It was a Monday and I dreaded driving into the city. First of all I did not know where the building was located. I did not want to drive around looking for the place or getting into a packed car park. I knew that there will be a lot of people going to the place to get the same work done.
So, I decided to hail a ride from GrabCar, a Malaysia’s cab-hailing service. Once I got into the car, the driver wanted to say something but he was cautious as to whether I was ready for a chat. Somehow his eagerness got the better of me, so I just greeted him and thanked him for fetching me. Knowing that he wanted to tell me something, I casually asked him, “How’s business?” With such encouragement, he launched into a series of complaints about the country’s economy, beginning with the first line: “Business bad lah”. The prices of fuel has gone up. The prices for meals have also increased. Business is slow. As with someone who tries to get some answers, he just needed someone to hear his woes.
I kept my ears open and listened. With his non-stop complaints, it was hard to get some ideas in. So, I let him speak. When he stopped to catch his breath, I cut in. Stopping him from all these un-progressive banter, I said, “Look, it is so good you have a car and you are making money driving it at your leisure.” He looked ahead and for the moment, kept quiet and started to think.
“Ten years ago, when we had an economic slump, there was no such opportunity where you drive and got paid, right?” I turned and looked at him. He thought about it for a while and said: “Yeah, that is true. Nowadays, got business some more.” He smiled. The mood began to shift. Feeling more positive now.
I continued to give him some business ideas. “Do you know there is a website called kaodim.com?” He shook his head. I continued: “Nowadays I can get my air-cond fixed by getting someone from kaodim.com. Also, services such as plumbing can also get from the website.” Upon hearing this, he quickly added: “Even electrician also can get?”
“Yes.” I said.
“Wow, that is good, then I can register also. I am an electrician and my son is also an electrician. We can get some jobs then.”
“Yes. There are plenty of opportunities. We are so lucky nowadays. Compared to several years ago, same bad economy but many of us got nothing to do.” I said. “Now, opportunities are everywhere.”
“Have you heard of goget?” He asked.
“No. What is it?”
“I am with goget too. I just delivered a cake ordered by a girl from the goget website. The service charge is about RM15.” He told me.
“I’ve never heard of it. What did you do? You mean you buy the cake for the girl? Then, you deliver the cake to her?”
“Yes. She will pay me according to the receipt. Last time, someone gave me a budget of RM200 to buy grocery. So, I bought the things she wanted up to her budget and delivered to her. I got paid for my service and she paid me the items according to the bill.” He explained.
“Oh, that is very good. I just thought of someone who I can recommend this website to. Thanks for sharing the idea.”
From this experience, it showed that:
1. When topics of communication revolve around hate, despair and depressing stuff, there is nothing to respond except more hate, more despair and more depressing stuff. Imagine if I have agreed to the driver’s complaints about how bad is the economy, there will be no end to the depressing status of each of our lives.
2. When we changed the topic to talk about possibilities, sharing ideas and benefits, we are more productive. From the experience, the driver got to know a new website where he can register his and his son’s services as electrician. From him, I got to know about a new website called goget.my where I can share this service with my friend who has been looking for ways to deliver his homemade cakes and pastries to his clients. Both of us got something useful in return.
Let’s start sharing good stuff, especially productive ideas.