People of TAL
Manager, Advisory and Partnership
We are dealing with people’s lives, not just their employment dispute.
That’s why I look at my customer’s issues from a wider perspective, and remind myself that they are more than just their work.
Typically, each appointment with my customers is about 45 minutes. However, I once spent about three hours with a customer. The stress she felt from her dispute was so intense that she didn’t want to proceed with her claims even though they were valid. Instead, a large part of the session was spent exploring what she could do rather than proceed with her claims. We talked about her family, finding another job, and getting social assistance. She shared that she was already dealing with marital issues, and the work dispute just added to her worries.
At one point, she was crying and admitted to having suicidal thoughts. She told me “there’s really no purpose to proceed with life anymore”.
I was very concerned that she would harm herself or others. As she shared that she still felt connected to her family and that her children needed her to be around, we explored how her actions would affect herself and her loved ones. This allowed me to slowly help her understand that there’s more to life than her current problems and she has responsibilities that matter to her.
Towards the end of the session, she was a lot calmer. She was able to state her next steps, and wrote down the actions that she should be taking. Even though the interactions with our customer usually ends after an appointment, I was concerned for her well-being. I followed up with the customer a few weeks after our meeting, to check how she is, whether she has found a job, or kept her referral appointments with other agencies, just to ensure she is doing alright and she doesn’t need more help.
In such cases, it’s not about the specific workplace issues being disputed but the whole experience they went through. They just want someone to hear them out.
My vision in life is to help people. I find joy in meeting people and talking to them. While we do experience challenging customers at times, it is still fulfilling and meaningful — it allows me to help others while gaining valuable life experiences.
We are looking for motivated and committed individuals who are keen to make a positive difference and contribute towards the building of progressive workplaces and harmonious work relations in Singapore.