One of these days…

I signed up for an account on the recruitment site 104 Job Bank for hiring employees and had to go to the bank to make another bank transfer to pay for the service. I thought I had everything properly filled out correctly and this would be the time that I managed a banking transaction without a problem.

Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that transfers within the same bank use a different form. Oops.

Adventures in Banking

Yesterday cooled down quite a bit from the day before and though it looked like it was just about to rain most of the afternoon, it managed not to until overnight. My nephew Oliver left in the late afternoon to go home to Hong Kong. Emily went to the park to play and then we went over to take a look at my shop. It’s the first time Emily’s been there since the remodeling started. I discovered that the wired the speaker cables to go into the closet under the stairs instead of into the back room like it was supposed to, but they are going to correct that.

After that, Emily went to the Hello Kitty store that’s near my shop and bought a mechanical pencil of some shojo cartoon she’s seen on TV. After that we went to the park where Emily got thirsty and we discovered Mommy had left her water cup somewhere. Emily was insistent she had to drink from her own water cup, and going to the nearby 7-11 to buy some bottled water would not do, so Maggie stayed at the park while Emily and I went back to my shop where we found her water cup sitting on the divider in the shop. All was well again. Then we walked over to the restaurant area on Nongan Street intending to go to a dumpling shop Maggie found, but it was closed so we ate at a noodle shop next door instead.

That night I went to sleep quite easily but woke up around 3am and couldn’t go back to sleep after that. Four hours sleep. Suck.

This morning Maggie and I went over to my shop to make sure the speaker wire situation was going to be addressed, then I went off to the bank to make some payments to various companies that are doing stuff for the store. I thought I had prepared everything but I found I was missing the Chinese name of the bank for one of the payments, the Chinese name of the company for another payment, and that I couldn’t read the payment info for the third payment at all because the fax was so bad. All in all, I found that I wasn’t prepared to do any of the transfers. (For some reason companies like to give me their payment info in English which seems like they are doing me a favor but that causes all sorts of headaches for my bank which wants everything in Chinese.)

So I took the proper forms and went back home and found the right info for the first two payments and had the third one refax me the info more clearly. They faxed it again and while I could read the account number clearly now, I couldn’t make heads or tails of the bank name or company name. Instead I just took the fax with me and asked the teller to help me with that one. Turns out she couldn’t read it either, but called someone up who was able to look it up based on the account number. It’s a wonder that company gets paid for anything.

Anyways, I managed to write down everything else but one minor thing correctly this time, except that I forgot to write the date on all the bank transfer forms, which is one of the easiest parts of filling that out. One of these days I’ll manage to complete a transaction without any corrections.

It’s been raining off and on today. We also had a small quake today. It was only a 3.5 but centered in the middle of Taipei, so close enough to feel it.

M 3.5 2.1 km S of Taipei City 2006-04-24 11:00 #041 (0424110035041)

All these bank transactions are starting to train me on how to write the special number characters used for banking. I can now write the characters for 1, 3, 4, 100, 1000 and 10000 without looking at my cheat sheet. I’ll have to work on the others.

Rant: While I was entering this entry I accidentally hit the ‘rich text’ mode link below the edit box which threw me into some fancypants editor. I wanted to go back to the regular editor I’m used to, so I pulled up LJ’s FAQ and found out that you can’t exit the rich text editor. Once an entry is switched to rich text mode, you will forever have to edit it only in rich text. The only solution was to copy the text, add a new entry, paste it in and then restore the links and formatting. What kind of moron designed a feature that can’t be reversed? Be careful about ever accidentally hitting the rich text line down below the edit box.

Rant2: LJ’s spell checker doesn’t check the Subject, only the body of the post. God forbid you actually spell something wrong in the Subject. You may never know!

It’s a Hot One

Today was pretty hot weather. It got up to about 34C, and with the humidity level that’s pretty hot. I haven’t turned on the AC except one time last week though. That’s probably not gonna last too long.

Today I caught up on various things, including watching Lost. There’s been some pretty good episodes lately. Later I fixed the main toilet, checked out how the shop is coming, and then we went out to “Pizza Pub” at the Sheraton for dinner. I thought it was expensive and noisy, but other people seemed to like it. Oh, and I don’t think I’ve seen so many white people in one place before in Taipei.

Busy and Interesting Day

Today was a pretty busy day, but let’s start with the fun part. Tonight we went out to eat Thai Food at Mei Kung restaurant. It’s a pretty well known Thai place and Maggie frequently points out various local celebrities dining there. The only one I’ve really know all that well was Shunza but tonight when we were eating Maggie pointed out that Mavis Fan (范曉萱) was waiting outside for a table. After a while she came in and sat at the table right next to ours. I’ve been listening to her music for several years.

Anyways, back to other things. This morning I went to the accountant’s office to pick up my bank book, business license, tax stamp, and a bunch of various documents. Then I went to the bank with Maggie where we did a whole lot of stuff including getting the company bank account finally activated, get the extra US$ money over the initial startup capital converted to TW$, claim a wire transfer from my US account to my personal account, and do a bank transfer of the second payment for the contractor. I’m getting good at writing my Chinese name now from signing lots of documents.

Then I went to check out how the shop is going. The wallpaper is all up now and they were working on the walls in the back room. With the wallpaper and tiling done up front, it’s really starting to look nice.

The Mystery of the Locked Door

The wallpaper and wall art for my shop was scheduled for delivery tonight, so I went to my shop a bit early to check how the work was coming and wait for the delivery guy. The front of the shop has a roll down metal security door in the front that is opened and closed by a key fob remote control. I walked up to the shop and pressed the up button… and nothing happened.

Well, that wasn’t good. I tried calling the contractor but he wasn’t answering. I called my wife to see if she had the foreman’s phone number, but she didn’t know. After waiting around a bit and not being able to reach the contractor, I decided to try the back door, which involved going down to the next lane and walking down the narrow alleyway in the back of the shop, with not much light to guide me. The shop behind me has a motion detector light though, so by the time I made it down there, it went on and I had plenty of light.

Unfortunately, though I had a key for the door, it was also bolted on the inside, so even after unlocking it, I couldn’t open it. I went back around to the front where my wife was just arriving to see what was up. She tried the remote a few times herself to make sure I wasn’t just being an idiot, and sure enough it still didn’t open.

After still not being able to reach the contractor, we called up the landlord. She also has a remote for the door, so on the off chance that my remote had suddenly busted between yesterday and today, we wanted to try hers. She lives just down the block so while Maggie called her up, I walked down to get the other key. I met up with the landlord about halfway and she wanted to come see for herself the problem.

We tried her remote and still had no luck. So at this point we were really confused as to how the door could be closed and inoperable at the same time. It had to be working when the workers left for the day. At this point the contractor called me back. He thought maybe the workers had shutoff a breaker out by the electric meter, but after looking for a switch we couldn’t find any. He wasn’t able to reach his foreman, so he said he would come by.

While we were waiting, the delivery guy came with the wallpaper and wall art. Not having any place to put it, we just had him pile it in front of the shop. Then the contractor showed up, and he tried both my remote and the landlord’s remote to make sure we weren’t being idiots and sure enough, it still didn’t work. He also looked for a switch outside and couldn’t find anything.

The only thing he could think of was maybe the remote control box got disconnected and the workers used the manual controls inside to lower the gate when leaving for the day. The foreman was out sick today, so the contractor wasn’t sure exactly what happened.

The landlord was still around, so she let us store the boxes upstairs in the empty second floor apartment. The contractor promised he’d come back tomorrow morning to figure out how to get into the shop. For now, it’s an unsolved mystery how the door came to be unopenable.

Business Update

The newest hitch is for the walkway sign. In front of shops in Taiwan there’s usually a covered walkway in front under the building. Most shops will have a sign across the outside front of the shop, and another vertical one extending out from the front on the building, but these aren’t visible to someone walking by on the walkway, so there’s also a sign put up in the walkway so that the passersby can see it. The trouble is that the shop to my left has their sign up on the right side, and the shop on the right has there sign on the left side, so I don’t have any place to put up a sign.

At first the barber shop guy said he’d be OK with moving his sign, but now he’s changed his mind about it. Most of the shops have their signs on the opposite side from his, but he still is reluctant to move it. And there’s still a few other shops that have their signs like his. Enough shops don’t have any walkway signs which allows them to get away with such a random system. The vertical signs out front on the other hand are all on the same side for the whole block, and the opposite side from where the barber shop has his walkway sign.

In other news, I have registered for the company web site, and I’ve come up with a revised recruitment poster:

The remodeling guys keep having to take them down as they redo the walkway area, so I keep having to make new ones, and this time reworked things a bit. The sign guy is gonna make a recruitment banner that’ll be done next week that’ll get more visibility. Also once the outer signs go up there should be more visibility as well.

I have a business license now, but need to get the address split to get the correct kind of license.