Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What An Answer Given By My Management Office


2011-04-26 12.53.39

My boss handed me a letter from the management office yesterday. Apparently it was a reply from them about the lift trap incident that happened to me twelve days ago.

In the letter, Mr Wong, the Centre Manager of the Far East Shopping Centre Management Office stated that being trapped in the lift for 25 minutes is normal, and within the standard rescue timing of 30 mins set by the management.

He chose to evade the rest of my questions that I raised in my letter. I was thinking if I should raise the matter to the press.

An opportunity struck today. I managed to catch hold of the same lift that I was trapped in breaking down again today. Perhaps, I should really take my mum’s advice and bring this up to the press, since the management office failed to resolve this matter well. Bad press about the shopping centre may help to improve its management staff’s attitude.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Good Friday Easter Weekend

On Good Friday, Jonathan Teo, Jonathan Ya, Lance, Jas & Alex Xu were invited to Andrina’s house for a mini ktv session.

It was good to see Jonathan Teo back in Singapore after his European adventure and he actually bought some souvenirs for all of us, which were keychains & chocolates.


It was the 1st time I heard this song on Friday and I thought the song is nice.

On Sat, I was asked by mum if I wanted to go for a prayer session and IKEA Tampines to source for new furniture for my home.

Reached IKEA Tampines and started researching on the furniture that we could get. In the end, we had a shortlist of what we wanted to get. We managed to get the minimum $200 required for the membership and purchased all the items today as we also discussed with my brother about how he felt about the shortlist before purchasing them.

We took a cab home after that.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Featured On The Serangoon Newsletter


I mentioned in my blog before that I had received an offer to be featured on the Serangoon Newsletter to share about my volunteer e-filing experience over the years in the Serangoon area.

The article is featured here for you guys to read. I know that the surname is typed wrongly and I have highlighted to the editorial team.

Meet Up With Friends

I met up with Chloe, Gonnie, Lance & KH last night. The meet up was called by Chloe, as she said that it has been a while since we last met up since Lance’s birthday.
The meetup place was at Nex @ Serangoon. Dinner was at a restaurant called Grandma’s place, which serves Chinese food. I thought the dishes were not bad, just that the portions were a little too small for 5 of us.The price was quite alright for the 5 of us.
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Photos courtesy of Chloe
Desert was at a chill place, called Teadot. I felt that the vanilla cupcake I had was great. We discussed with Lance about our singing techniques during the course of the desert session, before heading for our movie session.
The movie we caught was Hall Pass which I thought was a funny comedy. I would recommend you guys to catch it.

Is This How You Manage A Building

I was rather pissed off by the explanation given by the building management managing my office that I decided that I should write this complaint letter directly to them, with a copy being given to Far East Organisation, the overall in charge of the Far East Group in Singapore.

I refer to the abovementioned incident and my telephone conversations with your Management Office staff, Ms Linda on 14 April 2011 and an unidentified male staff on 18 April 2011.

I am one of the staff working for P.C. Lee & Co at Units #10-05/#10-06. I have since worked in this company for about 3 years. During my stay with this company, I have discovered that the 3 passenger lifts at the building would take turns to break down in a month. Sometimes, the lifts would actually break down for a few days.

I would like to relate my 2 experiences of being trapped in the lift recently. The 1slt incident that happened 2 weeks before the abovementioned incident. My lift ride was stopped abruptly on the 6th floor, and there was no display of which direction of where the lift was heading and the storey button did not respond to my touch. The fortunate thing was the lift door was able to open by itself after suddenly stopping.

I was not so lucky for the 2nd time on 14 April 2011. I was going for my lunch when my lift ride was abruptly halted on the 6th floor. This time, the lift door did not open. Therefore, my colleague and I took turns to press the alarm bell. When there was no response from your side after 5 minutes, I called back my own office to get the number of your management office. Meanwhile, another lady who was in the same lift as us called OTIS, the lift maintenance company engaged by the management. We were surprised to hear that we were to stay in the trapped lift for about another 30 minutes, as this was what the OTIS staff had told her when she asked him when he could send someone down to rescue us. I called the Management Office 3 times after that, in the course of the 25 minutes we were trapped in the lift before we were being rescued by the OTIS staff.

My questions for you are as follows:-

1. Why is the lift at Far East Shopping Centre always breaking down? It is not as if that we have not been paying maintenance fees for you guys to do a proper job to maintain the building and its facilities and this includes the lift. I understand that you would levy a late payment charge when we pay our maintenance fee late, even for one day. This means that it is only right that we expect a first class service from you, since you are so prompt in collecting maintenance fees from the tenants. I also understand that the management fees have always been raised every year, but it seems like no improvement is seen in my 3 year stay in this building. If the lift always break down, please spend some money collected from the management fees to replace them.

2. Why must the Management Office wait for the OTIS maintenance guys to come and rescue us? Why are the staff not trained on lift rescue operations? According to my dad, who used to work as a Building Maintenance Manager at a major Orchard Road shopping centre said that the management office staff should have a spare key to access to the lifts when incidents happen. They are supposed to be rescued within 10 minutes. To be trapped in the lift for 25 minutes is ridiculous, and you are talking about a shopping centre cum office building in Orchard Road. I have been trapped in a lift at my old office at Keypoint at Beach Road before and I was rescued within 10 minutes by the building maintenance staff. The building maintenance staff also sent an apology note to all the affected users of the trapped lift. I have only heard you pushing aside your responsibility and giving excuses such as passengers’ fault in misusing the lift.

3. The Management Office should think of ways to improve the lifts, as it is always slow, instead of handling tenants’ petty complaints, like one of the offices had too many wet umbrellas being left out to dry at the office corridor during rainy weather. The sight of your staff carrying a camera just to take pictures of the wet umbrellas blocking the corridor are a waste of time. They could have used this time to think of a way to create space for us to put our wet umbrellas during rainy days. This would definitely heed the Government’s call for our people to be productive and innovative.

I hope to hear a favourable explanation from you with regards to how you are going to solve the problematic lifts at Far East Shopping Centre.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

Let’s hope the management office wakes up from their slumber and solve this as soon as possible.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Stuck In The Office Lift

In my 3 years plus working in my company at Far East Shopping Centre, this was the 2nd time in 3 weeks that I had been stuck in the office lift. The 1st time, the lift just suddenly stopped but the lift door opened by itself after a short while.

But I was not so lucky on Thursday. My colleagues and I were looking forward to our lunch at 12pm. We took the lift down. As we reached the 6th floor, the lift suddenly stopped and the lift door didn’t open. My first instinct, was to press the lift alarm, which my senior and I took turns to do it.

We didn’t hear any responses or voices from outside after 5 mins. That was when I decided to give a call back to my office, to get the Management Office’s contact number. I managed to get the contact number from my boss, after I told them we were trapped in the lift.

I called the Management Office at 12.07pm. They said that they have heard the alarm but the lift maintenance company, OTIS’ phone lines were busy. A lady, who was in the lift with us, decided to call OTIS directly and fired them over the phone at 12.10pm. I called the management office at 12.12pm, telling them to hurry up. I said that it is ridiculous for us to wait for another half an hour. I called again at 12.20pm, and this time I really lost my temper and shouted the the Management Office officer. We were finally rescued at 12.35pm.

I had a quick bite before heading back to office, although my boss called me and told me that I could have come back from my lunch later. But seeing my work piling up on my desk, I knew I could not afford to do so.

When I was back from my lunch, I decided to call the management office to let them know my displeasure. I told the officer, It is ridiculous that the lifts are always breaking down, almost once every month. Granted that the building is old, but there should be proper maintenance procedures to ensure that the lifts are in good working order. Someone in the building maintenance department should be trained to rescue people who are trapped in the lift. To wait for the OTIS maintenance team for about 30 mins to rescue us is ridiculous. You guys always tell us to pay the building maintenance fees on time. If we did not pay on time, just for a day, we are charged late payment interest. Instead of handling the tenants’ complaints, that our colleagues’ umbrellas are blocking the way, when we hang out for them to dry, a solution should be resolved on how to solve the “lift always break down, and sometimes for a few days”.

I was sharing with my family this when I had dinner with them at night. My dad, who used to work as Building Maintenance Manager at a major shopping centre at Orchard too, agrees with me. He further adds that if the management office charges late payment interest for one day, the maintenance service should be at first class. My mum adds that, when the lifts break down each time, please take photos to show the management office to show how poor they are!  

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

IRAS Volunteer E-Filing Session 6


The volunteers, Paul, Angie (Liasion Officer), Wenjun, Jason, Samira & Haris



The above photos are taken by The Serangoon CC staff, Depak who happens to be my poly friend’s hubby’s friend. I was a little surprised that he could still remember my face 3 years after the wedding.

The weekend session went on quite smoothly, with the exception for 2 of the customers. One of them came by with a partnership return (Form P) and asked me to help him to e-file. I am glad that I am equipped with the knowledge to assist him, although I knew that I should not have done it.

The second one, I would call him Mr. Special. He was very secretive about his Singpass that he was so afraid to let me see his Singpass and used my document file to cover the keyboard as he typed his password. As he typed, he dropped my documents on the floor and messing it up. I had to pick up and rearrange myself and he did not apologise for what he did. In the end, he insisted on keying in his Singpass secretly. I decided there and then to walk out to let off my anger before I exploded.

If you are so worried about people knowing your Singpass, why not you do at the comforts of your own home? 


Dinner With Chairman & Jonathan

I met up with Lawrence & Jonathan for dinner last Fri. The purpose of this meetup was to catch up with Lawrence as it has been a while since I last caught up with him.

The meeting place was at Xin Wang Café at Ion Orchard. I guess it was the only place that I can definitely get seats as I just signed up for their membership card. It was good to catch up with him as Jonathan & I updated him on the various things that happened in the group in his absence. At the same time, we shared some of our knowledge about filing of the income tax return and taught him how to file his tax correctly.

He also  shared with us his experiences when he flew to the various countries, such as USA, Denmark, Milan. I thought that the tips were particularly useful, especially for Jonathan, who was embarking on a trip to Western Europe.

It was certainly great to catch up with him, and we would like to thank him for his various inputs in the group activities about how to make them better.

Monday, April 04, 2011

3rd & 4th Session of VES Session

I was a little surprised that the crowd that came for e-filing was very much lesser than the first session. Perhaps they could have 6th sense and knew that my regular partner, Haris was not around for these two sessions. A check with the Sengkang CC & Yio Chu Kang CC confirmed that the CC I am at was not the one CC that saw lesser crowd last weekend.

I am therefore convinced that the crowd will start streaming in during the last two weeks of the e-filing weekend. I hope that with my exprience in the tax industry, I will be able to handle those difficult customers and/or tax queries,

Just a point to note, for those foreigners who have worked in Singapore for 60 days or less in the calendar year, their income will not be subject to Singapore tax.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Gathering With ACCA Classmates

The gathering with my ACCA classmates was first mooted by Tammy on Facebook about 2 weeks ago and seconded by Elaine. I felt that my Facebook Wall was not an appropriate place to discuss all these. I certainly do not want many people to know where we were going. I agreed with Peggy that Facebook is a dangerous place to post things sometimes.

Dinner was at Carousel @ Royal Plaza on Scotts as requested by Elaine. She said that she enjoyed the fresh seafood at the buffet. Therefore, I booked a table a week before through walk in since it was near my office. I did not expect the restaurant to be so crowded on a weekday nite.

It was certainly great to see the ladies, since I have not met up with Tammy & Peggy since the last dinner we had before Elaine was due to give birth. Peggy and I chatted for about half an hour while we waited for Elaine and Tammy to arrive and continued eating and chatting till 11pm.

The tab was again picked up by Peggy. The three of us felt bad about her picking up the tab as she did not earn as much as us but still wanted to pay for us.

Dad’s Short Stay In Hospital

My dad was diagnosed to have a dark area in his neck during his annual medical check. A follow up at the hospital found that the dark area was a growth in the neck and an operation was done to remove the growth. The growth was a lump in the thyroid and it was not cancerous.

My dad has now been discharged from the hospital and recuperating at home.

Busy Dec & Expected The Unexpected Jan

It has been again a while since I last blogged. It was a busy Dec and Jan for me as some of you who have been reading my blog may have known...