While I was delivering a talk assignment at a company-sponsored presentation skills training program at my workplace early this evening, I got that feeling that I was about to lose my voice. I felt scared for a moment, paused, and slightly varied my pitch.
Conditions improved until I finished my 12- to 15-minute turn. But it reminded me why I couldn’t last as a class lecturer, talking all day. Perhaps I can work on voice fitness if I intend to take a lecturing gig down the road, but it’s
not among my options. For now. (At the start of the course, during introductions, I told my fellow trainees that I wanted to be part of the Learning Group someday — and jokingly addressed our trainer in a whispered tone, “Please don’t
tell my boss.” I’d have to work on my vocal health before that could even happen, assuming I even make the grade for a trainer post.)
I’m usually confident speaking in front of people but that glitch I felt derailed my train of thought while I was presenting and I actually felt grasping inside my head for things to say, although I had already mentally prepared myself for everything
prior to my speaking turn. I think the butterflies in my stomach truly manifested themselves in gestures that pulled my rating down — putting my hands in my pockets, fiddling with my jacket. I felt like an amateur and I felt disgusted with that
Ever felt that need to bounce back strong? (Maybe it’s a good thing, because, personally, perhaps it shows that I still care.) #presentationskills #publicspeaking #trainingclass
Tomb Raider | Submergence📎💬
It’s an Alicia Vikander Saturday night for me as I put on “Tomb Raider” and “Submergence”
for a spin on my weekend R&R.
“Tomb Raider” (2018). I’m several years separated from my gaming days (which included the Playstation and PC editions of Tomb Raider) and the Angelina Jolie starrer “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” from 2001 seems
just like a distant memory, I came in watching the reboot without high expectations with a promise that I will not do comparisons. It was, well, satisfactory. I adore the demeanor of this new cinematic version of Croft. I do want a sequel though.
“Submergence” (2017). This one I enjoyed thoroughly. I’m impressed with the screenplay which is tempting me to grab a copy of the J. M. Ledgard novel with which this film was based upon. I’m such a wuss for movies
like this I admit I shed a tear or two in the end. I just couldn’t stop myself from empathizing with the gut-wrenching longing of the two protagonists (Vikander and James McAvoy) for each other brought upon by their opposing, extraordinary circumstances.
Vikander’s performance here is the best I’ve seen so far (out of the four or five films of her that I’ve watched). Now I want to comb through her filmography. #aliciavikander #tombraider #submergence #reviews #capsulereviews #shorttakes
Customer Rants on Social Media📎💬
You can indeed appease a disgruntled customer through social media. In this case, I was the annoyed patron. Two nights ago, during a heavy downpour caused by a weather system down south pulling the monsoon, the wife and I, both coming off from work, decided
to have a quick bite before heading home, waiting for the heavy rain to subside. At the Science Park hub near our offices, we picked a Japanese fast food we often visit. Customers were unusually sparse that night and a lot of tables were unbussed.
(The clean ones near the store’s corner at the back were already cordoned off.) We even had to call the attention of the staff about it minutes after we have taken our places. Then we both noticed that something was amiss — there appears
to be a problem with the airconditioning, it felt uncomfortably warm (maybe that’s the reason why customers were few). We left in a huff without buying anything and moved elsewhere. I was irked, I tweeted about the unfortunate episode (well,
wise men say don’t tweet when you’re upset, but I was a rule-breaker that night) and mentioned the restaurant chain’s Twitter account in my post.
The next day, I received a Twitter direct message from their social media channel handlers and apologized for the circumstances that greeted our visit. They asked for my contact number and soon enough, after a few message exchanges, the manager of the
concerned food place sent me a text asking me when’s the best time to call. Honoring our mutually agreed upon time, I was able to talk to the store manager (over the phone) who expressed his sorry over the lousy experience we had at his branch.
He even offered to give me something in our next visit but I politely declined his offer. Told him I wasn’t looking for freebies, and that I just let out my frustration over the (dis)service the wife and I perceived we got. He thanked me for
being reasonable. And I thanked him back for reaching out to customers who provided negative feedback. All’s well that ends well, right? #customerservice #socialmedia
I Just Had To Ask📎💬
I can really be shallow at times, asking people personal questions — with permissions, of course — that can be downright silly. There’s this IT dude at the office who owns a rather peculiar surname and the only other personality I know
who wields the similar last name is a known actress from Europe who is perhaps most popular globally for starring in a couple of Hollywood produced action-packed super spy thriller made in the early oughts. Earlier, in an interaction with the co-worker
over a process where I needed his coordination, I casually asked:
“Do you know the movies [insert-name-of-movie-here] and [insert-name-of-sequel-here], made sometime in the early 2000s? It was topbilled by [insert-name-of-a-really-popular-American-actor-here].”
“Yup! I’ve seen those movies. What about them?”, he asked.
“One of the lead actresses in those films is [insert-name-of-actress-here]. By any chance you’re related to her?”, I dug in further.
The man gave a knowing smile, seemingly not surprised at all with my apparently out-of-the-blue question. He then let out a chuckle before saying, “This is not the first time I’ve been asked that question. But if you’ll believe my father
and my paternal grandfather, they said that she’s a distant relative.”
What are the odds of that, huh? I just had to ask, okay? If he’s pulling my leg, don’t blame him. This is totally on me. #curious #curiosity #curiositykilledthecat
(Note: Movie titles and actor names were omitted to protect the innocent. 😂😂😂)
Still On Course With My Forecast📎💬
When the Rockets eliminated the Jazz early this month, I boldly predicted that LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers will win it all now that Utah is out of the way. (LOL!
No, I didn’t say that last part though.) Kidding aside, I felt that with the manner James is playing this 2018 NBA Playoffs, it’s going to be extremely hard to beat the Cavaliers especially if the supporting cast is actively involved in
production. When the Eastern Conference Finals came rolling in several days ago, I thought I was going to be off in my fearless forecast after the Boston Celtics took the first two games. But James simply rose to the occasion to almost single-handedly
bring the Cavs back to life and eventually wrap up the conference title under its belt with a strong Game 7 win at Beantown. I caught the closing minutes live on
TV earlier today and I couldn’t help but admire the resolve shown by James in another return trip to the Finals. Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue couldn’t help but remark that LeBron’s Game 7 performance against the Celtics this season
ranks as “the best” in his career. And if he can stay injury-free for the championship series, doesn’t
matter what team the Cavaliers will face, I have this strong feeling James and his crew will bring the championship back to Cleveland. What do you think? #lebronjames #clevelandcavaliers #nbaplayoffs2018
Where’s The Bacon, Georgina?📎💬
Let me just say this right off the bat: Sunnies Cafe is not for pooritos like me. (LOL!) I’m not really privy as to how the place is positioned in the market but it seems it is not for big eaters with a tight budget. The Wifey and I visited the recently opened Sunnies Cafe branch at the UP Town Center to try out
their offerings. She ordered the Sunnies Fried Chicken. I asked for the Sunnies Risotto. Expecting a hearty meal — the plate was priced at almost ₱400.00 (around US$8.00) and classified under the “Big Plates” section —
I was disappointed with what I got. I expected a bit more serving size-wise. And where’s the bacon? That’s the bacon? (See picture above.) And to make matters worse, the waiter even tried to explain to me the Gran Padano Cheese and Sous
Vide Egg even though I didn’t ask (because I know the item I ordered, thank you.) I’m not rude. I didn’t brush off the guy, who was just doing his job. I let him finish his spiel and then thanked him for his expertise.) To be fair,
the Risotto was not bad at all. (Size is just too small.) As for the Fried Chicken, which I have no photo of, pretty salty for my palate. It was boneless, and that’s a plus in my book though. However, the mashed potato was wanting and the gravy
was placed in the smallest possible container you could think of.
Will I return to Sunnies Cafe? They have items in their menu that I’d really love to try. But maybe not when I want to get really filled up. Poorito, remember? #sunnies #sunniescafe #risotto #sunniesfriedchicken #sunniesrisotto
Say A Little Prayer📎💬
I was boxed into a corner when I was casually asked to say a little prayer in an event comprising of maybe a hundred people or so, where I am a stranger to majority. But I don’t hold any grudge against the individuals directly responsible for the
trap. (LOL!) My closest friends (and perhaps a few people at the office) know where I stand religion-wise and are aware I’ll be the last person you’ll ever call for an activity like this. But in the predicament that I was in, one needs
to stand up to the task assigned. (Come on, do you tell everybody in the venue that you’re a crazy atheist? You won’t! Especially in this country where a lot of supposed Christians don’t even know what atheism truly means.) One little
detail though is the fact that I “prayed” in the way non-Catholic Christians would — no signing of the cross, no calling of saints or Mary or anybody else (I attended a Methodist university for so long I got used to praying the way
the Methodists do) — although I forgot to utter that extremely important line “In the name of…” in the closing. On a personal level, although whatever I “prayed for” for in the occasion I mentioned wasn’t
directed to some invisible super dude, it was a sincere wish from my end for the parties involved. However, a couple of like-minded friends would be ribbing me no end if they stumble upon this. #prayer #challenge #agnostic #atheist
Tuan Tuan’s Beef Tendon Curry📎💬
I haven’t been to a Tuan Tuan Chinese Brasserie branch in a few months now. So glad that The Wifey acceded to my request to have lunch at the restaurant’s nearest branch in our area. I missed their offerings!
Was going to go for the usual “Create Your Own Noodle Soup Bowl” but changed my mind upon remembering my favorite curry is also in this place — Beef Tendon Curry! (In hindsight, I was glad I didn’t go for the
Noodle Soup Bowl. The Wifey did order it and I was aghast to see how small the serving size has become considering Tuan Tuan jacked the price up since our last visit.) The curry still tasted the same as I remembered but I was disappointed to learn
that the quantity of the beef tendon was not the same as before — the store put in more potatoes to fill up the serving bowl. Now I’m not sure if I want to come back to this place anymore. I understand price increases. But if you hike
the price AND reduce the quantity of your servings, that’s just plain cheating. I despise that feeling of being defrauded. #beef #beeftendon #beeftendoncurry #curry #tuantuan #chinese #brasserie #tuantuanchinesebrasserie #defraudingcustomers
Just a really cute notepad from Miniso, about the size of a small wallet. No, I didn’t buy it. Won it (thanks to our thoughtful trainer) in an office-based workshop held the other night. We had this activity where five groups were
given an hour or so to prepare mock presentations (let’s just say the subject revolved around product positioning) before a pretend group composed of top corporate honchos. The team that I was in was declared winner by a handful of group leaders
invited to observe the proposals. Credit for the win goes to my teammates who are all awesome. I was just lucky to be there along with them. #miniso #notepad #mininotepad #smallnotepad #nekodesu #prize
Catching Up With EMV Technology📎💬
Late last month, my bank sent me an email saying I can pick up my brand new EMV chip-enabled debit card on May 5, a Saturday, anytime between 9:00 AM to
4:00 PM. Prior family matters precluded me from dropping by my branch on the 5th, so I fired up a direct message (two DMs, actually) the Friday before that to my bank’s Twitter account asking if they could just send my card to a branch near
my current place of work. Took them more than 24 hours (on social media) to get back at me. Sure, they can comply with my request, they said, but they will have to charge me 150 PHP for it. (It’s a Service Charge world after all in the Philippine
banking industry — to finance the executives’ time on the golf courses. He-he-he.)
Good thing the bank sent me another email saying there are a couple more Saturdays dedicated to the new cards distribution. I was free on the 12th so off I went to my servicing
branch to get this thing out of the way. To cut to the chase, I was impressed with the manner by which they handled the card releasing steps and I was out of the bank building in no time at all (even though there were other customers like me who were
there to pick up their own cards and I had to listen to staff do their bancassurance cross-selling pitch.) I was so pleased I thanked the officers and staff manning the last phase of the claim, telling them “You guys did a great job here”
— pushing the card claim activities on Saturdays (traditionally non-banking days here in the Philippines) to take that specific queue away from the day-to-day transactions. And from the way they smiled back and said their “thank-yous”
I can tell they genuinely appreciated my expression of gratefulness for their service. The positive vibes generated by the branch visit erased the bad taste in my mouth caused by that dreadfully-delayed response they gave out to me on social media
days earlier. #debitcard #mastercard #emvchip #emvcard #bpi #bankofthephilippineislands #lateincatchingupwithtechnology