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Monday, June 24, 2024


photo for illustration


Let me tell you a story. A story that inspired and crafted me in the way I look at the world, especially TDs. And I would like to share it with you.

Back in 2002, I was just into my mid 30’s and my career hit a setback. I was retrenched from my company due to restructuring and streamlining. I was too young to retire and too old to be employed as a junior. I didn’t had the luxury of accepting entry level job because of various commitments. Employers and governments bodies easily brushed the PMETs off as “lazy”, “choosy”, “demanding” workers and employed FTs because they are “cheaper”, “faster”, “hardworking”.

I sent out hundreds of resumes and was not able to find a sustainable job for an extended period of 8 months. Than came this one incident that changed the way I looked at TDs.

It was a normal day. I went out to look for a friend to see if he could introduce me to any job. We met up at Toh Tuck Road and we had a good talk. I was mindful about catching the last bus home. My friend told me as long as I go to the bus stop before 11.30pm, I could catch the last bus home.

We chat over a cup of coffee until 11.25pm. I bid him farewell and headed towards the bus stop. It was about 11.28pm. I ran for the bus but the driver pretended not seeing me and drove off. I waited at the bus stop until 11.40pm. I knew I was in trouble. I had missed that last bus home. I searched my waist pouch and all I had was $6.60 on me. Imagine a grown up man with less than $10 in his wallet.

I had only 3 choice. 1) Call me friend and borrow money from him. No, my pride was too strong. 2) walk home. But damn it, walking from Toh Tuck Road to Tampines would be too far for me. I think it will be morning by the time I reach home. 3) Take taxi home? I don’t have enough money…..

Finally, I decided to take a taxi. Not home, but to try to catch up with the last bus. I flagged a taxi and told the TD this: “Uncle, I only have $6.60 on me now. That’s all I have. Can you drive faster down Bukit Timah Road and chase after the last bus 67. I need to catch the last bus home. If the fare hits $6.60 and still haven’t caught up with the last bus, just drop me there.”

The TD nodded and started driving. I felt ashamed because of my esteem. I dared not looked at the TD as I thought he might laughed at me. Imagine a grown up with less than $10….. I can’t imagine it if it didn’t happened to me. And sadly, my $6.60 didn’t really lasted until I caught up with the bus. I was ready to be chased down the Taxi as the meter hit $6.60. But surprisingly, the TD continued driving and exited into PIE from Eng Neo Road.

The TD told me he understood how I felt as he too was unemployed for 6 months before he drove Taxi. And he admired the way I was frank about having no money for the full trip. He offers to drive me home FOC. I was touched beyond words. My eyes ponded with tears, tears of gratitude. He sent me home and refused to accept my $6.60. I was extremely touch!!! I thanked him and left. There was mixed feelings in me that night. I felt grateful for the help and that the TD totally didn’t charge me a single cent for the trip. But I was also feeling ashamed because of the plight I was in. I left in a rush.

Till this day, I am still grateful for that very good deed that TD uncle offered me. I forgot to look at you in the face or take down your taxi number or even take note of which taxi company he was driving for. But I will remember what he did for me. If I could ever meet him again, I would give him a hug for he changed the way I looked at TDs. And over the years of my own taxi driving, I had also given help to various people whom I felt needing help. All because of that very good deed he did for me.

Whoever he is, TD Uncle, thanks for his help.

Ha, guess now everyone knows why I would always defend TDs. Always do 3 goods and good things will come to you.
– Think good, not evil thoughts
– Speak good, not malicious words
– Do good, do not do things which hurt others

The world will be such a better place to live in.

Source: FB post by Paul Chua

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