S’porean man asks PMD riders not to settle for delivery jobs and to pick up new skills

By November 8, 2019Current

TL;DR – Why limit yourself when you can do more?

It has been officially announced that all Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs) will be banned from footpaths in Singapore from 5 November onwards.

The sudden ban has stirred up mixed reactions from Singaporeans – PMD delivery riders are upset at the ban as it has affected their livelihood, while people who called for the ban, laud and rejoice at the ban. There have also been organised groups of PMD delivery riders showing up at various Meet-The-People-Sessions to see ministers and MPs the past few days.

Here, you can see Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee talking to the PMD riders at his MPS in Jurong Spring last night. The labour movement, NTUC, has also been sending their staff to the different MPS to offer support and help.

On 7 November, Facebook user Jacky Chua took to his Facebook profile to share what he feels about the ban and encourages PMD riders not to be defeated by the setback.

Change is the only constant

In a rather lengthy post, he started off by sharing how he was also affected by changes that took place in different phases of his life. Through these changes, it dawned on him that in order to minimise these changes that took control over him, he would have to take more control in his life.

For instance, after he got retrenched for the second(!) time, he became self-employed and started picking up new skills and began learning new things. He eventually did well in his career which then made him came to the realization that “the more control you have over your life, the more you can make things happen for the better”. He went from making $1,500 a month in salary to more than $100,000 in a year!

He then shared three tips that he hopes could benefit the PMD riders who are affected by the “change”:

1. Setbacks are not death sentences

He explained,

The difference between a strong-willed person and a weak one lies in how he perceives adversity.

Anyone can be positive in an upbeat environment when everything is fine. But when it’s crunch time, the weak ones stand out like sore thumbs. There is no use going to MPs, to see them put on a concerned face, listening intensively and nodding keenly, put in a few words in the Parliament just to let you think that work is done. But deep down you know nothing is going to change. Even if there is no ban, food delivery giants like Grab may fold. What then?

Setbacks are part and parcel of life. It sets us back so we can reflect on the way forward. People who live day by day without mid to long term plans are more susceptible to the implications of setbacks. People who have plans will act quickly because they are prepared.”

2. Outgrow and outsmart your circumstances

Chua points out that the enmity between the PMD riders and pedestrians is a “stupid argument” because before these PMDs came along, these PMD riders were pedestrians too.

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“Most people only grow enough to accommodate to their job, their lives and the lowest expectation of themselves. That’s why when more is required of them, they found themselves at a loss. If you are smart enough, you will see beyond the enmity between pmd riders and pedestrians. This, I find in the first place, is a stupid argument. You mean pmd riders don’t walk at all? You are not a pedestrian before pmd was allowed?

If you can see the big picture, you’ll know allowing pmd was a mistake made by you-know-who when our infrastructure couldn’t support it yet. You will know the ban has to be enforced because they can’t risk having the majority of people angry with them. So they sacrifice a handful of unhappy people to please the larger majority, but for what purpose? I’m sure you can put one and one together.

Once you have outgrown your circumstances, you have clarity of what is happening around you. You will have foresight. Instead of getting caught off-guard, or hoping for the best, you will be prepared. Better still, you make the change before you are forced to change.”

3. Don’t limit your potential

He also urges the PMD riders to not settle for just a delivery job when they can be more.

“Don’t settle for just a delivery job when you can be more. This job is just a passing phase, to help you get through whatever situation you’re in now. If you find yourself a victim of circumstance, the reason is you are limiting your potential. You will keep facing setbacks after setbacks until you realized that.

There are many real-life success stories out there. They have made sacrifices to get to where they are now. Success is subjective. If the ability to provide for your family is the benchmark, then put in place contingency plans so you can still provide for them when setbacks as such happen again. It’s not about putting food on the table this month. It’s about ensuring that you can continue to do so even when it rains hellfire.

While he sympathises with those who have limited choices in life, due to disabilities, age or other disadvantages, Chua encourages PMD riders to pick up new skills and develop strategies to future-proof their livelihood, should they have the opportunity to make changes in their life.

Concluding his post, Chua wrote:

“Change is the only constant in the world. You can either change for the better, or change when you have your back against the wall. I prefer the former.”

This is his full post:

Here’s the text in his Facebook post in case you can’t see it:

So many videos of pmd riders venting their frustrations.

So many debates about why pmds should or shouldn’t be banned.

I get it.

You, and other pmd riders affected by the sudden and seemingly unreasonable ban, are angry, disappointed, betrayed and lost. I totally get it.

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You probably dread hearing this, but it has to be said.

Change is the only constant in the world. No one likes it.

When I was a child. I had no control over everything. I didn’t have a say in what school I went. I didn’t have a say in what I ate everyday. I didn’t have a say in how to use my time. But I was happy. Until quarrels between parents grew more frequent, louder, and violent. Then one day, it stopped. My father stopped coming home one day. He left to live his own life, and I haven’t seen him since 11. It wasn’t my fault but that of adults. I was angry, disappointed, betrayed and lost.

When I was in secondary school, I fell into bad company, spent my days at the arcade, mixed with friends in gangs, and thought that I finally had the freedom to live the life I wanted. Then, I failed my O Levels. Reality sank in. ITE is the only place willing to take me. I felt unwanted, dejected, useless and hopeless.

Somehow, I managed to complete ITE and got into poly. Somehow I landed a decent job that paid me $1.5k a month in the manufacturing industry. It was my first full time, long term job. But in less than 2 years, I was retrenched. The company decided to move the production plant back to Japan. I went on to find another job in another manufacturing company. Got paid slightly higher with some experience under my belt. But again, I was retrenched because they decided to move the production plant to Thailand where labor cost and space were cheaper. I felt angry with my life, with how big corporation works, with how the world works.

I decided that I needed more control in my life. I wanted to minimize the control others have over me. I became self-employed. I picked up new skills. I learned new things. And in my 3rd years doing sales, I made well over $100k. Never in my life once I felt I worth that much. Never once I felt I deserve to make such money. I came to the realization that the more control you have over your life, the more you can make things happen for the better.

It has been over a decade since I became self-employed and I’ve never look back. Here are what I’ve learned about changes over the last decade. I have benefited from understanding these, and hope you would too.

Setbacks are not death sentence.

The difference between a strong-willed person and a weak one lies in how he perceives adversity. Anyone can be positive in an upbeat environment when everything is fine. But when it’s crunch time, the weak ones stand out like sore thumbs. There is no use going to MPs, to see them put on a concerned face, listening intensively and nodding keenly, put in a few words in the Parliament just to let you think that work is done. But deep down you know nothing is going to change. Even if there is no ban, food delivery giants like Grab may fold. What then? Setbacks are part and parcel of life. It sets us back so we can reflect on the way forward. People who live day by day without mid to long term plans are more susceptible to the implications of setbacks. People who have plans will act quickly because they are prepared.

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Outgrow and outsmart your circumstances.

Most people only grow enough to accommodate to their job, their lives and the lowest expectation of themselves. That’s why when more is required of them, they found themselves at a lost. If you are smart enough, you will see beyond the enmity between pmd riders and pedestrians. This, I find in the first place, is a stupid argument. You mean pmd riders don’t walk at all? You are not a pedestrian before pmd was allowed? If you can see the big picture, you’ll know allowing pmd was a mistake made by you-know-who when our infrastructure couldn’t support it yet. You will know the ban has to be enforced because they can’t risk having the majority of people angry with them. So they sacrifice a handful of unhappy people to please the larger majority, but for what purpose? I’m sure you can put one and one together. Once you have outgrown your circumstances, you have clarity of what is happening around you. You will have foresight. Instead of getting caught off-guard, or hoping for the best, you will be prepared. Better still, you make the change before you are forced to change.

Don’t limit your potential.

Don’t settle for just a delivery job when you can be more. This job is just a passing phase, to help you get through whatever situation you’re in now. If you find yourself a victim of circumstance, the reason is you are limiting your potential. You will keep facing setbacks after setbacks until you realized that. There are many real-life success stories out there. They have made sacrifices to get to where they are now. Success is subjective. If the ability to provide for your family is the benchmark, then put in place contingency plans so you can still provide for them when setbacks as such happen again. It’s not about putting food on the table this month. It’s about ensuring that you can continue to do so even when it rains hellfire.

I feel for those who have limited choices in life, due to disabilities, age or other disadvantages. But if you have the opportunity and window to make changes, do it now. Strengthen your mindset. Pick up new skill. Develop strategies to future-proof your livelihood.

Change is the only constant in the world. You can either change for the better, or change when you have your back against the wall. I prefer the former.

 

(Featured image via)

 

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Gabrielle Teo

Author Gabrielle Teo

I read lots, and I also spend an indecent amount of time trying to get my mostly unpopular opinions published. Oh, I argue a lot with fellow Singaporeans who complain incessantly about Singapore too.

More posts by Gabrielle Teo

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