Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Half the sky

I don't think that...

All other factors being equal, a pregnant woman can carry out the duties of a job as well as someone who isn't. Of course, the lady in question could be exceptionally capable and thus even when she is performing below her usual capacity, she still does as good a job as others.

And some are fortunate enough to have easy pregnancies. Even then, it must be admitted that the lady would need time off for checkups, and eventually take the 4months of maternity leave. If others aren't dunces, it is honestly difficult to see how she can do as much work as the rest of the colleagues.

I'm not writing this to defend discrimination against pregnant women in the workplace. On the contrary, I am arguing in favour of discrimination FOR them. Time and again, I read letters in the Forum written by mothers-to-be, who plaintively claim that they are no different from their unencumbered colleagues.
But, I find it sad when a woman has to argue that pregnant or not, she is as worthy of her pay as anyone else. Maybe we have taken this feminist rhetoric a tad too far. A pregnant woman isn't a man, but we expect her to perform as if there is no morning sickness, extra weight and hormonal fluctuations. Her pregnancy is her personal matter and she shouldn't make it a problem for others.

I've heard of superwomen who pack their laptops to the hospital and a few days after delivery, started sending emails to office. Goodness me, please don't do that. There is a season for everything, and the confinement period is time for a woman to recover.

I suppose, this is the price women pay for wanting everything - family and career. Is it any wonder that some choose not to try to achieve the impossible?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Aliens meeting

And thus the deal was sealed over roast duck and braised pork.

It was like a scene straight out of those Korean dramas, with the representatives from the two families meeting and chatting politely over a meal.

'You have a fine son, we are very pleased'
'Ah that is true, I am proud of my sons, but your daughter is bright'
'Have more roast duck...'
'After you please'
'Don't stand on ceremony, we are one family now'
'True, true, I am so glad'

If I weren't right at the heart of the matter, it would have seemed comical to me. Thankfully, there were no controversies, and the aliens found a common language in Teochew. There was a long queue outside the restaurant, and so we didn't get/have to linger over the meal. The young ones were only meant to be seen and not heard, so I didn't have to join in the conversation, and could enjoy the food.

The roast duck was great but the pork a trifle too oily. Hmmm...I probably would like to go back to the restaurant (Dian Xiao Er) in different circumstances.

Saturday, November 07, 2009


The worst thing about traditional Chinese wedding customs is no one knows anything about them anymore.

Venusian parents have been anxious to meet the Martian representatives officially. Since they have in fact met previously, I’m not sure what the difference between the official and unofficial meetings is. However, we duly fixed a date for the parents as instructed.

Then the strange thing happened. Martian mother privately asked me what the Venusian side is going to ask of them. And, Venusian parents asked me what everyone should be discussing during the meeting. It finally dawned upon me that nobody knows what should be done, only that canned food and dried seafood should be featured somewhere (I think).

So I suggested that we should just ditch the customs that we have ceased to understand, and instead practise only what we know. But no, no, no. This is sacrilegious. Weddings involve a dreadful number of customary practices that we should respect. Venusian parents are worried that somebody should be doing something at sometime or else there is dereliction of duty somewhere. Only, they don’t know how to fill in the blanks.

Dear me, if even our parents are at a loss, what are we to do? Don’t ask me. A woman is a child until she gets married. So I’ll leave the adults to figure out what they should be doing.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


We've heard many complaints about poor service in Singapore, but occasionally, customers from h*ell rear their ugly heads and makes you think, "So, that's why sales staff behave the way they do."

A young lady bumped into the shop display and broke something. She was asked to pay for the item, worth $36. I'm not sure what ensued in the confrontation, but apparently, the sales lady threatened to call the security. By the time I entered the shop, a shrill quarrel was in full swing, with the mother and daughter duo taking turns to point fingers and scream at the sales staff. "It is your fault that you placed the stuff here and caused me to knock into it!"

Actually, I doubt very much that the shop would take legal action against these two ladies if they had refused to pay. Most of the time, in such situations, people pay up because they feel responsible for the damage. However, the two ladies were sufficiently intimidated by the spectre of the security guards and paid up. Then, feeling deeply sore at their loss, they decided to strike at the weaker links. They shouted at the sales staff at great length for their alleged rudeness, demanding respect as customers, and then asked for their full names and titles so that they could lodge a cooooooomplaaaaaaaint. Long after we walked off, when we passed by the shop again, they were still raging implacably.

Goodness me, the poor girl facing the viragos was almost in tears. These people are just employees trying to uphold store policies, and manage customers' quirks. They have to please everyone, and end up pleasing no one. For $36, the two ladies would have a pound of their flesh.

If I were just a little younger and brasher, I would have given the ferocious mother and daughter gang a good scolding, but since I'm only a blogger with a soft voice, all I can do is vent my indignation here. And this is what I think of them:

Got money, no class.