New Gaming Channel: Gamer Compatible

Hi guys!

In the past couple of months, I’ve been putting more time and effort into gaming and as a result, I had posted a couple of gaming reviews on this blog.

Starting today, I’ve created a new channel relevant to my gaming findings: Gamer Compatible. And with that, I’m porting my previously posted gaming reviews over to my new WordPress account: http://gamercompatible.wordpress.com/

If you’re interested in gaming or just like gaming, you can follow my new Twitter and Facebook account for more details: @gamercompatible. 

And no worries as I will still be posting on this blog. 

Thanks!

Crazy Dream: Government Killing Off Human Test Subjects

heart

I woke up at least 3 different times last night yet I continued to have my crazy, long dream. Here’s my dream recap:

The government is taking groups of 21 people and they are being “tested” on. In reality, each person is healthy though is assigned a different heart condition. To match their heart condition, the government would “test” on them and give them the malignant condition. The process would always kill the test subject to make sure there are no witnesses. I am chosen to be one of the 21 people and my designated heart condition is that I had odd, small bumps on my heart. I start panicking because I don’t want to die.

Next, I’m at my grandma’s house and am hiding in one of her guest rooms (this room is on the 18th floor and overlooks the beach). In my panicked state, I lock the door, fill up a book bag with my “cannot live without” items and get ready to make a run for it. I pull a large blanket off the bed, climb out a window, jam the edge of the blanket into the closing window gap and belay downwards. Fortunately, each window below is close enough for me to grasp and I make my way down safely. My feet pound towards the beach and I start swimming when my hands grab a large floating buoy. The next few scenes are of me navigating around looming construction boats in the ocean.

yellow_buoy

Eventually, I reach land and I run off to find a new hiding place. To my luck, I find an old bag of mine and start searching through it. A young kid is hanging around and I am worried that he is going to rat me out. His face looks oddly familiar so I ask: “Adrian?” He looks at me and says: “No, I’m Adrian’s younger brother.” I take an iPod out of the bag and give it to him. Then run off. The dream gets a little blurry and skips to me hiding out in a tiny house. I’m out on the street trying to my convince my mom to help me when a neighboring kid recognizes me and says with a sneer that “I’m one of the chosen ones and should get ready for my imminent death”. *Dream skips to a different scenario.*

At the marketplace, I am able to convince a friend to give me a ride in his car. *Dream gets blurry.* My mom and sister are helping me escape down a set of wide, concrete emergency stairs. Somehow, Adrian’s younger brother meets up with me and tells me that he really likes my songs on the iPod. We’re going further down the stairs, running from floor to floor and at one point, he gets distracted by a shelf of items. I tell him that we’re going to lose my mom and sister and grab his hand. My mom and sister’s voice are trailing off in the distance yet he keeps lingering the farther we go down. When we’re close to the bottom floor, he feels guilty and tells me that it was a trap.

I peer around a concrete doorway and see that my mom and sister are tied up, gagged and hung up on metal chains. They’re alive but frightened. All around the room, there are shelves of pots and pans and other kitchen utensils. The next warehouse area resembles a tennis shop. I sneak inside with the kid and open start opening tennis bags lying on the floor. I grab a tennis racket and tell him to scurry over to the tennis section to find me a second racket. He keeps pointing at items that aren’t useful and also points at a racket for little kids.  I gesture with my hand that I need a racket with a long handle. Seeing that it’s futile, I gesture him to come back. I grab a pot instead and tell him to arm himself. Two ladies walk through the concrete doorway and I inform them that this is *the* government facility. They become furious and are ready to join the fight. Two guys walk around the corner and the fighting ensues. The last thing I remember is swinging my racket around, hitting people with it and knocking them down. I woke up right before my next encounter with an evil blond lady by a counter on the other side of the room.

tennis_shot

The dream has me a little frazzled though this isn’t the first time I’ve had such an intense dream. Now it’s time for me to start my day.

I Probably Ruined GE’s Valentine’s Day Contest

GE (General Electric) is having a Facebook contest where if you submit a geeky poem, you can get a chance to win a free 3D rose for Valentine’s Day.

Normally, my rhyming skills are decent but for whatever reason, today is just not my day. Hopefully, my rhymes aren’t too offensive but in case they get taken down, these are my submitted poems:

GE_poems

Update: GE likes my poems!

3d_poem_response

 

Mission accomplished. What geeky poem would you come up with?

My PowerPoint for Gameguyz

960-550-GAMEGUYZ_02

A while ago, I did a phone interview with Gameguyz for their Game Content Editor position and the representative wanted me to do a review of their League of Legends portion of the site (including what new social media promotions I could bring to the table.)

I sent an extensive PowerPoint presentation via their Craigslist email address and patiently waited for a response. Two weeks later, I sent a follow up email, which was answered by a completely new person. “George” told me that the internship was still open and asked me to “write some sample of article about LOL game strategy or statistic report base our data analyst?”

Upon re-reading his response while typing it out just now, George probably could have written that a bit more elegantly.

Anyway, I followed up saying that I had applied for the Game Content Editor position and as far as I know, it wasn’t an internship. I also mentioned that “since my emails keep being answered by different people, I would appreciate a follow up email from an employee email address to keep all the information organized.” That was the last time I heard from anyone.

Since I don’t want my PowerPoint presentation to go to waste, feel free to take a look at it here:

gameguyz_feedback

Thanks!

My Answers to Uber’s Creative Writing Test

Job hunting is hard. And job hunting can be mind boggling when recruiters are vague upon rejecting your application.

I recently did a phone interview with Uber. I was extremely excited when the recruiter told me that she liked my ideas and hell, Uber would be an awesome place to work at. Following the phone interview, I was asked to take their creative writing test (which was supposed to take several hours).

After 5 hours of tears and sweat, I submitted my creative writing test only to be informed that my test results weren’t “quite where we needed them to be”. When I asked for a copy of acceptable answers, I was told that they couldn’t “pass along other candidate’s work”.

It is unfortunate and frustrating when companies sweep candidates under the rug without blinking an eye. Is it so hard to ask for a little feedback? It seems to be the case.

With that said, I would like to share my answers to Uber’s creative writing test. I’m quite proud of my work and I hope you enjoy it too:

Section 1: Marketing

“Category 1: A promotion focused on acquiring users for our low-cost option, UberX”

UberX Marks the Spot

Aloha from UberX! We love hearing from our fans so we want you to send us an online postcard of your favorite getaway spot. Through our Facebook event page, upload a photo of you and your Uber X and tell us why this destination holds a place in your heart. The top 5 postcards with the most likes will win awesome prizes. Good luck and bon voyage!

“Category 2: An on-demand promotion similar to Uber Ice Cream our Uber Chopper.”

Uber Presents Its First Blood Drive

Uber is partnering with the American Red Cross and Kara’s Cupcakes this week! Support this great cause by donating blood. If you donate, we’ll give you awesome Uber swag and a cupcake. Let’s make this the gift that keeps on giving.

“B) Laundry List: Create a laundry list of marketing ideas, whether an event/promo/etc. Include a 1-2 sentence description for each, topped off with a creative & catchy blog post title for that idea.”

Life in the Uber Lane
We’re offering a once in a lifetime ride in our sexy sports car. Sit back as our world renowned sports car driver speeds through the hills of San Francisco. Buckle your seat belt, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

Treat Yourself to an Uber Shopping Spree
Retweet this post and the person with the most RTs will be our lucky winner! We’ll pick you up in our UberSUV and take you to the Stonestown Galleria where you can spend $500 on whatever your heart desires. You deserve it to be pampered.

Fall in Love with Uber
Share your love story and you could win a getaway for two to Napa. We’ll send you in style with UberLux and you’ll be whisked away on a romantic hot air balloon ride. Love is in the air.

Uber Bus Double Decker Fun
The xth user will win a sponsored party on a double decker bus. Invite 10 of your friends for a fun night on the town, Uber style!

“C) Practical: Find a bar or restaurant in your city that you believe would make a good partner for Uber. Talk with the owners and managers of that bar. How would they want to partner with Uber? What do they want in return? How would you structure this partnership to be most beneficial for Uber?”

Based on previous research experience, I would need at least a week or two to correspond with the owners and managers of the bar/restaurant (especially if the correspondence is done over email). My prospective locations included:

I called each location and was either told to send the manager an email or that the manager would get back to me. Here are the questions I have written up:

1. Are you familiar with Uber? (Any restaurants that were familiar with Uber would be given first priority).
2. If you could partner with them, what would your bar/restaurant be able to offer?
3. What would you like in return?

Section 2: Support

“Driver turned a two mile trip into an 8 mile trip. No way I’m paying this. Expect a chargeback and some posts through my social media channels.”

Hi (customer_name),

We apologize for any inconveniences this may have caused.

Our team will look into this issue and if we have any additional questions, we will contact you directly.

Thank you for using Uber.

Sincerely,

Your Uber Team

“Hey Uber, I had a really strange interaction with my driver yesterday. First, he was a bit terse and distracted when trying to figure out my pickup location. Then, when I finally got in the car, he got into an accident. I know these things happen. But the reason he got into an accident was that he was insisting on passing a water bottle to me in the backseat. I didn’t even ask for one.

The worst part was that he wouldn’t let me out of the car after the accident. The child locks were on. I asked to be let out but he said “No. It will only take a minute.” I asked one more time to open the doors, but again he said that he would be done in a minute. I felt uncomfortable at this point, so did not ask again. Could you explain how this behavior could come from one of your employees?”

Hi (customer_name),

We sincerely apologize for the recent accident.

If you are unhappy with your recent Uber trip, please contact the Transportation Provider as they handle official complaints and are able to take appropriate actions.

As stated on our Legal page:

“The quality of the transportation services requested through the use of the Application or the Service is entirely the responsibility of the Transportation Provider who ultimately provides such transportation services to you. Uber under no circumstance accepts liability in connection with and/or arising from the transportation services provided by the Transportation Provider or any acts, action, behaviour, conduct, and/or negligence on the part of the Transportation Provider. Any complaints about the transportation services provided by the Transportation Provider should therefore be submitted to the Transportation Provider.”

For further information, please visit:

https://www.uber.com/legal

We apologize for any inconveniences this may cause and thank you for contacting Uber.

Sincerely,

Your Uber Team

“Uber made my engagement last night! I was proposing to my longtime girlfriend, and I knew I needed that special touch. I ordered an UberBLACK for the occasion. I could not have asked for a better driver. He really made the event feel special. Thanks Uber!”

Hi (customer_name),

We are ecstatic that we could help you with your engagement! Congratulations to you and your fiancé. If you are happy with your recent Uber experience, please feel free to mention us on Twitter or Facebook.

Thank you again for sharing your story with us and we hope you continue to use Uber.

Sincerely,

Your Uber Team

Section 3: Analytics

“Which promo should we use and why?”

Option 1 -
1000 attendees
$10 off trip
1% redeeming promo
$20 average trip
10 rides/year
25% margin for Uber

10 people are redeeming the coupon * ($20 average trip – $10 off trip) = $100 for promo * 25% for Uber = $25 profit
10 people * ($20 average trip * 9 remaining trips) = $1800 * 25% for Uber = $450 profit
Total profit: $475

Option 2 -
1000 attendees
$15 off trip
2% redeeming promo
$20 average trip
10 rides/year
25% margin for Uber

20 people are redeeming the coupon * ($20 average trip – $15 off trip) = $100 for promo * 25% for Uber = $25 profit
20 people * ($20 average trip * 9 remaining trips) = $3600 * 25% for Uber = $900 profit
Total profit: $925

Option 3 -
1000 attendees
$20 off trip
5% redeeming promo
$20 average trip
10 rides/year
25% margin for Uber

50 people are redeeming the coupon * ($20 average trip – $20 off trip) = $0 profit
50 people * ($20 average trip * 9 remaining trips) = $9000 * 25% for Uber = $2250 profit
Total profit: $2250

Option 3 is the best promotion.

“If we want to return a profit on each rider within 6 months, what is the max amount that we would give on a promo?”

6 months = 5 trips per person
5 trips * $20 average trip = $100 total

Uber can create a promotion of up to $100 but they will not make any profit during this period.

“How would you think about increasing conversion? ["promo conversion"?]“

If a user spends x amount on a ride, Uber will match the amount in credit.

“Unrelated to the above table and questions:

Youʼve noticed that average trips/signup has gone down:

What could be causing this?”

Decrease in advertising spend or everyone already knows about Uber. Other possible causes: holidays or weather.

“How might you increase it?”

Increase advertising spend.

Holidays: Promotions for people staying in SF for the holidays/visitors

Weather: Appeal to people’s likes (e.g. if it’s hot out, air conditioned vehicles; if it’s cold out, heated vehicles, etc).

To view Uber’s creative writing questions, click here: CM Marketing Focused

To view my answers, click here: Uber Creative Answers

Thanks for reading!


Infected, Zombie Dream

zombie_eyes

I had several really weird dream sequences last night:

A dad was carrying his two kids on his shoulders into a building. One of them was wearing my teddy bear’s hat. That infuriated me and I bellowed at someone to fetch it.

Dream shift: I’m in a wooden house with my ‘family’. We’re fighting over whether to use the peanut butter and jam bottle or not (top half had peanut butter, bottom half had jam). A lot of commodities are banned because they are considered fun commodities including the peanut butter and jam bottle.

Dream shift: I’m hiding in a cupboard as a friendly armed lady passes through our house. A second lady gets struck by lightening and goes through the motions of tearing at her flesh. She has these white, demonic eyes and rushes to catch up to the first girl. A guy enters the house and he has the infected eyes as well. Somehow, I escape while the infected people are attacking the others.

Dream shift: I try to hop into several cars and am finally able to make it into an RV. I scream at the Mexican fellow to drive as I toss the rest of my belongings into the back of the car. As we’re driving away, I can see the infected kids off in the distance. We’re safe for now. Suddenly, the driver goes around a left bend and stops in front of an elementary school to drop me off. I’m horrified as the infected kids start surrounding the car. I yell at him to drive but he insists on dropping me off.

Dream shift: Somehow, the Mexican guy is on a horse. I’m holding onto his horse and another horse because in my dreams, two horses are better than one. We’re galloping away in a forest while two infected kids are chasing us at incredible speeds. At some point, the Mexican guy and his horse disappear as I am slowly trudging through a dark and swampy area. I’ve temporarily lost the infected kids as I venture further into the swamp.

Dream shift: I’m running up the stairs in this building when I run into a guy. I start freaking out but realize he’s not infected. We hide out in a large pantry area that has a stable door. I lock the bottom half of the door and as I was reaching to lock the top half, another guy shows up on the stairs. I start freaking out again but thankfully, it’s one of his non-infected friends. At some point, there are four guys and me hiding in the pantry area and now, we don’t even have the bottom door closed at all. As the guys are chatting away, I look down at my hands and I have blood on them.

And that’s when I woke up.

Day 2 – Sushi Run

Dear Diary,

Ipod Song: “Yo No Se Mañana” by Luis Enrique.

A crisp 54 degrees and I’m bundled in winter clothes. Leather boots donned my legs as my tennis bag was slung over my shoulder. Hopefully, these thick layers will be my zombie biting salvation. Fortunately, no zombies in the bike shop. Christmas again?! I’ve always wanted a shiny new racing bike and a pink helmet. A box of health bars?! Don’t mind if I do.

Thinking on an empty stomach always makes me cranky and my day was going to be chock full of errands. Raiding a sushi shop sounds like a good idea. Let’s get our fill of sushi in before all the sushi in the world goes bad forever. Call me sentimental but I didn’t want to have another sushi craving for awhile.

Luckily for me, a sushi supermarket is located close to my house. Marbles probably would have had a ball there but he was too big for my bike. I poked a large enough hole in the window mesh in case I didn’t make it back and he needed to escape. Be safe, little buddy. I’ll be back before you know it.

5 minutes later and my shiny new bike is parked by the supermarket door. I pry the door open just enough so my body can squeeze through. My racket bag slides against the pristine floor. With a racket in one hand and a pan in the other, I ventured in.

As a sushi enthusiast, nothing is as beautiful as an array of sushi fish and seafood that is left unattended. The ice had not yet melted so there was still some hope left. I grabbed the plastic roll, tore off a bag and grabbed the nearest knife. It was magical and surreal as I was hacking off chunks of sushi: Sake, Maguro, Shiro Maguro, Yellowtail, Tai, Unagi, Toro, you name it. As I was filling up a fifth bag, I heard a distinct rustling. Shit, I can’t die in a sushi supermarket. More rustling. Adrenaline does funny things to you: your breath speeds up, your pupils dilate, your saliva production slows down or stops and your heart rate speeds up. Even through the five layers of clothing, a chill traveled down my spine.

One foot in front of the other. All of a sudden, a zombie popped out of the back room and lunged towards me. One swift forehand at his head and he stumbled. A second whack from behind. In the next instance, I was ramming the broken handle into his rotting head. Finally, he stopped moving.

A quick scan around the room as my breathing was slowing down. Another rustling, closer to the front of the store. I hastily pulled another racket out of my bag. My sweat glands were in overtime and my heart was about to jump out of my mouth. Right as I was going to whack the shaking plastic boxes, a puppy covered in dirt popped out. Poor thing, he seemed more scared than I. I bent down and took a look at the name tag: “Henry Stud Muffin.” “Good lord,” I thought as I mentally face palmed myself.

It was starting to get dark out. I searched the store and emptied a duffle bag. I stuffed the full sushi bags, several handfuls of pre-packaged Ikura, two knifes with coverings, a roll of twine, a pair of heavy duty gloves, fresh vegetables, a couple bags of chips and six water bottles into the duffle bag while I carefully put the puppy into my book bag. He was so tired, he didn’t even make a sound. I grabbed some of the twine and I forcefully tied two boxes of ramen to the bike’s handlebars. “That’s enough adventures for one day”, I thought as I biked back home.

Back at the house, I gave Marbles a huge hug and kiss. He was such a good boy. I closed the window that had been partially open and placed Henry in the shower area. After pouring two bottles of water on the little furrball, he was as good as new. With my remaining energy, I cooked us up a feast. Sushi, Ikura, vegetables, steak and ramen for everyone!

All this food was making my blood rush to my stomach and it has been hard to think straight. I tiredly check all the windows and doors before cozying up next to Marbles and Henry on the bed. Yawn.

Good night diary,

Samantha