If you had applied for the NDP parade or preview tickets, and you have yet to receive a phone call by the end of today, your chances of winning the ticket is extremely remote to say the least. I should know better, I'm part of the team that was and still is fielding the phone calls to successful applicants. I nearly got my weekend burnt as a result, bar escaping via a fortunate rescheduled medical appointment yesterday. My friends are still stuck in camp, trying to contact people who left numbers that are uncontactable (don't ask me why they have to keep trying, try protocol).
It was an amazing experience being a telephone operator for an entire day, trying to field 200 calls, encountering all kinds of people. Even though it got weary as the day progressed, I maintained my courteous tone throughout my conversations, though it was quite amusing to see one of my platoon-mates talking to the person on the other line as he would to an ah beng friend. I now know its not easy being a telemarketer, or a telephone operator for that matter.
It was also an eye opener to hear the sheer elation of getting a pair of tickets to the preview, (yes just the preview only!), the nonchalant reactions, to the disappointment of a dad, who had wanted to bring his 4 year old infant and his wife along (yes I was sorry I couldn't help him).
Then of course there was this guy who seemed more like I was chasing him for bill payments:
(After confirmation of his IC number ...)
"Congratulations Sir, you have been allocated two NDP preview tickets"
"No no no!"
Click. Phone slammed on me.
(After consultation with my officer, tried again after 15 minutes)
"Afternoon sir, I called earlier about the NDP tickets"
"No no no, don't call me again."
Overall, what can I say? It seems the perception that Singaporeans are not courteous seems unfounded, for most that I called were extremely polite, other than say one or two teenagers who couldn't care less. It also striked me how so many people got so ecstatic that they had simply received just two tickets to the preview, almost such that I'm ashamed of myself I couldn't care a hoot about the national day parade we servicemen spend so much work preparing for.
Linus' Daily Antics