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Published: October 16th 2010
Saturday, 16th October 2010
As I completed my final ushering assignment, "Pagar Makan Padi (Unreliable)"
at the Drama Centre Theatre this afternoon, I knew that my time with them was up. For this would be my last time donning the NAC uniform and working at the Drama Centre. 5 years on and after ushering for more than 180 shows in the theatre, we were told to pack our bags and leave the place we were once familiar with, together with my 80 odd colleagues.
I started working with them way back in August 2005 and I belonged to the first batch of ushers recruited by the National Arts Council during the initial start-up at the new National Library Building. I was still a student back then when I was gainfully employed as a casual part-timer. This position was going to last me for the next 5 years. After 4 major career switches, I was still providing my service during my days-off from work. There was no intention for me to "retire" from the theatre scene anytime soon until we were hard hit by reality during the "Thank You Session". For this was no ordinary session.
4th October 2010 was
a pretty emotional day for all of us who were present at the Seminar Room 3 as we were given a golden handshake for our hardwork all these years. In essence, this was a thank you cum firing session. "Thank you very much for your service all these while but I'm sorry that your services would not be needed after Sunday, 17th October 2010. The new management would not want to keep you guys!"
At least that's how we interpreted from that fateful day.
Under the new management, their existing pool of ushers would take over our duties at the Drama Centre. There was no intention to keep any of us. I pity the uncles and aunties who relied on this part-time job to earn their keeps. I'm sure that the future for them looked bleak as they scrambled to look for other part-time alternatives. For me, it's just back to my mundane reality. I'm just thankful that there was not much an impact on my earnings.
As I saw the renovation workers taking over our pantry and the management office that we were once familiar with this afternoon, it suddenly dawned on me that the time was up. Looking back for the past 5 years, I'm proud to be an usher and made my contributions to the virbrant arts scene of Singapore.
To all the colleagues and friends whom I've worked with over the past 5 years, I sincerely wished you well. Like what Eileen had said, "you guys rocks!"
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