Today is New Year Eve. A year is coming to an end soon.
I would like to use this opportunity to wish all my readers
-"A Happy New Year 2018 "
and also to give my brief take on this year happening from my simple perspective.
Undoubtedly, 2017 has been an eventful year. Internationally, there was an alarming threats of a nuclear war in East Asia after the vocal stoush between USA & N.Korea. At home, it was embarrassing that our PM had a debacle with his siblings that requires a parliament seating to clear the dispute and of course, the "phony" Singapore Presidential Election that installed a PAP preferred person without election.
On a personal level, the most fateful happening in my life is I can no loger drive a taxi for a living. I might look for another job or retire blissfully. Maybe I'll become a security guard, gardener or whatever to keep myself occupied instead of staring at the four great walls that surrounds me (remember Tom Jone's song).
Honestly speaking, there are many things I love about being a cabby -- primarily the people and the adventure, the unpredictability of each shift, and the endlessly fun game of discovering unusual places in Singapore -- places I would never visit on my own. And most importantly, as a cabby I can provide a free chauffeur sevice for my wonderful wife to work every morning.
But there are also a few things I could never come to terms with as a taxi driver, like traffic jams, accidents and all the abuses, assaults and insults that is so regularly heaped on Singapore's cabbies.
In 2017, I met a great varieties of people and had countless adventures. Most are nothing to write about.
I also experience the happiest and saddest moments in the last 365 days.
First, I was extremely delighted when my letter to the press was published. In it, I highlighted the plights of taxi drivers and debunked the wrong impression that driving a cab is a lucrative job. It was my first and only letter I ever written to the press. It gave me great pleasure to be able to say something in a national paper on behalf of my fellow taxi comrades.
Second, the saddest moment happened about a month ago. It has nothing to do with grieving of death, heartache of broken relationship or nightmare of financial disaster. It concerns an interview I attended for a direct-hire job as a security officer at a local hotel. The interview lasted less than 5 minutes although I look an hour to attend.
This was how it went:
Interviewer : "Mr. Lim, How old are you".
Me : "I'm coming 70 years old but I'm healthy and strong"
Interviewer : "Sorry, We are looking for people below 65 years old".
Me : "But I'm healthy and strong and willing to do shift work".
Interviewer: "Sorry, Like I said earlier, it's our company policy to give preference to applicants below 65 years old."
Me: "This job do not necessarily require a person to be younger than 65. I'm a licenced security officer".
Interviewer: "Ok, Please wait for our letter regarding your application. Thank you for coming to this interview"
The letter never come.
Age discrimination is one of the most pertinent problems that comes with an ageing population. Such discrimination includes rejecting potential employees who are over 60 years old, and terminating their contract when they pass the age of 60.
Is this any of your concern? One day, it might be.
Meanwhile, lisent to this wonderful rendition of the traditional Auld Lang Syne that make you want to stay in the old year.