Sunday, May 1, 2011

Singapore's Black and White Blessing ( 有寫有保佑 )

At Starbucks - "Please refrain from studying during our peak hours."
星巴克 - "門市繁忙時段,請節制自修活動"。

At M1 (telecom outlet) - "We reserve the right to refuse service to customers who are abusive."
M1 (通信公司,辦手機網路那些的) - "我們保留不為奧客服務的權力"。

My first thought - Oh, see, they are warning because Singapore's got this whole lot of abusive people.
Ah-ah, on second thought. I do not think Korea's got fewer abusive people than Singapore. So a better explanation for signs like these is probably the embodiment of Singapore's black and white culture, that everything has to be written down as evidence. Because it's written there, the Starbucks partners got every reason to ask a customer to leave if his or her drink already runs out, or, the M1 clerk can refuse to escalate customer's complaint as the in-store notice already said they do not serve whoever they deem as abusive customers and now YOU are deemed by them as abusive customer deprived of the right to make complaint.

Hence wonder not why emails are forwarded around all Singapore offices, wonder not if you received something that might not relate to you in a million years. Because by doing so, one day those forwarded or written can be the best weapon to serve certain purposes.

第一眼看到那些告示,嘴角嘲諷的微微揚起,"看吧! 新加坡就是奧客多,多到商家得寫公告"。轉念一想,也不盡然,韓國奧客的數量和功力畢竟還是新加坡奧客望塵莫及的,怎麼人家就沒想到也寫呢?
一個可能的解釋是,新加坡人有講究白紙黑字的文化 --- "不要說我不能這樣做喔,你看,我都寫得清清楚楚的!" 於是,星巴克夥伴可以在你杯子空了時請你走人,商家可以拒絕處理你的投訴因為已經明文寫了不服務奧客而現在你已被歸類為奧客啦我當然可以不服務你。

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