The Sticker Monster Throws A Bitch Fit

I’ve been running my The Sticker Monster blogshop for a year and a half now.

It’s not too bad really. Just passed my 650th customer mark.

I’m not actually earning enough to go on leisure trips or to buy a spanking new gadget. But it’s definitely enough to tide me over before mum banks in my monthly allowance. Enough to cover my petrol and my handphone bills (I’ve got a postpaid Maxis line and an unlimited data line from Celcom to feed my internet addiction..so i need the extra cash.)

Why am I not earning more? Because I use the money to buy more stickers that’s why.

Why do I keep buying the stickers? Because I like doing this, it’s a hobby of sorts. If you knew my profits, you would not be bothered to get into this business. Too low. I enjoy it though. I love stickers.

But some people don’t get it.

Customers will always ask for discounts.

If you’re buying over a hundred ringgit worth of stuff, of course it is negotiable.
But when they say something like, “Oh if I buy two, got cheaper ah?”

I’ll just sit there, looking at my gmail, stunned, at how people can still ask for discount for something that comes up to RM8.

“I’m too poor to buy this. Please discount!”

Then, please.. for goodness sake, PLEASE, save both of us our time and sell some things/get a part time job instead of whining to me about why I should sell it to you cheaper just because you can’t afford it.

I myself am too poor to buy somethings that I really want. You don’t see me crying to Sony or Machine’s salespeople going, “Please give me a discount for this laptop I’m too poor.”

I really try to be nice to some of the extremely stupid requests i get over the months. But like when my period hits me, hormones and all, I can’t be arsed to be nice.

I really don’t think I’m hurting my business. I’m nice to people who have their two whole brain halves when dealing with me.

This Sticker Business is not my life line. It will all be over in a year’s time. I’ll either have a massive sale in July 2010 or sell the business off. I don’t have a boss whom I need to fear if I’m ‘rude to customers’. I really try my best not to be…. though sometimes, I really feel like letting go a multitude of insults, but to maintain a slight level of professionalism, I have to hold back. it really sucks. I really feel like vomiting blood sometimes.

Best is when some of them ask, “Can give me your suppliers’ contact number?”

… I will roll on the floor and laugh for awhile, call Lie Yuen over to check out the latest Stupid Email I Get From Customers before replying, “No.”

I used to be nicer by saying things like, “Sorry dear (obligatory term to use in the blogshop world when dealing with each other), but I can’t. ”

But over the months, the emails just become stupider and stupider until I either can’t be arsed to reply them or just type a one word reply, “no.”

My favourite would be this:

“Hi! I think it’ll be more convenient for me to buy straight from your supplier. Give me your suppliers’ contacts. Thanks ya.”

I mean seriously, do these people think I was born yesterday?? Why would I want competitors for? Healthy for the niche market and all that economy mumbo jumbo but I intend to keep it this way for as long as I can. If another person starts selling stickers, that’s fine by me. If you can find the supplier, go ahead.

Dirty tactics are such as promoting their own sticker business on my blog.

Damn clever. Damn fucking clever.

Over the months, I’ve invested in quite a sum on advertising. I’d say the total comes up to about RM500? On Xiaxue’s alone was about RM300+. And all those effort into building my network, some just come to leach it. That really infuriates me.

Again, my returns are not as high as I want it to be. But I get so pissed off when some people come to my blog to steal traffic back to theirs after all the effort and money I’ve put in to get it out there. But true, I have no control over it. It’s a free market. (haha, is this how the term is used? I never studied econs okay)

Most recent one is this person claiming that my blings are too expensive and putting a link to some other webstore which sells the pearl blings for a cheaper price. I’ve seen those, they are branded craft supplies from the US, but at most, only 30 pieces of pearls. The price was RM5. I’m selling a sheet of 180 pieces of pearl stickers for RM5. How is it more expensive?! They are two different items and furthermore, mine has more value for money. Sheesh.

On a side note, I think I’m quite an honest seller. Customers who don’t receive their items will either get a full refund from me or have their items sent over again. Most would opt for the latter. I encourage them to use Pos Ekpres, but some insist on the free postage which is by using stamps only. And there have been a few times when these items go missing in the mail. Kleptomaniacs for postmen perhaps? Thankfully it’s mostly for items below RM50. I had this one customer who made me send her RM20 worth of blings THREE times because it got lost THREE times. That’s a total of RM60 worth of stickers floating somewhere in Pos Malaysia. Then after that she laughed, “Hahaha, things usually go missing at this address one.” -__________- I never want to send the thing to the same address if it gets lost the first time. I usually ask for a different address.

One or two people whom I have met up with to sell stickers to treat me like I’m beneath them. As hard as I try to make conversation I’ll still remain as the sticker seller who is not worthy enough to be talked to like an equal. Wow, feeling the plight of a foreign worker.

There are some other more stupid things to write about but perhaps I’ll do so in the future. Too fresh to write about it now.

And if anyone wants to say that I don’t know to do business by bitching, YEA SO WHAT? This is just for fun. I don’t owe anybody anything.

On the flip side, I’ve also met many kind customers and made a few good friends (Paul, Mei..you guys rock. :)). A sweetheart named Veronica even designed a button for me! I’ll be putting it up on the sticker blog real soon.

Meet-ups are usually fun because it’s like I’m showing off my babies to a bunch of like minded people who will ooh and aah and pick up things that catch their fancy.

Just needed to get this off my chest. Feels great to write about my ‘job’ and not get fired for it. Can’t blog about the clinics due to professional ethics reasons. Almost bursting with PMS today. Hate periods, HATE.

The Death of Michael Jackson Broke My Heart

… not because  I was a great fan but because he died in an era when he was regarded as a freakshow.

News about Michael Jackson in the past few years were mostly about his child molestation cases and him teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Hardly stellar gossip fodder for a demigod who is regarded as the King of Pop. (What makes Elvis then?)

To die as a clown makes it all the more heart wrenching because he never had a chance to redeem himself. I don’t know if he ever would have even if he had another 10 years to live. He dabbled in real estate when he chose the life of a hermit after all the allegations and court cases. It would suck to be Michael Jackson.

The song Ben is so apt for him now:

Ben, the two of us need look no more
We both found what we were looking for
With a friend to call my own
Ill never be alone
And you my friend will see
Youve got a friend in me
(youve got a friend in me)

Ben, youre always running here and there
(here and there)
You feel youre not wanted anywhere
(anywhere)
If you ever look behind
And dont like what you find
Theres something you should know
Youve got a place to go
(youve got a place to go)

I used to say, I and me
Now its us, now its we
(I used to say, I and me)
(now its us, now its we)

Ben, most people would turn you away
I dont listen to a word they say
They dont see you as I do
I wish they would try to
Im sure theyd think again
If they had a friend like ben
(a friend)
Like ben
(like ben)
Like ben

**

My earliest memory of Michael Jackson is the taunt the kids at my kindergarten used when someone was showing off, “Action, Baby lotion, Michael Jackson, television!”

Did he have a concert in Malaysia sometime in the early 90s?  I remember owning a Pepsi tumbler in 1994 with his face on it and asking my classmate, “Would you like to meet Michael Jackson one day?”

Throughout my years in high school, boys loved using Michael Jackson’s dance moves as part of their performances for various school events. There was a boy in my school who could dance exactly like Michael Jackson..I can’t remember his name. But he was seriously good. Even had the plastic sheet for his shoes.

One of my most hilarious Michael Jackson memories is of my friend Kay Hong who was adamant about performing a few Michael Jackson numbers for the LEO IU that he organized in 2003. He tried really hard to practice the moon walk and he was quite proud of it..hahaha. He even attempted to moonwalk up my road (tar road, mind you) after leaving my house, and my nextdoor neighbour looked on curiously. How embarrassing! 😛

My friend is a real joker that’s why the gang really loves Kay Hong. LOL. Even my dad likes to hear about his latest antics. On the day of the event, he and the other boys were attempting the moonwalk and some guys from the previous performance were throwing oranges on stage. Literally throwing oranges!

Since it was a LEO event, obviously it was supposed to be for charity. He gathered the orphans up on stage and sang “We are the world”. He wanted to make it really sweet by singing with the littlest boy of the lot, whose height reaches up to about Kay Hong’s hips. The joker bent down to sing with the little boy and had his bum facing the entire audience throughout the whole song. Hahaha.

Haih Kay Hong don’t kill me. 🙂 You made me more aware of Michael Jackson’s musical talents!
And as for where I was when I first heard the news?…. in bed. Woke up to an sms from my dad who watched it on CNN.

RIP Michael Jackson, your fans miss you deeply.

Urbanscapes 2009 by Xpax Is A Must Go!

Gone are the days where I would pore over my stacks of girly magazines from US, UK and Australia. Being the cynic that I was, I’ve always thought that Malaysia had nothing to offer me in terms of fashion and entertainment. It was in form5 that I picked up my first copy of KLue and I was blown away by how artistic some Malaysians can be.

Because of this, I have always been drawn to the Indie scene in Malaysia. Particularly theatre and the bazaars. While the music and film scene has its own following, I’ve never been a huge fan probably because of all the invitations I get coming in from Facebook and the spam in my emails from budding filmmakers/singers about their upcoming film/gig.

On the 27th of June, all local talents will gather at Urbanscapes 2009 which is presented by Xpac at KLPac promising to showcase all the best that the city has to offer. In other words, it is a creative arts festival! From famous names like Yuna to Twilight Action Girl to weirder ones like Mailer Daemon, they’ll all be there, playing in front of throngs of cityfolks (and maybe some out of towners who are huge huge fans!)

I myself am particularly sore because I have missed out on YET another marketplace event. It’s just a fancier name for a bazaar. Some of the names I recognized from their vendors list are such as Soak Republic and Lah Lah Land. I heard sales were really good at previous Urbanscapes. DAMN YOU YEAR4 FINALS, DAMN YOU! *shakes fist*

I would love to be there to soak in all the happy vibes from quirky local artistes, melodramatic film makers, OTT theatre performers and oh so colourful booths at the marketplace. SIgh. SIgh. Sigh.

Here are some pictures I stole from Flickr of past Urbanscapes events:


I presume this is the much talked about marketplace. – Photo taken from fendyzaidan.


Oooh check out the colours… – Photo taken from Ahmad ‘Cipoi’ Saiful.
Here are the details for those of you who are interested to check it out:

Date; 27 June 2009
Time: 12noon to 12pm.
Venue: KLPac
Ticket price: RM25 (presale) & RM35 (at the door sales)

Surely there are some kiamsiap ones among us who feel that EVEN RM25 might a little steep for an orgy of music, film, arts, shopping and more. While looking through their website, it seems that Xpax/U.O.X. customers are entitled to 2 free tickets if they are the first 200 customers who clamour for these much sought after tickets. All you need to do is top up RM30 if you’re an existing user or buy an RM30 reload card and get a free Xpax/U.O.X starter pack. Remember to be there early if you want to be the first 200 customers to claim your two free tickets from the booth next to the ticketing counter at Urbanscapes 2009!

Don’t hit yourself too hard too if you’ve missed out on the presale tickets. Provided you’re an Xpax/U.O.X. user lah. You are still entitled to an RM10 discount for the RM35 at the door tickets. If you’re not an Xpax/U.O.X. user, you can still buy an RM10 reload card and get get the free Xpax/U.O.X starter pack.

Among the numerous promotions and contests going on for the Urbanscapes (seriously, there are so many.), there’s this contest called (X)SNAPS!

I almost fell off my chair when I checked out the prizes. Nokia N97!!! Plus free airtime for half a year!

As you can predict, this a photo taking contest. They have four categories namely Colour, Fashion, Music and Design.

You can choose to upload your photos at the designated booth at the 24hr KL area by passing over your SD card. Good for procrastinators who will probably go home and say later lah later lah and miss out on the awesome phone.

But if you like, you can also MMS your pics to 26388 and in the subject area, you would have to write:

1. The name of the photo
2. Which category the picture is supposed to be in.
3. Your name.

All must be separated by a comma okay!

But if you want to go home and do some editing to your awesome photo, you can still email it to xsnaps@xpax.com.my. Remember this format ah!

Title of picture:
Catergory of picture:
Name:
Mobile Number:

OKAY. All the best. If I can’t win the damn phone, I might as well try to help others to. 🙂

Do enjoy yourself at Urbanscapes 2009 and I can’t wait to see all the colourful pics in the blogs. 🙂

Incompetent Phlebotomist At Wellness Lab Sungai Petani

I woke up at 8.30am on a friggin’ Sunday because the four of us wanted to get our blood tested at Wellness Lab. We read somewhere that they had a promotion going at RM80 for two. Upon arriving at the lab, we were told that the promotion have already ended and would we like to have their buy one free one promotion?

It seemed like a good enough offer so we took it up. We were made to wait for a really long time but that was expected. I experienced that too at BP Lab a year ago.

Since we’ve been in the clinics for almost 8 months now, it’s time to check properly to be sure that we are still healthy dentists to be. (and also worried about other things like cholesterol, diabetes, etc etc).

The reason I am blogging about this today is because a technician/biochemist/phlebotomist attempted to withdraw blood from me FOUR TIMEs at four different sites. You know usually they take blood from the junction between your upper arm and your forearm? Usually technicians/nurses who attempt to take blood samples from me will be unsuccessful when they try from that spot.

So I told the lady to take from the back of my hand because almost all the time, the technician would have no problem getting blood from there.

You know what she told me? “Ahhh..saya tak biasa lah…..nanti sakit.”

………

DOT DOT DOT DOT SWEAT.

Here I am, putting up a brave front, ready to have my blood taken by a scary needle.. and then having an incompetent phlebotomist telling you that she is not all that skilled.

Bottom line, I came out of the room with four plasters and a terrible mood. I kicked up a fuss and declared that I would be taking my business elsewhere.

Came home to draft an email to the Wellness Lab management and the email bounced. LOL.

Well, for being incompetent both in skills AND in PR, I hope they don’t mind having this post on google results when people google “Wellness Lab.”

edited: Haha, within 24 minutes of posting this, the post is already on the first page of google results for “Wellness Lab”.

By complaining to the management, I might make the lady lose out on her rice bowl which is quite cruel. But would it be better for her to leave due to her incompetency than linger on and being allowed to only take blood from skinnier patients and continue to damage patients’ tissues.

Here’s the email:

——————————————————————————————————————————–

Good afternoon.

My name is Jolene Lai and I went to your Sungai Petani branch today, 14 June 2009 at about 9.30am for a routine blood test.

We were expecting that the RM80 for two people promotion was still on but turns out that it has ended and we had to make do with the other promotion which was the buy 1 package free 1 package promo. I decided to go for the RM220 package.

There was a chinese lady at the counter and a malay lady conducting the blood tests. I’m not sure if she was a biochemist/technician..but whatever it was, she was incompetent.

Due to past experiences, I’m quite certain that she would need to draw blood from the back of my hand.

But she wanted to try at the junction between my upper arm and my forearm, which is the usual site where most people get their blood taken from. So fine.. I let her do it.

She inserted the needle in but didn’t go deep enough, and while INSIDE, she was changing directions with the needle and adjusting the depth. She had already pulled the syringe a little bit but no blood came out and i don’t know if it was filled with vacuum or air.

but you know what she did? She pushed everything back in again. How can your staff not be educated about the dangers of air embolism? I know that it takes quite a big volume of air to cause it, but STILL! Not ethical!

And when I told her that she should just try to go for the back of my hand, your way-below-professional-standards staff said, “Saya takut. Tak biasa”.

As it is I was already “takut” to have my blood taken, hearing her say it I felt I was pretty much damned.

Then she decided to switch over to the right hand to see if she could get any results. Again she inserted the needle and changed directions while inside. I can’t imagine the internal lacerations that she might have caused.

As a patient, I shouldn’t have to tell her that there’s air in the syringe.. and that she didn’t insert deep enough..and WHERE she should insert the damn needle.

So as you might guessed, still no blood. She pulled the syringe back, and a little bit guzzled in but it was mostly air that filled the tube. or vacuum. Still no blood gushing in.

Then AGAIN she pushed the syringe back in.. I was really quite scared by then. It was really just empty space! Again, could have been air.

Then she finally agreed to take blood from the back of my right hand. She didn’t insert the needle deep enough because she was way too afraid of hurting me. I could even see the tip of the needle (the beveled surface) poking out of my skin. This is when she inserted and pulled it out a little too much and tried to ‘draw blood then’. A bit more blood gurgled into the tube.. but that was it. hardly enough to fill the cartriges needed for my blood tests.

She wanted me to come back another day but I told her that I’m very busy and have no time. Especially since my exams are drawing near so can she please start with the other hand?

So she did and yeap, you guessed it. Changing of directions while inside, pulling in and out till half of the bevel can be seen and blood oozing out slightly. I’ve had my blood taken a few times before and blood did not come out around the needle while the blood was being taken.

I was really in pain after the second injection and I was almost in tears. I had a total of four injections.

She sent me out and told me that they’ll arrange for someone to come over to my house to take my blood. But I told her that I was way too busy to be sitting at home waiting like that and that I go out of the house at 8am everyday and come back around 8pm. Pissed off, I decided enough was enough and didn’t want to continue with Wellness Lab. I’ll be going to Gribbles or Pathlab up the road.

I was also told that there would not be a doctor to explain my results to me. A year ago, I had my blood tested at BP Lab and there was a doctor who explained my results to me.

I went with three of my other classmates and two of them had their blood taken as well. One of my two friends is quite skinny and so there was no problem drawing blood from her but we all noticed that this technician did not wear gloves on both her hands while taking our blood sample.(or attempted to take our blood sample). Then for my other friend, who is also quite slim and her vein was so obvious you could see it meters away, also had problems with getting her blood taken. The technician did the same mistakes to my friend as she did with me and my friend asked her to stop and told her straight that she was not competent.

I hope you’ll investigate this because you cannot have a staff member who can only draw blood from ONE spot and on ONE type of patient only – the ones with the obvious vein.

With best regards,
Jolene Lai

——————————————————————————————————————————–

Pissed off. Wasted my time and wasted my stomach acids.