Monday, August 18, 2014

Freezing minimum sum for CPF?

I was always wondering if there are going to be any significant changes to the CPF, such as freezing the minimum sum instead of increasing it as per inflation.

The rationale is very simple. We cannot control the salary that is given by the bosses, regardless of what all those career coaches or HR tells you. Your control is usually limited to asking your boss politely or "jumping ship" to another company with a salary increment.

Since we have little control over the salary given, and CPF is a controlled environment where you can't really do much with it, there is no use raising the minimum sum because whoever who contributes to it will not be able to fulfill it anyway.

Yes, you can highlight that you can contribute to the CPF but who will bother to contribute to it if they know the minimum sum and retirement age will forever be going up. You're effectively locking up your money in CPF until god knows when and not being able to tap on it when you need it most in your present life.

Yes, I say present life because CPF's funds are meant for the future... Retirement. Most of us are too busy worrying with the present than to think of the future. Yes, you can save all you want for the future but why make yourself suffer in the meantime? I don't think it makes much sense.

If you take inflation out of the equation for contributors, and this risk is instead transferred to CPF, then CPF to Singaporeans becomes more viable. It means that with regular contribution, you should be able to hit the minimum sum and retire adequately. Note the word adequately, not comfortably.

What's the use of setting the minimum sum which many Singaporeans will have trouble hitting it?

Visit Rhinestic's Knick Knacks @ Etsy for handmade goods and supplies!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Focus on what you need to do today

I quote from Corrie ten Boom:
Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.
Do not move too much ahead of time as it distracts you from what you need to complete today.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Extending Wifi using payphones? Why not ...

Recently there has been news that the payphone providers will be extending the wifi coverage via payphones. My question is very simple. Who cares about Wifi signal when we're having problems even getting good signal on our cell phone devices? That's what the customers care most.

During National Day, I was at the Esplanade when I realised I got a "fake 3G" signal. The signal strength looks very strong on my mobile device but I had zero data connection.

Even in Europe, Kell, many have complained about bad wireless signal and many have said that they rather have strong signal than a fast signal.

The rationale is very simple. What's the use of a fast signal if you cannot connect to it? Isn't that common sense?

Friday, August 8, 2014

Assert your knowledge

I quote from Charles Darwin:
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.

If you see or hear something that you know is wrong, voice out. Otherwise the knowledge spread by the ignorant may affect you in the future.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Last train from MRT does apply across the different lines

I had to go back on the very last train recently and that's when I realised a fundamental flaw in the design of the train. The last train timings are not aligned!

What does it mean? It means that if the last train for a particular train station in the East West Line is 12am for example, you would expect the connecting train to the North East line for example to also have the last train at 12am so that all the timings are aligned. After all, this is a public transport system.

No. That's where you're wrong. The last train for that station can be as early as before 11.30am. Why are we encouraged to take the public transport, touted as being very convenient and allows you to go everywhere by changing between all the lines, when the end time for your train timings do not match?

Do you know how frustrating it is to reach a connection train station, only for it to tell you that the train station for the other line has ended its service? What's more frustrating is when you get out of the station, you might find yourself in an area where taxis are hard to come by as that area is not frequented by taxis that often?

Try it and you will know how frustrating it is.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Westgate's customer service design is plain weird

Updated on 13 Aug 2014: It is not JEM. It's actually Westgate. Apologies...

I was recently around the Westgate mall at Jurong East when I chanced across the customer service centre. At first look, it looks quite neat and professional but when you are trying to get some service, the issues start to come out.

At first glance, the customer service centre looks quite professional such as electronic queue numbers, a system that tells you which counter to go to for that particular queue no, and you can even leave your telephone number so that the system will call you once you're approaching the queue number. BUT ...

Do you know that even though there are 2 different types of queue, the system still puts you in order of the first come first serve basis. Meaning... If you have 10 people who are approaching customer service and 1 person who is approaching Sistic and is the 11th person, the poor person waiting for Sistic service will have to wait for the 10 people in front to finish before the turn comes. Worst part? Those approaching customer service can opt to leave the telephone number in the system so that the system can call them when the queue no comes up, BUT, no such option for Sistic.

Who designed the flow? What's the use of 2 different queue types when it basically means nothing to the customer? In fact, if you only have one queue type, it would be more beneficial to the customer because the customer could at least leave the phone number for the system to call when the queue no comes up. The expectation would be a separate person manning the Sistic booth and for that person to put Sistic customer service as a priority and serve others if there is no one in the queue. THAT will fulfill the reason for the different queue type.

Why makes things so complex when your manpower cannot fulfill the needs of the system?

Visit Rhinestic's Knick Knacks @ Etsy for handmade goods and supplies!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Do not procrastinate

I quote from Charles Stanley:
Fear stifles our thinking and actions. It creates indecisiveness that results in stagnation. I have known talented people who procrastinate indefinitely rather than risk failure. Lost opportunities cause erosion of confidence, and the downward spiral begins. 

Grab your opportunities when it comes. Do not procrastinate.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I do not like over enhancing the photos

If you have been to the links to my other photo albums, I think you may have realised that the most editing I ever do is to manipulate the raw file. I rarely edit the image further than that for a very simple reason. Over enhancing the images make it look fake.

The purpose of me taking photos is to capture the image that I saw so I can record it physically so I can reference it and recall what happened in the future. If the image looks very fake, its likely that I am unable to remember what happened previously because the image may look nothing like what I have seen at that time.

The other reason is that I usually try to post whatever photos I've taken on the very same day that it happened. I do not wish to spend days or weeks to enhance the photo because if I can get it right initially, its minimal work for me to convert it to the picture format.

Anyway you can take a look at my flickr account to see the photos I've been taking. Most are edited by DPP which is part of the image software provided by the camera manufacturer so that I can manage the raw file. That's all I have and that's all I do.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Sometimes not all comments need to be constructive

Recently I was reading some articles on comments on policies when it suddenly struck me that all comments may not need to be constructive.

Let me explain... The biggest issue with constructive criticism is that you will only know about the problem if the person who know of the problem also thought of a solution. There is a very fundamental issue using that line of reasoning. It means that no one will know of the problem early on. Who knows... Maybe no one will ever know of the problem because no one was able to think of a solution.

If you wish to be proactive and resolve issues before it becomes a big problem, then everyone needs to voice out on the issue at hand. For example, if the policies enacted still do not resolve the issue, then state it and highlight the problems still faced by the residents. Be factual and acknowledge that you have no solution but its the duty of the member of parliament to highlight this issue to everyone.

Who knows... Maybe someone else in the room will have the answer to the problem. However, if no one voices it out, no one will ever know there is an issue. That's the fundamental problem with constructive criticism.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Be responsible for your success and your failure

I quote from Erin Cummings:
At the end of the day, you are solely responsible for your success and your failure. And the sooner you realize that, you accept that, and integrate that into your work ethic, you will start being successful. As long as you blame others for the reason you aren't where you want to be, you will always be a failure. 

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