Tuesday, May 17, 2005

des's story:The School Bus

Every morning, on my way to work, I would pass by a row of flats. In front of each block, groups of school children could be seemed with their parents waiting for the school bus. At about the same time every morning, a blue-coloured school bus would crawl slowly up the slope, stop at the furthest block to let the tiny children board, helped by the bus assistant. After which, the bus would start crawling again for about twenty-five metres before reaching another block to let another group to board. The bus would repeat this sequence for the rest of the five blocks.

When I first witnessed this, the first thought that popped into my mind was that "Mmm, the parents must have had a big fight or argument before the situation had to come to this". I can imagine the so-called adults thinking:" why must my baby walked all the way to your block to board the bus when each of us paid the same amount of money for the service?" So in order to appease the angry parents, the bus company could have decided that the poor bus driver had to stop from block to block. But this is not the big picture. Before the bus reached my neighbourhood, it must have stopped at other estate as evidenced by the sizeable number of children already in the bus. If the bus stopped at nearly every block in other estates as well, more time would then be spent in each area. And the poor kids would have to wake up much earlier than actually required to get to school on time. So now you tell me who has actually lost out here?

What have I learnt:

We are sometimes so afraid of losing out a good bargain that we focus too much on protecting our own interest. As a result, we fail to see the big picture, which is usually, the benefit for all. In an organisation, there is work to be done but we tend to protect ourselves, saying, “This is not my job, why should I do it!” We fail to see again that we are the ones who will ultimately suffer the consequences (rectification work etc). The fact is we can only be as successful as the organisation is. I think we should approach our work with a “selfless” attitude. Think always of the big picture; that is for the good of the organisation. Help yourselves by helping others.

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