Why Starhub and Singtel make their customers wait 1-2 hours before picking up the phone..

I think the stats would read something like this –

Out of 100 who actually make the attempt to call to ‘Customer Service‘-

80 of them give up mid-way (generally after 30-45 minutes)

20 of them actually try to make it through (This is w/ reference to Pareto’s ‘Law of the Vital Few’)

Now, Starhub has taken to this to a whole new level. Among the 20 people who do call..

16 people are met with a new brand of customer service operators who have no idea about what to do except read a bunch of FAQs from a manual.

4 people actually get what they want. (Again, thank you Pareto).

So I’m estimating 4 out of every 100 subscribers actually get the service they need after 1-2 hours of waiting time.

Presenting the power of a tri-opoly, ladies and gentlemen!

*Starhub, Singtel and M1 tripolize the Singapore telecom market.

Mondays need NOT be blue..

I was looking around on the MRT today and things seemed unusually dull. Many had sleepy frowns on their face, others looked like they’d dragged themselves out of bed. These expressions get better as the week progresses and are at their best on Friday morning. I actually am on a bus now (at the time of writing) where I have one person ranting about his company’s treatment of employees. Well, there goes the week, in my humble point of view atleast. Well begun is half done after all…

Anyway, my point is that Mondays need not be blue! Till a couple of months ago, I loved saturdays and dreaded sundays as they had a feeling of ‘impending doom’ but of late, i’ve learnt to enjoy them, enjoy the mental break and then gear up on Monday.

And on Monday morning, I’ve begun seeing myself myself as the ‘hero’ whose duty is to save the world by helping others get rid of those blues..haha – via Monday mail, a good good morning quote etc..

Suddenly, Mondays are not all that bad after all! What greatly helps me is setting a bigger goal, a bigger expectation than ‘I need to make sure I drag myself to work and stay awake

For example: ‘I am an Associate – that’s right at the bottom of the food chain in the consulting world but just for today, I will be the best bottom of the food chain EVER!’

A kick in the butt..

Thank you to all those who have given it to me. I realize I like it so much that I keep looking for it actively these days by quantifying work, asking for ratings and feedback whenever and wherever and processing them! Numbers never lie..

It does matter because it helps refocus and ensure that our eyes are on the goal..

And today I also realized the value of having a mentor!

Exploring Horizons – Zurich

Getting to know a city is like getting to know a partner in a relationship in many ways. The first visit is generally the period of romance (or not). You never quite see the city as it is but after a visit or two, you begin to understand ‘her’. Quite the same with Zurich. So here are some thoughts about the city that would hopefully be of help if and when you plan a trip –


Great People: I found (in my limited experience) the swiss to be happy go lucky and generally nice. I think that comes from a land blessed with lots of wealth and a high level of stability and security. Nevertheless, definitely a happy place.

Easy travel system: Much like Singapore, Zurich has a clear and easy travel system that makes roaming around the city a breeze.

Generally good weather in summer: It’s funny I say this because this week was one of ‘those’ weeks which every local would like to forget. It was very hot coupled with the fact that rooms typically don’t have air-conditioners or fans. Nevertheless, the weather in the summer is generally very pleasant.

Beautiful Lake: If you are staying at Zurich, I’d recommend staying near the lake. It is a very pretty sight in the summer.

Bahnofstrasse and Alstadt: These are the touristy places. Bahnofstrasse is supposedly ‘the richest street in the world’ as all banks have headquarters there.
Alstadt is the old town. I haven’t had a chance to explore the Alstadt yet. On the next trip, maybe!

Yoghurt: If you are a yoghurt lover, this is one of THE places to be. I was on a healthy diet of 1 litre of simply the world’s best yoghurt! 🙂 Small joys..


Expensive: Zurich is one city I wouldn’t want to take my family on holiday. Expensive is an understatement especially where food is concerned. A very average meal would cost around 20 swiss francs (nearly 20 USD) so I guess you get the picture.

However, on further exploration, there are small eat outs that would allow us to have a good meal for about 10 CHF. But again, that takes a bit of searching.

Lower quality of service in eat-outs: A couple of eat outs had rather rude waiters. We were told that’s because labor is very hard to find (average wage of a laborer is roughly 25 CHF/ hour!!) and hence, restaurants can get away with poor service in general.

If I were to travel to Zurich, I’d take my time to plan as the costs would tend to be sky high otherwise! And if I were traveling to Switzerland, I would stay in the countryside and only visit the city anyway..

All in all, definitely a city worth visiting! 🙂

Have a nice life..

What else would you say to someone you meet for a few moments and you more or less know that you will never meet him/her again?

And that makes sense because you probably never really exchanged names and probably would not even remember if you did meet again?

But, somehow, there is a sort of ‘end‘ in sight when we say ‘Have a nice life‘ – a certainty that in this case we don’t like.

Why is that?

Acceptance – like many things, easy to say, so very hard to do even when it is with regards to something that is hardly likely to change our lives..

Hope – a lovely thing, makes us believe that a random tryst like the one above might actually change our lives..

It’s the mixing of the two that makes life interesting after all..

Lark-ing away to glory – BNET..

I’m a morning person. Like to get up around 6. Turns out my career is likely enhanced by my proclivity to be up with the roosters.

If you’re a night owl, on the other hand, you might be more creative and intelligent than us up-with-the-sun types, but your rhythms are out of sync with the corporate clock.

“When it comes to business success, morning people hold the important cards,” writes Christopher Randler in the Harvard Business Review article, The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm. Randler is a biology professor at University of Education in Heidelberg, Germany

Randler’s research shows that morning people often have the following traits, which can lead to business success:

They earn better grades in school.
Early risers anticipate problems and act to minimize them.
They’re proactive.

Proactivity seems to be the key to all this. Morningsters are more likely to agree with statements such as “I spend time identifying long-range goals for myself” and “I feel in charge of making things happen.”

Evening people, while creative, intelligent, and funny, can also be pessimistic, neurotic, and depressed, according to Randler. They are also out of sync with the hours kept by business and schools, which are in full operation while they doze.

One can learn to become a morning person, but Randler is not sure that would lead to greater productivity.

“There’s evidence that something inherent may determine proactivity,” he says. “Studies show that conscientiousness is also associated with morningness. Perhaps proactivity grows out of conscientiousness.”

I don’t know what to make of this research. As a manager, should I be thinking of ways to get more productivity out of my vampires? How do I bring their attributes of humorousness, etc., into the entire organization?

I’ll have to sleep on that one. What do you think?

Source: BNET