Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018!

Every year, there seemed to have an entry on resolutions in the draft state – and never gets published.

Why do people make resolutions? I guess the process does make one feel better. Like what I plan (or rather, want) to achieve for the new year.

I don’t remember what resolutions I’ve made over these years. And that’s partly because I’ve never really set my mind to achieve them at all. The focus always gets lost in the process.

Looking back at 2017 (nope I don’t think I’ve made any resolutions for the year), the year seemed to have gone well.

The first half year was hectic, when mum fell and broke both the bones in her lower left leg on 27 Dec 2016 (the date is etched in memory). Spent the first 2 months shuffling between home – office – hospital. We placed her in community hospital after her operation as there was no one to take care of her at home, and it was easier for her as she can go for physiotherapy frequently. When she was discharged from the community hospital a few days before CNY, it was again another mad rush to plan duty roster. Those weeks were terrible. I guess everyone in the family felt strained. We couldn’t leave her alone at home as her leg was still in cast, that meant our social lives got affected in a way. Thankfully she has recovered and can now walk without support!

2017 also saw me taking many leaps of faith.

Music Theory Grade 4
While I postponed my guitar LCM grade 4 exam (using mum as an excuse hehe), I took ABRSM theory grades 4 (in March) and 5 (in October). It was crazy rushing through the syllabus for both the grades. Was supposed to take grade 3, but I’d completed almost all the past year papers for grade 3 and there was still a few months before the exam, so I took up the challenge of taking grade 4 instead. Managed to rush through the syllabus and attempted 3 years worth of past year papers (each year has 4 papers). Stressful period as it was my first attempt at taking music theory exam. Thankfully I managed to scrape through with a distinction!

Music Theory Grade 5
It was the default route to take grade 5 after that. Again, I took up the challenge of taking the exam within the same year – with only 6 months to prepare. I had zero confidence, as I had limited time to do revision (plus I kept skipping classes). This time round, I didn’t even manage to complete 1 year’s worth of past year papers. I went into the exam hall with the expectation of just passing the paper, but then in my mind I kept thinking “who on earth take music exams at age 36 and only want to pass?”. Somemore music is something that I’ve been wanting to learn since young. Fate has it that I scraped through the paper with another distinction again. haha!

Visit to Sydney
In May, I’ve also made my virgin trip to Australia! Always loved cold weather so Australia was the best place during that period! After weeks of picking and choosing, Sydney was the only decided location as we couldn’t squeeze in Melbourne without making it a rush trip. With this trip, I’ve satisfied my “craving” to visit Sydney Opera house and see koalas!

Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House (night view)

I’d love to visit Sydney again!

Embarking on the Masters journey
After a 10 year hiatus from school, I’m back as a full-time student again! Embarking on a Masters journey isn’t easy. I might have pushed myself too hard by taking modules that were out of my capabilities. Nevertheless, it had been a good semester and I’m looking forward to the next!

Mayday concert 2017 五月天LIFE人生无限公司 巡回 新加坡站
I have a particular liking for these 2 photos. No idea why. 起点是那平凡的成长.

五月天 – 起点是那平凡的成长
五月天 - 人生有限,和你们的约定无限

In summary, 2017 had been a good year (despite being down for a week due to UTI)! The year has proven that if you set your mind to achieve something that’s out of your capabilities, you’ll be able to achieve it!

Resolutions for 2018
I don’t think I’d want to set any resolutions, they’ve never been met anyway. Maybe I’ll list my wants instead.

  1. Complete my postgrad peacefully
  2. Resume a language course (still can’t decide whether to resume Japanese or Korean)
  3. Attend Mayday overseas concert (hardcore!!)
  4. Start investing

I think it’s a long list, but it should be achievable (only for the first one hahaha!).

One more hour to 2018. Happy New Year everyone! Let’s discard all the bad and grab all the good!

The case of the missing money

I have a habit of shifting money around in the bank account. The other day, I was doing “housekeeping” and realise I have an amount that has mysteriously disappeared.

Background Story on OCBC Goal Savings Feature

OCBC 360 account has this goal savings feature that allows you to “lock up” your money. Super love this feature as it allows me to set aside a sum automatically every month for different purposes – insurance payment or travel.

OCBC Goals

When the goal has been setup (the setup process is quite tricky if you’re not familiar with how it works, I’ll skip it for now), you’ll have the options to edit the goal (changing the goal amount/duration or goal deletion) or add/withdraw money.

OCBC – goal in progress

When the savings for a particular goal is completed, you’ll be given the option to cash out. You can also choose to leave it alone – further fundings to the goal are stopped automatically.

OCBC – goal cash out

How It All Started

Last week, I was adjusting my goals so I made several goal deletions and creations. When I was taking a break from the process, I don’t know what made me tally the amount that I had.

There are two amounts shown – Total Balance and Available Balance. Total Balance is the total amount that you have, including those in the goals. Available Balance is the amount that is touchable, i.e. the amount you can withdraw via ATM or do bill payments from – this amount does not include amount that you have set aside in the goals.

When you have no goals set, these two amounts should (and MUST) tally. It didn’t tally that night when I deleted all the goals I had set previously.

A friend suggested I drop the bank a message via their Facebook page, as it’s faster to get a response compared to their internal secure email. And that was what I did. At 1.30am on 15 Dec (Friday).

Received a Facebook message reply from them (someone named DG) at 1130am, requesting for my contact number so they can arrange a Customer Service rep to contact me. I replied only at 4+ that day, as I didn’t have my phone with me.

To my surprise, I got a call almost immediately after I gave them my contact number. Thanks DG for the prompt action! After understanding my situation, the CS rep (Kalai) explained that this happened because I didn’t withdraw the funds from the goal before deleting it, and requested a screenshot of the goals section (the first image in this post) as evidence that I do not have any goals setup and that the missing amount is indeed mine and not held somewhere. I was told once he receives it, he’ll immediately send it to their IT team to release the money back to my account.

Coming from a fellow programmer, I don’t understand the business logic behind goal deletion. If goals are deleted, shouldn’t the funds be automatically withdrawn and credited into the account? From the user experience perspective, there should be minimal steps for the user to complete a task. So it makes perfect sense for the withdrawal to be automated.

So I sent it in via the bank’s internal secure email as requested by the CS rep. That was at 5pm. On a Friday.

The following days, I logged in to check religiously. I started to lose faith as I thought it’s dragging too long ($1.5k is not a huge amount but it’s still money right..). [ Thinking back now, I’d like to believe they had to do some checks before releasing the money. In case of fraud cases. So that 3 working days (excluding weekend) of waiting is understandable. ]

Finally on Wednesday 20th, the two amounts tallied! Imagine my joy! At that instant, I’m a happy woman again and decided I shan’t complain anymore since my money is back! (At this instant, there was no email reply for the screenshot I’d sent in earlier.)

Fast forward to Christmas Day morning 10am. I received miss calls from the bank. That made me wonder if something had gone wrong with the money or my account. So I picked up the call when it rang again.

Turned out, it was Kalai who called to inform that the money has been released and credited back to my account. This came as a surprise! I was only expecting a reply via the internal secure email, not a phonecall. And it’s Christmas Day when everyone is out enjoying themselves!

Thanks Kalai for making my day early in the morning! And DG for the prompt replies too!

Lesson learnt from this episode. If you have to delete your goals, remember to withdraw the funds first!