Humans and Culture at New Asia College

Last week, I visited New Asia College, part of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. There’s a free shuttle from the University MTR station on the KCR (light blue) line. Technically, the shuttle is only for students and staff, but they don’t check IDs or anything, so I just went in. I sat in a class with my friend Alf, who is a student there. He’s studying economics, but this was an anthropology class.

I have a tough time remembering things in the past. Let’s move to the present day. I’ll try to blog more often (once a day, ideally).

Yesterday, Monday here in Vietnam, was a fairly typical day for me. I woke and lazily got up. At about 8:40 AM, Chi Ha came to take me to the police station where we intended to register my residency at our house, where I’ve been living since January. Unfortunately, the guy we needed wasn’t there. Apparently,  he wasn’t working that day. We’ll need to come back again in the future.

During the day, I gradually plowed through my long to-do list. It’s growing faster than I can do it. That’s okay. Once in a while, I just wipe the slate clean. The really important stuff comes back because it’s near the top of my mind. The urgent but unimportant stuff just falls away.

I talked a bit with my fellow Greengars about our projects and progress. I’m pretty happy about where we’re headed. My main concerns are that things still depend too much on me, and the quality of our code is feeling a little shabby. This Sprint is a maintenance and code-cleanup one, where one of our main goals is to fix things up and create a solid foundation for future features and improvements.

In the evening, Je came over because she was staying with us for a second night. We went out to dinner: Jen, Ang, Wes, and me — at Ganesha’s Indian Restaurant on Le Thanh Ton. I’d been there before, with Bry and friends. The food was good, though a little spicy. We asked for two of the three dishes to be non-spicy. In the end, they all seemed to have approximately the same level of spiciness.

After that, we all came back to TQK to have Parallel froyo and watch a movie, a romantic comedy starring Jennifer Aniston called The Switch. Not a bad movie, but not one of my favorites.

I’m going to self-study Vietnamese. I’ll try to do 2 hours per day, but it’s going to be tough. Self-discipline is key.

I’m also listening to the entire New Testament of the Bible via You’ve Got The Time, which I discovered at ECC in Hong Kong. It takes just 28 minutes a day for 40 days.

I have an awful memory. If I don’t write it down, there’s no chance I’ll remember it. Some of our employees here at Parallel are Hang, Nhung, and Trang. While I love them, they lack a lot of qualities that I really want to see in people: drive, initiative, motivation. These simple things can take a person really far.

Sometimes I think the incentives are wrong. Employees get to work less when there are no customers, so they actually want fewer customers. They like to sit around, browse YouTube, just do the minimum amount of work to keep from getting fired. They just scrape by.

That’s the wrong attitude. When there are no customers, you really need to hustle. You should be busier than ever, running around and doing whatever it takes to get customers. Pull them off the street. Go to them and talk to them. Find out where they are, and why they aren’t at your store. Create additional signage.

You should never sit around idle. Having no customers is not an excuse to do nothing. It means you suck. It means you’re doing something wrong, and you need to work harder to get those customers.

In general, people are not this proactive. I am. That’s what sets me apart: I act. I implement. I get it done.

One Response to “Humans and Culture at New Asia College”

  1. Angie says:

    Actually, Hang is not Parallel’s staff. There are Nhung, Luc, Trang and sometimes Nghia at weekend.
    It takes time for people around you to understand your working attitude. You should also observe around to understand why they did those things. I do not blame for anything. One thing I can do now to run my housekeeping job: talk to them and get the reasons when they make any mistake or they do not get their assigned job done. Talk as an old sister in the house. The housekeeping job is harder than I thought when we moved to a new house. Yet, human behavior is always interesting to me. I’d love to work with different people with different personalities.

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