The demise of Cyril Teo, my former boss and manager of cabin crew sets me thinking more about the meaning of my existence.
Cyril was indeed a kind man who was well respected as a friend and a boss. He was unlike some bosses who treat their subordinates like dirt. He was humble and friendly to all yet firm in decision makings as a manager. He loved his Scotch whisky and Marlboro cigarettes. He had time for anybody who wanted a listening ear. Cyril was patient and a damn good listener. To me, he was the best trainer in cabin crew and under his tutelage I learned a lot. He was a brave man,did not complain much about the pain he endured from that dreadful cancer. He lived a courageous life and died a brave man.
Then there was another colleague called Vincent Lo who died of cancer a year ago. He lived life to the fullest and was a jovial fellow even unto death. I believe Cyril and Vincent were aged 66 when they died. Both had been heavy drinkers and smokers although Vincent gave up smoking 7 years ago before he succumbed to cancer.
Inflight supervisor Mahendran had died of a heart attack 2 years ago while the good looking David Chan and Kenneth Chan died of cancer in their in their 50s.
Looks like one by one we are fading from the scene. But then who really cares,right? SIA cabin crew would still function with or without us. But one thing SIA has to remember is that who helped to make cabin crew division what it is today. As a token of good gesture and appreciation, it should at least insert a farewell note in Straits Times and acknowledges the contribution of those warriors like Cyril and Vincent.
However, when it is my time to go,be rest assured I would not get accolades but relief from the people whom I have crossed swords with. But I don't care because after I am gone I won't know the difference between flowers put on my grave and the curses and swearing bestow on me.
A week ago, I saw our ex managing director Lim Chin Beng and his wife along Orchard Road. They were strolling around and window shopping,I noticed. Chin Beng was one of the best CEO SQ staff ever had. He was a good listener to the staff's problem and an understanding boss. Many in SQ loved him. His wife was not as friendly as him but she was actually a nice lady.
I still am able to vividly remember Captain Segar, SQ's first cabin crew director (now retitled as SVP). He passed away some years ago in Scotland. We were fond of him as he was a easy going type of divisional head. It was fun to have him as our director. I remember on one occasion when we wanted to watch the live boxing match between Mohd. Ali and Sonny Liston,Capt Segar allowed us to stop work and installed a TV set in one of the classrooms and watch the whole match. He was not the kiasu type of boss. In fact,he occasionally bought 4 D from a bookie whom we recommended. He smoked and drank with us and enjoyed our company. We missed him.
Then there was hmmmmm.....never ending lah.