November 15, 2010

Voicing your opinions shouldn’t be risky

Posted in Musings, Television tagged at 10:10 am by myrlinn

I don’t watch much TV these days, but for some reason, I switched on the TV last night… and caught part of Singapore Talking. First time I ever watched that show.  The topic was why teenagers don’t speak up.

What caught my attention though was the response to an opinion by a member of the audience that it’s difficult to voice opinions once you enter the workforce because you will be worried about how you will be perceived by your colleagues and your employer. One of the panel members, this bloke from Heartware, said something to the effect that if what you’re saying is “real” (a word he uses a lot – I believe that that’s his way of describing opinions founded on fact), then you have to go ahead and take the risk and just voice your opinion — if you lose your job, so be it, you can find another job.

Now, to be fair, I think his main point is that if you believe in what you say, stand up and be counted. Don’t be risk-averse. And I do believe that people should be held accountable for their words.

But, why should you have to pay a price for voicing your opinion? An employer should not be allowed to dismiss an employee simply for voicing divergent opinions, if such opinions are rational and well thought out. It shouldn’t be risky for people to voice reasoned opinions. And employers who fire, blackball or discriminate against their people for that reason should be called to account.


February 19, 2010

Free gift for attending church???

Posted in Musings tagged , , , at 11:18 am by myrlinn

Well, that’s what happened after I visited my friend’s church. I got a couple of vouchers for tea/coffee in the mail. The last time I received beverage vouchers like that, it was a thank you from a bank for listening to their talk on a “savings” plan (which turned out be an endowment plan, but that’s another story).

What next? Reward points every time you attend service?

February 2, 2010

Matthew and the Mandarins “Remembering Johnny Cash” Feb 1st 2010

Posted in Music tagged , , , , at 10:52 pm by myrlinn

It was heartening to see Matthew and the Mandarins back at the Esplanade Recital Studio again, this time with a one-hour set dedicated to Johnny Cash. And a packed set it was too, with the band singing over 17 songs in the hour:

1. Folsom Prison Blues
2. Guess Things Happen That Way
3. Long Black Veil
4. If I Were A Carpenter
5. I Still Miss Someone
6. Jackson
7. I Heard That Lonesome Whistle
8. I Walk the Line
9. A Thing Called Love
10. Give My Love to Rose
11. Tennessee Flat-top Box
12. Why Me Lord?
13. Sunday Morning Coming Down
14. Ghost Riders in the Sky
15. My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You
16. Ring of Fire
17. Me and Bobby McGee

Encore: Singapore Cowboy

Matthew was not at his vocal best. His singing was  not as effortless as the previous time I saw him at the Esplanade. Maybe Johnny Cash songs are just not his forte.

 I thought his best moments came with songs where he used the warm resonance of his lower range, like the mournful I Heard That Lonesome Whistle. Matthew also showed he can sing a story really well in Give My Love To Rose – his rendition moved me.

His best moment was definitely the encore, when urged on by the audience, he sang Singapore Cowboy.


Note: Matthew mentioned that they’re performing at the Serangoon Country Club on Fridays.

December 5, 2009

inSingapore: In the mobile phone world, smaller is better, but… the fine print is ridiculous!

Posted in Musings tagged , , , at 7:55 am by myrlinn

This morning found me reading mobile phone ads again, this time because I know that a friend of mine lost her phone, and needs one. And the fine print got me all frustrated again. The mobile ads from the various providers in Singapore are nice and huge, often spreading over two pages, but the way the prices are presented is absolutely ridiculous. They show low, low prices, but some of the prices are based on sign-ups “with data plan”, and some are contingent on signing up for higher-priced plans.

If you don’t want a data plan, or if you just want to sign up for a basic plan, you have to squint at the fine print at the bottom to find out how much you have to add on to the advertised price. Very annoying!

It would definitely be more useful for consumers if they were to show the price for the phone you sign up for the most basic plan, and provide a table for how much you have top up if you’d like to choose other plans. And that, if I remember correctly, is what they used to do, which makes me conclude that the objective here is to upsell, that is, steer people towards signing up for high-priced plans and/or other value-adds. Entice them with a seemingly low price for a coveted model, and to get the phone at that price, why, all they have to do is sign up for the high-priced plan, whether the plan suits their needs or not.

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