* The above image is taken from this Yahoo Lifestyle article.
WE CAN’T RETIRE!
Yeah, I know.
Yes, I know that already. Every Singaporean knows that.
A FAIRY TALE ENDING FOR SENIOR CITIZENS?
But luckily for us, thanks to the farsightedness of our government, most senior citizens in Singapore have the benefit of an Oxbridge or Ivy League education. Take my HDB neighbour for example. He was 65 when he lost his job as a security guard due to a leg injury. And after losing his livelihood, he had to deal with unpaid loans and mounting hospital bills. But he remained positive. And he had good reason to.
Because a mere week after his loss of employment, he was contacted by a representative of the Skull and Bones society at Yale where he had spent his youth. And when I saw him next, the former security guard was lounging around at a penthouse suite as the Director of Internal Communications for a Fortune 500 company.
He’s not the only senior citizen with a fairy tale ending.
Another neighbour of mine, a lady in her late 50s, recently lost her clerical job at a factory. She just couldn’t keep up with the competition from the younger university graduates from China and India. But like the ah gong from Yale, she had nothing to worry about. And sure enough, just days after her departure from the factory, her sorority sisters from Oxford reached out to her and offered her a position as the Managing Director of General Human Affairs. Her company now pays her a five-figure monthly salary just for reading magazines in her oak-paneled office.
Okay, okay. Enough already! What I just said was a load of bullshit and you ought to know that. If you truly believe that Singapore is stuffed full of security guard uncles and office aunties with Ivy League connections, then there’s this exclusive time share property in Narnia I want to sell to you.
So why did I bullshit? I was trying to make a point. Two points. Okay, three.
One. We do not have enough money for retirement and will need to work past the ripe old age of 65 just to make ends meet.
Two. Unless your ah gongs and ah mas actually have Ivy League or Oxbridge connections, nobody is going to offer them bullshit jobs like Director of Internal Communications or Managing Director of General Human Affairs and pay them a lot of money for doing pointless work.
Having said all that, we now arrive neatly at point number three. Read the rest of this entry
Generally speaking, ghost hunting television shows tend to enjoy a spike of popularity around the Halloween season and, due to my job as a security guard, I tend to get requests to share spooky stories right around this time.
Now, let me ask you a question. Between a security guard and professional ghost hunter, who do you think has the more difficult job? Below, I will recount to you 3 spooky incidents that happened to myself and other security guards during the night shift. And you can judge for yourself if it would be easier to deal with the spookiness by your lonesome self or when you are being surrounded by a squad of cameramen, lighting technicians and miscellaneous gophers.
#1. The Haunted Bench
In my book, there’s a story about a haunted school where two luckless teenagers had a ghostly encounter with a man in white. I was there at that time and received their complaint about a stranger who was loitering on school grounds. However, after searching through the school in the dark (it was 7pm in the evening), I found no trace of any intruder.
And that, unfortunately, scared the pair of teenagers so much that they promptly resigned from their part-time job that very night. They never returned to the school.
After that incident with the teenagers, my colleague at the school had a spooky encounter of his own. You can read about it here.
He was locking up the place one evening when he saw a girl sitting at one of the benches in the school. All alone. At 8pm in the evening. Well, it’s not an odd occurrence really. Sometimes, students stay back late for one reason or other. Not an odd occurrence at all. EXCEPT this particular girl vanished mysteriously into thin air within seconds and was never seen again.
But what about the haunted bench, you ask? Well, according to the testimonies of the teenagers and my colleague, both the man in white and the disappearing girl were sitting at the same bench…
Towards the end of my assignment at the school, I was doing my usual patrol around the school grounds when I noticed that the bench had been removed from the school. I talked to the cleaners but no one knew why.
#2. Rude Awakening
This happened to a night shift guard who was assigned to guard a warehouse. There wasn’t anything particularly spooky about the warehouse, nor was it stuck in the middle of nowhere.
For the first few nights after getting the assignment, the guard played it safe. He kept himself awake and alert for surprise inspections from the management. After a few nights of non-activity however, he decided to cut loose and indulge in a bit of drinking. Several bottles later, he was fast asleep. Well, no harm no foul, he thought. The warehouse was done for the day and nicely locked up for the night.
But then, in the middle of his booze-induced slumber…
BANG! BANG! BANG!
He jerked up from the comfortable armchair, his mind still befuddled with alcohol, and saw a strange woman banging on the guardhouse’s window and glaring at him from outside the guardhouse’s window. Probably due to all that booze in his system, he felt anger instead of fear. So he got up from his “bed”, opened the guardhouse and chased after the strange woman who had appeared so suddenly in the middle of an empty warehouse.
But, according to his testimony when he later told us his story, he couldn’t catch up to her no matter how hard he ran. And when he thought he had finally cornered her inside the warehouse, she had mysteriously vanished.
And what did the night guard do? Read the rest of this entry