Sunday, December 28, 2008

Ambiguity Cost Me $10

So yesterday after an awesome 100th 65bits episode, I went with DK, Nicole, Jean, Alice, Vincent, and sorry Jean's friend your name slipped my mind, to watch Bolt. We wanted to catch the 3D version, and were disappointed that The Cathay only had one show at 3.15pm (it was 4.30 by then?). The other alternative was 6.30 at Tampines Mall, which I didn't mind but the other westies did haha. So after digging, we found a fantastic timing at Cathay Causeway Point, and went ahead.

When we walked into the theatre, we got no 3D glasses, no 3D movie.

Now I'm paying money for Bolt only because I was under the impression that I was going to watch it in 3D. I don't want to pay to watch the normal version. I'm not too happy to discover I blew 10 bucks like that. Look at this.

This is what you see when you go through the Movies page on Cathay. So SWEET we were happy with the 3D sign, and totally didn't see the fucking fine print Exclusively at The Cathay Cineplex. So we clicked on Book Tickets Online to move forward...

And this is what the link brings you too. Tell me, 1) after seeing that 3D sign on the previous page, and 2) being a customer who doesn't know/realize that screenings in special formats, ie. Digital and 3D, would be indicated, would you not assume that all three locations were playing in 3D? But in fact...

Bolt 3D is hidden inside the movie dropbox.

How misleading is that?

And on a sidenote, you know that 3D is the attraction of this movie, why are you not promoting it actively? Why are you not bringing prospective customers to the 3D page first, and provide a link out to a normal screening if they don't want 3D? Isn't that Marketing 10fucking1?

I'm swearing alot nowadays right? Yeah. Sorry la. Boy boy's growing up.

Now this on the other hand, is GV's Now Showing page. And you can see that instead of one synopsis pointing you to two different types of screenings, it's two types of screenings on two pages with the same synopsis. See, if it is indicated like this, customers have far less excuse of saying "WTF? You didn't tell me this wasn't 3D??" Simply because this is the FIRST thing you see, when wondering what movie to catch, or when you want to confirm timings for a certain film or screening type.

Can you say we were at fault for not noticing the small print on the 3D sign? Yes. It was carelessly overlooked, I'll grant. But to that I also say "Fuck you we're not trying to discern counterfeit money we are trying to watch a movie here". And all the manager at Causeway Point could say, bless his soul he also dunno what to say I think, was to keep insisting that special screening formats are only played at The Cathay, and that we must know that these formats are separately indicated. I think you better teach your managers to say something else before they get slaughtered by popcorn and straws one day. And if your business method is to make it the customer's responsibility to scrutinize every damned pixel or ink blot to figure out for himself where you're screening what, then I couldn't care less if you're the only company who manages to import award-winning films from Tuzilihastokhan, I'm not going to put myself at risk of wasting money by patronizing you. I'm travelling across the island to GV Tampines for my 3D show.

I've always loved The Cathay for its extra comfy seats, and digital film options. It's what a cinema should be (that's only one cinema venue of theirs but still). And this incident is very disappointing and smears stinking dirt on the wonderful image that I have of them.

I hope this message gets passed along. Something needs to be done about this. Do not let your, I'd say prestigious image fall so easily because of such a flaw. Leave no room for error and keep your customers' loyalty.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Family Man

Early last week, I had a little fall. An emotional fall. I rang my dad up during a long break we had and a long teary conversation ensued about directions, purposes, life in the army, and life outside.

As early as a year ago, I cringed every time my dad launched into lectures about family togetherness. They were getting one too many, and it's frankly amazing how they can repeat the exact same phrases each time they go into it and never realise it nor get tired. By then I'd heard many things about the history of my paternal family, and it wasn't exactly happy hour with them. Alot, alot of crap happened, and seemed to come one after the other after the other, like a well planned attack. All I can say is that for the stubborn, sometimes narrow man that he is, I'm very glad that he pulled through the right way, instead of turning to... ok well, the dark side.

My dad was glad that I called to talk to him, because my extreme moodiness every Sunday evening did not escape his eyes (not that I made much of an effort to conceal it anyways), and he was concerned about what was bugging me. Such an inexplicable depression falls over me when I think about camp and training, and I get extremely reluctant to leave home and its now precious comforts. It honestly doesn't help that all my campmates seem to be able to say are "Oh dear how I don't think we're going to pass our summary exercise and will not turn operational and suffer another month of slavery and oppression". It irks me every time they do that.

What touched me so much was that after the call, which was in some ways comforting already, I went for my all day rather intensive training, and when I came back, there were missed calls and SMSes telling me to hang in there and keep happy. The whole family rose at my dad's call to pick me up from my fall, and help me stand again. I was so amazed, and I knew that I'd never disagree with the high importance of family support ever again. The next thing I knew, my dad texted a day later to say "We're going for a family dinner on Sunday. Is Brazil (churascura) ok with you?" I said it was abit too meaty, and he replied, "Ok. We'll go to Melt at Oriental then."

"That's so expensive... we could do with cheaper food, we're still spending time together anyway."

And you know what the man said? "It's ok. Nothing costs too much for good family bonding time."

It was quite hard to control myself.

Monday night when I booked in I was compelled to thank him again and again he said, "Nothing costs too much too make you feel good and loved. Keep your spirit high and overcome temporary obstacles knowing you have strong family support always."

So this is love.

Thanks dad. Thanks mom. Thanks Renjie. Thanks Sandra. Thanks Kat. Thanks MKT.

Ok ok on a not so emo note, for nom-nom love, I've got the FB album link here. Go ahead, hate me. :)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Your Special Symbol

Symbols were developed right from the beginning of time, and has not only stayed with us till today, but developed into a discipline so complex that some devote their lives to decoding. Symbols come in many forms - the letters of the English alphabet you read now are symbols, a medium to convey my thoughts to you in the symbolic form we know as writing.

And symbols can also come in the form of physically tangible objects, a thing that reminds you of something else, a more intangible concept. My bible is one such object.

I have my piece to say regarding religion and science, but let's save that for another post. For now, whether it's the concept known as A Holy Anointing, or another known as Psychology, my bible is to me a powerful object of comfort. Every time I look at it, touch it, feel it in my hands, fan the pages, it reminds me of the very essence of my church's teachings - that God is there with me, and for me. That He loved us so much to send His only beloved Son Jesus to suffer what is now known as the most inhumane execution method, to die for sins that would only be committed 20, 200, 2000 years later. That as one who has left his entire life in the mercy of God's ever-loving hands, I can rest assured that He is in complete control of my otherwise messed-up life, that when I slip and fall, I will fall within the Ark of the New Covenant, not into the raging seas. And such a sense of peace, comfort and security just falls upon my heart when I hold my bible, that my worries and fears just melt away.

For the moment, at least. Come on la be real. Emotions cannot last. Faith can. Amen. :)

Another Christian object that holds a symbolic significance is the mazzah bread I'm privileged to be consuming every Sunday for Holy Communion. The appearance, the holes, the breaks, the burns, and especially the smell, reminds me of Christ's loving sacrifice for us. I guess it's important that this habit was cultivated in me at a mature age, when I at least understood something, and that it was a new object. If you gave me like... a nua-nua piece of Gardenia bread, I eat that half the time for breakfast. How do you expect it to hold any special meaning? (That said, my church does make a special effort to import mazzah direct from Israel, so can't really compare la).

Christians or non-Christians, what are the objects that hold a special meaning for you?