05 May 2006

The Ancient Vault: For Profit or For Worse

(This post was written in 2003. It is part of the blog's one year anniversary celebration.)

My college's prom night is this Saturday, 20 September 2003. I'm paying a hefty RM50 (for students, that is) to go to a hotel ballroom and eat good food, and hopefully, be entertained. It is an annual affair organized by the student body - let's call them Greedy Inc., or GI for short.

Before I elaborate, allow me to divulge some technical details. GI sets up a counter along the main corridor to allow us to order tickets. Now, to order the tickets you can either buy a table for 10 and get to choose your table (good) or you can buy them individually and let GI decide where to put you (not good). Those who buy individually usually get pushed to the worst possible spots of the ballroom where those table-bookers do not sit.

Now we go on to the real meat. Today is Thursday, September 18, 2003. I went to the counter to collect the tickets for individuals. As I approached the lady (Ms. Nice) at the counter, I overheard her conversation with the organizing chairman. I will call him Mr. Cold.

It went something like:
Ms. Nice : Hey, what about this 3 people who can't fit in anywhere?
Mr. Cold : We definitely won't open another table for them. If we can't fit it then we'll refund them their money.
Ms. Nice : But…
Mr. Cold : I cannot open another table with 3 people. Do you know how much we'll waste?
Ms. Nice : That means we need another 7 people to fill up 10.
Mr. Cold : No, we need 5. We need 8 to break even.

That was when Ms. Nice turned to me and I got my tickets and left.

Did you get the point of this article? The thing is, GI is willing to reject 3 students, who paid in full, just because they can't fit them in anywhere, and he won't open another table as GI will lose money!

This shows just how profit-minded we are. It's not wrong to expect profit from events like this, but it's wrong to turn away people whom we have made a commitment to! Those 3 people expect to go to that event but they have a good chance of being turned away just because they will lose money over it.

Since young, we were taught that it's important for us to keep our promises. Once we have committed to something, we were expected to keep our word. That was why I was distraught when I heard that people from our very own student council, who were supposed to be model students, would do something like this.

I don't really have much to say, just that I'm very disappointed. I know having to pay another RM250 from their coffers suck, but GI has a commitment, and if you can't bear to live through it, you shouldn't have started. Returning the money automatically 'delegated' GI's blame to the customers they're supposed to be serving. It's like saying, "I'm responsible for it, but now I'm returning your money because I want you to be the one in the wrong because you didn't come earlier."

1 comment:

joshua said...

you are(were) thinking too much.
besides, student councillors are very much like MPs. how many are truly efficient and service-minded?

The Student Council aint a NGO/NPO lah. How many non-profit events are REALLY non-profit seeking?

reality bites. move along now