Sometimes we just have to accept the fact there are people in this world who simply do not have the gift of seeing other people’s needs. It’s like handicap. We cannot blame them nor we can force them to see it. If we need anything from them, we just have to ask them bluntly. Period.


This story goes back in the days when I was working in an agency.

One day I was tasked to blast out an EDM to database of 130,000 email addresses. Since it was a major blast, I had to do it at midnight while the internet traffic was low (during the days when broadband was still 1mbps).

The marcom director of our client has given the green light to blast out the EDM. While I was doing one final round of checks, I decided to prefix the word: <Promo> to the subject line, thinking that was the right thing to do. Finally I hit the “Send” button.

Half-an-hour later, the marcom director called my phone, asking if I added the word “Promo” to the subject line. I said “yes”.

“WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU THINKING?!” The exact word from the other end of the phone line.

“Don’t you know we don’t and will never use the word ‘Promo’?! Because we will never run any promo!”

Honestly, I had no idea about that. But immediately I aborted the blast while it was still going on, though it had made it to about 3,000+ recipients already. I spent next 10 hours going through the sent log to sift out who were those 3,000+, and sent them the clarification email.

Boss asked to see me the next day to understand the incident.

I called up the marcom director again to apologise to him officially. I told him I was prepared to be fired, but surprised why I wasn’t. To which his reply was, after accepting my apology, “I’m glad your boss didn’t fire you. I wouldn’t too! If he had, the next guy who join the company may make the same mistake. Why risk that, instead of keeping you, who are already better than the next guy!”

Those kind words have become one of my guiding principals since.

I forgot to tell, the client was Apple.

Outlook of life 2.0

Ever since the encounter with the numerology master, my outlook of life has changed.

I used to questioned why there have to be difficult people in my life. People who give me hard times or heartaches. People who, come back for payback.

Well, to my revelation, these people might just be here for payback! And it’s not necessarily a bad thing. As the saying goes, “Owe money, pay money”. What I owe, I’m happy to pay back. Because of this belief, I started to feel a lot better.

Don’t get upset with people who don’t offer help. It might just because they were not in your debt;
Even if they were in your debt, don’t get too caught up with it. Let them have it for a while more. The payback will come anyway, sooner or later.

Don’t get put off by people who keep coming to you for help. It might just because you were in their debt;
Even if you don’t think you owed them anything, help them anyway. It is better to let someone to be in your debt, rather than the other way around.

You may disagree with what I have written here. And that’s OK. You don’t owe it to me to agree with it.

He who doesn’t know can do no wrong

I suspect people who have committed wrong-doings, most of them didn’t know what they did was wrong.

A serial killer who killed many may think he did it for liberating the victims’ soul.
A dictator who started war may think he did it for his own people.
A pastor who spent millions of church funds on some outreach projects may think he did it, oh well, because it was the right thing to do.

People who did wrong things without knowing what they did was wrong, I suspect they are the most dangerous.

Tech support and the bouncer

Just because we use computer to do our job, it doesn’t mean we can be your tech support. Just like not everyone who works at strip club would take off their clothes and let you stuff dollar notes into their underwear. I mean, would you do this to the 300-pound bouncer at the entrance?

(Originally posted on Facebook on 8 Oct 2009)