Tuesday, November 14, 2006

ST (14-11-06)

ST (14-11-06)
Originally uploaded by dawnkua.

I was really surprised to read these two letters. No one is being asked to take the law in their own hands - just to do their part for the community because it is OUR community

Plus the analogy between one of children and parents seems a flawed one to me - surely at some point we as citizens need to grow up and do our part?

It's also worrying that one writer suggests that it's too difficult to even remember the government departments' phone numbers. They are all available on the Singapore Government Directory website. Now it seems the complaint is even that it's too difficult to find the right person to complain to!


Blogger Mezzo said...

Actually, I can understand the frustration about not being able to find a number to call. I've noticed that nowadays, govt websites seem allergic to giving out numbers - they'd rather have a feedback form. Granted, eventually I found the directory, but how many people even know it exists? You're more likely to go to the website first.

14/11/06 12:37 PM  
Anonymous mr giggles said...

These 2 guys actually think that making a complaint is feedback. I think they are 2 different things though one is generally construed as the other.

Complaining is usually about expressing displeasure and wanting someone else to take care of the problem. Providing feedback however is more constructive. It seeks to provide information about a person's sentiments about an issue or an experience with the clear objective of a finding an appropriate solution, and not just hoping "someone heard".

A good example brings to mind the guy Dawn wrote about who complains about cats going into his garden. When she offered a whole slew of possible solutions, he brushed every one aside with ridicule and sarcasm. It is obvious he is complaining without wanting a solution. This is NOT feedback.

A feedback can be positive as well. Like when we feedback that a sales staff had been very pleasant and helpful.

Actually what surprises me is that these 2 men's letters got published.

14/11/06 1:20 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Mezzo good point. It's an excellent resource and they should publish it.

Mr Giggles- very well put.

14/11/06 1:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that you should not bring the two letters in context to cats. It has nothing at all to do with cats.

I believe that the two men's issues are not with cats but with having their views heard. What they say is very true, many a times Govt agencies do not want to listen to the people, just as one recent incident, the daughter of a MP told another blogger off for expressing his views that the lower income need help. What she said to him was he was a old man who could not handle the brutal truth.

Also nowadays many govt agencies have automated phone systems in which at the end of being asked to press this and that button, you are asked to leave a msg.

The thing that was brought up is that when we make our views, we should be heard and not regarded as complaining. Frankly it is not unlike the Tampines incident in which complains and feedback fell to dead ears on the Town Council under a meet the MP session. If the MP had taken the issues as complains from a bunch of residents and shrugged them off saying that the cleaniness of the estate is more important than that of the lives of some cats then it would be a different story today.

14/11/06 4:13 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous I disagree - I think it has a lot to do with cats because it has become so entrenched in our culture to just complain.

For example, complainants call up the TCs and make noise about the cats. They can be the most ridiculous complaints (and there are so many instances I've lost count) yet they are dealt with. This has to change. Complaints should be dealt with because they are reasonable - NOT because they make a lot of noise.

In the case of the MP's daughter for example, I think that was her making her individual views hears - and if we disagree we should speak up. That isn't complaining.

I think as Mr Giggles put it, there's a big difference between complaints and feedback. Complaining is sitting around but not wanting to do anything except pick up the phone. Feedback however are suggestions as to how to make the situation better. That would include the fact that you've probably THOUGHT about the situation and have some input - not that you want to just complain and let someone else do all the work.

In the Tampines case you mentioned, why were the cats caught in the first place? Complaints! The caregivers though had a plan - TNRM - and how to implement it. THAT'S why they were listened to.

14/11/06 5:12 PM  

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