Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies in Singapore have started to practice the work from home measures advised by the government. This measure is introduced to help the spreading of the latest virus.
Lesser people are seen out on the streets and people working in the offices have reduced as well. This has caused the business of private hired drivers to drop dramatically. Some had even resorted to paying for car park fees in order to increase their chances of getting a customer.
This story was shared by a FB user Minyang Chow. He is a staff working at TTSH. In his post, he mentioned that he noticed a new trend for private hired cars to arrive at his location within 20 to 30 seconds.
Out of his curiosity, he asked the driver why is it so?
The driver answer to him:
” He had been sitting in the expensive TTSH car park for more than 30 minutes, waiting for a passenger. “If not, how can I get a passenger? I have to be the nearest to the passenger to get the job mah. The nearest place to you all is the parking lot lah! You never notice meh. This whole carpark all Grab driver waiting leh. They go Kopitiam da bao eat in the car and wait!”
The Full Post:
For the past few weeks, I’ve noticed a strange phenomenon when heading back from work. At the end of my day, I normally book a Grab from work. These few weeks, I’ve noticed that my Grab arrives in no more than 20 seconds. Today, I had the energy to discover why.
Uncle picked me up today and shamefully, for the first time in a long while, I had the energy to chat with him, particularly because I was curious why Grab cars arrive so fast. Uncle explained that he had been sitting in the expensive TTSH car park for more than 30 minutes, waiting for a passenger. “If not, how can I get a passenger? I have to be the nearest to the passenger to get the job mah. Nearest place to you all is parking lot lah! You never notice meh. This whole carpark all Grab driver waiting leh. They go Kopitiam da bao eat in the car and wait!”
Beep. His car IU sounded as he stopped at the parking gantry. I was stunned at the price he paid for parking. “小弟. This one nothing. I no customer already. Pay abit of parking, got passenger, I happy already.”
And so we began to talk. And I heard the grief he had. “Today my son birthday. But bo pian need to work. No customer also need to drive and pray got customer. I need to pay petrol, season parking, car rental. I can go hungry but I don’t want my family to go hungry”
Uncle dropped me off at my block. “小弟you be careful ar. Don’t kenna coronavirus ar. You work work work also must take care of yourself”.
I tipped Uncle after my ride ended with a message to buy something nice for his son’s birthday. I don’t think it helped a lot, but I hope it did brighten his day.
For every Grab driver like Uncle, there are many more like him. Everyone’s hurting in this period. Let’s open our eyes, go the extra mile, love a little more because we’re all in this together.