I had a site meeting with my customers this morning. The sky was onimous when I drove into the yard. By the time they arrived, the light drizzle had given way to a heavy downpour.
They were inspecting some containers we were modifying. This project has been giving me a headache from day one and I was hoping that the bad weather wouldn't dampen our spirits. We stood in the open yard under our umbrellas, scrutinising the joints and paintwork. They finally approved! I heaved a sigh of relief and suggested a celebratory lunch.
The yard is located in an awkward corner of Singapore, right at the fringe of the countryside to be exact. I know the area as it's close to where I grew up. While I like the rustic farm cafes nearby, a proper lunch is in order since I'm buying. We ended up at the Kranji Sanctuary Golf Course.
The golf terrace cafe overlooking the gorgeous 18-hole course was swarming with golfers who were forced to break for an early lunch because of bad weather. There must be a hundred male but only one lady golfer present. That goes to show that men really know how to enjoy life (skive)!
We must be the only 3 non-golfers in the restaurant. While chatting with my customers, I discovered that the rotund one is a foodie while the other loves growing orchids. Throughout lunch, the foodie couldn't stop recommending famous food places in Singapore. Now I know where to find the best rojak, ayam penget and fish head steamboat!
Maybe because the guys are chatty, we had a really enjoyable session. I must admit that it is not in my nature to take customers out. While other industry players organise regular drinking sessions with customers, I don't want to make it an unhealthy and toxic habit.
Business lunches and the occasional dinner can be ideal for forging relationships but I also value my family time and personal space. Inevitably, conversations veer towards topics outside of work and I used to dread questions about my personal life.
Questions like "What does your husband do?"used to get me flustered and tongue-tied but they don't bother me anymore. Recently, someone mentioned, "Your husband must be so proud of you!" I just smiled in merriment.
I've also come to realise that ocassions like this allow people to indulge in idle chatter, we don't have to take everything so seriously all the time, do we?