A Matter of Size

Posted: March 16, 2017 in Food review
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I love Jollibee that is why I was surprised how really small the burgers have been lately. Proof is my small closed fist is slightly bigger than my Jollibee yumburger with cheese. It still tasted great but the food items all seemed to have shrunk. Yes, even good ‘ol chickenjoy has gone down four sizes (enviable as the gone down four sizes as it may be, size still matters for a middle income lass like me). Other fastfood joints too have gone size crazy. So do not get me started on how small portion sizes are now of Wendy’s pricey burgers. The size and the taste of the burgers (yup, even the spicy chicken fillet) have definitely suffered the past few years…the buns dry, the lettuce sad, the meat sadder and the serving portion so small for a whooping P246.  Thus, I just buy from them iced tea. At least nothing about it is sad or small. :/

 

My friend asked me how was your year. I replied dismissively, so-so. Majority did not go as planned but there were a smattering of some good things. She then pointed out how can I lessen the value of having a boyfriend, going to Japan and winning the major prize in our year end party?

Well maybe for one thing the year started with me under performance management under a tyrant former boss, I did not get any increase, a subordinate refuse to help out with the controllable no matter the manner in which I ask, I feel in my own team that I am not one with them and no matter how much leeway/ kinship/understanding/transparency I give them it will be for naught. I felt alone with no place to go. And for the first time in a long time, there is no celebratory feeling that I want to share my “blessings.” I did not plan to give them any Christmas gifts or tokens like I used to do because nothing comes back tangible or intangible. I did not participate in the planning of the party. I just looked forward to my leaves because I need time to re-evaluate.

I am socially awkward. I don’t do well with people but since I became part of this industry I am in, I have learned to deal with my awkwardness. I tried to believe again in the goodness of people so I gave them a chance, helped them, guided and such. Unfortunately, I have been bitten more than rewarded. So I let go of the people who thought they can use me. One still does not grasp why I refused to talk to her. She wanted me to be like everybody else and then has the audacity to ignore me while she has all the time in the world to eat, talk, visit her other friends. Instead of allowing the pseudo-friendship to continue I cut the cord. I also had enough of someone else who proved to be such a hypocrite. I mean I am already focused on what I want for my team and we are doing pretty well, not consistently but getting there to be sidetracked by petty things.

These things have drained me because after all the things I done, the thanks I got was multiple stabs on the back. I needed to regroup and maybe a fresh start if God willing in another LOB will do the trick. A new team, new group, new management – these may just be what I need to look forward to 2017.

2016 was not a tumultuous as 2015 but the emotional pain was big time. I was bombarded left and right, the ones who I thought would support me the most have hurt me the most. Their words and actions actually linger. A bit forgiven but not forgotten because you cannot do anything about family.

Thus I look forward to a good year. Nothing fancy, nothing extraordinary just a good year for my whole being and a chance to finally be rewarded for an honest to goodness hard work.

Cheers to 2017!

Touted to be the biggest one ever held as EGS celebrates 5 years of existence, the year end would not be short of phenomenal. From the music by the Philharmonic Orchestra down to the food catered by Bizu, Wells Fargo team members are abuzz with excitement. The who are you wearing come to mind as perhaps the bellas, the belles and gents will come in their most dapper outfit to stand out on the red carpet.

For me, I am not excited because of the glitz and glamour the night promised to be. I am excited for the promise of the future, the celebration of friendship and the long awaited parting of the past. At the same time, I can play dress up and get dolled up. I am certain I wont be Face of the Night or something else. Best thing still is though I get to have an invite with my birthdate on it, I get to wear a dress in my favorite color, I managed to borrow a pair of high heels worn in the pre-pageant by Pia W. and I get to be with the best looking man this part of town as my accessory. It is just like winning the grand prize, maybe better.

Funny thing is, he is more excited than me that he bought himself new polo shirts. Yes he wont be able to accompany me inside but he wants to look good nonetheless and now plans to get his beard trimmed. He is nonplussed even when he would be more of my driver than my escort. Who wouldn’t feel like the belle now? I certainly did and if I can blush I would.

Anyway, my accessories are complete, my gown is ready and am about to pack my change of clothes. I am so looking forward to be serenaded tomorrow in SMX. Ta-ta. 🙂

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This is my simple way of saying Thank You papa God and Padre Pio for the gifts you let come my way.

I prayed for the perfect man for me and you gave me someone who is too scarred, too rough on the edge, too proud, too brazen. You gave me someone I thought I did not need.

I prayed that my “boss” becomes human and you gave him the boot out.

I prayed for a way to help my family financially and you pointed the way to the happy life project.

I prayed for acceptance in my cluster and after two years, the respect came from unexpected people followed closely by love and loyalty by those who saw ME

I prayed for a promotion and an increase, I received nonstop free food, a puppy and other freebies.

Today I just want to say thank you. Thank you I have a comfortable bed, I have a job, I can drink coffee, I have water and many other reasons to just say thank you.

Last September 15, I lodged a complaint about a service I received from PNB’s Shaw branch. Then Tuesday, September 20, I received a call from Reichel because she said her manager and the area manager would like to see me personally and apologize for what happened.

The call in itself was enough acknowledgement for a seemingly small concern. I told her that a personal apology was not necessary as I just wanted to air out my frustration when I called first to ask if they accept a check for Allied Savings, informed yes I can but when I went to the Shaw branch I was told only cash deposits were accepted.

Reichel was persistent, she said it was okay, they really want to talk to me personally. Since I have work that day I kind of nonchalantly said prolly next Monday. I did not know they’d really follow through.

Today, both the branch and area manager took the time to come over my home and apologize. They even brought cake which was not necessary. Branch manager Manny Bathan asked what happened while area manager Marie Therese Montessor listened on. Then they apologized and told me that this was not a simple matter, they would prefer no complaints at all. Both have read my email (shown below) and agreed with me that I should have been informed that the Shaw branch does not cater to check deposits. Only three branches do, Cubao, Taguig and another branch I cannot recall now. Both stayed on a bit to try and know me personally. Also there was an open invite to open an account with PNB and maybe come see them when I am near their area.

Honestly I did not expect such a heartfelt attention and profuse apology for this. Nothing is small for them to attend to. So PNB, you made my day and as promised here is my toast to your customer service even when I am not a PNB account holder. I felt the sincerity and your need to make anyone a priority. Now I know PNB does live up to its You First slogan.

Thank you again and oh yeah, apology definitely accepted.

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Inbox
You replied on 9/26/2016 7:52 AM.

Evernote
Dear Sir / Maám,

Thank you for taking time to write us about your concerns. We would like to express our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience this experience may have caused you. We have referred this matter to the concerned department for appropriate and immediate investigation. Rest assured that we will get back to you once feedback becomes available. May we also ask for your complete name and contact details for our reference? However, should you wish to remain anonymous, we will respect your decision.

Should you have other concern, please do not hesitate to email us again.

At PNB, we are here to serve You First

Sincerely yours,

Em Maquiling, Customer Care Representative
SQD – Retail Customer Care Department
Philippine National Bank, 2F PNB Financial Center
Pres. Diosdado Macapagal Blvd., Pasay City, Metro Manila 1300
T: (02) 5738888

Note: This email is logged under reference number PNB747993

IMPORTANT NOTICE:
This information, including any attachments contained in this email is privileged and confidential to Philippine National Bank. It is intended solely for the addressee. If you are not the intended recipient please notify the sender immediately and delete this message. Any review, dissemination, distribution, copying or other use of this communication or the information in it is strictly prohibited. We advise you to carry out your own virus check before opening any attachment, as we cannot accept liability for any damage sustained as a result of any software viruses.

From: rachel huerto <r_huerto@hotmail.com>
To: “customercare@pnb.com.ph” <customercare@pnb.com.ph>,
Date: 09/15/2016 01:09 AM
Subject: RE: Your PNB General Inquiry

I want to place a complaint about an incident last Tuesday. I called the Allied directory and got the number for the branch in Starmall. I called the 736 number and got to talk to a Jake Cacanindin. I asked if I can do a check deposit for my mom who has an Allied Savings account. He said yes but the posting would be 2-3 days. I said that is okay and normal for a check deposit. He even asked me where I would be coming from. Before I put down the phone I asked him again if I can do a check deposit. He said yes and that they are open til 4. He was even nice enough to tell me where exactly the bank is.

That was a 12:45PM last September 13. So I walked from Greenfields to Starmall carrying with me my mom’s checks and ATM card. When I reached the branch, I asked the guard if they accept check deposits to an Allied Savings, he just ushered me in perhaps not hearing the check part. I got a number and waited for what seemed to be forever for my #38 number to be called. Mind you I was just 2 numbers away from no one near the counter. The tellers (Kristel Maguddata and Abbie Te) were busy doing something else despite the number of people waiting to be served.

Finally when my number was called (this was almost 20-30 minutes worth of wait), I was told check deposits are not accepted. Then I was made to wait anew so they can check. Without returning the checks they said they do not process check deposits. I asked one of the tellers then why did the guy who answered the phone told me it can be done when it cannot. Why waste my time like that? How utterly inconvenient. That was why I called. Had I been told it really cannot be processed as check deposit then I would not have wasted time and effort going to that branch. It was that simple.

I had to wait for another set of minutes because the Jake guy stepped out for lunch or something. Imagine the futility of this exercise. Jake apologized but defended himself by saying he said cash. Now CASH and CHECK do not sound alike and thus cannot be mistaken for one another. Jake, Kristel and Abbie’s apology cannot discount the inconvenience they caused me. What use is calling to verify when the information provided by people like Jake is wrong?

PNB slogan is You First. You first to what? Be annoyed? Be first to be inconvenienced? Be waiting in line just to be told no?

Is that what PNB training does? Teach each one not to give the right information over the phone and just say sorry you heard me wrong?

What are you going to do about this? Because for me I plan to write a blog about how sluggish the service was and how incompetent the people are over a simple inquiry. What more for actual big concerns?

I am so upset right now I cannot even think of any apt title for this. Noon time on a Saturday, I had to take an Uber because there was no UV Express in Park Square going to Mc Kinley. Uber had one of those surge charge 1.5X the base fare. I agreed to it even if it was too much to pay on a normally light flowing traffic.

I sent a text to the driver whose name is Nestor my exact location as there are two towers. He was according to Google 3 minutes away. When I went down he was not around so I sent my second text message where I was and to follow up on where he was. No reply. I sent another text, by that time it was already 1230, I had been waiting for a good 10 minutes for a supposed 3 minute wait time. I called him only to find out he went up the flyover and was now on his way towards Quiapo. Now from San Miguel Avenue where he was originally going to where I was, he can just cross the street to get to me but he did not. He made a stupid turn which got him further away. Mind you if I did not get a reply from him, I had to call him to find out why he was still not around.

So I of course cancelled, he was of no good that far and I cannot wait for him because I’d be running late. I hailed a cab and got to work later than usual. I paid in cash.

Lo and behold when I came home I read a text message from my credit card company that I was charged. I looked at my Gmail and there it was a charge of P319 for a trip I did not take. The route was San Juan to Cubao.

I was livid. How the hell can Uber charge me with a car trip I did not even get to take. I had cancelled because he stuck in traffic too far from me. I sent Uber a rather harsh email for robbing me blind. I also sent several text messages to the Uber driver of a Hyundai with plate number MP7784 that he should be ashamed of himself. He replied that he is sorry and that he does not know how to cancel the trip. Does he really think I am a fool? He can start a trip without a passenger and end it an hour later yet say he does not know how to operate a smart phone. As far as I know Uber has training for this. Nestor the driver insisted on his innocence that he did not mean me any harm, to wit “talagang talaga mam hindi ako manloloko alam ng Panginoong Dios mam sabi ko sa inyo maski tamaan ako ng mam patawarin nyo ako.”

Every weekend I only have one route home to work. My boyfriend picks me up from work to home. I am a creature of habit so the route this Uber driver took for an hour then charge me for  is an act that is incomprehensible and deplorable. So Uber riders beware of this modus. If you think you are safe and better off with a credit card for the fare, think again. Uber support as of this time has remained mum.

Nestor uberuber receipt

Maybe it is fate that brought our restless group to a haven nestled in the heart of Morong, Bataan. Maybe it is actually a call by Gaia to explore the bounty of a green kissed land. Maybe our tired body and soul needed a respite that can only be found in the warm sanctum of a divine place called Kai Lodge.

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Kai Lodge, if looked up in Google, would be described as  a perfect place for travelers seeking recreational activities with their family and friends. It boasts of an excellent service and essential facilities via its six well-furnished suites and two enormous family/barkada rooms. All rooms have air conditioning, large cabinets, lampshades, cable television, private toilets and baths equipped with a shower heater, and toiletries.

Much to our surprise, the stay and experience we had at Kai Lodge was phenomenal. From the moment we arrived, we had a world class welcome coupled with refreshing cucumber drinks and the most congenial staff. We need not ask for anything twice as the service provided was fast and efficient. Even the grandson of the owner, Ino Habana, was on hand to make sure that we get attended to. He would pop in from time to time and check up on us, he would also join in on our small drinking session. Ino’s gestures in making our stay comfortable and memorable made our team building all the more relaxing and extraordinary.

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Along with the warmest of welcome, Kai Lodge proved to be quite a gem well hidden in a cluster  of trees. It was huge yet peaceful. Indeed the tranquility of the lodge provided a respite to the noise and hustle of city life. The pathways afforded quiet walks for meditation and introspection. I had my one on one with God and the weather even cooperated with me, overcast skies threatened to pour down heavy rain but did not do so until late that day. It was a great nature walk as I looked at abandoned houses, basketball court and overlooking ledges surrounding the path. It is so easy to fall in love with the place and be lost in its rustic beauty.

Latter part of the afternoon, Ino volunteered to tour us around. Relics of Vietnam and Cambodian shrines abound. Although there were not much of the Cambodian and Vietnam gods left, the idols left behind still gave such a historic feel to the place. Ino was knowledgeable and eager to share. We were thirsty for knowledge and drank in whatever piece of historical memorabilia remained.

The next day, we trudged to the beach but because of the nonstop rain, the waves had an undercurrent and made swimming in it dangerous. So Ino, our wonderful tour guide, brought us to a unadulterated flowing river just a couple of minutes away from the lodge. The water was cold, fresh and crystal clear. It was a great place to cap the second and final day in Bataan. A nice old lady manned the place and she was as accommodating to my motley crew as Ino was. She allowed us to use her ihawan and she also regaled some of the team members with her stories. By 4PM, after going to the hanging bridge and having our late lunch we packed up and made a promise to come back. It was worth every penny we spent because we all had the best nature trip ever. So those bikes better be there when we come back Ino 🙂

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