Sep 20, 2015
Recently, I had two over 70s male retirees who spoke to me:
1. A man whose shares pay him a $9,000 interest a month and he lived in a big house. He had only a Secondary one education and became a police constable. He became a businessman selling what was needed in small undeveloped countries like Papua New Guinea. There was no future in the police force as he was not a graduate. He built relationships with the natives and travelled most of the time.
I met him because the breeder packaged her Schnauzer sale with 3 free vaccinations. Otherwise, convenience and proximity would mean he would go to the nearest clinic in North Singapore.
"Anyway, the clinic there wanted me to pay more to consult the senior vet," he complained about the junior vets who were present to treat his other dogs.
"May I be frank with you?" he asked me in later visits after his female Schnauzer was spayed and I had drafted a letter for him to the Vietnamese embassy. "I cannot write very well as I studied up to Sec 1," he said. This letter was to inform the embassy that the ICA (Immigration and Control Authority) at the Singapore Airport did not have interpreters as stated in the newspaper. His Asian wife who came to visit him, before he married her, was detained and sent back on the next plane. "She is a good girl but she could not speak Mandarin or English. So, the ICA put her in a detention cell at the airport overnight and sent her home by the next plane."
He thanked me for drafting the letter and was frank with me about my practice at Toa Payoh Vets. Other vets have very long queues and waiting lines or several branches. My location in an industrial park did not inspire confidence and was inconvenient. So he said: "You wasted your time over the last 40 years at this industrial park, a god-forsaken place."
2. The retiree had worked for an airline dealing with stocks and shares on behalf of the airline. He came with his young adult daughter whose hyperactive dwarf hamster was losing weight and now was scratching her right face. It was an impacted pouch and right lip commissue ulcer. I evacuated the pouch and advised 10 seeds and pellets a day instead of a full bowl.
"Do you intend to work till you die?" the father asked me. He was 63 years old but had retired to smell the roses.
"I am self-employed and I enjoy my work," I consulted usually in the mornings usually 7 days a week. I ought to be smelling the roses, wake up late on weekends.