can be very compassionate.


 Love your job. Not all of us will land in our ultimate dream job. I may not be at the liberty to say that we should work our ass off even if we are not compensated very well, because I know this is not going to apply to everybody. But what I wanted to put across is my admiration towards people who put 100-110% in their job despite the apparent low-wage attached to it. These are modern heroes who will not complain but rather do their best in whatever opportunity is handed to them.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Delayed Post: Colors of India

I should have made this post a couple of months of ago, I thought I have already documented this trip last month but surprisingly not.

It was my first out of the country trip of the year and it was long overdue. At first, it was just a rumor, then come last week of March we were informed that we have to take care of our visa to India. Confirmed!

I don't have any expectation of India. I have never been there, and I have only few images in my mind about this country. All I know about India is its spicy food and busy streets as it was never very alien to me as two of my colleagues at work are Indians, and we are operating under our parent company from India.

Come with me...


It was my first stop-over in Malaysia, and I'm looking forward to come here anytime soon. Now on the airport, I have to say that they own this category. Better than Suvarnabhumi, but then again, Bangkok's flagship airport is also so  beautiful.

Now off to India.


My company for the entire 6-8 Hour flight.

Welcome by our hotel driver. They are giggling while looking at us, bewildered and excited to see much of Hyderabad in a while. But sadly we arrived at night and there's no way we can sneak out first before we head to the hotel.

My first serving of India food. Welcome to the nation of curry and biryani. There's a papad over there on the top. The corn and the mixed veggies are spicy by the way. It was day full of naan bread as well.

Newspaper full of Bollywood movie ads. They have full support of their own craft. I would love to see the same support here in the Philippines.

This is my first impression of Hyderabad. City of dancing people. In case you didn't know, Indians know how to party hard. Their dances are rhythmical and mad :)

Not the best papad, the best one is actually in the Philippines :)

Spicy veggie. If you are a fan of veggies, you may want to consider the inherent spiciness of this one.


They have the best biryani as well. Well, not the best, because later I'll show you the best biryani in town.

Now some tour of the city. See the yellow tricycle down there?

Spotted some few good architectures out there.

just like what my boss told me, India has few skyscrapers.

I was almost castigated for taking this shot. McDonald's won't allow me to take any pictures, but the sneaky me went on. No sweet style spaghetti or quarter pounder.

They call this rickshaw. In Manila, we call this tricyle.

Now let's see some Indian crafts.

Let's have some street food.

If there is one thing I enjoyed in Hyderabad. It was eating, everyday was a feast, and getting used to spicy flavors wasn't that difficult for me anymore.

Now this is the real beef kebab.

I took a lousy shot of the biryani, which was the finale of the last night in Hyderabad, we were so excited to devour the biryani, we forgot to take pictures of the untouched plate.

The place by the way is Paradise Biryani.

That's it. We didn't have much time to tour the entire city but it was a splendid trip. It was a beautiful country and three days is not enough to cover the entire itinerary.

The Hyderabad airport is also sleek and spacious.

Now back to Manila, and still curry on the plane

And bought myself a souvenir

Friday, June 22, 2012

Going back to (Little) Tokyo

I went to Japan when I was twelve, so I only have few snippets of memory from the land of the rising sun, save for some embarrassing  moment in the public bath, snow gliding in the mountains, the cold strolls at the temples of Buddha and the magnificent train systems.

I do remember the moment when the door of the Narita airport opened as we exited the lobby and the notorious cold winter wind that swooped right in front of us, sending a strong signal of an impending battle against extreme cold weather condition. It was an unexpected welcome, thank you for not letting us know that the weather was beyond our physical capacity.

Japan is such a beautiful country. We only have a quick glimpse of Tokyo as we went to Nagano City, it was far away from the capital city. But Nagano was so lovely, this was the time of Winter Olympics, circa 1998, and there is so much happening in the city. It was the first time I saw a long avenue clad with apple trees.

The people were so great and hospitable. I remember my foster family, I forgot their names :( but they were so simple yet they were so kind and lavish to visitors. Their house is not so big, it was a two-storey house, it was not spacious but it was generally clean and organized. Everything was well kept and it looks like each item was just bought recently. There were no chairs, we ate in a very low table and we have to eat while sitting like an Indian. It was also the first time that I was able to lay my hands on a Playstation.


Last Wednesday we got a chance to go back to Japan, but not the real Japan. My colleague told me there's a Little Tokyo in Pasong Tamo wherein it houses several authentic Japanese restaurants. And so we went.

It was so nostalgic. I love Japan. It was my first trip out of the country and I was so nervous, but the people and the love I felt in that country is something that I won't be able to forget.


We went to Yamazaki grocery where Ramen and meals were relatively cheaper. Going inside are several other restaurants (which I think is far better and more authentic, but kinda more expensive. But worth the try.)

The Entrance

One of the restaurants inside.

Lovely setting eh?

This is what I ate. The Yamazaki Special Ramen. Don't be so shy to ask if this is good for two, because honestly it is good for four :) And the price is not bad, Php 218 for this one. It was ok, the soup was tasty, the beef is ok but needs more flavor.

If you are for miso, try this one.

Little Tokyo is located right beside Makati Cinema Square, Amorsolo corner Pasong Tamo. Go there at lunch and you'll see Japanese dining there and learn how they eat a ramen - the Japanese style.

The Nymphomaniac and The Android

The moment I finished watching 'Shame' I was gasping for air. I was literally panting for the fear that I would be caught masturbating or crying because of the ending. Lucky for me, I didn't reach either of that point.

Shame is one of my favorite movie last year (next to The Help, The Artist and The Iron Lady) and I was rooting for Michael Fassbender to win the acting plum. I'm not disappointed, since Jean Dujardin undeniably deserves the award.

The film was dark and gritty. But Michael's acting was so intense and haunting, there will be moments that you will feel his desperation and helplessness. It is not a pornographic film, it is a man's battle to win against a disease. And that scene where he was listening at his sister's (played by the lovely Carey Mulligan) rendition of "New York, New York", it was so dramatic my eyes were melting in tears.

Well enough of Shame, it has been almost two-years already. Fast-forward to Ridley Scott's newest Sci-Fi film "Prometheus".

Touted as the quasi-prequel to "Alien", I really didn't mind that because honestly I don't recall much memory from Alien. Aside from the orgasmic blinding visuals and the philosophical undertones, I was drawn much to Fassbender's role as David, the super-intelligent android who helps the entire members of Prometheus find the answer the questions they are all looking for. 

He was go good I was so teary-eyed when we was beheaded (the only beheading scene you will ever see in without the gruesome sight of blood).

I am not really a critic, I don't have the expertise to deconstruct a film and find flaws in structure in plot. I am always looking for the acting, how each character will deliver the role and ultimately contribute to the entirety of the film. Charlieze Teron, Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender were my favorites. I felt that some characters are unnecessary and these three actors alone can bring delight to the audience.