People’s Patience

Today I experienced a situation that demonstrated the amount of patience people in Hong Kong has.

This being a Sunday morning (10:00) and the 2nd day of a long weekend, I was at a HSBC “Day & Night Center” to deposit some money.

I will explain for those who do not know what a HSBC “Day & Night Center” is. It is simply a proprietary term made-up by HSBC to describe the banking centers where everything are automated. One can withdraw cash, deposit cash, deposit cheques, update a bank book and pay bills via ATMs. For this particular “Day & Night Center” I was at, had 7 ATMs for withdrawing cash and paying bills, 2 ATMs for bank book updates, 3 ATMs for cash deposits and 2 ATMs for cheque deposits, which makes it one of the larger “Day & Night Centers” for HSBC.

Given that it was early morning and in the middle of the week, when I arrived there were already armored guards there refilling the ATMs.

Oh… before I forget this “Day & Night Center” is located near the bar / Red Light district of Hong Kong with a US battle ship in town. So you can imagine that these ATM most likely are all out of cash and needed to be refilled.

Normally the procedure for the armored guards is to close the center temporary while they refill the ATMs, which makes a lot of sense. The last thing they need is to have people in there while the ATMs’ safes are opened. Mind you they also have 2 guards with shot gun standing on guard at each entrance, with signs on the doors informing the public that the center is temporary closed, and they also have a wooden bar on the door to temporary prevent it from opening. Mean while they have 4 other guards rapidly servicing the ATMs, and they also have 1 guard going back and forth to the armor truck, parked right outside, with another armed guard escorting him to the truck.

So I patiently waited outside for the center to reopens, since I had time and I really wanted to deposit the money I had in my pocket, plus there is just no where else to do so other then finding another “Day & Night Center”, which there would not be one near by.

While I was standing there outside the door, numerous people walk up to the door and tried to rattle the door open. Even though there is a armed guard inside pointing to the “Temporary Closed” sign as they approach. Of course many realized their mistake, looked at their watch, mumble something to themselves and walked away. Half of these people would smile at me embarrassed for not seeing the guard, the sign and the large wooden bar preventing the door from opening. Of course 100% of these people who smiled or spoke to me were westerners. The local Chinese people would pretend they did not do anything wrong and walked away frustrated.

Of these people who came up to the door and Chinese, many of them would even go to the other entrance and tried those doors to see if they can get into the same “Day & Night Center”. Then there are these Hong Kong (locals) people who came to the door, peeked into the center trying to look around the guard, with the shot gun standing at the door pointing to the sign.

The most surprising reactions were from these people (local Hongkongees of course) who came up to the door rattled the door, then when the armed guard point to the sign, they would swear at the guard for closing the center and say things like, “… can’t believe it is closed again. It was just closed last week at the same time….” and “… how inconvenient for closing, and they call themselves a convenient center, frustrated and swearing….”.

I just don’t understand these last group of people. If they were in the center only an hour or two earlier, they would be the same people who complain that all the ATMs are closed, because they ran out of cash. So what do these people what the guards to do.

Most people in Hong Kong just don’t have enough patience and they are used to and want everything to happen quickly. The only time I see Hong Kong people having patience is when they are lining up for some “jecso”; a Cantonese term to refer to getting something for nothing.

All in all, if Hong Kong people can be more relaxed, they will have more patience for everything things and everyone will be much happier.

People’s Patience

Today I experienced a situation that demonstrated the amount of patience people in Hong Kong has.

This being a Sunday morning (10:00) and the 2nd day of a long weekend, I was at a HSBC “Day & Night Center” to deposit some money.

I will explain for those who do not know what a HSBC “Day & Night Center” is. It is simply a proprietary term made-up by HSBC to describe the banking centers where everything are automated. One can withdraw cash, deposit cash, deposit cheques, update a bank book and pay bills via ATMs. For this particular “Day & Night Center” I was at, had 7 ATMs for withdrawing cash and paying bills, 2 ATMs for bank book updates, 3 ATMs for cash deposits and 2 ATMs for cheque deposits, which makes it one of the larger “Day & Night Centers” for HSBC.

Given that it was early morning and in the middle of the week, when I arrived there were already armored guards there refilling the ATMs.

Oh… before I forget this “Day & Night Center” is located near the bar / Red Light district of Hong Kong with a US battle ship in town. So you can imagine that these ATM most likely are all out of cash and needed to be refilled.

Normally the procedure for the armored guards is to close the center temporary while they refill the ATMs, which makes a lot of sense. The last thing they need is to have people in there while the ATMs’ safes are opened. Mind you they also have 2 guards with shot gun standing on guard at each entrance, with signs on the doors informing the public that the center is temporary closed, and they also have a wooden bar on the door to temporary prevent it from opening. Mean while they have 4 other guards rapidly servicing the ATMs, and they also have 1 guard going back and forth to the armor truck, parked right outside, with another armed guard escorting him to the truck.

So I patiently waited outside for the center to reopens, since I had time and I really wanted to deposit the money I had in my pocket, plus there is just no where else to do so other then finding another “Day & Night Center”, which there would not be one near by.

While I was standing there outside the door, numerous people walk up to the door and tried to rattle the door open. Even though there is a armed guard inside pointing to the “Temporary Closed” sign as they approach. Of course many realized their mistake, looked at their watch, mumble something to themselves and walked away. Half of these people would smile at me embarrassed for not seeing the guard, the sign and the large wooden bar preventing the door from opening. Of course 100% of these people who smiled or spoke to me were westerners. The local Chinese people would pretend they did not do anything wrong and walked away frustrated.

Of these people who came up to the door and Chinese, many of them would even go to the other entrance and tried those doors to see if they can get into the same “Day & Night Center”. Then there are these Hong Kong (locals) people who came to the door, peeked into the center trying to look around the guard, with the shot gun standing at the door pointing to the sign.

The most surprising reactions were from these people (local Hongkongees of course) who came up to the door rattled the door, then when the armed guard point to the sign, they would swear at the guard for closing the center and say things like, “… can’t believe it is closed again. It was just closed last week at the same time….” and “… how inconvenient for closing, and they call themselves a convenient center, frustrated and swearing….”.

I just don’t understand these last group of people. If they were in the center only an hour or two earlier, they would be the same people who complain that all the ATMs are closed, because they ran out of cash. So what do these people what the guards to do.

Most people in Hong Kong just don’t have enough patience and they are used to and want everything to happen quickly. The only time I see Hong Kong people having patience is when they are lining up for some “jecso”; a Cantonese term to refer to getting something for nothing.

All in all, if Hong Kong people can be more relaxed, they will have more patience for everything things and everyone will be much happier.

Nuts & Bots of Service Delivery

What is the formula for good Customer Service?

Having the desire to deliver good service is only part of the formula, but it is the most important part to build upon. I am talking about the aptitude of the individuals to deliver exceptional service to the customers.

Companies who are successful in the delivery of good customer service consistent across their businesses are very hard to come by. One good example of such a company is, Starbucks Coffee. They stand out among its competitors, by having the exceptional ability to deliver these consistent good customer services not only across their business, but also across cultures and national borders.

The key to Starbucks’ success is its training, corporate culture and their Human Resource. Speaking of HR, I will leave that topic to another article.

Having a well defined and clear corporate philosophy where every members of the staff know and committed to is very important. The next most important component in delivering good customer service is the human elements. With proper hiring and screening practices, and experienced HR representatives, they should result in the right kind of individuals chosen for the execution and delivery of the customer service.

Often, even with good intentions from these HR representatives, the results are not the kind of individuals who take pride in the delivery of good customer service. Consequently failing even the most elaborate and well designed customer service delivery plan.

It is very difficult to execute a perfect customer service delivery formula. Hence, Good Customer Service is one of the best differentiator for a company, where it will be difficult for its competitors to duplicate or match.

More companies in Hong Kong, for that matter the rest of Asia, need to be aware of this important differentiator, especially during the current trend in the competitive landscape.

Latte Art

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDZs__m5iAI]

You can check this and many of my favorite videos on YouTube.

Brand New Apple MacBook Pro 17″

Apple

Apple today released the brand new MacBook Pro 17″.

This new version of the Intel® based Macintosh notebook has again surprised the analysts who did not think Apple would be able to release a new MacBook Pro that is the same thickness as the current MacBook Pro 15″, while bringing back the old 8x SuperDrive with DVD-DL write capability.

Also another surprise to the analysts is Apple’s decision to bring back the long depended on professional FireWire 800 port to the new MacBook 17″.

To make it even more attractive, Apple have released this new Mac at the same price as the current MacBook Pro 15″ 2.16GHz, so with the extra screen size, FireWire 800 and DVD-DL writable SuperDrive, other than buyer who really do not want the extra screen space will definitely purchase the MacBook Pro 17″.

I personally hope that this aggressive pricing of Apple is a sign that Apple will lower the price of the MacBook Pro 15″ and/or bring back the 8x SuperDrive writable DVD-DL to the MacBook Pro 15″.

read more | digg story

Ferrari 275 GTB in Paris, 1978

Totally incredible… take a look at the following video and you will understand what I mean. It really shows how crazy a Formula 1 driver can be and how precise their driving are. Given that it is a multi dollar Ferrari makes it that much more exciting.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RH7Ca4gUp4]

But in actual fact it was done by the director in his Mercedes and the F1 engine sound effect was overlaid post production.

Attack of Air Force One

Amazing footage of an attack of vandalism on the President of the United States of America’s airplane, “Air Force One”.

… Or is it a perfect marketing ploy.

Movie Review: Nanny McPhee

Poster

My Rating: 4Stars

This evening I went to see the movie “ Nanny McPhee” at UA Cinema, Time Square.

Since I have not read the book I do not know how accurate was the screenplay. Given this I enjoy the movie, particularly with Emma Thompson’s performance. The whole thing reminds me of Harry Potter and Edward Scissorhands.

It does have all the elements to entertain both kids and kids at heart.

Rating Legend:
5Stars Not to be missed
4Stars Wait for the DVD
3Stars Buy the VCD
2Stars Rent it if you can
1Stars Waste your time elsewhere

Are People Too Hard on Apple? (Part 3)

Apple

Continue from yesterday’s article

Although if you did not read Part 1 you may want to start from there.

As for the premise that Bill Gates’s Microsoft taking over Apple Computer Inc., I have this to say. I agree that Microsoft have copied the Mac OS for years in their Windows OS. With the release of Windows 98, Windows OS is feature equivalent to the Mac OS in 1998.

Since then the Mac OS has again leaped forward with Mac OS X, which the forever delay and yet to release Microsoft Windows Vista is suppose to be copying. Some even say that the forthcoming Windows Vista is Microsoft’s most complete copy of the Mac OS to date. But by the time of the suppose release date (November 2006, as of this writing), Apple will have already released their 5th major revision to the Mac OS X.

Many must agree that Microsoft has long lost any innovations, if they ever had any. Some may argue this point by pointing out “Windows Media Center”, I will say they copied TiVo. Others may bring up XBox, I will say they copied Sony’s Playstation and Nintendo. I do agree that the latest version of the XBox, XBox 360 is elegant and well thought out, but according to my information it was outsourced to a Japanese design firm. Yet some will point to “Windows Pocket PC” or “Windows CE”, I will say that they copied Palm OS and Symbian OS.

For a glimpse of what to come from Apple you can take a look at the video of Multi Touch Interface that Apple is working on
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0l29zW4_W5E]
Apple’s success has been credited by its focus on design and its “Apple Way” of doing things.

Case in point, the success of the “iPod”, “iTunes” and “iTunes Music Store” in allowing Apple to dominate the online music download and MP3 player markets, is the direct results of these trio of products from Apple. Without any one of them Apple would not have been as successful as it has been. Apple’s competitors can testify to that successful formula. None of them so far had been able to duplicate what Apple has accomplished in a short 4 years time. The only one that came close was Sony, but they were not successful even with their advantage of owning a large portion of the music rights of the music industry.

Another example is the “5th generation iPod” with video capabilities. From the start, Apple purposely did not label this newest version of the iPod series the “Video iPod” or “iPod Video” like many other uninitiated have. This is because when Apple eventually decides to get into “Portable Media Player” (PMP) market, it will be with a device that was designed, the Apple Way, from the ground up for video play back. Rather than retrofitting a MP3 player (iPod) for video pay back. The market, industry analysts and critics of Apple, have mistakenly took the “5G iPod” as Apple’s example of their entry into the “up coming” PMP market.

I believe that Apple will do what they have always done so well, not necessary being the first but always the innovated.

Apple is a company that does not do anything half way. When and if they decide to participate in a market or consumer area, they will do it all the way in the spirit of, the trial and trusted “Apple Way”.

Are People Too Hard on Apple? (Part 2)

Apple

Continue from yesterday’s article

The ability to run Windows applications on the Macintosh is not new. There had been:

  • Microsoft’s “VirtualPC for Mac”, formerly owned by Comnetix
  • “Q”, a CoCoa port of the OpenSource project “QEMU
  • Darwine” project, a port of the WINE OpenSource project [Updated 2006]OpenDarwine project closed.

Apple and others have made the possibility of running Windows applications/executables much easier and much much faster on the Macintosh.

Most of these solutions have their respective merits, but none so far has been as elegant and quick as the “dual boot” solution; except “Q”. Apple’s “dual boot” solution, code name, “Boot Camp” will be included in Apple’s up coming Mac OS X upgrade (v10.5, aka “Leopard”), with this software and firmware technologies, Apple has again demonstrated the “Apple Way” of doing things.

Despite the fact that Apple made a point of not supporting the Windows environment on the Macintosh, they do make it extremely easy to create the necessary partition for installing Windows XP on the Macintel. They even included the feature of not requiring any lost of existing data after partitioning; something that has not been done before on the Macintosh. To the spirit of the “Apple Way” of doing things, Apple provided a simple and intuitive “Mac Way” to specify the sizes of the respective partitions, plus also provided an easy and intuitive way for users to get back to the Mac OS boot from within the Windows XP environment and vice versa.

Boot Camp is just the tip of the iceberg for Apple’s virtualization strategy. Their next step is to take advantage of the virtualization technology within the Intel processors to allow Windows applications/executables to run within their respective Mac OS window in the Mac OS environment, without requiring the user to reboot each time they want to change to applications of a different operating system. For the matter of fact these applications can potentially from any operating systems (ie. Linux, BeOS, UNIX, etc.).

This sort of virtualization is what the “WINEand “Darwine OpenSource projects aim to accomplish. At the moment the Darwine project requires any Windows applications wanting to run on Mac OS to be recompiled with the Darwine library. Apple’s goal will not require any recompilation.

With Boot Camp and future virtualization developments, the barrier of switching to the Macintosh platform had been lowered substantially. Macintosh is now most ideal for individuals who are forced to use the Windows platform at work, while not wanting to deal with the trouble of managing Windows on their personal computer. This is also the ideal moment for corporates to readdress the subsidization of personal computers for their employees for both business and personal uses. Eliminating the ownership of personal computers all together at the corporate level.

I can’t believe how long this article is getting. I will continue part 3 tomorrow…