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Location: Penang, Malaysia

February 28, 2005

Hungry dogs fighting over shit

A clever furniture company organized a so called customer appreciation event recently. It was February 20, 2005 bersamaan dengan 11 Muharam 1426 Hijrah. Quite a number of people turned up as early as 7:00 pm even thought it was mentioned that it will only start at 8:00 pm. Upon arrival to the scene, I saw the board on the stage detailing the line-up of programs for the night. This includes the arrival of VIP at 8:00 pm. Oh, shit! I told my wife, in this case, I guess we have to wait till at least 8:30 pm. To my surprise, those VIPs arrived at 8:03 pm, and the event was started immediately without further ado. Wow! This is my first time seeing VIPs arrived early. Anyway, I asked myself, what the fuck to do with VIPs if this is a customer apprciation program? Well, no explanation needed, it is a show of relationship, showing to competitors and the public that they have some "connections".

After those VIPs had given their speeches, the organizer, i.e., the clever furniture company presented some gifts to those VIPs in front of all the customers. Maybe it is acceptable to Malaysian. What's the problem here? Well, these fucking VIPs are not even customers and they were given something in front of real customers. I am not happy with this. If they are customers, they will be in the same program as one of us. I don't favour special treatment for VIPs. They are elected by the members of the public. Fuck them aside and let's go on with the story.

In order to thank customers for their patronage and support, the clever furniture company lets customer to grab a handful of Malaysian coins (50 sen, 20 sen and 10 sen) inside a bowl. Theorectically, whatever you can grab is yours. There are 3 "lucky strike" coins in there too. If you get it, there are special prizes for you.

For customers who had spent a minimum of RM 1500, but below RM 5000, they will be given one grab, they called it one dip, i.e. dipping your hand in the bowl. For those who had spent above RM 5000, there will be 2 dips. Of course, simple calculation here, a friend had 4 dips, and we knew immediately that this friend had spent above RM 15,000. We only guessed. What about those who spent exaclty RM 5000? They did not give customer the benefit of doubt, and therefore, only one dip is given. Hey, this is the way to make customer happy. Interesting, Malaysia Boleh style, I assume.

When the time come for the lucky dip event, customers were told to line up. Where? It was not specified properly, and since you know Malaysians don't know how to form a queue, what do you expect? It was ugly. People are pushing and shoving each other to get to the front. People who tried their best to form a line wer etold it should start from the other side, not this side. The security guards were rude. Some people scolded the guards, and the latter got angry and threatened to whack customers. The whole system was screwed up. Those who managed to get to the front have the advantage because the lucky strike has not been taken yet, while those at the back is at the mercy of those in front. The fucking furniture company treated customers like refugees waiting to get food from aid workers. Cantonese says, like hungry dog fighting over shit.

Quite some people gave up after queuing half way, while some get mad shouting "Don't push!" to those behind them. Some tried to crack jokes, while some trying to sweet talk the security guards in order to let them cutting queue. Finally, it was my turn. Well, no hurry, the lucky strike had been taken, so the only challenge is to grab as much as you can. These organizer was "no gentleman". After you grabbed your coins, you still have to put them in a smaller-than-your-hand plastic bag. You can't pick up whatever dropped in the process of putting coins into the bag. Hmm... stingy, I think.

This event was a disaster. Some us did not have our dinner yet. We started lining up and, of course, pushing since 8:55 pm and I had my turn at around 10:00 pm. I saw a few colleagues have the same angry face and wow not buy anything from this fucking fucniture company anymore. After "comparing notes" with colleagues, we found out that most of us got around RM20 per grab. If you spent RM 5000, and got back RM 25, that's just 0.5%. Is it worth the trouble next time? Oh, the answer is, there is no next time. Sorry, you have to pay the price for treating customers in such a manner. Furniture Arts (M) Sdn Bhd, we will never forgive you!

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