There is a bad habit in Singapore among employees to skip work by using the excuse that someone in their family died.
Usually when you attend a funeral here, you can collect a vouchsafe receipt to validate your claim.
However, some people have managed to bypass this official document, usually based on trust.
Anyway, here’s a real story about a man who told his boss he needed time off during the weekday to accompany his father for medical checkup. The employer didn’t think twice about relieving the man.
On one occasion the employee didn’t show up for a week straight. Everyone tried to contact him, but they couldn’t. He switched off his cell phone.
When someone finally got hold of him, he gave the excuse his father had died.
Unfortunately, the boss found out his employee had been telling a cock and bull story when the father turned out to be very much alive.
Apparently, the employee has been spending time at the race course. It got so exciting he decided what’s a few more days?
Met a young man here in Singapore, extremely cocky fellow, who claimed he has written 25 suspense novels.
I couldn’t selfie the shock on my face, but I told him he must be some kind of a prodigy or a super genius to have written 25 suspense novels by that age. I asked him for his website address, and he said it’s not ready yet.
He then asked me what I did for a living, so I said: “I’m a fisherman. I have my days, you know — tried to catch a Marlin near the Indonesian waters. Took me several days. I finally got the Marlin. But by the time I came back to shore, it was all bones. The sharks, you know.”
While waiting for my flight back to Singapore at the New Delhi airport a few years ago, the announcements were replaced by people singing in real time.
I walked up to a sales staff behind a counter to ask what was going on. Was there some kind of festival today?
Looking embarrassed, she explained the office where the announcements were being made had been hijacked by some passengers who were fed up with flight delays.
All I said was, “I see… well, that makes life more interesting.”
I had a male school teacher in primary school who was feared by everyone.
One day our class made so much noise he came in from the back entrance and kicked a few tables and chairs just to send a message.
Everyone stood still. He then made an example of one of the boys by ordering him to run around the class performing a butterfly dance.
Some years later, during Sports Day, he didn’t show up. We were told he was feeling under the weather. I remembered that day well. Sports Day. I was walking home with some boys. I was right at the back of the group. After crossing a traffic light, something I was holding fell. I paused, turned, and picked it up. When I stood up again, my eyes caught sight of a stationary car behind the line. There, with his family, was the mean teacher behind the steering wheel.
I pointed at him but just as I was about to alert the others, the teacher, with eyes wide open, tapped his finger to his lips. I got the message and nodded.
I never told those boys I was going home with. In fact, I never told anyone until now.
Author of the New York Times Bestselling novel Once A Spy
Khaled Talib’s novel Smokescreen is a cocktail of Deighton, Ludlum, Hitchcock, and two parts adrenaline.
Million-copy NYT bestselling co-author of Hooked and Brainwashed
Devious! Diabolical! Lurid! Intelligent and deftly plotted. Pick it up if you dare. Put it down if you can.
Author of Drift
In this action-packed thriller, Khaled Talib explores the little known relationship between Singapore and Israel, spinning a web of international intrigue that expands across the globe as inexorably as it tightens around his protagonist’s throat.
Author of The Umbrella Man and The Ambassador’s Wife
I have published two novels set in the police and security services in Singapore, and I am here to tell you that SMOKESCREEN is nearer to the truth of that closely controlled little country than you might believe. It is a gripping and creepy tale of how governments can rig the way we all see the world.