When life gives you lemons, make apple juice and watch as they wonder how the hell you did it.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

More Than Just Your Average Center

An Experiential Report

            Being part of the Call Center Industry is absolutely quaint for me. Though it is generally accepted that someone who hailed from a Communications course would definitely be accepted as a call center agent, I was still half-hearted when my name was finally called for an interview.
            Cold and comfortable. If there were applicable words to describe what a call center is, these words would be it. The cold breeze was adding up to the fright I was then feeling apparently while I was queued up for the interview. What more freezing field my seat – the place, had become when my name was called.
            I am not new to the call center industry for my friends usually talk about it. From different Aux Numbers to the Hard Phones; expensive headsets to some irate customers, name those things, I have heard them from my friends and perhaps this one of the reasons why I was attracted and beguiled to apply at one. I had some conversations with my pals and they have described a call center as a different place where it either resets your body clock or destroys your social life. Also, this place gives you an avenue to progress your communication and social skills. For whatever those things are worth, I could not have cared less. Though financially fulfilling, being a call center agent, to summarize things all up, is a major endeavor select few have conquered.
            Basically, almost all of my friends have been a part of a call center – or in its mundane factor, have been working even before Internship 2 started. They had stuffs bought by their sole hard work and I thought it would be cool if I would be able to do such things. Their pay was not below 20,000. I honestly believed that was a thousand times above being modest and a thousand times below being frugal. I have got to experience this type of job, I reckoned.
            What gave things away for me to try this endeavor was when Internship 2 was opened up to us. From Internship 1 which was a mandatory Print Media Associations, I was endorsed at Summit Media, which, I really think, had been a wonderful experience. I have had the blast of my life serving at the biggest publisher in the Philippines – not to mention their variety of local and international magazines. Blessing was my opportunity to proofread all the major magazines from August – November 2012. I can say that I can see a future in this field, considering that I took up Journalism to begin with. But to end by, I also come to that realization that passion would not be sustainable.
            That mini heart attack that one feels when they get over-excited? I felt that when our professor told us that we can venture into the concrete jungle called real life. Professor Cherry C. Pebre gave us this wonderful opportunity to craft our own destiny and tomorrow. She gave us freewill and liberty because she did not give us any constraints in choosing any field of profession we would want to go in to and become an intern. She introduced to us the inculcation of the Allied Media.
            Professor Pebre led us to a better understanding of what is the sole purpose of being an intern – and that is to be accepted in a company because of one’s invaluable service and impeccable understanding of the company’s existence. This alone made me love Internship 2. This alone gave me newer perspectives in life as a graduating student. So I have decided to pursue an internship with TeleTech Holdings, Inc.
            The moment I shook hands with my interviewer, I knew at that moment, I was accepted. And by far, it had been one of the most defining moments of my life. Working, or as I liked to coin it, performing for TeleTech was a blast.
            The training days were as cool as the production days. I was endorsed to a dayshift account – which I think pretty much destroyed what I originally signed up for. The training started a week after I was hired. That was 17th of December. I was extremely very afraid but judging from my experiences with computers and my ability to distinguish and troubleshoot connections to the Internet and telephone cables, I am pretty sure that I can do well. And what I reckoned was true. I was endorsed to Telstra BigPond – ADSL Technical Support Level 1. In comparison, Telstra is like the PLDT – MyDSL of Australia. Telstra is a telecommunications company located at Victoria, Australia and is the biggest tycoon in Australia owning as much as 85% of all the cable lines in Australia.
            The training was divided into two parts : Cultural Immersion and Product Training. Since this is not an international account, Cultural immersion is an important part because Australia is known as a British Colony so technically, their accents, culture and people are far different from that of other leading countries such as the United States of America. The Product Training is all about the work nature itself – which is trying to identify the problems that our loyal customers might be experiencing.
            Not to be boastful but in both classes, I was ranked number one out of 20 agents. Considering that I am a newbie, and almost half of my teammates have had call center experience, I was even elected to be a Team Leader trainee for a week and my team trusted me as much as I trusted them. The feedback they gave made me realize that I have been an exemplary leader and it made me cry knowing that they still wanted me to be their team leader. I have never met such an awesome group and I could not have asked for anything more.
            This team leader thingy made me earn a spot at the ranking of all TeleTech employees around the globe. The ranking is showed in over the intranet site of TeleTech and to my surprise, out of the 1,000 senior associates of the account Telstra BigPond, I ranked 414th. This is a first because usually, new-hires do not even go at the rank of 500th. It brings me extreme joy to know that a neophyte like me can be able to reach greater heights with the help of the people around me.
            I learned more than enough during my stay at TeleTech Holdings, Inc. It taught me the true value of camaraderie both in and out of the working field. It taught me the value of character and competence. It made me realize that money matters but not to the extent that one should let it govern your life. Being a call center agent for quite some time made me realize the values of how important things in life are; how important time is and how such a shame should be given to those who carelessly waste it; and that life, no matter how hard it is, becomes easy with the proper mindset.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I Can't Work Buddy - Google Docs

The pains of the old days.

If there is something that Google does not have, it does NOT exist. True Story.

Cloud computing -- a networked computer system that harnesses the resources of several servers to complete tasks and store data -- is shaping up to be the next big trend in the computing industry. Traditionally, only a few people could access the processing power of a supercomputer. With cloud computing, practically anyone could tap into that sort of power.

Since the debut of the personal computer, we've become used to storing information either on an external storage device like a compact disc or on a computer's hard drive. We're also conditioned to buy new machines or upgrade old ones whenever applications require more processing power than our current computers can provide. With cloud computing, the responsibility of storage and processing power falls to the network, not the individual computer owner.

Although it's a relatively young industry, many companies offer cloud computing services. One of those companies is Google. The Internet giant offers a suite of Web-based productivity applications under the name Google Docs. While these applications aren't as complex or comprehensive as the leading desktop counterparts, they have other advantages over traditional software.

The most obvious of these advantages is that the applications aren't tied to a specific computer. There's no need to download and install software on a particular machine. Any computer connected to the Internet can access Google Docs. Because each user saves information to the cloud system, he or she can access the same file from anywhere. Users don't have to worry about which version of a document is the most current -- it will always be saved in the Google cloud.

Another advantage is that multiple users can make edits to the same files at the same time. This is calledonline collaboration, and it could streamline teamwork over the Web. Because Google Docs preserves earlier versions of documents, there's no reason to worry about irrevocably changing a file. Collaborating on files might mean changing the way we think about document management. But it might also mean project managers can save time and effort.

What exactly can Google Docs do?

The perfect companion for everything.

At its heart, Google Docs is a suite of online productivity software. That means it's a collection of applications that make it easier to produce the kinds of files commonly used in corporate environments: documents, spreadsheets andpresentations.

The Google word processing program started out as a product named Writely created by a company called Upstartle. Google acquired Upstartle in 2006 and began the process of converting Writely into a Google-branded product [source: InformationWeek]. The program allows users to create and edit documents online. Multiple users can access the document at the same time, making it easier for teams to collaborate on projects.

Likewise, the spreadsheet function in Google Docs started out as another company's project. A startup company called XL2Web developed a collaboration application called 2Web Technologies. Google acquired XL2Web and gave the team the resources they needed to develop the spreadsheets application [source:Business Review]. Like most spreadsheet programs, Google's application allows users to create tables, charts and graphs. The application has most of the basic functions of desktop spreadsheet programs, including sorting, filtering and formula calculations.

The story is much the same for the presentation application in Google Docs. Google acquired Tonic Systems, a company that developed a suite of Java-based presentation software. Tonic's development team transitioned to Google and modified the software to integrate with the rest of Google's products [source: The Official Google Blog].

The resulting application looks like a basic desktop presentation program. Presentations consist of slides. There are five basic slide layouts users can choose when building a presentation. Google also gives users more than a dozen choices in presentation themes. The application also includes basic functions like image and video support, autoshapes and text boxes.

None of the applications within the Google Docs suite are as robust or versatile as the leading desktop productivity software packages. But Google updates the suite often, adding new features and capabilities. While the applications don't have all the bells and whistles of other software packages, they do meet basic user needs. And while Google Docs might not do everything other products can do, it does have several features that set it apart from the rest of the pack.


This is a way of facing those mates with NO TIME making a collaborative work. We have the Internet; We have Google!

Enjoy this innovation of document making fellow 9gaggers and readers.

-this is legit 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Value for Money - The Best Groupons Around

Lost Chances, lost chances...

That moment when you value your money...

Group what?!

Groupon (a portmanteau derived from "group coupon") is a deal-of-the-day website that features discounted gift certificates usable at local or national companies. Groupon was launched in November 2008, and the first market for Groupon was Chicago, followed soon thereafter by Boston, New York City, and Toronto. As of October 2010, Groupon serves more than 150 markets in North America and 100 markets in Europe, Asia and South America and has amassed 35 million registered users.

The idea for Groupon was created by now-CEO and Pittsburgh native Andrew Mason. The idea subsequently gained the attention of his former employer, Eric Lefkofsky, who provided $1 million in "seed money" to develop the idea. In April 2010, the company was valued at $1.35 billion. According to a December 2010 report conducted by Groupon's marketing association and reported in Forbes Magazine and the Wall Street Journal, Groupon was "projecting that the company is on pace to make $1 billion in sales faster than any other business, ever". However, a report from Forrester Research in October 2011 suggested that the Groupon business model was a "disaster", and that the firm had become an example of "how fast an Internet darling can fall."

In its first earnings release as a public company, Groupon reported a fourth-quarter 2011 loss of $9.8 million on an adjusted basis, disappointing investors.

What are its markets? 

Groupon breaks into new markets by identifying successful local businesses, first by sending in an advance squadron of employees to research the local market; when it finds a business with outstanding reviews, salespeople approach it and explain the model, and use social marketing sites such as Facebook to further promote the idea.

Groupon serves 500 markets and 44 countries, the many major geographic markets internationally include cites in the United States, Canada, Taiwan, Brazil, Germany, Greece, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, the United Kingdom, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Puerto Rico, Japan, Turkey, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Colombia, South Korea, Sweden, Argentina, the United Arab Emirates, Norway, Romania, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Mainland China, Russia and South Africa .

In Australia, development of Groupon has been slow owing to legal disputes between Groupon and an Australian company, Scoopon. Groupon now operates in Australia as "Stardeals" while the legal problems are worked out.

On February 19, 2011 The Wall Street Journal reported that Groupon was preparing to launch in China.

Groupon is also expanding into the MENA region with its launch of Groupon UAE on June 16, 2011.

Groupon New Zealand launched on 10 May 2011.

Even we can't see this image clearly. :) (http://9gag.com/gag/79512 )


We rounded up a list of 10 Groupon alternatives to help you find the best deals in your city. Check them out:

1. LivingSocial
Massage galore.

Just like Groupon, LivingSocial sends you a deal each day to use at a local business. You purchase the deals, and then receive a link to your voucher within the next business day. After you buy the deal, you'll get a unique link to share. Then, if three people buy the deal using your link, your deal is free. Deals vary widely in category, from restaurant discounts, to spa treatments, to pottery painting. Plus, right now until December 13, you can get buy-one-get-one-free deals on many LivingSocial deals. LivingSocial also has an iPhone app to get deals sent straight to your iPhone.

2. BuyWithMe

BuyWithMe is along the same lines as Groupon or Living Social, but unlike those two sites, BuyWithMe isn't necessarily a one-day-only type of deal. You usually have a few days to buy the deal, which is nice since you don't have to make snap decisions. The site is unique in that each deal requires a minimum number of people to sign up before the deal expires in order for it to go through for everyone. So, if the minimum isn't reached, you're not charged for the deal that you're not getting.

3. Tippr

Another collective buying site is Tippr. The model is the same: subscribe to the e-mails by selecting the daily deal newsletter for your city. Ulike Groupon and LivingSocial, you'll get three deals a day from Tippr instead of just one. The site stands out from other collective buying sites because as more people buy a deal, the discounts get larger for everyone who buys it. So, a deal you think you're getting for $25 can go down to $20 by the time the deal-buying window has closed. Once it has closed, you'll receive a voucher via e-mail. Another of Tippr's unique feature is that it provides a 100 percent price guarantee, so you can feel confident that you're getting the best price when you buy a deal from Tippr.

4. DealOn

DealOn sends you daily e-mails with a deal for you to buy within 24 hours. Like Tippr, DealOn gives you the day's lowest price after the deal window has closed. For example, today's deal started at $35, but is now down to $33. The lowest price it will go to is $31, but the deal has a value of $70, so you're saving over 50 percent already. The goal with both DealOn and Tippr is to share the deal with others to help drive down the price.
Who could resist Kgbdeals with these wines!

5. Kgbdeals

Saving anywhere from 50 percent to 90 percent on activities, clothes, and food is something you can't pass up. Kgbdeals offers a handful of bargains each day. Right now, there are seven deals being offered on the site. Every day brings a new deal, but some expire quickly or are a limited quantity, while other deals are held open for several days. Typically, deals end at midnight.

6. HomeRun

HomeRun is very similar to Tippr and DealOn in the group buying aesthetic. The more people that buy the deal, the more the discount. HomeRun offers new deals each day, and sends a daily e-mail to inform you of the fresh offers. There are currently three deals for sale on HomeRun's site. It covers all areas, such as spas, salons, restaurants, events, and more.

7. BloomSpot

BloomSpot is slightly different from the previous sites mentioned. BloomSpot offers exclusive deals on luxury restaurants, spas, weekend getaways, and more. You're going to be spending a little bit more money on these deals. For example, you can buy classic European bikes starting at $396, a stay in the Equinox Resort in Vermont -- starting at $117 per night, and going up to $552 a night--, or a New Year's Eve champagne cruise under the Brooklyn Bridge for $599.

8. ScoutMob

And now for something completely different. There are sites like ScoutMob that basically give you the same discount you would get from buying a deal, but you can get the discount for free. Here's how it works: You sign up, get a daily e-mail with a discount to a restaurant in your city (usually 30 percent to 50 percent off), and click the "Get It Free" button. You will then have the option of having the coupon code sent to your e-mail, or to your phone. So, instead of, for example, paying $20 for $40 worth of food via Groupon, you're getting the 50 percent off coupon to spend as much as you want at the restaurant. Kind of a nice change of pace from the style of the previous deals.

Scoutmob is available in select cities, including San Fransisco, New York, and Atlanta, but it will soon be offered for Seattle, Los Angeles, Springfield, Denver, Dallas, Austin, Chicago, Nashville, Washington DC, and Boston.

9. Blackboard Eats
The Blackboard you never knew you had.

Similar to ScoutMob, Blackboard Eats delivers exclusive deals for top restaurants and on artisanal culinary products. Restaurants and merchants cannot and do not pay to be featured on BlackoardEats like they do on the other sites mentioned. Instead, according to the site, "Featured restaurants and products are selected by our seasoned food editors and reviewed anonymously by writers from publications including Gourmet, Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, Saveur, and Zagat. To maintain objectivity and honesty, BlackboardEats pays for all of its writers' meals, and never accepts comps." The site tells you what you must try at each restaurant, a price range, as well as other helpful information. Simply sign up, get the e-mail, click "Get This Special," and the passcode will be sent to your e-mail. Some restrictions apply, so check each deal carefully.

10. Deal Aggregator Sites: The Dealmap / Dealery / Yipit

As you can see, there are a ton of these group-buying sites. It can be a little overwhelming, and your e-mail inbox can look like mine (with 20 different deal e-mails waiting for me each morning). If you want to clear the clutter, there are sites like Dealery, Yipit, and the Dealmap, that round up all those offers flying around your inbox.


These are apparently the best and truthful groupons you will ever have! Enjoy dealing with combos and promos!

Have a blast with the summer promos fellow 9gaggers and readers!

-this is legit

Honey, I Changed Our Money - E-Banking

Perhaps everything will have its electronic form two days from now...


Transactions made easier and ergonomic.
Online Banking For The Win...

Online banking (or Internet banking or E-banking) allows customers of a financial institution to conduct financial transactions on a secure website operated by the institution, which can be a retail or virtual bank, credit union or building society.

To access a financial institution's online banking facility, a customer having personal Internet access must register with the institution for the service, and set up some password (under various names) for customer verification. The password for online banking is normally not the same as for telephone banking. Financial institutions now routinely allocate customer numbers (also under various names), whether or not customers intend to access their online banking facility. Customer numbers are normally not the same as account numbers, because a number of accounts can be linked to the one customer number. The customer will link to the customer number any of those accounts which the customer controls, which may be cheque, savings, loan, credit card and other accounts.

To access online banking, the customer would go to the financial institution's website, and enter the online banking facility using the customer number and password. Some financial institutions have set up additional security steps for access, but there is no consistency to the approach adopted.

There goes the tag name.
How did it start? 

The precursor for the modern home online banking services were the distance banking services over electronic media from the early 1980s. The term online became popular in the late '80s and referred to the use of a terminal, keyboard and TV (or monitor) to access the banking system using a phone line. ‘Home banking’ can also refer to the use of a numeric keypad to send tones down a phone line with instructions to the bank. Online services started in New York in 1981 when four of the city’s major banks (Citibank, Chase Manhattan, Chemical and Manufacturers Hanover) offered home banking services using the videotext system. Because of the commercial failure of videotext these banking services never became popular except in France where the use of videotext (Minitel) was subsidized by the telecom provider and the UK, where the Prestel system was used.

The UK's first home online banking services were set up by Bank of Scotland for customers of the Nottingham Building Society (NBS) in 1983. The system used was based on the UK's Prestel system and used a computer, such as the BBC Micro, or keyboard (Tandata Td1400) connected to the telephone system and television set. The system (known as 'Homelink') allowed on-line viewing of statements, bank transfers and bill payments. In order to make bank transfers and bill payments, a written instruction giving details of the intended recipient had to be sent to the NBS who set the details up on the Homelink system. Typical recipients were gas, electricity and telephone companies and accounts with other banks. Details of payments to be made were input into the NBS system by the account holder via Prestel. A cheque was then sent by NBS to the payee and an advice giving details of the payment was sent to the account holder. BACS was later used to transfer the payment directly.

Stanford Federal Credit Union was the first financial institution to offer online internet banking services to all of its members in October 1994.

Today, many banks are internet only banks. Unlike their predecessors, these internet only banks do not maintain brick and mortar bank branches. Instead, they typically differentiate themselves by offering better interest rates and online banking features. 

Yey, verily.

What are its features?

Online banking facilities offered by various financial institutions have many features and capabilities in common, but also have some that are application specific.

The common features fall broadly into several categories
  • A bank customer can perform some non-transactional tasks through online banking, including -
    • viewing account balances
    • viewing recent transactions
    • downloading bank statements, for example in PDF format
    • viewing images of paid cheques
    • ordering cheque books
  • Bank customers can transact banking tasks through online banking, including -
    • Funds transfers between the customer's linked accounts
    • Paying third parties, including bill payments (see, eg., BPAY) and telegraphic/wire transfers
    • Investment purchase or sale
    • Loan applications and transactions, such as repayments of enrollments
  • Financial institution administration
  • Management of multiple users having varying levels of authority
  • Transaction approval process
Some financial institutions offer unique Internet banking services, for example
§  Personal financial management support, such as importing data into personal accounting software. Some online banking platforms support account aggregation to allow the customers to monitor all of their accounts in one place whether they are with their main bank or with other institutions.

Security of people who are in to E-banking

Security of a customer's financial information is very important, without which, online banking could not operate. Financial institutions have set up various security processes to reduce the risk of unauthorized online access to a customer's records, but there is no consistency to the various approaches adopted.
The use of a secure website has become almost universally adopted.
Though single password authentication is still in use, it by itself is not considered secure enough for online banking in some countries. Basically there are two different security methods in use for online banking.
  • The PIN/TAN system where the PIN represents a password, used for the login and TANs representing one-time passwords to authenticate transactions. TANs can be distributed in different ways; the most popular one is to send a list of TANs to the online banking user by postal letter. The most secure way of using TANs is to generate them by need using a security token. These token generated TANs depend on the time and a unique secret, stored in the security token (two-factor authentication or 2FA). Usually online banking with PIN/TAN is done via a web browser using SSL secured connections, so that there is no additional encryption needed.
  • Another way to provide TANs to an online banking user is to send the TAN of the current bank transaction to the user's (GSM) mobile phone via SMS. The SMS text usually quotes the transaction amount and details, the TAN is only valid for a short period of time. Especially in Germany, Austria and The Netherlands, many banks have adopted this "SMS TAN" service as it is considered very secure.
  • Signature based online banking where all transactions are signed and encrypted digitally. The Keys for the signature generation and encryption can be stored on smartcards or any memory medium, depending on the concrete implementation.

How about Online Payments?

EFT – Electronic Fund Transfer: The easiest way to pay!

Electronic funds transfer (EFT) is the electronic exchange or transfer of money from one account to another, either within a single financial institution or across multiple institutions, through computer-based systems.

The term covers a number of different concepts:
·         Cardholder-initiated transactions, where a cardholder makes use of a payment card
·         Direct deposit payroll payments for a business to its employees, possibly via a payroll service bureau
·         Direct debit payments, sometimes called electronic checks, for which a business debits the consumer's bank accounts for payment for goods or services
·         Electronic bill payment in online banking, which may be delivered by EFT or paper check
·         Transactions involving stored value of electronic money, possibly in a private currency
·         Wire transfer via an international banking network (carries a higher fee in North America)
·         Electronic Benefit Transfer

In 1978 the U.S. Congress passed the Electronic Funds Transfer Act to establish the rights and liabilities of consumers as well as the responsibilities of all participants in EFT activities in the United States.


Start banking and experience the joy of saving! Earning money like a boss.

Go check your piggy banks fellow 9gaggers and readers.

-seems legit to me