What keeps a mother awake at night is when her child is sick or not home yet.
What keeps a father awake at night is when he worries about putting food on the table the next day.
What keeps an employee awake at night is when he knows the company is going to retrench someone.
What keeps a girlfriend awake at night is when her boyfriend just breaks up with her.
What keeps a person awake at night is when someone dear is in a life-threatening situation.
A young man and an elderly man were waiting for the train at a station at 6:30am.
As the train drove into the station, the young man noticed the elderly scouring the cabins of the moving train that's slowing down as it passed him by as if he's looking for something.
When the train stopped, the elderly man walked quickly from the door he was at, to the one the young man was waiting.
It quickly became clear what the elderly was looking for.
He was looking for an empty seat.
Inside this cabin, there were two empty seats even though there were people standing. A reserved seat for elderly, pregnant lady, injured and children.
The young man has witnessed an incident where this elderly asked a student in an impolite way to give up the reserved seat to him a few days ago.
Suddenly, a thought flashed through the young man's mind.
"What if he took the reserved seat?"
Since there were two empty seats available, it shouldn't be an issue as there's an empty seat for the elderly.
Of course, the reserved seat is meant for elderly and so rightfully the young man should have taken the other seat. But he's just interested in how might the elderly and commuters react by his action.
Sure enough, before he could sit down, he heard the elderly.
"Excuse me!" said the elderly in a raised and rather rude and agitated tone.
The young man can sensed the elderly hostility in his tone. It's as if he's saying why are you taking this reserved seat? Don't you know it's wrong? What are you trying to do fighting for this seat with me? Why can't you take the other seat? Don't you have respect for elderly?
The young man let the seat to the elderly and moved to occupy the other empty seat.
Instead of getting offended by the elderly, the man found it quite amusing.
Why did the elderly insisted on sitting on this reserved seat? Why can't he take the other empty seat? Does reserved seats means that you're entitled to it? Is he allergic to or has a phobia of sitting between two persons? Why can't he ask in a more polite manner? Why was he so hostile and easily agitated early in the morning? Is he feeling unjustly treated in the train? Does he feel that he is entitled to the reserved seat that he can be rude? What if he meets someone who refused to give up the seat because of his rudeness? Is he going to pick a quarrel? If the reserved seats are taken by people in need, will he asks those in unreserved seats to give up their seats to him as though he's entitled to it?
My friend had a rather similar encounter in Taiwan.
It was her first trip there and she was tired after walking the whole day. When inside the train, she plonked herself on one of the reserved seat. At the next station, an elderly man came in and asked her to give up her seat. Being unaware of their culture, she had a little argument with this man. Her complaint was that there were many other empty seats in the cabin, why must he insisted on her giving up her seat.
Of course, if you understand Taiwan's culture well, nobody seats on the reserved seats even when all the other seats are occupied and the train is crowded. It's their culture and their way of showing respect for others in need. Just like in Japan, nobody makes phone call or talk loudly in the train.
Sometimes back, while I was queuing to pay my bill at a restaurant, there was a guest making a din.
He had redeemed a 1-for-1 dining voucher from his telco reward program. It seemed the offer is valid for the number of persons based on the number of vouchers you have. This guest had two vouchers but there were six persons at his table. This means that only two persons are entitled to the promotion and two gets to dine for free. The other two will have to pay the full price.
From what I could make out from the vouchers, the terms and conditions were clearly stated in big bold font on the . However, he insisted that he called the telco hotline and was told by the staff that there's no limit on the number of guests. He even demanded that the cashier better extend the offer to him by insinuating that she was holding up the queue. Was there really miscommunication? Couldn't he read? Was it selective reading and listening? Self-denial? Refusal to admit own mistake? Customer is always right and so is entitled to behave in this way mentality?
Did you exchange your old $10 and $50 notes for the new ones?
In celebration of Singapore's Golden Jubilee, the government has issued two new notes of $10 and $50 denomination to mark the special occasion.
When it became available at the banks, there were long queues of people waiting to get their hands on them.
In view of the overwhelming response, staff working in the back end office of a bank were activated to help out at all the branches on the weekends.
A lady was assigned to go to a branch near to her home.
When she arrived at the branch on the Saturday's morning, she was told by the branch manager that they do not need any help.
She offered to help slot the new notes into the booklets and was told it was not necessary because customers want to check the notes. Due to this reason, the queue was moving rather slowly as every customer was spending a few minutes going through "checking" the notes at every counter.
Isn't it interesting?
Why are these people checking the notes? What are they checking the notes for? What do they want to check for?
They've never seen the notes before and any form of checking is unlikely to reveal anything to them. If there was something that's not supposed to be printed and gets printed, they wouldn't know it unless they have a picture to compare it to. If there's certain special security features, they wouldn't be able to tell it. Even if the serial numbers on the notes are the different from the old ones, they probably wouldn't be able to spot it unless they compare it to one (we only take note of notes with special serial numbers, don't we?). So are they checking to see if these new notes were torn or defective?
When we withdraw cash from the bank or the ATM machines, we usually count the number of pieces of notes to make sure it's the correct amount and not check the notes. Must of us would assume that these notes are genuine (not counterfeit), unless it's a $10,000 note where we will exercise extra precaution.
When we change for new notes during Chinese New Year for the red packet, we also do not check these notes.
When the country issued new notes previously, how many of us actually bothered to check the notes? Didn't we just say "Oh, this is the new note!" when you got one?
The bank has two queues for customers who want to change the new notes. A normal queue and an express queue for the elderly.
Why not have a queue for those who wants to check their notes on the spot and those that do not want to do so?
Anyway, if I discover a defect in one of the new notes, it's probably going to be worth a lot in the future.
An owner was busy setting up his new stall selling an imported brand of skincare and fragrance products at the basement of a shopping mall.
Display of items, label name, price tag and oh boy, he was so busy.
Another man was in the same mall when he happened to see the brand name at one of the signboard. The brand looked familiar but he could not be sure it's the same brand as the one he bought a fragrance during one of his trips overseas.
After all, it could be a brand with same name.
To be sure that its the same brand as the one he thought, he went round excitedly to look for the stall.
Finally, he found it at one corner of the basement.
A lady was heard explaining the products to another customer.
The man looked around and couldn't find the particular fragrance he bought previously.
Perhaps the place is not fully set up and not all items are displayed, he thought to himself.
Or is it a different brand? He's a little confused.
He asked the owner who was just besides him, "Excuse me, is this brand from Thailand?"
The owner turned to him and said, "Yes" before turning back and continue with what he's doing.
Here was an opportunity for the owner to start a conversation with a potential customer and yet he's busy doing something which he could do when there's no customer.
Have you seen the latest internet celebrities?
No, I'm not referring to animals that perform stunts, road bullies having their photos pasted all over the net or someone in the limelight for making extremist comments.
They are so hot that major publishing medias like BBC and Times even carry articles about them.
In fact, they became famous all because of the super typhoon Souledor.
Yes, if you've guessed correctly.
They are a pair of mailboxes in Taipei’s Zhongshan district.
Photo Source : Time.com
What were previously the standard, expected and easily missed mailboxes are now tilted due to the strong wind.
And thanks to the power of social media, these two mailboxes quickly became a tourist attraction after people began posting the photographs online.
The mailboxes are so hot now that there's queue stand and people are seen queuing to take photos with them.
Photo Source : Time.com
But isn't a tilted mailbox still a mailbox? Why so many people are infatuated with them?
Now, isn't the reason obvious?
If the mailboxes were not tilted by the strong wind, would people be still as fascinated with them as all the other mailboxes? Would people have bothered to notice them when they walk by? Would they even take a photo with them?
Suddenly the tilted mailboxes become an attraction that's fun to take photo with. People can photograph themselves with the mailboxes in any poses that they like and imagine. You can pretend to be carrying the mail box like the man in cap. You can tilt your head like the tilted mailboxes, You can pretend to be trying to push the mailbox back to it's original position. It's all up to your imagination.
You can also look weird, astonished, happy, cute, stressed, worried, funny or tired to go along with your pose to create the kind of scene you want.
These two mailboxes are now known as "Little Red" and "Little Green." There's even plan to preserve the boxes in their current state to commemorate the storm and turn them into a tourist attraction itself with a plaque and souvenirs such as t-shirts and other tie-in paraphernalia.
There's no doubt that this will become one of the must visit place for tourists to take a whimsical photo.
And what about all the other hundreds of mailboxes scattered all over the city?
Would you take photograph of them so that you can take the tilted ones later?
While on my way to an exhibition yesterday, I passed by a shopping mall at a not so convenient location.
Due to its location, mass market brands are unlikely to take up space at this mall because of the low traffic. So you'll find one of its kind store selling avant garde furniture, bespoke tailored shirts and custom made shoes. And because the target customers of these retailers are so niche, that in turn results in even fewer shoppers.
While there are a few of the well-known food and beverage brands such as Starbucks and MOS Burger at the mall, these do not really help in attracting crowds.
The mall has been trying out different concepts in order to differentiate itself from its competitors and attract crowds there, especially on weekends where the nearby office buildings are empty. For example, they once tie up with a Japanese departmental store to bring in their local brands and also provided space for local fashion brands. However, both did not take off.
One particular shop caught my eyes. It is probably a new shop as I did not see it the last time when I was there, which was like two months ago.
What really attracted me was the shop name.
It's called "The Redundant Shop."
And what attracted me to look at the shop name were the items displayed on the show window.
They got shovels and spanners and I think leather bags among other things.
"Who in the hell goes to a upmarket shopping mall to buy these items?" I thought to myself.
Inside the entrance of the door was a big post on the wall that reads "Great Shit. Nobody Noticed."
I looked in and saw two ladies looking at what looked like fashion accessories on a wooden display table. It seemed that this shop sells all kind of things that could be totally unrelated.
A search on the web showed up items like bicycle, socks, disposable camera and none of shovel and spanner.
Were the display items chosen to be in line with the shop name?
Were they chosen to stop passerby and make them take a second look? If this is the reason, then they have succeeded in getting my attention.
But some people, it may trigger a different reaction. They may see the shovel and spanner and have the same thought as me but dismissed them as irrelevant to them. It may still get others curious enough to walk into the shop to find out more.
Obviously, the shop didn't quite succeed in getting me in. Not because they did anything wrong, but rather I'm not the kind of customers for them.
Just then, something flashed across my mind.
Don't you think that this shop name is so applicable to every other shop in the mall? Don't you think that this shop name is applicable to every and any other businesses?
Few weeks ago, I was shopping for some food at a supermarket.
Something caught my eyes while I passed by the ice cream section.
There was a promotion sign on the house brand of this supermarket indicating "This store only."
The discounted price was shown on the sign.
Ok... I've just bought the same brand one week ago. So I remembered the original price.
And the discounted price is no different from the normal price.
Does this supermarket think that customers are fools? Or are they hoping that no one remembers how much does this ice cream costs?
One of my friend shared a photo of the price label of a pair of shoes at a sale in a departmental store. There are actually two photos within the photo. One showing the discounted price and the other showing her peeling of the discounted price to reveal the original price of the shoes. It turned out that the original price is cheaper than the discounted price.
The staff could have been smarter to remove the original price before sticking the discounted price over it.