Here, I am not talking about confronting litterbugs or smokers. To do this, you need to be very tactful and have some guts. Of course, it helps if you have a burly look and at the same time, if the culprit looks meek and puny too. (My friend Walter does not look burly by all accounts, so he must have been either very tactful or gutsy.)
I am talking about situations that are not right. You usually don't need to be burly or gutsy to do this. For me, I will not hesitate to point them out to the authorities and insist that they put them right. One example is when I informed the authorities about a misplaced rubbish bin blocking the view of a zebra crossing. Although, there was some initial red tape and delay, the situation was finally put right before any zebra or people was killed or seriously injured at this location.
Needless to say, some effort is required to bring the matter up. You also have to speak to the right people. Not only that, you still have to follow-up to make sure somebody is acting on your feedback. Otherwise, your effort in raising the matter would have been wasted. Once a while, due to oversight or the bo chap (couldn't be bothered) attitude of the people whom you complained to, your feedback may not be relayed to the right people and nothing is done about the problem. I believe that it is because some conscious effort is required to report a problem that most people just don't bother to do it. Some might even think that there will always be some other people who would do it. And as joke goes, in the end nobody does it.
Almost every Saturday morning, while my younger son is attending a 90-minute tuition class in Simei, my wife and I will be window-shopping in nearby Tampines Central. I always park my car at Century Square where short-term parking is cheapest - first-hour parking at 66 cents is even cheaper than HDB/URA carpark rates! Where to find nowadays? Because of the cheap parking rates, this car park is extremely popular with motorists.
Two Saturdays ago, I was looking for a parking lot in this car park. I thanked my lucky stars when I finally found an empty lot (no. 55).
But while reversing into the lot, I noticed that there was a sharp-edged hoarding protuding 1/3 into the lot.
It was not easy to spot it as it was painted in white. In any case, no one would expect such an obstruction in a car park lot that was opened for parking. Luckily I realised it and stopped my car just in time, only a few centimetres away from the hoarding. One third of my car was still outside the lot, jutting out into the driveway. So in the end, I parked my car in another lot.
When I walked passed the lot, there were 2 other motorists who like me, attempted to park in this lot. I waved them away, signalling that it was impossible to park in this lot, unless they were driving micro-compact cars. They should be grateful to me because I probably saved them the trouble and costs of repairing their rear bumpers. However, someone else was apparently not so lucky - I inspected the hoarding closely and saw that it was already crumpled. Obviously someone's car had already knocked into it earlier on.
I immediately reported the dangerous situation to the carpark's Customer Service Centre.
The female carpark attendant inside the booth (not the guy in the photo) did not appear like she was very interested in what I had told her. So I reported the matter to the Information Counter instead.
The pretty lady manning the counter was a stark contrast to the woman in the carpark booth, not only in terms of looks but also in terms of service as well. She smiled and asked me if she could help me. When I told her the problem, she gave me the office number of someone by the name of Rachel, the shopping centre's Operation Manager. However, she told me that Rachel might not be in the office as it was Saturday. When I requested for Rachel's handphone number, she called Rachel rightaway and I managed to speak to her in the end. Rachel promised to do something.
Indeed, when I passed by the lot again an hour later, an operation staff had already barricaded up the lot. (He requested not to be identified so I have blurred out his face.)
So remember my friend, 55 is not always a lucky number. Not unless it is your age and you have money in the CPF to be collected, just like this guy.