Monday, February 23, 2004

I want to start off today's entry with a bit of information. You never really feel the full blow of crazy Singaporean shoppers unless you are working in the retail industry. With all the talk of the economy being bad and people being structurally unemployed, you would have thought that no one would have bothered to spend any of their loose change on clothes any more. The opposite is true.
You see, I am now working for Hang Ten and we are selling polo tees for 8 bucks, T-shirts for 5 bucks and pants for 10 bucks. This is where the trouble begins because this outrageous prices have attracted bargain hunters from all over Singapore.
Honestly speaking, now that I am not wearing my Hang Ten uniform, I can tell you a bit of my personal opinion about these sales. Firstly, when you spot such a good deal like this, it is most probably run by brands like Baleno, Bossini, Hang Ten and Giordano. The people selling these clothings are also the ones you have to look out for. Most of them are teens who would rather be at home sleeping than selling these shirts. If not for the need for some pocket money and to kill time before the results come out in March, none, and I repeat, none would give a damn about working for any of these companies to sell clothes.
So, you do the sums and equations. Poor worker attitude=low pay=low morale=can't give a damn about customer welfare and the welfare of the products. That's right. I am letting you in on a well kept secret now. For those who don't wash their new clothes when they get home and just put it on straight away, have you wondered why you may feel itchy? Oh, thats because before the shop open, we trample on the clothes before throwing them across wagons. Sometimes, we take the clothes and throw it at each other. Thus, the amount of dirt accumulated. I say, be smart and wash the clothes before you put in on.
The second caveat of buying these "lelong" products is the amazingly good sales figures that we have at the end of the day. Our sales proceeds at the end of the day is equal to a pilot's montly salary. You figure that out. So what is so wrong about that? The problem is only the school uniform sellers have sales that can rival us. Doesn't ring a bell? The reason why a school uniform seller can earn so much money is because every student is forced to buy the same type of shirts and pants from him. Thus, filling the school with all the same type of clothes. Ditto Hang Ten. Contrary to the popular belief that consumers go for unique products, these bargain hunters grab almost everything. In one day alone, I sold about 50 of the same shirts. If one day when all these people wake up with the same mindset, the whole Singapore may be in uniform. Unless you don't mind the typical lound mouth aunty to wear the same shirt as you, you can join in the fray and buy all our Hang Ten clothes.
Speaking of aunties, that is what I want to talk about next. I can safely say, 85% of my customers are aunties. Aunties that go " Can give me L ler?" " No Mm size ah?" " My body can fit S sizes anot?"
Of course, these aunties are chinese helicopters and they actually mean to refer to the sizes, S, M, L. Not that I am making fun of them, I actually do try to correct them on the english. I am not sure why but aunties have the tendency to sniff out great bargains. Until this job, the reason why has always deluded me. Now I understand. When one aunty spots a bargain they would whip out their phone simultaneously and ring all her friends in her phone book. Soon, all her one of the kind would congregate and viola, we have an army of aunties that can really keep Hang Ten in business for the next ten years.
Which brings me to the point of my pay. I work outrageously long hours and get paid less than my friendly condo rubbish collector, Muthusamy. I am currently writing this piece with my legs in soothing ice cold water to sooth the blisters that are popping out. Yet, no one would sympathize with me right? I am just another worker serving you. Now that you know my plight, please have some consideration when you go shopping and you see a promoter standing next to the wagon folding clothes. First, ask him how is his/her legs. Next, kindly ask them for the size you wish to see and don't help yourself by digging at all the well folded clothes and thus creating a huge mess which looks like Gozilla just came for a visit. If you insist on digging, fold back the clothes that you have seen. Your heart will scream out in agony too if you see you well built sandcastle get swept away by one single wave by the sea. Ditto the poor promoter who not only have to see a doctor for his blistered legs but also a psychologist who would prevent him from stuffing a stick up the customers nose for messing up their nicely folded clothes. I know, I have been there done that.

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