Friday, September 28, 2007

Caneling a concert because of bad ticket sales?

Not sure if it's just rumor, quite a good deal of people told me that the Twins concert was canceled because of bad ticket sales. If this is the truth, I'll be so disappointed and it doesn't quite make sense to me.

Yes, they probably have saved quite a bunch of money by canceling the concert. Shrine Auditorium probably still charged them some fee (they canceled only around one week before the concert, don't tell me that you can get away without paying anything), the money they lost for not bringing the whole crew here (airplane tickets, hotel, food, etc) could still be less than holding the concert and getting the "little amount" of money from ticket sales. In other words, they lost lesser money by canceling the concert.

However, there's also intangible cost of canceling the concert: people lose trust in them. Will you hesitate a bit before buying their concert tickets next time? I bet you will. The thing that pisses me off is that no one ever officially announces the reason of the cancellation. And you know what, their official website at EEGmusic still shows the ad of the concert as if it hasn't been canceled at all. This is just so unprofessional.

I once heard a singer saying that "As long as there's still one person in the audience, I'll continue to perform". This is an truly admirable and professional act; the question is, how many artists do NOT think that it's BS? Cash is the king, right? (sigh)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

All I Ask of You - Andrew Lloyd Webber

Wonderful music, wonderful lyrics... What a song for a rainy night...
No more talk of darkness,
forget these wide-eyed fears;
I'm here, nothing can harm you,
my words will warm and calm you.

Let me be your freedom,
let daylight dry your tears;
I'm here, with you, beside you,
to guard you and to guide you.

Say you'll love me every waking moment;
turn my head with talk of summertime.

Say you need me with you now and always;
promise me that all you say is true,
that's all I ask of you.

Let me be your shelter,
let me be your light;
you're safe, no one will find you,
your fears are far behind you.

All I want is freedom,
a world with no more night;
and you, always beside me,
to hold me and to hide me.

Then say you'll share with me one love, one lifetime;
let me lead you from you solitude.
Say you need me with you, here beside you,
anywhere you go, let me go too,
that's all I ask of you.

Say you'll share with me one love, one lifetime.
Say the word and I will follow you.

Share each day with me, each night, each morning.

Say you love me...
You know I do.

Love me, that's all I ask of you.

Anywhere you go let me go too
Love me...
that's all I ask of you.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Twins Concert is canceled!!

Just got this news: The Twins Concert that was supposed to held in Shrine Auditorium on next Tuesday has been canceled... Don't know why they did that but you sure can get a refund from the place where you purchased the tickets. If you have doubt about what I said you can check out this page on Ticketmaster. It's also marked canceled there... (-___- )

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Three things I hate about Flash websites

There're three things I hate about Flash websites:
  • Cannot use the browser's back/forward buttons
  • Cannot use the scroll wheel of my mouse
  • Cannot highlight text and do a copy and paste (so I have to manually type the address of the restaurant in Google Maps to find out how to get there)
As beautiful as a Flash website can be, has Adobe ever thought about these usability issues and try to address them? It just annoys me so much! (>__< )

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sales Skills 101: Give Customers an Option

A few months ago I joined a DVD rental club called Vclub located in the San Gabriel Square. The idea of the store is pretty simple:
  • The DVD renting machines operate 24/7
  • You use their machines to return DVDs, browse the catalog and get DVDs. No human is involved in the process
  • There's no limit on how long you can rent a DVD, but you can only keep 1 or 2 DVDs (depends on your plan) at one time
  • There's no limit on how many DVDs you would like to watch in one year (or one month, depends on your plan)
  • You can reserve a DVD using their website
When you sign up as a member, they also give you some credits so that you can use them to trade for their gifts, such as a DVD player (not sure if this is still true though). One bad thing about it is that they don't really have DVDs for TVB's series and those are usually the ones I like to watch.

So, I thought to myself,

"Hmmm what should I do? On one hand, I really would like to get a region free DVD player. On the other hand, I'm not really interested in TV series other than the ones from TVB, so I may not end up watching that many of them, which is not worth the money..."

"There's no hurry! You can go home and think about it and come back anytime if you're interested," said the salesgirl with a sweet smile on her face.

So I left the store and thought about the deal as I wandered around the plaza. At last, I went back and signed up as a member.

And it turned out that TV series produced by mainland China were pretty good too :P

As good as the TV series from China can be, however, I would not have signed up if not because of the excellent attitude that salesgirl had when she tried to sell the membership to me.

I'm a very detail-oriented person, so you can guess that I have asked her quite a lot of questions about the plan. She patiently answered all the questions and explained to me until I got all the details right. When I was about to leave, not only didn't she give me any pressure, she greeted me happily and welcomed me to come back if I was interested.

If you are/want to be a salesperson, remember this: always, SINCERELY, give the customer an option to say no to your product/service.

This is perhaps the No. 1 rule a salesperson should abide by, and it's so obviously true, right? Believe it or not, MANY, MANY salespeople that I encountered before have absolutely no idea about it. (Or, they know about it but choose to ignore it, which is like knowing that studying will improve you grade but you choose to be lazy)

When you try to sell something to a customer, the customer isn't merely buying the product/service. S/he is also buying your attitude: the tone of your voice, your facial expression, your body movements, your smile, basically everything the customer can perceive from you. No matter how tiny it is, the customer can feel it.

You want to sell something to earn a commission, trust me, the customer knows about it (Duh, you're a salesperson). There's just no need to convey any additional message about how much you want to sell (such as frowning when the customer says no).

What the customer cares about is whether s/he needs the product/service, and, actually even more important, whether s/he is happy buying it from you.

Frown at me when I say no to you? Even I need it, I won't buy it from you; there're always some other people selling the same stuff. I'll probably ask my friends not to go to your store too.

Sincerely give me the option to buy it from you or your competitor? Even if I don't buy it from you this time, I'll definitely visit your store again and perhaps buy some other products and refer my friends to you.

If you can't even do this simple thing, that is, giving customers an option, don't be a salesperson, do something else. Both your boss and customers will thank you for your decision :P

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Hugging this Minute (抱擁這分鐘) - Eason

Not until I tried to sing this song did I realize that it's very difficult.. Many portions of the song require you to sustain your voice in a high pitch for a long time (~__~ ) But it's a really good song :)

Updates: There's one line in the lyrics that I like a lot:

You are the one who makes me happiest, but you also are the one who makes me the saddest.

The person whom you love the most is the one who can hurt you the most, isn't that so true?

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Saving a friendship by YELLING

Recently I had some conflicts with a friend and it made me think of an incident long time ago.

In my high school years, I had a very good friend whom I hanged out with almost every day. He was smart not only in terms of IQ but he also taught me lots of valuable life philosophies. Since he was good at academics, I always went to his home and studied together.

One time, I went to his home to get back a cassette type I borrowed him. He wasn't at home but his brother was there and he opened the door for me. I went into his room and saw the cassette type so I just grabbed it and there I left.

After I went home, my friend called me.

"Hey man what's up?" I said.

"How dared you go into my room without asking for my permission first?!" He roared.

"I just went into your room to get back my tape..."

"You weren't in such a hurry to get it back right?? You should have waited for me to go back home and asked for it!!"

And then he hanged up on me.

I was pretty mad at that moment since I didn't think that I have done such a BAD thing that deserved to be yelled at like that. I even swore that I wouldn't talk to him anymore.

Surprisingly, he called me back after a few minutes.

"Hey man, I'm sorry about my attitude. I shouldn't have yelled at you like that," he apologized. "But you really should have let me know before going to my home."

And then we talked and talked and we're still good friends with each other now, more than ten years afterwards.

Now when I look back at the incident, I figure out why it happened in the first place. Back then, I lived in a very small flat with my family. I didn't really have the concept of "room"; the "room" I slept in was shared with my two sisters, so there wasn't any privacy at all. As I never "experienced" privacy, naturally I didn't feel any need of it.

My friend, on the contrary, had his own room. Probably due to his character and family, he didn't easily open up himself to his friends. So, it was reasonable that he would want to protect his "private space", his room. And me, lacking similar experience, couldn't really understand his thoughts, which was reasonable too.

Wait, how can both parties be reasonable? If there's an argument, one party has to be wrong, right?

There's no right or wrong here. It's just that we didn't understand each other.

Guess what would have happened if he didn't call and yell at me? We probably would stop talking to each other and a great friendship would have come to an and because of such a silly and tiny thing.

Now both of us have grown up and, by society's norms, we probably won't confront our friends in such a direct manner. If some friends do something stupid/irritating, we probably will just hide our anger deep inside and still smile at them. Unconsciously, however, we'll try to avoid those friends and, eventually, lose contact with them forever.

I'm so, so, so sad when this happens to me, and, unfortunately, things like this did happen. I've at least lost one very good friend in this way. Probably because I did something stupid or insensitive, that friend suddenly started ignoring me. Up until today I still want to know what happened and apologize to him if I did do something that hurt him... (-____- )

What do I want to say in this post?

If a so-so friend does something that angers you, maybe you can choose to ignore him/her forever.

If a close friend does similar thing, however, you probably should talk to or, if you can't suppress your anger, at least yell at him/her. By doing so, your friend would know what has happened and may resolve the conflict.

Think about it, rarely does someone want to hurt his/her friends. The reason is usually the differences among our values; one thing that's completely okay with me can well be a disaster to you.

Don't give up a friend easily... (*____* )

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Defend the Yellow River (保衛黃河) - Yin Chengzong

This is the last movement of the concerto. It's also my favorite movement among the four. It is a little bit weird for it to show the photo of Mao Zedong near the end of the song though.. Should politics and music be separated? (O___O )

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Yellow River In Anger (黃河憤) - Yin Chengzong

This is the third movement. The melody actually sounds pretty happy in the beginning and it shows the "anger" of the Yellow River in the later half. I especially like the playing of the Chinese flute since I played it in high school before.. Not sure if I still remember how to play if I'm given one now though :P

Monday, September 3, 2007

Ode to the Yellow River (黃河頌) - Yin Chengzong

This is the second movement of the Yellow River Piano Concerto. In contrast with the vividness of the first movement, this movement praises the grandeur of the Yellow River. Third movement coming up next :)

Saturday, September 1, 2007

The Song of the Yellow River Boatmen (黃河船夫曲) - Yin Chengzong

The first time I listened to the Yellow River Piano Concerto I was still very small, probably around ten years old. I have been loving it since then. This recital was performed by Yin Chengzong and I think it's one of the best performances of the Yellow River Concerto despite the fact that it was recorded long time ago (in the 60's).

Note: If you can read Chinese, here's a little story about his life after he moved to New York :)