Priorities - A: high, B: medium, C: low; Status - _: unfinished, X: finished, C: cancelled, P: pending, o: in progress, >: delegated. Covey quadrants - Q1 & Q3: urgent, Q1 & Q2: important
BXWrite Carlos Perez
BXWrite Prof. Chignell (grad)


1. Horrible customer service

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I took a taxi just to make it to my 4:00 appointment at DermLink, a small dermatology clinic along Arnaiz Ave. near Park Square 1. I made it there by 4:05. The receptionist retrieved my record, which indeed had "Tuesday 4:00" written on it. However, there was no available slot, so they asked me to wait.

After finishing an entire magazine (cover to cover, including articles on swimsuits and makeup and all of these things I'd ordinarily not even glance at) and sketching a stool (complete with shadows from two light sources), I looked up at the clock. Thirty minutes had passed without a word, an apology, or even an estimate of how much longer I would need to wait.

Eventually the middle bay cleared and I was asked to recline on the elevated bed. I had scarcely settled in when the assistant was told to transfer the person in the far bay to the bed I was in the process of occupying, so I put my glasses back on, gathered my things, and moved to the next bay.

As the assistant smeared cream on my face and wiped it off with a sponge, she kept asking me: "Are your meds complete?" It took me a while to realize that she was asking about my medication. I said yes. Not that I would know if it was complete or not, but hey, we sat through the song-and-dance yesterday and my mom bought whatever the dermatologist was pushing. A short while later, she (or another assistant) asked again, "Are your meds complete?" I was starting to get really annoyed about the hard sell, but I decided that it wouldn't be wise to piss off people who are working on your face.

So I patiently waited... and waited... and waited... I even fell asleep at some point. When I woke up, I heard the whir of machinery from the next unit. After a short pause, I heard the dermatologist's voice from the unit near the door, giving another consultation. It was probably the exact pitch she'd used on us last week; no questions, but rather just a high-speed rattling-off of things one needs to buy.

I turned my head and affixed the assistant with an impatient glare. That netted me nothing more than a perfunctory "Please wait a while." I tried to settle back down, but I simply couldn't stand that kind of service. I got up, pulled the towel headband off my hair, and stormed off, telling them I really couldn't wait any longer and that their customer service could _really_ be improved. Then I left. Looking back, I wish I'd said something stronger, but disappointment choked my voice and I still haven't gotten over that innate dislike of making a scene.

I stalked through Glorietta searching for some place that would make me feel like they valued my business. I was annoyed. No, I was more than annoyed--I was aggravated. I felt terrible wasting all that time at DermLink. I thought going to a regular dermatologist would be better than just going to a skin clinic and having a facial, but that place just sucked. This wasn't the first time I'd had to wait without explanation, and I should've clued in that first day and refused to go for any more treatment there. Sheesh.

I ended up going for a really painful facial at Let's Face It, but at least people there smiled, attended to me promptly, and explained what they were doing.

If I'm going to go for this entire dermatology thing, I'd like to have a dermatologist who'll ask me about what I eat and how I live; who'll find a way for me to keep eating chocolate, who'll tell me what to do when I have pimples the day before I expect pictures to be taken... If I can't have that, then I'd rather not have clear skin than put up with customer service as bad as DermLink's.

Moral lesson: Customer service is very important. Keep your customers in the loop. Don't let them feel neglected. Care about them; make them feel special instead of just another source of income for you.


I was thinking of heading back to DermLink and really giving them a piece of my mind, but then I passed by National Bookstore and I got sucked in. Still.

Oh, well. Good lesson in how personally annoying bad service can be.

この写真の猫を見かけたら、お電話ください。 Please call us when you see the cat in this picture.

Warren also grips:

I don't think companies in Manila understand the meaning of "customer service". A very good example is PLDT :). Another one is one of the biggest bank in Manila; METROBANK. They have like 40 clients in queue and they only have 1 teller serving them. My GOD!!! I don't know where the Managers/Supervisors of these organizations obtained their degree.

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2. PIM love

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I am completely in love with my latest indispensable personal information management tool:

A 3x5 deck of plain (unruled) index cards.

Seriously. A 3x5 deck of plain index cards and a writing implement like a black gel pen, a black 0.5 Pilot Hi-Techpoint (which just gives me a great feeling) or a Mongol #2 pencil is my geek survival kit.


I can write temporary notes on index cards. It's random-access, so I can flip through things. The plastic neatly holds business cards and folded pieces of paper. If I need to give people information, I can write on new 3x5 cards and give the cards to them--they're tougher than paper, so they won't get lost or crumpled as easily.

I lurv my index cards.

E-Mail to plug's chit-chat list

その猫はもう少しでトラックにひかれそうになった。 The cat came near being run over by a truck.

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3. Open source licenses

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http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/opensources/book/brian.html has a good explanation of the differences between popular open source licenses.

その少年たちはかわいい猫と一緒に2人きりで暮らしていた。 The two boys lived alone with a lovely cat.

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4. Title suggestions

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From Jan Alonzo:

I think the reason why I mentioned "Planning the Unplanned" is because we plan (and prioritize) the stuff we want to do for the day, analyse it, and see how much "procrastination time" we have for that day. By looking at your tasks, you kinda think "Oh I've got a bit of _space_ here, let's read some email. That sort of thing. Well, at least, that's how I think anyway :-).

From Clair:

Hehehe. M-x plan. I like it as a title for your blog. Very appropriate :D

From Gerd Flaig:

How do you like the term 'agile planning'?

From Paul Lussier:

Just read your blog on procrastination. It might amuse you to know that I coined the term (with my best friend Celeste) "Productive Procrastination" over 15 years ago! :)

I'm sure we weren't the first to come up with, what with me being one of the wholly most un-original people on this planet. But Celeste and I would constantly "help" each other "productively procrastinate" on a regular basis. The definition of "Productive Procrastination" is:

The avoidance of doing something mostly uninteresting by doing something else which also legitimately needs to be accomplished, but probably not nearly as urgently as that task which you are attempting to avoid.

Often times this would be in the form of studying for one class in order to avoid studying for another. Or working on a CS project which was due soon, but not nearly as soon as the impending calculus exam :) Just today infact, I avoided building 2 Windows laptops by figuring out how to extend planner! I'm sure you get the point...

I've recently (in the past year or so) come across another term for my "Productive Procrastination":

Shaving the Yak

as defined here:


So, you have my vote in favor of using "Productive Procrastination" as your wiki title :)

Hey, that sounds like structured procrastination, mentioned by an essay I read a year ago or so...

Mmkay, let's try "productively procrastinating". (Title of the day!)

猫は捕らえたネズミを引き裂き始めた。 The cat began to tear at the mouse it caught.

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Avoid the Gates of Hell.  Use Linux
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