It's nice to be home
I arrived back on Sunday but was unable to post anything over the last two days. My apologies for those expecting to find something new.
There were a number of postal items which I waited for me when I arrived. One of them was this photograph of the Brunei Malay Regiment's aeroplane. I don't remember this particular plane as I have always thought the Brunei Armed Forces always had helicopters and one transportation plane bought in the late 1990s/early 2000s. This particular aeroplane was much older than that transportation plane. I do have one faithful ex-army reader who I do hope will drop me a note later on about this aeroplane.
One of the things which I did when I was in Manila was to utilise my lunch break. Since I wasn't taking any lunch, I usually use the time to see something. On the second day, I wanted to see the Money Museum at the Philippines Central Bank or Bangko ng Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). I was assured that I can go in without much problem. So when my car approached the gate of BSP, I realised it was like entering Fort Knox. There were a number of questions - who I wanted to see, where I was going etc and not to mention the security checks on the car including mirrors under the car etc. I told them I just wanted to visit the Money Museum and in some sense promise not to touch anything else including the multibillions of pesos which I know is somewhere inside the place.
After about 10 minutes, we were finally allowed in. At BSP's main building, I asked the guard about the Money Museum and he pointed to a building across the street which happened to be next to the security gate. But he said, I can't go in. I asked why. He told me it was closed for renovation and had been over the last few months. It will only be opened in November. He told me to come back in November 5th.
I had to smile. The security guards at the main gate could have just told me that the Money Museum was closed. Being next to the Money Museum, I am sure they would or should have known that the Money Museum was under repair. They could have save me lots of bother and I would not have to go through the various security checks and they would not have to carry out those checks. I had to put it down to government internal miscommunications which I think we also suffer from.
Many times we forget to give information to the people who matter. Those out in the front desk where people come and ask. If the right information is not there, it forced the public to venture inside to get the right information. At the same time, our front desk staff does not venture out to get the extra information too. I remembered when I was at TAP in the early days, there was a lady who was a Pembersih (cleaner). After she completed her work, she used to hang out at the front desk and would help out there. I found out she could speak English and the public asked her lots of questions and she would be able to answer them correctly. She got the info from the other staff. I gave her a uniform and placed her at the front desk permanently.
She eventually resigned because she lived in Tutong. But when TAP was corporatised recently, the HR people searched for her, approached her if she is willing to leave her job and moved to TAP, and reappointed her properly, this time, not as the cleaner obviously and paid her almost double what she used to earn. The important role of giving and getting information is something which I am always clamouring for, and hence bruneiresources.com. It's not perfect but it's there.