21 January 2012

Story of a village with only one restaurant: PAPCH Garden

Story of a village with only one restaurant: PAPCH Garden
January 17th, 2012 | Author: Contributions

There is a village that only has one restaurant. Everyone in the village has to eat at that restaurant PAPCH Garden which serves $10 XO Chye Tow Kueh.

Villager: Why can’t we have more than one restaurant?

Head Waiter: Our village is at a critical point in it’s economic development where more than one restaurant can lead to chaos, so we only have one restaurant. Also, if there are other restaurants, I might get distracted and be unable to concentrate on my job.

Villager: But the food here is really not good! And it’s very expensive because all the staff are paid so much. And it’s also full of outsiders from other countries eating in it – and you have them working in the kitchen too, taking away ours jobs.

Head Waiter: Our restaurant is a small one. If you were to open another restaurant, the prosperity of the village would be fundamentally threatened.

Villager: But can’t it be a little cheaper?

Head Waiter: That would not suit the conditions of our village; the restaurant also needs to develop. We need to pay top dollar to attract top talents for our restaurant.

Waitress who called herself Ms Eff You: When I made the decision to join the restaurant in 2006, pay was not a key factor. Loss of privacy, public scrutiny on myself and my family and loss of personal time were. The disruption to my previous career was also an important consideration. I had some ground to believe that my family would not suffer a drastic change in the standard of living even though I experienced a drop in my income. So it is with this recent pay cut. If the balance is tilted further in the future, it will make it harder for any one considering joining the restaurant.

Villager: But the employees of the restaurant are all driving Mercedes Benz! And living in bungalows! And some of them have more than 10 houses.

Head Waiter: To ensure fair and uncorrupted staff, you need to pay them high salaries. This is what it is called, a transparent wage. If you really want, we will form a committee to decide on the staff wages, then talk about it in front of you even though we have already made a decision.

Villager: But last year, you lent all the profits of the restaurant to Temashit store and Jee Ai See Corporation!

Head Waiter: This is the village policy, you don’t need to worry about it. We are in it for the long term.

Villager: I heard that the Jee Ai See guy in charge of purchasing bought all the worthless shares that have since lost all their value – 50 billion American peanuts worth.

Head Waiter: That type of employee is very rare.

Villager: Then why did you promote him to make him President of the restaurant company?

Head Waiter: We have already volunteered him to take a pay cut of 51%.

Villager: But he’s still the best paid President on earth!

Head Waiter: Let’s move on. You have misunderstood me.

Other villagers: And the water from kitchen flooded our houses the other day!

Waiter in-charge of drinks: Ah, that was just ponding which happens once in 50 years.

Villager: And what about the time your restaurant system broke down for over 4 hours and trapped over a 1000 people inside?

Restaurant Valet: Don’t worry, we will have a committee of inquiry on this matter. Also, that chef responsible has also left to pursue personal interests. And the second chef has also left earlier to pursue personal interests.

Villager: So when we’ve got so many problems, why do you still hang up certificates of high quality? Why do you tell outsiders that everyone is eating so well? There are some people in our village who have no houses and not enough to eat.

Waiter in-charge of drinks: What do you want, 3 meals a day? Anyway, you misunderstood me. I am sorry you are upset about your misunderstanding me.

Villager: The grain was grown by the peasant farmers. The village was built by the first generation villagers and the its security is undertaken by all our our young male villagers for 2 years of their lives.

Head Waiter: Look, New Singapore Shares!

Villager: I can’t even get a decent meal, what do these other things have to do with me? Why don’t other villages have all these problems that we have here?

Old Waiter: Whenever you talk about yourself, you only say bad things. When you talk about others, you say everything is good. You are so complacent. You need to have spurs stuck in your hide. You must repent!

Villager: Eh, but down the road there is a new hawker stall with a hammer sign. The food quality looks quite good and the staff wear blue uniforms. Also, they smile at you and try to help you. They have a chye tow kueh chef who was trained in Beijing to make XO chye tow kueh and many other things. He has even taken a pay cut to come back and help our village out.

Major General (NS) Waiter: But hor, even though they only charge you $1.50, you might not want to eat it because the quality is not good leh. (Turning to the other waiters) If you guys agree with me, Kee Chiu!

Old waiter (getting angry): If you choose to go to that hawker stall, then I say good luck to you. You have five years to ruminate and to regret what you did. And I have no doubts you will regret it. At the end of the day, you should ask yourself: Do you want a celebrity chef who has been away 30 years and a bunch of non-scholars to serve you?’

Head Waiter (quickly cut in): Please bear with us. We’re trying our best on your behalf. And if we didn’t quite get it right, I am sorry but we will try and do better the next time.”

Villager: Too late. 39.9% of us are going to try the stall. I hear it’s in Aljunied.


Karen Teoh

* From http://www.danwei.com/a-village-with-only-one-restaurant/ with some uniquely Village amendments.

* Personal note: I think the Chye Tow Kueh was the last straw for me after the spate of recent news about pay, SMRT and ‘ponding’. Anyone want to make a video/podcast with it? Might be interesting to hear it “acted’ aloud. At the end of the day, this is just a light-hearted post to blow off steam, laugh about it – then go eat at the other hawker stall in Aljunied in 5 years time. Hope they will be setting up franchises in different parts of the village. Please share and repost – and remind people to eat at the other hawker stall when they next have the chance.

* Editor’s note: Have also added some further amendments to Karen’s amendments. Feel free to add further and share it around

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