SINGAPORE: A woman took to Facebook to share her story about a female stall holder who was quite literally frozen in shock when she heard the customer say she undercharged because this was the first time someone didn’t say she overcharged instead.
Ms Yi Lin Sng wrote about her encounter with the stall holder at Geylang East Hawker Centre on the Can Eat! SG public group. She had gone to the stall to buy chwee kueh and chye poh worth S$2.20, but the auntie only charged S$2.00. Ms Yi then told her about it, which shocked the stall holder.
“She stared at me in silence. Didn’t move. I asked gently if everything was okay. Her reply was that I am the first person to tell her that she is undercharging. Customers get upset being charged 40 cents for extras. Some tell her off for not giving a mountain of chye poh.”
Ms Yi kindly explained to the auntie that she realizes that while the raw chye poh may be cheap, “it takes time n effort to transform it into something delicious.” She added her appreciation to the woman for keeping the chye poh “simmering and hot” at an added cost because of the electricity needed.
The woman then surprised Ms Yi by telling her, “if everyone can have the same mindset she would not have to keep telling her business partner to close shop.”
The auntie added that there are days when she only earns a few dollars after balancing out what she spends on operations and ingredients and that “She might as well just stop operating.”
The fact that Ms Yi couldn’t do anything about the situation except “to highlight the plight of hawkers facing struggles” pained her, adding that she hoped to see the woman again next month when she returned for another round of comfort food.
The Independent Singapore has reached out to Ms Yi for further comments.
Netizens commenting on her post thanked her for her kindness in informing the auntie that she had undercharged and raising awareness about their struggles.
“I was in the F&B industry for 35 years and we need more people like you… many just don’t know the time, effort, and sweat that goes into meals and they still expect things to be 70’s prices, and when our staff leave cos we can’t pay them more they label us as stingy employers. Sigh, a saving grace that not all are like that,” wrote one commenter. /TISG