I was invited by MITI, (they sent the letter to the ministry and boss asked me to go) to present a paper on logistics and transportation at their Regional Seminar. It’s a pleasure, I learned a lot. I did my presentation, even with the nervousness, I managed to stay calm after first few slides.
The one thing that I didn’t really prefer was the QnA session. It’s because the industry kept asking the same questions. The worst part was, they already knew the answers. They heard the same thing again and again.
I didn’t want to explain the issues further to them because first, they are more experienced and well informed of their business and the environment. Second, there were a lot of other parties in the hall (around 60-70 pax) including the government agencies, industries as well as students. If I answered, it might lead to other comments or worse, complaints.
One thing I learn is they will not stop asking until the answer is what they want. The truth is, even though there are numerous study, they tend to choose (not everyone) to not believe it. They knew better, they said. (Not all) So I guess, they do know better. But maybe it’s not the time to give in. Maybe we’ll wait for few more years and see how they manage. Maybe it’s timely for them to adapt or maybe they did try to adapt but things didn’t work out.
I need to assure them things are being looked at, but then, they will take those words and bring it to other forums, by any chance, I would be at the other forums too. And they will see me again and they will ask the same question.
Because I am not that memorable. They forget they saw me before.
Yesterday, after the talk, I received an invitation for a lunch at Hilton’s Toh Yuen and when I was there nobody ushered me to a table (despite the invitation said -“dear sir/madam, kindly be informed that all speakers are invited for lunch that has been reserved at Toh Yuen restaurant”) (I mean, I wouldn’t be there if there’s no invitation), and then when they (the Secretariat) saw other speakers (with black suit, looking older and more professional than me) they were ushering them like there’s no tomorrow. I just sat at the other table (the plain one-buffet area) and finish my lunch. When I finished my lunch I went to the secretariat and asked, “I was one of the speakers too, why didn’t you attend to me too?”
He saw me before I was at the Secretariat table, waiting for lunch…. no one talked to me, I just stood there so I decided to just go and eat because I needed to check out at 1 o’clock. He looked guilty and I asked him “is this because I don’t look like a speaker, is it?” He agreed. He insisted me to join the lunch with other speakers but I declined as I need to get things at my room before checking out.
I didn’t know why I reacted that way but maybe I was so bored with all this stereotype thinking.