Wednesday, June 30, 2010

People can board the train, it is whether they choose to


Ah Tan and Ah Lim walked in and joined Ms Saw at the pantry. She was having a cup of Starbucks while reading the newspapers.

AH LIM: Eh? Here got Starbucks meh?
MS SAW: Ah, I bought it at the mall on the way here.
AH LIM: Oh... but there is coffee in our pantry! You didn't know?
MS SAW: Er... Ah Lim, no offense, but these dark colored water aren't exactly coffee, you know?

Ah Lim stared at Ms Saw with eyes and mouth wide opened. He muttered half a "what" and stopped abruptly, then picked up his cup of pantry coffee and drink silently. Ms Saw continued to sip her Starbucks coffee.

AH TAN: So... what brings you here? I would have imagined you to be pretty busy these days with the recent security lapse incident.
AH LIM (interrupted): Yah! I thought you should be busy fixing your depot fence?

Ms Saw put down her coffee and stared at Ah Lim this time.

MS SAW: I know that was a serious security lapse in our depot, so I've already instructed my men to work on it ASAP. But this incident also reaffirms the importance of the public’s participation and support in reporting any suspicious sightings in our system. The public needs to do their work as well, you know?
AH LIM: Wah! You're the highest-grossing CEO that your company has ever employed and after receiving $1.67 million last year, you still need the public to do your job ah?

Ms Saw slammed her right palm on the table and stood up from her chair. Her face was as red as a tomato and her eyes as big as fishballs. Ah Tan immediately stood up and tapped her shoulder lightly.

AH TAN: Hey Saw, don't mind him. He has just lost lotsa money because of France, Italy and England.
AH LIM (stood up and bowed slightly to Ms Saw): Er... yah... sorry lah, didn't mean to be rude lah...

Ms Saw let out a sigh and sat down slowly.

MS SAW: I didn't get all those money for nothing you know? I have a whole transport company to take care of, I've gotta make sure my shareholders are happy with our profit, and I've got a whole country of commuters to please! It's not a very pleasant job you know?

Both men nodded in agreement obediently.

AH TAN: Anyway, is your company planning to procure any more new trains?
MS SAW: Erm... not that I heard of... why do you ask?
AH TAN: Er... because the trains are already overcapacity?
MS SAW: I don't understand.
AH LIM: He's meaning to say, the trains are already overcrowded!
MS SAW (made a "tsk" sound at Ah Lim): I can understand the word "overcapacity"! What I meant was, why do you guys, or even the whole country, have the impression that the trains are overcapacity?
AH LIM (eyes wide opened): You mean, you didn't know your trains are overcrowded?

Ms Saw shook her hand at Ah Lim, shook her head, and took a sip from her coffee before continuing.

MS SAW: Trains will be crowded during peak hours. The question is, how crowded? Have you ever seen seen the trains in Hong Kong, Taipei and Shanghai? That is what you call overcrowded. Our trains? They are not!
AH TAN: But from the pictures posted on the Internet and the letters submitted to forums, it appears that the people do feel that our trains are overcrowded. Maybe not as bad as Hong Kong, Taipei or Shanghai, but still overcrowded.
MS SAW: Look, Ah Tan, even at its most crowded, our train carries 1,400 passengers. This is not crush load! Our train is not carrying more passengers than the standing load it is designed to carry under normal circumstances! You don't find people sitting at the top of the train like India right? You don't find people squeezing themselves into the train through the windows like China right? Look, people can board the train, it is whether they choose to.

Ms Saw gave a "tell me I'm right" face to the men and took another sip from her coffee.

AH LIM (rubbing his chin): But then hor... seriously, have you ever taken your train before?
MS SAW (exclaiming in shock): Are you crazy? Then what's my Merz for?



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