"Men are disturbed not by the things that happen, but by their opinion of the things that happen."
Politician : Pays well to curb corruption.
Wise man : No amount of money is enough for a greedy person.
A man invited his close friend to a Chinese New Year's lunch at a high class Chinese restaurant in the central business district (CBD).
One of the dishes in the menu includes a whole lobster baked with cheese.
Two days later, the man invited his important business associates to the same restaurant and booked a private room for the lunch (there are only two private rooms).
He ordered the lobster as well.
When the dish was served, it was only half a lobster and much smaller than what he had two days ago.
He asked the supervisor serving them why was it a whole lobster when he ordered the same dish two days ago.
The supervisor went to the kitchen to check and came back.
She couldn't gave an explanation for the difference.
The man said, "I invited my very important business associates for lunch and this happened."
He was quite upset and went out probably to find out why it happened.
Five minutes later, the supervisor came back and said that the lobster he ordered is a whole lobster but the chef wanted to serve it with different style of cooking. The chef intended to serve half baked with cheese and the other half steamed with garlic.
When the other half lobster came, it was bigger than the earlier they were served.
What actually happened?
A man had two vouchers from a upscale supermarket to be used before they expire.
After walking round the supermarket, he decided to purchase a fresh whole chicken.
There were packets of chopped chicken pieces, chicken thigh, chicken drumsticks and whole chicken.
Some of them have "Reduced to Clear" stickers on them and two price stickers, one indicating the full price and one indicating the reduced price.
He noticed that the discounted priced items are the ones expiring on the day.
He wanted to buy a whole chicken and saw it was expiring on the day.
He asked a staff nearby if there is a discount for it as the others expiring on the same day.
The white hair elderly man told him there's no discount and took the chicken away from him.
He was shocked by the staff behavior.
Don't look for someone who will make you happy.
Look for someone who you want to make him or her happy.
I went to DBS Bank yesterday.
When I reached, I heard sound of a kid's crying.
He wasn't exactly crying very loud but you can hear him sobbing throughout the whole waiting area.
His elder brother was trying to coax him by covering his legs with a tee shirt.
Their grandma was seated besides them and doing nothing.
A lady staff who was in charge of calling out queue number to direct customers to private discussion rooms saw the scene.
She went in and took two sticks of chocolate wafer.
She walked to the elder boy and passed them to him.
Then she said to him, "Give one to him," as she gestured her hand towards the brother before walking away.
I wondered if she was doing it to shut up the crying boy so he doesn't disturb other waiting customers or she is being genuinely concern about helping to find out why he was crying.
A man was shopping with his wife and two children.
His wife was carrying a branded handbag and his kids were in uniform from a prestige school.
They walked pass a pop corn shop.
The staff were at the counter preparing small cups of free sample pop corns to be given out to passerby.
The man saw and walked towards the shop.
He took one for his wife and then for himself. His kids took one each themselves.
All without asking.
They then walked away munching on the pop corn.
An organization was restructured recently.
Some staff from a department now report to new vice president.
The vice president wanted to standardize a reporting format.
She told the departmental head about it.
Unfortunately, it was not communicated to the staff
Three staff submitted their reports in their own format they've always been using.
The vice president asked them to redo the reports using the standardize format.
They each spent three hours overtime redoing their reports.
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
“Desire is a contract you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want.”
A man was on the train in his way home after work.
A lady in her fifties was seated on the reserved seat. She placed a recycle bag next to her.
Another lady in her forties was seated next to her. She has two small paper bags of things.
Both looked like office ladies from their dressing.
The man was seated next.
All three were looking at their handphone.
At one of the station, a pregnant lady boarded the train and stood in front of the reserved seat.
The lady on the reserved seat saw her and seemed to be getting her stuff to give up the seat to her.
But she was excruciating slow that the lady next to her wondered if she should give up her seat instead.
The next lady was about to take her stuff and give up the seat to the pregnant lady.
When the man sensed the commotion, he just stood up and gave up the seat to her.
The other two ladies continued watching their phone.
I completed an online survey for a well known Thai aromatherapy brand in July 2017.
In return, I was given a gift.
As I was not in Bangkok, I couldn't collect the gift personally at their outlet or arrange for them to send it to me at a Thailand's address.
Thailand is well known for its hospitable service.
So I thought why not write to them and ask if they could set aside the gift for me till my Bangkok trip in September 2017.
They replied with a confirmation.
During my trip, I went to the wrong outlet and was told there's nothing for me.
I only realized it after I returned to Singapore.
So I wrote to them again and asked if they could keep the gift till my January 2018 trip.
I thought that they would reply with a no as it's a usual practice in Singapore that gifts not claimed within a certain period will be forfeited.
To my surprise, they accepted my request again.
When I finally went to the correct outlet and told the staff about my purpose, she first invited me to take a seat.
She then went to pour a cup of lemongrass tea for me.
When I saw it, I stood up and waved my hand to her saying it's no need.
She insisted and again asked me to take a seat while she gets my gift.
She then had my gift nicely packed and handed it over to me while I signed on the paper to acknowledge receipt.
I did not buy anything but the company has earned a loyal customer.
I was having dinner at Tesco supermarket food court in Onnut, Bangkok.
There is a amusement park with a play area for kids in the food court.
A man with deformed hands and legs walked into the amusement park with a boy about 8 year old.
I have seen the man begging for money under the bridge on the opposite side of the road a few times.
The kid was around him those few times that I saw him.
Initially I thought the kid belong to a family selling food inside an eating place.
But I saw the man giving the kid money to change for token to play the games at the amusement park.
I thought it's weird for a man begging for money to give 50 baht to another person's son to play games.
I sat there observing them for a while.
Then I went to ask the kid where is his father.
The kid said something in Thai which I'm not sure if I've understood him.
He walked back to the man and continued playing other games.
I walked up to the man and asked if he is the father of the kid.
He replied, "Yes."
I gave the kid 12 packets of milk.
I'm not sure if the dad brought the kid to the amusement park as this is his way of showering love to his son who has to be on the street begging money with him. I try not to judge based on one single incident I saw.
If I had seen the man spending 50 baht to play games at the amusement park and decided there and then that he's wasting the money he begged on entertainment, I could possibly made a wrong judgement.
I met him again the next day and asked if his son goes to school and how often and what time he comes to Onnut.
I offered to bring his son to eat something at a restaurant. The kid was shy and didn't want to go with me.
In the end, I bought a McDonald meal set for him.
I also bought canned fish and biscuits for the kid and another KFC meal before I left Bangkok. By then, his son has warmed up a little to us.
I do not know much about the man and his son.
I only know that his son is very close to him.
His son is always hugging him very closely.
A man who has worked in a company for over 30 years was asked by his manager to resign recently.
He was told that he is not performing.
A lady was recently retrenched after working over 20 years in her first job.
Those who were not retrenched are "good" colleagues of her manager.
Such incidents are not uncommon.
In this competitive environment, companies do not think twice about cutting headcounts. Some for survival and some for self interest.
Everyone is just a number within the company which can easily be replaced by someone cheaper, faster, better or by new technologies or machines.
When you are easily replaceable, you are just a cog in the wheel.
You are there to perform the job but the company can easily do without you as well.
There is an elderly taxi driver in Bangkok. There is a small kid in the front seat just next to him.
The kid was sleeping as the taxi queue in line to pick up passengers.
The kid is probably his grandson and he had to bring him along as no one is able to care for him at home.
Life is probably not easy for him, especially for the kid to be on the road the whole day.
Of course, you can take a songthaew to your destination if it is available and it costs only 8 baht.
But you can choose to take his cab so that he gets your business.
You can choose to give him a 50 baht ($2 Singapore dollar) tip which could allows him to knock off earlier, bring his grandson to eat something better or pay for his school fee or stationery.
Arriving at Singapore Changi airport after midnight, you only got one transport option, that is to take a taxi.
Let's say you take the cab and give him a two dollar note (smallest denomination for note) tip.
Will it makes any difference to his life?
I'm not sure.
Maybe the taxi driver has a hard life as well.
But is it as hard as the grandpa who has to bring his grandson along in the cab?
The grandpa and the Singapore taxi driver probably don't remember you or even how you look like the next day.
In life, there are many choices and decisions you can make.
Some make no difference. Some can affect someone for life.
Do you make a difference?
In your job and everything you do, do you matter?
You can see countless street hawkers peddling cut fruits on pushcart all over Thailand, especially in Bangkok.
Watermelon, guava, papaya, pineapple, apple, mango and cantaloupe.
Prices range from 10 to 30 baht per slice depending on the type of fruits, size and location but price differences do not vary much.
There is a fruit seller in one of the soi (small lane) near to Onnut BTS skytrain station.
Though about 150 meters, it is bustling with activities throughout the whole day.
There are fried dough stall, fried banana stall, fruit stall, barbeque pork stall, drink stall, porridge stall, packed rice/sandwich stalls, accessories, hats and clothing stands in the day.
By 4pm, another group of street hawkers start setting up their stalls. Malay rice, cooked dishes, packed plain rice, somtam, perfume, bags, fruit juice, barbeque squid, fried rice are some of the many choices available.
Some hawkers like the fruit and barbeque pork stalls open the whole day. Some open half a day and closed when everything is sold out. Some move from places to places.
The cut fruit seller, a very young guy, is usually at the soi at about 9am.
I would buy fruits from him whenever I see him.
My staples are pineapple, cantaloupe and guava. Sometimes I buy two kinds, sometimes I buy all three.
10 baht for cantaloupe and 15 baht each for pineapple and guava.
If the guava is big, he will give you one. But if it is small, he will give you one and a half.
There was once when he was cutting one of the small guava for me, he accidentally dropped the other on the ground.
He then took another pack and cut half of the guava for me.
Although it's no fault of mine, I decided to pay him an extra 20 baht to compensate for his loss.
A few days later, I was at his pushcart buying the same three fruits.
As usual, I pointed to the three fruits I wanted.
He cut the pineapple and the cantaloupe and put them in plastic bags.
Then he took a watermelon and cut it.
That's when I realized he thought I wanted watermelon.
Anyway, I told him I'll take it.
For all the four fruits, he charged me only 45 baht.
If I remember correctly, the watermelon is 10 baht.
Which means he has charged me 5 baht less.
I wondered if the 5 baht he did not charge is the extra 5 baht after deducting 15 baht for the dropped guava from the 20 baht I gave him.
I'll take a photo with him and post it on my next trip.
And return the 5 baht to him.
I was queueing behind a lady at one cashier at Terminal 21 Gourmet market. The lady was quite well dressed, wore a branded diamond watch with a Gucci handbag around her arm.
She bought a lot of snacks.
The cashier was scanning her items when the lady suddenly stopped her in a rather loud and rude voice.
"Excuse me, this is 1 for 1. I see that you scanned twice?"
The cashier did not answer her and proceeded to recheck that the discount is reflected in the system.
After the cashier scanned all the items, the lady took out a Gucci wallet that matches her handbag and flip out her credit card. As the cashier was processing her payment, she tried to search if she has enough cash to pay for her purchases.
That's when I saw her Singapore Pink IC inside her wallet.
Hope that she realized by now that discount will be automatically populated in the system after the items are scanned.
At least be humble to ask politely.
There is a flower corner in a luxury shopping mall at a famous shopping district.
One night as the owner was preparing to close his shop, he saw a lady standing outside looking at the plants and flowers.
He invited the lady in and had a chat with her.
Before parting, he gave her a hug and a stalk of flower.
The lady was so happy and said that she will come back and visit the flower shop again.
It turned out she's a tourist.
A few weeks later, she came back with her kids.
And revealed to him that the fateful night when she was standing outside looking at his shop, she was contemplating committing suicide over her marriage problem.
An indian young girl took a seat on the bench at the station platform while waiting for MRT train.
She put two empty yakitori plastic bags with bamboo sticks inside besides her.
She crossed her right leg over her left and started adjusting her track shoes.
When the train came, she ran to the train door two doors away from the one nearest to the bench, leaving behind the plastic bags.
Did she forget about her plastic bags?
An elderly couple were taking the mrt train.
The man tapped his card on the gantry. The light on the gantry turned green, the gate opened and he walked through.
His wife tapped her card on another gantry. The light on the gantry turned red and she was unable to pass through as the gate remained closed.
An indian staff saw what happened and walked towards the faulty gantry to check.
The lady tried to tap her card on the gantry her husband used and nothing happened.
The staff turned to them and said, "Go counter, go counter."
They seemed to ignored her and the lady continued tapping her card on the gantry.
The staff repeated, "Go counter, go counter."
The husband replied in a loud voice, "She don't know what to say."
The staff then said, "Go to the counter and give the card to the staff there. No need to say anything. They will know what to do."
Then the man spoke to his wife in mandarin who then went to the counter to have her card reset.