Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Government Servant Stereotype

So yesterday we went to the TNB branch office at Johor Bahru to complain about our outrageous electricity bill for the past 2 months (RM240 a month). This is never our job to begin with. Our landlord told us that she had called up the TNB guys and they would be coming soon.

If you ask me, she's just being lazy for not pushing the TNB guys. We called up the TNB people FOUR TIMES only to be given empty promises. Obviously as tenants, we weren't being taken seriously. Stupid landlord! May her house go down in flames!

[Sniff, sniff, something's burning in the kitchen.. wait.. this IS her house!]

Must blame someone. Stupid TNB! May their factories go down in flames!

[Whole of West Malaysia blacks out]

I suck at arson-cursing. Anyway, we told the TNB guy that it could be our electricity meter problem. We surveyed the neighbourhood before and found out that our meter was still the old model. We suspect that the age could've screwed up the meter's reading speed. The first thing the TNB guy did when we told him this was glare at us and fired, "Kamu ada kacau itu meter ka?!" ("Did you mess with the meter?!")

I wanted so badly to grab every single object in his cubicle and shove them into his mouth. He proceeded to tell us about the penalties and fines and how they would watch over our names like hawks if we were caught tampering with their meter. At this point, it didn't seem enough to shove stationaries into his mouth. I wanted to pee on him.

We are here to file a complain about YOUR meter and now you blatantly accuse US of tampering with it?! We are your customers for crying out loud, the least you can do is show us a bit respect! Then I stopped and took a breather. I looked around the office and started to smile. In fact while the TNB guy was pointing and threatening us, I actually laughed. Hey, you would too if you saw a Malaysian government servant living up to their 'rude and impolite' stereotype. It's like watching a chinese man holding a calculator or a black man eating a piece of fried chicken.

I shrugged away whatever sense of anger I had left and just took in all the TNB guy's lecture. After he was done, he tried to check our electricity usage through their online database. I almost rolled on the floor laughing when he said, "Aya, server down la." Bad service AND poor facilities. Now the black man is having a bucket of fried chicken!

It is sad that I find this amusing but what can I do? Sure we could get the man's ID number and report him for wrongfully accusing us. But then I fear the higher office would either 'make sure' our meter was tampered or give some silly excuse like, "If it wasn't for the sun, the sky and the moon, your meter wouldn't have gone haywire."

I'll leave you all with a snippet of the conversation I had with the TNB guy:

(Conversation in Malay)
TNB Guy: Did you know that if tampered, the meter would run faster.
Ben: Oh.
TNB Guy: For example, if you tampered with your car engine, would it run faster or slower?
Ben: Slower.
TNB Guy: [Nods in agreement] Same concept.
Ben: ...

What an idiot.

10 comments:

Anonymous

Welcome to Malaysia, truly <.....> (Fill in your choice of word).

Jason

RM120, okay what! My house RM150 to RM160 wei. And the old water saves more electricity compare to the new one. Dont you know that?

Jason

*meter

Benjamin

anonymous: nausea

jason: no no, u read again; [RM240 a month] we have no air conditioning or television. Our seniors got 7 ppl in a house also RM100+. We only 5 ppl already 2.4 times more. Something is definitely wrong.

My Name Is Irene

Aiyo..
Talk about Malaysia..
Same thing happen here in OZ too..
According to Energex (read: TNB in Malaysia), billing is only based on 'assumption' usage of electricity.

Energex officer *looking at one's name* : Hm..Irene..I used to date a girl named Irene and she dumped me. Hate this name.

Next month - receive Energex bill of $500. How la like that?

-=[W]=-

I agree with you, it's always funny to see stereotypes in action. For once we can say, it's just like in the movies!

Well, except it happens on a daily basis back in the motherland; stereotype and reality overlap completely.

Anonymous

*Rolling on floor laughing*

Benjamin

mynameisirene: wa, for real?

wilson: well said. stereotype and reality are exactly the same meaning back here.

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