Friday, 29 April 2011

Lunching At A Not So Tranquil Garden

Have you tried the Gardens Lifestyle Store & Cafe over at Mid Valley? I went there for the first time on Wednesday and what I thought to be a nice lunch under the plastic tree, while being serenaded by live piano music played in a huge birdcage, became a screaming (yes, I did scream out of frustration) affair for me. The people who had lunch with me, and quite used to see my ugly face when I'm angry; was just laughing merrily when they saw my "black" face over extremely shoddy service and worst of all, over-charging. Can you imagine the cafe supervisor overcharged us by almost RM100 and didn't have the courtesy to explain when we inquired?  My GM paid for the bill and I only got to know the exact amount when I returned to the office. I asked for the bill from him and was shocked when I saw things charged but weren't served to us. Do they think I'd keep quiet about it? What did I do after? Raise a complaint over to their HQ people.  I don't deal with mere store managers when I'm pissed off. I go straight to the upper management.

There are more stories about it, but the first, the lunch itself...
Our table, overlooking that nice piano in a cage
Cappuccino Viennesse
Ice water is charged RM1 (no refill, and the staff will get surly if you do ask for a refill! A Longan Blast and Ice Lemon Tea
Coffee in a floral cup
Spaghetti Marinara
Tandoori Pita
Peking Duck Pasta
Fish & Chips
Grilled Norwegian Salmon
Grilled Barramundi
My own lunch - Grilled Australia Prime Aged Sirloin Steak
We were supposed to have some cakes too, but as some of us waited up to an hour for our food to arrive, I decided to cancel the cake order. That's not all, we had to wait for like, half an hour for the staff to print out the bill!

The problems at this cafe stems from the couldn't care less attitude of the wait-staff (they are so blur, I had to shout at them to bring the orders to the correct person in our party of 30 pax), supervisors not doing their job, and food served to other customers who came later than us despite us pre-ordering our food before  our arrival. Maybe they've never experience a big party coming in for lunch before, and maybe if it was just a  party of two, the service would be way better, but for me that's such a lame excuse. If you can't deal with people, don't work at the frontline. Or maybe you should go work at McD instead. You'd be excused if you act like some mindless zombie there.

But on the bright side, the HQ people (I talked to several) were really nice and quite efficient  (this includes the nice receptionist too) in dealing  with my complaint. They did an investigation immediately and held a meeting to address the issue. The marketing manager called me a few times after that to assure me that they are taking care of the matters and invited me out for lunch to discuss it further. Them immediately addressing my complaint was already enough to make me happy and forgive everyone but I sincerely felt that all the "blur" staff at that cafe including the managers should be re-trained on how to work in a F&B business! And they've just lost a few top management customers in my company who already banned me from ever making reservation there ever again.

That's why folks, service is important so that you don't lose customer. Rectifying the issue afterwards is commendable, but sometimes it can be a little too late...

I'll give the cafe another chance, but like I told the marketing manager, I sure hope the staff there won't sabotage my food by spitting on it if I ever return there for my meal!

And folks at work, if you are reading this, more photos of the farewell lunch over at my FB account including the birthday cake cutting.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

The Blue Sky

After the Orange Sky post, thought I might as well put a blue sky post here too, all taken at different time of the day (and obviously different day not to mention year). ^^
Pahang, Terengganu, Tokyo and Putrajaya presented here. :)

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Take Me Somewhere Sunny, Please!!!

All the rain that we are experiencing nowadays are making me depressed. I dislike being cold and wet. On rainy days like this, I just want to escape and head over to the beach and enjoy the sun.

And if it rains, with my treadmill still not in working condition, I can't even run around the neighbourhood. Rain sure makes me restless.

Take me somewhere sunny, please! The Caribbean sure sounds nice. ^^ But before I ever go there, better get my butt back in shape!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

I'm A Sucker For Freebies

There's a promotion by Amex over at Starbucks, where cardholders get a complimentary drink over their purchase (complimentary drinks given to drinks of lesser value ordered) and of course, I never say no to freebies!
Free hot chocolate for me over Zaini's purchase of Green Tea Frappucino last weekend.
And free Mountain Glory fruit juice over Zaini's Green Tea Latte yesterday morning. This has become my new fave drink at Starbucks.

But gotta rein in the excitement, otherwise I'll be spending far too much money just to enjoy free drinks at Starbucks! But free drinks with Amex sure beats that measly 10% discount other cards give you to enjoy a cuppa or two at Starbucks.

I'll be at Starbucks again after my Saturday morning jog next week. Wanna join me? ^^

Saturday, 23 April 2011

For A New Pair Of Shoes

Remember my rantings of things not going my way a few days ago (or was it a week ago)? The treadmill technician has yet to come because I can't get away from work just yet so it's just running around the apartment's compound and carpark for me at the moment. But I got myself a new pair of running shoes. But the pain of finding that pair!

Zaini finally relented and drove me over to The Curve (Sunway Pyramid is a bit too far for us, Nick) because I wanted to check out some Brooks shoes that Nick had recommended. Got there, and there was a staff in the store and despite us being there for ten whole minutes and being really obvious about our intention to seriously buy a shoe (I didn't just want to pick a pair and ask for the size, I wanted some consultation too), the staff decided that his paperwork; which was strewn on a table was more important than us.

Then, we went to the next door Al-Ikhsan store. Not much selection there, and I think Alamanda's store have more options and more willing staff to help. But for a discount store like that, I wouldn't have minded if the staff there cannot be "technically" helpful. Same thing over at Nike Store - a staff tailed me everywhere but without saying a word or offering any advice (though I have to say, Nike store at Midvalley has nice staff, but they kept promoting the latest and most expensive shoes to me). Do I look like I can afford a shoe that cost more than RM500?

After checking out half a dozen sports stores (at Curve and MidValley), we decided to head to The Mines because a store there carry Brooks brand. Same thing over a few sports stores there but still, no shoes for me. I wasn't only looking to pick up a shoe and pay, I wanted a helpful staff who were willing to listen to my requirement and find me a suitable running shoes. Seems like I was asking too much. Zaini said so too. Well, maybe I am. But if a customer stands in front of a row of shoes, looking lost - a good sale staff would've or should have come to the rescue and ask what was it that the customer needed. No?

The final stop for me was the Adidas store at The Mines at Zaini's recommendation because he said that the staff there are really helpful. I plonked my butt on a seat and told the staff I needed a running shoe - long distance running, I have neutral arch, I think I have a slight over-pronation, yada yada and see whether he would try to make sense of what I'm talking about. Very helpful staff there although they weren't too sure what exactly I was looking for. They let me try a whole lot of shoes; the shoes there aren't all cling-wrapped!, and I finally settled on one. My very first Adidas shoes. (I have always been a Nike fan, OK).

I tell you, even if that brand/model isn't something I am looking for but the customer service is excellent and the staff nice to me, I would've ended buying things I have no intention in buying in the first place! And if the staff is snobbish or isn't helpful, I would not even buy the things I really want to buy at all even though they're having a sale or something.

Anyway, on a happier note, I got an e-mail feedback from Brooks about my experience and was informed that I could make an appointment with their sales consultant if I still wanted to, with discount to boot for the shoes I buy or they could come and meet me for some consultation too.and bring over some shoes for me too. I'll keep that in mind for my next purchase of running shoes. But instead of just walking-in to the store, I'll make sure I'll have an appointment first! Read about Brooks Malaysia consultancy service promise here.

And on another happy note, this new pair of shoes I got sure makes a lot of difference. It is so much more comfortable to run now. My run at Lake Garden this morning is the third time I'm running in my Adidas shoes. So far so good. ^^

My puny 6k target is almost there too! Maybe next week I'll try the whole 6k or more and in a decent time too.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

The Orange Sky

Just enjoying the view. ^^
Sunrise, somewhere high up on a hill in Malaysia. But looks like an outer-space photo, don't you think? ^^

The moon and the sun meeting each other.
And a sunset somewhere near a tranquil lake in Japan.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

I'm Not A Happy Camper!

Why can't things always go my way? My long-suffering hubby would always say that things have to go my way; well the exact words are "ikut dia aje" or otherwise, I'll probably have a meltdown. Yup, I like it when everything is to my liking. Who doesn't, anyway?

Well, the weekend wasn't exactly according to my way, last week. I wanted to go to the park but the boys wanted to go for an early swim instead, so I pouted a bit about that.

Didn't get to find a new running shoes yet. And I wanted to check out the Brooks shoes Nick advised me to get, but I had to wait next week for it. Me and patience don't really go together. If I want it, I want it now! Not happy again. Pout some more. *^-^*!

My MP3 player that I used during my jog & run decided to go dead on me. I guess it would've been OK because I did a couple of runs without listening to music and I think I did just fine.

But the last straw was on Saturday, I was aiming for my 5k on the treadmill (it rained on Saturday morning), and when I reached 4.5k, my treadmill decided it had enough and simply stopped working! I use my treadmill for my weekday runs because I can only run at night on weekdays. Running outside at night around the carpark area in the dark isn't something I want to do. Now I am so annoyed!

I can be a brat (not to mention a b**ch) so I refused to cook on Sunday because instead of sympathising with my plight, hubby just decided to ignore me and nap on the couch. I'm giving him a cold shoulder now because I am not a happy camper!

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I need to chill, I know...

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Thanks Ayie!

Look what came through the mail! Souvenirs from Philippines! From Boracay to be exact and it was from Ayie. Ayie, her husband and son went back to Philippines and enjoyed some quality time with the family there. And she didn't forget me!

Thanks so much for the cool souvenirs, Ayie. I love them!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

It’s Gonna Be A Rush

Just received a letter from Raimie’s school informing parents about Sports Day practice sessions and the date of 2011 Sports Day. He’ll come home late every Wednesday for his practice.

Raimie’s school 53rd Annual Sports Day (quite an old school, don’t you think?) is going to be held on Saturday, May 14th. And the event clashed with my brother’s wedding!

I had agreed to be my brother’s photographer that day too! My brother has to find someone else to do it. Sorry, bro!

What can we do? I can’t ask Raimie to forgo his Sports Day and Zaini is a PIBG (PTA) committee member so support the event we must. So it’ll be a rush traveling immediately to my hometown that Saturday after the Sports Day event. Raimie may just have to attend his uncle’s wedding in his t-shirt and tracksuit that day. o.O

Let’s hope there isn’t going to be any massive jam on the highway and we arrive on time.

This kinda reminds me of the time we need to be there for both my younger sister’s wedding and Zaini’s younger brother’s wedding, which was held on the same day. Luckily Zaini’s brother married someone from my hometown so we were able to attend both weddings, but the rush to make sure we were there for both families - we made it to both their nikah (solemnization of marriage), berinai and bersanding (kinda like the wedding reception) - I didn’t even change outfit the whole day! Of course my relatives commented about that. How dare I wear the same outfit the whole day for such a big do! LOL

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

6K By End Of This Month

I didn't run in this, Zaini did.

That's my aim for my run this month. Now, now. Don't scoff. Don't laugh. Don't snicker. I know you guys can run much farther than me, and in less time too. For me, it's already an achievement.

I used to hate running. I can do anything else at the gym and suffer through hours of grueling workout with my personal trainer but ask me to hit the treadmill, I just don't see myself running on it for any length of time. I do envy my hubby who didn't seem to need much effort doing rounds at the Lake Garden. He even called me a wimp  for whining about running. Huhu

Now? I ditched the personal training. I didn't renew my gym membership. But I need a way to still keep healthy and up my stamina (and I do do really want a strong pair of legs). I can only do so much with my squats and I can only suffer so much going up and down the stairs. So, the next option - start running.

I'm surprised that now I find running quite enjoyable now that I put a goal and challenge myself doing it. And I find inspiration to run more and more by fellow blogger, Nick of Anything Goes. Well, I'm not going to run competitively but I put an aim to my run unlike before. 6K by end of April and 10K by June. Think I can do it? I sure hope I can especially with this wonky knees of mine.

Monday, 11 April 2011

My Weekend

How was your weekend? Good? I hope it was. ^^

Since I got nothing to say or write, some random post about what I did last weekend.

Raimie had to go to school on Saturday, so woke up early and head to McD for an almost free breakfast. We got some vouchers for free sausage mcmuffin and McD so we got that, and ordered iced milo for Raimie and Zaini and I shared a cup of coffee. Total damage - less than RM5.00. It would've been free if we didn't buy any drinks, but why so cheapskate, right? 
After dropping Raimie off at school, Zaini and I head to Lake Garden and huffed and puffed running around the lake for about two hours. Managed to somehow hurt my knees again running up and down the hill there. Me and hills really don't go well together. I'll stick to the flat area next time. Otherwise, I'll need a constant stock of painkillers. That can't be good. :(

Then, we took our stinky, sweaty selves to Starbucks and stink the whole place up for a couple of hours, drinking overpriced fruit juice until it's time to pick Raimie at school. LOL

Rest a bit at home, then it's play time at the pool. Saturdays is a pool time for Raimie. He needs to practice his swimming. Mommy needs to swim a bit too. Swimming is sure easy on the knees too!

Had ramyun for dinner. Dinner is always a light affair, but sometimes I'm afraid we just eat junk! 

Sunday - didn't want to slave over the stove for breakfast so took the easy way out and fried some tempura nuggets.

Sunday is always a lazy day, so did nothing (after I did my run on the treadmill that is) until it's time to prepare lunch. Lunch was a Korean affair - kimchi jigae, grilled beef with lettuce wraps and tofu with stir-fried kimchi.

I was absolutely cheesed off with Jusco, by the way. A tub of Kimchi is  now sold for RM30 instead of the usual RM25 at Jusco!  Managed to find a cheaper option over at Village Grocer.

And what do you know - a bit of ironing, dinner and it's time for bed soon and  for Monday to come. And Monday blues hits me. x.x

Saturday, 9 April 2011

More Free Breakfast From McD

More free breakfast coupon from McD. This time it's for their Sausage McMuffin and no purchase needed to redeem the free breakfast.

Have you got your hands on some coupons yet? Hurry! It's until Apr 13th only.

I bet the breakfast queue at McD will be long these few days.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Respect My Time And Space Too

Dear Whomever It May Concern,

I understand you are busy and you need to be connected at ALL TIMES, but when I have to hold the lift for you while you take your own sweet time getting into it because you were busy reading/typing some “very important” messages, you are taking my precious time.

That time when I had to give way to you, to stop from a head-on collision because you weren’t bothered to see where you were walking into? I do mind who I bumped into so please, respect my space even if you don’t care who you could “kiss” while you were engrossed with your expensive phone.

When we had to abruptly brake our car because you were too busy chatting on the phone or reading or typing messages on it while crossing the road; you are making a nuisance of yourself at my expense. I don’t care if you want to endanger yourself at any other time, just don’t get me involve in it. I don’t know you so I have no desire in visiting you at the hospital (or the morgue).

Or that time when I stared with disbelieve at you when you were on your motorbike on a busy road and your left hand were holding your phone and you were glancing at it? Please don’t be near our car because I have no desire on swerving the car to avoid your motorbike because you were too busy reading your SMSes.

We all have handphones now, we all have some nice ringtones for it too. But please, when you put it at an ear-deafening volume, answer it immediately when your phone rings. Don’t let a whole song being played before you decide to press the “answer” button. If I want to listen to songs, I get my earphones on and listen to my own selection, thank you very much. And why oh why do you need to talk so loud on the phone that people can actually hear you a mile away? Do I need to be involved in your conversation?

Have some class people. Think about others when you decide to whip out that latest phone of yours. Think about your safety too!

Anyway, my world does not revolve around accommodating you and your handphone(s).

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Oh! The Mess!

Leave the boy to his own devices in his room, and what did he do? Make a royal mess in his room! When we chided that boy and ask him to clear that mess - he'll answer that he's not finish with his projects or whatever that he is doing yet.

It's been two weeks of messy room. I tell you, if he doesn't clean up this weekend, I'll just vacuum the whole thing up!

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