Category Archives: That’s Life!

10 Management Lessons I Learnt from Despicable Me 2

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1. Be willing to embarrass yourself and be laughed at sometimes – all for the sake of making your project a success. The fairy princess moment in the movie is a perfect example. :-)

2. Always know your subordinates by their names. Although Gru has millions of minions working for him, he somehow manages to identify each one of them by their names! Incredible!

3. Be open enough to received feedback (and even instructions) from your subordinates. The row boat scene was a classic. Loved it! 😀

4. Make your team feel like FAMILY. This was apparently one of Gru’s management strengths – his ‘family-like’ worklife principal was evidently highlighted in a very important turning point of the movie.

5. Be bold enough to empower your subordinates. Believe you me, if I had these minions working under me, I would have found it difficult to trust them to carry out important tasks. Not Gru! He willingly entrusted his minions on critical assignments too. The getaway scene in Paradise Mall is a clear example.

6. Efficient delegation of work. Almost all minions we see on the show had some specific task to do, like the maid, fireman, cleaner, yes, even the siren..:-p There was so supervision and every minion carried out their tasks happily!

7. Fun + Work DOES mix! I loved the scenes inside Gru’s lab where all the minions were seen to be cohesively (well, most of the time anyway) working together on some production line; and also another scene in the same lab where these same workers were partying!

8. Always be ready and willing to get down to the subordinate level and work with them on specific projects. Gru never assigned his minions on those important missions without he himself backing them up. Great leadership!

9. Never reveal your business plans to any stranger, especially if your plan is already in its final stages of implementation. Yet another typical flaw of movie villains…

10. В It IS a big thing to celebrate successes TOGETHER, get feedback on your products TOGETHER and also bid farewell to employees leaving TOGETHER. Yet another trademark of Gru’s management – inspiring loyalty and dedication from his workers!

What did YOU pick up from Despicable Me 2? 😀

10 Life Lessons I Learnt from Monsters University

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1. Friendships are formed in universities. Great friendships are developed through doing many, many things together…even after university life!

2. An influential figure we meet in our early childhood will have a major impact on the path we choose in the future.

3. Be careful when giving out advice. Sometimes, we could be helping our competitors…

4. We don’t need a graduate degree to be successful. However, a LOT of hard work does help…

5. All of our friends are wired differently and blessed with their own special gifts or talents, no matter how weird they may look…

6. Teamwork always triumphs in the end!

7. It’s not cool to cheat.

8. Never underestimate orВ embarrassВ your competitors. Humiliation is a great source of inspiration to come back fighting stronger!

9. Dream BIG.

10. Touching and changing lives is always key to living a wonderful and meaningful life ahead!

What did YOU learn from Monsters University? 😀

5 Hairdryer Lessons for Malaysian Politics

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For most Malaysians, 8 May 2013 will forever be remembered as a day when throngs of thousands braved the late evening showers and gathered…. UNITED in heart and spirit, not as Malays, Chinese, Indians or Bumiputeras, but as Malaysians…. UNITED in ONEВ Suara Rakyat.

However, for all Mancunians, 8 May 2013 will also forever be remembered as the day Sir Alex Ferguson (SAF) made his official announcement to retire as manager of Manchester United. After 26 years of building up a Red Empire that conquered England for a period spanning at least 2 decades, SAF tearfully decided to call it quits. :-(

For someone widely regarded as the most successful football manger EVER, there is arguably SO MANY things we can learn and follow. So, in the light of the recently concluded General Elections in Malaysia, I thought it would be a good idea to reflect on some of the lessons or character of SAF that would be most exemplary to all politicians and ministers of both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat…

1. Be a Champion Loser – It is a well-known fact that SAF is someone that truly respects his opponents on and off the field. It has been recorded that one of his best known gestures of football management is to share a bottle of wine to congratulate his opponent in a big match or at the end of the season if he was the loser. He shared it with Wenger during those battling seasons with Arsenal and also with Mourinho in Porto’s dressing room after the Portugese sides shock upset over Man Utd in the UCL. Wouldn’t it be cool if our politicians have that same level of fierce confrontations on field but sincere respect and friendship off the field? Hmmmmm.

2. Dare to Cut Names – During his tenure at United, SAF is also well known to drill his philosophy that “no player is more important than the club!”В If there were players who had crossed the line for disciplinary problems or non-performance, SAF would have no hesitation to drop them from the squad or (worse) sell them off! I remembered there was a time when Rooney had a fantastic stretch of games going but suddenly he got involved in some drunk driving and partying. Although the games that lie ahead were crucial, SAF benched Rooney for 3 matches (if I remember correctly)! Have our political parties reached that maturity to drop or cut off their members who are plain liabilities and do not have the heart to serve the rakyat?

3. Never Give Up! – I have seriously lost count of the number of times Manchester United have fought back or scored in crunch time (aka final 15 minutes of the game + err..Fergis time, of course..:-P). The club wouln’t have been able to amass so many trophies if it weren’t for this indescribable desire to fight on till the final whistle. Who could forget the “Football…Bloody Hell!” moment at the Nou Camp in 1999 with two goals at the death won SAF his first Champion’s League trophy? Likewise, for politicians or parties that have lost the votes or seat, my advise is to continue to serve the rakyat and Never Give Up!

4. Have a Personal Touch – One of the things I admired most about SAF was his willingness to be personally involved in any player deals – especially the high profiled ones. 😛 In his biography, stories are shared about how SAF would personally visit the players the club would buy next, to the level of visiting them in their homes! How nice if our politicians emphasised more on serving the rakyat at the grassroots, giving a personal touch in the areas or constituency they are serving?

5. Focus on Youth and Build a Legacy – One of the key football management elements of SAF is his penchant to build up a youth system to unearth and develop talent for the future of the club. Of course, there are times he would simply just BUY the talent but YOUTH remains a priority. The endless crop of players like Beckham, the Neville brothers, Butt, Scholes, Giggs to the current batch of Welbeck, Cleverly, Buttner, Young, Hernandez is testament to SAF’s solid youth-development policy. Eventually, this would lead to the formation of a very strong squad to leave behind to his successor when he leaves. SAF is genius in this way that he doesn’t want to abandon a ship that is in tatters but one that is still strong and powerful. An extract from his retirement speech:

“It was important to me to leave an organization in the strongest possible shape and I believe I have done so,” Ferguson said. “The quality of this league winning squad, and the balance of ages within it, bodes well for continued success at the highest level whilst the structure of the youth setup will ensure that the long-term future of the club remains a bright one.”

Has our political parties thought of succession planning and developing youth in their agenda? If not, they should quickly learn from SAF. :-)

THANK YOU SIR ALEX FERGUSON! 😀

A Lesson in Colour Blindness

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At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. (Luke 10:21)

I believe that all adults, regardless if they are parents, grandparents, doctors, lawyers, engineers, captain of a nuclear aircraft carrier or even the president of a country…can ALWAYS learn from little children. :-)

Last night, after picking up the kids from the babysitter’s house, I proceeded to look for a place to buy dinner home. The following conversation took place inside the carВ between my five year old boy and I…

Collin: Papa…are we going to tar-pau dinner tonight?

Me: Yes, we are going to Restaurant XXX to buy dinner.

Collin: Which one is Restaurant XXX?

Me: There…the Chinese restaurant…В 

Collin: Papa…what is a Chinese restaurant?..

Me: Err….well you know,В where we sometimes buy Caitlynn’s char siew pau and your lin-yoong pau? (approaches Restaurant XXX which happened to be closed that night) aiya….looks like Restaurant XXX is closed.

Collin: Then how wor?

Me: I think we may have to go and buy dinner at the Indi– erm…at the Roti Canai restaurant then..

Collin: Yayyy! Can we have roti canai then?

Me: Of course!

Collin & Caitlynn: Yayyyy! :-)

Sometimes we forget that our children grow up with ‘colour-blindness’ up to a certain age, at least. They do not understand nor comprehend the differences of Malay, Chinese, Indian or other races. To them, they couldn’t care less to even differentiate what type of restaurants we eat in or the what food from which race is being served. Through their eyes, everyone is the same…one colour, one race.

Sadly, it is not easy to remember that WE were ALL like that once too…:-p

Somewhere along the way, our vision gets tainted more and more with the things we read, people we interact with, things we see, personal experiences, etc. until our early childhood’s colour-blindness no longer exists.

It got worse when all these racism slurs gets trending in our country, especially right after the recently concluded General Elections. Some unintelligible mainstream media putting up racial remarks on their headlines, politicians spicing up their election victory speeches with racial connotations, etc. For a country that is projecting itself as moving forward towards becoming a developed nation, these recent incidents is definitely MORE than just a minor roadblock! In fact, it can be argued that we are actually moving BACKWARDS instead! Sadly, it became a WHOLE LOT worse when our country’s leaders seemingly do not oppose or stand up to prevent these remarks from possibly exploding into something unimaginable..

Jadi, apa lagi Cina ini mahu?

For ALL Malaysians to rediscover their childhood colour-blindness…

For ALL Malaysians to look at each other beyond skin colour and races…

For ALL Malaysians to reject all forms of racist remarks and actions…

For ALL Malaysians to build together a country free of racism for our next generation…

For ALL Malaysians to reject racial politics…

For ALL Malaysians to have access to non-politically biased media and press…

For ALL Malaysians to eat in Malaysian restaurants eating Malaysian foods..:-P

 

Rediscover your color-blindness….

Say NO to RACISM!

10 Things to do for GE14

Sigh. After seeing all the varied types of business that have flourished during all the months of election campaignings, these is a list of my Top 10 things I need to do when GE14 comes along…

1. Start an advertising agency

2. Start a banner/poster/bunting printing company

3. Start a company offering SMS blasting services

4. Start planting bamboo..

5. Start a catering business

6. Start writing (and selling) songs..

7. Start T-Shirt designing company

8. Start motorcycle workshop

9. Start umbrella business

10. Start travel agency to manage flights and logistics.

Yup. However, since it is obviously too LATE to do all that NOW, all I can only do for GE13 is to…

VOTE WISELY!

General Election Tip: Know Your X

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The letter X can be a pretty complex and confusing letter, especially during the elections…

If all of you have been brought up and educated in the proper manner, you would recognise the letter X to represent..

– NO!

– Negative!

– Dislike!

– Dowan!

– Die!

– Out!

HOWEVER….in the case of elections, the letter X represents the exact opposite! A mark of X on your ballot paper means a VOTE of YES for the party next to it! Yes, I kid you not!

So if В you are a first time voter, please mentally prepare a mini mind-shift and know that an X actually stands for a YES. :-)

And if you are a long-time, experienced voter…after reading this it suddenly dawned on you that you have been voting WRONGLY all this while, well…so now you know what to do! :-)

In short, in elections, mark an X for the party you WANT TO VOTE for!

20 Factors Contributing to Man Utd’s 20th Title

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1. Magnificent leadership of Sir Alex Ferguson

2.В EmbarrassmentВ of letting the title slip from our grasp in 2012 to City (on goal difference, on the last day, etc.) hurts so bad that it was used as an inspiration and drive for this season’s glory!

3. Never say die attititude. Personally, I’ve lost count of the number of times Man Utd had to rally back from a goal or two goals down to achieve a result in a match this season. Inspiring attitude.

4. Spanish laundry service finally clicked! After months of frustration in goal, De Gea finally came good about В a month and a half ago when he managed to keep like 5-6 consecutive cleansheets. Perhaps SAF’s keeper rotation tactic really DID work!

5. Consistency. With the level of football at its highest in the BPL where every weekend offers a tough challenge, whether Man Utd were playing the likes of Chelsea or Wigan, the team with the more consistent performance would revel.

6. Although a bitter pill to swallow, the ‘early’ defeat in the UCL (last 16) did help the cause. (Sigh)

7. Offensive Defense! This season saw the likes of Evra, Evans and Rafael consistently getting on the scoresheet at important times of the season. Whoever said that the best defense is offense is genius. :-)

8. Vintage performances. Apparently both Scholes and Giggs still have some legs left in them as their presence in some of the key matches helped steady the ship. :-)

9. City self-destruction. There were certain stretches in the campaign that City seemed unwilling to win, drawing with numerous mid-level clubs and allowing us to build our lead at the top.

10. Psychological win at the Etihad. Though relatively early in the season, RVP’s last gasp curler of a freekick that secured the 3-2 win over City in the first Manchester derby certainly had a telling effect in the months to come. So, although the loss to City in the Old Trafford reverse was tough to chew, the lead that we built over the course of the season was already too wide to cover.

11. Nov-Dec blitz! It was during this remarkable stretch that Man Utd secured critical wins over Arsenal, Chelsea, City (and a whole lot more) that probably became the foundation of building an uncatchable lead.

12. Opening loss to Everton was certainly a JOLT in every sense and probably a stern reminder of the quality of all teams in the BPL.

13. The tough 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane with Spurs knicking in the equaliser at the death would probably be what I would call the second JOLT that propelled Man Utd to engineer a 7-game wining streak in the BPL. Examples like this certainly cements Man Utd’s reputation to respond positively after each heart-breaking loss or draw.

14. Game-changer rotations. In a curious observation, I notices that whilst the team was more or less built on the consistency of RVP thoughout the season, there would be evident instances that ONE midfielder would emerge for short stretches of time. For example, I could recall those stretches where Nani was instrumental in a few matches before going off injured; then there was Cleverley for a few matches; and (even) Anderson had his time in the spotlight as well; Young was dangerous in a few matches in Jan-Feb; as was Valencia and of course Kagawa, who suddenly seems to fit into SAF’s formation like to the T. I can only imagine how devastating Man Utd would be if all our midfielders were healthy and consistent throughout. :-p

15. Rooney’s patches of brilliance. Sure it would seem that Wazza was playing second fiddle all along this season to RVP, but there were certain stretches in the season that he almost scored at will and combined with devastating effect with RVP. With constant injuries to the Man Utd midfield, Rooney often sacrificed his preferred striking role to play a much deeper, play-maker role in much of the season. Personally, I feel he definitely still has a place in Man Utd’s starting 11.

16. Itching strikers. For Welbeck and Hernandez, I guess it can become rather frustrating to watch most of Man Utd’s games from the bench, with SAF ‘s preferred Rooney-RVP as his first choice. However, one would notice that probably because of this, everytime Welbeck or Chicarito gets a chance to play, they would be playing as if their lives depended on it – scoring some important goals in the process too. :-)

17. Wealth in Youth. This has already been in SAF’s mind for a couple of years, what with the crop of young players like Young, Jones, De Dea, Buttner, Cleverly, Rafael running regularly on the pitch. Certainly helps to have young and energetic legs to keep up with the pace of other BPL teams.

18. Survival during Christmas-New Year peak period. All teams in the BPL would acknowledge that one of the toughest stretches in the season comes during the time when other European leagues go off on their winter break. Whilst most of the other pretenders faltered, Man Utd continued their solid consistent performance during this insane period to secure 7 points from a possible 9 from 23 Dec 2012 till 1 Jan 2013.

19. Barcelona. My personal theory is that SAF had steadily invested and built a team worthy to take on Barcelona. Kinda like when Starfleet designed the USS Defiant specifically to take on the Borg. :-p Anyway, from the displays during UCL nights, it was clear that he had already or was close to establishing the right pieces, formation and tactics to finally match mighty Barcelona. Whilst Man Utd’s defeat to Real Madrid was truly unlucky, I believe that in the evolving process of designing Man Utd to fight Barca, the team became considerably stronger. :-)

20. Robbie Van Persie. Sporting Jersey no. 20 from the start of the season was a clear sign of his intentions. Simply the X-Factor and made the ultimate difference with his unstoppable goal-scoring feats. ‘Nuff said. Personally, I’m truly happy for RVP for FINALLY securing his first BPL title. Couldn’t he have come to Man Utd any sooner? Hehe. :-p

General Election Tip: Know your MP!

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With the next General Elections coming up just round the corner, I think I can categorise all the registered voters to these few categories:

Type A: Die-die also must vote for BN

Type B: Die-die also must vote for Opposition

Type C: Vote BN for Parliament seat and Opposition for State seat (old-school thinking)

Type D: Dunno yet…

Type E: Make sure vote is spoilt…:-p

However, whatever Type you fall into, today’s blog is specially dedicated to ALL of you!В First, let me ask you this question…

“How well do you know your MP?”

If your MP is not one of the ‘big guns’ in their respective parties, you may hardly see your MP appearing in the news or media. Sadly, this holds more true if your MP is from the Opposition camp since their community space is already limited by mainstream media. Heck, it may even lead to assumptions that your MP is practically doing nothing! This really pisses off many people who often complain that they only get to see their MP once every 4-5 years when they do their pre-election ’rounds’ of hand-shaking and greeting the people in that area…:-p

Anyway, in this day and age where technology and social media is so advanced, it is fairly easy to literally follow the progress and performance of your MP, giving you essential knowledge and information if the MP is good enough to secure your vote for another term or not!

So, if your answer to my first question above is a little vague, my advise to you would be to quickly Google up your MP, follow them on Twitter, be their friend on Facebook, subscribe to their website RSS, etc. and you should either be amazed, shocked and possiblyВ appalled(!) at the existing work your MP has done for the community in your area.

A good example would be the MP in my area, YB Teo Nie Ching. If it weren’t for today’s accessibility to social media, I wouldn’t be able to follow and monitor her numerous efforts, support and presence in many of my area’s community events, gatherings, etc. Heck, I wouldn’t have known she was pregnant and became a mother not too long ago too! It was quite astonishing really to see many of these efforts not highlighted in mainstream media, which lends an ear to whether it can actually be quite useful to have personalised or customised newsletters by all MPs? Hmmmmm…

After you have done your homework and research on your existing MP, then you can ask yourself this question…

Are you ready to vote already? 😀

Star Trek Quotes for Everyday Use!

Fan Art Into Darkness Credits

With Star Trek Into Darkness looming ever closer to its opening, I can’t help but get more and more excited everyday. Thus, to build up the momentum or hype for Into Darkness, I thought it might actually be quite good fun if we started to incorporate or adapt some of those famous Star Trek quotes into our everyday life whilst we wait anxiously to watch the new movie!

Don’t know where to start? Here a couple to help you along:

1. When your PC suddenly crashes, proclaim dramatically..“It’s dead, Jim.”

2. When getting frustrated with terrible service at some counter or bank, heave a huge sigh and say smugly “The bureaucratic mentality is the only constant in the universe..”

3. When dark clouds appear and rain drops start to fall, stand up in an urgent manner and yell..“Yellow alert! Raise shields!”

4. Instead of using modern vulgar curses, you could try..“Up your shaft!”

5. Whilst trying to decide where to go have lunch with your office colleagues, you may smartly offer “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”

6. If your office suddenly becomes eeriely silent, try slamming the table and gasp “My God…is this an office or a morgue?!”

7. Upon the completion of a team project or event, during the team meeting or project evaluation, try making a dramatic face and whisper..“Did we….make a…difference?”

8. At networking functions, parties or when making new friends, you could say the following, “Our neural pathways have become accustomed to your sensory input patterns..”

9. When lured by temptation of food, entertainment, etc. it is always effective to use “Resistance is futile”

10. When asked the evergreen question ‘Would you like fries with that’, seriously answer, “Make it so.”

11. During office meetings when В competitors are being discussed or dissed, it could prove rather eloquent to spew, “Revenge is a dish best served cold. It is very cold in our air-conditioned office…”

12. When driving in a car and asked to drive faster, etc., quickly let out a hopeless “I’m givingВ herВ all she’s got, Captain!”

13. When faced in a hopeless or challenging situation, adapt to the scenario and cry out “Dammit Jim! I’m a <current profession>, not a <Blank>!” Eg. “Dammit boss! I’m a technician, not a robot!”

14. When noticing a colleague on the receiving end of a lot of work, assignment or stress, gingerly walk up and offer these words of encouragement, “Curious how often you humans manage to obtain that which you do not want…”

15. To exclaim surprise over just about anything at all, simply use Spock’s famousВ “Fascinating!”

16. To project good manners whenever you need to cut into a conversation, instead of the boring ‘Excuse me’, why not try, “Permission to speak freely, sir?”

17. В When being accused of lying, coolly defend yourself by saying, “I do not lie. I was merely exagerrating the truth..”

18. When you plug in your phone, PC, tablet or any other gadget to charge, proudly command in a stern, strong voice…“Energize!”

19. At home, when you sit down to relax on your sofa, pick up the the TV remote to turn it on, put on a serious note and exclaim..“On screen!”

20. Whenever asked if you can or cannot complete a particular job or assignment, put on your most dramatic facial expression, hold up your hands as if in agony, and let out the most famous Trek exclamation: “CAAAANNNNNNNNNN!!!”

21. And finally, do continue to regularly use the universal Vulcan greeting wherever you go and with whoever you meet: “Live long and prosper”

 

10 Event Management Lessons from PSY’s Loh Sang Rejection


VIDEO LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmemYrrSPY4

When PSY came down to Penang to perform at the highly politicised BN Chinese New Year concert recently, it triggered numerous videos that went viral, including the above video, which highlighted the very poor and inept event management skills of the company that conducted the concert.

Picking myself up from the floor after laughing too hard, it suddenly struck me that apart from the humourous, epic-fail В side of this video, it could also be very beneficial to everyone in the event management industry – as a superb real-life case study of what NOT to do when managing any event!

Without further ado, I proudly present 10 event management lessons you can instantly learn from this video:

1. Prioritize your event agenda: If the main highlight of the entire event was PSY’s concert, it wouldn’t be a sin to discard some items on the agenda…like this Loh Sang activity. After all, having too many items on the agenda would easily dilute the main highlight, on top of eating up too much time and also cause too much discomfort to the people in the sweltering heat. Which brings us to point no 2…

2. Take care of your audience: Personally, I would think the Loh Sang activity would work if it was a CNY Dinner or some makan gathering, where every other table in attendance also had its own set so everyone can lou hei together-gether. In a concert setting, it would seem quite illogical to conduct the activity for just the VVIPs whilst the rakyat watches on under the hot, hot sun!

3. Make sure the size is right: And even if you were somehow forced to conduct the Loh Sang activity, it would be best to ensure that the portion set before the VVIPs is big enough or sufficient. I don’t know about all of you, but the entire segment where the big horde of VVIPs hovering over the small Yee Sang dish seems so, so wrong…

4. Plan the event flow, and stick with it: The video highlighted what the entire mess of the program flow. Should the Yee Sang come out first? Was there going to be any speeches before the ceremony? How were the VVIPs supposed to stand? When were they supposed to start? Should PSY be invited too? It was quite clear that the program flow was certainly not under control…

5. Confirm (and confirm again) the roles of the guest of honor: It seemed quite evident that PSY wasn’t pre-warned or informed of the Loh Sang ceremony. His ‘rejection’ to participate could very easily be avoided if all his roles and responsibilities were spelt out clearly, even before he arrived in Penang.

6. Designate a floor manager to control the workers: You know you have a complete mess on your hands when you see the ministers on stage start to order the workers around. This has got to be well communicated from the start that all the event workers will only take instructions from a designated floor manager for more effective implementation of the event.

7. Filter your event emcee: It was just plain downright comical how the emcee was allowed to wander all over the stage in the middle of the planned Loh Sang ceremony. To top it all off, I don’t know just how long more the VVIPs nor the crowd could stand her high-pitched screaming and meaningless commentaries..

8. Be conscious of prop movements on stage: Watching the Yee Sang table being carried here, there and everywhere is really BAD, andВ EMBARRASSING….

9. Be time conscious: It was already bad enough that PSY refused to join in the Loh Sang ceremony. What was worst was this awkward 5+ minutes of DUH? time when the (already sweating and tired) crowd and the VVIPs stood around and did nothing but clap and hoped that PSY would turn up. An easy cover would be for the emcee to apologetically announce that PSY was still getting ready backstage and quickly proceed with the Loh Sang cermony. Timeliness is always key in any event management.

10.В Advise the VVIPs on stage protocols: In the midst of waiting and waiting for PSY, some of the VVIPs actually started to fiddle with their smartphones, taking pictures of the crowd, possibly tweeting, etc. Personally, I don’t think it was rather appropriate at such a function.