Categories
Software development

Dumb mistake

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The working days between Xmas and New Year are usually slow. By “slow” I mean not many people will show up and there are not many business activites. I was surprised to see quite a few people showed up this week. Like poor me they ran out of their vacation days. One of my neighbour told me “I don’t really want to be here”. To be honest I have similar feeling. I think most people would rather spend time with families and friends.

But I still have a few bugs to fix. I think my mind was not working great. The first bug is a “code merge” problem, it took me about half an hour to discover and fix — which is normal. The second one was a very simple mistake. At one place the function parameter should be used but I used the local variable. With the local variable no matter what I assigned to her, it does not have any effect on the outcome. It took me about 2 hours to discover my mistake. That was pretty dumb. I don’t know where my mind went…

The good thing is, I fixed one more bug.

Categories
Chinese articles Software development

Programming career

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I read this article from wenxuecity a while ago. Being a programmer for more than 5 years in the US, I shared the author’s view to great extent. I have made the mistakes he/she mentioned below (see bold text). I think the principle could be applied to other careers as well.

The article link is here.

==============================================
程序员生涯之我见
文章来源: 程序员 于 2005-07-31 17:35:56

程序员生涯之我见

在海外有很多中国人在从事程序员这个职业。我认识很多这样的朋友,发现许多人并不快乐,只是将这个工作当成养家糊口的工具。还有许多人工作努力而不能入门。我曾经在很长一段时间内也有过困惑,但最后终于走了出来。在这里谈谈自己的看法,希望对大家有一些启发。

俗话说“兴趣是最好的老师”。这话很有道理,但运用在事业上往往并不是这么一回事。在学生时代你可以追随兴趣天马行空,为未来作各种各样的设想。坚韧不拔而又有些运气的在后学生时代仍可在预设的道路上跋涉前进,甚至一帆风顺。而绝大多数同仁们则在生活所伏下的各种小圈套中纷纷落马,有的痛苦挣扎,有的怨天尤人,还有的则既来之,则安之,以失败者的心态接受生活的安排。这些为生活所改变的同仁们的共同点是不再(敢或愿)提对原先事业的兴趣了,如果曾经有过的话。当然,兴趣是会变化的。但因生活改变而生的新的兴趣往往难以长久,而人生苦短,又经得起几次改变呢?

和其它许多职业一样,从事程序员职业的可分成三种人:入门的, 不想入门的,和想入门而没有入门的。我对入门的定义是:喜欢这个职业并且有持之以恒的目标和努力。

入门的是极少数。如果一个程序员一直在从事这个职业,而且热爱并愿为之终老,我想他一定是幸福的。任何职业其实都是这样。我所在的公司有个年轻的老美,是负责三十多个程序员(包括我)的Software Architect,为人朴实而性格腼腆,但他对职业热爱的纯连我都嫉妒得要命。他好像可以不食人间烟火,可以没有任何爱好(他其实一年要度好几次假的,但全是老婆安排,当然也参加公司活动),但对几年前写的代码记得清清楚楚。他没有可炫耀的学历(服兵役间在一家小学校读的计算机本科)和经历(因为太年轻),在任何场合都总是腼腆地笑着(我将他研究了很久,发现他实在本性如此),毫不起眼,但我知道,他是被造化所祝福的。他可以一直思考一个问题,在半夜起来用VPN连上公司网络修改一个bug。我遇到过不少优秀的程序员,就没他这么纯的。

不想入门的程序员可能是这三种人中比例最高的。女的居多,家庭负担重的居多,思想活跃的居多。程序员职业为男性所主宰是一个事实。女孩子结婚后兴趣大多都变了,程序员工作辛苦,责任大,也就没什么吸引力了。很多程序员聪明而思想活跃,却不愿意喜欢这个职业。有的一直在琢磨怎么开自己的公司,有的天天研究炒股,还有的只想好好保住这个工作,完成分配任务了事。究其原因,一是将人生看得太“透”了,觉得程序员工作只是衣食父母;一是认为编程太简单,没啥好投入的;还有就是看不到出路,当一辈子程序员划不来。人各有志。对一些人来说,程序员只是人生经历的一部分,他们有自己所追求的目标。虽说这两年的IT不象五年前那么火热,但仍到处是机会,很多人通过程序员的工作进入IT而寻找机会。但对那些可能长久从事程序员工作的人来说,不入门实在太辜负了上天赐予的聪明才智。在美国的这些年,我认识了许多转行做程序员并做得不错的大陆来的朋友。附近一家老美的公司,软件研发部门中大陆来美读研毕业后留下来的有二十来人,多半是国内名校本科毕业的。这二十来人没有一个本科或博士是读计算机的,现在水平都很高。我用这个例子是想说明程序员这个队伍的素质是多么优秀,理应做出点事来。

在现实生活中许多人由于缺少机会而不能成为程序员。不少人是半路出家,而人过而立之年,要想的,要考虑的东西多了:家庭,孩子,健康,股票,老人,房子,车子,地位…。有一位朋友,国内名牌大学物理本科,来美国读了物理博士。他在博士期间喜欢上编程,上过计算机系的几门课。九八年博士毕业时计算机工作火热,就找了个程序员的工作,从网页做起。我看得出他是很想做一个优秀的程序员。这些年我们一直保持联系。可惜的是他为生活所迫,年年在找工作(他一直做的是合同工,收入会高些,家里上有老,下有小)。而博士学位在很多时候都是over qualify(资历过高)。这两年经济不好,更是动不动被解雇。最近他终于找到了一份稳定的工作-在银行里做全职的DBA (数据库管理员)。他人显得老了,语气也变了,只求有一份安稳的工作。他对编程的爱好依旧,但始终处于外围阶段,不是网页编程,就是DBA,只有业余时间学习一些.NET。还有一次,在2003年,Job market 正不好。我参加休斯敦中国人西区教会组织的Job Fair,目的是让教会里的人将工作机会互通有无。我当时因为朋友邀请去看了看。参加的人基本上全是在做或找程序员工作的。好几个年龄相当,还没找到工作的在和我聊起来时听说我是国内计算机系本科毕业的,一直在做程序员,都很踊跃,要和我讨论一些问题,并留下电子邮件地址。看到他们羡慕的神情,当时我还没觉得什么,可现在每想到此,都有些震撼。很多人如果得到了机会可能会成为很好的程序员。然而世事往往如此:得到的人不珍惜,珍惜的人得不到。

想入门而没有入门的有很多:学有专长,由于各种各样的原因做上了程序员,做长了发现也许要做很久,于是试图研究并喜欢它,却发现这很难。难就难在看不清自己的方向。我认识不少程序员,工作很努力,有抱负,业余时间也学习,考证书,可是方向换来换去,今天学Java,明天学.NET,后天又打算考MBA,到outsourcing的消息一传来,又灰心丧气。究其原因,数理化和许多其它的工程职业都已成型,研究方向明确,很多人通过学习会入迷而入门,知道自己的奋斗目标。软件工程行业才只有几十年的历史,作为一门科学还远不成熟,不能给程序员工作以明确指导。Microsoft的Visual Studio以及现在的.NET在大大提高编程效率的同时, 也使得编程变得前所未有的容易。仅仅在编程上钻研不仅难以入门,而且在日新月异的技术面前会产生光阴易逝的困惑。

在美国,很多中国人去教会,而且其中不少成了忠实的信徒。我周围有不少朋友如此,所以由他们牵线参加了一些中国人教会的活动。我问他们信教后最大的感受是什么,答:平安喜乐。看得出真正的信徒是蒙福的。这是我所向往的生活。但我至今还没有信教,因为我在没有参加教会活动前早也有过那种感受。我知道信教不是唯一的途径,对不同的人会有不同的方式。早在春秋时代的孔子说过“朝闻道,夕死可矣”。这里的“道”,我相信和真正的信徒的信仰是殊路同归。而我们人生,不管是从事什么职业,能“闻道”,也就“夕死可矣”。所以我一直在寻找在程序员这个职业里的“道”,也就是“入门”。

一日我读到了冯友兰先生的《中国哲学简史》,在网上广泛流传的电子版本。如获至宝。我第一次知道了原来我们的哲学家们也在研究这个“道”。不过他们研究的是与职业无关的,更为广泛意义上的为人之道。在书中,冯先生提到有各种各样的人,每种人都可能达到那种人最高的成就;而对所有的人来说,他们都可以达作为一个人最高的成就,为“圣人”,为领悟“道”的人, 为哲学的人。而中国哲学所研究的就是怎样可以成为一个“圣人”,达到天人合一。在书的最后他指出,中国人可以不信教的理由是我们有自己的哲学,我们不需要信仰,因为我们是哲学的。我至今深表赞同。基督教义让信徒体会平安喜乐,只需无条件接受即可。中国哲学则需要你思考去体会。两者的功用有异曲同工之妙。

三百六十行,行行出状元。无论一个人从事何种职业,都可以在工作中加深自己对人生的理解,都可以在对事业的探索中去领悟这个天人合一。我一直相信,入门的人是得道的,无论他的天人合一是来自人的本性,还是信仰或哲学。

在程序员这个职业里感受这个“道”,不同的人会有不同的理解,得由自己来体会。程序员不妨一读Fred Brooks的The Mythical Man-Month一书。作者是大师级人物,将软件工程的各个方向深入浅出地描述一遍。如果你已有几年在公司里当程序员的经验,读后或许会有拨云见日的感觉。其实我在美国读研时也上过软件工程一课,真没学到些什么,所以一直忽略了这门知识。现在计算机教育仍需要改善,有些课程设置并不合理,无论是国内和国外。像软件工程课,给没有几年程序员经历的人来人往说只会是纸上谈兵,而对有经验的人却往往是对症下药,醍醐灌顶。编程只是程序员工作的一小部分,而当你能对整个行业能有一个全盘的了解,你自然会找到自己的兴趣所在。

当你找到兴趣所在,无论是中国的哲学和智慧,对教的信仰,或是你内心深处对世界的体会,都会给你以信心和指导,不再会有疑惑。
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Categories
Chinese articles

Haigui salary analysis

Reading Time: < 1 minute

The following is I saw from haiguinet, thanks to jlink for writing this post. Not surprisingly management and business skills are most valuable.

==================================================
再接再励: 在华外派,海龟 人员2005收入分析:
谢谢大家的鼓励。 看来大家兴趣不小。
16页的原点是零。每隔100,000USD。所以,TOP EXECUTIVE,港台EXPAT因为长期在
大陆经营,又没有文化,语言隔阂,所以以340,000USD拔下头筹。
跟在后面的310,000USD是除了忠诚度,和耍嘴皮外一无用处的老外。人家要自己人,
也是可以理解的。
(这两种人最容易被有经验的RETUNEE干掉。)
海龟混到第一把交椅的人在此落到最后面, 26,7万美元左右。同道相比,低是低
了一点,但比起留在国外赚那点毛钱还是人间天上了。(不知这数字真实性如何。姑
妄听之吧。)
注意,130个样本中TOP EXECUTIVE没有LOCAL HIRE。说明,整体上来说,LOCAL还是
没有成长起来,突破玻璃天花板。大体上还只能做到DIRECTOR一级(100,000USD)
MANAGER位置上,海龟大有可为。几乎是处于LOCAL与WESTERNER之间。趋势是十分明
显的,JLINK称之 “外驱鞑虏,内压中土”。EXPAT (12万),与国内“返聘”的老
外(9万),迟早要被CHINESE所代替;而本土经理人与海龟,虽然都是CHINESE,也就
是万把块钱的DELTA,海龟毕竟有些质量和诚信保证。所以我们看到的是越来越多的
海龟,有经验的海龟!飞速进入中层。也许,明天的TOP EXECUTIVE就出在这批人中。 (海归论坛 www.haiguinet.com)

至于回国想做技术的(SPECIALIST),可以看出这是没有前途的DEADEND JOB。2-3万
美元,还是留在美国,老婆,孩子热炕头吧。不过作为一块跳板,还是可以的。 (海归论坛 www.haiguinet.com)

JLINK还倒出两年前的HEWITT DATA,惊然发现两年里面, DIRECTOR 与 TOP EXECUTIVE的
TOTAL CASH已从2003基础上 (WESTERNER与AVERAGE)各涨了33%与54%。可见一将难求。 (海归论坛 www.haiguinet.com)

事实上好像也是如此。JLINK周围的一些海龟同道只要发出简历,几个月后接HEADHUNTER的
电话接的手软。我有时玩笑该成立一个HGMC了:HAIGUI GM CLUB。 (海归论坛 www.haiguinet.com)

最后说到创业,经常有人问JLINK是否应该创业。我的回答是:如果你是小龟,先浅
(打工)后深(下海)。如果你是金龟,你得问自己下海后赚得来那TOP EXECUTIVE的PAY吗,
GIVEN ALL THE RISKS AND HASSELS?
欢迎指正。
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Categories
Business Fun Software development

NBA and team work

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I got chance to watch some NBA games lately. I am not a big NBA fan because I don’t have cable at home and I felt it takes too much time (usually 2.5 hrs) to watch a game. I told my friends who are big NBA (Yao Ming) fans that I only need to watch the final 5 minutes because that’s when a game gets decided most of the time.

Anyway back to the games. Last week there are a few superstars made steller performance in some games. Kobe Bryan made 62 points in 3 quarters against Dallas. Vince Carter scored 51 points against Miami. Both Bryan and Carter’s teams won the games. Then there is this amazing story, Allen Iverson scored 53 points but his team Philadelphia lost to Atlanta. I don’t know what exactly happened in that game. But I started to watch Allen’s game since 2000 and I can guess what happened. Allen, who is only 6 feet tall and 165 pounds in weight, is the most agile player in the NBA. I remember somebody (maybe his former coach Larry Brown) said “pound for pound, he is the best player in the league”. But at the same time, Allen sometimes relies too much on himself without passing the balls to his teammates. Basket ball is a team sport. Star player or team leader is very important. They make shots in the crunch time (final 5 minutes). Allen, Kobe, Robert Horry, Tracy McGrady and many others are those kinds of the guy. But superstars are not supermans. They can have injuries, illness or just bad days. During those times, their teammates’ help is more critical. Even if they are on the top of the game, they need to get their teammate involved. Because if you don’t make your teammate look good, they won’t make you look good too.

This can be applied to the software development and other businesses. In “mythical man month” I read an exceptional software developer can be as productive as 300 average developers. I believed it. I think the founders of Netscape, Yahoo and Google are those kinds of guy. That’s cool. But what’s more amazing is those guys are not running the show themselves. They know their limit especially in the business side so they asked some senior people to join the team. The results are obvious — success of the companies.

This does not means average developer (like me) are totally hopeless. First I think “exceptional developer” is very rare. My brother and I went to Google campus recently and saw some Google people at the packing lot. My brother’s comment was “they are average people like we are except they are lucky enough to be hired by Google”. So here is the hint: join a winning team. I am not saying “jump to the Google now” because they raised the bar very much. There are many winning teams including your current employer (you may not realize it). Do your work and help your teammates. Make your boss look good. They will make you look good too.

Back to NBA. My favorite team is Detroit pistons. In 2004 when they won the NBA champion they don’t have a guy in the All Stars game. The 5 starters are good players but are not at the level of Shaq and Kobe. But they beated the LA Lakers by the teamwork. 2005 Champion San Antonio Spurs is also that kind of team. Tim Ducan is a superstar but he is probablly most unselfish superstar in the league.

Categories
China Saint Louis

A white Christmas

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I got up this morning at 9 AM and was surprised to found out we had snow last night. Other than that, not too much excitement here in St. Louis. There are a few places open, notably Star Bucks and WalGreen (drug store). I can not go to my favorite Borders or St. Louis (Panera) Bread Co. So I watched two NBA games instead. I had a fairly quite Christmas this time. I remember three years ago we had a big snow in St. Louis during Xmas. In that Xmas night I drove my car into the roadside ditch on the way from friend’s house to my house. Luckily I was not hurt and I got help from AAA to tow my car.

This evening I went to Airport and picked up a friend just back from China. Not surprisingly he also mentioned the difference between Beijing and St. Louis. The following is a post I saw on mitbbs. Please note I don’t necessarily agree with the author’s opinion. I wish next year I could spend my Christmas in Shanghai.

==================
标 题: 上海街头的圣诞气氛
发信站: BBS 未名空间站

到处都是圣诞树,圣诞老人,圣诞礼物…
餐馆酒吧咖啡店百货公司全部是MERRY CHRISTMAS
无数的小红帽子在街头晃动,
基督徒估计没几个,气愤却比美国还要浓厚
===========================

Categories
Site Info

Get started 使用说明

Reading Time: 3 minutes

(Updated May 2011) “古人云,人不自信谁人信之.” Others won’t believe in you unless you believe yourself. –Chinese proverb

Hello, world 🙂 I am not another expert. I am an ordinary guy who believes: by lifetime learning, hard and independent work and discipline, little guys can achieve their dreams, too.

I grew up in China. Currently I am working on iOS (iPhone/iPad) app development. Here I’m also blogging about iOS app/software development, business, personal finance, and other fun stuffs in life. You can leave comment here or Email me: if you wish to remain private.

Tip: you can always hit “home” or type www.stlplace.com to get back to the home page.

Search: please refer to the “search this site” page, as this is a bit complicated.

Related post: I added “related post” functions to this blog today. Basically it will show “related posts” at the end of each article if you go to each post (by clicking on the title). Hopefully this will make navigation of this blog a bit easier. Now we have search on the side bar (search by word, search by Google), and this related post thing. I also added “save to del.icio.us” button at the bottom of each post.

Revisions
(5-28-2011) Converted Ultimate Tag Warriror to WordPress tag, by importing and enable tag cloud in side bar. More information on U can be read here.

(April, 2011) Upgrade to WordPress 3.1.2, the only thing not working is Ultimate Tag Warrior.

(12-12-2009) Added my twitter widget. The Google Conversation Elements were removed earlier due to lack of interest. Note “Share This” Button at the end of each post has the buttons for Twitter, Facebook etc. Enjoy!

Added Google Conversation Elements.(May 30, 2009): this is to facilitate interesting and intelligent discussions on things. Enjoy!

Used compact archive (May 30, 2009): link to plugin.

Added “Share This” button (May 22, 2009): this is for bookmark and sharing with your friends. Try it out 🙂

Switch to a three column theme (simplicity), this allows for more room for side bars. (Dec 2007)

Tanslation: I added a language tool at the right side bar. You can click on the flag to get an instant translation of this blog. This is not perfect and sometimes it does not work because of server problem. But at least you can get a glimpse of what I’m talking about. (May 20, 2007)

My view on stocks: Information is provided ‘as is’ and solely for informational purposes, not for trading purposes or advice. (Mar 15, 2007)

Pictures: some of the pictures (those hosted on flickr and yupoo) are clickable. You can see a bigger picture if you click on it. (Mar 12, 2007)

Subscription: besides point your web browser to stlplace.com, you can also use “Add to My Yahoo”, subscribe to “feedburner” or “newsgator” to get the latest post. Pick your favorite way to get the blog: type in web address and check if there is anything new (the so called “pull” method); or the RSS subscription (so called “push” method, the new post is pushed to your web page automatically). (sometime in 2006)

Dec 2005, initial release.

(Original Dec 2005) Hello, world. I am not another stock expert. I am an ordinary guy who believes that: by learning and disciplined investing little guy can beat many “experts”.

At STLPlace, we believe in independent research and value investing. We don’t blindly chase hot stocks, we don’t follow Jim Cramer, and we don’t catch falling knives…

I grew up in China and have been in the US since Fall 1997. Here I’m blogging about business, finance, stocks, other fun stuffs in the US and China.

This is a place I’m sharing my thoughts. Please don’t take this as a stock tip and run with it. One selfish reason for this blog is to organize my thoughts and actions on stocks, and be a better investor along the way. Hopefully you can also benefit from this process: the result matters, but more importantly is how we get there, so that we can repeat the success.

Any comments, please send email to:

Categories
Fun Life

Major’s list in 2005

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Best Chinese TV-series (soup opera): Dong Shi Mu Bei Dong Gan Qing (Anything but your feeling)

Most Spectacular View: Grand Canyon (Arizona, US)

Most Scenic View: Jiu Zhai Gou (Si Chuan, China)

Best Chinese Restraunant (tie): Asiana (St. Louis); New Age Veggie 新素代 at Shanghai SuperBrandMall正大广场

Best Bread: St. Louis (Panera) Bread Company

Best Espresso: Borders (not Star Bucks)

Best Fast Food: Fazoli’s (an Italian Fast Food restraunt)

Most proud thing: realized I can only be myself, not Bill Gates, or William Ding Lei (CEO of Netease)

Most stupid thing I did (tie): roller blading in Stacy park without checking out the road condition; bet on Netease’s 2005 Q4 earning

Best place to study: Borders (a chained book store in the US)

Most visited web site: yahoo.com

Best user interface: Google web site and tools

Categories
Fun Life

Being blessed and loved

Reading Time: 2 minutes

It’s almost Christmas. Things started to calm down, especially in Post Office, the malls should be packed by last minute shoppers now. I received some emails and calls from old friends already. I have 4 days holiday for X’mas. Today (12/23) is the first day. When I was running some errands, I thought about the year 2005. First I used “being blessed and loved” title not purely for religious meaning.

I think everyone, religous or not, could spend some time reflecting the past year. Americans have this thing called New Year’s resolution. While I am not a believer on “resolution”, I think I tend to repeat same mistake again and again. I am not just talking about investing. I could use some time to think about my mistakes in the past year and hopefully don’t make the same ones next year.

One of my problem is “impatience” or “hope for quick money or success”. This can be applied to my stock trading and other things. So I bought this stock called “PetsMart”, after listening to my roomate who is pursuing MS in Finance. I waited 3 weeks patiently. Nothing happened. At the same time I talked to another friend who bought “Apple” and he made lots of money. I decided to sell the “PetsMart”. Shortly after I sold it at a loss, the stock went up. I made same mistake on “Yahoo”, I could make $9 but made only $1 on it (per share). I also thought about doing something more exciting than “programming everyday”, and doing another kind of programming. I was not successful. I decide to concentrate my work for now.

I am doing OK at my job. It seems my bosses are happy with my performance. I did write some useful code and solved some tough problems. I also tried to help my teammate in any way I can. I think I will have more opportunities as I “hang in there”.

In the summer I learned Golf. I continued to take Tae Kwon Do (Koren Martial Arts), both without much progress. Actually I did not take one promotion test on TKD so I am still red 2nd. I continued roller skating. Once I fell down, broke my chin and went to emergency room. Later on I realized I was lucky enough not killing myself by skating without checkin out the trail and wearing helmet. In winter I began to skate on the real ice in Creve Coeur Ice Arena.

I also took two accounting courses in the community college. Now I got a better grip on the business and financial statements.

I went to some old places and new places: Grand Canyon, New Jersey, Shanghai, Beijing, Congqing, Jiu Zhai Gou, Austin, Silicon Valley and Yosemite. They are all beautiful and unique, but I feel more at home at St. Louis right now. My condo (apartment) is messy but it’s very peaceful with good location. I can walk to the movie theater, St. Louis (Panera) bread company and the Nissan dealership.

The most important of all, I felt I am blessed and loved. While losing some “mad money” in the stock market, it did not hurt me too bad but made me wiser (hopefully). While I was thinking about things about my career, I received lots of advice and encouragment from my friends, old and new. While I do have frustrations at my work, things eventually worked out when I tried real hard and got help from my colleagues.

Wish all my friends a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Categories
Fun

Daddy?

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Little kids can be fun. If you don’t have to deal with the diapers and crying stuff. Recently I spent some time with my 7 months old niece. And she was very sweet.

Today I went to Fazoli for lunch. When I was leaving the retraunant, I saw a little girl probablly 2 years old. I said “hi”, and she smiled and and asked her mom “daddy?”. Obviously she is confused me with her real daddy. We all laughed although her mother is slightly embarassed by this. But to me, hey little girl, you made my day.

Categories
Business China Saint Louis

Got my car back

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Got my car back this morning. This time they called me at 8:20 AM and told me it’s ready. The noise problem was caused by an idle pulley used for A/C. Ironically when I was in Rolla I did research on the V-ribbed accessory belt drive. That pulley is a part of the accessory drive. I did have a feeling something was wrong with the drive but I did not have the courage to open it and see it myself. So much for my mechanical engineering backgound. When I picked up the car, I compained the miscommunication problem yesterday. The service rep agreed a $20 discount. And he even pulled my car over (like valet). It seems I got “BMW or Lexus” treatment this time. I have a friend who recently got a BMW 525i and I will check with him about his BMW service experience.

The good thing is, I got my car and my freedom. I was a little upset just because “without a car for one night”. I know I am spoiled being in the States for more than 8 years. My Accounting class instructor once said “we take too many things for granted over here in the States”. I agree. My fellow American graduate student commented “people here can get upset waiting in McDonald for 5 minutes, they don’t know many people in Africa are starving”. I appreciate those comments very much. I know in China the customer service is definitely not at the US level yet (it’s catching up). I think that’s why “Chatea” and “Ctrip” alike are so popular because they make customer happy. I remember Dallas Maverick owner Mark Cuban once said “treat your customers like they owned you”. If I have a business one day, I will do exactly that.