Reunion + Food trip = Super fun!

Friend + Food = Awesome bonding moment.

Yesterday, I had a wonderful chillax time with my former-student-turned-friend, Michelle. We saw each other again after 4 years. I share a special bond with many of my students and I usually have small talks with them outside of class.

Michelle is somehow one of the few who are really close to me because she happened to be my neighbor for 2 years and she was one of those who took care of me when I got sick and had to stay in the hospital for 2 days. Being away from my family, I was really grateful that my students were there for me, and that includes Michelle.

We chatted about every girl thing – boys (in this case, her husband Bryan), shoes, dresses, career, family, food, practically everything under the sun. What made our bonding session even greater was when we went to Watsons and were given a coupon with a number of free food items.

We were already full by that time because we just had a Greenwich treat but just for fun, we redeemed the free items on the coupon. We started with the ice cream from Selecta, then went to Secret Recipes. I’d like to applaud Secret Recipes for treating us so well in their resto. The place had good ambience and the people were really warm and accommodating. They even gave us free iced tea aside from the free cake that was on the coupon and in exchange, they let us take a little survey. Mitch and I really had a good time at their place.

We continued to redeem the remaining items on the coupon just for fun. We were both physically and emotionally full when we finally parted ways. 🙂


Business Tip: Exert all efforts to keep your customers happy.

I have referred some of my housemates to a laundry shop close to where we live. Aside from the laundry services, we also buy drinking water from them. So for about two months, we managed to maintain a pleasant business-to-customer relationship.

However, some unpleasant things happened, 2 of my housemates lost some of their clothes and the laundry shop won’t take accountability for it, saying that the clothes weren’t with them. They’d even contend that they were not the ones who misplaced the clothes; implicitly blaming the customer for the loss. My housemate fumed in anger, saying that he couldn’t have “eaten” his shirt so that’s why it got lost all of a sudden.

To cut the story short, they lost all three customers in one week – and that was just in our unit! Needless to say, customer relationship is very important, especially in these times of stiff competitions. Duh, laundry shops are everywhere! They could have at least empathized with their furious customer and assure him that they will try their best to retrieve the missing items instead of washing their hands clean of the crime committed. Or they could have said politely that they will do everything they can to retrieve the missing item and if they would be unsuccessful, they could bargain and pay for the missing item at a discounted price.

Making it in today’s business world is really tough. So if you were able to get through the toughest phase – get some customers, give it your all to keep them happy and satisfied. 🙂

Sometimes it’s okay to talk to a stranger. :)

Last week while I was sitting on the bench waiting for my MRT ride, a cute 10-yr old little girl took the seat beside me and asked “What’s your name?” I was surprised. In this busy world in the metro, where people don’t seem to care or give a damn at all, one little girl cared.

She introduced me to two of her pretty older sisters, who were busy chatting with each other. Krisha, the little girl, was light, bubbly, and very charming. She told me stories of her family: her mom who was in Canada, her dad who spoils her (she’s the bunso, the youngest child among three girls), her sisters who take care of her, her sisters’ boyfriends – who are “nice” to her, and other little girl’s stuff.

I was especially moved when she shared to me how she cries when she sees other girls with their moms and how she misses her… another touching OFW-family story. Meeting this little girl reminded me to go the extra mile – be nice to a stranger, and somehow make a connection with people I meet everyday. It’s so easy for us adults to choose not to care – or pretend not to care about the people around us. We have a lot of things going on in our busy little lives that sometimes it’s too much to even take notice of the person sitting beside us. Or worse, we may have been victimized by people who take advantage of our innate goodness. Yes, this world can also be dangerous. But I was thankful that I violated the “Don’t talk to strangers”-rule on that special moment with the little girl named Krisha.

When we reached our MRT stop, she hugged me – that kind of hug that says a lot – sincere and genuine… and I’m really thankful that I met this cute little stranger.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

7 Habits… start inside out. Start with self first: even more fundamentally, start with the most inside part of self – your paradigms, your character, your motives.

This is just one of my favorite lines in Stephen Covey’s book. It’s really a very good book, full of wonderful insights and wisdom from the author on how to improve one’s effectiveness not only in the workplace but also with life in general. I highly recommend reading and re-reading the book. =)

Here are some of my favorite insights:

  • Perhaps a sense of possessing needs to come before a sense of genuine sharing.
  • Many people who give mechanically or refuse to give and share in their marriages and families may never have experienced what it means to possess themselves, their own sense of identity and self worth.
  • If you want to have more freedom, more latitude in your job, be a more responsible, a more helpful, and more contributing employee.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. (Aristotle)
  • Our character, is basically, a composite of our habits. Sow a thought, reap an action. Sow an action, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny.
  • “Lift off” takes a tremendous effort, but once we break out of the gravity pull, our freedom takes on a whole new dimension. [Nice thought on letting go, 😉 ]
  • Breaking from old paradigms can be a painful process. A change that has to be motivated by the willingness to subordinate what you think you want now for what you want later. Happiness can be defined, in part at least, as the fruit of the desire and ability to sacrifice what we want now for what we want eventually.
  • Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.
  • Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.
  • Real success is success with self. It’s not having things, but in having mastery, having victory over self.

I want to remind myself of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey:

  1. Be Proactive
  2. Begin with the End in Mind
  3. Put First Things First
  4. Think Win-win
  5. Seek First to Understand, Then be Understood
  6. Synergize
  7. Sharpen the Saw

Read it and learn to be effective. =)