Sunday, September 10, 2006

Some people really just deserve it.

There are times when you really want to gripe about what kind of flack teachers are getting in their schools and that they are undeserving. And then there comes along a person like Mdm Ang Ai Min. And then you think, well...

A QUIET dinner at a quiet restaurant in Upper Thomson Road turned ugly on Friday night when a spat broke out between the chef and a customer.

Teacher Ang Ai Min, 43, claims she was left with bruises on both her arms after the chef at the Le P'tit Breton, a French crepe restaurant at Thomson Imperial Court, physically forced her from the premises during an argument.

The problem started because Mrs Ang's two sons had brought a drink into the restaurant.

The co-owner of the two-year-old restaurant, Ms Sabrina Tan, 42, told her that drinks bought outside were not allowed in the eatery.

Ms Tan said: 'She told me off and said that I was picky.

'She also said that her sons did not drink in the restaurant. Then she stood up and said loudly that she was not eating at our restaurant anymore.'

Ms Tan said that Mrs Ang was still complaining loudly when she walked past the open-concept kitchen in the middle of the restaurant.

'Our chef told her to keep quiet, but she continued with her complaining and was taking her time to leave the restaurant,' said Ms Tan.

Mrs Ang alleges that the chef then grabbed her and forced her out.

She told The Sunday Times yesterday: 'We were leaving when the chef waved a spatula at me and told me that I can't talk so loudly in his restaurant. He also told me to get out.

'So I asked him why I can't talk loudly, and before I knew it he grabbed my arms from behind and yanked me out of the door,' she said.

'It all happened so quickly. I was so shocked that I didn't even scream for help.'

She called the police while outside the restaurant and later went to see a doctor for her bruises.

'I want people to know that such behaviour is unacceptable. How can anyone lay his hands on another person, not to mention using brute force on a customer?' she said.

Ms Tan said: 'The chef probably grabbed her arms, but it was not for no reason.'

She said that Mrs Ang had created a scene by complaining so loudly inside the quiet, 24-seater restaurant while making her way out.

She added: 'Our restaurant is a small and cosy place with a quiet ambience and we have to consider how other diners might feel about the noise.'

Let us take a pause while we view our exhibits. In the red corner, we have the ugly Singaporean. An uncouth lout who has no ability to control ones behaviour and the audacity to treat other people like dirt. In the blue corner, we have the French restaurant owners.

The red corner seems to think that the world revolves around her and her precious darlings and does not care two hoots for the world around her. She seems to think that she owns said restaurant and any rules set up that are not to her convenience are pointless and therefore easily floutable. She kicks up a fuss when told otherwise and is prepared to ensure that all other patrons in the restaurant have their experience ruined because of the supposed slight.

The blue corner is probably pondering why they opened a restaurant in Singapore in the first place.

I'm personally rooting for the blue corner. Anyone else?

See, I believe that the whole "Singaporeans really can't give good service" (Har har, think of the sexual innuendo) shtick is prevalent partly because Singaporeans really aren't good customers. They're crappy people and I think that they deserve all the bad service heaped upon them. (Notice the emphasis on the words "they" or "them") I have, save for a few lapses, treated all service industry people nicely. And most of the time, I've gotten smiles in return.

And when someone like Mdm Ang pops up (like an ugly zit that ain't quite ready to erupt yet), you just hope that in the future, restaurants would be just that little bit more attentive to the little extras that go into her meals...

Madam, please leave the profession so that the attitude can die out with you. You give teachers a really bad name.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

apparently cat high (primary)[anonymousnoises]

Thu Sep 14, 12:28:00 am 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say though, the people in the blue corner are really dao and haughty. Try eating there yourself and see what I mean. ;-)

Sat Sep 16, 02:11:00 am 2006  
Blogger Tym said...

Actually, Mdm Ang's profession is irrelevant to the issue, so this is a case of the media trying to tar an entire profession with the same brush.

The media also tends to lump anyone with a job remotely involving a classroom or standing at the front of a class as a "teacher" --- so the label may not mean anything either.

Most importantly, there are asshats in every profession. People just need to stop the above tar-brushing with any profession or group.

Sat Sep 16, 06:18:00 pm 2006  
Blogger Xtralicious said...

"So I asked him why I can't talk loudly"

Herein lies the crux of the problem.

Tue Sep 19, 12:11:00 pm 2006  
Blogger crleys said...

Mr. Packrat,

I would like to personally thank you for your good comments.
This incident was deeply regrettable and stressful for us and for the other customers of our restaurant. I admire your courage and your blog. I finally find a Singaporean who dares to tell what is thinking to the world and to the authorities. Mr Packrat, chapeau bas! All my respects and MERCI!

The chef of "Le P'tit Breton"

Sun Sep 24, 12:45:00 am 2006  
Blogger Packrat said...

Sometimes people can post the strangest things on ones blog.

It's weird.

Fri Sep 29, 11:35:00 am 2006  
Anonymous nardac said...

Personally, I zapped the whole "teacher" thing until you said it in the last sentence. Maybe you guys got stuck on it because the majority of your friends were teachers paying off their government overseas university loan. It's really fascinating how this phenomena has really affected how Singaporeans talk about teachers and teaching.

Other than that, I think both sides are quite awful. The chef neither has the right to touch his clients forcefully, nor should a customer be as graceless as to make a scene when the restaurant refuses service. People have to stop thinking that any behaviour is permitted if money is offered and that violence is acceptable as its reward.

Being French has nothing to do with at all. That sort of behaviour would be intolerable here as it should be everywhere else.

Tue Nov 07, 09:21:00 am 2006  

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