Tuesday, January 10, 2012

810. Hands-Feet-Must-Quick Newspaper stand

Today I went to the HDB Hub newstand to buy my Straits Times. There was a queue of 4 people and so I stood at the 5th and read the papers. "You can go to the other girl if you want to pay," a kind lady told me.

I did not see the young girl as the last time, it was only Aunty working alone. Aunty is a slim Chinese lady in her 50s. She had told me that she would resign as the hours 9 am to 9 pm are too tiring for her. At that time I asked what happened to the young girls, usually in their early 20s, employed by this kiosk. They had quit.

Today, I assumed she was alone and the queue was waiting for her as she photocopied the documents. The young girl was next to her but I did not see her.
"Aunty, you still around?" I said (in Chinese translation). "Why don't you ask the young girl to do the photocopying and you collect money?"

"Hands-Feet-Must-Quick", the Aunty told me. The new girl would not be able to use the multi-function copier and she probably did not bother to teach her. This is quite a common situation in Singapore employment matters. Why teach the young ones when they don't stay long?

I paid up and left. Singapore has developed but the parents and the education system have had no time to teach the students to be able to do what the industry wants.

Chinese language usually has 4 words to express a situation and that is why I translated literally Aunty's reply to me.

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