Useless morning

21Dec06

Since my first day as a student in Malaysia, I have been a subscriber of celcom, the oldest cellular company in the country, owned by Telekom Malaysia. Being the oldest celluar company, I kinda expected to receive premium services even tough I’m just a prepaid customer. Until recently, the service had not dissapoint me. While other operators had had glitches, network downs, and strange occurences of sudden loss of credits, they do not happened with celcom. Until recently I had no complaints.

Like in any other countries, in Malaysia, cellular subscriber are obliged to register their SIM cards to the respective cellular companies. Reduces the possibility of fraud and misuses, are probably the reason. I had been hearing about that since like four months ago. But, when I bought my starter pack, the outlet attendance asked for my ID and other credentials. So I tought it was safe to assume that I had been registered.

Three days ago, I had a SMS delivered to my inbox, that says “Your X-Pak account has been barred, please register to the nearest celcom branch”. The first thing I did was searching for the nearest branch off the company website. It was a futile task.

The celcom website clearly is not designed with helping visitors finding what they need, fast, in mind. I can imagine the designer as a lonely person who love flash alot and thinks that the world is cruel to him so he must be cruel back.

The main page is dominated by a huge flash which loaded slugishly (and when it did, turns out it’s just a commercial spot. The top line contained three links, none leads to list of branches. Not even a shrewd of information stating how to register our SIM cards. Search function was not functioning.

If it wasn’t for my friend, who already registered, told me that there is one branch in ‘Ipoh Parade’, I would have to rummage entire Ipoh to find one. So there I was, early in the morning (well, 10:00 am exactly) only to find the branch was still closed. I waited, walked around, took some breakfast, walked around some more, spent another hour walking around listlessly and went to check back the counter which, miraculously, still closed.

I decided to visit a bookstore (as I always did when wandering listlessly in a shopping mall). I just received my Popular bookstore membership card, and decided to try the 10% discount. Found a good book (Hawking’s Brief History of Time, at only RM 29), took it, look for a nice spot where I could sit and watch the celcom counter, found one, opened my book and drown my self reading cosmology for lay mens.

Finally the counter was opened (it was at staggering 11:30). An attendance was standing in the counter, throwing vampiric smile at just about every one passed by. I rush towards the counter, stated my intention, only to find that she didn’t speak english. At least not the kind that is comprehensible to me. So I throw in a couple of improvised Malay, along with some nicely-intended gestures, which seemed to work. She asked my credential, I gave her. She pecked something in the keyboard and returned my ID card. Done, she said.

That’s it?

That is it, she said. Still tirelessly maintaining her hauntingly calm smirk.  

That was fast. That was a useless use of my morning time, which even if I didn’t wonder around listlessly in a quiet shopping mall, I didn’t know what to used it for. Well perhaps I did know, but I still wouldn’t do it anyway.

There, it’s done. I took off. Wondering, at the bus stop going back, what was the point of all that was happened to me in that entire morning. Failed to found any. I turned over to my new Hawking’s, and got so tangled in it I missed three bus.

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