会看成相的德士师傅—第39届副福利股长蒋福励
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会看成相的德士师傅—第39届副福利股长蒋福励

德士师傅不只把客人载到目的地,也得会看人,确保乘客路途愉快。

驾驶德士十年,61岁的同安会馆副总务蒋福励是这么看待德士师傅的工作的。客人上车后,他会问对方要走哪一条路到目的地, 并尝试同客人聊天,以打破隔阂, 确保客人旅途愉快。 不过, 他也必须懂得观颜察色。如果客人不愿开口,他就必须懂得在适当的时候保持静默。

驾驶德士之前, 福励在一家电脑公司当销售员。在那里,他学会了同顾客相处之道,并懂得如何应付难缠的顾客, 确保自己不会被脾气坏的顾客影响心情。

福励曾经接到一名顾客电召, 要从蔡厝港前往加东购物中心。 他依约前往载客,结果等了20分钟,一名妇女和她的女佣才出现。 他问妇女要走哪一条路到加东,对方说随便。结果他选择泛岛快速公路朝向巴耶礼巴的方向行驶,刚好那一天,途中经过好几个交通灯都得停下,结果抵达时,妇女用三字经怒骂他。然后她说要使用NETS还钱,结果是账目无法通过。最后妇女在怒骂声中把车门一甩,钱也没给就扬长而去。后来福励跟同行聊起,发现他们也碰到过这一名妇女,以同样的手段坐霸王车。

最近德士收费上涨, 福励就遇到过有顾客借故指他走错路,不愿还钱。 “我们无法选择搭客,所以得学习看破、放下、随缘。”信奉佛教的福励认为,千万别让压力影响心情,更别让上一名搭客的怨气,影响到下一名搭客。

福励记得入行不久,他载到一名孕妇,对方要去竹脚妇幼医院。上车不久,孕妇感觉阵痛,刚好这时有交警经过,福励急中生智,叫交警帮忙开路, 让孕妇很快抵达医院。就在妇女被人从德士转移到担架上时,宝宝也迫不及待降临,让福励至今难忘。

过去40年,福励每天从不间断、早上五点左右就开始练太极。 对他而言,作为德士师傅要保持健康需要自律。 他的秘诀很简单:吃饭时间吃饭,别憋尿。他说: “听起来似乎很简单,不过,一些同行有时为了多赚钱,忽略了健康。而身体状况不好,怎么能确保驾驶安全?”

除了打太极,福励也爱唱卡拉ok ,并喜欢在星期日到会馆唱歌。自1970年代就加入会馆和互助部, 福励有丰富的社团经验。对他而言,会馆要蓬勃发展,理事之间必须互相扶持,避免泼冷水。 就像驾驶德士,司机不只需要敬业乐业,也需要互相帮助。

The cabbie who reads faces

This cabbie is not only a driver but also a face reader. He not only drives you to your destination but also makes your journey more enjoyable.

At least this is what veteran cabbie Mr Chew Hock Lay believes in. The 61 year old Deputy Honorary Secretary of Tung Ann District Guild has been driving taxi for ten years. When a customer boards his taxi, he would ask his customer which route he or she wants him to take. And he would try to strike a conversation with his customer. But before doing so, he would read the face of his customer and sound him or her out. If the customer does not like to talk, he would keep quiet for the rest of the journey. Otherwise, he would like to chit chat with him or her to break the ice and make the journey more enjoyable and seems shorter.

Before Mr Chew turns to driving taxi, he was a marketing person at a computer company. There, he learnt the ways of handling customers and how not to be agitated by nasty customers.

Once, he received a booking asking him to pick up a lady with a maid from Chua Chu Kang heading for Katong Shopping Centre. He waited patiently for 20 minutes before the lady and her maid appeared. As usual, he asked her which route she would preferred and was told he could make the decision. He then travelled along PIE and exit at Paya Lebar. It was a day when he met with many traffic light halts. Upon arrival, the lady scolded him vulgar words for taking that route. She then used NETS card to foot her bill but it was not successful. The lady finally slammed his car door and walked away without paying her bill! Mr Chew later found out from his colleagues that they too experienced the same from this lady.

The recent fare price hike also saw some customers accusing him of taking the wrong route and refusing to pay for their fare. ‘We can’t choose our customers, we have to live with it. Nevertheless, learning how to relax and let nature takes its course does help.’ said Mr Chew, a Buddhist who feels that any negative emotion caused by a customer should not be passed on to the next.

Mr Chew also remembers the day when a pregnant lady got onto his taxi and asked him to drive her to the KK hospital. Long before his cab reaches the destination, she experienced acute labour pain. A quick-witted Mr Chew quickly notified a passing traffic police to blaze a trail for his taxi to the hospital. Just as the pregnant lady was taken to a stretcher from his taxi, the new born pushed itself and was too eager to see the world!

Mr Chew practises Tai Chi every morning around 5am and has been do so for 40 odd years. To him, staying healthy as a cab driver needs discipline. His tips : do not delay taking meals and going to loos. ‘The tips may sound simple but some cabbies just do not follow because they want to earn more money. More importantly, without good health, how can one drive safely?’ asked Mr Chew.

Besides Tai Chi, Mr Chew loves karaoke singing. This veteran member who joined Tung Ann District Guild and its Mutual Help Section since 1970′s can be seen singing karaoke on most Sunday afternoon at the Guild. To him, giving support to fellow council members is important for a clan association to grow. It is just like driving a cab, you not only love your job but must also give support to fellow cabbies.