Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Shopping with Althea

I believe those of you who are beauty bloggers or if you are a fan of Korean beauty products, you must have come across Althea. The website was launched in July 2015, opening a chance for everyone to purchase Korean beauty products that are not in our Malaysian market. The best thing about Althea is that their prices are very, very affordable.

Why do I say it's affordable? Let me give you an example.

When I was in Korea last year, I purchased IOPE Air Cushion® XP Cover SPF50+/PA+++ for one of my friends. I didn't come across IOPE standalone outlet hence, I purchased it from Aritaum in Myeongdong. The price quoted was 40,000 won, which was approximately RM160.

Althea is offering the cushion for only RM119, which is like RM50 cheaper than you, going to any IOPE outlets or Aritaum in Seoul.

Even the price of  Hera UV Mist Cushion Ultra Moisture SPF34+/PA++ offered by Althea is so much cheaper than the price I've paid for over the counter in Lotte Mart.

I paid 48,000 won or approximately RM185 while Althea offers it at RM139.

How affordable is that?

Better still, you can shop in the comfort of your own home and the parcel will be delivered to you within 10 to 15 days. The postage fee will be waived with the purchase of RM150 and above. However, if your purchase is any amount below that, you may have to fork out around RM30 postage fee. So, best way is to collect orders to hit the minimum amount required for free postage.

All the items you see on Althea's website are shipped directly from Korea at the moment orders are made. This will ensure products are newly manufactured.

If you are worried about the authenticity, fret not. Let's say you are not satisfied with the products after which you have gotten them - what should you do? Don't worry, Althea promises refund within 30 days.

My first order with Althea came after 5 days of placing my order. How fast was that? I almost couldn't believe my eyes when the postman came with the pink package.

I was half expecting the delivery to take more than 14 days because shipment usually isn't that fast. Even when I ordered clothes from Singapore, the parcel usually takes around 10 to 14 days to reach my doorstep in Kuala Lumpur.

So, imagine my happiness when the parcel got here in less than a week!

Every piece of product in my first parcel was individually bubble-wrapped. In fact, they actually put in quite a number of layers of bubble wrap in the box itself.

Then, I placed my second order with Althea together with my friend - both of us are still riding the Korean wave.

We bought quite a number of products since there were good deals the day we placed our orders. Our orders came in 2 separate boxes because 1 box was not enough to accomodate all of our products. It was crazy online shopping spree for us.

My second order with Althea came after on the 6th day minus Saturday and Sunday. I was secretly thanking Althea for their speedy service!

Just a week ago, I placed my third order with Althea. I was in mask frenzy since I ran out of sheet masks and needed more.

My third parcel from Althea came on the 4th day after placing my order. I ordered the masks on Monday and the parcel got to me on Friday.

How fast can the shipping be?

The speediness of their service is insane!

Since I've missed the Christmas limited edition box, I managed to secure the CNY limited edition box!

I have to tell you guys - even though Althea uses paper box to send out parcels, the paper box is quite sturdy. I am still keeping all the boxes and using them to store some other items in my room.

Isn't that lovely?

I will definitely continue to purchase my favourite Korean beauty products from Althea. However, I do have a wishlist, hoping that Santa Althea will be adding more products of the following brands to their website.

1. Mamonde
2. Memebox
3. Aritaum
4. A'Pieu

Please grant me my wish, Santa Althea!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The reasons I quit being an educator - Part 1

Before you jump into conclusion and start pointing fingers at me, let me clarify few things:
  1. I have never stated I hated teaching or educating others.
  2. I have never stated I hated my previous job.
  3. I have never stated other jobs are easy.
Read the disclaimers above before you pass your judgments.

True enough as an educator, I often get these kinda kind remarks from people around me:

"A teacher has high salary."

"It's so nice that you have so many holidays."

"Teaching is an easy task - you just need to go into the class and start blabbering."

Let me clarify the statements above.

First of all, a teacher doesn't have high salary be it you are in government or private sector. Those teachers who earn a lot are those who run tuition centers outside. They teach and earn at the same time.

Who on Earth made the statement that an educator has so many holidays? We are not students so, how are we going to enjoy all those school holidays? When your children are having their semester breaks or year-end holidays, we are still working our arses off. We have to travel to our institutions to carry out our tasks before the beginning of a new semester. To make the matter worse, we have so many examination scripts to mark when your children are enjoying their sweet time at home.

Which idiot thinks that teaching is an easy task that the only thing we need to do is just walk into the class and start teaching? We need time to prepare our teaching materials as well as teaching aids? We are not robots and we can't be pre-programmed to teach because your children differ greatly. Different individuals require different teaching approaches. Furthermore, we have to prepare lesson plans before the class. After class ends, we have a report to write as well.

Even when being an educator is not an easy task, I have to admit I love teaching. I love sharing my knowledge with others and best of all, I love to be able to stand on the stage and deliver my lessons.

Just for your information, I was a lecturer and my job required me to deliver lectures to foundation as well as degree students. The reason why I love lecturing more than teaching in primary and secondary schools is that the students that I deal with are adults and they pretty much understand what is right and what is wrong.

Some of you may ask, "If you love your job, why did you resign?"

I'm not sure about others but the sole reason of my resignation was due to my immediate boss. Let's call him Mr. Fearful, shall we? A lot of researches proved that the main reason why employees resign is due to fact that they have bad bosses or managers.

Throughout my two-year service with that institution, I have came to learn a lot especially on how Mr. Fearful handled his staff. I told myself that one of these days, if I ever have the chance to become a boss or manager, I will never repeat his deadly mistakes.

A boss inspires fear while a leader earns respect.

Two years ago, when I first joined the institution, I never paid too much attention to Mr. Fearful. All I knew was that he was our boss and we needed to respect him. I didn't thought much of him at all until one year later, he began to showcase his power.

It all started with threats and more threats. More than often, before he started a meeting, he would read out employment's terms and conditions before anything else. To him, it was a reminder but to those who were present during the meeting felt like he was trying to impose to others that he was the boss and nobody should go against him.

On top of that, I remember Mr. Fearful threatened us by telling the staff to resign if he or she wasn't happy with the job and that it would be as simple as A-B-C for him to find a new staff to replace the the resigned staff in his or her jobs.

A boss is impersonal while a leader is compassionate

Mr. Fearful often told us we had to learn to be more understanding towards another person but then again, from as far as I understood, he was more impersonal then compassionate. He often thought very highly of himself.

Once, he made this statement, "Sometimes, you have to choose between your family or your job."

What was he trying to imply? Was he trying to tell me if I were to choose my family over my job, I should resign?

A leader will listen and poisition himself in your situation but Mr. Fearful was expecting us to make decision exactly like his - eg. giving up his family vacation because of work.

A boss micromanages while a leader delegates

It did appear to me personally that Mr. Fearful always said, "I will delegate task to each and everyone of you." Correct me if I am wrong, when you delegate, your staff would have to agree with task delegated to him or her. Mr. Fearful would use the term 'delegate' but then again, it appeared to me that he was more towards micromanaging and staging everything on his own. Eventually, he would 'delegate' tasks to the staff.

A boss thinks of short term while a leader thinks of long term 

Mr. Fearful always thought it was easy to replace staff because everything on his mind was just, "You're not happy, you quit."

Little did he realize it takes time and effort to develop a staff. By replacing the staff from time to time, it could jeopardize the quality of education provided by the institution. Since he made the point it is easy to get a staff with a Master's degree or higher, easily, I guess he could offend people easily without considering how the whole thing could affect the organization in long term.

A boss behaves like a king while a leader is everyone's colleague

I do not remember if there was once Mr. Fearful actually mix and mingle with his staff unless there was free food and drink. Most of the time, he would only hang out with those of his friends who possess similar qualification as him.

To him, it could be nothing but in the eyes of others, he was merely looking down at the more younger and junior staff.

A boss focuses on process while a leader focuses on people

Honestly, from what I could remember, Mr. Fearful focused on getting the job done. Little did he realized that in order to get job done, you need your staff to fully support you. He focused too much on the process of getting his tasks completed thus, neglected the importance of maintaining a good relationship among the staff.

I do not remember there was even once he would show his empathy to his staff. Even in my issue, instead of trying to look at the bigger picture, he was telling me to understand his situation. Aren't you the boss? Aren't you suppose to reassure me that your decision is good and fair? Instead, he put me down by trying to threaten me and forcing me to choose between my job and family.

Honestly, after my previous experience of working under him, it scared the hell out of me of landing another job. Even after I quit my job, I had nightmares of him trying to threaten me. In worse cases, I would wake up with cold sweat because he tried to strangle me - he wanted me dead.

I was completely restless for 2 to 3 months after that.

Whenever people asked me about my work experience in that place where people deemed it's "prestigious", my only resort was to tell them that the place was good but the people in that place weren't as good as outsiders may imagine.

I am not stating all the superiors out there are bad. Indeed, I have met good ones who truly knew how to inspire and motivate others. I told myself, if there would be a day that I would become a boss, I will make sure I will not repeat Mr. Fearful's way of managing my staff.

Damage has been done - mentally.