The May 4 issue of TIME says “Despite years of government campaigns, Singaporeans are not the most courteous lot. Your cheerful ‘Good morning’ or ‘Thank you’ is apt to be returned with a blank stare.”
Take my office, there are faces I’ve seen since 2001, the year I came on board – the same old faces, faces belonging to fellow colleagues I don’t really work with, but still, they look familiar to me and I’m sure I look familiar to them too. But whenever I said “Hi” or “Good morning” to one of those faces, more likely than not, I would get a “blur” stare back. Some of these “blur sotongs” really stare as if you’ve just performed bukaki on their wives or have robbed their daughters of their virginity.
Then there are those who would only smile at you when they need you. From 2001 until now, I have never been treated with any consistency. For example that bimbo who needed my help with something back in 2003 would be nice to me back in 2003, but now, in 2009 when I am no longer of any use to her, she behaves as if I am transparent. She doesn’t even acknowledge me in the elevator. And these are people I’ve actually worked with at some point in time.
Listen, I’m like 127 kilos and I’m at least 1.85 meters tall, and all year round, since 2001, as a subject matter expert – no, I am NOT the boss – I visit every Asia Pacific country in which we have offices, I make presentations and give speeches to literally tens of thousands of fellow colleagues, so it’s a bit hard to behave as if I’m transparent.
What to do?
You see, this little company I work with is truly global. We have about 400,000 staff worldwide, we have Nobel Prize winners among us so it is only inevitable that we have our fair share of brain-damaged bimbos with zero EQ in our midst too. In Singapore we have several thousand people, so I don’t expect to know everybody and I don’t expect everybody to know me.
Still, there’s no excuse for the majority of fellow colleagues to behave like “blur sotongs.”
But that’s Singaporeans.
When I go to my Bangkok office or to my Manila office, things are so different.
Thais and Filipinos exude a genuine warmth and are very hospitable people.
But no, not Singaporeans – they all walk around as if they’re all suffering from a really bad case of constipation, they don’t smile, they behave as if they will stab you in the back the moment you’re not looking. The office is cold and soulless.
And mind you, some of these are people who are religious, who meet to study the scriptures, who attend weekly worship services and who are the holier-than-thou types.
At one time the most hated person in the Singapore office was a holy dickhead. Nope, he wasn’t detested by everyone because of his religion, he was detested because he was a total jerk.
We all knew when push comes to shove, he would be the very first to do us in.
Nope, he wasn’t going to stick his neck out for us. His number one priority was to take care of himself.
He would even sell his own mother if he had to.
That was the general consensus.
Aren’t these cretins aware that their holy book says even though they may speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have no goodwill towards their fellow human beings, they would become only as sounding brass, or tinkling cymbals?