Hey, that "non" really came out of my head naturally!
I've also grad--ually started some food photography again in the past two weeks. I'm still trying to identify the best spot(s) at home on different parts of the day and have the tripod permanently standing by in one of the bedrooms. It's a whole new experience for me since the tripod only joined our household in the US. And because I'm "reconnecting" with my existing lenses, it also means I'm in no hurry to get the next one, especially since I no longer work. But if anyone generous is reading this, I was looking at the EF 50mm f/1.4 USM by Canon. Yes, if you would just write that down please... I don't deserve the f/1.2L because I'm not making a living out of it. But I wouldn't really fancy the f/1.8 II either. It is cheaper in Malaysia than in Singapore, by the way. Nonetheless, as said, I'm in no hurry so next year would be the good time.
ANYway... So how's life in Kuala Lumpur so far, you ask?
One thing we learned through all these (ie. purchase, delivery, installation of furniture, and not just from Ikea!) is that in Malaysia, anything that might go wrong would go wrong. No I'm not bad-mouthing my own country. I'm just being honest. I had to teach one guy the correct way to screw the cross-bars on the back of the Gorm shelves. I told him that had this been in Singapore, I would have asked him to bring the shelves back to Ikea and come back with a new one another day since he had drilled so many unnecessary holes due to his own incompetence. (Yes I know - he couldn't care less but I think he should know what a screw-up he had caused.)
On another day, the husband and I watched a newbie struggling to assemble one dining chair while his colleagues did four and three, respectively of the same chair, in the same period of time. We lost sleep over a highly reputable name in bedding all because the accompanying bed frame came with torn leather upholstery. As a result, much effort and time was wasted for both the delivery guys and us, just to rectify the situation.
We've also met a good spectrum of sales personnels. It is a pity when we walk into a shop with buying signals clearly flashing on our foreheads and yet, the sales rep was just kind of lukewarm. It's funny I was the one who felt the frustration of not having closed a sale that day! And then, there's this genius who even gave us the name of his company's supplier. An epic face-palm moment there! So we contacted the supplier instead. I swear I would have fired that guy on the spot had I been his employer. What a complete liability to the company!
Fortunately for that company though, the genius has a colleague in another showroom who was the ideal salesperson, at least in my books. (By the way, not many of our friends are aware that I did hardcore advertising sales for three years at the start of my working life in Singapore. I was grilled every, single, morning and evening by my team manager and regularly by my sales director back then. And I'm still thankful for what they did, but not that I want to go through it again.)
Anyway, this guy, E, is very likable. He is approachable, confident, helpful, decisive (he gave us the best price among his colleague and the supplier, probably because he's quite certain we'll be repeat customers), and sincere throughout his dealing with us. That's really professional. And yes, something did go wrong. The floor lamp that we bought from him was delivered with the wrong shade. Our friend took a taxi to personally bring over the shade we wanted that very afternoon itself. Okay, so it was also because the mall was just nearby and he could take the rest of the day off... but I think he deserved that treat for being such a bright fella. My point is this: you don't have to work extremely hard to be good in sales. Just work hard when you should.
And as for Murphy's Law, it applies here in Kuala Lumpur. The husband quipped over the weekend -- he read an article in which Meg Whitman, the CEO of Hewlett-Packard, talked about the mess that was the company -- "You do not get what you expect. You get what you inspect."
Well, Ms Whitman might be comforted to know it's not just HP.