On 18 Jan 2015 Sunday late morning (close to 12pm), I was on the way with my parents to meet my siblings for lunch at a restaurant on B1. We are not residents around the Serangoon area, hence not familiar with the store directory in Nex. As my siblings were at the restaurant already, my parents and I hastened our pace.
After looking around for some time, we came down to Level 1 and I decided to enquire at the Customer Service counter for directions. A Filipino female staff member was using her pink flip-covered smartphone at one corner of the counter near the escalator. Seeing that we were pressed for time, I decided to approach her for directions.
To my utter displeasure, she was extremely rude and flippant with her tone and choice of words. The following was what happened:
Me: “Excuse me, hi”
Filipino lady: (Ignores me for the first time and continues using her phone)
Me: “Excuse me”
Filipino lady snapped loudly: “WHAT?” (with an extremely impatient look on her face)
Me: “May I know how to get to…”
Filipino lady (without letting me finish the question) interrupted: “What do you want?”
Me (decided it’s best to ask for a map): “Can I have a map?”
Filipino lady gave a scowling look and took the Nex pamphlet and flippantly placed on the counter table. As I took the map and walked away, I heard her muttered, “Idiot”.
Not wanting to make a scene and already late with meeting my siblings, I decided to make my way (with my parents) to the restaurant. However, I am extremely displeased at the way the Filipino counter staff carried herself. This casts doubt about the professional standards of the Customer Service Counter staff at Nex. Although I would like to think that this is a case of one black sheep, the tone and language used by that particular staff was distasteful at best.
Based on my encounters with foreign service staff, it seems that the Filipino staff are the black sheep most of the time. Today’s incident reaffirmed my negative encounters with not just Filipino service and frontline staff but Filipino people in our local society. In light of the recent TTSH case, they displayed a complete disregard to our culture and people. This is a serious problem, and will lead to more.
My fellow Singaporeans, are we able to accept this proliferation of Filipinos (and other foreigners) in our society? I suppose we will only know when things get really nasty and ugly.
P.S. On a side note, I have since raised this feedback on Nex’s website.
A SG Son