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What is the job of customer service? Customer service representatives (CSRs), often referred to as frontliners, are considered one of the most important members in an organization — at least on paper and in interviews. A quick Google search returns supports customers by providing helpful information, answering questions, and responding to complaints. True and what a great experience customers will get should the CSRs be able to perform exactly those. However, the main objective of customer service itself is — and to some extent, should be — much more than just that.

Thank you for calling

Right after college, I started my career in…

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If you’ve ever heard of or read the Upstream Parable, you already know where I’m going with this. But for those who haven’t, let me have a go at a slightly different version of it.

You and your friend are camping by the side of a river. Your conversation is all of a sudden interrupted by a cry for help coming from the nearby river. You and your friend run to check and see that a person is about to drown. With no time to think, both of you jump into the river and carry the person safely to land.

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One morning, as I was reading articles on my computer, I saw our 11-year-old in my peripheral vision sitting on the floor and staring blankly into space. As my attention switched to her, she noticed it and immediately said, “I’m not bored, okay? I’m just thinking,” and so I told her to carry on.

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve gotten is to allow yourself to daydream. There’s a reason why most ideas are hatched in the shower or (admittedly) while sitting on the toilet seat. …

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Going through one’s Facebook feed these days seem to produce more stress than the usual entertainment it provides. The omnipresent criticisms on the Philippine government’s handling of the COVID-19 situation and the never-ending back and forth between those who are for and against the current administration.

Also present in all this is the obvious and quite often reckless single perspective of people: either you are for or against the government. Last time I checked, there’s no law saying you needed to take sides.

But why do people like to think in binary terms? Plainly because it’s easy. As Hans Rosling…

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I started the year 2019 with the goal of launching yet another startup. I thought to myself: I’ve worked in several successful startups and I’ve read a lot of books about starting one, it’s about time to give it another shot. Five months down the road, I find myself in Singapore instead with a new job and yet another failed dream.

December last year, I was brimming with optimism. Thinking to myself, how hard could it be? This idea had been brewing in my head for two (or maybe three) years now and I thought it was the perfect time…

I didn’t plan on writing anything to end 2018. My wife had already done an amazing job writing about what we’re up against this coming year and it didn’t seem like I had the time to cook something up from scratch.

However, checking Facebook this morning, I saw thoughts I’ve shared in welcoming previous years (and to think I almost came to a point of deleting my account) through its Memories feature. It instantly reminded me how refreshing it felt to sum up an entire year in snippets even if only to look back later on.

Reflecting on what has…

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The landlord was kicking us out. Our lease had expired and our small startup company needed to hit the road soon. He was nice enough to let us keep the 200-square-meter office space for a couple more weeks but we had to vacate whichever things we still had in the adjacent warehouse. Inspired by how lean our operations were, he probably thought he could apply the same principles and expand their home improvement business, raking in more profit selling sanitary wares than simply renting out his warehouses.

We, on the other hand, were in the middle of moving to a…

Why do people all of a sudden change their entire perspective towards a person the moment they find out he or she is terminally ill and only have a finite number of days to live? On the same subject, why do people promptly come up with bucket lists once they find out they’re the one who’s ill and, most of the time, go out of their way to cross out as many as they can with the time they have left?

In Michael Lewis’ book The Undoing Project, he cited the psychologist Daniel Kahneman as saying, “The absence of definite…

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I’ve been working remotely — mostly from home — for the past two months. Certain circumstances in my job gave me the opportunity and one of them is a project in Thailand which I was managing. I’ve always seen remote work as something positive and productive. It helps the company save on costs while mostly leveraging on the employee and how he or she can save on time commuting to and from work and perhaps expenses on food.

It’s been something I’ve continuously fought for in our organization which was met with resistance due mostly to convention and distrust.


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Taking back time from technology

By the time you read this, my profile will still be up on Facebook but it won’t be generating new content for a while. I’ve decided [once again] to go on a social media hiatus deleting the Facebook app from my phone and logging off of Instagram in the process. I was recently on a business trip in Bangkok for a project I’m managing and I was able to spend some time by myself to really ponder on things I never seem to find time for.

I’m an extremely introverted person so flying to another country, it wasn’t a surprise…

Mike Sanchez

Married to one amazing woman. Dad to two humans & one Chihuahua. Jack of some trades. Chronic overthinker. 3x failed startup founder. INFJ AF. Views my own.

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